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no more Iwata superlube for me :)

Discussion in 'How to Control an Airbrush' started by Ronald art, Jul 27, 2015.


  1. Ronald art

    Ronald art Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    I think we all clean and lube our airbrush(es) on a regular base , I for one take em apart every 2 months or so or sooner if I notice a brush is not as smooth as it used to be , in the past 8 years I used the super lube to get them going again , the SM however came with the K33 airbrush balm so I took my CM apart and cleaned all moving parts with alcohol 70% let them dry for a few sec and applied the K33 balm with a tooth pick as advised by Carlo and put the airbrush together again ( not an easy task if you cant really see the tiny parts and have to do it by feel LOL )
    A little test spray showed a big improvement right away: my CM is much smoother now , not as smooth as the SM but much better than before I cleaned and lubed it :)
    micron 032.JPG
  2. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    That little pot is gonna last a lifetime. I've never used Supalube but first Badger's Regdab, then technical oil from the pharmacy but now Iwata's spraygun lube. Next order from Foxy will include some balm.
  3. musicmacd

    musicmacd Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    I love the balm not sure if i was meant too but it feels great on all the parts and threads !
  4. splasha

    splasha Detail Decepticon!

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    Any of you notice what effect it has on your paint?
    Just curious!
  5. Ronald art

    Ronald art Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    there is no effect on the paint :)
  6. musicmacd

    musicmacd Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Just your finger!
  7. shadow2462

    shadow2462 Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    I use only Badger brushes Velocity's and now a Krome, mainly dictated by budget and only had used the Regdab (badger) lube but have had terrible problems with it gumming up. I just ordered some Super lube to give it a try so will see if there is any difference.
  8. Nessus

    Nessus Gravity Guru

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    I'd been using the Iwata Superlube for the better part of a year since I started ABing again. It was okay: def made a positive difference in reducing tip dry, but TBH didn't make much difference as a lube.

    A couple months a go I tried some of the Badger Regdab stuff, and just as a lube it kicks Superlube's arse. Superlube would sort out any stickyness in the trigger action, but didn't really effect the feeling of compression resistance between the packing and the needle. First time I tried the Badger stuff though, it literally felt like the packing had suddenly come loose or something. The needle just slides back and forth like the packing isn't even there. It even helped between the trigger and the trigger lever, which the Superlube didn't. Doesn't seem to make a lick of difference with tip dry though. I think it Superlube forms an actual film, whereas the badger lube pretty much gets washed off the needle tip the moment you start to spray.

    Haven't had any problems with the Badger lube gumming up. The Superlube would dry out and make the packing and the tip stick a little if left the brush for too long though.

    I'm curious about the K33 balm, and have been thinking about giving it a try (nice that it's inexpensive). If it can come close to providing the best of both worlds, I'd like some.
  9. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    I've never heard of anybody actually putting lube on the needle to prevent tip dry. I put it only where there are contact points. that stuff is not thin enough to not affect the characteristics of the tip. And the first time you wipe the tip, the lube is gone and you have to apply again.
  10. Nessus

    Nessus Gravity Guru

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    From the Iwata website:

    "...Apply in the needle cap and along the needle to enhance paint flow and prevent tip drying..."

    I'd also seen it mentioned in product reviews, so when I started giving lubes a try, did apply to the tip as well. Though TBH, I can't find anything official on the Regdab, so I may have incorrectly assumed it was meant to cover all the same bases as the Iwata (and now that I look more explicitly, the Z33 description makes no mention of tip-dry related properties either).

    My method for both Superlube and Regdab is the same: put a drop or two on the needle about 1/3 from the tip, and wipe forward a few times along the back of a knuckle while rotating the needle. This removes excess while leaving a thin, even coating on the needle. Wiping with cloth or paper towel, or even a larger area of skin such as the back of the hand or inside of a knuckle is too aggressive, and just removes all the lube (or enough to be functionally the same). It is not necessary to apply any lube to the nozzle (contrary to the above quote): just seating the needle and giving it a turn does that.

    The Superlube did make a definite improvement in tip dry when using acrylics and other water based paints. It does indeed seem to form a coating on the needle and tip that reduces tip dry. Painting with hotter paints or flushing with alcohol after an acrylic naturally strips it right off immediately, but water and water based paints by themselves do not.

    With the regdab on the other hand I think you're right: it probably isn't designed for that, and it being stripped off by running ANYTHING through the brush is precisely what I already believed was happening based on my experiences.
  11. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month!

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    Interesting, I will give it a try. But I use Iwata's spray gun lube. Maybe it works too.
  12. ad fez

    ad fez kind of a big deal = Admington

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    Don't believe everything on iwata site..... i know they should know what they are doing but the video from them with their "master technician" on how to clean an airbrush would suggest otherwise. Zsolt has tested the super lube extensively and found it does gum up various parts and his fin dings is that it shouldn't be used. Hence he developed the balm. Any questions you have generally he is very forthcoming with info should you want it
  13. Ronald art

    Ronald art Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    I have to agree with Ad Fez on this : after hearing the facts about the duper lube I cleaned all moving parts in my airbrushes with alcohol and applied just a little K33 balm . it made a huge difference : a;; my airbrushes feel better and smoother than new :D
  14. Nessus

    Nessus Gravity Guru

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    Erm, I explicitly said that above. In fact the gist of what I said is that Superlube in my experience is rubbish as a lube (hardy lubes at all, actually causes stickiness if left in too long), and it's only value is that when applied to the needle tip it actually does reduce tip dry as claimed.

    I don't say that because Iwata says it. I tried it because Iwata said it, and it turned out to be the one part of their claims that was actually true.

    Probably not worth it if you've got a Micron with a Z33 needle or a polished stock needle, hence why the feature might be traded away to make a lube that's that much more optimized as a lube. But for someone operating a low or mid end brush, I can say from experience that it does have some usefulness if applied only to the needle taper and not as a lube.
  15. ad fez

    ad fez kind of a big deal = Admington

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    I wasn't having a go nessus. .... shouldn't be taken with any hostility my friend
  16. Nessus

    Nessus Gravity Guru

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    Wasn't taken as hostile. Just thought you were trying rebut something I hadn't actually said.

    Admittedly, I'm kinda twitchy about that sort of thing. People replying to posts they haven't bothered to actually read is... too common a thing in the internet. Sorry if I mistook or overreacted.
  17. jagardn

    jagardn Airbrush Acquisition Disorder Patient Elite Member!

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    Don't get too twitchy around here, there are quite a few of us that will bust someone's stones in jest on a whim. You mainly have to watch out for Madbrush and Fezzles, they are full of witty sarcasm. :)
    CALz AyrWKz likes this.
  18. ad fez

    ad fez kind of a big deal = Admington

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    No apologies needed mate it's all good. The only thing I question on what YOU said is the reduction of tip dry..... but... I haven't examined this fact myself, don't put lube in that part of my brush and I use etac efx with k33 needle so tip dry isn't a problem.... so I'm certainly not arguing your point I just mean I am suprised if it has any lasting effect as I would imagine it's quickly diluted by fluid flowing over needle. If it works though....or if the badger stuff works I mean then crack on....we all have our own methods of getting the job done. Hell some on here even reduce paint with what I use to clean my brush..... I would imagine it breaks down the polymers but again haven't tried so won't criticise.... my initial remark stands though. ....just don't believe everything on iwatas site... e.g hand matched nozzle and head system
  19. Ronald art

    Ronald art Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    I use Etac efx and not all my airbrushes have fancy needles only the microns have those , I did put superlube on the tip of a needle once and I found it useless : I got fisheyes due to the glycerin that is in the super lube and it took a few blasts of paint to get rid of that , on real hot days with temp over 30 C there will be some dry tip even with the Efx and I solve that with the condition air : I know there is also glycerin in that but the way I use it is 1 drop condition air to 2 oz water and add a drop off this mix to my paint this does solves the dry tip problem on those days and not the superlube ;)
  20. Nessus

    Nessus Gravity Guru

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    It was noticeable for me, but I do think you're right that it probably wears off as you brush. I'm a modeler not an illustrator, so I usually work in relatively short sessions with few if any color changes. Seems plausible that it wouldn't last long enough to be relevant in an illustration context.

    Ronald Art's post below yours also makes me think it might react differently to different paint formulations as well, in which case I'd have to change my mind and retract any recommendations for it, on the grounds of unpredictability/inconsistency.

    In fact when I add up all the caveats discussed... yeah, it's not worth anything. The benefit is too unstable, sort lived, and conditional to be useful outside of limed contexts.

    I just got done doing a simple polish on my HP-CS needle for the first time (chucked it in a Dremel, and massaged it with Flitz as it spun), and though I haven't tested it "in anger" yet, water now rolls off it like it's oiled even when it's clean, so that might make a bigger (and certainly more consistent) difference anyway. If so, then it this whole Superlube thing can be discarded completely.

    I ordered some of the balm. Looking forward to seeing how it performs. I like that it's apparently a grease that doesn't dry out or wick around (one thing I don't like about Regdab is its wateriness), and also that it's explicitly air valve safe.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015

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