They say that the only thing that’s constant in life is change. This has been proven true in the technology sector, where new inventions spring up every day. Who would have ever imagined the possibility of being able to paint without a paintbrush? Nowadays, you can create art using airbrushes.
In the past, our ancestors used to squeeze red berries into thin containers, then use them to draw and paint on walls by exerting pressure. It is this concept that later materialized to airbrush kit invention. But painting is not the only application of an airbrush. It’s also used for cake decorating, applying makeup, crafting, customizing automobiles just to mention a few.
Regardless of their intended uses, it’s prudent to learn a couple of basics regarding the best airbrush kits. Being well-informed about these airbrushes will go a long way in helping you choose the perfect one for your specific needs.
What are the Best Airbrush Kits?
Whether you’re drawing art or looking for a new technique of applying makeup, the best airbrush kits can help. These kits come with all the accessories that you need for airbrushing. Some of these airbrushes can handle the finest details down to 1mm.
1. Airbrush kit with air compressor: Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System
If you’re looking for an airbrush kit that comes with its own compressor, Master Airbrush is just what you need. It’s a multipurpose airbrush so you can use it for auto-painting, applying makeup, nail art just to mention a few.
More specifically, this package includes 3 Master airbrushes: the G22, S68 and E91 airbrush sets. The G22 is a dual-action airbrush with one-third oz. gravity feed fluid cup and a needle nozzle that is 0.3mm. These features allow users to spray hairline of up to 1 ½ wide patterns
The S68 model is also dual-action siphon feed airbrush fitted with a 0.35 mm needle, a fluid bottle with a capacity of ¾ oz. and a color cup of 1.6oz. With this airbrush set, you can spray from fine lines about two-inches wide.
E91 Airbrush Set is a single action model with a 0.8mm tip, two ¾ oz. siphon bottles as well as an air inlet that is 1/8inches. There are a ton of other accessories included in Master Airbrush kit including a cleaning brush set, a color wheel and a manual.
2. Dual action airbrush kit: New 3 AIRBRUSH & COMPRESSOR KIT
For artists who prefer dual action to single action airbrushes, the New 3 Airbrush kit is an excellent option. Included in this set are three different airbrushes- the G22, G25 and E91 sets.
You will also find a high-performance compressor, which is uniquely designed to achieve high-quality and consistent airbrushing spraying. With the air pressure at 1/6 horsepower, this compressor delivers a significant volume of air than any other airbrush. Also, you’re guaranteed of specific air adjustment thanks to the gauge and water trap filter that provides clean, dry air.
But what makes this airbrush kit stand out are the extra handy features that it comes with. For one, there’s an Auto-stop Energy Saving feature. It ensures that the pressure begins at 43 PSI and stops at 57 PSI. Secondly, there’s an internal hot protection component. The purpose of this is to automatically cut off power if the compressor is about to overheat.
3. Airbrush kit: PointZero Airbrush Dual Action Airbrush Kit
PointZero is one of the best airbrush kits for beginners. It comes with 7 exclusive downloadable e-Book airbrushing tutorials. With these guides, you will find everything you need to know regarding airbrushing; from how to create auto-motorcycle graphics to the various elements that make them ideal for crafting.
PointZero is also suitable for advanced artists since it can be used for plastic models, taxidermy, photo retouching, murals, and illustrations among others. The kit comes with 3 guns and an air compressor, an internal-mix, gravity feed with a 7cc color container as well as a pre-installed nozzle set. The air compressor, being ultra-compact and professional grade, is able to deliver constant air pressure for uniform results.
4. Airbrush kit for tattoo: Cafego Dual Action Airbrush
Cafego is the best airbrush kit for tattoo artists. It comes with a wide range of accessories such as the 360-degree airbrush holder. You can conveniently place your airbrush on it as you apply body paint or draw a tattoo. Other handy tools include a mini air compressor, a mini filter, an air hose, storage case and needle cleaning brush.
The mini air compressor employs non-oil design to ensure that the medium is not polluted. The output fluid remains consistent and the range of pressure starts from 0 to 25 psi. After using the airbrush kit for half an hour, the manufacturer recommends stopping it for a couple of minutes to allow the pump enough time to cool.
5. Airbrush kit for makeup: Gimify Multi-Purpose Precision Airbrush Kit
If you’re a makeup artist who uses airbrush technology, the Gimify set will be an excellent addition to your arsenal. For one, it uses a compressor fitted with high-quality precision elements. These components ensure that the airbrush works optimally while providing incredible atomization and precise spray control.
Also, this air compressor runs quietly, allowing you to carry on working without any noise distractions. Plus, this compressor has a heat protection device, which automatically cuts off power to prevent the pump from overheating.
What Exactly Is Airbrushing?
On the surface, an airbrush might sound like a very sophisticated tool. The truth is, this is merely a tiny air-operated gadget resembling a pen. This airbrush is used to spray out any type of fluid; be it paint, ink or food dye to the desired place. Depending on the kind of task you want to perform, a pneumatic device is necessary so that it sends out the fluid at different PSIs. A professional working in an industry that involves coloring products can really benefit from this tool. This includes individuals who do tattoo work, face painting, auto painting and more.
One reason why artists treasure air brushes is because they’re capable of achieving a high level of detail that cannot be attained through hand-done work. Also, an airbrush kit can generate a soft look with zero noticeable brush strokes.
It explains why airbrush kits have also proven useful to artists who apply make-up. With an airbrush, you can give your client that natural-look such that no one will be able to tell that he or she is wearing makeup.
You can airbrush just about any surface including skin and wood. The only thing you need to ensure is that ingredients or contents you’re spraying are suitable for that surface. In short, don’t attempt to spray paint on a cake because you’ll just ruin your diner.
Another consideration is that the airbrush needs to be plugged into an air source to operate. Once you pull the trigger, the device disseminates both the air and the contents you put inside it. Luckily, a majority of airbrushes are equipped with internal mixers, which provide a balanced ratio of air to the content being sprayed. The even distribution ensures that you don’t end up with some sections with very thick layers of paint.
The History of the Airbrush
This tool wasn’t always known as an airbrush. The first iteration of the device was referred to as a paint distributor. Abner Peeler is the mastermind behind this incredible invention, although he ended up selling the copyright for a measly $850 to Liberty Walkup and his older brother Charles. At the time, he had no idea that his tool would become such a remarkable device.
With the paint distributor, Abner used a “wind-wheel” and a needle to construct it. The position of the needle is what determined just how fast the wheels moved. More specifically, this needle was positioned close to the center of the wheels rather than the outer edges. The needle was also connected to an air blast tube although in that initial model, all the components were operated individually.
After this concept was passed on to other engineers and inventors, it evolved to become what is known as a double action airbrush. With this gadget, there’s just on trigger that’s used to operate both the air supply and paint supply. This allows for a one-handed continuous running.
Thanks to the changes that were added to the first version of the airbrush, the Walkup Brothers managed to get a good chunk of profits from this invention. In fact, they made about $50,000 in stock sales, which they used to establish the Rockford Manufacturing Company. After a while, Rockford was transformed to the Airbrush Manufacturing Company. Liberty Walkup and his wife, who dealt with photo retouching, marketed their invention to an array of photography exhibitions across the globe. Within no time, they had a ton of companies ordering the product in bulk.
Airbrushes differ widely in terms of how they operate and how paint is fed through the nozzle. They also vary with regards to whether the paint is mixed with air or atomized. An airbrush kit is designed using different combinations of control mechanisms, paint feed and atomizing techniques.
With this airbrush, the only way you can control airflow is by pressing a trigger or button. This means that it doesn’t have the provision of real-time adjustment of the paint. Instead, this is usually regulated using a needle inside the nozzle. The fact that users always have to stop midway to make paint adjustments can be pretty cumbersome. On the brighter side, this is the best model for beginners because it’s easy to use.
With a dual-action airbrush, both the air and paint can be easily controlled using the trigger or button. The first time you press this trigger causes air to flow inside the airbrush while the second-time trigger forces paint to flow through. If you want to increase the amount of paint or airflow, you should press the button further down or backwards.
Given the complexity involved in using this airbrush, you might require a bit of practice. But the good thing is that once you’re familiar its working mechanism, you can use it for a range of tasks- for baking, makeup application and more.
GRAVITY FEED AIRBRUSH
This is a technique of delivering paint that positions the cup at the top of your airbrush. As suggested in the name, this method involves gravitational force which is responsible for pulling paint into the airbrush. This type of feed chamber uses a lower working pressure, which is beneficial when painting detailed and fine lines for miniatures.
SIPHON FEED AIRBRUSH
With this kind of feed, the paint bottle is positioned below the unit that feeds a tube into the paint container. Whenever air flows through the tube inside the mixing chamber, it siphons the paint.
INTERNAL MIX AIRBRUSH
This is the process through paint enters the airbrush chamber so that it can mix with air. This internal paint atomizing process results in a much smoother and finer finish, which comes in handy for model builders.
EXTERNAL MIX AIRBRUSH
With this procedure, none of the externally mixed paint enters the airbrush. Rather the paint flows along the exterior section of the nozzle and it’s then atomized with air once the airstream flows out through the nozzle.
Airbrush Parts and Accessories
An airbrush will only be effective if the parts and accessories that it comes with are high-quality. Certain elements can wear out overtime, and can be interchanged so as to produce a different outcome. Ideally, you should go for a reputable brand whose accessories are readily accessible.
The quality of the airbrush needles determines just how fine the lines will be. For small, detailed lines, select airbrush needles that are small. But also keep in mind that fine needles are susceptible to clogging when used with thick paint mixes such as acrylic.
If you’re a modeler or illustrator, we recommend going for needles that are about 1.5 mm in size as they will result in superb all-even spraying. Remember that it’s the needle and nozzle combination that will have a significant impact on the final outcome.
Another essential part to account for is the airbrush nozzle. This one will determine the spray effect pattern. A short nozzle covers a wide space while a long narrow nozzle results in narrow spray lines, which come in handy in tasks requiring precision. The good thing is that a majority of nozzles are sold in kits alongside compatible needles.
You can choose from a wide range of air supply sources; be it a large bottle containing compressed air or a simple disposable can. But the best item for this function is an airbrush compressor.
An airbrush compressor is able to provide steady air pressure and air flow. This is an important aspect to consider especially when you’re spraying smooth and precise paint lines. Any fluctuations, be it in pressure or air flow, can cause devastating changes to the end result. Whenever possible, go for an air compressor that runs quietly. Tasks such as painting a car and drawing tattoos require a lot of focus, so a noisy air compressor is an avoidable distraction.
Essential Airbrush Accessories
Apart from the airbrush, you will need other components to ensure that it stays in pristine condition. One of the things you’ll need to think about is how to clean your airbrush. You’ll also need to ensure that your airbrush doesn’t come into contact with moisture. Some of the accessories you should consider buying are:
- Airbrush cleaner
- Airbrush cleaning brushes
- Fittings and connectors
- Spare parts
- Moisture trap
What a Complete Kit Should Come With
It’s not possible to achieve that perfect airbrushed look by just using an airbrush. Technically, you will need a couple more items to achieve this. A comprehensive airbrush kit should have all the accessories that artists need as well as those that guarantee their safety in the process. For instance, an airbrush kit should include a respirator, to provide utmost protection when you’re handling toxic materials such as paint. However, if you’re dealing with edible products like food dye, you don’t have to worry about your safety too much.
Another accessory that should be present in an airbrush kit is an airbrush hose. It’s not possible to connect your airbrush directly to the air source. In fact, you should not think of doing so because this will restrict your arm movements. It is where an airbrush hose comes in handy. You’ll need to attach one end of the hose to your airbrush and the other end to an air source. Unfortunately, there’s no standard size for airbrush hoses. So whenever possible, always go for airbrush kits whose items have been preselected for each other.
The air supply where the other end of the hose is attached to is known as an air compressor. This device works by converting power into potential energy, which is then stored in form of pressurized air. Air compressors come in different types although you can purchase a standard model from big vendors like Lowes or Home Depot. If you’ll be using your airbrush for clothes like painting t-shirts or other bi-sized items like bicycles, these are the most recommended compressors.
However, if you work in the cosmetic industry and need a more precise compressor, arts and crafts stores are the best place to shop for compressors. Here you’ll find advanced models customized for such delicate jobs.
Another tool that should be included in an airbrush kit is an airbrush holder. It’s exactly as its name suggests- a tool for holding your airbrush in place. An airbrush holder ensures that you don’t end up dropping your very highly-priced tool to the ground.
What to Look for in Airbrush Kits for Beginners
Perfect sized needle and nozzle
If you’ve never used an airbrush kit before, you might have a hard time finding the perfect combination of nozzle size and needle. Advisably, you should start by using an airbrush that is recommended for the type work you do. If you need on for cars, look for the most common airbrushes used for automotive graphics. Long nozzles work particularly well with narrow sprays, while short ones are better for covering a broad range of space.
There are two main working mechanisms of airbrushes- single-action and dual-action. These operation modes determine the flow of air in and out of your airbrush. With a dual-action airbrush, it only requires a physical manipulation so as to regulate this airflow. A single action airbrush, on the other hand, requires one press down for air.
One thing that your airbrush needs so it can operate smoothly is a steady flow of air. So, if CO2 tanks and an air propellant are at your disposal, picking a kit that provides a high-quality air compressor is essential. Advisably, go for an airbrush kit whose compressor is easily portable. Ideally, it should also have a regulator to control the amount of air flowing in and out.
The purpose of this is to determine how paint enters your airbrush. You’ll need to choose between two main types: gravity and siphon. The feed type you choose should be based on the kind of project you’re working on and your preference. A gravity feed deals with a low amount of air pressure, which means it can only be filled with paint in small amounts. This makes it suitable for jobs that require fine lines.
On the other side of the spectrum is a siphon feed. This one is capable of accommodating a large amount of paint, enabling you to spray more paint at any one time.
Airbrushes can work through single, dual or trigger mechanisms. Each operation mode has its fair share of advantages and drawbacks. Ideally, you’ll need to research and read reviews from individuals who have already used them. Next, weigh the pros of each against its cons and determine which ones meets your needs best.
Airbrushing technology has become central in car detailing, textiles, arts and crafts, cake decorations and a ton of other projects. To meet the increasing demand of airbrushes, manufacturers have changed and adjusted the way they make these airbrushes. It explains why some airbrushes using gravity feeds while others use siphon feeds. To choose the best airbrush, start by determining the purpose of purchasing it. Next, research the most recommended airbrushes for that type of project. But regardless of the project, you’re sure to find one that addresses your needs from the top-rated models reviewed above.
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