Beware of Imitations

Beware of Imitations

5 Reasons for buying a genuine Iwata airbrush from an authorised retailer:

  1. Unsurpassed Performance, Control and Quality
  2. 10 Year UK Warranty on Iwata airbrushes
    when purchased from an authorised UK retailer and warranty form registered.
  3. Distributed by a reputable company with 68 year history of expertise in airbrushes
  4. Technical support and repair service
  5. 20% off servicing and repairs
    20% off labour and parts fitted during service/repair on Iwata airbrushes presented with proof of purchase from an authorised retailer or registered warranty number

Please read the 5 hazards to avoid below and then go on to read our guide to choosing your airbrush, using the links to resources at the bottom of this page.

WARNING: 5 Hazards to Avoid

Engrave Danger
Make sure your airbrush has Iwata engraved on the side. Otherwise it is not a genuine Iwata and will not have been manufactured to the same standard of high precision engineering or quality of parts and materials. Iwata do not make unbranded or re-branded versions of Iwata airbrushes for anyone else. If you have chosen Iwata for its world-renowned quality and performance, then you would not want to compromise by buying an inferior copy.

Beware of:

  • Parallel imports or ‘Grey imports’ not covered by our 10 Year UK Warranty and not elligible for our 20% Service and Repair Discount.
  • Second-hand airbrushes, which are usually in poor repair.
  • And worst of all, inferior copies of Iwata airbrushes.

Going Spare
Iwata is the top brand of airbrushes, so Iwata is the biggest target for copying. The market is currently flooded with copies, which look like Iwata airbrushes externally, apart from the Iwata brand name. However, on the inside, the copies are vastly inferior to the genuine Iwata airbrushes.

Going Spare

We have spoken to customers who have bought copies because they were mislead into believing them to be either genuine, as good as the genuine article or compatible with genuine Iwata spares. Customers have told us how their copies have fallen apart or do not perform as they expected. Many companies selling copies do not provide even the most basic support, such as spare parts availability. Parts wear quickly on the copies as they are made from inferior materials, so customers regularly contact us for spares thinking that the Iwata spare parts will fit. We cannot gurantee that any genuine Iwata part will either fit or perform correctly when fitted to a replica airbrush, as the engineering of the copies are of an inferior standard. For example, an owner of a replica asked us for an Iwata o-ring for between the nozzle and the body as theirs had quickly perished, but there is no o-ring between those parts on an Iwata. The poor engineering of the nozzle threads on the replica airbrush meant that the manufacturer had to add an o-ring. Also we were astonished to hear that customers who have bought copies are then being asked to pay more than the cost of the airbrush for a replacement o-ring by the same company they purchased the airbrush from, so it is cheaper to replace it with a new airbrush. This could indicate that such a company has no stock of spares and would have to disassemble a complete airbrush to supply spares. And it gives the impression that such a company sees their own products as disposable items!

The Short Track To Frustration
The Short Track to Frustration
Other people who have bought the copies remain unaware of the performance and control they ought to expect from their airbrush, and persevere with the inferior product, simply because they have not had the opportunity to try a genuine Iwata airbrush. Our Airbrush Company Training Courses or recommended independent training courses are the ideal opportunity to try real Iwata airbrushes before you buy, plus learn what to expect from your airbrush and the care your airbrush expects from you.

Saving money by bargain hunting is tempting, but ultimately fraught with frustration. In our opinion, any amount of money you spend on a copy will be money wasted and could have been put towards a quality airbrush. If you are a beginner, you could easily mistake the poor performance and control of cheap airbrushes or copies to be caused by your own ‘inability’. You could become frustrated or even give up!

Please do not limit your creativity. Buying a quality airbrush is an investment. Consider that the cost may be far less value than your hours of wasted effort attempting to begin or advance using a sub-standard tool. A genuine Iwata, maintained with the respect it deserves, will last you a lifetime.

Absolutely Passed-Off
You may see airbrushes advertised that look outwardly like an Iwata and bundled with other products that we usually promote alongside Iwata. This misleads consumers into assuming that the airbrush is an Iwata.

Absolutely Passed Off
We have spoken to customers who have been allowed to believe they have purchased an Iwata. Rogue dealers will also allow you to assume that a copy might be near the quality of the genuine article. The appearance is copied, but the high quality of materials and engineering is not duplicated - otherwise the copies would cost the same.

Also beware of the pshychological ploy used on websites where companies use clever wording to misrepresent themselves as being more reputable than they actually are. Another trick, especially used on Ebay, is that rogue dealers steal chunks of copyrighted text and images from our website, which is the intellectual property of The Airbrush Company Ltd and some of which is the property of Iwata-Medea, Inc. USA. We grant our retailers permission to use these texts and images, but rogue dealers strengthen the illusion that they are authorised by stealing the copyrighted material. Perhaps it is pure laziness that these web shops do not wish to spend time on their own marketing. Customers should expect the same laziness from these web shops when it comes to after-sales service!

Keep Ebay at Bay
Second-hand equipment may be damaged and require parts or servicing. Often people sell equipment on Ebay because they had problems using it, due to poor cleaning, accidental damage or misuse. We provide a popular repair service for many brands, but sometimes the cost of servicing abused equipment on top of the purchase price can be a fair way towards the price of brand new equipment covered by warranty. Even if you avoid inferior copies and second-hand Iwatas on Ebay, you may be buying from a dealer outside the UK or from someone in the UK who ‘grey-imports’ from overseas. In this case you will not be covered by our 10 Year UK Warranty on Iwata airbrushes or our Service and Repair Discount, and you’ll have to return it to the dealer in the country you bought it from for warranty claims.

5 Reasons to back the people
who back your Iwata airbrush

Our 75 Year History in Airbrushes
  1. We distribute other name brands of airbrush, including one with our own brand name Premi-Air, but we firmly believe that Iwata are the best of all of them. As consumers ourselves, we believe in healthy competition. We are confident about putting the quality Iwata brand up against any other brand name or cheap unbranded airbrushes. However, we draw the line at fakes, copies and ‘passing off’. Ethicly, we find these intolerable and we will do all we can to campaign against the problem.
  2. We provide technical service and support to match the quality of the Iwata products. We offer technical support by phone, return-to-base service and repairs. Very few competitors offer this. Minimal profits on this service do not fully cover the overhead of providing it, but we believe it is important to provide this after-sales service to support sales and keep our good reputation.
  3. Copies of Iwata products are just part of a global problem with copies of everything from footwear to software. Some people are unaware they are buying copies, so we have launched this campaign to make consumers aware. The unethical ‘passing off’ of inferior copies harms our business and that of all our genuine retailers who work hard and ethically to sell and support Iwata products properly.
  4. We invest a lot of effort, time and money promoting the Iwata brand in the UK and providing after-sales support, advice, service and repair. It’s easy for anyone these days to pop up a website that looks impressive. Ebayers especially have none of the overheads that we or our genuine retailers have. Ebayers leach off all our marketing efforts - their only advertising cost is the Ebay fee.
  5. The Airbrush Company is a family-run business, with 75 years history in airbrushes. In the late 1940’s, Arthur Connor designed the Conograph airbrush, followed by the Conopois airbrush launched in 1952. After his death in 1978, his daughter and son-in-law, Rosemary and Ken Medwell, continued hand-manufacturing the Conopois airbrush before selling the manufacturing rights to Rotring in 1988. The Airbrush Company now distributes top brands of airbrushes. Alex Medwell, his sister Rachael Smith and her husband Warrick Smith are the 3rd generation to join the Company. Their children, the 4th generation, have started to try a bit of airbrushing. Click here for our history.

5 links to more resources:


The Team / 75 Year History
About The Airbrush Company
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The Airbrush Company Ltd is the UK distributor of Iwata airbrushes and compressors, Medea, Zazzo, Artool, LifeColor, HR Hobbies and Premi-Air products. We also sell Createx, Wicked, Darkstar, Paasche and Badger. Airbrush Guides:
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Company No. 2714140. Registered Office:
79 Marlborough Road (East), Lancing Business Park,
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