A good sandblaster can make many tough jobs—including restoring antique cars, returning concrete to like-new condition, cleaning machinery, or polishing a metal surface—a quicker and easier process. By using compressed air, these powerful tools shoot media that include silica, beads, or even crushed nut shells against metal, concrete, and other surfaces at a high-enough velocity to remove paint, rust, and corrosion, leaving the area prepped and ready for a new coating.
Sandblasters range from portable, easy-to-use, gravity-fed models to pressure sandblasters that blast media at a high rate of speed, so it’s important that shoppers choose one that will fit their specific needs.
Ahead, learn more about the different types of sandblasters and find out what features are important to consider when shopping for a sandblaster. Plus, check out the following models that are among the best sandblasters on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Lematec Gravity Feed Sandblasting Media Gun
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: TCP Global Gravity Feed Sandblaster Gun Kit
- UPGRADE PICK: Eastwood Master Blaster Dual Abrasive Soda Blaster
- BEST SIPHON: Jewboer Sandblaster Gun
- BEST GRAVITY-FED: Zendex Tool Corp. Speed Blaster
- BEST PORTABLE: Performance Tool Portable Abrasive Blaster Kit
- BEST WITH CABINET: ALC Abrasive Blasting Cabinet
- BEST WITH RECOVERY SYSTEM: TCP Global Air Sandblasting Gun
- ALSO CONSIDER: Campbell Hausfeld Sandblaster With Tube and Hose
How We Chose the Best Sandblasters
We considered a variety of criteria when selecting this lineup of top sandblasters. After all, needs vary, from those of folks who may need a sandblaster occasionally for different DIY projects to professionals who may use a sandblaster on a regular basis. With that in mind, we included gravity-fed models that offer enough power for most home projects while being easy to use and store. We also included higher-end siphon and pressure models that are capable of holding more media to handle bigger jobs while producing higher pressure for removing stubborn rust and paint.
Versatility is an important quality in a sandblaster, so we chose models that are compatible with a variety of different blasting media. Finally, we chose only sandblaster guns that are lightweight and easy to handle while still being durable enough to endure regular use.
Our Top Picks
The products below include gravity-fed sandblasters suitable for many home projects as well as larger siphon and pressure sandblasters for heavy-duty and professional-level sandblasting needs. One of these tools may be the perfect pick for your needs.
With a gravity-fed design that makes it easy to load and a max pressure of 150 psi (pounds per square inch), the Lematec sandblaster gun can be ideal for a variety of sandblasting needs. The set comes equipped with a reservoir mounted on the top with a large opening that allows for quick refills, though the small reservoir makes the gun most suitable for smaller projects.
This sandblaster can remove a variety of substances, including paint, dirt, and corrosion, from surfaces such as glass, limestone, and metal. The gun also has a filter that helps prevent clogs from forming in the sandblaster nozzle, which is a common problem with many gravity-fed sandblasters.
- Type: Gravity fed
- Working pressure: 90 to 150 psi
- Weight: 1.29 pounds
- Gravity-fed hopper makes it a breeze to load and unload media
- Equipped with a filter that helps prevent clogs in the sandblasting gun
- Works on a variety of surfaces, including glass, limestone, and metal
- Small reservoir only holds enough media to handle smaller projects
Get the Lematec sandblaster at Amazon or Walmart.
For those who may use a sandblaster only for the occasional project, it may not make sense to spring for an expensive model. Although this gravity-feed sandblaster from TCP Global may not have the build quality and features of other sandblasters, its low price makes it a great budget option for weekend warriors and certainly one of the best sandblasters for the money. It features a large gravity-fed reservoir that sits on top of the gun, making refills easy.
It’s compatible with a variety of blast media, including sand, beads, baking soda, or walnut shells. That versatility coupled with a working pressure of 44 to 116 psi makes it suitable for various applications, ranging from cleaning grime off machinery to stripping paint. The kit includes an air-pressure gauge and two ceramic tips.
- Type: Gravity fed
- Working pressure: 44 to 116 psi
- Weight: 1.84 pounds
- Broad range of working pressures from 44 to 116 psi suits various projects
- Compatible with a variety of different types of blast media
- Large gravity-fed reservoir holds a lot of media and is easy to load
- Cheaper build quality than other sandblasters with plastic construction
Get the TCP Global sandblaster kit at Amazon or TCP Global.
This large, versatile dual-tank sandblaster holds two different types of media at once, allowing the user to switch from one tank to the other on the fly. One tank can remove coatings with soda on more delicate surfaces, such as fiberglass, stainless steel, and chrome, then the user can conveniently switch to the other tank to cut through rust, paint, and scale on harder items, such as glass and metal. Each side holds 100 pounds abrasive media or 75 pounds of soda.
The kit comes with virtually everything needed to get started sandblasting, including hoses, a spray nozzle, and pressure gauges. The two tanks sit on a pair of heavy-duty wheels and the unit has a large handle, allowing one person to maneuver this large blaster into position.
- Type: Pressure
- Working pressure: 60 to 125 psi
- Weight: 80 pounds (empty)
- Dual tanks hold up to 200 pounds of media, making it suitable for larger jobs
- Operator can switch between tanks and 2 different media types on the fly
- The kit comes with everything needed to get started sandblasting
- 2 large wheels and a handle make it possible for 1 person to move the machine
- Large dual tank design takes up a lot of space
Get the Eastwood dual soda blaster at Amazon, Eastwood, or Walmart.
The build quality of Jewboer’s sandblaster is apparent at first look. The siphon-style gun is made of die-cast aluminum with a chrome finish, making the gun much sturdier than gravity-fed models with plastic construction. It also comes with a broader range of nozzles, including 5- and 6-millimeter iron nozzles as well as 4.5- and 7-millimeter ceramic nozzles, which Jewboer color codes for easy identification.
The variety of nozzles makes the Jewboer suitable for jobs that include eliminating dirt and grime, removing paint, and polishing. However, this sandblaster requires the separate purchase of a reservoir to hold the blasting media.
- Type: Siphon
- Working pressure: 80 psi
- Weight: 1 pound
- Comes with 4 nozzle attachment sizes to suit a variety of sandblasting jobs
- More durable than other sandblasters thanks to durable aluminum and chrome construction
- Works with a variety of media types, including sand and soda
- Does not come with a media reservoir, which must be purchased separately
Get the Jewboer sandblaster at Amazon.
This sandblaster uses a reinforced mixing chamber so it can operate at a higher psi, making it suitable for heavy-duty sandblasting jobs. The Speed Blaster uses a hardened-steel mixing chamber that pushes media out through an aluminum ceramic nozzle. These higher-quality materials give it the ability to operate at a working pressure of up to 100 psi, allowing it to blast through tough rust and corrosion better than sandblasters that operate at a lower psi.
In addition to its high pressure rating, the Speed Blaster also boasts a larger media reservoir than most gravity-fed models, which equates to fewer refills during a project. The Speed Blaster also happens to be one of the more expensive gravity-fed sandblasters on the market.
- Type: Gravity fed
- Working pressure: 70 to 100 psi
- Weight: 14 ounces
- High max pressure allows it to blast through heavy rust and old paint
- Durably constructed with hardened-steel mixing chamber and ceramic nozzle
- Larger media reservoir equates to longer work times without the need for refilling
- Some customers complain that it clogs too easily with certain types of media
Get the Zendex Tool Corp. sandblaster at Amazon.
The Performance Tool portable sandblaster kit manages to be durable and maintain a high media capacity while at the same time remaining portable. This siphon-style sandblaster consists of a 50-pound hopper made of high-grade plastic. A molded handle at the top of the sandblaster coupled with built-in storage for the hose and gun allows users to carry it around.
The hopper attaches to a sturdy aluminum gun that operates at 90 psi, which, though lower than the psi of pressure sandblasters, is high for a gravity blaster. This makes it suitable for a variety of jobs, including removing paint and corrosion. It’s compatible with most abrasive media, including silica, sand, glass beads, and steel grit.
- Type: Gravity
- Working pressure: 90 psi
- Weight: 50 pounds (with media)
- Large handle and hose storage make the machine easy to transport
- Requires fewer refills thanks to its 50-pound capacity
- Equipped with a durable die-cast metal sandblaster gun
- Some customers report that the sand sticks inside the hopper
Get the Performance Tool sandblaster at Amazon, TOOLSiD.com, or Sears.
This blasting cabinet is ideal for sanding off imperfections or removing rust and old paint from irregularly shaped objects. It features one-piece construction, which means there are no seams or other gaps where sand might be able to leak out. With its high-grade blast construction, an operator needn’t worry about it rusting the way a steel blast cabinet can. A large viewing window and 60-watt working light makes it easy to view the object while sanding it.
There’s also a large top door that lets the user place large objects inside of it. Two 6-inch arm holes open into rubber blast gloves that provide hand protection while holding the included sandblaster gun. A hole at the bottom of the cabinet works with a shop vac to collect dust and debris.
- Type: Siphon
- Working pressure: 80 to 110 psi
- Weight: 72 pounds
- Large top door makes it easy to load large objects
- High-grade plastic construction won’t rust the way steel can
- Excellent visibility with large viewing window and 60-watt working light
- Some customers complain about assembly being difficult
Get the ALC sandblaster cabinet at Northern Tool + Equipment or Amazon.
This blasting gun comes with a bag attachment that recovers media, allowing the operator to collect the media and reuse it. The blaster is equipped with a stainless steel bottom feeder and four nozzles that allow the operator to change the spray pattern to suit the project. It works with a variety of media types, including sand, soda, beads, and even walnut shells.
The gun, which is durably built with all-metal construction, comes with 2 pounds of blasting media. It attaches to an air compressor via a 1.4-inch inlet and runs at a max pressure of 90 psi. This sandblaster covers a small area, making it suitable for smaller jobs.
- Type: Siphon
- Working pressure: 90 psi max
- Weight: 4.65 lbs
- Bag attachment recovers media so that it can be reused
- Includes 4 nozzles to allow for precise sandblasting
- Blaster gun is well balanced and consists of all-metal construction
- Comes with 2 pounds of sandblasting media
- Some customers complain that the media recovery bag is poor quality
Get the TCP Global sandblaster gun at Amazon or TCP Global.
This siphon sandblaster features a versatile design that makes it compatible with a variety of different media types. The gun works with glass beads, steel grit, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, and even walnut shells. And while it won’t match the high-working psi of other sandblaster types, it produces a precise stream of media that makes it suitable for craft work, such as etching glass or weathering wood.
It’s also useful for other light-duty jobs, such as removing rust and corrosion from small machine parts and equipment. The kit comes with a gun and a 10-foot hose but requires the purchase of a reservoir for the media.
- Type: Siphon
- Working pressure: 90 psi
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Works with various types of media, including glass beads, steel grit, and sand
- Precision nozzle ideal for detail work, such as etching glass or weathering wood
- Leaves workpiece with a clean satin finish that’s paint ready
- Does not include a media reservoir, which must be purchased separately
- Get the Campbell Hausfeld sandblaster at Amazon or Dillon Supply.
Get the Campbell Hausfeld sandblaster at Amazon or Dillon Supply.
What to Consider When Choosing a Sandblaster
The size and capacity of a sandblaster, as well as its working air pressure and the type of blasting media it can use, are all crucial factors to consider when shopping for the right model for a job.
Types of Sandblasters
Though it may seem a bit daunting to figure out which is the right type of sandblaster to buy, choosing the best option depends largely on the type of application. Ahead, learn about the three main types of sandblasters: gravity fed, pressure, and siphon.
A gravity-fed sandblaster consists of a spray gun with a small hopper on top that holds the sandblast media. The sandblaster attaches to a standard compressor tank, which produces the force needed to drive the media through the gun. As the gun blasts out the media, the force of the air and gravity cause the media from the hopper to drop into the chamber.
This type of sandblaster is compact and doesn’t require a large tank or bin to hold the media, often making it the best choice for home use andideal for DIYers who may use a sandblaster only for occasional projects.
A pressure sandblaster comes equipped with a large, pressurized, 10-pound metal drum that holds the sand media. A spray gun attaches to the canister via a rubber hose. When it’s turned on, pressure created inside the tank forces the media outward through the hose and the gun.
Since the sandblaster tank is pressurized, it is capable of blasting media at a very high speed—typically around 120 pounds per square inch (psi)—making it ideal for stripping stubborn paint, rust, and corrosion off metal and concrete surfaces.
Pressure sandblasters are large, heavy, and expensive, so they are typically suitable for professionals who use a sandblaster on a regular basis.
A siphon system, like a pressure system, draws the sandblasting media out of a large container through a hose and out of a gun. But unlike the container in a pressure system, the container in a siphon system is not pressurized, so the gun must be attached to a compressor.
A siphon system produces similar power to that of a gravity-fed sandblaster, but its larger container allows it to run longer before the media must be refilled. A siphon system is also bulkier and costs more than a gravity-fed sandblaster.
Size and Capacity
Sandblasters can vary significantly in size and in the amount of media they can hold. The gun itself should be relatively small and lightweight so it’s easy to hold and manipulate while sandblasting.
Most guns are around 8 inches long and weigh about 2 pounds. Because their design has the reservoir with the media attached to the gun, gravity-fed sandblasters are a little heavier and bulkier.
Capacity can vary significantly depending on the type of sandblaster. Since a gravity-fed sandblaster’s reservoir is relatively small—typically around 20 to 25 ounces—it has far less capacity than a siphon- or pressure-style sandblaster, which can hold as much as 50 pounds of media.
Air Pressure and Airflow
A sandblaster requires a certain amount of air pressure inside the tank, and most sandblasters have a range of between 60 and 125 psi. The higher the working psi, the more power a sandblaster has to strip paint, rust, and other materials. It’s important to pair a sandblaster with a compression tank that produces enough pressure to power it.
In addition to psi, the air compressor must also meet a minimum airflow rating, which is the amount of cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air that the compressor is able to move. Some air compressors require a minimum CFM of 7, while others demand a CFM rating of as high as 12.
Blasting media comes in a variety of different materials—including glass beads, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and grit—to meet the needs of the different types of sandblasting projects.
Glass beads are ideal for projects that demand a glossy finish, while baking soda is the best choice for cleaning items with a significant buildup of grime or rust. For heavy-duty blasting jobs, grit or alloy shots are usually the best choice.
Since not all blasting media is compatible with all sandblasters, it’s important to look at the sandblaster’s blasting-media grit-size rating before purchasing it.
Knowing what type of media to use when operating a sandblaster is crucial to employing it safely and effectively. Ahead, learn more about sandblaster media and other important information regarding this type of power tool.
Q. What do sandblasters do?
Sandblasters prep surfaces for a new coating by propelling media against a surface under high pressure, removing dirt, rust, paint, or other stuck-on material.
Q. Can I use regular sand in a sandblaster?
No. In fact, using real sand is a major respiratory hazard. Using sand that has more than 1 percent free silica can cause silicosis, which is a very serious scarring or hardening of the lungs that can be fatal.
Q. Can I use a sandblasting tool in icy weather conditions?
Subfreezing conditions are not ideal for sandblasting. Sandblasting creates condensation inside the gun that can freeze, clogging the gun.
Q. What is the best material to use for sandblasting?
The best media to use for sandblasting is silicon carbide. This is the hardest material you can use to sandblast, making it the media of choice for removing stubborn rust and old paint from objects.
Q. What is the best media for blasting rust?
If you’re removing rust from a material that can be potentially damaged by sandblasting, such as aluminum, use glass beads, walnut shells, or plastic media, all of which will remove the rust but won’t damage the metal. Glass beads and aluminum oxide are good blasting media for harder materials such as steel or iron.
Q. How big a sandblaster do I need?
Rather than considering how big a sandblaster you need, it’s better to consider what type. A gravity-fed sandblaster is affordable, easy to use, and compact, making it ideal for those who may use a sandblaster only occasionally.
Pros or those using a sandblaster regularly may want to consider a siphon- or pressure-style sandblaster, which offers higher capacity and greater sandblasting pressure for heavy-duty jobs.
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