Airbrush compressor gives an extra punch to the artistic work with the power of wind brushes. A blend of wind force, paint, and the right equipment make all the difference to showcase the painter’s artistic brilliance.
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While planning to learn the new skill, you need to understand the airbrush compressor and its working method.
What is an airbrush compressor?
The Airbrush compressor is the primary part of the airbrush, and it supplies compacted air to the airbrush nozzle. The spray gun lets to paint the media with dye, paint, or ink on any surface.
It is not possible to finish the painting job only with a spray gun. You need to have a compressor, which can hold the required amount of air pressure and release the pressured air as per the requirements.
Type of compressors:
You can find two types of compressors in different sizes; the piston compressor and diaphragm compressor.
Piston compressor: Piston compressor can hold more air pressure than a diaphragm compressor, and with this, you can operate multiple airbrushes at a time.
The piston compressor is safe, robust, ideal for extended use, and has an excellent overheat protection system.
Diaphragm compressor: Diaphragm is ideal for small airbrush use. It can attach with only one airbrush at a time and can hold a maximum of 40PSI.
Since its technical features are suitable for small projects, it cannot use for an extended period. It is noisy compared to a piston compressor and gets overheated if used for an extended period.
How to select the best compressors?
Before selecting a compressor of your choice, it is imperative to find answers about the compressor’s capacity requirement, whether it should be an electrical compressor or how to control the compressor’s noise, etc.
The following content will help you to solve the dilemma of selecting the best airbrush compressors.
As per the statistical analysis, it would be better to go for a compressor supported with a tank.
The compressor with a tank can regulate the airflow and stop the air from pulsing.
Thus, the compressor can increase the efficiency of the moisture separator. Generally, a small compressor does not come with a tank.
The compressor capacity can let you know the power of the compressor and run time.
The noise factor is another critical element to be considered while purchasing an air compressor. Generally, airbrush compressors produce a lot of noise.
The level of noise is directly related to the pressure it applies to the job. Newgen generators come with low noise features but are expensive.
Therefore, depending on the budget, you can decide on the compressor you want to purchase. Also, check the noise levels marked on the compressor. Compressors with low noise shall deliver 55 to 60 decibels.
The standard power consumption for an average compress is between 150 to 200 watts.
You may also check the air compressor’s power output, which is a detrimental factor in considering the usage application, runtime, control, etc.
If the power consumption is high, it will naturally have more power output, and such high-power consumption air compressor will be expensive.
It is an ideal and safe feature for air compressors; because it allowed the user to pre-set the compressor automatically stop the function after reaching the set air pressure.
The air compressor will start again once the pressure goes below the fixed air pressure. The auto stop function is an ideal feature to minimize running time and motor wear.
CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) represents airflow, which is the compressor’s per-minute air delivery quantity. An ideal airflow capacity is between 0.70 to 1.76CFM or 20 to 50LPM.
An airbrush compressor with 0.70CFM is okay for casual hobby projects, body, and makeup projects. For a large project, it would be better to go with 30LPM.
How can you get the best result from the airbrush compressor? You can reap the best performance by deciding the compressor run time before the motor needs to stop.
If the duty cycle is 50%, you should stop the compressor for 30 minutes after running it for 30 minutes.
The duty cycle is calculated in percentage form, and appended examples can illustrate the calculation clearly.
- 50% duty cycle = 30 minutes off and 30 minutes run/hour.
- 25% duty cycle = 15 minutes run and 45 minutes off/hour.
- 20% duty cycle = 12 minutes run and 48 minutes off/hour.
If you have no budget constraints, then go for a model that can take care of all types of projects. Consider it as a long-term investment.
The Airbrush compressor required various accessories to finish the project. Most of the units come with accessories like different types of nozzles, airbrushes, connecting pipes, paints, etc.
Therefore, instead of buying an airbrush compressor without accessories, it would be prudent to go for an airbrush compressor with accessories.
Ensure the airbrush compressor comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, and the warranty covers free replacement and is not limited to labor cost.
Best Air brush Compressors under $200
Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor (Best Choice)
Whether you are a professional or amateur painter, then do not look back. The Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor is the right choice waiting for you. It comes with many options to select from and also with many accessories.
On performance-wise, it surpasses the competitors in various departments. It has a pressure range of 0-57 PSI, which is enough to meet any professional project execution requirements.
The airbrush compressor comes with 3 airbrushes with a package of 6 acrylic paints. You will find the 1/5 HP compressor with a single-piston convenient for all airbrush paying requirements.
It has two cooling fans for controlling the excess heat while using for an extended period. Another positive feature of the airbrush compressor is the three airbrushes, Model E91, Model G22, and G25, supplied as packages.
With a warranty of 5 years, you can confidently purchase the compressor for your professional and amateur requirements.
- 3 Master Airbrush sets with carry-handle
- Single Piston 1/5 HP compressor
- 2 cooling fans
- 2 airbrush holders
- 6 Water-based Acrylic Airbrush Kits
- Airbrushes are not solid
- Weight: 9 pounds
- Package Dimensions: 14.92 x 12.83 x 7.28 inches
- Airbrush color chart guide
- 6-foot braided air hose
- 4” Día color mixing wheel
California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor
The California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S Light & Quiet Portable Air Compressor features a sizeable 1-gallon air tank, let you use the compressor for an extended period.
Its 0.6HP motor can generate 1.2CMF maximum airflow with air pressure up to 90PSI, gauged as one of the ideal airbrush compressors in this category.
The compressor is relatively low-noise, recorded as 56 decibels is within the acceptable level.
On the structural side, it is made of steel for extra sturdiness and durability. It is powerful, large but with a weight of 29.5 pounds, you can move it anywhere in the work area with little effort.
Low maintenance and the oil-free pump is a decisive factor while evaluating the best airbrush compressor.
- Thermal overload protector
- One gallon air tank
- 0.6 HP compressor
- 2 pressure control gauges
- Oil-free pump
- Bit heavy
- Small tank
- Weight: 29 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 14.7 x 14.75 inches
- Size: 1 gallon
- Material: Steel
- Owner’s manual
AW Pro 1/3 HP Twin-Cylinder Airbrush Compressor
In the last segment, we introduce AW Pro 1/3 HP Twin-Cylinder Airbrush Compressor, which can produce up to 100PSI airpower, allowing the compressor to use for an extended period.
The twin-cylinder, 1/3HP compressor motor with a 1-gallon air tank can deliver maximum output, helping to execute your painting project.
The compressor features auto on/off, which helps check the overheating issues and protects the compressor from any possible breakdowns.
You can enjoy seamless working of the compressor with constant power flow to run all types of airbrushes.
The airbrush compressor’s power-saving mode comes with two options, and in the first mode, the compressor starts at 3 bars and stops at 4 bars.
Similarly, in the 2nd mode, it stops at 7 bars maximum at 100PSI.
- 1/3HP compressor motor
- Auto on and off feature
- Maximum 100 PSI
- 3.5-liter Air Tank
- Low power consumption
- Not portable
- Bit loud
- Weight: 17.56 pounds
- Dimensions: 16.5 x 15.5 x 7 inches
- 6-foot 120V power cord
- Rubber feet
Master Airbrush Model TC-40T – Cool Runner Professional Single-Piston Airbrush Air Compressor
The single-piston Master Airbrush Model TC-40T features with air-on-demand pressure mechanism for delivering constant pressure as and when required.
Its advanced compressor with a single-piston can work continuously, which is advantageous for time-consuming projects.
Its in-built cooling fan reduces the possibility of overheating issues while running for an extended period.
Zero pulsation and constant pressure are other notable qualities of this airbrush compressor. Looking into its different aspects, it comes with an air tank, and for its pressure reading, it has attached with a Pressure Regulator gauge.
Besides the above, it has 2 airbrush holders, a water tap filter, and 6 feet long braided hose.
The compressor noise is relatively less. It produces only 47dB, which is a positive factor. Its pre-set option allows setting the compressor off when the pressure touches 57PSI and set to turn on when the pressure comes down to 43PSI.
The single-piston motor has thermal protection, and with this feature, the compressor will halt working when it gets overheated. The no-oil compressor airbrush offers a 5-year full warranty.
- 1/6HP oil-less compressor
- 3-liter tank
- Pressure regulator and filter
- Auto on and off
- 15-45 PSI
- Air hose is only 6’
- Cannot change on/offsetting
- Weight: 11.82 pounds
- Dimensions: 13 x 11.8 x 5.4 inches
- Pressure gauge
- Airbrush holder
Paasche D3000R 1/5 HP Compressor with Tank
With an auto-shutoff feature, the Paasche D3000R 1/5 HP Compressor with Tank is an efficient airbrush compressor for moderate usage.
Its 1/5 HP compressor motor is a no oil unit designed to reduce maintenance costs without compromising the pressure requirements.
It can maintain 20-40 PSI and hence is an ideal partner for any professional or freelance paint works.
It is lightweight, just only 13 pounds, and with the carry handle, you can quickly move the compressor to any working area.
You will find it is very user-friendly because of the auto-shutoff feature, low noise motor, and moisture filter.
The moisture filter offers complete protection against moisture pollution. For using a 1/8” compatible hose, it also comes with an adaptor.
Even though the 3/4-gallon tank is small, it is sufficient enough to keep the air pressure.
- Auto turn off
- ¾ gallon air tank
- 47DB noise level
- 1/5HP air compressor
- 1/8 BPS hose adaptor
- Small tank
- The owner’s manual is not descriptive
- Weight: 11.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 13 x 6 x 13 inches
- Regulator & Moisture Trap
Paasche Airbrush H-100D Single Action Airbrush & Compressor Package
The Paasche Airbrush H-100D has the designer advantage to meet a beginner painter’s expectations.
The package includes a D500SR compressor H-Set single-action airbrush and an AC-7 cleaning kit.
The compressor works smoothly and can deliver 20-35PSI, which is enough to meet your painting requirements. It can seamlessly provide air pressure for an extended period.
With the auto shut-off feature, you can continue the project without any fear of overheating. The compressor is lightweight and hence is portable.
- Auto shut off feature
- 7 brush cleaning kit
- Compressor with the regulator
- Airbrush with a single action
- Chrome plated
- Vibrates a lot
- Small gravity cups
- Weight: 4.7 pounds
- Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 8 inches
- Airbrush cleaning kit
- 3-Spray heads
- Stainless Steel needles
ZENY Pro 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor Airbrushing Kit
Designed with a large 3 liters air tank, the ZENY Pro 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor Airbrushing Kit is a budget-friendly air compressor for professionals and freelancers.
Its 1/5 HP compressor motor can deliver 57PSI pressure, with a low noise level of mere 59 decibels.
The compressor is relatively compact and having only 11.97 pounds, making it easy to port anywhere the work demands to take it.
It has an accurate airflow regulation because of a correct diaphragm pressure regulator and pressure gauge to monitor air pressure.
Another important feature is the Air-On-Demand, a classic quality that allows the compressor to produce the air pressure only when the work demands.
Moreover, the compressor motor comes with a thermal shield. The feature automatically cuts off the motor in case of overheating.
It can generate 0-57 PSI air pressure, which is compatible with any airbrush.
- Air-On-Demand pressure feature
- 3-liter tank capacity
- No-oil, maintenance-free
- Thermal protected
- 1/5 HP compressor
- Thread mismatch issues
- The motor becomes noisy at a higher setting
- Weight: 11.97 pounds
- Dimensions: 12.6 x 6.9 x 15.1 inches
- Tank size: 3 liters
VIVOHOME 110-120V Professional Airbrushing Paint System
The VIVOHOME 110-120V Professional Airbrushing Paint System features with 1/5HP air compressor motor and three airbrush kits ideal for cake decoration, tattoo makeup, body painting, and inflating.
The airbrush can deliver 23 to 25 liter/minute airflow to execute medium-sized jobs.
Its auto shut-off feature protects the compressor from overheating and directly helps extend the compressor’s life.
The compressor’s noise level is 47DB, which is within the tolerance level; hence it is classified as a low-noise compressor.
It is designed to produce steady pressure and very reliable for executing a wide range of painting projects.
- Full set compressor kit
- 1/5 compressor motor
- 2 airbrush holders
- Low-noise compressor
- Auto shut off
- Poor quality airbrush
- May overheat sometimes
- Weight: 10.73 pounds
- Dimensions: 24.02 x 10.98 x 2.99 inches
- 3 type multi-purpose fluid tips
- 1 airbrush
Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Gravity Feed Dual-action Airbrush Kit
The versatile Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Gravity Feed Dual-action Airbrush Kit comes with all the essential airbrush requirements.
It is an excellent airbrush compressor with G22 multi-purpose precision airbrush with 0.3mm fluid Tip and 1/3-ounce Gravity Fluid Cup.
The compressor comes with a technically advanced air regulator and filtration system.
Its single-piston 1/5HP compressor is quite enough to meet the professional requirement and can deliver 0.7 CFM high air volume with a 25ltrs/minute high airflow.
The thermally protected compressor saves it from any possible mishaps due to overheating, and the auto shut-off feature is an additional safety feature to protect the compressor from overheating.
Its 6′ braided air hose lets you finish the painting job, as it gives enough freedom of movement.
The airbrush compressor is portable, and with the carry handle, you can quickly move the compressor anywhere. It is affordable and worth value for the money.
- Dual Airbrush Holder
- 2 Built-in fans for cooling
- Carry handle
- Pressure regulator
- Auto shut off
- No instruction in the kit
- Not a stellar brush
- Weight: 9.48 pounds
- Dimensions: 14.9 x 12.4 x 6.9 inches
- Master Airbrush manual and guide
- Gravity Feed Airbrush
- Gravity Fluid cup
PointZero 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor
Excellent power saving mode is the main attraction of PointZero 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor apart from the accurate air out feature.
You can preset its auto on and off features, and it works as per on-demand. The airbrush compressor will run smoothly until the pressure reaches 58PSI and turn off until the pressure drops down to 40PSI.
It is an ideal airbrush compressor for doing food decoration and body art painting because of the oil-less compressor. So, you will have unrestricted options to do any painting projects.
Its advanced precision-forged piston is designed to reduce the noise level to less than 55DB, and the tankless airbrush can deliver 1.0CFM airflow for meeting the project requirement with a maximum air pressure of 58PSI.
The airflow gets regulated by a pressure regulator with a sensitive feature.
- Preset auto on and off feature
- 1/5 HP tankless compressor
- No oil air pump
- Precision-forged piston
- Power saving feature
- No hose in the package
- No tank
- Weight: 8.08 pounds
- Dimensions: 11.9 x 10.5 x 6.6 inches
- Volume capacity: 8 gallons
- With regulator and gauge
Verdict for the best compressor
We recommend Master Airbrush Cool Runner II as a preferred option among the top 10 airbrush compressors, as it comes with a lot of accessories and dependable features at an affordable price. In the kit, you can find all accessories to finish a complex paint project.
Also, on the second slot, California Air Tools CAT-1P1060S stands with a versatile feature. Though it is expensive among all the rest of the airbrush compressors, the compressor is a reliable and durable powerhouse suitable for professional and amateur use.
In the top 10 list above, you can find the most recommended ten airbrush compressors with accessories suitable for all kinds of paint projects.
This post also comprises critical elements required to check before buying an airbrush compressor. Performance, budget, and features are the basis of our recommendations.
We have not considered price as a criterion, but we have a group of budget-friendly airbrush compressors also in this article. All the given information would help you to select the most suitable airbrush compressors for your project requirements.