Trying to figure out the best airbrushes to buy can be somewhat of a headache especially for beginners. In this article, you will learn some basic techniques for beginners and find reviews to better understand the world of airbrushes.
Learning to use an airbrush requires patience and practice. Getting a smooth crisp line can be challenging in the beginning. I recommend a single action trigger if you are new to airbrushing. This helps to shorten the learning curve.
You can always try a dual-action trigger once you have learned airbrushing and gained some confidence in your own abilities.
Badger Sotar 2020 Airbrush
Designed to give a superior line for those extra fine details. Fine, Medium, and Wide needles are available. Sold separately.
Best Airbrush For Artists
Parts and accessories on available Blick
Paasche Millenium Airbrush
This is everything a beginner would need to get started except for the compressor and paints.
Best For Beginners
Keep reading to learn more about the different styles of airbrushes!
5 Of The Best Airbrushes Reviewed
These reviews are just a few of the best airbrushes that are highly recommended by actual people who have bought the product based on some of my research.
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
- Very affordable
- Great for beginners
- Large paint cup with cap
- Short lifespan
- Tip is extra fragile
- Cup cap could get stuck
If you are a beginner at airbrushing and looking for a less expensive airbrush then this could be the best choice. This product is made in China.
This airbrush features a 0.3mm nozzle and needle tip set. The gravity feed paint cup is 1/3 ounce with a dual trigger for extra paint control.
I recommend saving up for a more trusted brand but thought it was a good choice for beginners on a low budget.
Reviews of this product come in around 130 positive versus 70 critical. Some feedback also shows customers receiving the wrong product so make sure it has the Master Airbrush logo on the gun.
- Ergonomic design
- Good for beginners and professionals
- Long lifespan
- Larger needle
- Large paint well with cap
- Good quality
- Tip is fragile
- Needle set is not good for super fine detail
Iwata has become well known among professional airbrush artists. This brush feature’s a 0.5mm needle and nozzle set and a 1/3 oz gravity-feed container.
Higher priced but could be worth the money as this brush is made in Japan. It is also an internal mix airbrush with a dual-action trigger.
The reviews I read on this Iwata airbrush were very positive and have almost 200 just on Amazon.
The only real complaint was when removing the nozzle you could break the tip. 130 positive reviews versus 5 critical make this a highly recommended airbrush.
- 2 different size removable paint cups
- 2 different size needle sets
- Self centering nozzle
- Easy to clean
- High Quality
- Smaller size
- Fairly expensive
Being made in Germany this airbrush is a 2 in one that comes with a 2ml and a 5ml paint well.
A .2 mm and .4mm needle and nozzle set allows for broad strokes down to finer detailed strokes. Sporting a dual-action trigger for easier control of paint flow.
Although expensive the Harder Steenbeck Evolution airbrush appears to pass all the tests among users.
The 2 in one cup, needle, and nozzle sets provide more versatility and the smaller size feels good in your hand. With 75 customer ratings with no critical reviews makes this is one of the best money can buy.
- Performs well
- Comfortable to hold
- Multi purpose
- Hose included
- Water and solvent based
- Bottles are plastic
- No extra needles
This has a dual-action trigger with a siphon-feed.
Comes with a 0.7mm needle and nozzle, a 6-foot braided hose, wrench, 2-1 ounce bottles, 1/4 ounce tin color mixing cup, and a lesson book. Made in America.
The fact that the Paasche airbrush comes with a 6-foot hose saves you some money out of the gate.
Only 50 reviews and no critical feedback along with an affordable price tag make this a very solid choice. I think a smaller needle should come with this but it does not
- High Quality
- Performs intricate detail work
- Saving on paint
- Lifetime warranty on needle
- Need to be skilled with thinning your paint
- May need an adapter for the hose
- Mid price range
This is another quality American-made airbrush. Being that it is designed for fine details would suggest a 0.2mm needle and nozzle set but I am not sure.
More research may be needed if this is a concern. Comes with an extra-fine tip and a 2ml gravity feed cup. The trigger is a dual-action with an internal air and paint mixer.
I would definitely love to have this Badger airbrush simply because it is designed for finer detail work.
Finer detail needles and nozzles need extra care and paint thinning is a must. I recommend practicing before using it on any project.
With 250 reviews, 205 positives, and 26 critical, this is another solid contender for the best airbrush.
Beginners Guide to Best Airbrushes
We have all heard the phrase practice makes perfect. This is especially true to learning airbrushes. Getting that steady hand can be somewhat challenging. Applying the right amount of paint without runs is one of the first things to learn so your lines are crisp and clean. Here are just a few tips for practicing and getting comfortable with your airbrush.
Hitting Your Target
One of the best practices to do for beginners is what I like to call target practice. Knowing the exact center of the tip is not as easy to find as you may think. By drawing a grid with a pencil or pen, try spraying a small dot on each of the intersecting lines. This will help you to be more accurate when painting finer details. Get your dots as center as possible, the goal is to be dead center.
Staying On The Line
When I got my first airbrush I immediately hooked it up and started spraying and getting the feel for how everything worked. Then I found that trying to duplicate lines I had created with a pencil was much harder to do with an airbrush. On the same grid you used for target practice, try painting the grid lines you drew by hand. Keep the motion of your hand steady and smooth. Try drawing some shapes and curves once you do the grid for some even funner challenges. Hopefully, these exercises will help you to move in the right direction.
There are a few things you should know before buying an airbrush if you are a beginner.
As with most products the brand of airbrush can be a very important factor when making a purchase. There are many different brands of airbrushes on the market and the price range can vary greatly.
Some brands are more popular and new parts can easily be picked up at an art supply store. On the other hand, some nice airbrushes are made overseas which makes finding parts and accessories more difficult in some cases.
Best Types Of Airbrushes
The airbrush has come a long way and there are more uses in today’s modern society. They are used for many different forms of artwork from painting to cake decorating and even makeup.
Knowing the type of work you are using it for will help in making the right purchase.
3 Airbrush Trigger Types
Knowing the difference in the triggers on your airbrush will help with making a more informed buying decision.
1. Dual Action Trigger Airbrushes
In this type of trigger, you have to press down to start the airflow then pull back to deliver the paint to the surface. How much paint is released will be determined by how far you pull the trigger back.
Though harder to learn, this style of a trigger is most popular among artists due to the amount of control it gives you.
2. Single-action Trigger Airbrushes
If you have never tried airbrushing then this trigger type could be for you because of how easy it is to use. Unlike the dual-action, a press of the button is all it takes to start spraying paint.
Paint flow is controlled by twisting the adjustment screw which changes the distance the needle travels to the nozzle.
3. Automatic Trigger Airbrushes
This trigger is very similar to the dual-action. The only difference is you do not need to push down on the trigger to start the airflow. Airflow is automatic when you pull back on the trigger and the flow of paint is controlled by how far the trigger is pulled back.
Best Airbrushes – Feeds
There are 2 main types of feeds you will see when shopping for a new airbrush with the exception of a side feed which is exactly what it sounds like. e.
This type of airbrush has a paint cup on the top and does not require any air pressure adjustment to feed the paint through the gun. One of the benefits of this type of airbrush is light air pressure can be used to get finer lines without all the overspray.
The paint containers are somewhat smaller but this is good because airbrushes are saving on your paints.
Being the opposite of the gravity feed airbrush the siphon-feed puts the container on the bottom of the gun. Siphon feed airbrushes need air pressure to pull the paint from the paint container and get no help from gravity.
Typically, this airbrush type can hold more paint which can help with larger painting surfaces and longer spray times before having to refill your paint.
Best Airbrushes-Parts And Accessories
You may find that all the parts needed to successfully attach an airbrush to a compressor do not come with your airbrush or you may need new needles and nozzles.
This is the part that determines how fine or broad your paint stroke will be. Airbrush needles are measured in millimeters and range in size from 0.2mm to 0.7mm.
Smaller needles produce finer lines which makes them best for detail work. 0.5mm needles and up are used for broad paint strokes and covering larger areas.
Also, note that finer needles may require paint thinner to be added to avoid clogging the needle.
This part gives even more control over your brush strokes. In general the shorter the nozzle the broader the stroke. When buying just the airbrush nozzle pay careful attention that the nozzle is compatible with your needle size.
Nozzles are measured in the same way as the needles so be sure they match.
Although compressed air in a can will provide air for an airbrush it is limited and loses pressure. You need a consistent flow of air to operate an airbrush effectively. This is accomplished by most compressors but not all.
You want to make sure the airbrush compressor you are buying has its own tank and is able to regulate air pressure. Another thing to consider is how loud the compressor is.
Cleaning The Airbrush
After every use cleaning your airbrush will help keep it in the best working condition for a longer period of time.
While gravity feed airbrushes can be cleaned by running airbrush cleaner through the gun it is still a good idea to disassemble the gun for proper cleaning.
Siphon feed airbrushes need to be cleaned this way more often than not.
My Top Pick for Best Airbrushes
Though all the airbrushes reviewed above are good there were definitely some that stand apart.
The Harder Steenbeck Evolution stood out to me because of the ability to do a finer detailed piece while also having the means to go with a larger needle set to cover bigger areas more quickly.
The only real drawback if any may be the price since out of the 5 products reviewed it was the highest.
Hope this article and reviews have given some clarity into the world of Airbrushing. Thanks for reading.