What is a Dual Action Airbrush

Dual action is a common spec when it comes to an airbrush. Here’s what it means, why it matters and what are the pros and cons.

In the world of airbrushing, one expression stands out: gravity feed dual action.  Whether your shopping online or wathcing video reviews, you are bound to hear these terms.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the “dual-action” part to break down why it’s considered the best feature on an airbrush.

What is a Dual-Action Airbrush?

Dual-action refers to the trigger of the airbrush.  In this case, dual means it can do two different actions:

Air Control: By pressing down on the trigger, you initiate the airflow. This first step allows air to flow through the airbrush, creating the foundation for the paint to be propelled.

Paint Control: As you continue to pull the trigger backward, you control the amount of paint released. Pulling the trigger back further increases the paint flow, and pushing it forward decreases the flow. This intuitive mechanism enables precise control over paint application, allowing for intricate detailing, gradients, and shading.

Unlike single-action airbrushes, where the paint flow is fixed, dual-action airbrushes provide the flexibility to adjust the amount of paint sprayed while you are spraying.

Applications of Dual-Action Airbrushes

Most of the advanced techniques with the airbrush require the dual action of the trigger.  Miniature painting is already a quite precise endeavor, control is key.  Besides primer and base coats, you will need more finesse than a single action airbrush can provide.

From gradient transitions to advanced techniques like OSL, mastering the dual action trigger will take your miniatures to another level.

Pros and Cons

Like any tool, dual-action airbrushes have distinct advantages and challenges.


  • Unparalleled control over paint flow, allowing for precise work.
  • Versatile tool, allowing you to use multiple techniques with the same spray.
  • Paint various sizes and effects without needing to stop spraying.


  • Steeper learning curve compared to single-action airbrushes.
  • Generally higher cost than single-action airbrushes due to their advanced features.
  • Requires a lot of maintenance and cleaning.

Understanding Dual Action Airbrushes

Dual-action airbrushes are the ultimate tools to master the airbrush game.

While they may present a steeper learning curve compared to single-action airbrushes, the possibilities they offer are almost endless.

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