Airbrushing is a more precise mode of painting without a brush than spray-painting. There are many types of airbrushes, all of which push paint through a needle-thin nozzle so the liquid mists over your painting surface. One special kind is a dual-action gravity-feed airbrush, which features a trigger mechanism that allows you to control both airflow and paint volume. When you press the trigger, air passes through, and when you pull the trigger back, paint flows through the needle. The amount of pressure you apply when pushing down or back controls the volume. “Gravity feed” simply means that the paint reservoir is located at the top of the airbrush. Gravity pulls paint down from this reservoir into the mixing chamber, where the paint is atomized to a mist. Airbrushes are great for photo retouching, auto graphics, temporary tattoos, cake decorating, fine art, illustrations, and nail art. (But please, please use a different gun for decorating cakes with food coloring if you also use your airbrush for painting!) Browse our selection of dual-action gravity airbrush kits below to find the best product for you.
1. Paasche TG-100D Airbrush and Compressor Package
Paasche, which celebrated its 100th year in 2004, is the go-to brand for a step up from the basics. Proudly made in Kenosha, Wisconsin, their high-quality tools are easy to learn with and grow with. This set includes an airbrush that is both double action and gravity feed, a compressor, and a cleaning kit. The airbrush comes with three different head sizes (0.25mm, 0.38mm, and 0.66mm), making it suitable for many applications, and the compressor is lightweight at just five pounds and impressively quiet. This airbrush will handle any medium you want to throw at it, including both water-based and solvent-based paints. Paint dispenses consistently and it is easy to achieve details or coats of different thicknesses by varying your pressure.
2. Iwata Eclipse Hp-Cs Value Set
Iwata is one of the best in the airbrush game, and this set provides the foundations to fulfill your airbrushing aspirations. It comes with an Iwata airbrush with a ⅓-ounce cup size, a 10-foot hose, an airbrush cleaner, plus acrylic paint in opaque ultramarine to get you started immediately. Just add your own compressor (and budget accordingly!). The airbrush has a high-quality chrome finish that makes it durable, easy to clean, and comfortable to hold. The trigger is smooth and sensitive, enabling you to accurately spray paint in fine details and across larger surfaces, with paint flowing consistently. Iwata also makes it very easy to buy replacement parts should you ever have to, so you’ll never have to toss out this tool and buy an entirely new one.
3. Master Airbrush Model G22
If you don’t anticipate picking up your airbrush frequently, try this hobbyist tool, which costs a fraction of every other option on our list. Featuring a 0.3-mm nozzle and 1/3 fluid ounce cup, it is ideal for creating moderate detail work, shading, or touch-ups. It provides steady pressure, has a responsive trigger, and actually feels pretty high-end for what it is. Plus, since you can disassemble it, the cleanup process is a breeze. It comes with a 1/8-inch hose connector and notably, a mini compressor with a maximum air pressure of 25 psi. This is also a good pick for those who want to try airbrushing but are unsure about fully integrating it into their creative practice.
4. Zeny Professional Airbrush System
Zeny’s airbrush set features a dual-action trigger and air compressor with a six-foot hose, plus an airbrush holder. The paint reservoir holds 1/3 of a fluid ounce of paint and the nozzle measures 0.3mm for a precise spray pattern, from hairline details up to areas 1.5 inches wide. An automatic pressure switch helps to maintain air pressure in the tank, allowing you to paint for over an hour without fuss. This airbrush kit fits comfortably on a worktable and has a built-in handle so it’s easily transportable, especially since it weighs under eight pounds. This affordable set is a good choice for first-time airbrushers; those who do a lot of airbrushing may want to pick one of our upgrades.
5. Grex Airbrush Combo Kit
This combo kit, from a company renowned for its state-of-the-art tools, is for serious airbrushers. The kit’s compressor comes complete with moisture trap, pressure gauge, and air regulator and is one of the quietest available for its size. The airbrush, with its distinctive ergonomic handle, is comfortable to hold for long periods, is easy to control, and delivers a smooth, consistent spray every time. The set comes with 2ml, 7ml, and 15ml gravity cups as well as a side siphon with 30ml bottle, for converting to side feed . An air control valve, air hose, one-ounce bottle of black paint, and instructional DVD are also included. Though this premium set is marketed as a tool for experts, it is easy for even beginners to master. Don’t forget to purchase an airbrush cleaner!