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compressor advice

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  • Member since
    October 2015
  • From: Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
compressor advice
Posted by Brian Miller on Thursday, September 26, 2019 9:36 PM

So, I've moving in a few weeks and I'll have my own model room for the first time. I'll also be able to use an airbrush for the first time. I have airbrush, but no compressor. I have no idea what to get. I want something easy, cheap, and quiet, but I can probably have two of those and not all three. What do you guys use? Thanks.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, September 26, 2019 10:12 PM

Look into a CO2 tank.  10lb lasts a long time, cheap to fill.  Zero condensation and absolutely silent!  No I'm not a salesman.  



  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Friday, September 27, 2019 6:28 AM

The most that is required in adapting most any air compressor is an adapter for the threads your airbrush uses and an appropriate regulator with water trap, it's really not complicated. The complicatiion comes in over thinking it lol !. That said, a lot of people like the California Air Tools compressors. Another one that gets good reviews is the Point Zero airbrush compressor with tank at Amazon fwiw. I have one of their regulators and can attest that it's very well made. I think if I was looking for reasonable quietness for low money and decent quality I would start with one of these two brands vs say Paasche or some other airbrush name brand, though they may also be very good.

My own compressor is a home owners grade portable, noisy compressor with 8 gal tank. The good news is it only needs to be aired up every few days when airbrushing models, the bad news is it's very loud whern I do that. But while I'm painting models it's not even plugged in, so the noise is basically not relevent to me and it can power other kinds of air tools like nail guns and lvlp spray guns for heavier work. And it has the capacity to blow off models with plenty of air left over to paint them ( course you can use canned air and do that too with a small compressor).

  • Member since
    July 2018
  • From: The Deep Woods
Posted by Tickmagnet on Friday, September 27, 2019 10:05 AM

Look at the 1/5th HP airbrush compressors on Amazon. I have one I got from there that is a point zero brand. It's very quiet and works just great for the needs of airbrushing and are not expensive. It does vibrate around on my concrete basement floor so I put it in an open box which prevents that.



  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, September 27, 2019 11:09 AM

I use a Craftsman 1 hp compressor with a 3-gallon tank, but I use it to run air tools in the garage, as well as to run my airbrush.  It's noisy, but I live alone, in a single home, so I don't have to worry about disturbing anyone.

One of the guys in our club demonstrated an Iwata compressor that was as quiet as a refrigerator compressor, and it wasn't much bigger.  It had two attachments, so you could have two airbrushes connected at the same time.  He ran it at one of our meetings, which was in a small room, about 20"x20", at the back of a store.  It was really quiet, even in that close setting.

I don't remember the particular model, but I thought that if I were to migrate to a hobby-specific compressor, I'd look at Iwata's catalog, and probably get that particular model.

I know that doesn't help much, since I don't have the specifics, but you might want to look at Iwata's catalog.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.



  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, September 27, 2019 11:15 AM

Brian Miller

...I want something easy, cheap, and quiet, but I can probably have two of those and not all three. What do you guys use? Thanks.

Sorry, I overlooked that part of your question.
My Craftsman compressor and tank was around $90 when I bought it, on sale, at a Craftsman store.  It usually retails for around $110.  A little oil, and making sure I blow the tank dry to prevent moisture, and it's almost as good as new, after 17 years of use.
If I had to rank those three criteria, I'd put "cheap", or let's say, "reasonably priced", last.  I would rather look for something well-made and/or quiet first, because I approach the purpose from the viewpoint of being frugal.  That doesn't mean cheap-it means not wasting anything.
So I'd look for a well-built compressor, that will provide many years of service, and spend a little more up front for that, than to buy something for a lower price, but which might be less well-made, and therefore, would have to be replaced more frequently.  In that case, you will likely wind up spending more, in the long run, than if you buy something that has a higher price but will last longer.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.



  • Member since
    May 2013
Posted by Snibs on Friday, September 27, 2019 4:19 PM

Hi Brian.

If you just want it for a ab then these tick all your boxes.

had mine for about 9 years now with no problems.


On The Bench.



  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Atlanta
Posted by xedos on Sunday, November 3, 2019 9:24 AM

If I were starting out agian and didn't want to spend big money on a Silentaire I'd get this


Big capacity for airbrushing and can be used for other tasks around the house if needed.  Goes on sale every once in a while for 10-20 bucks less.

If I knew I would stick to the hobby (or simply had the means)  I'd have just gotten the Silentaire first without buying stuff in between.


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