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HFENG AF-186 Is this compressor any good?

Discussion in 'Airbrush Compressors' started by Franc Kaiser, Mar 25, 2018.


  1. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Dear all

    I am considering to buy this model (a cheaper Chinese, but has a 3L tank). Price: USD 71. I live in China hence shipping costs or time is not an issue.

    This compressor is supposedly be good for fine art (i want to paint larger canvases, with acrylics). Would you agree? or do i need something stronger, more potent?

    This compressor is supposedly low in noise (47db) which is important for me as i live in an apartment with small children sleeping in the next room. Do you know whether this is silent enough?

    Does anybody else own this model? Any experiences, opinions would be very appreciated!

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  2. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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  3. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Thanks a lot - this is a helpful chart. Basically what you're saying is that the machine in question is going to be quiet enough, right?
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  4. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    I don't know if I am honest. You need to decide what level of noise is acceptable for you, but that chart can be help full when you are deciding about that. If we assume that manufacturer of that compressor is telling the truth about loudness of their compressor.

    Test loudness when your kids are at sleep maybe? Try with whispering,normal talk, yelling? lollollol
    just brainstorming -.-
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  5. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    I think that’s pretty much the same unit that I have had. It’s difficult to quantify noise. But I’d say it’s about the same as an average air conditioning unit. I don find it loud enough to be troubling and it has worked a lot of hours reliably so far. I have also bought a small desktop fan to help cook it as it used to heat up and cut out all the time. Since adding the fan I have painted for hours without a cut out.


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  6. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    That’s a helpful chart Husky. Thanks for posting.


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  7. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Right... noise is, of course, subjective.
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  8. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    I think fan is the same level like that compressor? If you got a fan for summer, try to test with it. When your kids are at sleep try to move it closer each minute from your work space to their space, to see when they will wake up cause of fan noise. I think it's the same level, didn't went to see on those charts though. You can check it out by urself.
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  9. HellBird

    HellBird Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    That compressor looks identical to the compressor I use aside from the handle. It is pretty quiet all things considered. It may say 47 db, but how far away did they say the measurement was taken? One meter (~3 feet) away, mine reads about 57 db. On the other side of the door to my utility room, it's about 38-40 db. If your kids sleep with a fan running and the door closed, they shouldn't notice it. You can always enclose the compressor in a cardboard box with eggshell foam on the inside to further reduce the noise.

    The 3 liter tank is smallish if you are doing large pieces, as the compressor will run more frequently to top off the tank but should be ok.
  10. Samantha Freeman

    Samantha Freeman Banned

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    This is great advice as I am actually going to try it, even though my neighbors never complain about it.

    my compressor is very similar and I am going to share my experience with my no name model as it is a 1/3 hp double piston motor. The db is 59 and watching tv doing my portraits I have found the compressor noise creeping over the tv and I couldn't hear what was going on, on my show! IKR the horror. As far as it performs I really couldn't be happier, the 3.5l tank may be small but never run into issue with the consistency of air (although now thinking about it, it does click on rather often) Anyways the only thing extra I had to purchase was a plumbing fitting that converted a 1/8 to a 1/4 threaded male outlet to plug my airbrush hose to the moisture trap.

    My Compressor which looks around the same caliber:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1-3-HP-Twin-Piston-Airbrush-Compressor-Professional-Oil-less-Air-Pump-w-Tank/271788952594?_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=20160727114228&meid=69de7ba57bb540dcb3bbb715c04aa206&pid=100290&rk=1&rkt=4&mehot=pp&sd=271788952594&itm=271788952594&_trksid=p2060778.c100290.m3507
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  11. HellBird

    HellBird Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    @Samantha Freeman Lol- Your compressor is one I may have chosen myself had it been more prominently displayed in the search order on Amazon. Not regretting it as I (ahem):rolleyes: was attempting to get into airbrushing the "cheap-enough" way. Several additional airbrushes and way way too much paint and paper later that compressor has been one of the better choices I've made.

    @Franc Kaiser, Not sure this class of air compressors are made for the long haul, but at least they are quiet and can be made more so with some sound baffling, if you need it. Good price on the unit, since it's made right there in China :).
    Be sure the compressor has some ventilation if you do put some sound deadening material around it. Always a good idea to keep an eye on its temperature occasionally if you run it for a while.
  12. huskystafford

    huskystafford Needle chucking Ninja

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    There is always other options as well if you are handy man or you know someone who is.
    I use refrigerator compressor attached to an air tank. You can get it for free if you don't mind taking apart old refrigerator lying somewhere and you buy few beers to a guy who do the welding and you are ready to go.

    need to find out pictures of my beauty somewhere on this forum...
    here it is:
    View attachment 52996 View attachment 52997

    she is very quiet and it can fill bigger tanks without a problem.
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  13. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    @All - many thanks for weighing in and sharing your experiences and opinions.... this is all very helpful. I may order that compressor, but am also thinking about getting one with a larger tank (i.e. 6 L) to have more uninterrupted painting experience. I typically paint in 2 - 3 h sessions, and do not want to wait for a compressor to cool down every 30 minutes. If you got any good recommendation for such a compressor, please let me know!
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  14. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Ok - let’s wrap this up here. I bought this compressor and it works like a charm. Couldn’t be happier with it. The noise level is lower than i have expected, hence not a problem at all. Many thanks for all your advice and opinions you provided me on this subject.
  15. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    I’ve one very similar and am happy with it, but have upgraded to a large one in the shed, I’ll save this one for when I move inside

    I look forward to seeing what results you get with it and see if it solves your issues with your sparmax
  16. Franc Kaiser

    Franc Kaiser Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    It solved my Sparmax problem perfectly. Before, with my diaphragm comoressor, I spent one hour trying to outline a motive (hardly being able to create anything resembling a line or area), and once I connected the AF-186, I was able to produce this (see picture) within 20 min. It’s a pleasure to work with it.

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  17. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Glad to hear you’re up and running finally
  18. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    I’m really glad you got to the bottom of it. Now bring on the painting!!


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