Thursday, June 27, 2013

Using Different Types of Sandblasters

When paint or rust on a metal won’t come off easily or you want to etch glass, consider whipping out your handy-dandy sandblaster. This is essentially a gun that blows out sand at a high speed to work on a glass or metal surface. However, to use one of these products at, you should know which sandblaster to use and how to properly operate it.

Types of Sandblasters

There are 3 main categories of sandblasters: gravity-fed, pressure, and siphon blasters. Keep in mind that all types of sandblasters work essentially the same way. The gravity-fed blaster is comprised of 3 parts: an air compressor, a handheld pressure gun, and a sand-filled hopper that goes atop the gun. An air hose connects the air compressor to the hopper. When the trigger is pressed, the hopper opens up and air blows through the hose, pushing the sand out the barrel of the gun. A pressure sandblaster is used more in commercial settings. A specialized hose connects a large canister of sand to a gun, which usually requires 2 hands to operate. When the trigger is pulled, sand releases from the gun. When you’ve gone through 1 canister, you have to replace it and will not be able to refill it. Keep in mind this tool is not the most cost-effective of your options. Your last choice is the siphon blaster—the cheapest alternative. The sandblasting gun contains an air compressor and a reservoir full of sand, both components connecting to the gun. When you depress the trigger, the air compressor sucks up the sand from the reservoir and it is fired from the gun. The sand released from the gun can be put back in the reservoir and be reused.

How to Operate a Sandblaster

Regardless of what kind of sandblast machine you use, there is a general process that goes with operating it. First, lay out a tarp where you intend to complete the project so you can capture loose sand, rust, paint chips, and debris. Set up the sandblaster and see that all components are secured together. Fill up the sand or other blasting material into the container. Put on long sleeves and pants as well as protective face gear. Next, turn on the sandblaster and fire at your surface so the tip of the machine is 6 inches away. Keep the gun moving and run it over every area until you achieve the intended effect. For more tips on what sandblasters to use and how to operate them, visit

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