Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Non "Airbrush Company" compressors?

33 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, April 16, 2010 8:41 AM

Yeah, why overpay? I use a compressor I built myself 15 years ago and it still works. The heart of it is a compressor module hacked out of an old italian refrigerator. Very quiet, capable of high pressures and I got it for free. It sits in an aluminium frame (for free) connected to a pressure switch (another freebie). It's set to maintain pressure in 0.2 - 0.4 MPa range. Ten years ago it started to run a little hot, so I refilled the oil and it was OK again. The air volume is OK for airbrushes up to Paashe VL, the additional air tank is not necessary (the module housing plus extra line length do the compensation) and using Humbrols I didn't have any problems with the oil residue neither. I say you don't get any better compressor even if you pay a lot of money.

With the cheap compressors the problems you SOMETIMES get are lack of spare parts and excessive noise. So if you watch for theese, you should be OK. Happy modelling and have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Hobart, Tasmania
Posted by Konigwolf13 on Thursday, April 15, 2010 11:32 PM

I have a cheapo 2.5hp compressor works well for the last 18mnths, but they are noisy so I just fill up the tank and turn it off. The tank lasts at least 3-4 models in the 1/72- 1/35  ranges. My 350 scale yamato hull took about half the tank


  • Member since
    April 2010
  • From: Yuma, AZ
Posted by Ripcord on Thursday, April 15, 2010 11:21 PM

U use a craftsman air compressor in the garage.  I just turn it way down with a regulator and filter drier.  My airbrush even came with a coupler to connect it to the compressor hose. 


  • Member since
    May 2005
  • From: Left forever
Posted by Bgrigg on Thursday, April 15, 2010 11:12 PM

Most of the stuff at Harbor Freight are cheap knockoffs, and there would be a question about longevity. Now it could be that they work just fine and last for 2 or 3 years, and that might be worth the price of replacements. There is not reason they wouldn't work for airbrushes, as long as they push out air. Airbrushes don't really care where the air comes from, as long as it it clean and dry.

These come up pretty often as a question on the forums, and so far people either haven't bothered to get them, or they haven't come back and gave us a report.

You could be the first! Wink

So long folks!

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Mesa, AZ
Non "Airbrush Company" compressors?
Posted by jschlechty on Thursday, April 15, 2010 10:38 PM

I have a Paasche D500 compressor that I bought 7 or 8 years ago, and it is starting to die.  So I've been looking for a replacement compressor. (BTW I use it with an Iwata Eclipse airbrush).

Have any of you ever used a compressors that were not made by Badger, Iwata, Paasche, etc?  For example, at Harbor Freight I found several different compressors that were like 1-2 HP, zero - 100+ PSI, and had storage tanks as well.  They start for as low as $59.99!  Here is a page that has several listed:

What do you guys think about these non-model company compressors?  Would they work for airbrushing models?  Would you try one of these or pay 4-5 times the price for a similair model from Iwata or Paasche?

Is there some obvious reason not to try these that I'm over looking?  I'd really appreciate your experiences and thoughts on this.

Thanks in advance!



Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.