Which Airbrush To Buy?

Decorating By dawnybird Updated 29 Jul 2013 , 1:19am by dawnybird

dawnybird Posted 27 Jul 2013 , 11:29pm
post #1 of 11

Well, my other forum question about the Lisa Frank cake got me thinking that maybe it's time to buy an airbrush. I googled them and I see that the range is anywhere from $59 to $250 (maybe more of a range, but that's what I saw.)


Can you get a decent one for under $100 or is it one of those things that "you get what you pay for"? I'm really a hobby baker so I don't want to spend big bucks on one, but also don't want to throw money away on junk.

10 replies
LisaBerczel Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 1:33am
post #2 of 11

Yes.... you DO get what you pay for.


We're talking about engineered parts with critical tolerances.


You WILL need replacement parts for things that WILL wear out and are easily damages such as the fluid nozzle and tip. Super inexpensive systems don't always offer replacement parts. They are basically *disposable*.


So the cheaper the price.... well, you get the idea.


Before you choose a system, decide what you Want and Need the airbrush to do for you. This will help determine the best equipment fit.


If you only ever ever ever ever going to do little accents and smallish stencils on an occasional basis, then the super inexpensive *puffer* kits may be a fit.


However, if you want to paint a three tier cake gold, then I'll see you next year - you should just about be wrapping up.


Full Disclosure: 

I am an airbrush instructor as well as an occasional distributor for Grex Airbrush at events such as ICES.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 12:44pm
post #3 of 11

ADo Not get the dinky Duff from Michaels. Plenty of reviews out there. I almost did...until I lifted the box.

I purchased the red KopyKake. It's fine & does what I need. I don't do a great deal of work with it.

Had I known then what I know now, I would have purchased the Grex.

I am in no way affiliated with any of them!

dawnybird Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 6:48pm
post #4 of 11

Sorry, I was away from the computer for a bit and just saw your responses. Thank you so much for the input! If anyone else has anything to add, please jump in. I like to be well educated before making a purchase like this.

smittyditty Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 8:45pm
post #5 of 11

Yes I was also wondering this same question.

So there are SOOO many versions on the Grex website which one were you thinking of exactly DD?

I want one that you can change colors midstream without having to wash everything and let it dry. Is that something that even exists?

LisaBerczel Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 9:14pm
post #6 of 11

Regardless of the airbrush style, make or manufacture, here are some generalized points:


Changing Colors:


1) There is NO need to completely clean an airbrush (and let it dry) between colors.


We only need to FLUSH the old color out when we're making Drastic color changes and want to avoid the old color from tinting the new color (blue turning our yellow green.....).


We only need to CLEAN when we are changing formulas that are incompatible with each other (extremely rare in the culinary world) OR done for the day OR need to troubleshoot a problem.


2) Reduce major color change time by planning the color sequence of the project.

Follow the color wheel - lighter to darker - and let the colors do some of the blending and layering for us.

For example, start with yellow, then move to blue as the 2 colors overlapping will be green anyway.....


Choosing an Airbrush Style:


1) Pay attention to Needle/Nozzle size. (N/N)

For culinary work, we typically use .3 mm - this is large enough to spray pearls/shimmers/lusters and still spray a resonably fine line.

The larger the N/N, the thicker the fluid it can spray.


2) Have enough air "power" (PSI) available to do the job.

The larger the needle, the thicker the product, the more volume it can spray, the more PSI it will need to spray with.


3) Top Feed (gravity) are generally used for details and small applications.

The top cup allows for lower PSI as the fluid path's "plumbing" is simpler.

The smaller color cup allows for easy color changes for projects that have smaller coverage with frequent color changes.


4) Bottom Feed (siphon) are generally used for larger coverage, with frequent color changes.

Higher PSI is required. Not typically ideal for detail work.


5) Side Feeds - a good "in between" system when needs are generally split 50/50 between Top and Gravity's "sweet spot".

DeliciousDesserts Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 9:18pm
post #7 of 11

Based solely on what I have read, the Genesis XGI.  


I was really hoping to make it to the ICES Convention to see them in action.

LisaBerczel Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 9:24pm
post #8 of 11

Sorry you won't make it to ICES - there are a lot of vendors that offer the ability to Test the equipment, kick the tires as it were.


The XGi is the airbrush I use the most in my upcoming Craftsy Master Class.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 9:53pm
post #9 of 11

AWow! That was really an informative post!

I'm still toying with the idea. My husband says go. I struggle with the 9 hour drive & $300 price tag just to view the vendor room (gas & entrance). There are so many toys I could buy with that! I'm so cheap I should be ashamed.

smittyditty Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 1:17am
post #10 of 11

Thank you so much for that post!!! My head was swimming with all those things and you cleared them all right up for me.

Thank you!

Thanks DD I will definitely mark this as my go to gun for purchase.

My Husbands just been itching to get me one. I've had to keep him from doing so, till I found what I wanted. Now I can set him free without worry. lol He is a very

supportive husband but if let loose would buy me a rotating oven with no place to put it. :)

dawnybird Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 1:19am
post #11 of 11

Wow, thanks everyone for the great info! I know more about airbrushes than I ever would have just searching around on my own. I really appreciate the input!

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