An airbrush is quite a tricky product. If you’re looking to do fine artwork, you’d go for a specific kind of brush and if you want to paint your car, the same airbrush won’t work that well.
While it’s tricky enough to pick the right airbrush, separately finding other useful components and compressors will be an absolute pain.
For this very reason, a lot of manufacturers are selling airbrush kits. This way, you can get everything you’re looking for in a single go. They also make for very thoughtful gifts.
As a beginner, you’d also worry if spending a lot of money on an airbrush will be worth it. Cheaper options would seem lucrative but they may not perform up to your expectations. So striking a perfect balance between the performance you’re looking for and the price you’re willing to pay for it is indeed a tough task, especially if you the airbrush for miniatures, dioramas, or other intricate projects that require a good airbrush, in such cases, a cheap airbrush might bring frustration and poor performance.
In the end, you will find a couple of frequently asked questions that beginners have asked us in our diorama workshops before purchasing their first airbrush so please do cast a glance over them, they are extremely helpful, especially to airbrushing beginners.
Listed below are the 5 best beginner airbrush kits with compressors from our list:
- Iwata HP-CS Eclipse Master TC-20T Airbrush Kit. The Iwata HP-CS Eclipse Master TC-20T Airbrush Kit features a dual-action airbrush equipped with a 0.35mm needle providing precise and fine detail. This kit stands out due to the numerous additional components it offers which include an airbrush cleaner, reducer, an extended base, 50 plastic mixing cups, a cleaning pot, 100 mixing sticks, a universal airbrush holder, and a quick disconnect.
- Iwata Airbrush Deluxe Set. The Iwata Airbrush Deluxe Set offers a robust Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush with high flow feature suitable for atomizing a wide range of liquids. This kit is characterized by its wide spray range, ability to blend colors easily, and the inclusion of 10 1oz bottles of Com-Art Colours, an 8oz bottle of Medea Airbrush Cleaner, and an Artool Freehand Airbrush Template.
- Paasche TG-SET Talon/ Master TC-20T Airbrush Kit. The Paasche TG-SET Talon/Master TC-20T Airbrush Kit offers a top-of-the-line airbrush paired with a high-end compressor. This kit's notable feature is its 0.38mm needle which promises very fine detail, and a versatile model suitable for a wide range of artistry applications.
- MASTER G22 Airbrush/TC-20T Air Compressor. The Master G22 Airbrush Kit provides a basic model at an affordable price, making it an ideal choice for beginners. It offers a 0.33 mm airbrush tip, along with a Master TC-20T single-piston airbrush compressor for smooth, pulsation-free air delivery.
- Grex Tritium Series Airbrush Combo Kits. The high-quality Grex Tritium Series Airbrush Combo Kits assure consistent application even at lower pressures and are particularly well-suited to delicate or detailed projects. The kit is characterized by its quiet compressor and durable components.
Airbrushing is a great way to add detail and color to your artwork as it allows you to quickly and easily apply color in a variety of ways, making it ideal for a variety of projects. To help you get started, here is the list of the 8 best beginner airbrush kits with compressors:
1. Iwata HP-CS Eclipse Master TC-20T Airbrush Kit - Best for Comprehensive Performance
The Iwata HP-CS Eclipse\Master TC-20T Airbrush Kit is a wholesome option with some unique hard-to-miss features.
It comes with the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush which is a dual-action gravity feed airbrush. It features a 0.35mm needle for precise and fine detail. The airbrush also includes a 6-inch braided hose and a 1/3-ounce funnel-shaped gravity fluid cup.
The kit also includes the Master TC20-T airbrush compressor. It comes with a 0.92-gallon tank for constant air pressure and smoothened pulsations from the single-piston compressor. It is a compact and quiet lightweight compressor that includes an air filter, a gauge, and a regulator. The kit features a lot of extra components that are specifically very helpful to beginners. It has 12 primary opaque colors and also includes an airbrush cleaner, reducer, and an extended base. 50 plastic mixing cups, a 3 in 1 use airbrush cleaning pot with a solution, 100 mixing sticks, a universal airbrush holder, and a quick disconnect make this product one of the most complete ones available in the market.
The compressor and airbrush are the stars of the product and come with lots of useful additional features. The only problem would be the paint. Higher quality paint should be provided to maintain the standard of the overall kit.
What We Like
- Airbrush and compressor are amazing
- Additional features are provided
What We Don't Like
- Paint provided can be of better quality
2. Iwata Airbrush Deluxe Set - Best for Mid-Range Budget
The Iwata Airbrush Delux Set is one of the selling airbrush kits and is known for its robust build.
The kit includes the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush which is at the top of its line. It has a unique high-flow feature that helps to atomize a wide range of liquids without having to worry about thinning and reducing.
A very important advantage that this airbrush provides is a very wide spray range. We can paint anything from the finest of lines to the widest of sprays. It comes with a 0.24 oz/ 7ml cup which is a great deal for a good quality airbrush. It is possible to mix colors easily without much burden.
The kit contains an Iwata IS 850 Smart Jet compressor with auto shut-off technology, which is ideal for all low-medium pressures. A consistent pressure of 20-25 psi is produced and maintained by the preset airflow which if required can be lowered with the help of a bleed valve. Good quality side components like a hose and holder are included in the deal so you wouldn’t have to worry about which ones to buy.
Adding to all this, the kit also provides two guide DVDs, 10 1oz bottles of Com-Art Colours, a Pistol Grip Moisture Filter, an 8oz bottle of Medea Airbrush Cleaner, and an Artool Freehand Airbrush Template (FH-2 SP).
If we had to find something to moan about, it would be that the paint can be of better quality. Matched with your own paint, this kit is sure to make the artist in you very happy.
The Iwata Delux set contains almost everything you could think of to use with an airbrush. The product is highly thoughtful and well-designed. It may slightly be on the pricier side but is definitely worth the money.
What We Like
- Includes a modern Iwata Smart Jet IS 850 Compressor
- One of the best airbrushes available
- Comes with 10 bottles of 1 oz opaque and transparent Com-Art Colours
What We Don't Like
- Paint quality could be better
3. Paasche TG-SET Talon/ Master TC-20T Airbrush Kit - Best for Budget-Oriented Beginners
Fully packed with the Paasche TG-SET “Talon” Gravity Feed, the kit is a product you cannot miss.
The Talon provides a generous 0.4-ounce cup for better and more effective color mixing. The kit includes a high-end airbrush that features a special 0.38mm needle that promises very fine detail.
It also includes a top-of-the-line internal mix airbrush. The best part of this kit is undoubtedly the Master TC20-T airbrush compressor. It comes with a 0.92-gallon tank for constant air pressure and smoothened pulsations from the single-piston compressor. It is a compact and quiet lightweight compressor that includes an air filter, a gauge, and a regulator.
The only thing the kit is lacking is a few extra tips for the Talon that would’ve made it the best airbrush kit fair and square.
A versatile and reliable model, the Paasche is sure to not disappoint. The airbrush is a high-quality product and the compressor is smart and easy to use. Additional 0.25mm/0.66mm tips for the Talon handle will make the experience even better.
What We Like
- One of the best available airbrushes
- Compressor has a huge tank and great features
- airflow adjustment
What We Don't Like
- Could use two additional tips for the airbrush
4. MASTER G22 Airbrush/TC-20T Air Compressor
The Master G22 is a perfect choice for beginners who are unsure of the specific features they will be interested in as it is a basic model with great performance which is available at a very affordable price.
The kit has a Chinese-made Master G22 gravity feed airbrush. It includes a 0.33 mm airbrush tip and a ⅓ oz cup for effective color mixing. The icing on the cake here is the Master TC-20T single-piston airbrush compressor. It performs very well and comes well equipped with an air filter, an adjustable air pressure regulator, and an air storage tank. The air hose is 6 feet long and hence is easy to use. All unnecessary pulsing is minimized making the moisture separator work well.
The kit is versatile and can be used for various purposes ranging from fine art to motor graphics. Along with all these features, a guide to using the airbrush kit is provided with the product aimed at helping out users and especially, beginners.
A kit is a great option if you have a stringent upper cap on price. Otherwise, if you’re ready to spend a little more money, some options with many more features and better performance are available.
The kit is a great affordable option that is perfect for confused beginners who don’t know if spending a lot on features they don’t yet understand fully is a great idea. The kit could definitely use a few upgrades but at the price for which it’s available, it’s overall a good deal.
What We Like
- Compressor is an amazing option
What We Don't Like
- Airbrush is a little tricky when cleaning
- Confusing manual
5. Grex Tritium Series Airbrush Combo Kits
Are you looking for an airbrush kit versatile enough to handle projects ranging from scale models to canvas paintings? Look no further than the Grex Tritium Series Airbrush Combo Kits. In this review, we will discuss why we liked this kit and areas where it could be improved.
The Grex Tritium Series Airbrush Combo Kits deliver consistent application even at lower pressure, which is essential when you're working with delicate or detailed projects. The compressor is impressively quiet, making it a great choice for artists who need to focus on their work without being distracted by noise. Moreover, the quality of the materials and components included in this kit ensures its durability and longevity.
This kit does not come with any paints, which may be seen as a drawback for some users. However, we believe this allows artists to choose their preferred paints to match their specific project requirements. Although the kit is on the pricier side, its high-quality construction justifies the investment.
What We Like
- Consistent application even at lower pressure
- Quiet compressor
- High-quality components
What We Don't Like
- No paints included
- Pricier than some other kits
6. Master Airbrush Cool Runner II
Ideal for beginners, the Master Airbrush Cool Runner II is an easy-to-use airbrush kit with a great price-to-performance ratio. Let's explore why we liked it and what could be improved.
One of our favorites among airbrush kits, the Master Airbrush Cool Runner II is beginner-friendly and easy to clean. With three different airbrushes, a durable compressor, and a range of application accuracy, the kit delivers exceptional value for its price. We particularly appreciate the acrylic usage feature, which allows customizing strokes for various project types.
While it's a beginner-friendly model, the instructions included with the kit are not very detailed, which could pose a challenge for someone brand new to airbrushing. Additionally, the paints provided with the kit aren't of the highest quality.
What We Like
- Easy to use for beginners
- Large range of application accuracy
- Great value for the price
What We Don't Like
- Instructions lack detail
- Paints aren't high quality
7. U.S. Cake Supply Complete Cake Decorating Airbrush Kit
The U.S. Cake Supply Complete Cake Decorating Airbrush Kit is a game changer when it comes to cake, cookie, and cupcake decoration. We'll discuss what makes it appealing and areas where improvements would be welcome.
This airbrush kit is designed to accommodate users of all skill levels, including children. The ease of cleaning the airbrush and the inclusion of a range of airbrush food colors make the decorating process both enjoyable and simple. Furthermore, the user guide offers design techniques and tips to help create incredible connections.
One drawback to this cake-decorating airbrush kit is that some users report it is automatically set to the medium setting. It can be an issue for those who wish to start their decorations on a low setting.
What We Like
- Easy to clean
- Includes airbrush food colors
What We Don't Like
- Automatically set to the medium setting
8. Fehrominger Portable Cordless Airbrush Kit With Compressor
Cordless and incredibly versatile, the Fehrominger Portable Cordless Airbrush Kit With Compressor is perfect for projects that need cord-free portability. Let's explore its best features and areas of potential improvement.
With its rechargeable battery, easy portability, and capability for use with any medium, this airbrush kit is a fantastic choice for decorators who wish to work without cords. Its compatibility with cake decorating makes it a versatile and valuable asset for bakers.
While the cordless feature is great, this airbrush kit is more suited for small projects due to its limited battery life. Users may need to recharge it frequently during larger, more time-consuming jobs.
What We Like
- Cordless and portable
- Rechargeable battery
- Suitable for various mediums
What We Don't Like
- Better for small projects
- Limited battery life
What is the Best Airbrush Kit for Beginner Artists?
This section presents a detailed comparison of airbrush kits tailored for novice artists. The table below meticulously evaluates key features, encompassing Airbrush Type, Compressor Type, Air Pressure, Nozzle Size, and Airbrush Cup Capacity.
|Product||Airbrush Type||Compressor Type||Air Pressure (psi)||Nozzle Size (mm)||Airbrush Cup Capacity|
|Iwata HP-CS Eclipse Master TC-20T Airbrush Kit||Gravity-feed||Piston||1-50||0.35||1/3 oz|
|Iwata Airbrush Deluxe Set||Gravity-feed||Diaphragm||1-40||0.35||1/3 oz|
|Paasche TG-SET Talon/ Master TC-20T Airbrush Kit||Gravity-feed||Piston||1-40||0.38||N/A|
|MASTER G22 Airbrush/TC-20T Air Compressor||Siphon-feed||Piston||0-40||0.3-0.5||N/A|
|Grex Tritium Series Airbrush Combo Kits||Gravity-feed/Dual-act||Piston/Rotary-vane motor||0-30||0.2-0.5||1/2 oz|
|Master Airbrush Cool Runner II||Siphon-feed||Piston||0-57||0.2-0.3||1/3 oz|
|U.S. Cake Supply Complete Cake Decorating Airbrush Kit||Gravity-feed||Diaphragm||0-25||0.4||N/A|
|Fehrominger Portable Cordless Airbrush Kit With Compressor||Gravity-feed||Piston||0-20||0.3||40 cc|
Types of Airbrushes
Single-action airbrushes are the simplest type of airbrush. They consist of a basic trigger mechanism that controls the airflow and the amount of paint released.
Double-action airbrushes, on the other hand, have two triggers instead of one. The first trigger controls the airflow, while the second trigger controls the amount of paint released.
Internal-mix airbrushes mix the air and paint inside the airbrush, creating a finer atomization of the paint for a smoother finish.
External-mix airbrushes mix the air and paint outside of the airbrush, creating a more coarse atomization of the paint for a rougher finish.
Buying Guide for the Best Airbrush Kits with Compressor
Airbrushing is a versatile and enjoyable hobby for beginners and professionals alike. To help you kick-start your airbrushing journey, this comprehensive buying guide will provide you with the key factors to consider when choosing the best airbrush kit with a compressor for beginners. It will also offer an essential tip to help with your airbrushing experience.
1. Nozzle and Needle Sizes
Choose an appropriate nozzle and needle size based on the type of project and the level of detail you want to achieve. A smaller needle (0.2mm) will give finer detail work, whereas a larger needle (0.35-0.5mm) is better for broader strokes and coverage.
2. The Compressor
Ensure that the compressor has enough power for your airbrush and consider the following factors:
a. Pressure Levels
An adjustable compressor with a pressure regulator and moisture trap ensures that airbrushing is consistent, precise, and free of possible contaminants. Look for a compressor with a broad pressure range (from 10-60 PSI) that covers most airbrushing tasks.
b. Noise Levels
Quieter compressors are ideal for residential areas or shared spaces. You can find quality compressors with a noise level between 40-60 dB.
3. Additional Accessories
Ensure the kit includes essential accessories to avoid incurring extra costs. Some of these are:
- Cleaning brush
- Mixing cups
- Quick-release coupler
4. Brand and Customer Support
Choose a product from a reputable brand with good customer support. Look for warranties, availability of replacement parts, and user reviews or ratings to ensure your purchase is value for money.
5. Price Range
Beginner airbrush kits with compressors can vary in price. Determine your budget and compare kits within your range, weighing features and overall value.
6. Skill Level
Consider your current skill level, objectives, and the projects you'd like to work on. Some beginners may prefer a simple and affordable kit, while others might invest in advanced kits to sustain their growth in the hobby.
Always practice basic maintenance and cleaning to ensure your airbrush kit works effectively and lasts longer. Develop a habit of cleaning your airbrush after each use and familiarize yourself with the assembly and disassembly process.
Remember: With the information mentioned above, choose the best airbrush kit with a compressor that suits your budget, skill level, and project requirements. Happy airbrushing!
Tips for Airbrushing Beginners
The process of airbrushing involves the use of compressed air to spray paint onto a surface. It is a great way to create unique and interesting designs, and it is relatively easy to learn. However, for beginners, it can be a bit daunting so to help you out, here are some tips to help ensure success when beginning to airbrush.
Choosing the Right Compressor
When it comes to airbrushing, the right compressor is essential, a compressor that is powerful enough to create the desired effect, yet not so powerful that it could cause damage to surfaces.
The size of the compressor should also be taken into consideration at all times, for each project, as it should be able to fit into the space the user has available easily, a huge chunky compressor, while powerful, might be a huge downside in a small airbrushing studio.
Cleaning Your Airbrush
Cleanliness is key when it comes to airbrushing, without an exemplary clean, an airbrush can be used only once and thus after each use, the airbrush should be cleaned with mild detergent and warm water.
This will prevent paint from clogging the nozzle and maintain the airbrush in good condition.
It is also important to ensure that all parts of the airbrush are thoroughly dried before the next use, so take your time when you change the paint in the airbrush.
What is the difference between an internal and external mix airbrush?
The difference between an internal and external mix airbrush lies in the method of paint atomization. An internal mix airbrush is usually recommended for work that requires fine detail, while an external mix airbrush is best suited for applications involving thicker mediums.
What is the difference between single and double action airbrush?
Contrasting single and double action airbrush hinges on the level of control during operation. In a single-action airbrush, air and paint flow are simultaneous when the trigger is pressed.
A double-action airbrush requires pressing the trigger to manage the airflow, and pulling the trigger back regulates the paint flow. The enhanced flexibility and control make double-action airbrushes generally more preferred than their single-action counterparts.
What is the difference between gravity and siphon-feed airbrushes?
The difference between gravity and siphon-feed airbrushes lies primarily in the optimal usage scenario. Siphon feed is often the preferred method when painting large areas with complex designs due to its excellent visibility, while gravity feed excels for high-detail work, thanks to its efficient function at low pressures and greater flexibility, with the only drawback being a somewhat compromised visibility.
Which size nozzle/needle is the best?
How important is trigger control when using an airbrush?
The importance of trigger control becomes paramount, especially for beginners using an airbrush. Trigger control limits the needle's movement when pulled, reducing the paint's atomization and significantly enhancing your control over the tool.
This feature proves exceptionally beneficial for those just beginning their journey with airbrushing.
How much should I pay for a beginner airbrush kit?
The typical spending range for a beginner airbrush kit is approximately between $50 and $200. While newbie airbrush artists might hesitate to invest in more high-end equipment, it's noteworthy that low-quality airbrushes often deliver subpar performance and tend to malfunction over time.
While high-priced airbrushes may not be essential for beginners, investing in the cheapest alternatives could lead to higher long-term costs.