An oil-free compressor specifically for the airbrush technique is the most common compressor you will come across. However, there is also the compressor with oil as an alternative choice. This is then very often also suitable for other areas of work. You should use the right oil for it. Why this is so and which oil would be the right one is described in more detail in the following explanations.
Why is the right oil important for the airbrush compressor?
The right oil is important for lubrication and guarantees greater longevity of the compressors. A power saving of the compressor should also be produced by this smooth running property by means of oil.
It is generally true that the advertised standard oil is suitable for an oil-piston compressor. Other oils, however, you should not fill arbitrarily, so as not to damage the engine and thereby also not to lose the manufacturer’s warranty.
The improved smooth running property is expected especially for the models that you buy with higher pressure and also want to use for other activities. They then often have a large-volume air pressure tank to ensure constant air in the compressor at a constant level.
You can then use these to inflate tires or balls, for example, or to perform cleaning work with a corresponding spray gun.
Therefore, the higher a maximum pressure is, the more appropriate the combination between an airbrush gun, paint gun and cleaning gun to achieve. In fact, depending on the type, the optimal working pressure can range from 2.0 to 5.0 bar.
Therefore, the purchase of such a high-performance compressor is worth considering if you want to perform both activities, airbrushing and painting. But you should then look, if you work specifically with the airbrush in the vicinity, that you should not do without a quieter compressor.
Incidentally, the oil has nothing to do with the direct compressed air. You get clean air with both models with and without oil. The chamber areas are separated from each other and an extra filter usually cleans the outflowing compressed air beforehand.
Which oil for airbrush compressor?
Normally, the required oils with their viscosity are also directly described in the user manual. You should use these first.
Otherwise, there are many compressor oils to choose from. Often they are titled directly in the product description, so that you can quickly identify the respective oils. You should then select these as an alternative.
Basically, these are typical mineral light-running oils. There are many suppliers who simply offer a “mainstream oil” for all compressors. If in doubt, you can use them with a clear conscience.
Does the choice of oil depend on the type of compressor?
First of all, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as they are binding for the warranty. You can always find them in the user or operating manual, which describes, for example, which viscosity or direct oil is required. Otherwise, you can and should contact the manufacturer in case of doubt.
To make things easier, however, it can be said that the special airbrush compressors with oil are not so demanding. They often make do with a typical standard oil for compressors.
How much oil goes into the airbrush compressor?
As a rule, the filling quantities for normal compressors are not so large. A normal compressor can take between 0.7 and 1 liter of oil.
So you get along well with the purchase of the normal commercially available plastic bottles. With a normal compressor with oil there is usually also an oil level indicator, which shows you the level. It should not be too low but also not too high.
If the latter is the case, you should drain the oil accordingly, so that the ideal level is reached. In many cases, this is done via a screw that is specially attached for this purpose, or in some cases via the unscrewable window of the oil level indicator.