HVLP PRO airbrushes : upper tank or lower tank? The well-considered choice
White wine or red wine? Long hair or short? A seaside holiday or hiking in the mountains? These are the great dilemmas of life.... Does the cup go up or down? Or the tank up or down? Users have been puzzling over this for as long as spray-painting airbrushes have been around... There is no definitive answer that disregards personal preferences: if we look at the RIGO HVLP PRO series of airbrushes, all models enable high-level performance and meet the expectations even of the most demanding trade users. In fact, the lower-tank model ACT-AS and the upper-tank model ACT-S share most features, the two models differing only as to where the paint tank goes. But there are some technical features and considerations to be borne in mind that will enable us to make the best choice between these two models.
ACT-S top tank airbrushes allow adjusting the pressure of the air tapped from the delivery stream through a valve on the lid, and this means we can fine-tune descent of product from tank to nozzle, thus varying width of spray. With this airbrush, simply by adjusting the valve on the tank lid, we can obtain spray widths ranging from a minimum one or two centimetres to about 30 centimetres, with appropriate choice of air cap and nozzle diameter. However, this feature does not come with the ACT-AS lower tank model. Here, spray-width adjustment is obtained by setting the air and product available.
Another unique feature of upper-tank airbrushes is that they are more suitable for use with high specific gravity or high viscosity paint products, because gravity helps the product flow smoothly from tank to nozzle. These airbrushes, put simply, are less affected by proper/unsatisfactory dilution of the product. They are more tolerant of products that are poorly or unsatisfactorily diluted or that are particularly viscous.
We also see that choosing lower or upper tank is greatly influenced by the user’s training and technical background. Those who come from the decor sector, or who mainly work in this sector, will use almost always only upper tank spray guns. Users who come from industrial painting mainly choose the lower tank, because this option is more familiar to them.
Grossly oversimplifying matters, we can say that ACT-S upper-tank airbrushes are better because they can be appended. ACT-AS lower-tank airbrushes are better because they will stand upright on the floor! In fact, the RIGO turbines with which these airbrushes are used feature an accessory tray with airbrush support suitable for both models. So, the problem of where to place the airbrush has been already solved.
Indeed, solved before we even start!