If you are an innovative artist with a desire to explore your skills in the field of illustration, or you are a cosmetologist interested in body art, we invite you to know the best airbrushes for you to develop your artistic creations more surprises.
The finishes of this tool, also known as airbrush, come from the ancient painting techniques that humans developed in Paleolithic times. The subtlety and ingenuity of the art reflected in the Lascaux caves reflect the spraying of pigments through the creation of rudimentary tools.
At that time, the blowing of the dyes was done by hand. Although the trajectory indeed faded with time, the man was able to revive this interesting tool with the contributions of mechanical engineering at the end of the 19th century.
Since then, photo retouching, automotive painting, fantasy art illustrations, film make-up, body tanning, and even baking have all used this versatile tool known as airbrushing.
Whether suction or siphon fed, this diffuser has become as popular as the brush. It is also a powerful tool that saves time in painting our miniatures and modeling projects, leading to great results.
Therefore we recommend you continue with us to learn everything you need to know about these dye sprayers.
Whether you are a novice or expert modeler, colorist baker, or makeup artist, we invite you to take a tour through the selection of airbrushes available on the market that we have chosen for you.
The most important thing is that, with your needs in mind, the comparison is based on products of higher cost and quality, as well as the simplest ones.
This will allow you to decide the type of project you will undertake and that your creations will have an impeccable, fast and homogeneous finish.
The Best Airbrushes
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What is the Best Airbrush?
When purchasing an airbrush, the main thing to consider is to verify the type of use we will give it, as many options depending on the need. Some features to consider will be the nozzle diffuser’s size and the air compressor’s power, although, in starter kits, it is possible to find some with small CO2 tanks.
Similarly, you have to choose between single or double action airbrushes that will help regulate both the volume of air and the amount of pigment, the latter being the main factor feeding the airbrush either by gravity or by siphon.
Here are the best airbrushes:
1. Professional Airbrush D4P Display4top
If what you are looking for is a professional equipment to make endless artistic creations with an excellent finish at the height of the blurred achieved by the famous Spanish illustrator Luis Royo, is fully recommended Display4top manufacturing house, which offers a professional aerosol kit with a special design that does not need oil; the air-fluid is constant with a pressure range of 0 to 4 bar.
2. Professional Mini Airbrush Kit for manicure FOBUY 100-250V
For those who love body art body performances, temporary tattoos, creative and neat manicure works, as well as children’s and wedding cake decorations, it is 100% recommended that you opt for airbrushing equipment like the professional kit from the people at Fo buy, who has designed a multi-purpose machine with a 0.4 mm needle and a dual precision system that works with gravity feed.
Its mini air compressor is quiet yet powerful, durable, and portable, plus it requires no oil to operate. This set is also suitable for face makeup.
3. KKmoon Airbrush
The novel brand Kkmoon puts at your disposal this versatile equipment with which you will be able to execute works with the sobriety of an accomplished artist, even if you are giving your first sketches in the artistic medium.
The device comes with a manometer compressor, a valve to regulate pressure, 2 airbrush carriers, a connector for the air hose, and non-slip bases.
Its nozzle is provided with a Teflon-coated ring that prevents liquid or gas spillage between the joints, while preventing corrosion.
It can be used to create a temporary tattoo or to spray dyes on the skin to obtain a tanning effect; it is also practical for decorating cakes, coloring metal parts, and even for achieving a high aesthetic level of makeup.
It is made of aluminum and copper and weighs 3.4 kg. It has a power of 1/5 HP, and its speed is between 1450/1750 RPM.
Its noise level does not exceed 50 dB, and its cable is 1.8 m long.
4. KKmoon TC-100 Professional Airbrush
The KKmoon label offers you another alternative with a less high price, and best of all, its lightweight of 1 kg allows you to carry it everywhere.
The device features a double-action trigger. Its system is gravity-fed and includes a mini-compressor and air hose. It is also equipped with a small gas filter, a holder, a nozzle wrench, an eyedropper, and a transformer.
It is suitable for wonderful strokes and the application of aerosol pigments over large areas. This is because its spray levels are adjustable.
There is no doubt that this product is a reasonable investment that will give you optimum performance.
5. Good Value for Money Airbrush
Another option you should consider is this double-action device with gravity, with a cup capacity of 7cc, simple to use and easy to maintain.
Its O-ring is made of Teflon for better corrosion resistance. You can also control the air output and the amount of liquid by pressing down the discharge gas.
It allows excellent lines, ideal for scale modeling, makeup, and manicure, among others.
Its ergonomic design comes in an elegant combination of black and pleated; it is easy to wash with both alcohol and ethyl acetate when you have worked with oily pigments.
If you want to get started with an airbrush without committing large sums of money, this tool is highly recommended for you.
6. ABEST Airbrush
The kit is provided with a set of needles of different thicknesses ranging from 0.2 to 0.5 mm, so that you can perform works that require a high degree of precision.
It has a trigger that allows you to adjust the airflow and color output. You can adjust the range and opacity of the pigments during the application process.
Its lightweight allows you to handle it easily, and its system allows you to hold up to 9 ccs of ink. As for its hose, it has a length of 1.8 m.
Despite its low price, you will be surprised that the quality of the materials is very acceptable.
Finally, we can tell you that it can be graduated very well between the trigger lever and the rear wheel, which allows you to go testing from a finer effect, to the most diffuse or with greater amplitude.
7. Royalmax Cheap Airbrush
Here is the most affordable option of the entire list. This is the Royalmax seal equipment, which has been designed with a double-action trigger, which allows you to determine the amount of fluid air released.
As for its feeding, it is the gravity system; its storage cup is 7cc, and its rubber hose is 1.8 meters.
It comes with a set of needles, 2 nozzles, and a voltage adapter.
Best Airbrushes – Buyer’s Guide
What Exactly is an Airbrush?
An airbrush is a small pneumatically operated device that resembles a pen. It can spray liquids ranging from paint to dyes and food coloring. It is also capable of printing on a wide range of surfaces.
Because the level of detail you can achieve with this tool is so high, it has become an indispensable piece of equipment for professionals in various coloring industries.
Therefore, the areas such as automotive painting, tattooing, pastry, art, and decoration, etc., have recently benefited from acquiring an airbrush kit.
You need to know that if you are thinking of dabbling in this art, you must connect your device to an air source or compressor.
Once this step is done, pull the trigger. You will perceive how the air begins to disperse the pigment loaded in its compartment.
On an operational level, another thing you should know is that most airbrushes have an internal mixer that ensures a balanced ratio of air in and dye out evenly.
This prevents surfaces from being thicker in some areas or poorly coated in others so that you can rest assured. Thanks to the airbrush, your finish will be uniform and completely professional.
What should we look for in airbrush kits for beginners?
When we get into the acquisition of an airbrush, commonly, we find versatility in terms of its functions and designs.
That is why you must know these fundamental tips to know exactly what to look for in these chromatic spraying kits.
The Perfect Size and Diffuser
While it may take a while to determine the perfect combination of needle and nozzle size you require, starting with a traditional pair is important.
Longer nozzles are great for making a narrower spray, while shorter nozzles allow you to cover a wide range of space.
Airbrushes typically have two different types of actuation: single-acting and double-acting. These determine the airflow in and out of the airbrush. They also control the amount of paint that is released.
Airbrushes that offer double-action require simple physical manipulations to control the tool: pulling back controls the paint, and pushing down controls the air.
On the other hand, single-action airbrushes are airbrushes that only require you to exert downward pressure, which allows you to control the air.
If you need to spray the same amount of paint all the time, a single-action gun may be better for you, but if you need more flexibility to make the most varied adjustments, then a dual-action gun is for you.
For airbrushes to work properly, you need a reliable air source.
You can choose to use CO2 tanks or compressed air reservoirs; however, it is best to choose a pack that includes a compressor.
You will see that in the end, it turns out to be the best choice, especially if you are planning a long-term use.
Therefore, we recommend you look for a compressor that is easy to transport and contains a regulator, allowing you to adjust the airflow.
Type of Power Supply
The “feed type” refers to the way the paint is fed into the tool. This can be by gravity or by siphon.
This will depend largely on the project you are doing and your preference for the finish.
When it comes to gravity feed, you will use lower amounts of air pressure and only have the ability to use a small amount of paint. This makes it ideal for drawing fine lines.
On the other hand, there are siphon feeds. These are the ones that are used when you are going to handle large amounts of paint. It will therefore allow you to spray a lot of paint on large surfaces at once.
Main considerations when selecting an airbrush
Artists and airbrush users always take a first look at the handling of this tool. This includes questions such as:
- What is the proper way to regulate the airbrush?
- How will your device be fed with paint both inside and outside the device?
- What are the nozzle and needle size that provides the best match for your product?
As you can see, you must know all of these considerations before choosing airbrushing equipment. So read on to dive into the basic specifications.
Single-action or double-action airbrush
The first decision in selecting an airbrush is whether it has a single or double action.
This peculiarity refers to how both airflow and paint volume is controlled.
- Single action: This type of trigger only controls the air supply. The pigment output is regulated separately by adjusting the depth of the nozzle needle. This is usually accomplished by adjusting a screw on the back of the airbrush. When a heavier or lighter paint flow is required, the user must stop and adjust the spindle. Although it may sound very complicated, the benefit is that these types of airbrushes are easier to maintain.
- Dual-action: These dual levers control both the amount of air and the volume of pigment. When the trigger is pulled down, it sprays the airflow, just like the single-action airbrush does. But when the trigger is pulled back, the dye begins to flow. The further the trigger is pulled back, the more dye is spread. Another advantage of this type of equipment is that the mobility of the trigger can be adjusted by adjusting a small screw located on the front. The management of both actions simultaneously requires practice, so the learning curve to manipulate this equipment is a little longer.
Gravity and Siphon Feeding
The next important decision is how the pigment is to be fed into the equipment.
A gravity-fed airbrush is a device that has a dye reservoir at the top or to the side.
Therefore, gravity will tend to pull the dye downwards, i.e., towards the atomization chamber.
When working with equipment fed by this system, you will require lower air pressure and smaller amounts of pigment.
This feature is advantageous when crisply spraying thin lines, avoiding inappropriate splashing.
In contrast, siphon-fed airbrushes have a bottle or other container underneath the equipment and are connected by a rubber hose to the mixing chamber.
This device model uses larger quantities of dye, which can be advantageous for finishing larger pieces, such as aircraft carriers.
Likewise, some artists and users working with acrylic paints prefer a siphon-feed.
This is because the speed at which acrylic pigments come down in gravity-fed equipment can lead to premature drying in the cup.
However, if your preference is for a gravity airbrushing device, the solution may be to employ a cup lid.
The sizes of these parts vary from 0.9 ml to 15 ml. But you should be aware that siphon-fed models may require a slightly larger size.
Internal or External Mixing
Mixing” in an airbrush refers to the process in which pigment and air are mixed to achieve proper atomization.
In an internal mixing device, the paint is atomized inside the airbrush. Whereas external mixing equipment usually has no dye in the body of the device.
The paint flowing along the outside of the tool is sprayed when the air stream hits near the nozzle.
You need to know that the finish produced by internal mix models is generally finer and smoother. Therefore they are often preferred by colorists.
Proper Nozzle and Needle Size
First things first: A small needle and nozzle do not guarantee an excellent line in your work.
In fact, when using acrylic or enamel dyes, their viscosity can end up clogging the thinner tips of these pieces, becoming a headache for illustrators.
That’s why you should know that the airbrush needle and tips are very similar to the nozzles on a garden hose.
With good graduation and manipulation, even the smallest nozzles can spread a large amount of color over a wide area.
As for the longer nozzles, they generally provide a narrower spray.
Matching the mouthpiece with the right needle is learned over time and with practice by airbrush artists.
The most important thing to know is that no choice is wrong, as it will always depend on the results the modeler wishes to achieve.
Other Essential Elements
An airbrush alone is not enough to achieve a flawless and versatile finish. Other essential parts of an airbrush pack include the following components:
- Moisture container
- Airbrush cleaner
- Equipment cleaning brushes
- Other accessories and connectors
Compressed Air Supply
These tools require a source of compressed air to operate. Many modelers use a small compressor purchased from their hobby store and designed for the airbrush.
Some are adapted to fluid machines designed for industrial use, which can be more cost-effective, but you should note that they are generally noisier.
A quieter solution is to rent a compressed air tank. These tanks contain carbon dioxide or nitrogen and are virtually silent while operating.
One of their advantages is that they are durable, needing replacement only once or twice a year, depending on the frequency of use.
However, many airbrush modelers have difficulties related to the pulsation that this type of tank allows. According to the experts’ opinion, they comment that it can cause an irregular paint flow.
Smaller tanks can reduce this problem. It is even recommended to consult compressor manufacturers and vendors, who can often offer feasible suggestions.
Another issue you should be aware of is moisture buildup in the hose line from the compressor machine to the air gun. This requires a moisture trap.
Recommendations Depending on the Purpose
Based on the specifications of the most popular models and user feedback, here are some examples of what you may require based on your purposes.
In this case, it is a matter of covering larger surfaces with thicker pigments. Therefore, you should consider using a gravity feed type with a large cup or bottle of larger dimensions, likewise concerning the nozzle. Large and medium-sized nozzles are recommended.
As for the models mentioned, they have the approval of the experts: Iwata Eclipse, Iwata Revolution, Paasche Talon, Badger Patriot, Grex Tritium TG or TS, etc.
This airbrush can be employed for home art, you may require a minimum nozzle size, but air control is the most important thing here.
Therefore you should consider using a MAC valve. Also, a gravity feed model is a must because you will only use small amounts of dye.
The other accessory you need is a small cup not to obstruct your field of vision during your illustration sessions.
As for the recommended models, we will mention Iwata Micron CM-B, Iwata Hi-Line, Iwata HP+, and Paasche VJR, etc.
We are talking about small projects, but the detail scale can vary a lot regarding hobbies.
If you need to do super fine details because you are working with miniature or small-scale parts, you will require a detailed airbrush.
Conversely, if you need big solid color brushstrokes, a single-action airbrush with a wide nozzle is perfect for you.
Recommended models: Paasche H, Iwata Revolution HP – SAR, Badger Krome, Badger 200-20, etc.
Most cosmetics and special effects artists prefer dual action brushes with a medium-sized nozzle and small gravity-feed cups.
They also need to apply a wide range of sizes for the aerosol output so that the makeup artists’ vision is not blocked while working.
Recommended brands for this activity: Iwata Eclipse BS, Iwata Revolution BR, Iwata Neo CN, TEMPTU – SP 35.
If you don’t have time to go on vacation and urgently need to show off a cleavage-baring outfit, you are most likely looking for an esthetician who can apply a body tanning spray.
The most appropriate for these occasions is to apply a thin solution in a wide range of coverage. That’s why we recommend using a large needle airbrush or a mini blurring gun.
Recommended models are Paasche H, Paasche 300T, Iwata Ecplipse G6, Grex Tritium TS5, etc.
The part requirements for this tool are similar to those used by make-up artists but on a larger scale.
An airbrush with a medium-sized nozzle is therefore recommended to cover a wide range of patterns. The bottle-feed airbrush is faster, but the gravity-feed airbrush also works very well. So it will depend on what you are doing.
We also recommend using a small gun for body foundation and a specialized airbrush for artistic details.
According to tests conducted among professional makeup artists, you are guaranteed a beautiful gradient with this setup.
The preferred stamps are Iwata Eclipse, Paasche Talon, Iwata Revolution BCR, Iwata Eclipse G6, Paasche VL, etc.
Model car airplanes
For these purposes, you will need a medium nozzle and a gravity spray with a large cup.
There is often a large amount of surface area to cover, and a certain amount of detail is involved when performing paint applications on cars.
Iwata has a series of custom paint sprayers designed exclusively for artists in this field: Iwata Eclipse HP-SBS Auto, Badger Krome, Badger Velocity, etc.
The first thing about murals is the size of the project and the amount of detail you need.
So, it’s nice to have a side bottle feed airbrush and a siphon system.
This gives you the option of carrying more paints and changing colors quickly.
So if you are an established artist like Luis Royo and are painting a ceiling mural, it is best to combine your techniques and tools with a side-feed airbrush.
Models: Iwata Eclipse BCS, Iwata Revolucion BCR, Paasche Talon TS, Paasche VL, etc.
For this type of project on fabrics and T-shirt designs with aerosols or T-shirts, you will require good coverage, plus you will need to interchange colors quickly to increase production.
Fine details are less important here. Therefore, you will need a medium to large nozzle size.
Recommended stamps are Iwata Eclipse BCS, Iwata Revolution BCR, Paasche Talon TS, Paasche VL, Paasche VLS, etc.
Why are Some Airbrushes More Expensive Than Others?
An airbrush is a susceptible and highly engineered product.
The number of coils in the trigger chamber, the finishing material of the body plate, the manufacture of the fine needle tip, the precision required to create a straight spot. 2 mm threads, Teflon seals, the cutting of side feed cups, etc…
As you can see, the list is long in terms of the facets of the engineering process.
Both design and research go into manufacturing an airbrush that can determine its success or otherwise with customers.
The other aspect that adds to it not being an economical product is the part’s handling, plating, and packaging.
The sad truth
Unfortunately, due to the economic instability in the world, this hobby is only available to a lucky few. Because of this, some companies produce airbrushes aimed at people in a more difficult economic situation.
Stamps from generic manufacturers usually do not offer the same quality satisfaction as the more recognized brands.
Therefore, to avoid unnecessary loss of money, accidents, or damaged parts, it is advisable to encourage people to save up to purchase a good quality product, which can range from 50$ to 100$.
Frequently Asked Questions
🎨 Can I use a normal compressor for airbrushing?
Indeed, a normal compressor works for this type of work; however, to achieve precise control of the airbrush, it is advisable to use an additional pressure regulator to achieve precise control of the airbrush.
🎨 Can I use isopropyl alcohol to clean my airbrush?
The airbrush cleaning process must be done thoroughly to ensure no paint residue inside the airbrush; for this reason, it is necessary to completely disassemble the equipment and immerse the needle cap, the nozzle, and the nozzle cap in 99% isopropyl alcohol. Once all parts have been cleaned, proceed to assemble the airbrush according to factory instructions.
🎨 Can I clean my airbrush with acetone?
This action is not recommended. The use of acetone to clean an airbrush can cause significant damage to the seals and other components of the equipment. The manufacturers are emphatic in the fact that they do not give guarantees before using this type of chemical compound.
🎨 Is airbrush thinner the same as paint thinner?
Although they are often considered the same, there is an important difference between the two. Airbrush thinner can be used to thin paints; however, paint thinners, for the most part, do not thin the color, even if they make it more transparent.
🎨 How often should I clean my airbrush?
Preventive maintenance plays a key role in the lifetime of an airbrush. After each session, a simple cleaning of the equipment should be done, and at the end of each working week, deep cleaning should be done, disassembling the equipment and ensuring that all its components are properly cleaned of paint.