Airbrush Compressor Review (AS189)

as189-14

A long time ago when I wrote my first airbrush review I mentioned that I will try to get my hands on airbrush compressors too and give most reliable review I can.

This day has come. Today’s candidate for airbrush compressor review is AS-189 from Chinese factory. No, I haven’t bought it in China, I have a local seller here that sells this fella under his brand name “ORLIK“. In North America it goes under trademark “FENGDA“. But I can certainly say that it was made in China and they just put a sticker on.

So, what does manufacturer says about AS-189?

  • Oil free, piston type
  • Double air pressure switch
  • Air pressure gauge and air filter
  • Adjustable pressure
  • Thermal protection inside
  • Low noise
  • Weight 5.2Kg
  • Dimensions: 330x150x330mm

Here is the box:

It is a single Cylinder Piston Compressor with 3L Air Tank and 1/6 Horse Power. The speed is 1450 – 1700 rpm and it can deliver 20~23L per minute. Double Air Pressure switch means that you can choose between two regimes:

1) If the switch is in position 1 then compressor will be switching on & off – when pressure inside tank gets to 4bar (57PSI) it goes off and after a while when pressure drops down to 3bar (43PSI) it starts-up again.

2) If you choose position 2 then compressor will pump the air into tank without stop and in this mode you’ll receive maximal pressure of 6 bar (86PSI).

All this is described in instructional manual

Another thing to be really aware of is the outlet thread which is 1/8 BSP.  In case you need 1/4 BSP or NPT screw thread you will need an adapter.

In manual you can also find all the safety instructions and of course complete list of parts which compressor is built of.

Why have I decided to try AS-189 Compressor?

First reason was that it was cheaper than most other air compressors with the tank and second reason was the tank. I think that I have mentioned before all the good qualities of compressor with some reservoir to store the air (that’s why each of the diy compressors have their own tank). The main positive property is that because of tank you will lose the pulsing air effect at the output and other is that compressor doesn’t have to be on all the time. By considering this fact, the life of compressor engine increases. Also tank is a great first in line moisture trap.

On the picture above you can see the special Double Air Pressure switch.

And here is the detail on gauge and the air regulator.

The AS189 compressor is very compact. You can see on the picture bellow my hand holding its handle, it is really compact compressor.

Here are few more shots of the whole product.

I have also made a video just to show you how it works. I think that it is very quiet for oil-less single cylinder piston compressor. Tank, as I said before, makes it dead silent from time to time, it depends how big your nozzle tip is. At first I thought that 3L tank will be too small but if you do fine art it could be a positive thing. Smaller tank is filled faster and you can enjoy the silence and besides that it gives you more space.

Filling up the tank:

Emptying the tank:

As you can see on the video it takes 1min40sec to fully pressurize the tank and switch the engine off. It takes at least 50sec of time using nozzle tip size 0.2 to lower the pressure down and get the engine working again. That does not mean you cannot continue working when the engine jumps on, especially if you work with low pressures.

My Verdict

I paid for this guy €130 and I think it is totally worth it (and it suits the purpose for now). As I have no big believes in stuff from China I guess only time will show. It is not an IWATA but it does what I need from it and it does it very well. I think that if you are looking for a good air compressor and don’t want to spend too much and perhaps if you manage to find AS189 even cheaper you should definitely go for it.

  • Hans

    Hi Sergej,

    Thanks again for yet another great review.  I think I’ve bought a similar compressor (Australian version) which I’ve paid about $59 Euros equivalent including postage.  Good to know your assuring view as I’ve sold my Badger Tornado & Kopykake Air Master Plus.Regards, Hans

    • Hi Hans, Always happy to see positive reaction. I try to objective all the time. At the moment I’m using this compressor every day and I didn’t change my mind yet ;).

  • Sanbroper

    Hi everyone. To mention my equipment. I bought a Paasche VL, when I was
    in New York (late 80’s). Comes with 3 needles and nozzles (approximately
    0.5 – 0.7 – 1.1 mm). I use only the finest one, with both acrylic and
    enamel based paints. I started again with that WONDERFULL tutorial
    available on this site (the best one, and I’ve been looking for years in
    something very neat: Yeap, anyone will get the best tutor here). But
    the thing is the following. I bought a compressor, AS-189, oilless, one
    cylinder, with 3 liters tank, water trap and manometer. It’s a very
    common chinese compressor, sold under many trade marks in Europe, and
    thye’re all the same. The only thing is that the Paasche VL needs so much
    air that it is impossible to work around 30psi more than 10 seconds.
    The VL takes more air than the compressor is available to maintain.
    Mainly the pressure falls and remains steady at around 15psi during a
    minute or more brush work. Here’s the pic of this compressor

    I do not know if a double motor compressor will work better, as the air
    volume taken will raise from around 23 ltrs to 30 ltrs/mn. I’m still
    satisfied with the Paasce, very durable, but certainly not as precise as
    an Iwata or H&S (the trigger is not so smooth, event with the
    spring minimally tensioned in the mechanism).

    All the best 

    sanbroper (on http://www.airbrushforum.org)

    • Yep, Paasche VL is a hungry beast. Exactly as you mentioned it isn’t that precise as Iwata, because of the nozzle sizes, and that’s why it needs something more powerful than this small Chinese dude ;)

  • I had one of those. The local distributors just placed it’s name on the box and side. It started of great until I needed more power. And by more I mean 25psi. To run at that pressure it needs to run the whole time. So after 40 minutes of running it cuts out and you have to wait 30 minutes for it to cool down enough to continue. I sold it to a model builder and he is very happy with it. they only need to paint for short stints so it actually never gets too hot. Stay away from a compressor with the words “airbrush compressor” on the box.

    • Great advice Andre, It depends what are your needs, for small jobs like models or maybe a detailing it’s good but if you need something bigger :( …