Whether you’re a DIY homeowner or an industry professional, knowing what the best sand blaster guns are is imperative when clearing away caked up materials and surfaces. Sand blaster guns are basically high-powered, air guns that shoot abrasive material at a high velocity. The right one, with the proper nozzle and material, can make old surfaces look new or help you prep for new paint. You’ll need to select between three items in order to have the right setup: sand blaster guns, nozzles and abrasive materials.
Pressurized models are the darlings of commercial outfits. They’re easy to work with on big jobs. They use a canister filled with the material connected by a hose. The great news about them is that minimal cleanup is required with this type of gun. But the downside is that the material isn’t reusable and that adds cost.
This is every handyman’s dream gun. They’re generally inexpensive and handle the same large areas as pressurized guns. They have two hoses. One feeds into the compressor, the other to a bucket of abrasive material. With siphon-fed models you can reuse the “sand” quite often and that makes a huge cost difference.
Gravity-fed sand blaster guns have the canister located on the top. A hose sucks air through the gun and the materials simply drops into the air flow. The main drawback is that you bear the weight of the canister while working.
Sand Blasting Gun Tips
Tips are generally interchangeable on sand blaster guns. They direct and concentrate the abrasive material into a narrowed stream. Because they are in direct contact with the fast-moving material, they will wear out. The more concentrated the ratio of material to air, the quicker you’ll need to replacements. Here are a few types of tips to consider.
- Carbide: Among the most durable, carbide are viewed as cost friendly because they are long-lasting. They tend to be relatively expensive as tips go, but you have to do the math on the amount of reuse you’ll get.
- Ceramic: Coming in second in durability to carbide tips, ceramic tips tend to be very inexpensive. You may change them more often, but that won’t put a hole in your wallet.
- Steel: Believe it or not, steel tends to wear out faster than ceramic tips. They get considerable use with siphon-fed setups that have lower pressure.
Selecting the right “sand” makes all the difference in how your sandblasting project comes out. Too fine a material and debris removal may be tough. Too rough and you may scratch a surface more than you want. As long as you get it right, high-velocity sand blasting beats hours of scraping and the use of toxic chemicals.
- Soft sand: Gentle materials clear away unwanted things like paint. The softer materials include walnut shells and corn cob. However, pumice is considered among the gentlest type of sand.
- Glass: These beads can create a wonderful finish and are easily recycled for repeat uses.
- Plastics: Plastic materials are very popular among auto body refinishers. They’re considered effective for paint removal.
- Silicon Carbide: Possibly the hardest material on the market, it does tend to be inexpensive and you will get numerous repeat uses.
- Metals: Very similar to buckshot, metals such as steel will scratch surfaces. However, if you need to have new paint bind, this can help that process. Metals also allow for numerous reuses.
- Solid Carbon Dioxide: The use of dry ice is relatively new. It’s terrific for blasting in areas where cleanup is difficult. Simply blast and it evaporates.
Matching the right sand blaster guns with good nozzles and materials will go along way to having a productive and successful sandblasting experience for all you DIY folks and industry professionals.