6 Things You Need to Know Before Buying an Airbrush Compressor

Nov 11, 2020 7:11 AM ET

iCrowdNewswire   Nov 11, 20202:11 AM ET

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Recently, you might have taken up airbrushing. Before you can start, one of the essential equipment that you need is an airbrush compressor. However, you might be aware that buying an airbrush compressor can be expensive.

If you have the money to buy one, then there’s no problem when it comes to purchasing an excellent model. However, if you need to think long and hard before you spend money on an expensive airbrush compressor, you should have adequate information to guide you when buying one.

What is an Airbrush Compressor?

An airbrush compressor is equipment that compresses outside air using tubes, and functions by generating the air using pistons. The pistons compress the outside air into the air storage tank, which creates more air pressure. After the air is released, the equipment will function the way it should.

What Should You Consider Before Buying One?

Not all airbrush compressors work the same. Some are bigger, while others have a function not present on most models. Here are some of the things you should take into consideration before your purchase.

Air Tank

Image by Sergey Isaev from Pixabay

Keep in mind that for specific applications, there are varying amounts of air pressure. The pressure produced by the compressor is vital. Thus, it is essential to have an air compressor that has a large air tank.

An air compressor that has a small air tank will be forced to work continuously, which in turn makes more noise when in use. Since an air compressor operates by compressing air, it stops operating when a certain level of pressure is achieved.

Purchasing an air compressor with an air tank should depend on the job you need it for and your budget. A compressor with no tank is the cheapest variant that can continuously work while you are using the airbrush. Those with no tank can lead to pulsation, which may then lead to problems on your project.

On/Off Function

As mentioned above, the compressor works until it reaches a certain amount of air pressure. The usual air pressure needed is 120 PSI. The switch will turn on again if the air pressure decreases to 80 PSI because of air usage.

There is an auto-off function available for other airbrush compressors. You can minimize the noise produced by buying the auto-off variant. When the airbrush compressor is not in use, especially if you are painting, then the compressor will automatically shut off. Auto-off airbrush compressors are more expensive than those without this function.

However, the compressor doesn’t need to maintain the lowest pressure at 80 PSI. Therefore, you need a switch to control the usage of your air compressor. You can switch it off if the air pressure reaches 120 PSI and paint until the pressure decreases. If it drops, then you can turn on the air compressor.


The power output you need will depend on what type of painting you do. The usual factors include the type of nozzle required, where you will use the airbrush compressor, and the airbrush type.

10 LPM is sufficient if you are looking to use the airbrush compressor for small jobs, like nail coloring. At least 20 LPM is needed for larger jobs such as body art, motorcycle repainting, or remodeling. For trucks and jobs that require a lot of power, you will need a compressor that has a rating of at least 30 LPM.

Moisture Trap

As mentioned above, airbrush compressors use outside air to operate. The air contains a certain percentage of moisture, which is also transmitted to the tank. Once the moisture enters the tank, it condenses. This moisture can cause a lot of problems during the painting process.

Although a moisture trap is a non-essential part of the airbrush compressor, it is still helpful. It reduces the moisture to a significant amount, which leads to lesser paint defects. A moisture trap collects the water in a receptacle, ensuring that even a small drop of water won’t mix with the paint. This part can be helpful, especially if you don’t plan on using acrylic paint.

Pressure Gauge and Regulator

Image by hsmith from Pixabay

Beginners need a pressure gauge to tell them how much pressure is present when in use. With the help of a pressure gauge, you will be able to read the current air pressure in your tank. In turn, you’ll know when to turn on or off your switch.

A regulator helps regulate the amount of pressure that goes to the brush. It also reduces the pressure in the tank to the pressure level that you need while painting. This part is helpful if your work requires a precise level of pressure adjustment.

Online Reviews

Aside from knowing what components to include in your airbrush compressor, you should also read online reviews on several brands and units. These online reviews will help you look for airbrush compressors at different price ranges and their unique features.


Anyone can use airbrushes for all kinds of projects that involve painting. However, no matter what kind of projects you want to do, you need an airbrush compressor to operate your airbrush required for the job. Thus, before buying one, you should know what you need first and arm yourself with adequate knowledge about airbrush compressors.