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Smart Jet Pro compressor

James H

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Iwata Smart Jet Pro compressor






I’ve long been a fan of Iwata airbrushes and compressors, having used both their original Smart Jet Pro and Handle-Tank compressors. I foolishly gave away my original Smart Jet Pro, so was delighted to be given the opportunity to look at another release of this compressor. Before I even opened the packaging, the differences were significant, in being that the box was a lot smaller than my original, and it also weighs around 7% less. This new model is roughly 18% less in length that its predecessor, and 13% and 8% less in width and height, respectively. Iwata’s new Smart Jet Pro is packaged into a robust and attractive box, and within, all parts are well packed with foam blocks, to minimise any potential damage. A 3 metre plastic (vinyl) hose is included, although I do prefer a braided hose for extra strength. Hose adapters are included for Aztec, Paasche and Badger airbrushes, and a spare airbrush holder and screw are also present.




As with the old version of this compressor, the new Smart Jet Pro has an oil-less piston, and an induction motor at its core that delivers 1/8HP. These are encased in a robust sheet metal chassis that has a carrying handle screwed to the top, as well as parts for a single airbrush holder that is fitted here too. This model is designed to run a single airbrush only. Broad rubber feet dampen any possible vibration. An On/Off switch is mounted on the top, for easy access. Note the absence of a tank too. Constant pressure is maintained via a cooling hose, so no pulsing of output at any pressure you choose to set. I typically airbrush at around 12PSI for a variety of paints, including Gunze, Mr Paint, and Tamiya, but have tested this at a higher pressure with Alclad and White Ensign enamel. Running at super low pressure as well as testing at 30PSI showed no problem with continual, pulse-free output. A pressure switch system continually monitors your chosen PSI output, and pressing the trigger of your airbrush causes the system to kick into life.





This compressor is a part of Iwata’s Studio Series, and delivers the same power as its predecessor, but leaving you with a little extra worktop space into the deal. Looking through the specification for the new compressor, there does seem to be a little underplaying of one piece of data, namely the Air Flow. The old version delivered an air flow of 0.42 CFM (12 litres per minute), but the new one delivers 0.64 CFM, with Iwata still saying this is equivalent to 12 litres/min. One website did more accurately give this as being 16 litres/min. 





A regulator is easily accessible to set your output pressure, with the gauge being easily seen with the gauge face peering through the top chassis/case. Remember set your pressure whilst drawing air through your airbrush, and not whilst the pressure is static. To set the pressure, valve head is upwards which allows you to adjust this, and then you push this back downwards to lock things in place. A moisture filter is also included. I work in quite a warm room, and although I have used this only for a couple of workshop sessions, nothing was evident in the trap. This by no means a silent running compressor, with the stated noise output given as 50db, but it certainly seems quieter than this, and any noise is quickly forgotten about whilst working. During my test, I worked with an Iwata HP-C+ airbrush, and used the compressor for extended sessions, but never up to the maximum 60 minutes continuous use, set out in the specifications.




Iwata’s own technical details are thus, with my addition to the air flow data.

•   Low maintenance, oil-less single piston air compressor

•   Quiet running 1/8 HP induction motor

•   Air flow: 0.64 CFM (12 l/m) at open flow ( I think more like 18 l/m)

•   Working pressure from 0 psi to 35 psi

•   Smart Technology automatic switching reduces running time and motor wear (30 psi on / 50 psi off)

•   Protective outer case

•   Cooling hose and moisture filter inside case, which remove the moisture and prevent pulsing

•   Mounted pressure gauge

•   Air regulator for precise air pressure adjustment

•   Comes with a 3 metre (10') vinyl hose

•   One 1/4 BSP outlet

•   Built in airbrush holder

•   On/off switch

•   Voltage: 220-240V 50Hz

•   Noise level: 50 decibels

Duty cycle: 60 minutes continuous use. Please allow the motor to rest for at least 20 minutes after each cycle of continuous use.


Iwata compressors and airbrushes are available through www.airbrushes.com or other good Iwata stockists. Price at time of writing is £285 inc. VAT. My thanks to The Airbrush Company for this review sample.





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