Airbrush Brand Comparison

Over the last decade and a half, I’ve had the chance to try out a lot of different airbrush brands.  How do they compare?

Comparing airbrush brands is one of my favorite topic.  All brands come with pros and cons, and it’s up to you to chose which pros suit you best, and which cons you’d rather avoid.

My first airbrush purchase in 8 years

When I started airbrushing, I got rather lucky and did not need to buy a lot of airbrushes.  However, I got to try a plethora of them!

I got a Testor compressor 10 years ago from a friend that didn’t use his, that’s how I got started.

I bought a real airbrush, the Iwata-Medea Eclipse HP CS, shortly after.  And up until last Friday, it was the only airbrush I’ve ever bought.

Obviously, it did not last 10 years.

When I got the Iwata, total bummer, it was missing a piece.  Instead of simply sending the missing piece, they sent an entire airbrush.

Because it was not a piece subject to damage, I got two airbrushes for the price of one, as once one died, I simply used the other swapping for the missing piece.

Those ‘two’ airbrushes lasted me 5 years.

After that, I started attending a lot of tournaments, and won, in no order whatsoever: three Badger Patriot 105, a Badger Patriot Xtreme, and two Badger Sotar.

I’ve bought the Badger Spray Gun the day before leaving for a tournament because I bent the needle and needed to finish models.  I didn’t want to spend a fortune on an airbrush from a craft store.

It remains some of the best money I’ve ever spent on a tool.

Good thing I didn’t buy an overpriced airbrush too, because I won a Patriot 105 at that tournament the very next day.

Badger Basic Spray Gun Set

When that Patriot 105’s needle suffered a tragic fall, instead of replacing it, I opted to buy one of the cheaper kind Amazon had to offer.

You can get a lot of miles using only the cheapest airbrushes available.  Whether you are on a tight budget, or you don’t want to start with an expensive option, getting these basic airbrushes will suit your needs.

Actually, I bought two of them.

Why buy two airbrushes?

Ah, the real kicker of the article.  Why buy two?

Gravity Feed Dual Action Airbrush

Well, a little bit of the same strategy from my Iwata.  Because the cheap airbrushes are exactly that: cheap, you expect them to break rather quickly.

But, as long as it’s not the same piece that’s breaking, you can just swap parts back and forth.  This two-of strategy has lasted me longer than any single Badger I ever owned.

The other advantage, because I was doing a lot of commissions, is that I was never without an airbrush.

If something bad happens, having to wait for a new airbrush can put my whole operation to a grinding halt.

So I get 2, and if one suddenly breaks down, well it’s not the end of the world, I can just switch it out until I get my backup airbrush replaced.

Also, yes, I bought the one below because it was red.  That was the sole reason.

Red Dual Action Gravity Feed Airbrush

Arguably, these airbrushes are not as good as any brand models out there.  They are cheap and feel cheap.  But what they do, they do well, and for a fraction of the price.

Money wise, it’s also a system I like.

I currently don’t have the cash to buy two Badger airbrushes.  This airbrush is so inexpensive, buying two of this model is still cheaper than buying any single airbrush from Badger. (or any brand, for that matter)

Long term thinking, is when the first of those airbrush breaks ( because it will happen eventually, as with all airbrushes) I can get a Badger 105 Patriot Airbrush ( or another model of my choosing ) to keep until my second cheap airbrush breaks.

Then I can begin cycling through better ones, as long as I keep two on hand at every time.

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