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SIL AIR 15D and 30D

Discussion in 'Compressors' started by Baylock, Jul 4, 2015.


  1. Baylock

    Baylock Guest

    Hi there,

    I would like to buy a compressor/airbrush for painting skirmish games type figurines (Space Hulk, Malifaux, Infinity, Smog 1888, etc...).

    I already planned to get the H&S Infinity airbrush with a 0.2mm and 0.4mm nozzle.
    I would have prefered a unique 0.3mm nozzle which is more versatile and relevant for the hobby but H&S don't do 0.3mm and I would like to stick with the brand.

    On the compressor side, it is trickier as I need it to be as powerful as possible in order to deliver for the 0.4 nozzle but also as quiet as it gets because I will airbrush indoor in my living room (I don't live alone , I have neighbors and I can only paint at night).

    I found two compressors that can fit the bill: SIL AIR 15D and SIL AIR 30D.

    Here are their Specs:

    15D:
    • 17l/min - 0.60 CFM
    • 6 bar - 87 psi
    • 4L / 1 gal tank
    • 30dB
    30D:
    • 25l/min - 0.88 CFM
    • 8 bar - 116 psi
    • 4L / 1 gal tank
    • 40dB

    But I just can't make up my mind and here is why:

    The SIL AIR 15D is three times quieter (30dB) than the SIL AIR 30D (40dB) which makes it a winner at first glance BUT here is a message I got from the owner of "air-craft.net" regarding the nozzle size (I thank him a lot for his message):

    "Being quieter than the 30D, the 15D will ultimately be quieter overall – the 15D will run for slightly longer to fill / recharge the tank, but it’s reduced noise output more than compensates for the difference in charge time.
    The 15 series is slightly less powerful than the 30 series, but is a very popular choice amongst scale modellers. The 15 series will happily provide in excess of 40psi with the H&S 0.2mm nozzle set, the 0.4mm set will get a sustained pressure of approximately 28psi. Also keep in mind that while the 15 series can’t sustain in excess of 28psi, it can operate in excess of 28psi for short periods of time while it’s draining the tank from maximum pressure. "


    The problem is that I will use the 0.4 nozzle way way more than the 0.2 because my main use of the airbrush will be priming/basecoating/zenithal highlighting.

    The noise thing tells me to go for the 15D.
    The pressure thing tells me to go for the 30D.

    So, according to you and with your experience, is the pressure thing a real issue here? Will the 30D, according to its specs, deliver better with the 0.4 nozzle or is it irrelevant?

    I ask my question here because there is not much reviews to read about these two over the internet.


    Regards.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2015
  2. haasje dutchairbrush

    haasje dutchairbrush Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    If money is not an object both will do fine, in fact both are basicly overkill I think as the should be able to handle 2 0,4's being used at the same time (when used at a "normal" pressure of 25-35 psi (1.7-2.5 bar). I have no clue how either of them will handle keeping the air on for a couple of minutes in a row by the way as that is not "normal" airbrush use :)

    When you are painting you'll never keep pressure up for prolonged times (paint a bit, look, paint a bit, etc) and with the models you are talking about it just won't take long to cover a surface. Working this way the compressor should have ample time in between to keep the pressure up. With the less powerfull one it will ofcourse mean it has to build it up more often.

    If possible see if you can try them at a local airbrush store, that way you can check for your self, and when in doubt...nothing wrong with more powah :p

    A membrame?/piston? compressor would probably be suficient although they do make some noise and will have trouble keeping pressure up when you keep the air on for a while.
    Baylock likes this.
  3. Baylock

    Baylock Guest

    I thank you very much for your answer.

    So, according to you, both devices will handle the 0.4mm just fine as long as I don't spray for a long period of time without pauses?
    If I spray, let's say, 5 seconds at once then stop for 3 seconds and spray again and this over and over for about 3 minutes before I let the compressor alone for a while, it should be just fine?

    If so, I'll take the 15D.
    It is really not about the money. It is all about efficiency.
    If the 30D was better all the way but just more expensive, it would be a winner.
    It is sadly not the case as the 30D is louder and the noise is a concern...
    ...but 40dB while louder than 30dB is still way quieter than any standard piston compressor I heard about (average noise: 57dB)!

    While I'm not a wealthy guy, I need the quieter and the best compressor there is for what I want to do. Period.

    I want to invest wisely as I prefer to pay 400$ for something that will be useful for years than pay 150$ for something that will stay in a closet because it doesn't fit the bill after all.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2015
    haasje dutchairbrush likes this.
  4. haasje dutchairbrush

    haasje dutchairbrush Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    I use a comparable compressor (A friend of mine runs an airbrush store, they all come from the same factory in Italy they only get slapped a different name on them) and am able to use an iwata revolution bcr (0,5) for prolonged periods, the compressor will turn on once in a while but there are 0 problems with the pressure (I never have to pause to let it build pressure again). You can constantly work you don't have to "leave the compressor alone" the one I use has more than enough power to build up the pressure in the tank while I'm using the 0,5.

    I don't think you'll notice much difference between the noise levels they are both waaaay more silent than a piston compressor (mine can't be heard over the music I normaly play while working..... though I admit I play it reasonably loud :p). Also they don't make the noise constantly like a piston does they only turn on when pressure gets lower, depending on what you do that shouldn't be too often.

    Like I said I don't think you'll notice the difference in noise they make (but that ofcourse is personal) or their performance with a 0,4 but if you have it as an option visit as shop where you can see/try them. Both should be fine for what you want them to do but in case of doubt (again this is personal) I'd go for the heavier one just in case you need more power in the future.

    Just a side note that might be irrelevant :), neither off these has enough power for the larger "paint guns" used for stuff like clear coating I think 0,6-0.8 will be the limmit to what they can handle.
    Baylock likes this.
  5. Baylock

    Baylock Guest

    Once again, thank you so much for your answers. They are very helpful.
    I will never go above 0.4mm anyway.
    Visiting a shop is not an option where I am (Brussels). The only way to get these models is to buy them online.
    As weird as it sounds, testing an air compressor in Brussels is not easy. The art shops are very few and those that I can find only sell the usual cheap piston compressors bundled with cheap airbrushes.
    Brussels may still be a capital, it seems like a small village when it comes to specialized hardware supplies.
    haasje dutchairbrush likes this.
  6. Baylock

    Baylock Guest

    Just FYI, I just found a guy who sells a Eurotec 30A (stated "as new") and he is living very close to my home.
    This compressor is just a SIL AIR 30D in disguise. This compressor can handle up to a 1.2mm nozzle (or up to two 0.6mm) and it has a noise treshold of 40 dB.
    Clearly an overkill but for 300 euros, it's more than a bargain.
    So I think that faith decided for me eventually.
    Thank you for your help.
  7. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Staff Member Admin Mod

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    I own two silent air 50 which I hardly even hear kick on when they do.
    And no the Eurotec is not a silent air in disguise it is it's own brand. Silent air makes 95% of it money from the medical world .But a lot of MFG's have started making silent air compressor due to the market for them are growing.
    The machine I run here at work came with a Eurotec and it only lasted 2 years before the compressor burned out . it was replaced with a true Silent air 50 and so far 13 years later it is still running like a top.

    Now how about a introduction ? It is the cool thing to do when you come on a forum looking for help and answers , It helps us aid you more in what you are looking for.
    Baylock likes this.
  8. Baylock

    Baylock Guest

    Thank you for the warning Mr.Micron!

    I have no reason not to trust you and you seem to be very qualified.
    But I'm quite astonished for four reasons:

    1) I found tons of users over the internet telling that it is basically the "west european" version of SIL AIR (and it's true that SIL AIR is harder to find in Belgium/Netherland/Germany than Eurotec). It doesn't mean they are right, I agree on that.

    2) Some even say that SIL AIR 30 is written on the Eurotec hardware (which is why they say, it is a SIL AIR in disguise). It is not for certain, I still need to check that point.

    3) One thing is for sure: Eurotec is not an obscure brand, it is manufactured by "Harder & Steenbeck" itself. The Eurotec manual has the Harder & Steenbeck logo all over it. This is verified.

    4) All the reviews I read about the Eurotec are praising the product and telling how a high standard and reliable compressor it is (note that it doesn't prove anything but the Eurotec is even slightly more expensive than the SIL AIR. It doesn't mean it is thus better of course but it does mean that it is not a cheap and obscure Silentair clone meant to fool people).

    Please, don't get me wrong: I really appreciate your input and I take it seriously as it may prevent me from doing a mistake.
    I'm just astonished because what you say goes against everything I read and saw about this brand.

    And if you stand by your statement, I'll go for the SIL AIR alright. I would have to pay more and change its electrical plug though (I'll have to buy one from another country as it doesn't exist here).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2015
  9. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Staff Member Admin Mod

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    I run a Kasemake KM503A made in Manchester, England . When we bought it the company sent it with a Eurotec compressor and a Vacuum made here in the USA. It came with a 2 year warranty on everything . 2 years and 3 weeks the compressor went out. the company said sorry out of warranty. Plus they informed us that they had switched to an Italian brand company for their compressor , The new line they were using was twice the price of the silent air. Silent air was more affordable then the one they offered to sells us for a replacement.
    A little history on silent aire Silentaire compressors are known in over 150 countries worldwide. Our main production facility is located in Northern Italy and has been operating for almost 50 years. Silentaire Technology has been in North America for more than 20 years and has built a strong reputation as the market leader in quiet air compressors.
    So I am not saying not to buy it . I am just telling you that the one I have had did not last long , My Machine here are work runs 5 days a week 8 hours a day year round. Which according to the folks that sold us the machine it was designed to do just that .
    A company that I work with on their production process also has two of the machine which both came with the eurotec compressor which have also had to have been switched out the first one have the Italian made compressor and the second one has a silent aire. but right now both are only on their 3rd year with them .
    H&S make some very fine products.
    Baylock likes this.
  10. Baylock

    Baylock Guest

    Thank you very much for the feedback, sir. I don't want to take any chance on this so Sil AIR 30D it will be.
    It's almost 200 euros extra cash compared to the Eurotec deal but, at least, It will pay my peace of mind.
  11. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Which ever compressor you buy it will be about as loud as a fridge motor and they are so quiet you can whisper over the top of them. So get the higher volume model. I have a "SIM-Air" but only with a 1L tank, I have to check to see if its running its that quiet.

    Lee
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  12. jagardn

    jagardn Airbrush Acquisition Disorder Patient Forum Supporter

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    I have the Silentaire 50TC also. It's a .5HP motor and it is far from being loud. I have it right under my table and its easy to hold a conversation while it's running. I've only had mine for 6 months or so, but I'm really happy with it. Mr.Micron has had his for years and has served him reliably.
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