Reviews

LAST UPDATED:  January 30, 2021

The Best Airbrush Kit (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Try your hand at airbrushing with one of these easy-to-use kits

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBC The Drive on YouTube The Drive on Facebook

The Review Team

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

PUBLISHED ON January 30, 2021

When you’re serious about painting, eventually you have to leave the paintbrushes and rattle cans behind and use professional-quality equipment instead. Airbrushes produce professional-quality results at an affordable price. You just need an airbrush, a hose, and a compressor to get the job done. We’ve tracked down some of the best airbrush kits available to get you started.

 

At just about any price point, we can help you pick a system that’s just right. Whether you’re painting model cars or painting nails with wild designs, you’ll find what you need on our list. There is a learning curve to using an airbrush, but like anything else, practice makes perfect. There are some excellent resources online to teach you how to use your new airbrush.

Best Overall
Timbertech Airbrush Kit
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

This kit comes with a powerful 1/6  horsepower compressor and two airbrush kits. The compressor is 3 liters and has a regulator.

Pros
Pros
  • Multi-hose adapter
  • Classic piston framework
  • Low-noise
Cons
Cons
  • Compressor gets hot with long use 
  • Components can leak
Best Overall
Timbertech Airbrush Kit
Best Value
Cordless Airbrush Kit
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

Take this single-action airbrush and compressor anywhere. Use it for 30-50 minutes on a full charge.

Pros
Pros
  • No air hose needed 
  • Fit in your pocket 
  • Versatile use
Cons
Cons
  • Starts spraying when turned on
  • Not powerful
Best Value
Cordless Airbrush Kit
Honorable Mention
Roadtec Airbrush Kit
LEARN MORE
Summary
Summary

This portable dual-action airbrush runs on a battery to deliver 15-20 psi with an airflow of 6.5-8 liters. The nozzle is .5 millimeters for fine detailed work.

Pros
Pros
  • One to two hour working time on a full charge
  • Low battery warning
  • 9-milliliter paint cup
Cons
Cons
  • No instructions
  • Cleaning is difficult 
Honorable Mention
Roadtec Airbrush Kit
Airbrush Kit Close Up
Amazon

Why Trust Us


All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Benefits of an Airbrush Kit

  • Affordability. Buying a complete kit is more affordable than purchasing each component individually. This can save you money when getting started on your new hobby.
  • Compatibility. You don’t have to worry about the compatibility of the individual components. Each piece that comes in the set will work with all of the other parts. 
  • Paint variety. When you have a complete kit, you can have more variety in paint selection. Choose a kit from an established manufacturer for the most variety. 

Types of Airbrush Kits

Gravity Feed  

This style of airbrush has a cup located on the top of the gun. You’ll pour the paint into the cup and let gravity pull the paint down into the gun. It will feed into the mixing chamber and atomize with the compressed air. The advantage of this type is that it requires little paint and less air pressure to operate. It’s also more forgiving to thicker and chunkier paint. The downside of this style is that it takes longer to clean. 

Siphon Feed 

These airbrushes have a container on the bottom of the airbrush gun. It could either be a complete bottle or a cup, and there’s a tube in the paint reservoir. Air gets pulled through the tube, which creates a siphon effect. Paint then gets pulled upward into the mixing chamber and then atomizes. You’ll appreciate the ability of the quicker color changes and the more affordable price tag. The downside is that the cleaning will be a pain as you clean multiple bottles. 

Side Feed 

You’ll find this type of airbrush to be a combination of the other two. The bottle or cup is located on the side of the airbrush gun. It can then either use gravity feed or a siphon tube to feed the paint into the mixing chamber and then atomize. This style’s advantage is that it’s adaptable by easily changing the mounted cup, easy to clean, and can spray upside down. The downside is that the attachments can get expensive. 

Top Brands

Timbertech

With a commitment to quality and affordability, Timbertech offers a broad product line. The beginner to the enthusiast will appreciate the selection of compressor and nozzle kits. You’ll find a variety of sizes, making them suitable for all of your airbrushing needs. A popular kit is the Timbertech Multi-purpose Airbrush Kit

Paasche

Based in Kenosha, Wis., Paasche is one of the most well-known names in airbrushing supplies. It produces painting supplies for the hobbyist in his garage to industrial scale needs. For a complete kit, the Paasche Airbrush Set and Compressor with Tank is a top choice among enthusiasts. 

PointZero

Founded on a commitment to art, PointZero products are considered high-grade equipment for those who are serious about airbrushing. The company focuses on producing tanks and airbrushing supplies with quality construction, multiple features, and several compatible accessories. The PointZero Multi-Purpose Dual-Action Airbrush Set is a compact kit that’s ideal for smaller projects. 

Airbrush Kit Pricing

  • Under $75: The kits in this price range tend to have fewer accessories and components. They’re mainly designed to either be a high quality yet small portable kit or a simple-to-use beginner-friendly kit. 
  • $75 to $125: The majority of kits fall into this price range. They can vary in quality, features, and included accessories. The majority of people will be happy with a kit in this range. 
  • $125 and up: These are high-end airbrushing kits that typically come with several components and spare parts. They will have a quality build that makes them suitable for higher quality or volume projects. 

Key Features

Gun

There are two types of airbrush spray guns: the first is a single action with a wheel for controlling the amount of paint that flows when spraying. This lets you regulate the paint and gives you the optimal results. Beginners will find this type easier to work.

The other type is a double action gun. You’ll regulate the air and paint supply together with one finger, making it more challenging to use. 

Compressor

The included air compressor should be able to regulate the psi to the ideal amount. A pressure gauge is necessary to monitor the pressure level and keep it at the right level. High-quality air compressors also have a water separator built-in to prevent water droplets from getting mixed into your paint and distorting your coverage. Check the noise it produces as a loud compressor won’t be pleasant to work with. 

Paints

Generally, all airbrush paints are compatible with all airbrush guns. However, most sets don’t come with paint. Whether it comes with or you’re buying it separately, check whether it’s solvent or water-based. The type you choose will influence the paint’s brilliance, intended use, and required cleaning agent. Solvent-based paints will have the solvent ingredient listed, and you’ll need to find a compatible cleaner. The most popular airbrush paint manufacturers are Vallejo, Schmincke, and Liquitex.

Other Considerations

  • Cleaning. A kit that comes with cleaning supplies is nice because it’s one less thing you have to buy separately. If it doesn’t come with the kit, confirm the type of paint you intend to use and buy a separate cleaning kit. Some beginner airbrush guns don’t come apart, making them harder to clean. It also makes them have a higher risk of clogging. 
  • Build Quality. High-quality kits are made of durable materials and have a sturdy build. They may even come with spare parts, which is nice for a quick replacement should something break during use. Check the nozzle size included in the kit: it should be suitable for your intended use. Low-quality kits may have a nozzle that’s generic and not suitable for large area painting or fine detailed work. 
  • Price. Aim to purchase a medium-priced kit—expensive doesn’t always mean high quality. Determine your budget and then look for the best quality kit in that price range.  Look at what comes in the kit. A lower-priced kit may come with fewer parts and accessories, requiring you to spend more in the long run to supplement the parts. Look at the price of the kit and the overall cost to get up and running.

Best Airbrush Kit Reviews and Recommendations 2021

Best Overall

Get everything you need to get started with this single-piston compressor and its sizable three-liter air storage tank. It also has a water trap, pressure regulator, and automatic stop function. You’ll appreciate its low noise production at 47 decibels. You have the option of using the airbrush kit as a gravity flow or siphon-style device. The .2, .3, and .5 millimeter needles make this kit ideal for use with makeup, crafts, self-tanner, cake decorating, commercial art, and temporary tattoos. The kit comes with two airbrush kits, and each one comes in a protective case for safe and compact storage. 


Unfortunately, the compressor can get hot during extended use, but this shouldn’t be an issue for smaller projects. You’ll also want to check the welds to ensure that you don’t have paint leaks.

Best Overall
Timbertech Airbrush Kit

Get everything you need to get started with this single-piston compressor and its sizable three-liter air storage tank. It also has a water trap, pressure regulator, and automatic stop function. You’ll appreciate its low noise production at 47 decibels. You have the option of using the airbrush kit as a gravity flow or siphon-style device. The .2, .3, and .5 millimeter needles make this kit ideal for use with makeup, crafts, self-tanner, cake decorating, commercial art, and temporary tattoos. The kit comes with two airbrush kits, and each one comes in a protective case for safe and compact storage. 


Unfortunately, the compressor can get hot during extended use, but this shouldn’t be an issue for smaller projects. You’ll also want to check the welds to ensure that you don’t have paint leaks.

Best Value

If you need a small, maneuverable portable airbrush setup, check out the Ylingsu Cordless Automatic Airbrush Kit. This airbrush kit uses a small, integrated, battery-operated air compressor for precision airbrush work. A single charge lasts for 30 to 50 minutes. The included single-action airbrush is excellent, and it's much quieter than traditional airbrushes that run off of an air compressor. This makes it ideal for apartments, dorm rooms, or anywhere where noise is a concern. It's a great alternative to a loud compressor in your home to keep your family happy. Keep on burning the midnight oil with this cordless automatic airbrush kit.


One issue with this airbrush is that it can begin automatically spraying paint when it's turned on. You'll want to be careful to avoid unwanted paint spray.

Best Value
Cordless Airbrush Kit

If you need a small, maneuverable portable airbrush setup, check out the Ylingsu Cordless Automatic Airbrush Kit. This airbrush kit uses a small, integrated, battery-operated air compressor for precision airbrush work. A single charge lasts for 30 to 50 minutes. The included single-action airbrush is excellent, and it's much quieter than traditional airbrushes that run off of an air compressor. This makes it ideal for apartments, dorm rooms, or anywhere where noise is a concern. It's a great alternative to a loud compressor in your home to keep your family happy. Keep on burning the midnight oil with this cordless automatic airbrush kit.


One issue with this airbrush is that it can begin automatically spraying paint when it's turned on. You'll want to be careful to avoid unwanted paint spray.

Premium Pick

Charge your airbrush and enjoy one to two hours of working time. Monitor the battery level with the indicator lights. It can achieve a higher air pressure of 15-20 psi and an airflow that reaches 6.5-8 liters. The airbrush gun is dual-action and has a 9-milliliter cup, but you can replace it with a larger one if needed. When the battery runs low, the airbrush will vibrate to warn you, and there are indicator lights on the bottom. What makes this kit stand out is that you can remove the tool from the portable air compressor and attach it to other 1/8 male threaded components. This airbrush is perfect for cake decorating, nail art, makeup, and other hobby painting.


Unfortunately, the .5 millimeter nozzle is only compatible with watercolor pigments, dyes, inks, and correctly diluted paints. Also, there are no instructions, and cleaning the device can be difficult.

Premium Pick
Roadtec Airbrush Kit

Charge your airbrush and enjoy one to two hours of working time. Monitor the battery level with the indicator lights. It can achieve a higher air pressure of 15-20 psi and an airflow that reaches 6.5-8 liters. The airbrush gun is dual-action and has a 9-milliliter cup, but you can replace it with a larger one if needed. When the battery runs low, the airbrush will vibrate to warn you, and there are indicator lights on the bottom. What makes this kit stand out is that you can remove the tool from the portable air compressor and attach it to other 1/8 male threaded components. This airbrush is perfect for cake decorating, nail art, makeup, and other hobby painting.


Unfortunately, the .5 millimeter nozzle is only compatible with watercolor pigments, dyes, inks, and correctly diluted paints. Also, there are no instructions, and cleaning the device can be difficult.

Best Upgrade

If you already have an airbrush compressor, this set is the perfect upgrade to your existing airbrush. This kit includes Paasche’s excellent single action, siphon feed airbrush. It also has two different size spray heads, a metal paint cup, two one-ounce bottles for mixing and storage, a specially-designed airbrush hanger, and a wrench for service. Also included are a high quality six-foot braided air hose and a lessons booklet to improve your airbrush skills. Paasche is one of the most trusted brands in the airbrush game for a good reason. It builds some of the best airbrushes on the market, and you can expect years of reliable service from this quality unit.


One potential drawback of this kit is that Paasche has its own unique air hose fittings. You’ll need to buy a separate adapter if you want to use other components with it.

Best Upgrade
Paasche Airbrush Single Action Airbrush Set

If you already have an airbrush compressor, this set is the perfect upgrade to your existing airbrush. This kit includes Paasche’s excellent single action, siphon feed airbrush. It also has two different size spray heads, a metal paint cup, two one-ounce bottles for mixing and storage, a specially-designed airbrush hanger, and a wrench for service. Also included are a high quality six-foot braided air hose and a lessons booklet to improve your airbrush skills. Paasche is one of the most trusted brands in the airbrush game for a good reason. It builds some of the best airbrushes on the market, and you can expect years of reliable service from this quality unit.


One potential drawback of this kit is that Paasche has its own unique air hose fittings. You’ll need to buy a separate adapter if you want to use other components with it.

Best for Beginners

This airbrush kit includes a compressor, a hose, and three airbrushes. The 1/5 horsepower air compressor features a moisture trap, which is a great feature. Moisture in the airline can ruin a great paint job, so the moisture trap is great peace of mind. The adjustable pressure regulator can help you to fine-tune airflow for precision work. The compressor is also quiet, operating at just 47 decibels. The integrated holder can support two of the included airbrushes at once. Hobbyists and professional users alike love this compressor and have great things to say about the airbrushes as well.


Unfortunately, you may find the instructions to be unclear or confusing. It also automatically shuts off when it reaches low air pressure. You have to wait for the pressure to rebuild before continuing.

Best for Beginners
Vivohome Professional Airbrushing Paint System

This airbrush kit includes a compressor, a hose, and three airbrushes. The 1/5 horsepower air compressor features a moisture trap, which is a great feature. Moisture in the airline can ruin a great paint job, so the moisture trap is great peace of mind. The adjustable pressure regulator can help you to fine-tune airflow for precision work. The compressor is also quiet, operating at just 47 decibels. The integrated holder can support two of the included airbrushes at once. Hobbyists and professional users alike love this compressor and have great things to say about the airbrushes as well.


Unfortunately, you may find the instructions to be unclear or confusing. It also automatically shuts off when it reaches low air pressure. You have to wait for the pressure to rebuild before continuing.

Honorable Mention

This airbrush kit includes a powerful 1/5-horsepower, single-piston dual-fan air compressor. It also includes the hose you need, and, most importantly, it comes with a great dual-action airbrush. There’s room to grow with this kit, too: the airbrush tank has two integrated airbrush holders on board when you’re ready to upgrade. Also included is a book about how to airbrush aimed at beginners. This kit will give you a head start into the wonderful world of airbrushing, and we’re sure that you’ll still find yourself using it throughout your artistic journey in the years to come.


One drawback of this kit is that the pressure gauge can leak air, making it difficult for the compressor to build up pressure.

Honorable Mention
Multi-Purpose Gravity Feed Dual-Action Airbrush Kit

This airbrush kit includes a powerful 1/5-horsepower, single-piston dual-fan air compressor. It also includes the hose you need, and, most importantly, it comes with a great dual-action airbrush. There’s room to grow with this kit, too: the airbrush tank has two integrated airbrush holders on board when you’re ready to upgrade. Also included is a book about how to airbrush aimed at beginners. This kit will give you a head start into the wonderful world of airbrushing, and we’re sure that you’ll still find yourself using it throughout your artistic journey in the years to come.


One drawback of this kit is that the pressure gauge can leak air, making it difficult for the compressor to build up pressure.

Honorable Mention

The heart of this comprehensive, all-inclusive airbrush kit is the powerful 1/5 horsepower, single-piston dual-fan air compressor. That strong compressor supplies the reliable, stable airflow needed to get good results from the three included airbrushes. You’ll be able to perform a variety of airbrushing tasks with the included arsenal of quality airbrushes. Included are two dual-action airbrushes with gravity feed cups and one single-action gun with a siphon-feed. What makes this kit stand out is the included paints: you’ll get six colors in one-ounce bottles, plus a reducer and a cleaner. Scale models, automotive touch-ups, cake decorating, nail art—there’s practically nothing you can’t do with this kit, some paint, and some practice.


Unfortunately, the kit lacks instructions, making it difficult for beginners to get started. You’ll also need to assemble the airbrush before your initial use.

Honorable Mention
Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Professional Airbrushing System

The heart of this comprehensive, all-inclusive airbrush kit is the powerful 1/5 horsepower, single-piston dual-fan air compressor. That strong compressor supplies the reliable, stable airflow needed to get good results from the three included airbrushes. You’ll be able to perform a variety of airbrushing tasks with the included arsenal of quality airbrushes. Included are two dual-action airbrushes with gravity feed cups and one single-action gun with a siphon-feed. What makes this kit stand out is the included paints: you’ll get six colors in one-ounce bottles, plus a reducer and a cleaner. Scale models, automotive touch-ups, cake decorating, nail art—there’s practically nothing you can’t do with this kit, some paint, and some practice.


Unfortunately, the kit lacks instructions, making it difficult for beginners to get started. You’ll also need to assemble the airbrush before your initial use.

Honorable Mention

Use this airbrushing kit for a variety of activities thanks to the ultra-compact air compressor. It comes with three airbrush guns: one gun is a dual-action gravity feed with a 7cc color cup and .3 nozzle. The second gun is a dual-action gravity feed gun with a low profile 2cc color cup and a fine tip measuring 0.2 millimeters. The third gun is a single action siphon with a .8 millimeter nozzle. Connect your airbrush guns to the compressor with the included 6-foot air hose. What makes this gun stand out is the included instructions, basics DVD guide, and seven downloadable guides. The guides are use-specific to improve your skills. 


Despite the many instructions, this kit is not beginner-friendly. It’s a complicated kit, and the dual-action guns can be challenging. The components can also begin to rust from the lack of a water trap on the compressor.

Honorable Mention
PointZero Airbrush Dual Action Airbrush Kit

Use this airbrushing kit for a variety of activities thanks to the ultra-compact air compressor. It comes with three airbrush guns: one gun is a dual-action gravity feed with a 7cc color cup and .3 nozzle. The second gun is a dual-action gravity feed gun with a low profile 2cc color cup and a fine tip measuring 0.2 millimeters. The third gun is a single action siphon with a .8 millimeter nozzle. Connect your airbrush guns to the compressor with the included 6-foot air hose. What makes this gun stand out is the included instructions, basics DVD guide, and seven downloadable guides. The guides are use-specific to improve your skills. 


Despite the many instructions, this kit is not beginner-friendly. It’s a complicated kit, and the dual-action guns can be challenging. The components can also begin to rust from the lack of a water trap on the compressor.

Honorable Mention

This professional-quality kit is perfect for beginners and experienced users alike. The kit comes with a single-piston compressor, as well as a 3-liter tank, heat dissipation, and automatic pressure maintenance, giving you a pulse-free output for smooth coverage. The compressor is thermally protected and has a low noise output. The included gun is a dual-action gravity feed with a 0.3-millimeter needle nozzle. Your kit comes with five opaque colors: bright yellow, bright red, black, white, and bright sapphire blue. You’ll appreciate the included user manual that helps you get your airbrush gun together and paint faster. 


One drawback of this kit is that while the airbrush gun comes in a case, it doesn’t hold everything. This can make keeping the hose and paints organized a challenge. 

Honorable Mention
Fengda Airbrush Kit

This professional-quality kit is perfect for beginners and experienced users alike. The kit comes with a single-piston compressor, as well as a 3-liter tank, heat dissipation, and automatic pressure maintenance, giving you a pulse-free output for smooth coverage. The compressor is thermally protected and has a low noise output. The included gun is a dual-action gravity feed with a 0.3-millimeter needle nozzle. Your kit comes with five opaque colors: bright yellow, bright red, black, white, and bright sapphire blue. You’ll appreciate the included user manual that helps you get your airbrush gun together and paint faster. 


One drawback of this kit is that while the airbrush gun comes in a case, it doesn’t hold everything. This can make keeping the hose and paints organized a challenge. 

Tips

  • Keep your cleaning kit and cotton swabs handy. You’ll need it to prevent unwanted color mixing and clogging. You should also clean your airbrush by taking it apart and cleaning each component after each use. 
  • Purchase masking film. You can use it to make your own stencils and sharp edges or cover parts of your artwork that you don’t want to get sprayed with paint
  • Water-based paints aren’t as harmful, and you can get away without a mask if the ventilation is suitable in your painting area. Solvent-based paints are harmful and require a mask. 

FAQs

Q: How do I choose an airbrush kit?

Start by determining your budget. Then look for the best quality kit that you can afford. The kit you buy should have a durable and quality build. It should also have compatibility with the type of paint you wish to use. 

Q: Do you need special paint for airbrushing?

If you’re a beginner, then stick with airbrush specific paints that are easier to use. If you’re more experienced, then you can thin acrylic paint and use it in your airbrush. 

Q: Can you use any air compressor for airbrushing?

You can use any air compressor with your airbrush. Larger compressors tend to be better since they have a larger tank and can run for longer. They’re also versatile enough to use with several types of tools. Airbrush specific compressors tend to be too small and weak for other uses. 

Q: What PSI should I use for airbrushing?

The ideal psi is for airbrushing is 18 psi. However, this can vary on the paint you’re using. High pressure produces finer atomization and fewer clogs. It also results in more overspray, and the paint dries too fast. Low pressure produces less overspray and paint waste. 

Final Thoughts

The Timbertech Airbrush Kit is a top choice because it comes with everything you need to get started, is low noise, and lets you connect two hoses simultaneously. For those looking for a more affordable option, the Cordless Airbrush Kit won’t let you down with its compact size and decent run time.