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You are here: TackleMaking Encyclopedia > Buying Guides > Airbrush for Lure Making
 
Buying Guide: Best Airbrush for Fishing Lure Makers
 
If you don't already own one, you will quickly find that having an airbrush is critical to painting fishing lures. Unfortunately, figuring out which airbrush to buy can be a confusing process for anyone who's never used one before. Here's our advice..,

Where to Get the Best Price: Blick Art Materials (they're MUCH cheeper than other stores)
Link to Exact Product: Iwata Revolution CR Series Airbrushes
Purchasing Tip : If you're buying from Blick Art Materials, make sure you put the model named "CR, Dual Action Airbrush" in your shopping cart. If you're getting the CR airbrush, we also recommend picking up the Iwata Table-Top Cleaning Station to help with cleaning the brush during and after use. It will keep the paint fumes and cleaning vapors down in your shop and it's easy to use. Just fill the cup with water and spray through when you want to clean your airbrush.
  
Our Recommendation: The Iwata Revolution HP-CR Airbrush
 

Iwata Revolution HP-CR Airbrush - Here's our advice...buy the Iwata Revolution CR, Dual Action Airbrush for around $70. I would estimate that about 80% of the tackle making community uses this airbrush, and they all love it. Simply put, it's a great brush, from a leading brand, at an affordable price.

What's the Difference in Models?
The CR model of the Iwata Revoluion is the "gravity feed" version where the paint is added to a fixed cup on top of the brush (see image). If you do research or product comparisons, you'll also hear people talking about the BCR, BR, Bottom-Feed, or Siphon-Feed version that includes exchangable cups below the brush that hold the paint...and you'll start wondering if you should buy that version because some people say it's faster to change out paint colors and clean. Ignore those comments. The difference in time to change out paints is a few seconds, and if you've never used a bottom-feed airbrush, you won't notice any difference anyway. The time and difficulty to clean is about the same on both, so in our opinion, that's not really a factor either.

So why the CR version?
The advantage with the CR version is that paint naturally falls into the spraying mechanism from above, so you don't need as much air pressure to spray the paint. This means you'll use less paint, have more control, and ultimately create a better finish on your fishing lures.

What About an Air Compressor?
If you're also planning on powering tools like a nail gun with your air compressor, you'll want to buy a compressor with a tank (you can get great deals on refurbished ones like the Porter Cable C2006 from ToolKing.com ). If you're not planning on using your compressor for anything except airbrushing, pick up the Paasche D500 Air Compressor which is strictly designed for use with an airbrush. If you're not ready to spend that much on a compressor, you can also buy compressed air in a can at your local craft shop (A.C. Moore, Michaels, etc.) along with a $5 attachment that connects it to a hose for your airbrush. Also...if you can hold out until Christmas, Home Depot usually throws a 2 gallon Husky compressor on sale for around $60. Wal-mart also has good prices on compressors. Wherever you buy it, the key is to get one that produces at least 40 psi and includes a valve to adjust the air pressure up or down (note: airbrush-specific compressors like the Paasche one mentioned earlier may not need the adjustment valve). Lastly, avoid buying inexpensive mattress or tire pumps to power your airbrush...they won't work well.

What about the other brands like Badger, Testor, Precision or Paasche?
You truly get what you pay for when it comes to airbrushes. This is especially true for lure makers, who have very specific uses for their airbrushes. We need them to do everything from base coating to adding pinpoint details on a speckled trout pattern, and not every airbrush can satisfy this range of purposes. Paasche and Badger also make good airbrushes, with good reputations among model-builders and fabric painting hobbyists, but Iwata is a better overall fit for the purposes of painting fishing tackle. The quality is superb, the durability is excellent, and the versatility is a perfect match for lure making.

Where should I buy this?
If you browse the online message boards, everyone will recommend that you buy the Iwata HP-CR from Blick Art Materials (a.k.a. Dick Blick). They easily have the best price on this airbrush. To avoid confusion, the links below will take you to the exact page on their site where you can purchase the CR model we're recommending.


Where to Get the Best Price: Blick Art Materials (they're MUCH cheeper than other stores)
Link to Exact Product: Iwata Revolution CR Series Airbrushes
Purchasing Tip : If you're buying from Blick Art Materials, make sure you put the model named "CR, Dual Action Airbrush" in your shopping cart. If you're getting the CR airbrush, we also recommend picking up the Iwata Table-Top Cleaning Station to help with cleaning the brush during and after use. It will keep the paint fumes and cleaning vapors down in your shop and it's easy to use. Just fill the cup with water and spray through when you want to clean your airbrush

 
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