For those unfamiliar with airbrushing – it’s a type of art that utilizes compressors and airbrushes. Airbrushes spray several types of medias, including dyes, inks, and paints onto the surface or canvas of the user’s choice (like the body of your vehicle. It’s just like “spray painting” albeit with greater finesse.
On its own, an airbrush can’t deliver a consistent supply of air, but with the right compressor, most types of projects can be carried out with ease. We’ve already written a buying guide for airbrush compressors. This post is solely dedicated to airbrushes. We’ll take you through the features you need to consider before making a buying decision, as well as present a list of airbrushes that are selling like hot cakes in the market. Let’s get started!
Features to look at before buying an airbrush
If this is going to be your first time with airbrushing, picking out the best one could become overwhelming. The key is to analyze the three essential components of the power tool so you can identify the right airbrush for your needs.
This is where the inserted paint gets mixed. Airstream mixing has two options, external and internal.
External mixing: This enables you to utilize a thicker form of paint, and the unit is much easier to clean than with internal mixing. The disadvantage is that detail work can be difficult to execute with external mixing.
Internal – Paint’s atomization is much smoother in this form of mixing, allowing for better control and distribution of paint. The disadvantage is clogging, which means the user needs to clean it more frequently.
You generally have 2-3 ways to fill paint inside the airbrush so that it can be atomized and used on the desired surface. All types of delivery systems offer their own benefits.
For example, gravity-fed airbrushes come with a paint-holding cup that’s higher than the nozzle. The benefit of using it is that you need less air pressure to work, which increases your ability to perform detail work. Siphon air brushes, on the other hand, feature a pain bottle whose height is lower than the nozzle. The paint is delivered up through a small tube once the air rushes out. The benefit of Siphon air deliveries is that they cost less, and users with various air bottle can switch between colors with ease.
Then there’s a “side” type airbrush that’s more of a hybrid. Based on the type of the cup integrated, it can work either as a siphon or a gravity feed. In most cases, it’s easier to work with a side feed. And though it’s hard to clean, it can hold paint in a greater quantity. The user can also maneuver it in any angle they like, even if they’re lying flat on their back.
This is where your abilities will come into play, as the trigger defines how you work with the brush. Two types of triggers are available.
Double-action: Requires users to press down the button to activate the air. Once that’s done, the button has to be pulled back judiciously to increase the paint’s slow. For stopping or decreasing the flow, the button has to slide forward. Users buying double-action trigger models gain a fantastic amount of control, but learning takes a bit of time.
Single-action: This just requires button pressing, doing which activates the air. Taking the finger off closes it. To set the quantity of paint coming out of presses, you get to use a knob. However, you don’t have much control over the final delivery, so these are mostly considered as a type of a spray paint can.
Best airbrushes to buy
This versatile airbursh comes with a 0.5mm noozle and needle and a 1/3 oz gravity feed. The bigger nozzle makes it easy for those wanting to use heavier paint. Other perks include an internal mix, gravity feed integration, and a dual-action trigger. The bigger nut for needle-checking and redesigned mechanism of the trigger enables easy assembly. A bigger cup that though might make challenging to control the tiny details will enable you to work longer, allowing you to switch between a 1-1/2-inch spray pattern or fine detail.
What makes it stand out?
It comes with an internal PTFE needle packing that’s replaceable and can be used with water or solvent based paints.
This model does well at lower air pressures, which allows you to produce finer detail. A versatile 0.35-mm nozzle and needle combination makes creating mid-sized spray patterns and detail spraying a breeze. For effective paint flow and easy cleaning, NEO also offers medium and large interchangeable cups that are designed in the shape of a funnel. The best operation of this airbrush is between 35 and 5 psi, which makes it ideal to use with tinier air compressors that can generate 20 psi or lower.
What makes it stand out?
Can be used with a range of paints and mediums. In addition, Iwata’s NEO series is quite simple to clean and use. Also, all models of the NEO series, come with a five-year warranty.
This is one of the newer models from Passche. It’s one of the most elegant airbrushes out there, designed with stainless steel that’s chrome plated and a aluminum back handle that’s gold-plated. The bigger 0.40-ounce cup increases a bulk to some extent, but the device is overall comfortable to operate. The airbrush easily dismantles for cleaning, and features cutaway handles for swift tension adjustments. Included in the device are size three and one spray heads as well as a 0.66mm, 0.38mm, and 0.25mm fan air caps. You also get a 0.35mm needle that enables you to generate up to 1.5-inches of patterns.
What makes it stand out?
This airbrush stands out for its enclosed hanger, which lets you keep the brush down when it’s idle. Besides hat, the airbrush easily handles both water-and-solvent based mediums. Needles can also be pushed at the front to prevent the paint’s backflow.
Airbrushes aren’t just an ideal tool for design experts and model artists; they’re also a great investment for the general power tool user. Users, therefore, should consider the factors that make up the airbrush quality so that they can pick the right one for their needs.
Consider the mixing principle, action trigger, and feed type before making a purchase decision. Most of the models mentioned above should work well for your needs. With that said, make sure you can handle the airbrush well, as heavier models can impact the quality of your work regardless of how skillful you are.
Get an airbrush today and start painting that sculpture/model. What’s stopping you?