Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the questions that we are asked the most…
Q: What are the components of the head system?
A: The head system of most models is comprised of the following components: Needle. Nozzle, Nozzle Cap, Head Cap (Eclipse) and Needle Cap. These are the parts at the front of the airbrush that produce atomization.
Q: Why are there different size head systems (tips) on airbrushes?
A: Airbrushes come with different size head systems ranging from super fine to large. This is to enable different volumes of spray and varying viscosity (thick or thin) of spray material. While head system dimensions impact the scale of the spray, slight or minute differences are unlikely to create perceptible scale differences. Refer to the Parts Finder for part names and numbers by model number.
Q: Needles, Nozzles and Caps look alike. Are these parts interchangeable?
A: Though there are a few exceptions to this rule, head system parts such as needles, nozzles, and caps are model-specific and not interchangeable in most cases. To ensure proper performance, use replacement parts that are specified for the model of airbrush that you have. Iwata airbrushes are engraved with the model number on the side of the airbrush. Example: HP-CH or HP-CS. Refer to the Iwata Parts Guide or our Parts Finder to ensure that you are using the correct replacement components.
Q: What parts can I expect to replace?
A: Nozzles and Needles require periodic replacement. These are also the most commonly replaced parts due to accidental mishandling or loss. For these reasons, it is practical to have a spare needle and nozzle on-hand. To prolong the life of these parts never remove the nozzle unless it is damaged or clogged. Do not leave paint or any other material in your airbrush as dried paint can clog the nozzle. Although engineered from durable, high quality materials, the nozzle is small and delicate. Accidental damage caused by cross threading, over-tightening, dropping the airbrush, forcing a needle or tools into the nozzle, and normal wear are not covered under warranty. Replacement parts and service are available through your local affiliate.
Q: What parts do I need to convert the head system of my airbrush?
A: Because Iwata makes airbrush models with a variety of head systems, conversion is not necessary. For those who choose to convert an airbrush's head system, it can only be done within the respective series and it is necessary to convert all relevant head system parts. This includes the Needle, Nozzle, and Nozzle cap on most models.
Q: What is the optimal working pressure (PSI) for my airbrush?
A: We have tested our airbrushes to provide guidelines for each model's optimal working pressure. Thicker spray materials typically require more working pressure to atomize.
Q: What types of material can be sprayed through an airbrush?
A: Any type of liquid can be sprayed through an airbrush as long as it has been thinned to a flowable consistency (such as that of milk or ink) with the appropriate thinner. Spray material must be free of chunks and heavy particulates that will obstruct the nozzle of the airbrush and cause clogging. For this reason, consider using high quality, airbrush-ready paints and always have an ample supply of the appropriate airbrush cleaning agent on-hand. White pigment and metallic formulas are the most difficult to spray and to clean out of airbrushes.
Q: How can I achieve a thinner line?
A: The spray is determined by how much paint is sprayed in conjunction with how close the airbrush is held to the work surface. For a thinner line, you must be very close to the work surface and allow very little liquid to flow out of the airbrush. You must also be using thinned, sprayable liquid. Practice this until you get the feel of it.
Q: What is meant by dual action and single action?
A: Single action airbrushes are activated by simply depressing the main lever. To change the amount of spray you must stop airbrushing and reset the needle adjustment screw. With more sophisticated dual-action airbrushes, when the user depresses the main lever, only air is released; the second action of drawing back on the main lever releases the paint. This dual-action - down then back - enables the user to adjust the volume of spray simply by manipulating the main lever and without stopping.
Q: Is an airbrush hard to keep clean?
A: With good habits, airbrushes are not difficult to keep clean. To maintain the airbrush, flush it with the appropriate cleaning agent immediately following use. Medea Airbrush Cleaner for water based paints and paint thinner for oil based paints. Never immerse or soak an entire airbrush, as over-time this damages the internal O-rings. Follow up with Iwata Lube to regularly lube the main lever mechanism and needle. This will keep your airbrush running smoothly.
Q: Does Iwata offer airbrush kits?
A: Iwata offers a number of airbrush kits for those who want the ease a one-box option. Our IW120 kit is one of our most popular choices for those getting started with airbrushing. Explore our full selection of Iwata airbrush kits here.
Q: What is the best model choice for airbrush makeup?
A: In choosing the best airbrush for any use, whether airbrush makeup, watercolor painting or custom automotive, the most helpful approach is to think in terms of spray characteristic rather than specific applications. We offer 5 categories of airbrush excellence and those looking to apply makeup will find a great choice in nearly every category depending on the spray characteristics desired and the material being sprayed. For those looking for the best airbrush, we have created our one of a kind airbrush selector which will provide a personalized recommendation in just five questions.
Q: Is it hard to learn to airbrush?
A: As with any creative endeavor, time and dedication is required to achieve mastery but beginners are often surprised how quickly they can achieve professional results with the right tools. With the material covered on this website, you will have the resources to begin your airbrush journey on a solid foundation. Visit our Getting Started Section which covers our Spray Categories, basic airbrush terminology, equipment setup and much more.