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Published Dec. 11, 2020

Even for beginner artists, a high-quality airbrushing setup can give you truly professional results. When you choose something with a versatile yet powerful spray, you get smooth, high-grade results. Of course, the kit you need depends on what you plan to paint. You want a system that’s compatible with paints that adhere well to the surface you plan to paint. It’s also important to ensure that the system is either heavy-duty or portable enough to meet your needs. To help you find the best airbrush kits, we’ve curated a list of the top selections on the market. Let’s check out the leaderboard.

The Best Airbrush Kits

If you want professional quality, take a look at the Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System. It is very user-friendly, meaning you don’t have to be an expert to get good results. For extra support, this setup comes with an instruction book to highlight tips and tricks for painting. In terms of the airbrush system itself, it features a 6-foot hose for lengthy reach. With a quality portable compressor that’s easy to store and tow, you can travel with your airbrush setup. The paint comes out of a tip that’s less than half a centimeter wide. This enables precision artwork. It works effectively on all surfaces, ranging from home decor to automobiles. The handle is easy to grip and control, letting you create the art you desire. Given its user-friendliness and efficiency, this is a solid option overall.

Key Features
  • Multi-purpose Model G22 airbrush
  • 6-foot air hose
  • Removable airbrush holder
  • Instructional book included
Specification
  • Brand Master Airbrush
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 2.84 pounds
PROS

User friendly

Fosters precision paintwork

Ergonomic handle

CONS

Fragile construction

Not easy to clean

Pump is a little weak

Is portability your focus? If so, then consider the Ylingsu Cordless Automatic Airbrush Kit. It is a small system that operates without a hose. This maximizes your range of motion and lets you reach tricky locations that versions with cords can’t access. With its rechargeable air pump, you can get just under an hour of power from a single charge. In between uses, simply plug it in via USB to any power supply. The airbrush itself offers precise control over the paint. Since it is a handheld system, it’s heavier than some other models (though still light enough for comfort). Easy to use, the ergonomic structure makes it easy to keep a grip on the structure. The airbrush paint container is quick to both fill and clean, letting you work efficiently and precisely.

Key Features
  • Rechargeable air pump
  • USB power supply
  • Handheld system
  • Ergonomic
Specification
  • Brand Ylingsu
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 1.1 pounds
PROS

Portable

Provides precise control

Easy to use and clean

CONS

Spray tends to be light

Battery doesn’t last very long or hold a charge

Looking for something sleek and easy to carry? Check out the Gocheer Mini Airbrush Kit. It’s suitable for beginners and more experienced artists alike. The kit itself is compatible with a wide range of paint types. This means you can use the system to decorate all types of surfaces. The system incorporates a unique trigger mechanism. It gives you full control over the air supply and the hue you’re applying. You can adjust the size of lines and how thickly you apply the paint to achieve more advanced shading techniques. It’s quick to set up and easy to bring with you wherever you go. This kit comes with a hose and multiple accessories to help you craft the ideal design. It’s easy to maintain, particularly since the compressor filters out humidity. This keeps both your paint and the airbrusher in optimal condition for longer.

Key Features
  • Dual-action trigger
  • Ideal for a variety of applications
  • Accessories included
  • Filters out humidity
Specification
  • Brand Gocheer
  • Model Mini Airbrush Kit
  • Weight 2.23 pounds
PROS

Easy to use

High-quality components

Easy to refill fluids

CONS

Directions are not that good

You can only use one paint color at a time

Whether you’re a beginner or just focused on simplicity, the Neo Products CN Gravity Feed Airbrush is a great option. It operates on an analog basis. This means that the paint feeds into the brush using the natural force of gravity. This is ideal for low-pressure environments since you don’t rely on artificial pressure for the paint supply. With a fine tip and sturdy nozzle, this airbrush system gives you precise control over detailing. This airbrush is compatible with all types of paint, meaning you can use it on any surface. Since it’s handheld, you can reach even the most difficult areas. The paint flows out at a variety of pressures, though is best-suited for smaller compressor units. Easy to clean and maintain, this airbrush system is an ideal solution for beginners.

Key Features
  • Gravity-feed airbrushes
  • 0.35-mm needle and nozzle
  • Suitable for most surfaces
  • Handheld
Specification
  • Brand Neo Products
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 8 ounces
PROS

Beginner friendly

Provides precise control

Simple to maintain

CONS

A little tricky to clean

Nozzle can clog

Paint must be very thin to use it

Looking for a top-quality kit? The Iwata-Medea Eclipse HP CS Dual Action Airbrush Gun is an optimal solution. Designed for versatility, the system lets you choose between a range of paint thicknesses. The fine tip is ideal for details while the widest setting is best-suited for covering large areas. It incorporates a smart nozzle that centers automatically. The paint feeds via gravity to the system to accommodate humid and low-pressure areas. Offering a full third-ounce paint supply at any given time, you can tackle major projects with ease. The comfortable grip lets you effectively control the paint’s direction and intensity. It’s ideally suited to acrylic paints, though can work with other selections. This selection is simple to upkeep and designed to last over the long-term. For advanced artists, this is a premium airbrush kit.

Key Features
  • 0.35mm needle
  • ⅓-ounce gravity-feed cup
  • Hairline to 2-inch spray pattern
  • Comfortable grip
Specification
  • Brand Iwata-Madea
  • Model ECL 4500
  • Weight 1.6 ounces
PROS

Versatile

Premium quality

Fine tip for details

CONS

Time-consuming to clean it

Pricey

May clog with certain acrylics

If you’re looking for a top-notch airbrush kit, we recommend the Master Airbrush Professional Cool Runner II. This system comes with three airbrushes: a dual-action airbrush with a 0.3-mm tip, a dual-action siphon feed airbrush with a 0.35-mm tip, and a single-action siphon feed airbrush with a 0.8-mm tip. The 1/5-horsepower single-piston compressor has two fans, so the unit stays cooler for longer periods without overheating. The package includes a quick-start guide, Airbrush Resource Center access card, and an airbrush holder. It also comes with six water-based acrylics in primary colors as well as a reducer and cleaner, a double-sided color mixing wheel, and a cleaning brush set. The company also provides a one-year, 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. One complaint about this set is that even though it’s labeled “professional,” it may be better geared towards beginners.

Key Features
  • Three airbrushes included
  • 1/5 horsepower
  • Single-piston compressor
  • Quick-start guide
Specification
  • Brand Master Airbrush
  • Model Cool Runner II
  • Weight 11.97 pounds
PROS

Fans keep it cool and prevent overheating

Six bottles of paint included

One-year guarantee

CONS

May be more suited to beginners

Lines may not be as fine as you’d like

Instructions aren’t the best

Here’s another entry from Master Airbrush. This Master Airbrush Model G22 kit is one of the company’s most popular sets. It comes with a dual-action airbrush with a 1/3-ounce gravity fluid cup and a 0.3-mm needle and nozzle. It’s designed for hairline details as well as up to 1 1/2-inch-wide background spray, making it a versatile option. This user-friendly kit is an excellent option for beginners and more advanced individuals because it can be used for a wide variety of projects, whether you’re making auto graphics or decorating a cake. The company will even issue a replacement or refund within one year if you’re not satisfied with the product. One problem with this kit is the trigger is not smooth action, which makes it trickier to use. Also, it may take a few adjustments to get it to work properly.

Key Features
  • Dual-action airbrush
  • 0.3mm needle and nozzle
  • 1/3-ounce gravity fluid cup
  • Ideal for a variety of projects
Specification
  • Brand Master Airbrush
  • Model G22
  • Weight 6.4 ounces
PROS

Versatile

User friendly

One-year refund/replacement guarantee

CONS

Trigger could be better

Adjustments may be required out of the box

We recommend the VIVOHOME 110-120V Professional Airbrushing Paint System because you can use it for a variety of purposes. It’s a great kit for tanning, make-up, cake decorating, temporary tattoos, and more. The kit comes with an airbrushing machine and three fluid tips. The 1/5-hp compressor has an air filter water trap that produces 23-25l/min of airflow and 0.8cfm of air volume. There’s an airbrush holder on the compressor that can accommodate two airbrushes. The device provides steady and continuous pressure and at 47 dB is not very loud. We also like that it will automatically turn off if the motor is about to overheat. Overall, it’s simple to set up, easy to use and it’s not too messy. However, it can get hot after extended use, and there have been some complaints that the airbrushes aren’t the best quality.

Key Features
  • Three fluid tips
  • 1/5 horsepower compressor
  • Airbrush holder
  • 47 dB noise level
Specification
  • Brand VIVOHOME
  • Model 4336951560
  • Weight 10.73 pounds
PROS

Multi-purpose application

Automatically turns off to prevent overheating

Simple to set up and use

CONS

Has a tendency to get really hot

The included airbrushes aren’t the best quality

If you want to do some cake decorating, nail art, or temporary tattoos, then the ZENY Pro 1/5 HP Airbrush Air Compressor Airbrushing Kit is a good option. It has a 1/5 horsepower compressor that provides sufficient air volume (CFM) and air pressure for a variety of tasks. The internal storage tank produces smooth airflow, making your tasks easier to accomplish. The kit is compact, portable, and lightweight and features a built-in handle. The compressor has a diaphragm pressure regulator with a gauge so you can adjust the airflow to suit your needs. There’s also a water trap filter, and the machine will turn off automatically if it overheats. This is a maintenance-free unit with an oil-less piston motor, and it’s low noise at 59 dB. Unfortunately, some users needed additional adapters to get it to work properly, and many recommend using different pipe thread tape.

Key Features
  • 1/5 horsepower compressor
  • Built-in handle
  • Diaphragm pressure regulator
  • Water trap filter
Specification
  • Brand ZENY
  • Model 4336951446
  • Weight 11.82 pounds
PROS

Lightweight and portable

Smooth air delivery

Maintenance-free

CONS

Additional adapters may be required

Different pipe thread tape may be required

Best Airbrush Kits Buying Guide & FAQ

Airbrushing isn’t just for artists. Many DIYers and professionals such as cake decorators use airbrush kits to design hot rod flames or impressive birthday creations. You can purchase parts separately, but it’s much more efficient to buy a pre-assembled kit. They typically include an airbrush gun, compressor, a hose, nozzles, and sometimes accessories such as a stand and cleaner.

In the buying guide below we list the features to look for in a top-quality airbrush kit as well as how to maintain them so they last for a longer period of time. We also answer some frequently asked questions about the product.

Do You Need an Airbrush Kit?

As we already noted, airbrush kits can be used in a variety of situations. If you like making models, creating artful fingernails, or want to punch up your food decorating game, then an airbrush kit is a great tool. One of the best things about purchasing a kit is that everything comes in a single package, so you don’t have to hunt for the proper gear on your own.

In addition, you know that parts are all going to work seamlessly together, something that you’re not guaranteed if you purchase parts separately. And if you use paint from the same manufacturer as the airbrush kit, you know it’s compatible and less likely to cause any issues. 

Another benefit is that airbrush kits are often less expensive as a whole compared to buying separate parts. Plus, should you decide that you don’t like airbrushing, you can sell the kit as a whole package.

  • They’re designed for multiple applications.
  • Everything you need is included in the package.
  • All the components are compatible
  • They’re not as costly as parts that are sold separately.
Hand holding airbrush kit
The hand of a man holding the airbrush kit

Types of Airbrush Kits

Not all airbrush kits are the same. There are essentially three different types: gravity feed, siphon feed, and side feed. Not sure which type is best for your project? Read more about them below, and choose the best one that suits your needs. They each have different advantages. 

Gravity Feed

Gravity feed airbrush kits use gravity to pull the paint to the tip of the nozzle. This type of kit is designed to use lower amounts of air pressure, and the paint is easy to spray. Less air pressure is required to atomize the paint. 

It works even if you only have a drop of paint in the container, which makes it quite economical and less wasteful. Gravity feed kits are a great option if you want to spray fine lines or fine details.

Siphon Feed

If you want to paint a large surface area, a siphon feed is the way to go since it can hold larger amounts of paint. This is a good option if you are using more than one airbrush gun as you can use one color in each gun. It saves time because you don’t have to clean up between paint changes.

Again, if you need to spray a lot of paint at once, a siphon feed airbrush is a better bet. For example, spray tan businesses use this type of airbrush. It requires more air compared to a gravity feed airbrush, however. 

Side Feed

If you want a mix between a siphon feed airbrush and a gravity feed airbrush, consider a side feed airbrush. If the paint is situated above the nozzle, it acts as a gravity feed airbrush. If the paint is below the nozzle, it acts as a siphon feed airbrush. This is a good option if you want versatility during application.

One advantage to this type of airbrush is you can spray things upside down. One downside is that it may cost a little bit more should you choose to purchase accessories. In addition, cleanup may take a little longer.

The Most Important Features of an Airbrush Kit

While different airbrush kits may focus on different goals (painting large surface areas versus intricate details, for example), they all typically have similar components. Below we list some of the most important features you should look at before you invest your money in an airbrush kit. That way, you can pick a particular kit based on your particular needs.

Dual Action Vs. Single Action

There are two different types of airbrush guns: single action and double action. On a single-action gun, you press down for air, and this usually starts the paint. You then twist a knob to adjust the flow of the paint. This is a great option for beginners as it sprays the same amount of fluid consistently. They’re relatively easy to operate.

With a dual-action or double-action airbrush gun you press it down for air and pull it back for paint. It’s a little more challenging to use, but it’s a popular option and is good if you want to create fine details.

Compressor

Airbrush kits need air in order to work properly. Some kits come with CO2 tanks or air propellant tanks, but you really need an air compressor if you plan on using the kit frequently. A compressor allows you to regulate the air pressure. Check to see if it is portable and whether or not it has a regulator.

Some airbrush kits are noisier than others, and some brands are more budget-friendly. Others require a lot of maintenance to function correctly. Look for a compressor with a filter as it will repel moisture in the tank, particularly if the air is humid.

Nozzle

The size of the nozzle is an important consideration based on the type of project you plan on tackling. If you’re a beginner, you may not know at first what exact size nozzle and needle combination you need. At the very least, choose a needle and nozzle that are designed specifically for the task. 

As a general rule, longer nozzles are better for narrower sprays, and shorter are designed to cover larger areas. There’s a big difference between spraying the body of a full-sized vehicle versus the body of a tiny model car.

Paint

Most airbrush paints are compatible with most airbrush guns. Paint is not typically included in an airbrush kit, but sometimes it is. Check to see if the paint you choose is water-based or solvent-based. This can affect its color as well as its use. The paint you choose may have potential health implications and require a specific cleaner.

For example, acrylic paint is water-based, while solvent-based airbrush paints contain solvent as well as pigments and require specific solvent-based cleansers in order to be removed from the paint gun. There are paints for specific purposes: nail art paint, automotive paint, edible dyes, etc. 

Care and Maintenance for Airbrush Kits

It’s critical that you take care of your airbrush kit and maintain it as recommended by the manufacturer. It’s important that you clean it after you use it without fail. In addition, you need to clean it every time you change the paint. If you don’t, the colors may mix, and you may not get the results you desire.

Specifically, pour the paint out of the container when you’re finished using it. Then clean the container to remove the paint residue. You can do so using a cleanser and a cotton swab. Next, fill the container with a cleanser and operate the airbrush gun until only clear liquid sprays out of it. Finally, empty the container and let it dry.

Painting on black surface with airbrush kit
Hand holding an airbrush kit painting over a black surface

It’s also important that you use either clear water or cleaner with ammonia if you’re working with water-based paints. That way, the nozzle will stay in good operating condition.

  • Clean it after every use.
  • Use clear water or cleaner with ammonia.
  • Consult the manufacturer’s instructions.

Best Airbrush Kit FAQ:

Airbrushing can be a lot of fun when you have the right equipment and learn to master the techniques required. If you’re still uncertain about purchasing a kit, check out the answers to the frequently asked questions below. Don’t be intimidated by the task as it’s not that hard to get started as long as you prepare ahead of time.

Q: What is the best airbrush kit for beginners?

That depends on the purpose of the airbrush kit. Some may be better geared towards cake decorating, for example. We include several good options for beginners in this buying guide.

Q: Can you use a regular air compressor for airbrushing?

Yes. However, you may need to purchase a special regulator so you have more control for fine, detailed work.

Q: What is needed to start airbrushing?

If you’re new to airbrushing, you need an airbrush gun, an airbrush compressor, a hose, paint, nozzles, and cleaner.

Our Top Pick

Our top pick is the Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System. This kit produces professional-quality results and is very user friendly, even if you’re not very experienced with the process. The kit comes with a 6-foot-long hose, which gives you a good reach, and it includes an instructional book with handy tips and tricks.

Final Thoughts

We love the Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System, as it comes with a good-quality compressor that’s very portable and easy to carry with you should you decide to take the kit on the road. It is also a good option if you plan on creating precise details. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Ylingsu Cordless Automatic Airbrush Kit.

Sources:

  1. Airbrush – Wikipedia

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