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Table of Contents
- 1 What are Airbrush Kits?
- 2 Airbrush Kit Reviews: Popular Models Comparison
- 3 What Components to Expect in an Airbrush Kit
- 4 Buy Airbrush Set: Tips and Tricks
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What are Airbrush Kits?
The above-mentioned parts of the basic equipment such as compressor, gun, paints, and cleaning kits can all be purchased individually and delivered to your needs. However, if you want to save time and money, you can buy a pre-assembled airbrush kit. In the basic version, these kits contain the airbrush gun and the compressor with a connection hose. Many kits also include different nozzle sizes, a selection of airbrush colors, and a cleaning kit.
In the meantime, the available sets are no longer just all-round airbrush sets for beginners, but there are also sets that are already tailored to various applications. For example, there are airbrush kits that contain a particularly quiet and compact compressor and are therefore preferred by model builders. Other sets are equipped with a special airbrush gun, which is especially suitable for fine work in the field of tattoo or body painting.
You can also buy sets that contain multiple guns or interchangeable nozzles. With the best airbrush kits, even the respirator, templates, or airbrush gun holder are included. There are no limits to the possible combinations and the price.
By the way: We recommend our full guide on airbrush kits below for any beginners starting out
Airbrush Kit Reviews: Popular Models Comparison
If you are looking for the best airbrush kit, you will find a large selection of different models to choose from. Our airbrush set recommendation can help you find the right airbrush kit for your application. The purchase of a complete airbrush set brings you several advantages:
- Buying a complete airbrushing starter kit will save you a lot of time, as it requires a lot of research to put together the best deals for your needs. However, you should consider your airbrush gun and compressor requirements in advance to make sure you get the right set.
- Often an airbrush set is cheaper than buying the parts separately, as paints or cleaning sets are often free gifts included by the suppliers.
- When you buy an airbrush kit, you can be sure that the individual components are compatible with each other. If you buy them separately, the hose and compressor connection may not match and you may need additional adapters. It is also possible that the compressor you choose may not provide the pressure that the airbrush needs.
Look out: Not every set contains all of the components you need for your project. You will most likely have to purchase some additional items over time to meet your growing needs. As basic equipment, an airbrush set is definitely a good choice for beginners.
Recommendation: Timbertech Complete Airbrush Kit
This airbrush set from Timbertech includes a compressor, a double-action airbrush gun with a flow cup system, and 3 nozzles in the sizes 0.2mm, 03mm, and 0.5mm. In the storage box, there is also a 1.90 long air hose and pipettes for mixing and filling the colors.
The oil-free compressor is equipped with a pressure regulator and a pressure gauge and works with a pressure of up to 4 bar. With its 3.6kg the compressor is not too heavy and it produces noise with a tolerable 47dB. Of all our airbrush kit reviews, this product comes most highly recommended.
Bottom line: The Timbertech Airbrush Set is a solid set at a reasonable price. The compressor is quiet and compact. However, you should give it a short break every half hour or so to allow it to cool down. The Double-Action Airbrush Gun with its three nozzle sizes is completely sufficient for a start and provides an attractive spray pattern. Spare parts can be obtained from the manufacturer. A cleaning set must be purchased additionally in any case.
Best Cheap Airbrushing Kit: Master Airbrush Airbrush Set
This is the ideal airbrush for beginners all the way through to experienced hobbyists and professionals. This set by Master Airbrush includes a high-performance precision airbrush with a 1/3 oz. gravity fluid cup and a 0.3mm fluid tip. This can be used for a wide variety of applications – such as hobbies and crafts, temporary tattoos, cake decorating, fine art, auto graphics, and plenty more.
The airbrush is controlled by a foot hose and has a quiet air compressor. For a full kit, this product offers great value. An excellent airbrushing starter kit.
Professional Airbrush Kit: Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Kit
This airbrush kit is complete with everything you need to start a new project. The powerful compressor is of a professional standard and allows the system to run for longer while remaining cool. This airbrush kit is complete with 3 different types of master airbrushes for various applications and details.
The set even comes with primary color acrylic paints, a cleaning brush set, and a master airbrush quick start guide. Although this is one of the better high-performance, professional airbrush kits, it is still very user-friendly.
What Components to Expect in an Airbrush Kit
The most important components that any airbrush kit should definitely contain are an airbrush gun, compressor, paints, and the cleaning kit. Especially when choosing the airbrush gun and compressor, there are some important aspects to consider.
Before you choose an airbrush gun or airbrush set, you should consider the primary purposes for which you want to use the airbrush gun.
A combination of four different functional principles regarding air and paint volume regulation and supply determine the optimal airbrush gun for your requirements.
Single Action Principle
With this type, the amount of ink is fixed by means of a wheel. With a lever, you can only regulate the air volume while working. This version is easy to use but offers little flexibility, which makes it more suitable for priming and rough work.
Double Action Principle
This version of the airbrush gun also has a finger-operated lever. However, here it has two functions. You can regulate the amount of air by pushing, and regulate the amount of paint by pulling. This principle of operation allows you to work very flexibly, but it also requires more practice.
Flow Cup System
With this system, the paint is in a cup on the airbrush gun. Gravity ensures that the paint runs into the air stream and is atomized there. The flow cup system is well suited for small areas. Only a small amount of pressure is needed, and overhead spraying is not possible.
Suction Cup System
In this system, the paint cup is located below the airbrush gun. The passing air stream creates a suction that sucks the paint out of the cup and atomizes it in the air stream. This system has a much larger paint holding volume, which is why larger areas can be treated with one paint filling. The pressure at which the airbrush gun is operated must be slightly higher.
The most flexible and frequently used system is the Double Action Airbrush Gun with a flow cup system.
In theory, it is possible to operate the airbrush gun with an ordinary compressor from the hardware store. However, a special airbrush compressor has some unbeatable advantages. These unique benefits are listed below:
Compressed air loses liquid, which is collected on the ground in a normal compressor and may be carried outside. If this happens with an airbrush gun connected, it can quickly cause unsightly paint splashes on your model.
With an airbrush compressor, this is prevented by a built-in water separator. This filters the water from the compressed air. Doing this prevents unsightly blotches and paint splashes.
Pressure Regulator with Pressure Gauge
The pressure of an airbrush gun is between 1.5 and 3 bars, depending on the gun, paint viscosity, and expected spray pattern. It should be possible to set the pressure easily, very precisely and in detail. For this purpose, a pressure regulator with a display (manometer) is necessary.
An air tank is not absolutely necessary, but it is extremely helpful for hearing protection. You only hear a compressor with an air tank at the beginning of its work. Once it has compressed enough air and stored it in the air tank, it works silently. If the pressure in the tank drops, the compressor resumes its noisy work and refills the air tank. With an air tank, the compressor not only works silently but also works much longer at a constant pressure. This results in a better spray pattern.
In addition to the water separator, pressure regulator, and air tank, compressors often operate with low vibration. This advantage should not be underestimated, especially when working indoors. Depending on the intended use, compressor manufacturers also offer small and compact units that are easy to transport.
Basically, all colors can be used in an airbrush gun. When choosing the colors, it always depends on the painting surface you want to spray. Water-based acrylic resins are best suited for getting started and are suitable for most surfaces. These are easy to apply, are easy to dilute, or can be bought ready mixed.
Acrylic paints have no harmful effect on health and can therefore be used without any special precautions. Nevertheless, we advise you to wear a breathing mask when working with the airbrush gun or to at least ventilate the work area well.
If your chosen set contains undiluted paint, we recommend that you buy a thinner at the same time. You can also use plain water, but this will not make the colors last as long.
Your basic equipment should definitely include a cleaning kit. Regular and thorough cleaning of your airbrush gun prevents unwanted paint mixing and blockages. It also ensures that the seals and fine components remain intact so that you can enjoy your tools for a long time to come.
Buy Airbrush Set: Tips and Tricks
Even if you buy a complete airbrush set, there are still aspects to research and consider. You should also consider the following when buying an airbrush kit:
- Explore the functional principles of an airbrush gun and choose the one that suits you
- Make sure that spare parts are available for the airbrush gun included
- Think about what work you want to do and what nozzle sizes are required (0.2 mm for fine work, 0.4 mm for primers), interchangeable nozzle heads included in the set give you more flexibility
- Don’t cut back on the compressor. Pay close attention to volume, compactness, vibration, and weight
- A cleaning kit should be included
- The colors contained should be suitable for your intended use (food coloring, textile coloring, make-up)
You will need to decide just how extensive your airbrush set should be: Would you like just one set with a gun, compressor, and cleaning set, or should it be the all-inclusive package? This includes stencils, masking film, a holder for the airbrush gun, and possibly a transport case.
Although it may be tempting, we do not recommend that you choose the cheapest set. The spray patterns probably differ only slightly, but the cheap guns are often not as durable and there is a lack of spare parts.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Below you will find the most frequently asked questions with answers about using an airbrush set.
How is an Airbrush Set Cleaned?
Intensive cleaning is basically only necessary for the airbrush gun. The compressor usually does not need cleaning. At most, you will have to carry out maintenance work – such as changing the air and lint filter. If your compressor has a water separator, you should check before each use whether it is already full. A full water separator cannot do its job, overflows, and can even ruin the spray pattern.
With every color change, you should rinse the airbrush gun briefly to prevent unwanted color mixing. To do this, proceed as follows:
- Remove the remaining paint from the paint container (you can easily keep it in a lockable container for later)
- Now fill water into the paint cup instead of paint
- Spray the water like the paint. If you spray on kitchen paper or in a transparent container, you can see best if there is still paint coming out of the gun
- Empty the water and spray until no more water comes
- Now you can fill the airbrush gun with new paint
When you are finished with your work, you should clean the airbrush gun thoroughly. This way you avoid blockages and can keep the gun with its small components and sensitive seals in a well-kept condition.
A Thorough Cleaning Includes the Following Steps:
- First, empty the paint from the paint cup
- Fill water into the color cup and clean all visible areas with a cotton swab or handkerchief. How to remove coarse paint residues
- Spray water through the airbrush gun
- Empty the remaining water and fill it with an airbrush cleaner. Spray this special cleaner through the airbrush gun
- Thoroughly remove any solid paint residues with a brush (included in the cleaning set)
- When cleaning, take special care not to damage or bend the needle
- Finally, disassemble the airbrush gun as far as possible. Remove the nozzle, pull out the needle, and disassemble all other dismountable parts. There is usually an instruction manual for this
- Clean the individual parts thoroughly and then put them back together
Our Tip: Collect all the pieces of the set in one cup so you don’t lose any. You can also put the disassembled small parts into an ultrasonic bath for cleaning.
Where Can You Buy an Airbrush Set?
If you don’t want to rely solely on your internet research, and if individual advice is important to you, you are most likely to find what you are looking for in a specialist art dealer. These expert specialists can give you useful tips on individual components.
You will often have a contact person directly on-site in case of problems or defects. However, in most cases, this is also the most expensive option, as advice always has its price.
If you are after cheap airbrushing kits and you have already done your own research or you know exactly which set you want, you will quickly find it on the Internet. You can find a wide range of airbrush kits in different price categories at specialized online shops, the manufacturer’s online store, or any well-known online marketplaces.
When Should I Replace the Airbrush Needle?
The needle is one of the most sensitive parts of an airbrush gun. However, it is not a wearing part and is most likely to be damaged by the carelessness of the user. For example, when used without the needle protection cap, it can be easily nudged and thus be damaged. The needle can also be damaged if the airbrush gun is cleaned carelessly or when it is changed.
However, it is not always necessary to replace the needle immediately. If it is bent, you can try the following to fix it:
- Clamp the needle diagonally between two glass plates and then pull it out. After several attempts, you can eventually bend it straight again
- Afterward, you can still work on any existing unevenness with 1000 or 1200 wet sandpaper. Work away from the tip with a rotating movement
Do not try to bend the needle straight on a wooden plate, because wood is too soft. The needle would press in and the opposite would happen. Meanwhile, there is also a useful tool to get a bent needle straight again. The Sharpen Air Tool has four channels with different angles and grit sizes. Starting from the right, the bent needle is guided through the channels one after the other with a rotating movement until it is finally straight again.
Why is No Paint Coming Out of the Airbrush Gun?
When no more paint comes out of your airbrush gun, you can do the following:
- First, check the connection to the compressor. If there are kinks in the hose, you can prevent air from flowing through the hose, and the gun
- Check the pressure of the compressor. If pressure and air supply are correct, a blocked nozzle or a dirty air head may be the cause
- Unscrew the air head and clean it thoroughly
It may happen that the airbrush gun does not work as it should because seals are defective or the nozzle head has not been screwed down properly. Check all components of the gun and tighten the threads.
If the fault is not remedied by cleaning or reassembly, check that the nozzle fits the air head. There must be a gap between the air head and the nozzle through which the compressed air can flow. If the nozzle and air head do not fit together, this gap may not exist and the airbrush gun may not work properly. You can also get advice on this from a specialist dealer.
We hope that our recommendations were helpful and you will find the right airbrush set for you. We hope you have loads of fun with your new hobby!