Best Air Compressors for Sandblasting | Reviews & Buying Guide

Best air compressor for sandblasting. Sandblasting requires powerful industrial grade air compressors which cost more than usual. This is why you have to be very careful while picking an air compressor for sandblasting. You should have the best air compressors for sandblasting whether it’s for professional work or DIY tasks at the home-garage.

But getting the best one is very difficult as there are tons of air compressors to choose from. I have created this article to make this easier for you. I found these air compressors for sandblasting after months of research. You can check out my reviews below to find your desired one.

Comparison of the Best Air Compressors for Sandblasting

Best Air Compressors for Sandblasting Reviews

Industrial Air ILA3606056 Air Compressor

Industrial Air ILA3606056 Air Compressor
Industrial Air ILA3606056 Air Compressor | Click Image To Check Price On Amazon

Specifications

  • Tank Capacity: 60 Gallons
  • Max. Pressure Rating: 155 PSI
  • CFM Rating (@ 90 PSI): 11.5 CFM
  • Motor Voltage: 208 to 240 Volts
  • Motor Power: 3.7 HP
  • Material: Cast-iron
  • Weight: 247 lbs.

Reviews

When you get an air compressor for blast cabinet, you won’t use it only for sandblasting. There are other heavy-duty works that you want to do. Keeping that in mind, I have picked the Industrial Air ILA3606056 Air Compressor for you. You can use this air compressor for small sandblasting operations and other heavy-duty works.

The cylinder of this air compressor is made of cast-iron that ensures its durability. The valve plate and head are made of aluminum and the stainless-steel reed valves make this air compressor thermally stable.

Its tank capacity is high and will provide longer runtime for air tools including sandblaster. The motor of this air compressor is a 3.7 HP motor which is enough powerful for sandblasting and other heavy-duty works.

The motor is lubricated with synthetic oil that not only increases the performance of the motor but also ensures a long-life for the air compressor. And last but not least, you will get a pressure gauge with an on/off switch to easily control and keep track of the pressure level of this compressor.

What We Like

  • Easy to operate (user-friendly).
  • Higher tank capacity for longer runtime.
  • No risk of thermal overload.
  • Built to last-longer (tough-body).
  • You can move it whenever needed.

What We Don’t Like

  • No power cord included.
  • Limited to small sandblasting jobs.

Industrial air has two more air compressors which are pretty much the same as the ILA3606056. These are

These are also suitable for sandblasting. But there are a few differences. These two air compressors are 80-gallon compressors. Also the ILA4708065 provides 14 CFM @ 90 PSI and the IV5048055 provides 17.5 CFM @ 100 PSI.

So the CFM ratings are higher than the ILA3606056. These are some of the differences you will find. But the build quality is the same for all the three compressors.

Industrial Air IHA9093080.ES Air Compressor

Industrial Air IHA9093080.ES Air Compressor
Industrial Air IHA9093080.ES Air Compressor | Click Image To Check Price On Amazon

Specifications

  • Tank Capacity: 30 Gallons
  • Max. Pressure Rating: 155 PSI
  • Material: Cast-iron
  • Weight: 380 lbs.
  • CFM Rating (@90 PSI): 18 CFM
  • Motor Power: 9 HP
  • Fuel Tank Size: 6 Liter

Reviews

The IHA9093080.ES Air Compressor is another air compressor from Industrial Air which you can use for sandblasting. This one has a higher CFM rating which is why it is good for bigger sandblasting jobs.

This air compressor has a Honda OHV GX270 gas engine (9 HP) which is more powerful and efficient. It has an automotive-style air cleaner which makes your job more efficient and convenient. This is why I consider it as the best air compressor for sandblasting cabinet.

Its pump and the cylinder body is made of cast-iron for increased durability. The valves and piston heads are made of aluminum. Aluminum helps to dissipate heat easily and keep the air compressor cool for longer.

The pump cooling is improved by as much as 60ºF because of the uniquely designed belt guard. Also, the belt guard is made of metal and it is fully enclosed to protect the moving parts from damage.

What We Like

  • It automatically shuts down when oil is low.
  • Synthetic oil ensures a longer life.
  • All the parts are strongly protected.
  • It can be mounted on trucks.
  • Comparatively lightweight than other compressors for sandblasting.

What We Don’t Like

  • It requires more maintenance.

NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor

NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor
NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor | Click Image To Check Price On Amazon

Specifications

  • Max. Pressure Rating: 175 PSI
  • Tank Capacity: 30 Gallons
  • CFM Rating: 24.4 CFM (@90 PSI)
  • Material: Cat-iron
  • Motor Power: 12 HP
  • Fuel Capacity: 1.6 Gallons
  • Weight: 492 lbs.

Reviews

If you don’t want your air compressor to break-down in the middle of your work, get the NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor. It is a great portable air compressor for sandblasting and other heavy-duty works.

This air compressor will help you to have a smooth operation as it has smart LVT (low vibration technology). There are bearing on both the ends of the pump. This ensures less wear and tear and superior support so your air compressor will last longer.

The cylinder of this air compressor is a V-style cylinder. The V-style orientation helps to dissipate heat faster. This consistent cooling system extends the pump life of the compressor.

It is really important to have a powerful air compressor for sandblasting. Low power compressors are not suitable for the job. This air compressor is mounted with the Honda GX390 OHV engine which runs on gas. So the compressor requires less maintenance yet provides a lot of power continuously.

What We Like

  • The cylinder has a superior cooling system.
  • The valves are very strong.
  • Engine crankshaft has good support.
  • Less vibration.
  • The belt guard is quite durable.
  • High accuracy pressure gauge.
  • Auto-shutdown feature when oil is low.

What We Don’t Like

  • It takes up a lot of space.

Quincy QT-54 Air Compressor (Model Number 2V41C60VC)

Quincy QT-54 Air Compressor (Model Number 2V41C60VC)
Quincy QT-54 Air Compressor (Model Number 2V41C60VC) | Click Image To Check Price On Amazon

Specifications

  • Motor Power: 5 HP
  • Motor Voltage: 230 Volts
  • Tank Capacity: 60 Gallons
  • Max. Pressure Rating: 175 PSI
  • Pump Speed: 1310 RPM
  • CFM Rating: 15.4 CFM (@ 90 PSI)
  • Weight: 475 lbs.

Reviews

I chose the Quincy QT-54 Air Compressor (Model Number 2V41C60VC) for its lower operating cost. It is a high-efficiency air compressor that you can use for small sandblasting jobs. This air compressor is able to produce more compressed air with less horsepower. It saves both energy and your bills.

This is a gas-powered air compressor and you don’t need oil to run it. This is why it is suitable for cold and hot weather. You don’t need to worry about maintaining it too often. Its lower pump speed keeps it cool for longer.

You have to manually drain this air compressor. But it is not so difficult and it won’t take much of your time. The pump is built with cast-iron. This is why it is quite durable and it will last longer.

If you want a portable air compressor for your job, I would not recommend this air compressor. This is a stationary air compressor and you have to keep it in a fixed place to work. But it doesn’t take up too much space. So it is perfect for the home garage.

What We Like

  • Thermal overload protection.
  • Suitable for all weather.
  • Less maintenance required.
  • Compact size (takes less space).
  • It can be used for painting as well.

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s comparatively loud.

You  can also check out the following air compressors by EMAX for sandblasting –

Aside from these differences, all EMAX compressors are the same with 1750 RPM of motor speed and an 80-gallon tank. You can choose either one of these air compressors based on the power and the CFM rating.

The Ultimate Buying Guide of the Best Air Compressors for Sandblasting

In this guide, I will show you how you can sandblast using an air compressor and what size air compressor needed for sandblasting. Follow this guide carefully and by the end of it, you will know what is the best air compressor for sandblasting.

How to sandblast with air compressor?

You already know that sandblasting is the process of removing rust from metal using high-velocity airflow. When a metal surface is covered with rust, there are different ways to remove the rust.

Sandblasting is one of them. It is used when the metal object has an odd shape and cannot be sanded using regular sandpaper.

In sandblasting, you need a powerful air compressor that provides continuous high-velocity airflow. The air will hit the metal object with a lot of power and remove the rust.

Now let me tell you how to sandblast with air compressor.

  • First of all, you need a sandblasting chamber in which you will sand the metal object. The chamber is usually equipped with safety measures (i.e. safety gloves, sufficient lighting, etc.).
  • Next, you have to connect an air gun to your air compressor and it will be used for sandblasting. On the tip of the air gun, you have to connect a nozzle. The size of the nozzle will affect your sandblasting pattern.
  • After you are done with connecting all the parts, simply put the metal object in the sandblasting chamber, start the compressor and point the gun to the rusty surface of the metal. You will be done within a short period.

You are probably wondering what size air compressor do I need for sandblasting or what should be the size of the nozzle. I have talked about it below.

What size air compressor do I need for a sandblaster?

The answer to what size air compressor do I need for a sandblaster is a bit tricky. I will try to give you the simplest and easiest answer possible.

When you ask about the size of the air compressor it usually means the tank capacity. But for sandblasting, the size of the air compressor not only refers to the tank capacity but also refers to the CFM Rating, Pressure Rating, and the Nozzle Size.

So, there are four points that define the size of an air compressor for sandblasting. I will talk about each of these points individually.

The Tank Capacity

First, let’s start with the tank size of the air compressor. The air compressor you choose for sandblasting must have a tank capacity of more than 20 gallons.

If you don’t know how the tank capacity works, let me tell you. The larger the tank capacity the longer the air compressor will run before it stops to rebuild the pressure. That means if the tank capacity is large, your air compressor will run longer and it will take fewer brakes to rebuild the pressure.

You need continuous airflow for sandblasting. This is why if you choose an air compressor with less than 20 gallons of tank capacity, you will not get the continuous airflow you need. This is why always choose an air compressor with more than 20 gallons of tank capacity for sandblasting.

The CFM Rating

CFM or cubic feet per minute is the unit of rate of airflow. There are different ranges of CFM ratings for different types of sandblasting.

  • For small sandblasting operations, an air compressor with 10 CFM to 20 CFM airflow is enough.
  • You will need an air compressor with 18 CFM to 35 CFM rating for medium-range operations.
  • Industrial grade sandblasting requires 50 CFM to 100 CFM rating for the compressor.

The Pressure Rating

The pressure rating of the air compressor will determine how fast you will be able to clean or sandblast a metal surface. I recommend an air compressor with a pressure level of 100 PSI.

With 100 PSI pressure, you can achieve optimum efficiency. If the pressure rating is reduced to half (50 PSI), it will take four times longer for you to complete the sandblasting operation.

The Nozzle Size

The size of the blast pattern depends on the size of the nozzle. If you go up one size for the nozzle, the blast size will increase by nearly 10%.

If you need to sand a precise area, you should use a 3/16-inch or a 1/16-inch nozzle. These are smaller nozzles and these will provide more precise basting.

On the other hand, you should use 3/8-inch to ½-inch nozzles for working more efficiently.

Keep these four points in mind when getting an air compressor and you will be able to do sandblasting more efficiently.

What is the best air compressor for sandblasting?

The air compressor that has the above-given features is the recommended air compressor for sandblasting. But still, there are other things to consider. For example, the durability of the compressor, how powerful the motor is, how often do you need to maintain, etc.

However, keeping all these points in mind, I chose the air compressors in this list. So, each of the air compressors in this article is the best air compressor for sandblasting.

My Final Words

I would like to give some final tips regarding the best air compressors for sandblasting. When you are about to get an air compressor for sandblasting, check the CFM and pressure rating very carefully.

I have already said which type of sandblasting requires how much CFM and pressure. Choose your air compressor according to that data. Also, always remember to pick an air compressor with a tank capacity of more than 20-gallons. This will ensure the continuity of your work without interruption.

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