I'm looking into buying an airbrush for miniature painting. For this I need a compressor. I understand that this is an opinionated question, but can I use this airbrush and compressor inside without disturbing the rest of the family to much regarding the noise the compressor will make? I'm aiming for a mid level type, and I'm willing to pay some extra for quietness.

  • This could be answered objectively if someone has a decibel meter to test a compressor. It'll depend on the brand, likely, but could give a rough idea.
    – user24
    Apr 27 '16 at 7:21
  • 1
    If you have the space, consider putting the compressor in another room (even in a sound-dampening enclosure) and running the air line to where you need it. You can also fill a large air tank and work silently for a bit between fills.
    – Shog9
    Apr 28 '16 at 0:47
  • working with a couple of different compressors, i can tell you that the majority of airbrush compressors are about the same volume as a conversation so about 50-60db but some are quieter and some are louder. Aug 19 '20 at 14:46

Your question is almost impossible to answer, since we don't know how much noise will disturb your family (small baby sleeping? kids running around? partner concentrating on a difficult math problem?). But normally the sound level is shown on compressors and here is some references to help you imagine how much it means:

  • 0dB Weakest sound heard
  • 30dB Whisper Quiet Library at 6'
  • 60-65dB Normal conversation at 3'
  • 80dB Telephone dial tone
  • 85dB City Traffic (inside car)
  • 90dB Train whistle at 500', Truck Traffic
  • 95dB Jackhammer at 50'
  • 95dB Subway train at 200'
  • 90 - 95dB Level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss
  • 98dB Hand Drill

Source: The Relationship of Voltage, Loudness, Power and Decibels

You might also be interested in this article on quiet compressor: Quiet Air Compressor – Some Facts You May Want To Know

  • there are also different types of compressors which likely sound differently
    – Matt
    Apr 27 '16 at 15:27

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