Iwata Airbrush Repair Service

Last year I was a bad girl.

I let all three of my airbrushes fall into disrepair.  I have three so that I always have a back-up one if one of them is broken, but, apparently that only works if you send the for repair when the need it.  Whoops!

In the past, when my airbrushes were not functioning well, I was always able to get them up to snuff myself.  Thorough cleaning and soaking usually did the trick.  But not this time.  I done some major damage over the years to them – seals were leaking, one needle was damaged, and I was fairly certain I had one (maybe two) cracked nozzles.

All three airbrushes were over 3 years old (one of them 5 years) and they had never been “professionally serviced” so I figured I should get them looked at.

After a bit of research, I decided the best place to send my airbrushes was to the source…. to Iwata themselves.  They built them, they should know how to fix them.

Making the  Appointment

One the Iwata website there is a number to call to arrange for repair.  I called that number and a nice lady answered and asked:

  • What equipment I was sending
  • When I was sending it
  • What I suspected may be wrong

She then gave me a repair code number and instructed me to do the following:

  • For each airbrush, write an short note explaining the problem(s) and include on that note my contact info and the repair code.  I was really pleased that she was so diligent in explaining this to me because one of my fears of sending my babies away was that they would get lost in the shuffle and I wouldn’t get them back.
  • Wrap / contain each airbrush (with the note) in plastic wrap or a plastic bag
  • Package them for shipping (together) being sure to include the Repair Code on the package.
  • She then informed me that they would call me once they had looked at my equipment to get my authorization for repair.

Sending them Off

I will save all my ranting about Canada Post for another post … but I will say that I made a HUGE mistake when shipping.  I sent the packages by ground because I was in no huge hurry to get them back (and I’m cheap) but I forgot to get a tracking code for the package.

After about two weeks had gone by and I hadn’t heard from Iwata I was sure they were gone forever.  Stuck in customs or someone’s pocket or something like that.  I even went shopping for a new brush … but that turned out terrible.  I was very worried.

But, eventually, Canada Post did get them to Iwata… 4 weeks later. (my fault, I know … but it feels better to blame a government organization :P)

The Diagnosis

When Iwata called to let me know the state of my airbrushes, the woman who called actually sounded nervous to talk to me (not a good sign).  I was fully braced for at least one “cannot be revived” diagnosis knowing that one of my brushes was in quite bad shape… but that news never came.

She simply told me that all three required maintenance (included in the service fee) and that I needed a few new parts including two nozzles and one needle (I must has ESP).  She also said that the majority of the seals/o-rings were shot but that they would all be replaced as part of the service.

The Price of Repairs

Once I knew all that was wrong, she moved on to price.  Once again, I was worried.  Airbrushes ain’t cheap and neither are their parts so I was expecting the worst.

Total Cost of Repairs?  $140 total – that includes the $25 service fee per brush.  That’s only $65 for the two nozzles and the needle – not to mention all the seals.

She asked me if I’d like to proceed and I said “HELL YES!”.  I couldn’t purchase those parts and have them shipped to me for that price.  SWEET!

The Results

About two weeks after that phone call my airbrushes arrived back in Canada.  They were all wrapped up nice and obviously very well taken care of on their trip.  I unwrapped my favorite brush, wiggled the trigger and was amazed at the difference.  For a minute, I thought maybe they sent me a new airbrush, but as I looked closer, I could tell it was mine.

All three airbrushes operate like they are brand new, right out of the box.  The funny thing is I didn’t even know how bad they really were.  You know when you become immune to something over time – like the sound of an airplane flying over your house, or that knock in your car – well, I think I had used my airbrushes in ill repair for so long that I couldn’t even tell how bad they were!

But they are perfect now!

OVERALL RATING: AWESOME … I will send them more often for servicing …. it’s worth it!


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