Last Update: 15 May 2020

How Does a Sandblaster Work?

James Kelly
James Kelly

Hi! This is James. I'm a professional writer and working on this field for a long time. Basically I love to write about everything related to tools, diy and home improvement. All my writings speak for itself as I'm passionate about this. I love to explore new things as well as new places whenever I get free time. You'll never find me free for this reason!

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For efficient sandblasting work, it’s mandatory to understand about sandblasting equipment and its operation processes. If you are in sandblasting business or your job profile requires you to do sandblasting work, you need to know the type, components, and how does a sandblaster work?

Before we describe it, let me tell you a brief explanation of its work process.

A sandblaster is a powerful tool that uses air-powered guns and sand to remove paint, rust and other contaminants. High-pressure air shoots sand particles to work surface at a remarkable speed. These sand particles graze the surface intending to level or make a rough surface by removing unwanted elements. It can also use for design. Like sandblasting a glass, to give an aesthetic look.

In this comprehensive post, we will cover almost all the details related to sandblasting equipment and its work processes. We have also put together some frequently asked question and answered, for your convenience.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

What is a Sandblaster?

A sandblaster is a fantastic machine. It propels a stream of sand or abrasive material to various surfaces. The sandblasting process smoothens a rough surface or roughens a smooth surface with the high pressure of the sand-stream. It can use to remove paint, rust and other impurities. Despite cooling capability, I should mention, Sandblasting is no easy task. You should always be careful when using a sandblaster.

Typical Components of Sand Blaster:

Though there are various types of sandblasters in the market. All machine has some standard components. Here is some brief idea of those standard components.


It is a special tip for your pressure gun. The design and structure play a huge role in the blasting pattern and intensity of blasting. Different work profile needs different nozzles. Experts use a wide variety of nozzle types when blasting for aesthetics or designing purposes.

Sand Chamber

All the Sandblaster uses some kind of sand chamber or a pot. This chamber allows you to hold abrasive materials for blasting. When you are pressure blasting, this pot also maintains the pressure in the house. Depending on the work type, the sand chamber can be small or big. Usually, sand chamber size varies between 0.5 cubic feet to 20 cubic feet.

Inlet and outlet valves

These two valves monitor both the inflow and outflow of air in the pot. Also, regulate the pressure. These are essential components of any remote-control system and in any general blast machine setup.

Pop-up valve

Another critical element in a blaster-machine is the Pop-up valve. This valve reacts when pressure put into a blasting system. The rubber part of the pipe “pops up” to ensure pressurize the entire system.

The Media valve

This valve regulates the abrasive or sand flow from the chamber. It locates under the machine. Media valves have two separate inlets and one outlet. The channels are for abrasive and air. The outlet is for both air and rough mixture. Later that mixture will travel through a blast hose. These valves can be manual or automatic.


A blast machine uses several tubes to perform blasting work. Depending on the job, it could be twin-line hoses, braided blast hose or any kind of unique tube.

The Abrasive Trap

The trap ensures no abrasive or sand to go through the outlet valve. If it does go through the outlet valve, it can cause all sorts of problem for the tool and effect work result.

Types of Sandblaster and How They Work:

There are three different sandblasters you can choose for your work. However, all sandblasters follow roughly the same principles. If you know how does a sandblaster work? It will be much easy for you to choose the right Sandblaster for your work. Which will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your job?

Gravity-Fed Blaster

This blaster shoots sand or abrasive material with high air pressure. There are three critical parts of the gravity-fed blaster model. A pressurized air tank, a hand-held pressure gun and a hopper on top of the weapon.

It works exactly like an air sprayer. When you pull the trigger, air from the tank comes out through the arm. At the same time with the help of gravity Hooper keeps pouring sand into the gun as long as we press the trigger. After we release the trigger, airflow and sand supply stops.

Pressure Blaster

This is an alternative way of sandblasting. The main components are the pressurized chamber filled with sand and a pressure gun. They connect these two parts with special hoes.

When we pull the trigger, sand from the pressurized chamber comes out through the gun nozzle with high pressure. This is a simple method, but it’s expensive. You cannot refill the sand chamber, instead, you have to use a new one. Usually, we use pressure-blaster for small work.

Siphon Sandblaster

This Sandblaster is like a gravity-fed blaster, but on a massive scale. It also has three essential parts. An air tank, a pressure gun, and a sand reservoir. They connect the pressure gun with both the air tank and the sand reservoir with special hoes.

After you pull the trigger of the pressure gun, two things happen. One high-pressure air comes out from the air tank hose, and two creates suction for the other hoes from the reservoir. This suction pulls sand from the pool.

The main advantage of Siphon sandblaster is, it’s relatively cheap and can use on a large surface of a big project. You can just fill out the reservoir when it runs out.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Q: What size air compressor do I need for Sandblaster?

A: The general operating pressure requirement is around 100lbs for any sandblasting work. With that in mind, choose the right one that fits your needs.

Q: What type of sand or abrasive I can use?

A: It depends on your work. There is softer abrasive like Walnut shells, Glass beads, Plastic beads for delicate work. And there is more durable abrasive like Aluminum oxide, Silicon carbide, steel grit or steel shot for the toughest jobs. Also, there are new advanced rough made of dry ice for unique finishes.

Q: What type of Nozzle I should use?

A: Nozzles can make a huge difference in your sandblasting performance. Having good air pressure is compulsory to get the job done correctly. You should always consult a professional to get the perfect nozzle for you. Here is some popular nozzle type you can use in your work—small venturi nozzle, Long venturi Bazooka Nozzle, Boron nozzles, etc.

Q: Can I Sandblast Wood?

A: Yes. Most professionals sandblast wood for design. You can also use it to remove paint, chemicals, etc. But keep in mind that it’s delicate work. If you are not confident enough, hire an experienced person to do that for you.

How Does a Sandblaster Work Video Tutorial

Final Verdict

With that being said, that’s all we have on the Sandblaster for now. We tried to keep it as concise as possible and give you many details on Sandblaster. We are positive that the above information will serve you well and help you understand a bit more on how does a sandblaster work?

How Does a Sandblaster Work? And How Does It Work! 1