View Full Version : Compressors again

03-14-2004, 04:17 PM

I know compressors have been discussed ad nauseum, and I've been reading this forum from the start so I have read everything that was said, but I still have some questions, mainly because it looks like I *may* be finally ready to buy an airbrush and compressor, after a loooong time of waiting and researching.

Does anyone have any opinions of the Iwata Power Jet Compressor? I'm looking for a good, easy to use, relatively quiet, and for the most part 'idiot-proof' compressor, and I had heard good things about the Power Jet. I also though was looking at the Silentaire compressors, as they are similar in price, mainly the Silentaire Super Silent 20A, or the Silentaire Super Silent 30TC. Would one of these be a better choice for the money? I would only be using one airbrush with the compressor, and would be spraying mainly watercolours, gouache, ink, and acrylic, on illustration board or paper, but I would like to keep my options open to other things - I don't plan to do any t-shirt painting for instance, but would like the option of perhaps jazzing up a jean jacket for myself at some point, and although I don't see myself doing a lot of helmet or automotive work, I might eventually like to do something small here and there (I have an old van hood I can practice on first!).

I looked at several websites, specifically Dixie Art, Bear Air, and Coast Airbrush. The latter two have the best prices on the compressors, but I wasn't able to find shipping info on their sites, and Dixie Art, although quite a bit more expensive on the Silentaire models, does offer free shipping. Decisions, decisions! Cost for any of these in Canada (when they're even available) is ridiculous, and lord knows shipping and taxes/duty to have them sent here would be prohibitive, so I'd planned to order and have it sent to a friend in the US and pick it up when I travel down there, saving those extra costs (I could bring it back at no extra cost since it would be within the amount allowed for being out of the country for x days).

I have long decided on the airbrush I planned to buy - the Iwata HP-B, however I notice they have come out with Hi-Line/Plus versions at a slightly higher cost and am wondering if the added features/changes are worth the extra money?

Thanks for any advice!

Madigan Bearded Collies & Wyndian Canine Art (http://home.achilles.net/~madigan/)

03-14-2004, 06:28 PM
Hi Diane,
I'm not going to be much help to you. I use one of those little tiny ones
that you plug in and starts pumping air. So anything that has a tank on it would be alot better than I have. I have heard or read that the one's you have asked about are really good ones. I would want the Silentaire one just because it is quite. Far as more than one airbrush you should be able to hook
more than one brush to it. Really you will only be using one at a time.
Happy shopping. I can't wait to get mine some day.


03-14-2004, 07:35 PM
You HAVE done your homework! I don't know anything about either so I won't comment. Good thinking about keeping your options open, you never know what pops up. I think the shipping from Bear Air for this is free and I know coast is expensive. That's the little game they play, low prices high shipping.

How far are you from Buffalo? There is a store call Hyatt's there, I know they carry Iwata. There prices are a bit higher but...considering shipping and being readily available it might be worth a call to them. They also sell most if not all of the paints and parts you will want and will order anything you need so it's probably good for you to know where they are anyway. I use to be able to drive to Concord in an hour if traffic was right, 5 hrs. if it was Monday morning LOL

I also know that your customs laws are a bit different than ours but if it's used than there is no declaration anyway so...try it out before you cross the border LOL

Good news for you and a sad state of affairs for the US, the NYS Thruway (as of midnight tonight) is lowering the exchange rate from 40% to 30%. It might be a good time to buy as our economy will pick up again by November.

email me if you want more information.

03-14-2004, 07:46 PM
oops sorry, I saw you were from Ontario but I missed the Ottawa part. I dragged out the map. You are almost directly due north from me. If you like to travel...I know where the fine art store in Syracuse is, LOL.

03-14-2004, 11:03 PM
Thanks for the info. Syracuse is probably 3 - 3 1/2 hours from here. Not bad, but still a haul to go there and back in a day, and difficult to be gone that long with a house full of dogs! I've been there a few times but never got to do much shopping! Besides, I tend to like to comparison shop a lot - checking prices to make sure that I don't spend more than I need to!

For most smaller items like paint etc., there are places here that have pretty good prices, probably about the same or even less than the US when factoring in the exchange rate (especially if there's a sale!), it's just the main things like the airbrushes and compressors themselves that are really expensive. I haven't found the Power Jet available here, and the Silentaire 20A runs about C$650 (around $500US), with the 30TC about C$750 (about $580US). Since those can be found in the US for $389 and $449 respectively, it makes sense to get one from there! Since it looks like my mother will be making a trip to northeastern PA next week (bringing one of our girls down for breeding. Fingers crossed for puppies!) I was thinking of going ahead and ordering everything now and having it sent there for her to bring back, but I may hold off on the compressor until the next time because I do have other things I want and I'd like to keep the amount within the allowed amount she can bring back without paying taxes/duty. So I may go ahead and get the airbrush now, and still mull over the compressor decision some more.

I've been interested in airbrushing for a long time now. I actually have an airbrush and compressor that I was given as a gift probably 20 years ago, and it frustrated the heck out of me because I could never get it to work right - it wouldn't spray anything thicker than water, and even then it just sprayed spatters all over the place. What a mess. It took years before I figured that perhaps it was, at least in part, the compressor (a wee, noisy, pulsy, annoying little thing - a Thomas Sprayit model 600), which is why at this point I want something I don't have to fight with! Ok so the airbrush played its part I'm sure, as it's a Paasche H, but still I should have been able to do SOMETHING with it! But I figure it's akin to trying to paint details with a cheap big fat bristle brush instead of a nice fine round sable brush! So I figure it's time to go for quality rather than trying to 'make do' with cheaper things that would fight me every step of the way, but I also don't want to spend more than I need to becuase lord knows I ain't rich! One of these days I'll eventually make a decision, I hope! :)

Madigan Bearded Collies & Wyndian Canine Art (http://home.achilles.net/~madigan/)

Alan Cross
03-15-2004, 12:12 AM
All I can say is I didnt want to spend a lot of money on one but I did want the tank so I went to Canadian Tire and got a great little two gallon one for under $100 works great. Now I just have to find some time to play with it.

Alan :)

03-15-2004, 10:54 AM
Hey Diane!

I don't know anything about the Power Jet, but I would imagine that it's a high quality compressor. I would not have a problem suggesting them! I do use a Silentaire 50-6. It was an older model that I bought re-furbished from the company about 15 years ago!
This baby works hard and has never given me a single problem!

The main thing I would tell you about buying a compressor is like everything else in life "you get what you pay for".
If you know your individual needs and you buy the best your budget will allow, you won't go wrong!

Take care and good luck!

Keith Russell
03-15-2004, 04:06 PM
I haven't used a compressor in years. I paint with a 70 lb. bottle of industrial nitrogen; clean, completely silent, and I can paint when the power is off!

I pay about $50.00 annually for the lease of the tank, I pay about $15.00 every time I swap out the empty tank, and I use about six to eight tanks each year. I have my own regulator, and there's virtually no maintanence with that, and the company I lease the tanks from keep the tanks in good shape, so safety and repair costs are not an issue.

Compressors are fine, but they are not your only option.


03-15-2004, 04:43 PM
Keith, why nitrogen instead of CO2?

03-15-2004, 10:35 PM
I wish I could say I have used those but I haven't I have seen the Jun-air that Jurek used and I have a hammerhead sharks that my wife bought me as a present after one of the gals in the workshop I had taken said it was good and my 'quiet air' from camp kept overheating