Whether you’re stripping old paint off of your car or cleaning one of your tools, a great sandblaster is a handy tool to keep in your garage. Sandblasters can even be used in a pinch to polish awkwardly shaped objects that are nearly impossible to approach with other tools.
Why buy a sandblaster?
Sandblasters are a popular tool that you can use for stripping, cleaning, polishing, and restoring objects and surfaces. They accomplish this by creating a continuous blast of pressurized sediment that grinds away a surface’s imperfections. Despite their effectiveness and versatility, sandblasters can be found in a wide range of price points, so even DIYers on a budget can find a great sandblaster in their desired price range.
What should you look for in a sandblaster?
- Air Pressure: Be sure to check a sandblaster’s operational air pressure requirements to ensure that your air compressor is up for the job. While most sandblasters operate at a range of 90 PSI – 150 PSI, there are some quality models on the market that are effective at lower air pressures.
- Form Factor: Look for a sandblaster that features a compact, lightweight design, as this will make it easier to maneuver in order to effectively complete your job. Some sandblasters feature a longer wand-like design, which can be harder to effectively use in a compact blast cabinet.
- Medium compatibility: Not all sandblasters are compatible with every type of blasting medium. Be sure to do your research and consider what type of nozzles a sandblaster comes with, as this will determine what blasting mediums you can use in your sandblaster.
Are there different types of sandblasters?
The two most common types of sandblasters for DIY use are gravity-fed sandblasters and siphon sandblasters. Gravity-fed models are great for small jobs and sport lightweight designs that use gravity to feed the blasting medium from a hopper to a stream of compressed air. On the other hand, siphon sandblasters tend to allow you to utilize more medium via powerful suction that occurs below the nozzle. These are great for more demanding jobs as they tend to require fewer medium refills than gravity-fed sandblasters.
LE Lematec AS118-2 Sandblaster Kit
This sandblaster offers gravity-fed and siphon functionality, making it a great choice for small to medium-sized jobs.
Pros: Featuring gravity-fed and siphon sandblasting functionality, the LE Lematec AS118-2 Sandblaster Kit is a versatile option for those tackling small to medium-sized jobs. This sandblaster kit is compatible with a wide variety of blasting mediums and is incredibly effective, whether you are utilizing its hopper or feed tube. While this sandblaster requires a sizable compressor to get the best bang for your buck, it performs admirably at 90 PSI or above. It also impresses in terms of its lightweight and portable form factor, making this a great tool for those seeking to restore small car parts or tools.
Cons: While this sandblaster impresses in terms of usability and build quality, it should be noted that it’s fairly expensive compared to comparable products. While its siphon functionality ensures that this tool is effective for medium-sized jobs, those who will primarily be using a sandblaster for small jobs and glass etching can save some cash by investing in one of our budget-friendly picks.
Bottom Line: In terms of reliability and versatility, this little sandblaster from LE Lematec scores high marks. While its price tag may be a little higher than some fairly comparable products on the market, this tool’s quality components and rugged build quality will make it a welcome addition for garages that have a compressor that will get the most out of it.
TCP Global Gravity Feed Sandblaster Kit
This budget-friendly sandblaster sports a lightweight design that's easy to use for beginners.
Pros: Don’t let this sandblaster’s budget-friendly price tag fool you; it’s amazingly effective compared to other gravity-fed options at its price point. This product stands out for its roomy hopper and easy-to-adjust design, making it easier to complete small jobs without wasting medium or constantly refilling the hopper. Its also effective at 60 PSI when used with the right medium, making it a nice choice for DIYers with less powerful air compressors.
Cons: Some reviewers noted that the ceramic nozzles that come with this sandblaster are prone to chipping. Since the replacement nozzles for this product are fairly pricey, it can become quite an expensive purchase for those who are rough on nozzles. It’s also important to note that this small sandblaster doesn’t feature siphon functionality, so it’s not a good choice for demanding jobs that cover a wide surface area.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an inexpensive gravity-fed sandblaster that performs admirably despite its low price point, this one is well worth considering. While it might not be the most rugged model on the market, its capacity and reliability are a step above most gravity-fed sandblasters in its price range.
This affordable siphon sandblaster stands out for its rugged design and variety of replacement nozzles.
Pros: If you’re in the market for an affordable siphon-feed sandblaster, the AMTOVL Sandblaster has a lot to offer. This durable, aluminum sandblaster comes with plenty of replacement nozzles in a variety of sizes and is great for larger jobs that require a lot of blasting medium. Many reviewers note being impressed by this product’s longevity, as it seems to outlast other budget-friendly siphon sandblasters you can put it up against. Factor in this product’s simple setup and easy-to-use design, and you can see why it’s so highly rated.
Cons: This product uses non-standard threading for its medium and air intakes, so finding replacement parts that fit can be a pain for some users. Also, this sandblaster goes through a lot of mediums, so it’s not the most appropriate purchase for small jobs or DIYers who don’t own a blast cabinet.
Bottom Line: If you’ve got a setup that can accommodate it, this sandblaster gives you incredible restoration power for the price. That being said, it’s liable to create quite a mess for those who don’t have a blasting cabinet or suitable location to use this tool. However, in terms of removing rust and grime from large surfaces, this sandblaster is perfect for the job.
Selkie Pressure Washer Sandblasting Kit
This product pairs with your pressure washer to provide heavy-duty, dust-free sandblasting.
Pros: Featuring an ingenious design that sports the functionality of a sandblaster with a fraction of the dust, the Selkie Pressure Washer Sandblasting Kit is a great choice for those who own a pressure washer. This kit comes with everything you’ll need, including goggles and a hose, and its 1/4-inch quick-connect adapter makes it convenient to connect your pressure washer. While you will need to remember to keep your medium elevated, this product is incredibly effective at blasting away rust, which can save a ton of time compared to other products.
Cons: Quite a few reviews noted that this product lacks instructions, so those who have never used a similar kit might struggle to figure it out. Also, it’s important to note that this sandblaster won’t work without a powerful pressure washer to attach it to, so those who don’t own a pressure washer are looking at a pretty serious investment.
Bottom Line: While this kit does require some forethought in order to be effective and avoid backflow, it’s hard to argue with the results that it’s capable of. As such, those seeking an affordable product that is capable of heavy-duty sandblasting will find a lot of value if they choose this product.
LE LEMATEC AS118 Sandblaster Kit
This sandblaster stands out for its ergonomic design and is perfectly reliable for light-duty restoration jobs.
Pros: The LE LEMATEC AS118 Sandblaster Kit is a great option for those who need a sandblaster for artistic pursuits and cleaning small parts. This sandblaster is easy to handle thanks to its compact, ergonomic design and comes with a screen that ensures clogs are few and far between. It’s also a nice option for those with smaller air compressors since its compact hopper and lack of siphon functionality aren’t exactly geared toward long periods of continuous use. That being said, if you’re seeking something reliable that works great with a wide array of blasting mediums, this tool is worth a look.
Cons: If you’ve got large automotive parts to restore, this sandblaster will require you to take your time as you’ll need to frequently refill its hopper. As such, it’s much better suited for light-duty applications that won’t require a ton of blasting medium.
Bottom Line: While this sandblaster is a dependable option for those with light-duty applications in mind, you’ll still need a fairly robust air compressor for the best results. Those who will be restoring a wide variety of objects should probably consider picking up the AS118-2 over this model, as its siphon functionality makes it easier to blast a large amount of medium more efficiently than this model’s compact hopper.
Whether you’re cleaning years of gunk off of automotive parts or etching glass to commemorate a special occasion, a quality sandblaster will help you get the job done. That being said, it’s important to do your research in order to locate the perfect tool for the unique applications that you have in mind.