Three Different Types of Sandblasters & How They Work

Three Different Types of Sandblasters & How They Work

commercial sand blasting
Sandblasting (also now known as media blasting) is a powerful and effective process. If you have a metal surface which needs to be cleaned of rust or paint, you can turn to this media blasting to get the the job done quickly. While sandblasting is something that should be done by an experienced hand, it is not a particularly difficult or pain-staking process. When finished, the process should leave the surface in question clean and ready for a fresh coat of paint or other finish.

The Basic Idea

While there are three different types of sandblasters that you can choose from for your needs, all of these media blasters have the same general method in common. Media blasting is done by an air-powered gun which will propel silica sand toward a surface at a high rate of speed. Compressed air is used to supply the power to the gun, and the sand is forced out of a barrel which will direct it toward your target. Obviously, this process can be dangerous when not done in the right setting, so precautions should always be taken before getting started.


The first type of blaster to consider is a gravity-fed gun. As the name would suggest, the sand is directed into the barrel of the gun from the top, thanks to gravity. There is a hopper on top of the gun which holds your supply of sand as you work. When the trigger is pulled, sand will be forced out of the barrel, and more sand will fall from the hopper into the barrel to continue the process. When the trigger of the gun is released, the opening between the hopper and the barrel will close to keep the remaining sand inside of the hopper for future use.

Pressure Blaster

An alternative form of sand delivery to the barrel of your gun is through the use of a pressure blaster. In this case, there is a canister containing sand which is already under pressure. When that canister is connected to a gun via a specialized hose, the trigger can be pulled and the sand and air will come out of the canister together. You will not experience hardly any maintenance needs when opting for this style of sandblaster, but the cost of operation tends to be higher. Also, you cannot refill the canister once it has been exhausted, meaning there is more waste created with this method.

Siphon Sandblaster

For the last option, suction is going to be the main source of the action within the siphon sandblaster. In this case, a gun is connected via two hoses to both an air compressor and a sand reservoir of some kind. When the air kicks on, it will create suction through the gun which will pull the sand through and out the barrel. This type of operation is relatively affordable, and it can be used continuously as the sand can simply be recollected and placed back into the reservoir. When a large surface needs to be stripped clean, it is usually a siphon media blaster that will be put into action.