Air blasting machine buying guide
Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff123 guides
- A low pressure
- Sandblasting Cabin
What is sandblasting?
Sandblasting is mainly used for stripping and therefore operates at high pressure. On the other hand, when you simply want to clean and preserve a surface or to work with more precision, you simply work with a lower air pressure.
What are the different types of blasters?
There are three types of sandblasters: vacuum sandblasting, pressure blasting, and sandblasting cabins.
The vacuum sand blaster is ideal for small projects or spot cleaning. The advantage of such a machine is mainly that it operates with a low airflow of about 250 l/min (litres per minute). It can, therefore, be connected to and used with a "small" air compressor. These are not particularly complicated machines.
The pressure sander is the professional model. It operates on a completely different principle. Rather than being drawn from an open hopper, the aggregate is held under pressure in a sealed tank. Pressing the trigger of the gun releases this pressure which carries the aggregate out with it.
The length of the hose is no longer a concern, which allows for greater mobility. However, the pressure sander requires significant air flow (minimum 3000 l/min) to operate properly, which means equipping (and having access to) a high-power compressor.
The sandblasting cabin is a home workshop sander. For indoor scraping or smaller projects, this is ideal. In the majority of cases, the sandblasting cabin is actually a vacuum or air-gun sandblaster enclosed in a "sleeve box". To operate it, you slip hands into the gloves fixed to the chassis of the cabin and watch your work through the window above them.
Choosing the perfect nozzle for the job
How to choose aggregates
What other characteristics are there?
- The dehumidifier filter is provided to prevent clogging when using your blaster
- The pressure gauge allows you to know the outlet pressure for your aggregate
- The safety valve is designed to prevent any accident due to overpressure
- The volume of the tank determines the time of use. However, this is relative to the size of the nozzle. For a tank of 50 litres, for example, if you sand with a 4 mm nozzle, you will have a time X. Using an 8mm nozzle, on the other hand, will cut your amount of time you can work in half.
- The thread seal strip is similar to the Teflon used to seal plumbing screw connections except that there is nozzle mounting on a nozzle holder - in the gun. If you want to sand properly, every time you change nozzle you are supposed to put tape on the thread before you mount it so that everything is tight. In reality, and in bodywork in particular, if you have a strip in place that’s good, but if you don’t, you can do without and it works anyway. The only risk is that you lose a little bit of air pressure around the nozzle.
- The funnel is provided for filling the granulate vessel
- The gun generally resembles an improved valve and it is on this that the nozzle is mounted;
A compressor of 50 litres generally makes 2 hp and restores 125 l which is a bit just for the use of a sandblaster with a pressure of 75 litres - the conditions of use will not be optimal because often it is requested a ratio of 180 l/min at 5 bars. Better to leave on 100 litres - 3 hp.
Final advice on use and maintenance
Today there are sandblasting helmets that will protect your head (your eyes, your airways, your skull). So, is there really a reason not to use one?
An apron and a pair of gloves are also welcome.
Earplugs would be perfect under your sandblasting helmet.
In addition, some compressors are subject to special regulations that require periodic inspection, as often as every 40 months. Many accidents occur due to rusty tanks or faulty pressure controllers or regulators.
For DIY enthusiasts interested in knowing how to choose the accessories related to air blasting machines, follow the advice of our editors and discover their Guides:
- How to choose your floor covering
- How to choose your airbrush
- How to choose your single-flow CMV
- How to choose your blower
And to work safely:
Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff 123 guides écrits
I'm a trained electrician who started off working in large-scale industrial projects. Most of my early career was spent taking on huge electrical installations. I like to think that no job is too big for me, and after all the experience I'd gained, I started managing teams of electricians.
I like to learn on the job, so around ten years ago, I moved into building and construction. As a site manager, I've overseen the building of small residences, sport facilities, and even theatres!
Working with my hands is something I love to do in my free time as well. For four years now, I've been restoring our home in the Welsh countryside. I even built a conservatory for my wife, who loves watching the sheep behind our house.
Whether it's patios, interior design, roofing, plumbing or electricity - I love giving it all a go! I've even made my family DIY converts and together we've built almost everything we have from scratch. My experience, both in the field and in my workshop, has taught me a lot and I'm happy to share what I've learned. No matter how big or small your project is, I'm here to answer your questions and help you choose the right tools and equipment.
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