How to Ice a Cake

Cake Airbrush Kit vs Manual Airbrush for Cakes

Cake Airbrush Kit vs Manual Airbrush for Cakes

Do you love to bake? Chances are that you’ve heard of airbrushing. It is a popular technique that allows bakers to create beautiful and intricate designs that are hard to achieve with other methods. Airbrushing is a popular choice with cake decorators because it allows you to precisely and consistently apply colors and designs. However, you can use two main airbrush tools: a cake airbrush kit and a manual airbrush for cakes. 

Determining which option is best for you and which is worth the investment can be difficult. No worries; this article will explore the differences between an airbrush kit and a manual airbrush for cakes. By the end of this article, you can decide which is right for your needs.

What Is a Cake Airbrush Kit?

Cake airbrush kits are popular amongst bakers and professional cake decorators. It is a complete set that includes a compressor, airbrush, and sometimes accessories like a cleaning brush, stencils, and more. This kit is usually designed specifically for cake decorating. Sometimes, it comes with dye and food-grade paints that are safe to use on desserts. One of the reasons most people love the airbrush kits is that they’re quite easy to use and tend to come with instructions and guidance for beginners.

A Review of a Cake Airbrush Kit

Let’s explore the pros and cons of this kit.

Pros of Using an Airbrush Kit

What are the benefits of using an airbrush kit?

  • Convenience: The kit comes with everything you need to get started. The tools it features are designed to work together easily, making it an excellent option for novices with little to no experience in airbrushing.
  • CreativityAn airbrush kit allows you to create intricate designs on your cake or subtle gradient easily. This allows you to explore your creativity to its full potential.
  • Precise Control: The kits are designed to allow for a more precise application of colors and designs. You have more control over the amount and placement of the paint and dyes.
the image displays a cake airbrush kit

Check out the US supply airbrush kit

Cons of Using a Cake Airbrush Kit

What are the disadvantages of using an airbrush kit?

  • Cost: The kit can be quite pricey. This is because of its many components and because it is specifically created for use with food-safe colors.
  • MaintenanceTo keep your kit in perfect condition, it’s necessary to carry out regular maintenance. This means cleaning and replacing various parts when necessary. 

What Is a Manual Airbrush for Cake?

In many ways, a manual airbrush for cake is similar to a cake airbrush kit. It uses compressed air to spray paint on a cake. However, it is much smaller and lightweight than cake airbrush kits. Additionally, it doesn’t come with an external compressor or several components. Instead, it completely relies on a hand-operated pump it features to create the air pressure required to spray the paint on the cake

the image displays a manual airbrush for cakes

Check out the DIIQII manual airbrush

A Review of Manual Airbrush for cakes

Lets explore the pros and cons of a manual airbrush kit.

Pros of Using a Manual Airbrush for Cakes

What are the benefits of using a manual airbrush for cakes?

  • CostManual airbrushes for cakes are usually more affordable than other kits. 
  • Portability: They’re ideal for cake decorators and bakers who need to travel to events or work in different locations. 
  • VersatilityYou can use manual airbrushes differently, not just for airbrushing cakes. This makes them a great option if you’re looking for a tool for multiple purposes.
  • CustomizationA manual airbrush for cakes allows you to customize the colors you want for your cake. 
  • Ideal for BeginnersA manual airbrush for cakes is also an excellent decoration option for beginners. 

Cons of Using a Manual Airbrush for Cakes

What are the downsides of Manual airbrushes for cakes?

  • SafetyManual airbrushes are not designed to be used with food-safe colors. This means you must exercise extra care to ensure your colors are safe for consumption.
  • Precisionunlike a cake airbrush kit, a manual airbrush doesn’t offer the same precision over colors and designs.
the image displays a manual airbrush for cakes

Check out the Rainmae manual airbrush

Cake Airbrush Kit vs Manual Airbrush for Cakes: Which One to Choose

What factors should you consider? 

  • Experience Level

If you’re new to airbrushing, choose a manual airbrush. It costs less and is ideal for DIY projects. A manual airbrush like the DIIQII Manual Airbrush for cakes allows you to experiment with various colors and liquids.

On the other hand, cake airbrush kits like the Watson and Webb are designed to make airbrushing easier for professionals. 

  • Cost

Cake airbrush kits are more expensive and usually require an external compressor which adds to the expenses. For example, Watson and Webb’s cake airbrush kit costs $124.99, including the compressor. On the other hand, DIIQII Manual Airbrush for cakes only cost $11.95.

  • Project Type

If you’re working on a project that requires precise application of colors and designs, then you can’t go wrong with an airbrush kit. Kits like the U.S Cake Supply Airbrush Kit comes with everything you need to unleash your imagination on dozens of cakes and desserts.

On the other hand, a manual airbrush for cakes like the RANIMAR Airbrush  works best for small projects that require a lot of customizations.

the image displays a Watson cake airbrush kit

Check out the Watson airbrush kit


  • Can you use a regular airbrush for food? No, you shouldn’t. Using a regular airbrush for food can result in cross-contamination. Therefore, you should have a different airbrush for food and a separate one for craft paint.
  • Does airbrushed cake dry? Yes, it does. However, you shouldn’t wait for each coat to dry before completing the airbrushing process. When you spray lightly, it will dry straightaway.
  • Can you airbrush on buttercream? Yes, you can. Airbrushing buttercream allows you to create different designs at once. However, be careful not to saturate the cake.

Final Verdict

Cake airbrush kits and manual airbrush for cakes have their pros and cons. While an airbrush kit is easier to use and offers more precise control, it’s pricier and requires frequent maintenance. On the other hand, manual airbrushes for cakes are more versatile, require extra precautions, and do not offer precise control. Your choice depends on your experience level, budget, and personal preference. Share with us your experience of using an airbrush kit to decorate your cakes.




Candy is the owner of "How To Ice a Cake' along with her very smart (and super geeky) SEO/web designer husband, Jeremy. She loves decorating her children's birthday cakes and loves all things cakes decorating. Fun fact about her is that fondant is her icing of choice when decorating, but she prefers to actually eat a buttercream iced cake.

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