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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All..

My mom and dad surprised me with an AZTEK airbrush.. I cant wait to start learning how to use it, but I need a compressor..

I have never had an airbrush before, so dont know the value of the different price points in compressors... Was thinking of just getting the testors mini blue one (like $150) But they have some also for 350, etc...

Any help would be great.. I am on a budget though :)
 

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I would check out menards or something similar even wal mart they have very good oiless and oil filled compressors fro less than the testors that will do more than air brush. they are also a little more durable in my opinion. I bought my compressor at tractor supply store 3 years ago still runs like new. I had a bought a hobby size compressor and was lucky to get a year out of it. plus the compressor I bought had a resevoir on it so it did not run constantly like the small hobby compressors and this helps with durability as well. plus I don't think the hobbyt ones come with a regulator. regulators are a great tool to have I know it came on mine when I bought it. hope this helps
 

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I have used an airbrush for about 35 years and have sold airbrushes and compressors for 20 years...

I do not recommend any of the Testors compressors. Yes they will work, but they are expensive and very limited in what you can actually do with them.

I use a Campbell Hasufeld tank compressor I bought at Wal Mart. It ran me under $100 including an add on moisture trap and some threaded stub inserts to hook up the air hose and trap. It has a built in pressure regulator. I can either fill the tank, turn the motor off, and spray from the tank until the pressure drops too much, or keep the motor on and now and then it will kick in and refill the tank. Noise wise its about the same as the Testors stuff. Its not super quiet but no louder than a lot of household things IMHO.

The Testors compressors operate at a fixed pressure and fitting additional fittings to them is possible but just more expensive.

You can get some good quality airbrush compressors from badger, Paasche, Iwata, etc. but they are also very expensive compared to a small shop compressor, if you are on a budget.
 

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I have a Coleman 2.5 gallon compressor that I got at Pep Boys about five years ago and it hasn't let me down yet. It has a regulator on it, but no moisture trap. At the time, I think I paid about $35.00 for it. Similar compressors are still sold for about $10-15.00 more today.
 

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Whatever you do, DO NOT BUY CANNED AIR!!! Total waste of time and money. They are small and don't last very long, but the worst part is that they freeze up after a couple of minutes of use.

As mentioned before, look around and get a compressor or air tank that'll fit your budget. Once you get comfortable with your airbrush, then you can come to the dark side... :p

Rob
Iwata Padawan
 

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This may not be what your looking for but about 12 years ago I purchased a 2 hp compressor with 8 gal tank at a local home supply store for about 130.00 dollars, with a built in regulator. Now that is overkill for a modeling compressor, I purchased 50 feet of extension hose which allows my to park the compressor and just drag the tool and hose to my work area. I also use it for a brad nail gun on household building projects, a large paint sprayer I have used several times painting the outside of the house and my Grand Daughters new playhouse. I air up tires on the family cars and you have to have a blower tip for cleaning out the garage after a big project. It's not quite when the tank is filling up but the unit does a wide variety of tasks, I added a moisture trap and found a hobby regulator that I just attach the hose from the compressor to and I can have better pressure control for modeling projects.
 

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Ok.. I wasnt sure that regular air compressors worked with airbrushes... Im REALLY new to this...

So, something like this would work?

http://www.google.com/products/cata...ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CB4Q8wIwAw#ps-sellers
yes, i have a small "pancake tank" compressor like that one for my house, and a larger one at my studio. it works quite fine, and its also very handy to have around the house. personally ive had bad experience with the C-H brand, but there are many manufacturers of similar compressors. ive always had good service from my craftsman brand compressors.
remember art supplies, including "airbrush" compressors, are always priced much higher than similar items that arent considered "specialty" products. in the case of the airbrush compressors, they are also under-powered.
 

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I have had my C-H now for about 8 years. I guess if it did crap out, I'd still say I got my $80 out of it. But I have not any any issues myself. Craftsman would be good. Harbor Freight even has some small compressors. I doubt they are particularly well made but they can be very inexpensive. I wouldn't feel bad killing a $35 compressor in 3 years. I would just buy a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Got an awesome HUSKY brand 2 gallon compressor with adjustable flow from HOME DEPOT for $70! It included a nail gun and tire inflator also :)
 

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Got an awesome HUSKY brand 2 gallon compressor with adjustable flow from HOME DEPOT for $70! It included a nail gun and tire inflator also :)
those look like a bargain. they only put them out during the gift giving seasons (xmas, father's day) so if youre so inclined, grab one now!
 

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That would be good and you can't beat the price. Even at twice the price its better than the poor Testors Blue compressor! And you get some tools with it.
 

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I used to use a compressor, but about 10 years ago I switched to CO2, as in, I bought a large yellow Carbon Dioxide tank with a regulator for about 150 bucks. The tank is about 4 feet tall, and even with heavy use lasts at LEAST a year, usually much longer. Such a large tank doesn't freeze up and lose pressure, and it gives a constant, steady dry propellant supply that is COMPLETELY silent, with no water traps to empty. And it only cost me about 15 bucks to refill a couple years back.

Just another option to consider.
 

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If you live in an apartment or complex of some sort I could definitely see a small compressor that runs silent being only good for you. If this is the case try Michael's and Hobby Lobby. Both offer 40-50% off coupons making the hobby compressor worth the money.
If that is not the case then going to a big box store and buying a regular air compressor will yield many more uses for you.

Good Luck!
Chris
 

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I used to use a compressor, but about 10 years ago I switched to CO2, as in, I bought a large yellow Carbon Dioxide tank with a regulator for about 150 bucks. The tank is about 4 feet tall, and even with heavy use lasts at LEAST a year, usually much longer. Such a large tank doesn't freeze up and lose pressure, and it gives a constant, steady dry propellant supply that is COMPLETELY silent, with no water traps to empty. And it only cost me about 15 bucks to refill a couple years back.

Just another option to consider.
Good point - large CO2 tanks are perfect for home use. Unfortunately, around here they go for about $300 and you have to get them certified every couple of years. We use them all the time for Make & Takes and have never had a problem with them.

Rob
Iwata Padawan
 

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another vote for small pancake compressors. Being able to fill auto and bike tires quickly and easily is worth the price.

As others have said, you need to add a moisture trap. You can either get one made for storage compressors (about $30 at Home Depot) or one that goes in the airbrush hose (about $15 from hobby stores). They'll spit water (condensed from what is naturally in the air) on your project ruining the finish otherwise.

Also be sure to read the instructions that come with the compressor before first use. The oil-less types (at least the Porter-Cable pancake compressor I bought) have a break-in procedure that involves running them for several minutes (20?) with the relief valve open to avoid making pressure. Most problems result from improper break-in.
 
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