This is our review of the best airbrush kits for beginners.
I have done hours of research online reading reviews and watching tutorials. Comparing actual user’s comments to come up with the best products to review and I pass what I have learned on to you.
It may not be the cheapest but Craig Fraser’s Magic Box of Tricks is definitely the best overall airbrush for beginners.
All airbrushes are not equal so I provided reviews to just a few of the more popular brands of airbrush kits. If you already have the equipment necessary to run an airbrush and just want a single airbrush then read my mini-reviews on the best airbrushes.
Keep reading and who knows you might find what you are looking for.
Best Airbrush Kits for Beginners Reviewed
All of the airbrush kits on this list are great for beginners but can also work for the professional wanting to try a ready-to-go airbrush set.
Please read all safety precautions before using any of these kits. Well ventilated workspaces and personal protective equipment is always a good idea.
Categories for Best Airbrush Kits for Beginners
We have placed each airbrush in its own unique category we thought would be best suited for each individual set.
They are as follows:
- Best Overall
- Best for Models and Miniatures
- Best for Beginners
- Best for Budget
- Best for Cosmetic Makeup
“Best Airbrush Kit Overall”
This is a top-of-the-line airbrush kit that provides training and equipment to get started fast. This airbrushing system was put together by Craig Fraser who is an automotive airbrush professional with years of experience.
- Iwata Eclipse CS Airbrush
- Iwata Studio Series Smart Jet Compressor
- Airbrush hose
- 6 – 2oz bottles Createx Wicked Color Detail Paint
- FX freehand template
- Skull Freehand Template
- 8oz bottle Airbrush Cleaner and lubricant
- Automotive Cheap Tricks & Special FX 2 book
- Craig Fraser’s Instructional DVD
- Moisture Trap
- Auto Shut-off
- Dual Action Trigger
- Gravity Feed
- .24 oz paint cup
- 20 – 25 psi
- Pressure Gauge
- Air intake filter
- Airbrush holder
Craig Fraser is an airbrushing wizard and has many videos on Youtube that can help most beginners. The book and DVD included in this airbrush kit provide some of the best practice exercises and techniques he has learned from decades of painting.
The Iwata Eclipse CS airbrush is a professional gravity-feed dual-action airbrush with a high internal mix flow that allows for atomizing a variety of paints. This lessens the need for reducing or thinning your paints.
Though the compressor does not have an air tank it does have the auto shut off that provides a longer life span for the compressor motor.
6 paint colors included are white, black, yellow, cobalt blue, carmine, and reducer. Combined with 4 templates, getting started couldn’t be easier.
“Best Airbrush Kit for Miniatures & Models”
Blick and Badger teamed up to bring you this all-in-one airbrushing kit well suited to beginners and will work for a variety of airbrushing projects.
- Badger 150 Airbrush
- Badger Airstorm Compressor
- 6-2oz bottles Badger Spectra Tex Colors
- 6 foot braided airbrush hose
- 16oz bottle airbrush cleaner
- Airbrush start to finish DVD
- Dual action trigger
- Sipon Feed
- ¼ oz color cup
- ¾ oz color jar
- 3oz mixing jar
- Airbrush holder
- 6-2mm fast blast caps
The Badger 150 internal mix, dual-action airbrush is capable of fine art but is the go-to airbrush for many hobbyists who enjoy painting models and small figures. You can get a line from around ⅛ inch for finer details up to 2 inches for covering large areas fast.
The Badger Airstorm Compressor is a ⅙ horsepower capable of 52psi which complements the airbrush in this kit. One thing I did not like, there is no regulator or moisture trap. I would recommend buying these components if you plan on using the system for prolonged periods of time to keep the moisture from diluting your paints.
The water-based colors included in this set are intense white, opaque jet black, classic red, brilliant blue, light brown, and brilliant yellow. This kit needs a cleaning pot to really complete the set.
The 6 fast blast caps will screw right onto the bottles plus the DVD makes it quick and easy to get started airbrushing.
“Best Airbrush Kit for Beginners”
Though all these kits are mostly designed for those just starting with airbrushing I thought this was the best-rounded kit to fit most beginners.
- Iwata Eclipse HP-CS Airbrush
- Smart Jet Compressor with hose
- Universal spray out pot
- 5-1oz bottles Com Art opaque colors
- Nozzle wrench
- 3 extra small cleaning brushes
- 50 pipe cleaners
- 12 studio wipes
- 10oz airbrush cleaner
- .68oz Iwata airbrush lube
- 30x-60x LED magnifier
- .35mm needle/nozzle combination
- Moisture trap
- Instructionable brochure
- Gravity feed
- 35 psi
This airbrush kit is very similar to our best overall airbrush kit minus some of the features and is somewhat less expensive.
This airbrush is capable of spraying fine detailed lines and high paint flow projects with a capacity for heavier acrylic to standard airbrush paints.
Iwata Smart Jet Compressors are zero maintenance and oil-free with a compact design for easy portability. It also has an auto shut-off and is capable of 35psi.
The hanger on the spray-out pot is designed to accept most airbrushes which helps eliminate overspray and allows for quicker paint color changes. It May not work as well with a trigger or pistol grip style airbrush.
The airbrush cleaning kit makes this a well-rounded airbrush kit and comes in a nice plastic storage case.
“Best Airbrush Kit for Budget”
If you are worried about spending too much money or want to test out airbrushing then this could be the set for you as it is priced more affordably and will not break the bank if you decide airbrushing is not for you.
- Neo CN Airbrush
- Neo Air Compressor
- Airbrush Holder
- Air Hose
- .24oz color mixing cup
- .05oz cup
- Online Instructions and lessons
- 3-1oz bottles of paint
- 1oz bottle of airbrush cleaner
- Dual action control
- 3 air pressure settings
- Gravity feed
- 4-15 psi
This airbrush is the right choice for smaller projects and learning. Specifically designed for low air pressure atomizing that will deliver a soft coverage of paint evenly.
Neo air compressors are lightweight (under 1 pound) with a single off/on switch that also controls 3 variable pressure settings.
The box is also a carrying case with a handle making this set a very portable option.
Comes with red, yellow, and blue paints to get you going quickly. Very affordable but is also the bare minimum for airbrushing.
“Best Airbrush Kit for Cosmetic Makeup”
With this portable and easy-to-use airbrush kit, you can apply makeup smoothly without touching your face for that flawless-looking skin.
- 4-.25oz bottles airbrush foundation
- 1-.25oz bottle Moisturizing primer
- 1-.25oz bottle Blush
- 1-.25oz bottle Brightening glow
- Instructional DVD
- No mess tip
- 1-year warranty
- Easy to clean
- Turn on and go
Luminess has a full line of airbrush cosmetics that will cover any skin tone. Be sure to pick the tones that are best suited for you before buying. Light, medium, and dark.
Dermatologists tested and recommended cosmetics that allow your skin to breathe without caking up.
Applying heavier coats helps to cover wrinkles giving you the look of younger skin.
For best results run water through the airbrush and tip to keep everything running smoothly. For deeper cleaning, you can use q-tips.
Best Airbrush Kits Buyers Guide
There are some things you should keep in mind when buying an airbrush kit. Below is a list of things to use as a guide for a better airbrushing experience.
What To Look For
Before purchasing an airbrush kit you need to be sure that it has all the necessary components you are looking for. Some kits come with more or fewer accessories and could result in you having to buy additional parts or supplies if you’re not careful.
Brands And Manufacturers
As with most products, there can be huge variations in quality based on the brand you are buying. A good rule of thumb is to not always go for the cheapest brand of airbrush kits.
I believe the only exception to this rule may be for beginners as this will allow for the most affordable way to get the practice you need but if you’re really serious then I recommend getting the best quality airbrush kit you can afford.
One side note here is that almost all quality art supplies will be more expensive.
The Iwata and Badger Airbrushes are among the highest quality and are considered the best airbrushes overall.
Needle And Nozzle Size
The size of these 2 components will allow more or less paint to pass through the airbrush.
Many airbrush kits come in multiple sizes which gives the artist more flexibility for covering larger areas down to fine detail work.
As a general rule the smaller the needle and nozzle (also known as the tip) the finer the line sprayed will be.
One other thing to note is a medium size of around .35mm will allow for a fairly fine line of about .3mm to be achieved in a skilled hand making this a good size to practice with for beginners.
Necessary Airbrush Accessories
Not all airbrush kits are created equal. Some come with all the equipment you need and others do not. Here is a brief summary of some other supplies you will need to consider when buying an airbrush.
When buying a compressor it is important to know the specifics such as how loud it is, how hot does it run, how portable it is, and last but not least does it have a regulator and moisture trap?
All of these are important factors to consider and could make or break your budget.
These are used for clearing out all the excess paint from the gun after use or when changing paint colors.
These can be alcohol-based cleaners you spray through the gun to clear excess paint out of the components when changing paints or finished painting.
Always clean your airbrush when you are done to prevent future pain and suffering.
I have also heard of some people using acetone but I recommend only using specified airbrush cleaners so you do not accidentally damage your airbrush components.
Many paints for airbrushing require you to thin before running through the gun. Some paints come pre-thinned so it is important to know what kind of paint you have because it can be aggravating to have the gun clog before you even get started.
Cleaning brushes and Kits
There are brushes you need to thoroughly clean the parts of your airbrush to ensure proper functionality every time you want to use it.
There are entire cleaning kits that have everything you need to keep your airbrush at its peak performance that will not break the bank and is also the best alternative for most painters.
Q&A about Airbrush Kits
Here are some helpful facts to help you find your next airbrush kit. For a more in-depth answer to these questions and more check out this airbrush basics guide by Iwata.
What is the difference between internal and external mix airbrushes?
Internal mix means the paint is put directly into the center stream of air and is atomized inside the airbrush providing a smoother and even application of paint.
External mix means the paint is added to the airstream outside the airbrush which is easier to clean but gives a coarser atomizing that causes a more uneven spray.
How do I clean my airbrush?
There are solvent and water-based cleaners you can run through the gun to clean but for deep cleaning the airbrush must be disassembled to clean each individual part. There are cleaning kits to help accomplish this routinely done task.
What is the difference between a single and dual-action trigger?
A single-action trigger airbrush has separate controls for airflow and paint. The amount of air through the gun is controlled by the trigger while the paint flow is controlled by a dial on the brush.
A dual-action trigger allows control of the paint and airflow at the same time. The more pressure you apply by pressing down the more air you will get. While the further you pull back on the trigger controls the amount of paint.
The price of airbrushes can get rather high but in most cases, you can bet you are getting better quality.
Airbrushing takes time and patience to learn but can produce top satisfying results if you stick with it.
Our choice for the best airbrush kit was not easy as they all have good and bad attributes. We chose Craig Fraser’s Magic Box of Tricks because of the ability to paint in just about all the different categories we talked about above.