|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.
- 57psi max output, which is among the higher of the output pressures for units in the <$200 range.
- 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.
- 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.
- Relatively quiet, it's not much louder (47dB) than the Elephant and can be quieted even more (see below).
- Comes with a pressure gauge, an air filter/moisture trap, and a regulator so you can dial in the airbrush pressure you need.
- Integrated airbrush holders which can be handy, but I likely won't use them due to how I have my compressor placed.
- Good reviews from around the interenet.
|Gauge, trap, and regulator.|
- 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.
- 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.
- The instructions are very minimal; mostly features, warranty, and a mechanical diagram.
4.5 out of 5
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!