Forum: Cakes & Cake Decorating

Air Brushes

I’m thinking of getting an air brush in the near future. I have no idea which ones have a good or bad reputation and what are things worth spending extra for and what’s not. Could y’all help me out? I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

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30 Replies

Becky Pendergraft ...

I would love to know the same thing!! I purchased one on ebay (knowing virtually nothing) and can’t get it to work – not sure if it’s a faulty product or if I just don’t know what I’m doing and since I purchased on ebay, the seller is hard to communicate with and I’m just not able to get any helpful info from them :(

SarahBeth3 ...

Oh man! That’s too bad. See that’s exactly what I am afraid will happen to me. I’m sure with all these talented people here we’ll get some help.

sasha ...

I’ve got an Iwata and LOVE IT!!!

Tiffany Palmer ...

I bought mine from www.tcpglobal.com, but to be honest the one I bought is more hardcore than I needed. I have heard a lot of great reviews about the Airmaster from www.kopykake.com. I would say check out both sites and see what is best for you, and before you buy check out prices/warranties/etc.

mom09 ...

I got one from Michaels duff it was only $90 dollars just to try and to learn how to use one i thought if i could learn how I would spend the money for a better one later on.

Becky Pendergraft ...

mom09 – how is the Duff’s airbrush working out for you so far? Reviews available yet? ;)

SarahBeth3 ...

Yes, mom09, how is it? I’ve heard good and bad about it. What’s your opinion? I don’t think I will be using one very often as for now, so if the negativity I’ve heard is related to lots of use, I don’t think that will be a problem. I just want one for the same reasons you stated above.

mom09 ...

I havent try it but as soon as i do ill post

Sandy Thompson ...

Hi everyone! I’m new to this site…just joined today :-) I’ve done a lot of research on airbrushes and actually taught a class on them at my local cake supply store…from what to look for to how to clean them and how to use them….so I’ll try to keep this post brief. I do have additional information so if you still have questions, please feel free to contact me :-)

When it comes to airbrushes, a lot of the time you get what you pay for…with that said though, it also depends on what you want to be able to do with the airbrush. Personally I have a Kopykake Airmaster Pro and I absolutely love it. Here are some things to look for:

There are MANY brands of airbrushes and prices range from as low as $80 and as high as $500+. Common brands/models include: Airmaster, Kroma-Jet, Bakery Crafts, Badger, Aztec, and many others

Regardless of the brand or model of the airbrush, they all require two main components: the compressor and the airbrush gun.

The airbrush gun moves the color one of two ways: gravity feed or siphon feed. Most cake decorating systems are “gravity feed”. Siphon fed systems have a tenancy to waste color because you can’t get all of the color out of the bottle and take more time to refill than a gravity fed system.

Another important feature to consider is the PSI (pounds per square inch). The PSI varies by airbrush. Systems go as low as “0” and as high as “55”. You don’t want too high of a psi because it could literally blow your icing off the cake or make dent or hole in your fondant…7-10 PSI is ideal for cake decorating.

Other terms you may hear regarding airbrushing is: Single or Dual Action. With single action airbrushes pull back on the trigger for air only, the paint flow is adjusted separately with the nozzle on the compressor, usually with your other hand. With double action airbrushes you push down on the button for that air and pull it back at the same time to adjust the paint flow. The paint flow is regulated by the needle moving back and forth in the tip.

SarahBeth3 ...

WOW! Thank you SO much. So do you recommend a single or dual action airbrush? Which is easier? Which has better control of paint flow? Which can someone like me who can’t multitask successfully use? lol

Sandy Thompson ...

You’re so welcome! If it were me, I would go with a single action airbrush with a compressor that allows you to adjust airflow. It’s MUCH easier to use than a dual action.

I’m not sure what price range you’re wanting to stick to but I really love my Kopykake AirMaster but it’s around $250.

SarahBeth3 ...

Thanks so much, SandyT.

Sandy Thompson ...

@Becky—if you want some help with your airbrush, I’d be happy to help you. If you have a webcam or want to take a picture of your airbrush, maybe I can help you :-) Just a thought :-)

Becky Pendergraft ...

Oh, SandyT!! Thank you so very much!! I’ll work on getting that picture for you – that’s so very kind of you and much appreciated! (As it’s just gathering dust at the moment!)

Becky Pendergraft ...

So these are the compressor and airbrush I picked up on ebay – they were pretty cheap in price when compared to others, so wouldn’t be surprised if that’s my main problem right there! The compressor runs and the airbrush will spray air, but nothing will come through.