Beginner Airbrush Air Compressor Guide
ACSupply does not currently sell airbrush compressors directly due to shipping/inventory limitations - but I'm happy to share my knowledge and advice to get you set up with a good compressor!I've included Amazon Purchase Links at the bottom of this page
Airbrushing Requires an air compressor capable of maintaining around 30-60psi (2-4 Bar). Most cheap air compressors from your local hardware store meet these requirements with no problem.
While there are several factors to consider for personal convenience, there will be no change in your airbrush behavior or artwork quality due to compressor brand, size, model, etc.
Providing your airbrush with the right amount of pressure, and keeping moisture out of your lines, are the only things that matter.
A few things you may want to consider:
Noise: Typical air compressors are loud, and run often, if not continuously.
"Silent" Air compressors (like the ones I've linked below) are not actually silent but Significantly quieter than standard compressors, and highly recommended for indoor airbrush work.
Silent airbrush compressors are certainly still audible, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO YELL EVERYTHING WHILE THEY'RE RUNNING.. you can have a normal conversation right beside them, just fine.
Size: Larger tank sizes will allow your air compressor to go longer between fill-up cycles, but don't make those cycles any quieter.
Oil + Maintenance: Most Compressors are "Oil-Free" which is a misnomer - they still use oil, but don't require require the user to add or maintain the oil level themselves. You want this, unless you like extra work.
Moisture and Humidity: Airbrush compressors take in air from their surroundings. If that air has moisture in it, the moisture can build up in your compressor and make it's way through into your airbrush hose and airbrush itself - you'll be spraying water with your air. We don't want that.
Simple enough solution - a moisture trap. Many airbrush compressors come with a moisture trap. If yours doesn't, grab one. They're cheap, easy to install, and will save you frustration and potentially damaged equipment.
Purchase Links for Airbrush Compressors
My favorite California Air Tools UltraQuiet air compressors:
- Small, easily portable 1Gal compressor ~ $105 (I use this for travel events)
- Large, wheeled 8Gal compressor ~ $165 (I use this in my studio)
Other quiet Airbrush Compressors with good ratings: