We are on vacation until 31st May. Orders will ship when we return!


Please note that we have discontinued selling the noisy, budget air compressors. We have seen such a decrease in quality of manufacturing amongst cheap, direct drive compressors since 2020, that we are no longer willing to put our name behind them. 

We do sell the Silent Starter kits with the much better made NuAir 24l compressor. However, if your budget doesn't quite stretch to one of these, and you would like to purchase a cheaper compressor, we recommend going to a company like SGS. With all of these things, you get what you pay for. 

The rest of the kit (i.e. air scribe and PPE) can be purchased from us as separate items in our store. If you would like to receive a FREE instruction booklet to help you get set up, just pop a note in the order notes!

Get started in the world of fossil preparation with this exceptional value bundle! Everything you need to plug in and get prepping with easy to follow instructions. The best value on the market. 

  • ZOIC PalaeoTech ZPT-TB The Trilobite Air Pen

  • Paasche AEC Air Eraser (handheld Air Abrasive)

  • Draper Stormforce 24l 1.5kW (2.0HP) Air Compressor

  • Quick Start Guide

  • 1kg Aluminium Oxide Air Abrasive Powder

  • Inline Water Filter

  • FFP3 Dust Mask

  • Ear Defenders

  • Safety Glasses

  • All of the connectors and fittings required to plug in and get prepping!

  • NB: Does not include a blast cabinet or dust extraction. Please arrange suitable equipment for using air abrasives before using the Paasche.

Everything you need to get started

An affordable start in pneumatic fossil preparation!

ZOIC Paleotech PalaeoTech Trilobite cheap budget air scribe air pen fossil prep prepping preparation value affordable budget


Air Scribe

The ZOIC PalaeoTech Trilobite, an entry-level fossil preparation tool. An all-rounder designed for moderate matrix removal to fine work.


Air Abrasive
A Paasche AEC Air Eraser, a handheld, budget air abrasive.


Air Compressor
A 24l Direct Drive Air Compressor, providing the compressed air your air scribe needs to run! 



An essential part of the kit, required to keep you safe. Protect your eyes, lungs and ears.

ZPT-TB The Trilobite

The Trilobite is an entry-level fossil preparation tool, developed to provide an affordable air tool specifically suited to fossil preparation. Although not as powerful or refined as our ZOIC PalaeoTech PRO range of pneumatic tools, the Trilobite is multipurpose, robust and precise. It is an all-rounder air pen designed to cover everything from moderate matrix removal to fine work.

Optimal Operating Pressure: 4-6 Bars (58-90 PSI)

Weight (Including Hose): 270g

Dimensions: 148mm length, 16mm diameter (5.8" long, 0.6" diameter)

Air Consumption: 17lpm (0.6CFM)

Noise: 80dB

Connections: 1.5m braided air hose with Euro Connector

On/Off Mechanism: Twist Valve

BPM (At 6 Bars): 31,500

The ZPT-TB Trilobite represents the best value fossil preparation tool in its price bracket on the market. 

The Trilobite is a modified version of a commercially available engraver, allowing us to produce it on a tighter budget than our handmade, bespoke air pens in the PRO Range. We are able to pass on the benefits of these savings direct to the customer, along with all of our experience in what makes a fossil preparation tool useful, durable and great to work with. There are many similar-looking unmodified versions of the same engraver being advertised as fossil preparation tools - these won't have the same durability or longevity as The Trilobite. 

  • Tungsten Carbide Stylus (stoneworking grade)

  • Hardened stylus guide bushing to maintain precision for years to come (no wobbly stylus!) and ensure all power is directed forward 

  • Full frontal exhaust with modified air galleries to reduce noise. Easily fit on an o-ring (supplied with tool) to diffuse the exhaust when working on more fragile fossils.
  • Easy, low-cost maintenance
  • Wide adjustable pressure range - more power or more precision achieved with ease!
  • No bells, no whistles, just a pen that will see you through the majority of your fossil preparation needs. 

ZOIC PalaeoTech apply many of the same techniques to this tool as we do our PRO range. The Trilobite is a quality tool quite unlike any other in the same price range. The design is deeply simplified compared to our PRO range, but it was important to us to produce something that we could be proud of, yet manufactured on a much tighter budget. Wherever a feature really matters for durability and usability in the demanding task of fossil preparation, we have applied precisely the same technologies that we do in our PRO range to give you excellent value for money.

The Trilobite is a low to mid-powered Pusher-Plate Driven tool, which means that it is powered by compressed air pushing a spring which in turn pushes the stylus in and out many thousands of times per minute (31,500 give or take!). This produces a gentler action than Impact-Driven tools and so is suitable for working with more delicate fossils, and those sensitive to vibration. It will be slower work than the ZOIC Chicago on harder rocks or when removing a lot of overburden, but it is capable of tackling any job - and on a tight budget.

Sounds too good to be true? Nope! It's just an amazing price for the same ZOIC PalaeoTech quality and customer service that you know and trust. We take enormous pride in our product range. Spares are affordable and always on hand so you'll never be without even in the decades to come.

In the box:  User Manual, 1.5m braided hose with Quick Connector, Air Tool Oil, Silicone O-Ring Grease, 1x protective scribe sleeve, Maintenance pack of spare pusher-plate o-rings and spare Diffuser o-rings.

How does the Trilobite compare to other tools?

The Trilobite is exactly the same in terms of power, style and function as the ARO air scribe which you may have heard of, except our version is modified for use and durability in fossil preparation. The ARO air scribes were popular in fossil preparation, as they were for their intended use as an engraver before production ceased. Variations of tools based upon the ARO (some like-for-like clones) have been made over the years including the Pferd MST31, PaleoAro, Krantz WS 224. We use one of these as the base model for the Trilobite, modifying it by stripping out any non-durable components, and replacing them with 'fossil prep friendly' ones - this allows us to keep our prices exceptionally low for the quality and functionality of tool. If you want to learn more about how the Trilobite fits in with the rest of the ZOIC PalaeoTech range, read more here. 


This kit comes with one of our Paasche Air Eraser kits, as well as a 1kg bag of Aluminium Oxide powder which is plenty to keep you going for a while! We also include an inline water filter which will help keep your airlines dry for more even powder flow.

Paasche AEC Air Eraser

The Paasche AEC Air Eraser is an entry-level air abrasive that is widely used in fossil preparation. The powder is held in the little cup on top and blasted through a tungsten carbide nozzle when you depress the button on top. This powder flow stops when the button is released.

For general work, use clean dry air at pressures of 2-3 Bars (30-45 PSI), going up to a maximum of 4.5 Bars (65 PSI). Simply fill the cup up with powder (works best at 1/2-3/4 full with aluminium oxide). To learn more about air abrasives, read our article here. 

We recommend suitable dust extraction* and working in a blast cabinet* (this can be as makeshift as you like as long as it contains the mess and dust). This dust can be a health hazard and so please wear an FFP3 dust mask or a respirator as well as goggles whilst working. *Not supplied with this kit, although send us an email and we will be happy to advise based upon your circumstances.

air compressor

This kit comes with a 24l Draper Stormforce Air Compressor, a good match for The Trilobite. This oiled air compressor is suitable for small spaces. It is powerful and portable, with a good output volume for its size (i.e. lots of compressed air!). Fully automatic on/off control - fitted with safety valve and pressure regulator with gauge. 

24l Draper Stormforce 1.5kW (2.0 HP) Direct Drive Air Compressor

Motor 1.5kw (2.0HP)

Air displacement 7.3cfm (206L/min)

Input current 13A

Maximum pressure 116psi (8bar)

Dimensions 585 x 270 x 615mm

Weight 24kg

Noise 97dB

This air compressor is ideal for the beginner set-up with an air scribe. It's small, affordable and packs a punch for its size. It comes with a female Euro coupler, which will allow you to hook up another tool. 

Please bear in mind that this is a direct drive air compressor. For those of you unfamiliar with air compressors, this is loud. It's similar to the noise levels of a petrol lawnmower. Whilst it doesn't run constantly, you will need to either isolate it from your workspace or wear ear defenders. We also have Silent Starter Kits available. 

Personal protective equipment

Although probably the least exciting part of the kit, PPE is essential in fossil preparation. 

  • FFP3 Dust Mask

  • Ear Defenders

  • Safety Glasses

This kit comes with an FFP3 face mask, which is recommended as a minimum for fossil preparation. Not all face mask filters are created equal! Lighter duty or surgical face masks won’t prevent you from inhaling rock dust as the particles can be so small. Typically used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, these masks are ideal for keeping you safe.

Please always wear a mask. Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in silica particles (silica is a major component in sand and many rocks), which causes scarring of the lungs. Some fossiliferous limestones set underwater, and if you were to inhale that rock dust, you can imagine where it starts to set!

Our ZOIC PalaeoTech fossil preparation starter kits also come with safety goggles to protect against airborne rock chips and dust, as well as ear defenders to protect from the noise of the compressor. 

*Please note that PPE may vary from that pictured, but the grade and level of protection will be exactly the same. Depending on supply, we use different brands, colours and styles, but we always ensure that all PPE is conformable to standard.

  • What's in the Box?
  • Warranty
  • Payment Plans Available
  • ZPT-TB The Trilobite Air Pen (comes with user manual, air tool oil, 1.5m braided hose, Euro connector, silicone o-ring grease, spare pusher-plate o-rings, spare diffuser o-rings)

  • 24l Draper Stormforce Air Compressor

  • Quick Start Guide (easy instructions to help you set-up, understand and use your new pneumatic kit)

  • Safety Glasses

  • FFP3 Face Mask

  • Ear Defenders

Please note that the air compressor may arrive separately. We do not offer gift wrapping on the air compressor, but can gift wrap the rest.

12 month warranty on the Trilobite air pen from ZOIC PalaeoTech to cover manufacturing faults and defects.
12 month manufacturer's warranty on the Clarke Air Compressor to cover manufacturing faults and defects.
Remember you can pay with Klarna and split the cost into 3 interest-free instalments at no extra cost to you. Select 'Pay with Klarna' at checkout. Available in some countries. Terms and Conditions Apply