Monday, January 28, 2013

Badger TC910 Aspire Pro Compressor Review

Badger TC910 Aspire Pro

by Rich K.

Not knowing anything about airbrushing I bought a "starter kit" from Amazon for $60 about a year ago.  It came with a Master G22 airbrush (which isn't bad for an economy 'brush, but not all that great, either) and a super cheap compressor shaped like an elephant.  That kit has been OK to learn on, but I recently wanted to up my airbursh game.  Seeing as the Elephant only produced about 17psi at any given time, it was very hard to get anything but the most watered down paint out of it.  I needed more power... er, pressure!

Good enough to learn on.

After combing the internet for compressor reviews I weighed cost and features and opinion and decided that the Badger TC910 Aspire Pro was the compressor for me.


  1. 57psi max output, which is among the higher of the output pressures for units in the <$200 range.
  2. Auto start/stop, very handy and keeps the overall noise down by shutting the compressor off when the tank is at 57psi and turning it back on when pressure in the tank is down around 43psi.
  3. 0.8 gallon air tank, provides smooth air flow rather than the pulsed pressure when air is taken directly from a compressor without a tank.  An added benefit to having the tank is that the tank acts like a primary moisture trap that will keep excess moisture out of your paint.  The tank is equipped with drain hole should you need to drain the collected moisture.
  4. Relatively quiet, it's not much louder (47dB) than the Elephant and can be quieted even more (see below).
  5. Comes with a pressure gauge, an air filter/moisture trap, and a regulator so you can dial in the airbrush pressure you need.
  6. Integrated airbrush holders which can be handy, but I likely won't use them due to how I have my compressor placed.
  7. Good reviews from around the interenet.


Gauge, trap, and regulator.

Airbrush holders.


  1. Build quality needs work, when it arrived the gauge assembly wasn't put on straight.  I had to straighten it (moslty) to be able to see the gauge easily.
  2. Build quality needs work part 2, One of the tank mounting screws wasn't put on well and I had to cinch it down shortly after starting to use the compressor.
  3. The instructions are very minimal; mostly features, warranty, and a mechanical diagram.
I've had about 8 hours of airbrush work on this compressor and I have to say that it is a super-giant-huge-crazy leap up from the Elephant.  For my purposes, I give it a rating of...

4.5 out of 5

Quiet(er) Please!

I live in an appartment with a family in the unit directly below.  A compressor running on a hard surface will tend to transmit the vibrations through whatever it is sitting on and down through the floor or walls and into any adjoining room.  So, to avoid pissing off the neighbors below, I hung the compressor from the bottom of my workbench drawer with bungie cords (my wifes idea, actually).

This took the vast majority of transmitted bass frequencies out of the motor noise and made the compressor much quieter for folks in adjoining rooms.  This trick didn't help much for me as I'm sitting right next to the thing, but my wife can barely hear it in the next room.  If your neighbors complain about the noise, I recommend hanging your compressor!


  1. Thanks for the review. I have Testors compressor. Same features as yours, but no tank. I'm thinking of upgrading once i start using my air brush for more than just priming and pre shading. I use a piece of old carpet or one of those foam puzzle mats they sell for kids to keep mine quiet.

    1. Never used the testors equipment. I have to say, the tank is a really nice feature to have.

      Yeah, I thought about insulating it for sound but I didn't want to stuff foam around it until I had a good feel for how hot the motor gets.

    2. I just rest it on the foam. Does the whole frame rattle?

    3. Since I've tightened the screws, the frame doesn't rattle. MOstly what was making the noise carry was the 20lb compressor vibrating against the floor. All the other high-freq noise is from the compressor pistons and the motor, but that doesn't carry through the walls well, at all.

      If you can hang it from a bungie, you may end up with less noise for the folks around you.

  2. I wonder if I can run an airbrush from a 200psi workshop compressor with a 10 gallon air tank?

    Good stuff, looking forward to seeing what you do with this puppy.

    Pictures of the Death Korps will be up this weekend.

    1. Howdy, Myles! If it has a good regulator I see no problem with that. The thing with the giant tank is that you can fill it in the afternoon and paint all evening at a low/moderate pressure, which is what the guys at Frontline Gaming do.

      I thought you already had an airbrush rig.

      Looking forward to those pics, sir!

  3. Rich, that bungee cord idea is fan-tas-tic. My downstairs neighbour has been complaingin about my aribrushiing in the venings, and this will solve all our problems! Please thank you wife for the idea! :D:D:D

    1. Will do! Yeah, it worked surprisingly well for me. Let me know how it works out for you.

  4. FYI, the local craft/hobby store has this same compressor for $355.00 each! I got mine for $180.00. It really pays shop around!

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