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Compressor recommendations wanted!

Discussion in 'Airbrush Compressors' started by JiroPaints, Dec 14, 2016.


  1. JiroPaints

    JiroPaints Young Tutorling

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    Hello all!

    Recently decided to purchase an Iwata Eclipse BCS ... shall be doing large abstract canvas work.
    Ideally want a compressor that will be reliable (running for perhaps 2 hours max at a time)
    Doesn't need to be silent at all but shall be using in a home studio so don't want to deafen the neighbours or myself preferably.

    After doing research I've figured I should probably get something with a tank, water filter thing.... and something that isn't huge? Would prefer to spend less money but my priority is to get something reliable that will last and give me consistency.

    (a link to my airbrush thread with some images of the type of thing I'll be doing with it - http://www.airbrushforum.org/threads/airbrush-recommendation-help-needed.17131/#post-257173)

    All help would be much appreciated!
  2. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Something like this would probably suit your needs, I had one of these and you can have a normal conversation over the top of it, it's not that big but big enough for your needs and if you have a studio you will certainly have room for it, you will need a couple of adaptors to convert it from 1/4 to 1/8 for your airbrush, but these items cost mere coppers, it is far better than the small studio 3L tank compressors and far cheaper than than the Bambi type silent compressors.
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  3. JiroPaints

    JiroPaints Young Tutorling

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    Thanks Malky! This is really helpful... could you name or link me to the type of adaptors I'd need with this? I'm extremely clueless/new to all this.
  4. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Check out this thread and this thread where you will find all the info you need to know, you will want a moisture trap/air regulator on your table or screw to the wall near your work, my compressor had two gauges, one told the pressure in the tank and the other regulated the pressure coming out, I'm not sure if the the one I linked has the second gauge, if not you will need to put one one on but as I said they are fairly cheap.

    No thanks necessary, it's what we do here:)
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  5. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    Also check out the video airbrushtutor has on youtube about compressors!
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  6. JiroPaints

    JiroPaints Young Tutorling

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    Hi Markjthomson, have already seen the video which was helpful but still after some recommendations of specific brands/compressors.

    I'd rather have something with moisture trap/air reg as part of the compressor - mainly due to the space I'll be using it in (often chaotic/limited table space and wont be using things in a fixed position)

    I really after something that is already set up and ready to use as much as possible without needing to buy too many extras.

    Had a look at the threads you linked, some helpful stuff but a lot of the brands mentioned seem to be a lot more expensive in the UK compared to US. Perhaps I'm still looking in the wrong places?
  7. JiroPaints

    JiroPaints Young Tutorling

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    Currently leaning towards the Iwata studio series smart jet plus OR sparmax TC-610H (cheaper and maybe better with bigger tank?)

    All thoughts on this very welcome!
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  8. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    the only compressor you're likely to find already set up for airbrushing will be the small cheap studio compressors which you be replacing regular due to them burning out with over frequent use, or the more expensive studio compressor from the likes of Iwata and sparmax which will double or even treble the cost of the one I linked, everything else has to be adapted and we all have to do it, if you can't have your regulator on the table you can have it under like I did or you can simply attach it to the compressor itself, if you check out Lion Art here in Holland, he has all the parts you need and is very reasonably priced, he's also a member here and he will give you all the help you need to get you going.

    I looked around for the best deal for you based on your own criteria, even if you spent another £100 on the compressor I linked you would still be less than half the price of a Bambi or other specialist compressor which is over kill price wise, I mean all you need is air, and air is only air no matter how much you pay for it, if you do check out Lion's site check out the prices of the compressors there, you will see that most of the small ones cost more than rigging the one I linked to work for you.

    Unless you choose a studio/nail-art compressor which I don't think will suit your needs, you will have to put in a little work to make anything work for you.

    I know all about the prices in the UK, I'm Scottish too, I moved to England when I was 26 and then to Holland at 46, many of our members buy airbrushes and parts from here in Holland because they are often far cheaper than in the UK, and even nicer, sometimes the post is is actually quicker and probably wouldn't cost as much as you might think, there is Lion Art whom I've Mentioned and linked and then there is also Foxy studios, both have excellent prices on just about everything compared to the UK, and both there websites are available, Marissa Oosterlee and Carlo Tedesco owners of Foxy are also members here, they are all astounding people and will care for your every need.
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  9. Basstrack238

    Basstrack238 Gravity Guru

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    I'm a big fan of California air tool compressor with a tank. Mine has been awesome. I even squeak by using my mini hvlp units with it. For small stuff at least.
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  10. JiroPaints

    JiroPaints Young Tutorling

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    Hi Basstrack238 - had a look at them but seem extremely pricey or hard to get in the UK!

    My favourites just now are the sparmax TC-610H or Malkys original suggestion which I've found are the same price online.

    I like that the sparmax seems ready to go with less extras and would be smaller, all meaning it would work better in my studio.
    Is the tank too small though? Would this just break quickly?
  11. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    The sparmax is just the same as the little studio compressor I had but with a case around it, I got the a similar compressor as in my link because my studio one was constantly running even with a tank, especially with the eclipse with it's larger nozzle, the compressor I linked isn't as big as you maybe think it is, it stands about 22 inches high, about 24 inches in length and around 12 deep, it will take up less space than you think and could probably fir under any table.

    Many people start with a studio and then upgrade to a larger compressor later when it transpires that the studio compressor was too weak, if you think there is any chance you might have to prime larger surfaces in a hurry, studio compressors are not fit for this, these are all little things you should consider before deciding, there's no sense in forking out twice if you can a have a good all rounder to start with,.

    Another point is you won't be able to get an Iwata or Sparmax studio model with a bigger tank unless you go for a bigger more expensive model of either, since a bigger tank means a bigger more powerful motor to comfortably fill it, you can't put a bigger or even an extra tank onto a model that din't have it to start with without risking overheating, also the true silent compressors bearing fridge type compressor motors require oil and constantly keeping checks on the oil, the compressor in my link is totally maintenance free other than periodically emptying the tank to release water which condenses in there with any type of compressor.
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  12. JiroPaints

    JiroPaints Young Tutorling

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    Wont be using it to prime surfaces, more just for certain details but would be nice not to be limited to this by the compressor. My main concern about the studio style one now is that it would struggle with the eclipse and acrylic combo like you suggested.

    This all has been incredibly helpful and no doubt is going to lead to a more sensible purchase - Thanks!
  13. Malky

    Malky Pencil Pushing Protagonist Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    I think just about everyone who ever had a small studio compressor wished they had gone a little bigger a few times, I know I did which was obviously why I bought mine, but what pleased me even more was that the compressor was also handy for air operated tools such as nail/staple guns, since another one of my hobbies is upholstery and general upholstered furniture renovation it would have come in handy.

    I chose my compressor for the maintenance free aspect as well as price, I'm limited for space too but it didn't take up much space.

    Whatever you decided on, just pop any questions here if your not sure about anything.
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