Airbrushes can be the favorite companion for illustrators or hobby artists to create their masterpieces. It is a perfect tool to paint on different media types such as dyes, inks, and makeup. With an airbrush, you will get the best results with supreme finesse as compared to regular spray painting.
However, an airbrush cannot operate without a good air compressor since it offers a continuous air supply to the airbrush for an extended operation. Though an airbrush without a compressor can be used for smaller tasks, for tougher projects, you need the best airbrush compressor with top-notch features.
An airbrush is a tool that must have a fine touch otherwise it would fail to do its job perfectly. Therefore, we have reviewed the best budget airbrush compressors and explained in detail the finer points that manufacturers and fine artists would suggest.
What Are The Two Types Of The Air Compressors?
- 0.1 What Are The Two Types Of The Air Compressors?
- 0.2 Why Do I Need A Compressor With Airbrush?
- 1 Best Budget Airbrush Compressor
- 1.1 1.) Master Airbrush Model TC-40T
- 1.2 2.) Master Airbrush Cool Runner II
- 1.3 3.) PointZero 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor
- 1.4 4.) Master Airbrush 1/5 HP Cool Runner II
- 1.5 5.) NO-Name Quiet Compressor
- 1.6 6.) Badger Air-Brush Co TC910 Aspire Pro Compressor
- 1.7 Buying Guide For A Best Budget Airbrush Compressor:
- 1.8 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Before you choose the airbrush compressor that fulfills all your needs and handles airbrushing project load easily could be tricky. So, have a look at the two types of air compressors that you can choose from based on the nature of use i.e., Diaphragm compressor and Piston compressor.
1.) Diaphragm Compressor:
These compressors utilize the flexible membrane that moves in a to and fro motion by the crankshaft mechanism and a rod. As a result, the unit pressurizes the air into the chamber. Usually, the conventional membranes are crafted from rubber material whereas, some newer models have membranes made out of plastic material.
Diaphragm compressors are suitable for Single Action Airbrushes since these cannot operate for a prolonged time period due to overheating issues. With these compressors, you will get a maximum air pressure of up to 40 PSI.
Note: These air compressors are prone to produce loud operating noise.
2.) Piston Compressor:
Piston compressors on the other hand are the most widely preferred and used type among beginners as well as the experts. These compressors have the ability to provide significant amounts of air hence can constantly work for hours.
These compressors are suited for almost all airbrushing applications with smooth and continuous performance. Piston compressors work with brilliant efficiency and power for a longer time without getting overheated.
Note: These air compressors are less noisy than diaphragm airbrush compressors.
Why Do I Need A Compressor With Airbrush?
As mentioned above, an airbrush requires a continuous air supply which isn’t possible without an air compressor. Apart from this, you must get a compressor with an airbrush since it holds the responsibility of Atomizing the paint.
In simpler words, atomizing is a process of breaking down the paint into much smaller or “micro” particles using the highly pressurized flow of air. This is how the paint flows out without dripping.
Considering everything said above, for extremely professional and eye-pleasing results, you require an air compressor for the work combined with an airbrush.
Best Budget Airbrush Compressor
|1||Master Airbrush Model TC-40T||● Weight: 11.85 pounds|
● Tank Capacity: 3 liters
|2||Master Airbrush Cool Runner II||● Weight: 12 pounds|
● Tank Capacity: 3 liters
|3||PointZero 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor||● Weight: 11.71 pounds|
● Tank Capacity: 3 liters
|4||Master Airbrush 1/5 HP Cool Runner II||● Weight: 9.54 pounds|
● Tank Capacity: Tank-less
|5||NO-Name Quiet Compressor||● Max Pressure: 100 PSI|
● Tank Capacity: 3 liters
|6||Badger Air-Brush Co TC910||● Weight: 3 liters|
● Tank Capacity: 0.8 gallons
The Master Airbrush TC-40T is intended to deliver high-volume work without overheating. If you want to carry out tasks suitable for a small dry piston air compressor, this one should be the choice.
When speaking of the overall design, the 40T measures about 13 x 11.8 x 5.4 inches in dimension with a total weight of 11.85 pounds. It also features a large 3-liter air tank that makes it a great choice for tougher projects as well. The unit itself is light in weight and still has a handle for easy portability.
The powerful ⅙ Horsepower of the motor indicates the overall quality of the air compressor – which is superb. This compressor consumes 110-120V hence, could easily be used outdoors or in small shops.
As far as the air pressure is concerned, the 40T can produce a maximum operating pressure range of 57 PSI. Since it has a preset turn-on feature, once the compressor is automatically turned off it then automatically starts again with 43 PSI which then reaches 57 PSI.
Despite being a small machine, the Master 40T works at 0.8 CFM and is integrated with an inbuilt cooling fan. In addition, the machine not only comes with oil-free operations but also Over Heat protection so that you can use it for extended projects.
For a precise adjustment of airflow, the unit comes with advanced features such as a Pressure Regulator with a gauge and water trap filter. The system also produces clean and dry air, resulting in legit air particles flowing out instead of runny water when you use the airbrush.
You can enjoy your work with the Super Quiet Operation as the 40T produces low noise. What else could be better than an air compressor that along with performing efficiently, produces only 47dB of the noise?
Our second product in the category of the best budget airbrush compressor is the Master Airbrush Cool Runner II kit. It is a compact package loaded with useful accessories.
It is a twin-cylinder air compressor that measures about 13.4 x 6.2 x 17.1 inches in dimension while its weight is 12 pounds which enhances its portability. The unit also consists of two built-in cooling fans that dissipate the heat properly to constantly work for hours.
This incredible kit includes a powerful 0.2 HP motor that holds the responsibility to deliver 0.8 CFM at 43 PSI along with an incredibly high airflow of 25 liters/min. At such levels, the airbrushes work excellent and produce brilliant results.
As mentioned above, there are two cooling fans integrated into the machine to keep the compressor cool and prevent overheating for a longer run. In addition, it also has a large 3-liter tank so you can enjoy prolonger painting sessions without any interruptions.
Because of the oil-free operation, the machine requires low maintenance and hence, increases its durability. This compressor features a pretty interesting feature of presets i.e., preset for automatic turn-on at 43 psi and preset for automatic turn-off at 57 psi. This ultimately saves a significant amount of energy.
Note: This air compressor comes with Airbrushing Kit that is suitable for most airbrushing applications.
This unit by PointZero is what you call a very powerful compressor that is great to be used for temporary tattoos, fine art, cake decorating, and nail art, etc. Even though the compressor is equipped with a big capacity of the tank, it requires less maintenance. To know more about this feature-filled machine, read out further.
The PointZero ¼ HP airbrush compressor is a cylinder shape machine that comes with a water tank and measures about 13.6 x 12.8 x 5.8 inches in dimensions. It boasts a larger 3-liter air tank and still weighs fairly around 11.71 pounds.
Being a powerful ⅕ HP, the unit is capable of delivering at high air Volume of 1.0 CFM at 58 PSI. Moreover, the machine comes with oil-free operations, thanks to the precision-forged piston that doesn’t require oil or maintenance still serves smooth operation.
For the air output, a Sensitive Pressure regulator with a water trap filter and an integrated gauge is available. It is also responsible for airflow adjustments to deliver clean and dry air, ensuring the best results.
Another feature that makes this unit one of the best airbrushes for beginners and professionals is its energy-saving mode. It is surely a great safety feature which if enabled lets the system automatically turn off at 58 PSI. However, as soon as the pressure drops to 40 PSI, the cycle restarts.
Another best airbrush air compressor from Master Airbrush that features a low price yet is good for plenty of airbrushing applications. The 1/5 Cool Runner II has dual cooling fans which prevent the system from overheating resulting in longer continuous running.
This tank-less air compressor with two cooling fans has overall dimensions of 15.04 x 12.72 x 7.4 inches. It weighs about 9.54 pounds that makes it a portable and lightweight machine. Considering its dimensions and weight, this machine is a great choice for small-scale artists or painters.
Note: The entire machine is covered with a blue-colored wear-resistant coating powder.
No matter if the machine is small in size, with this unit, the long operation becomes easier, thanks to its high-performance ⅕ HP motor. The machine is made more efficient and powerful because of its 1/5 HP motor and hence, can produce air up to 0.8 CFM at 57 PSI.
Just like most air compressors, the Cool Runner II from Master Airbrush is equipped with a Diaphragm Pressure Regulator with Water Trap Filter and gauge. This regulator works efficiently in delivering dry and clean air.
It has an airflow of 25 ltr/minute that makes this compressor one of the best options for airbrushing. You can make the most of this compressor’s long duty cycles which are made possible by the dual cooling fans that lower the temperature as soon as it steers towards overheating.
Note: A 6 Foot Braided Hose comes for absolutely free with the Master Airbrush 1/5 Cool Runner II.
Nothing could be better than an air compressor that produces less noise. It not only enhances your focus but also helps you to be more creative with the work. That is why, this amazing product from Master Airbrush works silently without interrupting your thoughtful process hence, produces 47dB of sound only.
You might have not heard of this Airbrush compressor by NO-Name as it’s a relatively small brand but, this quiet airbrush compressor with an air tank model is designed to provide superior performance and is very ideal for hobbyists and professionals.
Even though the NO-Name quiet compressor isn’t popular that much, still it continues to make one of the most highly efficient airbrush compressors that you have ever seen. It has an oil-free design which ensures effective operation of the machine each time it is used. The Airbrush compressor also comes with a user manual and has the customer’s bank with a 1-year warranty.
The quiet compressor with an airbrush has nozzles range up to 0.7mm in size. The optimal work performance of 1/6 HP motor along with a 3-liter air tank. The compressor also prevents pulsations from happening by using the filter inside to provide consistent airflow. Moreover, the airbrush compressor supports pressure ranging from 0 to 100 PSI and has an auto-start function at 43 PSI and an auto-off function at 57 PSI.
Not to forget, that the brand NO-Name by SprayGunner is compatible with a wide range of applications. It specializes in paint sprays, airbrushes, and also supports commercial spraying, cosmetics, illustrations, nail studios, and hobby modeling, etc.
The machine operates quietly and has a noise level of 47 DBs which is relatively low than other airbrush compressors so you can enjoy using the continuous supply of air on your airbrush and work effectively.
Badger is a reliable brand that manufactures some high-quality durable products. Certified by ETL, the Badger Air-Brush Co TC910 is an elite-class airbrush compressor that has some of the finest features available at a reasonable price.
The TC910 has a robust steel cover that protects all the components inside. The matte black color shine looks very elegant and overall the airbrush compressor is very easy to carry because of its featherweight. The handle attached also makes it convenient to lift from one place to another.
The Airbrush compressor by Badger can achieve a maximum pressure of 57 PSI by using the 1/5hp single-piston compressor. The motor rotates at a rapid speed of 1700RPM. Inside the machine, you will find a tank with a capacity of 3 liters along with a pressure regulator to help in eliminating any cools. This results in the better working of the moisture separator. Also, the thermal protections dissipate the heat properly.
Moving on, the compressor has two holders attached at the top for gravity and siphon fed. The TC910 also has oil-closed pistons and an auto-pressure switch present. There is also a drain valve present at the bottom however the absence of an air filter can be an issue for some people because the air compressor has to draw air through the vents present inside.
Although the user manual mentions the sound noise to be 47 DBs, it still feels a bit noisy when the pressure is building up. 47 dB is still pretty decent enough but if you’re not comfortable with the noise levels then a great way to reduce the sound is by using insulation tape.
Buying Guide For A Best Budget Airbrush Compressor:
By now, you must have read about several features of an air compressor but, do you understand them all? Before you purchase a budget airbrush compressor, you must know why some features of an airbrush compressor are important.
In the buying guide below, we have explained in detail the key factors that one must not forget to buy a reliable and affordable airbrush compressor.
1.) Area Of Use:
It is crucial to pick an air compressor depending on your area of use. For example, if you want a compressor for large projects, you might look for those with tanks. Air compressors with tanks can perform without breaking the continuity of your work for a long enough time.
On the other hand, for smaller tasks such as, spraying cars or spraying food color, a small tank-less compressor would work fine too. The budget portable airbrush compressors with lower air pressure are also sufficient for airbrushing.
However, if you want to spray on textile T-shirts, a compressor with 40 PSI air pressure offers excellent performance.
2.) Tank Capacity:
Now, this is another important factor to consider. Since you are looking for the best budget airbrushing compressors, you must go for the tank that is actually needed. Doing so could save you a significant amount of money.
The smaller air compressors usually come without a tank however, some larger models have a vast variety of tank capacities i.e., from 1 liter to 25 liters. Note that the bigger the tank, the higher the price of the air compressor so, a larger tank could be a little expensive.
3.) Air Flow:
It is the measure of the amount of air a compressor can deliver and is measured in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). The airflow in most of the air compressors ranged between 0.70 to 1.76 CFM.
If you are a casual artist, a 0.70 CFM compressor would be enough for you. Whereas, for professional jobs, you must choose a 1.06 CFM compressor.
4.) Air Pressure:
As suggested by the name, it is the measure of the ability of a compressor’s air pressure and is measured in Pounds per Inch (PSI). Always look for a compressor that can produce enough air pressure required for most of your tasks.
Several machines come with a 0-57 PSI air pressure adjustment range or more. Some models also allow you to restrict or control the air pressure depending on the requirement.
5.) Duty Cycle:
The duty cycle is one of the most important factors to look for. It determines how long an air compressor can run before its motor stops.
Now how can you figure out the duty cycle of a compressor? Suppose if your machine has a 50% duty cycle, you can run it for 30min and then rest it for 30 minutes so it cools down.
Below we have explained the different duty cycles and how long they can run. In other words, a duty cycle means minutes run-time per hour. According to this definition, the different duty cycles are:
6.) Auto-Stop Function:
This feature allows you to pre-set the machine to stop working when specific air pressure is achieved. As soon as the air pressure reaches below the specified value, the unit will re-start automatically. This is a high-performance option that reduces compressor running time and prevents motor wear chances.
7.) Noise Level:
While working on something creative, you want utter peace to focus on your masterpiece. While using an airbrush compressor, the noise level can sometimes be an annoying factor. So, it is important to consider it before purchasing.
Airbrushes usually make a sound while operating and the higher the air pressure, the louder the noise. This noise level is determined in decibels or dB. Some quieter airbrush compressors have a noise rating of 55 dB to 60 dB.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
1.) What Is The Right Size Compressor For Airbrushing?
The size of a compressor usually depends on how you will be using the airbrush. However, most airbrushing applications need 14-45 PSI to work efficiently.
But, since you are looking for the best cheap airbrush compressor, we suggest you calculate the PSI requirement of your desired work. In this way, you will get the right compressor with the required PSI without having to pay more for the PSI which won’t be of any use to you.
2.) Can We Use A Regular Air Compressor For Airbrushing?
Yes, why not? As long as you have set accurate PSI and CFM levels, you can use a regular air compressor for airbrushing as well.
3.) Which One Is The Ultimate Best Air Compressor For Airbrushing?
The market of air compressors is loaded with several amazing brands and models. The best airbrush compressor varies for people depending on their requirements as all of these models work differently for different consumers.
However, based on our research, the best airbrush compressor in terms of overall performance is the NO-Name Quiet Compress\or. It is a great choice for people who like using a single airbrush at an optimal airbrush pressure of 100 PSI.