Air compressor decision

Submitted by AmyRitchie on 2/23/02. ( )

Ok, I've decided which airbrush I want to get. BUT, I still can't decide on which air compressor. I want to buy a small airbrush compressor (under $100), and I have a few in mind. I just can't decide.

At first I was thinking of getting the Paasche D-500 ($99 from DixieArt). But I'm not sure about that...

For only $73 from Harbor Freight, I can get a Central Pnumatic 30 PSI, 2 CFM air brush compressor. It seems to be the equivalent of a Paasche D-500. Sounds like a good deal.

For $99, they have another Central Pnumatic compressor that looks just like the $73 one, except for it has a regulator and filter. Do I really need a regulator and filter? I'd prefer to buy the $73 if it will work for me.

Which one would you buy? I don't want to spend too much, but I don't want to have problems either.


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This response submitted by Patrick on 2/23/02. ( )

Hi, Amy- Having been to Harbor Freight (there's one not too far from where I live), I know that a lot of the stuff that they sell isn't of very good quality. Not everything, but a lot. I've seen some of the air items they carry, including the Central Pneumatic brand. For quality, I'd go with the Paasche. For the small difference in price, the value upgrade is worth it. Besides, all you have to do is mount another squirrel and head to Ebay- that'll help pay for it! Have a nice day and good luck. Patrick

PS: I'd recommend a filter and regulator, too


This response submitted by Amy on 2/23/02. ( )

The Paasche D-500 doesn't have a filter and regulator. They sell a paasche D-500 with filter and regulator for $20 more ($119).

What does a filter and regulator DO?


This response submitted by Patrick on 2/23/02. ( )

The regulator will alow you to adjust the air pressure before it gets to the airbrush. According to the Dixie Art webpage, it will also prevent the pulsing of air. The filter will act as a moisture trap and keep water from entering the airbrush and mixing with the paint. This is a must for spraying oil-based paints.

Get a big'un

This response submitted by Bill K. on 2/23/02. ( klager@ )

You might want to consider a larger compressor. I know you don't want to spend a lot but you are going to need one anyway if you plan on doing much taxidermy in the future. You can get a big one at Walmart for about $200.00 (ouch) but it will save you a lot of time and frustration. I have never used one of those small ones but from what I understand they run all the time. The noise would drive me up the wall. You ARE going to get a big one anyway you might as well start of on the right foot.
Good luck, Bill

Go big..

This response submitted by Ed. on 2/23/02. ( )

Amy.. i agree with Bill get a good big one u not be
sent u a e-mail on the capes..

They little coompressor will make it hard to paint with.

This response submitted by John C on 2/23/02. ( )

You will get water and spurratic air pulses. I did the same thing when I started. Get the Cheap littl one from Walmart it has a tank and regulator with it. About $106. in our local store.

I think I know what you're talking about, John C...

This response submitted by Amy on 2/23/02. ( )

I was just on the walmart site and they have a Campbell Hausfeld 2 gal. tank compressor for about $99. It looks pretty nice.. didn't say a whole lot about it, but it has two gauges on it. Those must be the regulator(s) (I don't know anything about compressors!)

Unless someone suggests otherwise, I'm probably going to go with that. I don't have a whole lot of money (Yeah, I make relatively good money from squirrels on Ebay, but I've got alot of other things to pay for!), I DEFINATELY don't want pulsation, and I'd prefer that the compressor didn't run all the time.


Go big!

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 2/23/02. ( )

A larger compressor is useful for all sorts of things. I could never manage without mine. Even a simple air nozzle is such a wonderful thing. Just think how it would fluff up those squirrel tails!

Nancy M.

big one

This response submitted by james-sc on 2/24/02. ( )

200.00 at lowe's or home depot for a 4.5 hp/15 gallon tank. tell your Dad it will be very useful for him too -flat tires etc. then you can get a mini-flesher later. The South Carolina show is Mar. 8-9 in Columbia if you are not to far, I think there will be a seminar on mountig a deer and another on small mammal don;t know witch one on witch day. I can also get you plenty of deer next year small bucks with small racks that you can keep if you still need them. james-sc

Amy your a beginner and dont have much money.

This response submitted by John C on 2/24/02. ( )

We all have to start some where and the little unit from Walmart aint to bad, it is far better than the others with out a tank. The tank will let the compresser catch up, this allows the compresserto stop from time to time. It great for air brush and glossing. Later on should you decide taxidermy just is not that much fun, you still have a good unit for airing up tires etc.

Walmart compressor

This response submitted by steve on 2/24/02. ( )

I have the small compressor from Walmart, it's perfect for airbrushing...the best thing about it it's pretty quiet and perfect for your home. I also have a larger compressor which is great for air tools and fleshers but it would wake up the dead when it runs.


This response submitted by Steve on 2/24/02. ( )

I've also used the Paasche unit and I didn't like it because it continually cycled and prefer a tanked model.

C-H "Quiet Air"

This response submitted by Phil on 2/26/02. ( )

Amy - I looked high and low and researched air compressors for a couple of months before making a decision. Everyone's got their individual preference, certainly, but finances and getting the most for your dollar count for a lot.

For airbrushing only, I purchased the Campbell-Hausfield "Quiet-Air" from Wal-Mart; the 2 gallon tank is just large enough to handle my airbrushing needs, and it is relatively quiet. The gauges you see indicate pressure in the tank and output PSI; the regulator knob adjusts the output PSI. Do get the moisture trap (the C-H model was only about $12, also at Wal-Mart). You may need to get a couple extra 1/4" male-male fittings, though, depending on your setup.

As for general taxidermy purposes, I agree wholeheartedly with others here who have suggested a larger compressor / tank combination.

Best of luck to you!

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