About Compressors

Before You Buy Airbrush Compressor

Before you jump straight into a purchase and decide to throw down a huge wad of cash on the first airbrush compressor unit/kit you see, there are some things you need to know… First off, airbrush compressor reviews are a great place to start if you just want to introduce yourself to the basics before buying something.  For instance, there are dozens of helpful and relevant airbrush  reviews on Amazon.com, typically speaking – several for every major model out there. Some of the standout companies making airbrush compressors include: Iwata, Paasche, and Sparmax.  Each one of them has their own line with their own well-known bank of users and fans.  Which of them makes the superior unit if of course a subject of great debate, but suffice it to say that all three of them know what they’re doing.

But/Mind you, before you even jump to reading airbrush compressor reviews, I recommend that you first go through my buyer’s guide for beginners, and airbrush paint buyer’s guide.

There are also portable air compressor systems out there which are great because, well…you can move them around with very little effort.  If you are going to be using one in various locations for smaller types of jobs a portable unit is really the way to go.  People use them for airbrush makeup, crafts, tattooing, creating cakes, nail art, and much more.  If you don’t need a large airbrush machine anyway, this is also a very attractive option, obviously.  Moreover, beginners will find the smaller price tag and size of a portable air compressor to be highly inviting too.  If you can find one, look for a mini model, they are obviously among the smallest examples you can buy and are also versatile enough to do lots of different things with. Furthermore, if you’re really serious about learning to airbrush, consider going all out and purchasing an airbrush set.  The benefit here is that a kit/set will contain virtually everything you need to get started and will continue to support your endeavors as you progress in terms of skill.  A decent set will typically include some kind of compressor unit/tank (be sure to look for automatic onoff shutoff), gravity-fed airbrush, holder, funnel, paint set and if you’re lucky, literature which can teach you the basics.

Airbrush compressors reviewsThe first airbrush machine  was patented by Francis Edgar Stanley in 1876, of course since that time we’ve seen countless improvements on the basic concept.  Modern airbrushing has become something of an art form in and of itself.  At the same time, associated techniques have been used commercially in advertising and countless other ways (including photo retouching, makeup application [aka – airbrush makeup], temporary tattooing, tanning, clothing, automotives, and more).  To really become great at airbrushing you need some awesome equipment of course, but first you need to figure out what basic model(s) might best suit your purposes…

About Airbrush Equipment

The first thing to take note of is the trigger system.  Basically, this is the piece that allows the air to escape and subsequently spray some mixture on the surface the tip is directed toward.  There are essentially two different types of trigger systems too; they are single action and double action.  Obviously, each of them do different things and one might be considered more appropriate than the other, depending on what you’re planning on doing with it of course.

Single action models

As you might have guessed, single action models are generally less flexible in their abilities.  Often times you’ll find them in places where there’s more generalized painting that needs to be finished.  Automotive shops are a good example here – like custom RV paint jobs, etc.  However, you will occasionally find people using single action types to do highly artistic things, even creating gigantic murals; it really depends on the artists’ overall level of skill more than anything.  The point is – a really inventive person can do incredible things with a spray gun, regardless of what it is or how it works.

Double action models

Double action models offer better control over how the paint mixes with the air, and this takes place directly when the trigger is depressed.  In short, this means that an experienced user can even manipulate items such as gradient, size or opacity (how transparent the spray ends up looking).  Needless to say, in the hands of a master these kinds of systems are capable of accomplishing wonderful things.  In truth, a really talented airbrush artist can boundlessly inventive masterpieces and keep on increasing their technical bag of tricks, and double action triggering is largely what makes that possible.  Simply put, it’s just possible to be much more precise and detailed; if you can afford it, always go double action.

Mix point

Next, we have the mix point to consider.  Here we also have two main types to consider – being internal or external.  Naturally, one is a bit more economical, the external ones, which are perhaps a bit coarser in their general application.  Internal systems are a bit pricier than their counterparts and work to create a much finer mist which again, is probably going to be preferable in situations involving precision work. Lastly, we have the feed system, which also influences the way any airbrush setup will ultimately perform.  For jobs which could be labeled larger in scope, requiring less variation in terms of color deviation, a bottom or side feed model would be a great choice.  The reason for this largely relates to the fact that both examples tend to be able to hold or deliver more paint.  In situations where you need to spray down a large bus, for example, you really don’t want to have to keep refilling your dispenser over and over again, especially if you’re on a ladder of scaffold of some kind.  A gravity feed system on the other hand, is great because it utilizes the force of gravity to deliver a more constant stream of paint which is in turn mixed with the air to produce finer mists.  Again, if there’s a lot of precision work involved a gravity feed system is pretty much the way to go.   If you want to learn a bit more about the history of airbrushing / airbrushing equipment, please visit the following website – http://www.airbrushmuseum.com/.  There, you’ll even find some of the original patent information too.

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