Gradually to ease our work and play, tools and innovations are now part of our day-to-day life. Each one plays a vital role. Like no one would have thought it was possible to come up with amazing paintings without a paintbrush.
Today, most artists use airbrushes to create breath-taking paintings. The Airbrush is an air-operated tool that involves spraying superfine particles of liquid paint on any surface. Creative individuals benefit from techniques of the device when they want to write or print logos.
Beyond artists, they are useful pieces of equipment for various ink or dye-oriented tasks such as cake decorations, nail designs, tattoos, creating models, and crafts. The Airbrush gun helps to make a variety of patterns and designs on a wide range of surfaces.
Admittedly, there are several airbrush kits with different usage and mode of action, some for beginners and others for experts. It also determines the type of application and the kind of surface you aim to spray on – motorbikes, wooden doors, cars, paper or canvas, fabric, metal surfaces, and more.
There is no Airbrush Dictionary assigned to help you choose the right features and configurations of the tool. You have to consider the Gravity feed, side feed, siphon feed, internal and external mix, dual, single or trigger action, and a more.
To complicate matters, there are different renowned manufacturers out there like Badger, Paasche, Iwata, Badger, PointZero, Steenbeck, Richpen, and countless others. We have considered all these and made a review of some of the best Airbrush Guns you can find on the market.
Top 5 Best Airbrush Gun
OUR TOP PICK
As an entry-level airbrush, the quality of this product alongside the affordable price is no doubt, the best thing about it. The tool is designed by Iwata-Medea, a highly trusted name and leading company in this field.
Due to the very affordable price of the unit, if you are new to airbrush, then this Neo tool is well suited for you, especially if you are not sure about investing in the world of airbrushing. For high-end arts, you may want something else for precision on fine lines. However, it can also be a great option and a good catch.
Handling the tool is quite easy and even simplified with the provided manual to keep confusion away from the user. You only need to pick up the unit, learn about it, and start using it. For beginners, cleaning and maintenance of an airbrush can be intimidating, but it is again straightforward with this unit. Unlike other inexpensive airbrush guns, there is a fine balance between holding and working the trigger of the nozzle to keep the process smooth.
There is no need to put excessive paints in the airbrush as it does not waste paint and requires only a tiny amount to function. Although, when needed, you can swap paint cups from smaller capacities to larger ones. From fine to a medium-sized spray, the nozzle and needle provided with the airbrush can be used to create details on art or for spraying more extensive areas.
Offering gravity-feed, Neo airbrush works well at lower air pressure and perfect for intricate details. The versatility should also be recommended as it can spray a range of patterns depending on the intention of the artist.
To improve efficiency, reduce the possibilities of mistakes and ensure easy cleaning and maintenance, the Neo airbrush comes with different sizes of funnel shape cups. Most customer reviews have established their likeness for the Neo airbrush gun and the numerous advantages of the tool.
- Affordable and high-quality airbrush gun
- Functions for a variety of paints and medium
- Comfortable in-hand design.
- Reliable. durable, versatile and flawless performance
- Easy to use, clean, and maintain.
- Exceptional for detailed spray artwork, wide-area, or medium-sized sprays.
- Perfect for beginners and intermediates.
- Assembling the unit is not an easy task
- Neo is not recommended for high-end artwork
PointZero is a bit more expensive than Neo airbrush. However, it has better quality and parked with more value. As a dual-action airbrush with three different guns, it is a multipurpose tool that expands the scope to handle a wide variety of projects and can be used professionally. Without much ado, it is designed for precision and pin-sharp detailed work and offers a hairline sized spray pattern.
One of the drawbacks with airbrushes is the tip that dries too soon, but the build of the PointZero is of stainless-steel body such that the drying of the tips is minimized, and paint flows efficiently. The product is easy to handle due to the small feed. It is another right choice for beginners who aim to work on a range of media.
The airbrush gun does not come in contact with the work surface. Users only need to adjust the rate of spray steam and the width of the tool. Even armatures will have no difficulty handling the PointZero airbrush. It weighs around 11 pounds and has a guide that includes essentials such as video tutorials and techniques.
There are lots of benefits that can be gotten from the unit, such as easy to clean and adjustable airflow within a range that is based on the work surface. Using gravity feed, it works on an internal mixing principle and offers a user-friendly experience; the entire process is quite simple.
For a double-action airbrush with 7cc, paint cup, and a pre-installed 0.3mm nozzle set, the price of this product is a complete steal. PointZero has great reviews in the market, which may be as a result of the cost. However, the replacement for the nozzle or needle can be quite challenging to find.
Moreover, with the six-foot-long hose, you can move around as much as you want. But you can also purchase a compressor, adapter, and your choice of hose from any hardware store to smoothening the process. Overall, the item has excellent quality and is highly recommended by customers around the globe.
- The quality and build of the PointZero airbrush offer several advantages.
- Easy to use for beginners as well as professionals
- Perfect for delicate or detailed spray paintwork
- It comes with a comprehensive guide to ease the operating process
- Useful for various types of crafts
- The parts are not so easy to find in the market
- A bit overpriced
- Some users report problems with valves leakage
- Quite heavy to operate single-handedly
This here is another multi-purpose artistic appliance from Master Airbrush Professional. It is rated as versatile gravity feed and ideal for handling painting, tattooing, crafting, automobile designing, cake decoration, fine art, and a lot more. The airbrush works for almost all kinds of applications, including a virtual paint spray mechanism.
The unit provides airflow and air volume of 23 liters/min and 0.8 cfm, respectively, with a 4-inches mixing wheel and a 6-feet braided hose. It also includes a color mix wheel to help with creating the right shade and a five-piece cleaning brush set to ease the maintenance.
As other airbrush guns, it turns on when the pressure is released, and when it reaches a particular psi, Mater airbrush automatically turns on or shuts off. The high-performance 1/5hp airbrush compressor is portable, lightweight, and compact with an inbuilt carrying handle. It incorporates two potent gravity-feed cups of 1/3 oz. and 1/16 oz., and 0.3mm and 0.2mm nozzle.
Due to the technological advancements that concern the inbuilt cooling and single-piston compressor, it is also capable of functioning continuously without overheating. Master airbrush comes with an airbrush holder that is able to hold two brushes at the same time.
The Master airbrush comes with an instruction guidebook that is easy to understand for beginners intending to start this up as a new hobby and get the most out of your airbrush. The guide includes instructions on how to assemble and operate the tool making it undoubtedly the best airbrush gun for beginners.
It would be foolish not to consider buying the Mater multi-purpose gravity feed dual-action airbrush. The only possible drawback of the tool is that it may not last you years as much as other brands like Iwata or other well-made airbrushes would. But the one year 100% customer guarantee, the results, as well as the performance, is quite unbelievable for the price range.
- Perfect airbrush gun for beginners
- Serves as a multipurpose and high-performing tool
- Easy to assemble and use
- Economic and trustworthy
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- There are some issues reported about the quality of airbrushes
- The automatic on/off feature does not interest every user
- It is not entirely durable.
Badger Airbrush Co. Sotar 2020-2F is an impressive model of Airbrush proudly made in the USA and designed to deliver fine line details in the ultimate level to professional illustrators. Its features include a fine needle, and a nozzle capable of spraying hairline pattern to 19 mm. It aims to a ¾ inch spray pattern.
The 1/12 ounce color cup with a proper spill-proof cap to accommodate a large amount of color encourages extended usage before needing a refill. It excels in performance and features 10-15 PSI low-pressure settings and 30 overall PSI operation. This model of Badger airbrush offers a 2ml cup gravity feed from the paint source.
All these put together ensures you get the best out of the product. It also has an elongated body with a distance between the trigger and the paint reservoir.
Versatility is another advantage of this unit, as it can finely spray watercolors, low viscosity acrylics, dyes, and inks. The double angle needle tip accurately matches the cone-shape nozzle to enhance the single needle/nozzle settings and spray a variety of materials. These eradicate the need to incorporate needle/nozzle differences.
By providing skill across even the complicated designs, Badger Airbrush Co. Sotar 2020-2F Airbrush is a perfect choice for fine artists. The tool has high performance with creative precision design. Also, it is a user-friendly, comfortable, reliable, and cost-effective gravity feed airbrush made for use by experts and airbrush artisans.
In addition to the dual-action, it features gravity feed and an internal mix airbrush to ensure precision with spraying through the micrometer setting. For every complete purchase, you get one year warranty for the tool, while the PTFE needle bearing has a lifetime warranty.
- Easy to use and maintain
- Designed for tremendous precision
- Easy to operate
- Heavy-duty, well-made, durable, and tough build
- Incredible price for the high-quality performance and value you get
- No splattering or clogging
- No hose included
- No instruction guide for operations
- It allows a paint-free flow
For a professional-grade quality airbrush, Iwata should be your choice. In the business of airbrushes, Iwata is seen as the top dog and arguably the leading brand in the industry. The Iwata-Medea Revolution CR, in particular, has phenomenal performance and is an excellent choice for skilled level artists.
The company has managed to bring together several artists and professionals to contribute to designing this fabulous model. The tool incorporates an internal mix, gravity feed, ergonomic handle design, and dual-action top feed trigger system. All these make it an Ideal airbrush and a shame to ignore.
If you intend to use heavier or thicker paints than the regular light inks used on other airbrush models, then due to the large nozzle and 0.5mm needle, Iwata-Medea Revolution CR is a perfect choice for you. One thing we love about this model of airbrush is the large nozzle of the brush, which allows it to work well together with the needle when spraying these heavy and thick paints.
It offers incredible performance and functionality, coupled with an impressive structure that is second to none. Thanks to the redesigned trigger mechanism and massive needle-chucking nut, it is easy to assemble.
There is definitely a reason why you are getting the airbrush. It could either for a cover-up or makeup, temporary tattoos, nails, creating models, miniatures, RC cars, automotive painting, or everyday artistic creativity. Regardless of the reason, the Iwata-Medea Revolution CR is versatile and perfect enough to tackle any task with extraordinary results.
For both wide and fine lines, and broad spraying, the product performs well with multiple settings and variations of air pressure and paint thickness. It is easily the best and most versatile airbrush around; you may never find a better airbrush at this price.
- Most versatile airbrush gun
- Flawless and high-quality performance
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Excellent air and paint flow control
- Ergonomic handle fits the hand comfortably
- Delivers fine lines and vast paintings
- Too advanced for beginners
- Not so easy to learn like the other airbrush guns
Best Airbrush Gun Buying Guide
There are several airbrush guns available in the market, and as a first-time buyer of the airbrush gun, you need to understand some points to clear up any puzzle over the one to select.
Aspects like the type of airbrush paint feed, airbrush atomizer, airbrush trigger, surface, and very importantly, the brand.
Types of Airbrush Paint Feeds
The airbrush you should go for need to have a feed mechanism. It determines the flow of air and paints and how they are mixed.
There are two popular types of paint feeds on airbrushes – gravity feed and siphon-feed. You can choose airbrush feed techniques based on your personal preference.
For the gravity feed, the paint in the cup sits on the airbrush barrel, and as the name infers, it is forced down through the paint channel where it mixes (atomizing process). Gravity feed uses the paint more efficiently and can economize the function on a single drop of paint.
Compared to siphon feed, it has a smaller color cup, but it is still the accepted choice of most users.
If your need is for airbrush is to work on models or miniatures, the gravity feed is a preferable choice since it does not rely on air pressure to move the paint into the atomizer chamber.
This means that the gravity feed airbrush operates on lower air pressure and does not require much air pressure as the siphon-feed. Also, it is perfect for meticulous details and fine lines.
Siphon feed airbrush operates with a paint cup below the barrel of the airbrush, where a tube is inserted into the paint cup and the atomizing chamber.
The air pressure passes through the tube and pulls up the paint so that it mixes in the paint channel.
Siphon feeds seem to use more paint than the gravity feed. They are also more tedious to clean.
The advantage of this feed is that they have bigger paint cups, which reduces the need to refill and maintain a more extended and un-interrupted airbrushing period regularly.
Types of Airbrush Atomizers
Like we have mentioned, the airbrush atomizers are where the air mixes with the wind or, basically, atomizes. They are either called atomizing chambers or paint channel.
Where the paint atomizes, have effects on the cleaning, maintenance finishing, and also the finishing of the color. It dictates the result of what is sprayed out of the airbrush. There are also two methods of airbrush atomizers – internal and external mix.
The internal mix accepts paint into the chambers of the airbrush and mixes with the air. Some artists prefer this atomization method since it produces a finer and smoother finishing. It is also way easier to clean the internal mix than the external mix method.
Unless you have specific reasons to choose the external mix, you don’t mind the grannies and less consistent sprays, you don’t need fine details, or you only need a small coverage, we recommend you should instead go for an internal mix.
Plus, the internal mix airbrush does not require as much cleaning and maintenance work as the external mix method.
The external mix method does not collect the paint into the chambers to atomize it. Instead, as the color flows along the outside of the nozzle, it immediately mixes with the air as the airstream exits the nozzle.
Externally mixed airbrush does not produce a flatter finish that is as smooth as the internal mix. But you can still fix this with a bit of experiment with your paint mix until a solution is found.
The majority of users prefer the internal mix method since it is more consistent, and it tends to produce more spray, a more beautiful and smoother result. The external mix is usually duller, less vibrant, and flatter. If you want, you can try out both methods.
Types of Airbrush Triggers
The airbrush triggers are concerned with how you physically manipulate airbrush control. The deal one depends on the airbrush application and individual taste. Here, there are three types of airbrush trigger, the single-action, dual-action, or the trigger action.
Let’s put it straight out there – the dual-action offers more control and details to your work, and unless you have a good reason to make another choice, go for the dual-action.
The single-action functions when you press down for and start the paint too. You can adjust the paint flow by twisting the knob. It is no longer commonly used or convenient or versatile, like the dual-action. But there are some reasons why you may prefer a single action. Some of which includes
- You only do coverage artisan work
- You get a consistent amount of fluid all the time.
- Better for untrained hands since the same thing is repeatable all the time.
- Or for research application, because they are easier, logical, the measurement always stays the same, and you don’t have to bother about artistic or relative measurements.
The dual-action airbrushes operate by pressing down for air and pulling back for paint. It is a more technical choice for most people to coordinate how the airbrush works and functions.
The dual-action mechanism offers controlled and more detailed work, which makes it an option for most users. The makers provide accessories to duplicate the benefits of other gun types without affecting the benefits offered from the dual-action
Trigger action is setups up the airbrush as a spray gun. Again, we recommend the dual work.
But you can go for the trigger action if you have enough experience using spray guns handle it well, and you prefer to continue rather than learning a separate motion.
Type of Surface
As explained, the airbrushing involves spraying superfine particles of liquid paint on almost any surface. The airbrush gun can be used to create individual designs and patterns across a range of surfaces using varieties of colors.
But if you want the best results, you should spray on non-absorbent surfaces.
The types of surfaces you can spray on includes metals, woods, paper, canvas, cars, motorbikes, and many more. Bringing the airbrush in contact with the surface you intend to spray on is unnecessary since you can always adjust the width and rate of spray stream on the airbrush gun.
Type of Paints
Even if you can use a few colors based on your intentions or your predicted outcome, the kind of paint appropriate for your need is important knowledge. Selecting the proper one will give you the best results.
Nail art paint – is designed to dry faster like the regular nail polish
Hobby paint – is used for resin, plastic, ceramic, metal, wood, and automobiles.
Fabric paint – is engineered for maximum absorption into cloths. They cannot easily be washed out
Automotive paints – is made with acrylic enamels, does not fade and ensures long-term durability
Temporary tattoo ink – is durable, waterproof, and non-toxic. It can last on the skin for a week or longer.
Edible dyes or tints – works as food colorings for decorating cakes, cookies, and other food items.
There are a few recommended airbrush brands that have created a good reputation with excellent customer service for themselves, which we would like to discuss.
This does not mean that you won’t find a proper airbrush from other manufacturers. But these brands are the top dogs.
Iwata sits comfortably on the top of the food chain as the best makers of airbrush guns.
Their most popular types of airbrush paint feeds are both the gravity feed and siphon-feed. Iwata offers understanding customer service and excellent technical support.
Badger is by far the cheapest amidst the top brands. They are not necessarily rated as the best airbrush brand in the world, but they are miles away from being the worst.
Badger also has proper support for its products, and they keep innovating new designs.
Paasche is an improvement on the Badger airbrush. They are also very popular in the industry. Rarely would you find any complaint about is a remarkable brand.
Like we have mentioned, there are other brands with lots of good comments on them. Brands like Master, Steinbeck, Harder, and PointZero comes to mind.
Most reviews speak of their excellent performance and responsive customer service. But when buying an airbrush, you need to watch out for clones that act as duplicates of these top brands.
Avoid the clones from China or Taiwan. You can detect them if they are not claimed or have the company names engraved on the item. You should also try the customer service number and be sure it works to figure out the authenticity. Those numbers on the clones do not work.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you clean airbrush gun?
Some models of airbrush, allow you to fill the paint cup with paint cleaners and as the pressure from the airbrush is repeated, the tool is effortlessly cleaned. But some other models require additional cleaning, where you have to wash the airbrush immediately after every use avoid permanent stain and unnecessary color mix.
To get this done, you need to disassemble the airbrush. Putting it apart varies based on the model, but according to the instruction from the manufacturer, you can carry it out. Then, empty the pieces into a bowl of warm water, wash and wash and reassemble again.
Remember again that the gravity feed airbrushes are easier to clean than the siphon feeds since there is no extra pressure to push the paints around. Also, the internal mix cleans easier than the external mix method since the color atomizes in the chamber before it is sent out of the airbrush.
How to paint with an airbrush gun?
Once you have the paint or other fluid loaded in your airbrush, try a test by spraying it on a scratch paper to check the color and consistency. Balance your arm that the airbrush is 8 inches away from the surface to get good results.
Also, try out the atomization of the airbrush to check the fineness of the paint particle sprayed from the airbrush. Practice with different pressures, different needles, different distances from the paper, different types of paints, and check various angles and motion of the airbrush.
When you are done with all the experiments, you are now ready to out your airbrush gun to use. Make a sketch of your desired pattern or design on the surface. Cover up the areas you do not want the paint to appear with tapes. Take the airbrush to the surface and pull the trigger back to begin the painting.
Work with one color at a time, and focus on building your picture from the bottom layer up. Begin with the lighter color and move to the darker ones. When the painting is completed, get a light spray of a fixative, stand about four feet away from the picture, and apply in horizontal strokes to seal the art.
How to set up an airbrush gun?
The first step is to attach the small end of the air hose to your airbrush and affix the other to your air source (the compressor). Next, you have to deal with the spray media, which varies based on the type of feed.
For gravity feet airbrushes with cup lids, remove it by working the top upwards. Apply a few drops of paint and replace the cap. For siphon feed airbrushes, put paint in the bottle attached to the airbrush.
Now turn on the compressor. Use your index finger to control and push down the trigger to allow airflow in the dual-action airbrushes and pull back to let the paint flow.
To make finer lines, turn down the pressure from the compressor and get closer to the paint surface, push down, and pull the trigger back a little. With a single-action airbrush, just push down the trigger to allow both the air and the paint to flow through.
For trigger airbrushes, pull the trigger back gently for the air to flow and pull a bit farther to allow paint spray out. This triggering method takes practice and requires a bit of getting used to.
And lastly, always clean the airbrush between changing colors and at the end of the session.
How does an airbrush gun work?
The airbrush guns have almost the same activities as in them. It works as a double-action combined. At the point where you squeeze the trigger, the air is released from the air valve. It directs a course through the chamber to enhance and finds its way out from inside to the sprout tip.
At this point, the paint is not yet in motion. However, the needle is still situated against the sprout and entirely forward. When the trigger is pulled back, the needle moves away from the sprout and makes a roundabout the hole and around the needle top. This time, the paint begins to stream.
The air picks and atomizes the paint, and when the wind stream, it gives a subsequent shower design to create a painting.
How to unclog an airbrush gun?
The same process as cleaning the airbrush gun is what is required here. Give it a good and deep cleaning by disassembling the parts where the paint passes through. However, you can avoid this type of situation by thinning your paint before using it. Also, use ones that the airbrush can accept.
To unclog the airbrush gun, pull out the needle by removing the rear portion of the airbrush and loosen or unscrew the nut that holds the needle in place. If it is stuck in the paint build-up, give it a quick yank; while doing this, be careful not to bend it.
When the needle is out, use a soft cloth or a paper towel to clean it. Remove the top of the airbrush and battle with the stains and paints there with a damp cloth. You can put the tip in alcohol to clean faster.
Once you’ve done all these, run some airbrush cleaner through and get back to spraying. Unclogging the airbrush gives it more precision and control.
Clean up the airbrush gun very often, but the process is not one of those easy tasks you can do daily. Regardless, you should clean immediately after use and allow it to dry before storing the tool for another spraying session. This will save you from experiencing these hazards.
How to fix an airbrush gun?
Several faults can be happening to the airbrush guns regardless of the brand, model, paint type, and air pressure. The first advice you will get from anyone is to clean the airbrush again.
Although it often works, it is the only solution. Some of the problems are not even with the airbrush gun; instead, the fault is with the paint.
The airbrush is basically a simple device, but it works with precision, and the tolerance is tight. You need to have some spare needle and nozzles around in case one has a fault and needs quick replacements.
Before you spray, try to ensure the paint works with plain water or thinner. Paint needs to be light to work appropriately, especially when your airbrush has small-sized nozzles or else you may have air coming out of your tool without the color.
Some things could go wrong. For instance, air not coming out. You need to check the airline from the compressor to the airbrush to ensure that it is not disconnected, and it supplies rightly. It could also be a sticky trigger, where you may need to lubricate a little or remove paint residue that is hindering it.
We have given our review on the best airbrush gun. You can go ahead and make your decision according to your required features and specifications. For beginners, we also put out a buyer guide to help you make the right choice.
Either you are a first-timer or an expert, the idea is to buy an airbrush gun that fulfills your needs, so this article is centered towards make your choice fit your budget and wants. Consider the basic things like the model, the feed type, atomizer type, surface, and trigger method when getting one.
The airbrushes we reviewed are durable and are sure to last as long as they are properly maintained, but you can pick up a few spare parts in case you may need a quick change.
Also, regardless of how skillful you consider yourself to be, buy an airbrush that is precise, accurate, lightweight, and comfortable to handle.