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 Air Compressor Advice

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
leeflan Posted - 02/20/2021 : 6:06:50 PM
Hey Y'all,

UHHH! Seems my Jurassic-era Craftsman compressor has done gone and bit the dust, plus it's leakin' oil like a rusty flivver. So I'd be obliged for Y'all's advice on a replacement.

Now, I don't do that much airbrushing anymore, just the occasional rolling stock, structure, etc., so I don't need a big, fancy unit. 'Sides, Ah jes' cain't be a luggin' around a 40 lb. behemoth anymore.

So, basically, I'd like something that's: a. small & compact (for my small and compact train room), b. reasonably quiet (so I don't P.O. the Missus), c. lightweight (so's I don't kill my back), d. adjustable pressure, e. oil less, and, hopefully, e. under $200. Oh yeah, and it should be suitable for today's hobby paints.

I've been searching all of the usual online sources and I keep coming back to the Micro Mark Whisper Air Compressor. https://www.micromark.com/Whisper-Air-Compressor It certainly seems to meet the criteria, but I can't find any reviews. If Y'all have any experience with or info on the Whisper unit, or another model that meets the criteria, I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Catch, Y'all later.

8   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
leeflan Posted - 03/19/2021 : 11:08:44 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions, Crew. After a lot of comparing, I ended up with the Paasche model recommended by Burley Jim. Lookin' forward to using it for the next project.

Catch Y'all later,

bandofan Posted - 03/18/2021 : 1:34:51 PM

I'm going to take you a little over your $200 budget, but I have an Iwata Smart Jet compressor that I am extremely happy with. It includes a pressure gage with a bleeder valve to lower the pressure, moisture trap, and best of all, it is very quiet. It replaced an old Badger compressor that was about as loud as a 1973 Gremlin without an exhaust system. I have it paired with a Paasche H-model airbrush.

Happy painting!
BurleyJim Posted - 02/21/2021 : 10:51:56 AM
I've used one of these for years, a little more powerful than the Iwata's which a friend of mine has, and we used the Paasche in lieu of on his layout. This looks like Horizon Hobbies is the actual seller.



Looks like the "New Version" at twice the power and better regulator would be worth the extra 11 bucks.

jbvb Posted - 02/21/2021 : 10:39:14 AM
I bought a regulator and an adapter fitting for my Paasche airbrush 25 years ago, to use with commercial nitrogen cylinders from the welding supply store. Quiet as can be and no moisture at all. Still works fine, though the cost of a refill is up to $40.
deemery Posted - 02/21/2021 : 08:59:04 AM
Additional thought: I have probably 8 or 9 airbrushes in my drawer, from cheap to expensive. I think it's best to spend the $ on a good compressor, because problems with the compressor will make any airbrush perform poorly. And a loud compressor just wears on you over time.

I have 2 water traps. One is the main-line combination of water trap and pressure gauge/adjustment (I got that at Lowes.) The second one is attached to the airbrush.

Glen Haasdyk Posted - 02/20/2021 : 10:16:35 PM
I picked up a 1/5hp compressor a few years ago from a ebay dealer for 65$. Unfortunately I can't seem to find the unit anymore but others are similar. Just make sure you have the correct hose fitting adapter. I ended up having to order one after I got the compressor and that put projects on hold for an extra couple of weeks.
k9wrangler Posted - 02/20/2021 : 9:00:05 PM
I use an Iwata Ninja compressor. It does well for my light airbrush use. https://www.iwata-airbrush.com/ninja-jet-mini-compressor.html Saved a bunch at Hobby Lobby using their 40% off coupon. It is relatively quiet.

Harbor Freight just advertised a pair of small compressors just this last few days that may work as well. https://www.harborfreight.com/3-gallon-13-hp-110-psi-oil-free-hotdog-air-compressor-57572.html?_br_psugg_q=air+compressor

I have a similar one I bought from Menards that I used but it was noisy-ish.

An inline water trap is essential for most any compressor-airbrush setup.
deemery Posted - 02/20/2021 : 7:45:43 PM
I have a Scorpion II. It's reliable and quiet. This is a bit more than your $200 price point: https://www.artistsupplysource.com/product/39118/silentaire-scorpion-ii-w-ultra-quiet-airbrush-compressor-portable-air-compressor/


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