An airbrush is a quite sophisticated and versatile tool for even application of mediums on a surface where many factors should be taken into consideration. And one of the key elements involved into paint atomization is an airbrush needle. This part of the airbrush is responsible for mixing of paint with air and forming a spray pattern. But at the same time, needles are the most fragile parts of airbrushes too. They are easily destroyed when dropped or hit. At best, the needle will get bent, at worst broken. And one more thing: it’s not necessarily that you will notice the bend in the needle but it will clearly affect the spraying results.
For this reason, we offer a large selection of airbrush needles of different sizes so that you could surely find the right replacement part or even a whole needle set for your airbrush. Before purchasing read this buying guide to learn which needles fit your airbrush type and what airbrush needle size you need to choose. Also, we have gathered here some signs indicating a damage of the needle for you to know when it’s time to change this airbrush part.
How to choose airbrush needles
On the market, there is a great variety of airbrush needles from different manufacturers. And each offers a vast number of needle sizes for all types of airbrush models. So let’s find out why there are so many sizes and which one is the best for your airbrush.
Among the factors influencing the choice of a needle, the intended use and type of your airbrush play the key role.
- Depending on the scale of surface you’re going to cover with your airbrush, choose a large, middle, or small needle size. The larger surface you want to paint, the larger needle diameter should be.
- Now, what comes to the airbrush types. Commonly, airbrushes can be of single- and double-action operation. If you want to learn more about this read our buying guide on Airbrushes. So, if you have a single-action airbrush this means that it is rather for painting larger surfaces as it provides less precision control than a double-action airbrush. To this end, large-sized needles will be the right fit. And vice versa, if your airbrush features a double-action operation and, hence, provides more user control over spray patterns, your choice will be rather in favor of smaller needle sizes.
It is often that airbrush sets contain one or several extra needles. Their sizes are usually accepted to mark with one, two, or three engraved rings at the end of a needle corresponding to fine, medium, and large paint patterns provided.
For a better understanding of airbrush needle sizes, there is a chart below.
Airbrush needle size chart
0.4 to 0.5 mm
The most popular needle size for general purpose painting and base coating.
0.3 to 0.35 mm
This size is suitable for applications that do not require fine lines.
0.2 to 0.25 mm
Airbrush needles of this size provide fine spray patterns that’s why advanced artists often use them.
0.15 and less
These are best for high-end spray pattern details. Besides, they are the most expensive ones.
How to detect issues with airbrush needles
As noted above, airbrush needles are demanding. Any negligent handling can cause damage and result in unwanted painting effects. Maybe, it’s obvious but we still need to mention it: smaller needles are the most vulnerable. The only thing that protects the needle from the impacts outside is an airbrush tip. To find the right tip for your airbrush, go the section of Airbrush Tips.
Some airbrush users even buy magnifying glasses to find a bend in the needle. And sometimes, indeed, they succeed in fixing of needles. However, the odds are too low and in the wrong hands, it’s simply impossible.
Further, we have listed several indicators that will help you determine a bent needle.
- The most certain sign is... when the needle breaks in two :)
- Now seriously. Some bends can be even not discernible to the eye but can significantly spoil your painting job, for example, with clogs within the needle or splatters on the surface. Sometimes it is possible to solve these problems with a paint thinner. But there is a drawback: paints of different colors on the surface may start to blend a bit.
- Another way to know whether your airbrush needle got bent or not is air pressure monitoring. The point is that a bend doesn’t let enough air pass through it what causes a so-called stipple paint effect. Or otherwise, there can be too much air in the needle that results in the wrong spraying directions or overspray.