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What are the Different Types of Sandblasting Equipment?

Alex Tree
Alex Tree

Blast cabinets, pressure blasters, and of course sand are all sandblasting equipment used in various ways. Both blast cabinets and pressure blasters are types of sandblasters. Air compressors, yet another type of sandblasting equipment, are pieces of machinery that feed compressed air into the sandblasters to enable them to operate. While sand is not usually referred to as equipment, it is an essential part of sandblasting. In addition, it is often the most inexpensive part of sandblasting due to the insignificant price of sand in most places.

The actual sand is arguably the most important piece of sandblasting equipment. In sandblasting, sand is used as the abrasive material that is forced against other surfaces in order to affect them in different ways. Sand is essentially very small particulars of stone, though it may be composed of other mineral materials as well. This versatile material is also used in many other construction applications, such as adding texture to paint, making up a large percentage of the ingredients in concrete, as well as being the main ingredient of glass. Silcia sand, sand containing a lot of the chemical compound called silicon dioxide, is the type of sand most commonly used in sandblasting around the world.

A person sandblasting.
A person sandblasting.

Another piece of sandblasting equipment is called the blast cabinet, and it is essentially a medium-sized box that sandblasts items placed in it. A sandblasting cabinet normally has armholes in it so that the worker can put his gloved hands inside. This type of sandblasting equipment is frequently used to remove rust or other debris from automotive equipment. A dust collector either comes with this piece of equipment, or it can be purchased separately and placed on top.

Sandblasting can remove old paint.
Sandblasting can remove old paint.

A pressure sandblaster, more simply known as a pressure blaster, is typically a type of portable sandblasting equipment. It primarily consists of a tank on wheels with a hose and nozzle and is used to remove paint, rust, or graffiti from walls and other surfaces. The size, portability, and power of a pressure sandblaster can vary significantly, often with more expensive products being more effective at their job.

Silica sand for sandblasting.
Silica sand for sandblasting.

Air compressors, often diesel ones, are typically used to provide air to other pieces of sandblasting equipment that use it to push the abrasive material. The general purpose of an air compressor is to compress air and then express it energetically in bursts. There are many different methods that air compressors use to achieve this task, and they can use various types of fuel.

Discussion Comments


My husband works in construction so works with sand blasters all the time. One of the main reasons he uses a sandblaster is to clean rust off of steel. They also use them to clean concrete surfaces so the new concrete will bond to the old surface.

The sandblasting equipment they use on their jobs is heavy duty and would be much different than a handheld one.

When they use a shot blaster to remove paint lines from a road, you ride on this equipment like you would a truck. It has a vacuum to suck up the shot and the paint to prevent contamination.

When they work with their blasting equipment on the job, they are required to wear eye protection and a dust respirator.


@SarahSon - It is a matter of personal preference, but if you are planning on doing more projects like this, I think you would be better off buying your own equipment.

You can find sandblasting equipment for sale in online classifieds or buy it at your local hardware store. I was at a garage sale and came across some used sandblasting equipment that I was able to buy at a great price. I have used this for a lot of similar projects around the house.

For a project like you are working on, I would go with a hand held blaster that would use bead blasting instead of sand.

The reason for this is because sand is too abrasive and would destroy the wood. The beads would get the job done without damaging any of the wood.

This would definitely be more efficient than trying to do it all by hand!


I don't know much about sandblasting equipment, but am trying to find the most efficient way to complete a refinishing project.

I have an old, weathered church pew that I am currently refinishing. I don't want to sand this whole pew down by hand.

What is the best sandblast equipment to use for a small project like this? Would it be better to rent something or would I be better of buying my own equipment?

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    • A person sandblasting.
      A person sandblasting.
    • Sandblasting can remove old paint.
      By: PaulPaladin
      Sandblasting can remove old paint.
    • Silica sand for sandblasting.
      By: Khorzhevska
      Silica sand for sandblasting.
    • Graffiti can be removed from a wall with a pressure sandblaster.
      By: Katrin Lantzsch
      Graffiti can be removed from a wall with a pressure sandblaster.