Airbrush Compressors


Once you’ve chosen an airbrush the next thing to find is an air source. Cans of air and shop compressors can work in certain situations (we cover these in the glossary below) but most makers and creators find that a small air compressor is the best solution. Here’s what to look for when choosing a compressor for airbrushing:

  1. Horsepower: Make sure it is powerful enough to run your airbrush. If you are using a small tipped airbrush to spray thin colors, then this will be easy to find. If you are using a larger tipped airbrush like our Eclipse BCS to spray viscous textile paints like Createx Airbrush Colors, then you will want to make sure you take the time to choose a compressor that will suit your set up. We offer some quick recommendations below.
  2. Noise Level: Make sure that it is quiet. Shop compressors at hardware stores provide plenty of power but most users find that they are far too loud for making and creating with an airbrush. Look for a unit with a decibel rating of 60 dB or less. This is about the sound of a dishwasher. Your ears and your neighbors will thank you!
  3. Maintenance free operation: Choosing an oil free compressor will reduce the amount of time you have to devote to maintaining the unit and that means more time airbrushing.
  4. Practical: Make sure it is lightweight and easy to transport. This is especially important for painters who work on location or sets.
  5. Air regulation: Includes a way to regulate, that is, raise and lower your air pressure.
  6. Ready to Use: Has everything you need right out of the box to start using it: air hose, connectors that fit your equipment.
  7. Extra Features: Has the extra features you need for your creative work. If you aren’t sure what those are yet, we cover those in-depth in this article.

The Iwata compressors are designed with these criteria in mind. We offer a range of models that are a perfect fit for use in a studio or other small spaces. These units are compact, quiet, and easy to maintain. Plus they include everything you need to connect with your airbrush and get spraying. To make your choice easier we present our compressors in three pressure categories: Low, Low to Medium and Low to High. You can see our complete line of compressors here.

For those looking for a quick recommendation, here are three of our favorite units:

For low pressure applications with small tipped airbrushes, the ultra quiet NEO Air for Iwata proves an easy choice. Not only does it weigh less than a pound but it comes with a set of international plugs so it can be used anywhere in the world. For convenient air on the go, this is the one.

For general purpose or casual spraying, our Smart Jet Pro is an excellent choice. This quiet compressor is powerful enough to run even a large tipped airbrush like the Eclipse BCS, includes a moisture filtration out of the box as well as full air regulation and pressure gauge. Small and compact, the unit is housed in a sturdy carrying case and weights less than 12 lbs.

For those looking for even more power and features as well as ultra quiet operation, the Power Jet Pro is the way to go. This unit can run two airbrushes at once with full air regulation and gauge for each, or a single mini spray gun. It has a built in 2 liter storage tank for nearly silent operation when using the stored air. This is our most popular full featured unit.

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