apaseman

Any Preference On Airbrush, Siphon Or Gravity Fed?

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I am about to bite the bullet on my first airbrush, and before I do, anybody have any thoughts on whether I should get a gravity fed or siphon fed airbrush?

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I've used both and the gravity feed models are easier to use. They require less air volume to run and are quicker to clean between colors and at the end of the session. The only advantage I can see to a siphon brush is if you have a big job requiring lots of paint, or if you want to store your paint in a bunch of siphon bottles. For painting small batches of crankbaits, the Iwata "B" size airbrushes hold the right amount of paint for me - not too little but not so big a cup that it gets in the way while painting. JMHO

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Well I have both and use both and the gravity fed are easier to use but I really dont think they are easier to clean. In fact I can clean my badger 150 in half the time easy. Now let me explain before I am bombarded with on the contrary posts.The badger 150 comes with a side cup sort of like a gravity but on the bottom. When you want to change colors drop he cup in the water and rinse the fluid passage. The passage in this brush is large enough to clean very well unlike my iwata which is real small and harder to get clean at least for me and my standards of clean. Now I have had my badger for over 20 years and never had a problem. I have never even rebuilt it. Now when I got mine It was a kit that had three needles two jars and the side cup and hose. So all the bases are covered. When I got my iwata it was all seperate. And more expensive. It is a real nice unit but so is the badger 150.

I would honestly try to get both cause like Bob said some time you want to spray alot and sometimes you want detail. Not to say that they cant do both but it is alot nicer to just change brushes. One other thing a good brush will last you a life time so buy a good quality one. Alot of copy cats out there and if you are not real good at fixing them they are not worth the hassle. Just my 2c Frank

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Simply put.........

siphon for primer, basecoat, and clear if you're doing more than a couple baits.

Gravity for midcoats and details.

I agree and can clean my siphon feed brushes faster than my gravity feeds......and got flamed over it a couple years ago. What I do is backspray into the bottle then remove it.........than I hold the airbrush upside down and drip solvent (water for water based) into the intake....you'll get a feel for hoe fast to drip. The surface tension of the drop after drop cleans out the paint much faster than a constant stream, and much faster than I can clean out a gravity feed cup. Literally 10 seconds from removing the last bottle and putting the next one back on. Plus you can have the bottle with much more paint in it......no refilling.

The gravity feeds advantages........I can spray less pressure. I can put in 3 drops of paint if that's all I need.

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I know where you're coming from Frank - I still have a workhorse Badger 170 siphon feed brush for large jobs, or to shoot metallic paint with large flakes, or for color basecoating. The way painting has progressed for me: I get a new airbrush and eventually know its idiosyncrasies, avoid its screw-ups, and learn to paint with it to an acceptable level - in other words, as well as I can at my skill level, translated through the technology of that airbrush. We all get "married" to our airbrushes. Some of us persevere through thick and thin with the marriage. Some of us have roaming eyes :)

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I know where you're coming from Frank - I still have a workhorse Badger 170 siphon feed brush for large jobs, or to shoot metallic paint with large flakes, or for color basecoating. The way painting has progressed for me: I get a new airbrush and eventually know its idiosyncrasies, avoid its screw-ups, and learn to paint with it to an acceptable level - in other words, as well as I can at my skill level, translated through the technology of that airbrush. We all get "married" to our airbrushes. Some of us persevere through thick and thin with the marriage. Some of us have roaming eyes :)

Well said Bob and I really think both is the best deal so a choice is not needed.

Clamboni that is almost what I do but with water paints it takes a little longer. I have had my badger so long I wonder if I will see some differances in the long term with water in it. It has been used with solvent paint for more than 18yrs. Just a thought.

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We all get "married" to our airbrushes. Some of us persevere through thick and thin with the marriage. Some of us have roaming eyes :)

At least when you "divorce" your airbrush it doesn't get half your stuff. :mad:

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I never thought i would give up my Badger Siphon feed...but I don't think I've used it since I began using my gravity-feed Iwata Eclipse HP-BS. For what it's worth, I spray Createx and Parma with mine and never thin any of it unless I'm adding some transparency for special effects, or experimenting.

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You know one thing that has not been brought up is what are you planning on painting a crank or a swim bait. I paint swim baits of which the smallest one is 5". So in my mind it would take me way to long to paint one with a gravity with say a 2 needle. So my view may be differant just because of what I paint. How about you guys what is the largest bait you paint?

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At least when you "divorce" your airbrush it doesn't get half your stuff. annoyed.gif

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Good point Rayburn! sad.gif

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The limited experience I have with airbrushes recently, has me thinking a gravity feed would be best for me. I have a cheap siphon feed, but I just paint a lot of small cranks; and just a few at a time. I really just use the little cup with a small spout on it more than anything. Then for details, I actually just turn the gun over, and put a few drops of color in it. A bit unorthodox; but good enough for me. biggrin.gif

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"Need both" - Well, more airbrushes never hurt! The question I see more often is "If you could only buy one...." The answer for me is an Iwata Revolution BR. Tip size is a big deal. Based on my experience with small batches of bass crankbaits, a .3mm or .35mm tip is a good balance: large enough to shoot a variety of airbrush paint including pearls and flakes, but small enough to do decent fades. A smaller tip will do fades and details better (all other factors held equal) but it will not shoot some pearls and flakes. So .3mm-.35mm is the "sweet spot" to me. Revolution BR = $72.95

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For me i like the siphon feed. 2 reasons: I usually paint 15 lures at a time so the paint volume is better. Secondly, I'm using lacquers and the bottles serve as a storage container. I have 4 brushes connected at a time for quick color grabs. When I'm done with a paint session i attach a bottle with thinner to each brush blow some through and it can set for a week without needing a cleaning. I'm using Iwata teflon coated revolution brushes. i'll use an ultrasonic cleaner when I don't plan to spray for a few weeks.

If I where spraying water-based paints I would probably use the gravity feed except on heavy coverage colors. But for Lacs the paint dries too quickly in the cup and these brushes would have to be cleaned a few times a day.

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That a way guys got some good info here and now it is getting real specific this will help out many people that have thought of what to buy. Bob good info on the needle size . Wcgood good info on the differant paint out there laquer has not been available here in cen cal for so long I forgot about the fast drying points.

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I use an Iwata HP-C plus and it is all I need for small to medium jobs. The brush is like magic. No problems ever! My .02

I just started spraying myself and I purchased the HP-C. I really like it so far great for everything I've done so far. My buddy who has been running a siphon feed for over a year just got one and 1 day into running it he fell in love with it as well.

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I just started spraying myself and I purchased the HP-C. I really like it so far great for everything I've done so far. My buddy who has been running a siphon feed for over a year just got one and 1 day into running it he fell in love with it as well.

I have been using testors cheap siphoning type---no fine details. Alot of overspray into areas,that I don't want paint. Seems like I waste paint,too

I too am looking for a better airbrush.

I found a SALE @ WWWBEARAIR.com...buy 1 get 1 free --- look for the Presidents Days sale. TCPGlobal.com has a huge selection. " I"M SO CONFUSED"

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I have been using testors cheap siphoning type---no fine details. Alot of overspray into areas,that I don't want paint. Seems like I waste paint,too

I too am looking for a better airbrush.

I found a SALE @ WWWBEARAIR.com...buy 1 get 1 free --- look for the Presidents Days sale. TCPGlobal.com has a huge selection. " I"M SO CONFUSED"

I would buy a decent gun to begin with a Iwata is a great choice, I looked at guns for over a month before settling on the HP-C, it's a great gun. I would say a quality gravity feed double action is a great choice.

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can I ressurect this topic? Having just found this forum Googling Teflon coated airbrushes,,,I do restoration..have used a Badger 360 FOREVER and appreciate all the comments with regard to siphon/gravity apllications ;) Becuase I use materials in small doses, the 360 is great for artwork...but internally its not designed for the clear coats I need to use. I also have a (junk, lol) paasche that is a good airbrush, but since I use it for solvent based clears only, I am prepared to throw it out at any given moment ;) MY QUESTION: Iwata makes an airbrush who's internal parts are Teflon coated to be used with lacquers, etc. Does any one else that any  here are aware of???? My environment worked in is only 9' x 11'--my CH compressor is 1.4 CFM, so getting into a commercial airbrush doesn't make much sense..AND, the areas of application are generally very small anyway--from a few quare inches up to a couple square feet...so the BIG airbrushes become "overkill". Anyone got any input? I am perplexed! 

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I think "Teflon coated" applies to the packing in the barrel of the airbrush, not the whole interior. In years past, many airbrushes did not have Teflon (aka PTFE, aka "solvent resistant") packing and solvents would deteriorate the packing, causing problems. Nowadays, most airbrushes have it and it is usually mentioned in the airbrush spec sheet. I think that even most of the cheap Chinese brushes have it. Regarding "expensive commercial brushes", an Iwata Revolution retails for less than $75 - probably less than that old Paasche you are giving the evil eye. But before you choose, check the application specs for the finishes you shoot - they often tell you the preferred airbrush tip size and pressure to use with the product. My thought is that solvent based clearcoats usually require a tip size that is larger than the tips we use to shoot water based acrylics onto crankbaits. Not many of us use an airbrush to clearcoat baits so we gravitate toward smaller tipped airbrushes because we want to cram detail and very fine color fades into a couple of square inches. That might not be the best choice for restoration work. Maybe Kingfisher or someone else who paints larger items like motorcycle helmets can comment.

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