What is a Single Action Airbrush

Single 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.

The various types of airbrushes can be a lot to grasp at first.   Looking at specs of various models when shopping online, or hearing the terms in videos might be overwhelming.

In this blog post, we will focus on a specific type of airbrush, known as the “single-action airbrush,” and demystify its features, applications, and how it differs from other airbrush types.

What is a Single-Action Airbrush?

A single-action airbrush is a type of airbrush that operates using a simple and straightforward trigger.  Action refers to the trigger, and ‘single’ means it does only one thing. In other words:  you press the button and paint comes out, period.  This is it.

Unlike dual-action airbrushes that offer control over both air and paint flow, single-action airbrushes have only one control, which regulates the air.  Single action airbrushes often come with another method of controlling the paint flow.

Applications of Single-Action Airbrushes

Single-action airbrushes are somewhat limited.  However, what they do, they are great at.

Primer and base coats are a great example of this, as you don’t need much control or finesse.  You don’t need to make your hobby harder than it needs to be, specially if those uses are the only ones you want and need an airbrush for.

Pros and Cons

Like any tool, single-action airbrushes come with their own set of advantages and limitations.


  • Easy to learn and use, making it ideal for beginners.
  • Generally more affordable compared to dual-action airbrushes.
  • Suitable for a wide range of applications, from basic to intermediate airbrushing projects.
  • Requires minimal maintenance and cleaning.


  • Limited control over paint flow restricts its uses.
  • The range of single action airbrush is limited.

Demystifying Single-Action Airbrushes

For those taking their first steps into the world of airbrushing, a single-action airbrush is a fantastic entry point.

The simplicity, ease of use, and versatility make it an excellent tool for a variety of projects. As you gain experience and become more comfortable with airbrushing techniques, you can explore other airbrush types, such as dual-action airbrushes, and take your painting to another level.

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