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Airtex MJ-728 Airbrush

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by DaveG, Nov 14, 2019.


  1. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    After having the brush recommended to me by one of my FB page followers, I ordered an Airtex MJ-728 off of Ebay, delivered from Japan. Total cost was under $80.00US (delivered), and it took about ten days to receive it.

    airtex mj728_1.jpg

    The brush is a .2mm, "A" cup brush, manufactured in Taiwan. Overall build quality is fairly nice, with the finish being bright, free of defects, and well done. My initial spray testing with this brush shows that it works quite nicely. It feels quite a lot like one of the better known Japanese brushes in hand, with the same approximate build structure. I was impressed with the brushes ability to pull a fine line, even down at some very low air pressures. Pressures low enough that if you were to draw the needle back further, the pattern would appear quite grainy, yet the line quality remained quite decent. Atomization at regular pressure(s) is nice, and smooth looking.

    The brush worked well enough right off the bat, that I decided to try it up against a few other brushes in the same approximate price range. I chose a used (but rebuilt) Iwata HP-A, a Grex XGi2, a Grex XD, and a Badger Sotar 20/20 Slim.

    airtex mj728_2.jpg

    To be fair here, the Iwata is only included to establish a benchmark. It is one of my custom builds, featuring needle, nozzle, nozzle cap, springs, and seals that vary from stock. The Airtex build is quite similar to the Grex brushes, particularly the XD. If they have not originated in the same house, they are for sure some very close neighbors ;).

    I've done some spray testing with 4 or 5 different brands of paint, reduction ratios, and/or air pressures. As I suspected before hand, the Iwata is top dog in this grouping. It just handled everything I threw at it without missing a beat. All the others either worked OK, or struggled with the various paint samples, etc. I would rank the Airtex second, perhaps swapping places with the Sotar - as the Sotar did outperform it with some (but, not all) of the samples I tried. The Airtex just did it with less fuss. The trigger on the Airtex is also much nicer feeling than the typical Badger unit. The two Grex brushes were terrible in comparison, simply based on the quality of the spray results they produced, with the various paint samples I tried. The XGi2 did fair better than the XD, which would have been dead last in this comparison. I used E'tac PS, E'tac EFX, Golden High Flow, Com-Art, and Chroma Air (branded Createx?!)

    I'm impressed with the Airtex. One thing I do have pause about, (if you are interested in the brush, you should consider it too) - I have no idea what it is like to purchase spares. I don't generally have to replace needles and nozzles often, and can go years with a brush in stock trim- but, do understand the need to find replacement parts. I will look into that aspect a bit more, and update with info when available.

    I will be putting together some more comprehensive information, and have it posted on the FB page in the next few days. (https://www.facebook.com/davegs.airbrush.exploration/)
    ashwind, jord001, Leakyvalve and 3 others like this.
  2. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    Very well written review. I enjoy reading your write ups because I pick up useful tips an s more knoeledge.
    Thank you .
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  3. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Thanks, Herb. I appreciate the kind words!
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  4. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Sounds like it another "made in the same factory" gun.
    I'll be interested in your report on the Airtex Selphy. Not I am interested in buying one, but I know you like the odd ducks.
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  5. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    That’s an interesting read Dave. I also like you reviews and pick up a lot of information.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  6. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Any idea what the "MJ-728" stands for? :)

    Grexs are just so bad it's sad.
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  7. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    I do not know what the letters/numbers mean - although they do have an identical brush with a preset handle that has a completely different combination of the two on it. The company that produces these brushes for Airtex (in Taiwan) brands for several other makes, and also offers custom branding for small shops and outlets.

    I did several spray tests using various paints, and wound up just skipping the Grex brushes after a few rounds simply because they were nowhere near being comparable - based solely on the spray characteristics. I can't tell you how much entertainment I get from conversations I occasionally have, or engage in - with an employee of the company (Grex). Lots of pride in the product, that is for sure. If he would simply pause to listen, they may actually improve the product...
    jord001 and Leakyvalve like this.
  8. ashwind

    ashwind Double Actioner

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    I wonder how it compares to Sparmax. Any chance they are made from the same factory?

    Also, does it uses the annoying rubber o-ring in its nozzle?
  9. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    It is produced in Taiwan by Densei Air, and branded for Airtex. I am not yet sure about other potential brand names coming out of this particular manufacturer (although, I do know "Wave" is another name being branded in house). It does have an O-ring seal on the nozzle.
  10. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Any chance they make the NEO? Also do you think the $80 is a reflection of the machines and manpower they use vs. the $5 POS from mainland China?
  11. ashwind

    ashwind Double Actioner

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    Thanks for the info. If they still need the o-ring, it maybe an indication that the nozzle is likely not manufactured to fit and seal well.
  12. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    Seeing that Sparmax is owned by Iwata, I think the Neo might be a Sparmax.
  13. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    In a word- yes. There is some really nice machine work here. The tolerances are nice, and smooth. Finishes are very, very nicely done, with no machine marks visible on anything. Trigger and needle movement are smooth, with no traces of a gritty or sloppy feel. Brush is well made. Not quite on par with the best out of Japan, but for sure well above the typical Chinese low quality production. I would say they are very comparable to the finishes on the Grex, and even perhaps a Paasche Talon/Raptor style brush. The one exception is that it actually works well ;).

    All I know about the Neo and Iwata, is that there are two facilities that produce parts for the Neo, with the parts then being shipped to mainland China for assembly. I do not know the names of the facilities or who owns them.

    Edit: I have looked over a Sparmax, and there is a very good chance they are made in the same facility. I will see what else I can see... Edit to my Edit- The brush appears to be identical to the Sparmax DH-1 model.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  14. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    What I can say about this... the machine work on the nozzle post is actually done very, very well. The O-ring is not simply smashed against the post, but rather there is an appropriately sized recess for the o-ring to fit into prior to the beginning of the threads inside of the post. The threads within the post are the same as those found on most typical Japanese brushes, and will accept an Iwata nozzle - but it would need a washer or spacer at the base, as it is a fraction of an inch too short to work well with the nozzle cap.
  15. Chris the Cabbie

    Chris the Cabbie Spider Splatterer

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    DaveG,

    As previously discussed, the same goes for Badger!
    Regards,
    Chris the cabbie

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