From spray painting to inflating, the use of air compressors is diverse, and almost every sector needs them.
Even a scuba diver needs compressed air tanks to dive into the water, and these are the common uses of these compressors.
But different kinds of compressors are suited for different jobs like inflating, pressure stain removing, spray painting, etc.
Sandblasting, too, requires some specification from the compressors in order to the job.
And hence, we are going to talk about the best air compressor for sandblasting, which is suitable for people who intend to use this machine for the purpose of abrasive blasting.
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor
5 out of 5
DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor
5 out of 5
Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Air Compressor
4.5 out of 5
CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake
4 out of 5
DeWalt DXCMV5048055 Industrial Air Compressor
4.5 out of 5
Our Recommended 6 Best Air Compressor For Sandblasting
Although we have specified these are compressors for abrasive blasting, you can use the following products for other common works too.
1. PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor
Porter-Cable has been making powerful tools since over a century ago. And in their relentless pursuit of better technologies, they have made an air compressor that has the power and compactness required to become the best compressor for sandblasting in today’s environment.
The highlight of this pancake styled compressor is not only its compact size and convenience. It features 150 psi for very fast cleaning, and that’s what makes this perfect for sand removal.
Further, this also shows it can store more air in its tank, and that makes this better for longer use and bigger projects.
With 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi, this air compressor has the precise CFM for sandblasters. Also, it weighs around 30 lbs only, which makes this the perfect device for sandblasting and other works. Its compact size will let you store it anywhere with ease.
On top of that, at 120V, this has the power to cold start in the winter and keep running when you need it to. Further, the pancake shape makes most of its size and can hold enough air for the job.
Also, it makes the machine stable, and for more stability, it has rubber feet, making this compressor one for longer use.
Another aspect of this compressor that we like is that it requires no maintenance. You don’t need to oil it or maintain it in any way, so it’s always ready for use.
- Maximum pressure of 150 psi for longer use
- Weighs 30 lbs.; easily portable
- Pancake tank design makes it more stable
- With 2.6 SFCM can deliver the volume for light sandblasting
2. DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor
Dewalt is one of the top tools brands, if not the best. Their air compressors are priced at a higher rate, but their service is right there at the top as well.
And hence, this one meets almost all our sandblaster compressor requirements and is a great option for the best air compressor for sandblasting.
This has an output volume of 2.6 Standard CFM when delivering at 90 psi, so it has the pressure and CFM for sandblasting.
With this, you can use a smaller nozzle to optimize cleaning smaller items. Meaning this is for light to medium-sized abrasive blasting.
When doing high pressure sandblasting, you can make use of 165 maximum psi and shift to the high-flow regulator option for better and faster performance.
Another thing you will appreciate about this air compressor is its noise-reducing ability. At 75.5 dBA noise level, this really doesn’t create much noise, and you can work in a quieter environment.
Much like the better compressors, this too doesn’t need maintenance. It’s oil-free and won’t require you to do much to keep it running either.
Overall, this has the makings of a steady and strong machine. The motor, too, has the efficiency to start itself under cold conditions. To top it off, the console cover is there to protect this from damage.
- Has good output volume at 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI
- At 75.5 dBA, this is a quiet machine
- Doesn’t require maintenance or oiling
- Has high flow regulator for more power
3. Makita MAC2400 Big Bore 2.5 HP Sandblaster Air Compressor
Makita is another tool industry giant, but their products come for a hefty price tag as well. But when it comes to quality, it is hard to match their standards because you’re getting the finest parts made by some of the greatest professionals.
With its technical prowess, the Makita pump with 2.5 HP is perfect for longer and regular use. The iron cylinder reduces the wearing on the machine and has provided improved bore and stroke for better performance and more horsepower.
A strong motor is the prerequisite of a better compressor, and this one has the proper efficiency needed.
Although it needs to be oiled, the motor is durable and stays relatively quiet. It is the kind of motor for more power so it won’t be the quietest product on the list, but it still reduced the noise as much as possible.
This one is capable of decent clearing with meeting the requirement of CFM needed for sandblasting smaller to medium-sized objects.
It can substantially strip the surface of the rust grease and other residues while making sure it’s ready for refinishing.
Nowadays, you don’t buy a device for one function only, so you want to use it for multiple purposes, and that’s where paying for the Makita pays off.
You will have a powerful and lasting device that’s easy to carry around and has a solid construction that will be hard to damage.
- With output at 4.2 CFM at 90 PSI, this is ideal for sandblasting smaller objects
- Reduced noise owing to the lower RPM
- Has a strong iron cylinder providing a longer-lasting build
- Powerful motor with 2.5 HP
4. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon, Pancake
Our next compressor is the bestseller from Craftsman. It’s a highly popular tool brand, and the compressor is a fan favorite for its convenience, lightweight, and high PSI.
For people who hate to wait, sandblasting with an air compressor can become a headache when you have to wait for the machine to recover. And keeping that in mind, Craftsman has done exceedingly well in reducing the time for recovery.
So, for a big project, even if you run out of air, you can quickly resume the work and be right on schedule.
Now at 6 gallons, this has a good enough size for smaller projects, but what makes this truly worth the bucks is its maximum psi. With a high psi of 150, this can provide the pressure needed to clear out the hardest of junks and ensure a smooth, cleaned surface.
Also, at 2.6 SCFM at 90 psi, this has the sandblaster CFM needed for light and medium work. The pump and motor on this are also of high quality.
On top of that, you don’t have to oil the pump, so there is no additional maintenance needed.
If you live in a cold region, this will serve you just fine as it has the settings to quick start in the winter. And since Craftsman is a popular brand, you might even get a sweet warranty on the compressor.
- Has high psi for faster cleaning
- Pump doesn’t need to be oil
- Durable motor in a compact size for easy transportation
- Starts smoothly in the cold
5. DeWalt DXCMV5048055 Industrial Air Compressor
So far, we have reviewed products that do a decent job of abrasive blasting, but now we have one for the heavy-duty jobs. Dewalt’s powerful machine is a heavy-duty sandblaster with an air compressor meant to do professional work for you. And as it is with these robust machines, they charge a fine price too.
This isn’t for enthusiasts; this is an industrial compressor meant for professional sandblasting that automotive repair shops and others use for the task. It runs on 230 Voltage and will hike up your energy uses when you use this. But in return, you’ll get industry standard results.
With 17 CFM at 175 psi, you can tell the difference from the previous products. It can handle medium to large sandblasting in a breeze. This supports nozzles of size 3 or 4, and you can refer to a sandblaster Cfm chart to understand better which size you need for your specific jobs.
Also, what makes this even greater is you can run many other tools simultaneously while using this. But you don’t have to worry about the machine choking or anything because it has thermal overload protection to prevent the motor from overworking.
This can contain up to 80 gallons of air, so a single run should be plenty for most tasks. However, that also means it will take longer to recover.
- Very powerful motor with 5 HP
- Can contain 80 gals of air
- Supplies 17 CFM air at 175 psi
- Can be used for multiple tasks simultaneously
- Has an overload protection system for safety
6. Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor
Quincy is among our favorite heavy-duty sandblasting compressors, and we have only left this for the last because this one needs commitment. Also, one of the things to take notice of with the Quincy compressor is, it’s made in the US.
If you want a compressor for life, you will find your way to this outstanding machine. After the initial purchasing cost, you will have a relatively quiet life with it as it has low operating costs.
This has an RPM of 1310, meaning it will stay quiet and cool. It’s a heavy motor that will run in high HP and volt but still managing a low RPM shows the technical prowess of the machine.
On top of keeping it low, this also runs at a lower cost, which is why this is just the kind of compressor you want to keep with you for a lifetime. The pump life of this sandblaster is around 50,000 hours, which is one of the highest we have seen.
As one would expect, this can pump a high psi around 145 to 175. It’s perfect for long and heavy-duty use.
Whether you’re stripping off dirt and grease or paint and rust, this can do it all while giving you many options of choosing the right range for the right material.
Being one of the heavier compressors, this weighs 475 pounds and is meant for stationary use.
With functions like overload detection and a capacitor start motor, this is a great sandblaster air compressor for those who need one for regular use.
- Stays quiet and cool at 1310 RPM
- Powerful motor with 230V and 5 HP
- Has 145 to 175 PSI for efficient sandblasting
- Durable and strong pump with 50,000 hours lifetime
Compressor for Sandblasting - Comparison Chart
PORTER-CABLE Air Compressor
2.6 SCFM at 90 psi
150 max PSI
DEWALT Pancake Air Compressor
3.7 SCFM at 40 PSI
165 max PSI
4.2 CFM at 90 PSI
130 max PSI
CRAFTSMAN Sandblaster Air Compressor
2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI
150 max PSI
17 CFM at 175 PSI
175 max PSI
15.2 CFM at 175 PSI
How to Choose Air Compressor for Sandblasting?
Even if we show you the top-recommended air compressor for sandblasting, it still won’t matter unless you know what makes a product the good air compressor for sandblasting. So, let’s take a look at some of the features you need to know about.
We have already talked about CFMs multiple times, but for those who are still confused, CFM for sandblasters is what shows the output volume of air that’s going to come out of the nozzle.
CFMs are also seen as SCFMs, which just pretty much tell what the CFM is in standard conditions. As you know, the functionality of compressors can vary depending on the overall temperature and air pressure of your surroundings.
So, unless you live in an extremely cold region or a very hot region, the SCFM should be a good and accurate indicator of the actual CFM.
However, if you’re doing occasional sandblasting on smaller objects, this can do the job.
For more professional results, the CFM requirements for sandblasting will be well above 10 CFM. Also, keep in mind, if you go with higher cfm for sandblasters, it will get pricier. Because then you will need a stronger motor with greater capacity.
PSI is the other common measure for understanding how powerful the compressor is. It is simply the air pressure your compressor can generate. To understand what decent pressure should be, you also need to identify what you will use it for.
Further, you should also be aware of how many tools you plan on running with the same pump.
Generally, the higher your PSI is, the more efficient your cleaning will be. With high psi, you can clear of dust and rust faster. So, this also reduces the work time. However, this, too, will increase the price rate.
PSI above 100 is more than plenty for most sandblasting jobs. Anything beyond that is a happy bonus to make your work even faster.
But don’t look at the maximum capacity alone. The more effective measure is the pressure you get for a specific CFM.
Nozzle and Orifice
Nozzle and orifice eventually determine what volume you’re getting out of your compressor.
A bigger orifice means air volume will be greater, and your tank will empty faster. But if you have a big tank, a bigger orifice will increase the working speed by a lot.
RPM mostly tells how quiet or cool the motor remains while active. Less RPM means it will be quieter and cooler, but then it could also mean the motor is weaker.
So, if you can make do with less power and a quieter motor, then the tradeoff isn’t all that bad.
We recommend you go for maintenance-free compressors that don’t need oiling if you’re going for smaller compressors. With oiling, you have to do it right and choose the accurate lubricants, and many would prefer to avoid this.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Good Size for An Air Compressor for Sandblasting?
A proper sandblaster with an air compressor will have air volumes above 10CFM. Anything below that should do a decent job but isn’t an industrial compressor meant for the job.
2. What is the Minimum Requirement for Sandblasting?
If you want to do actual sandblasting and not just dust removal, you should buy a compressor with at least 80psi. Anything below that won’t have enough pressure needed for the job.
3. Is Sandblasting Something You Can do Yourself?
If you plan on sandblasting in your home, then you should at least have a separate room for the job. It can be quite challenging and might damage your property as well. There are many rules to follow before you start the job.
4. Does Sandblasting Require High Tank Capacity?
Yes, for sandblasting, you need a continuous supply of air. A bigger tank means you can complete the job without needing to wait for it to recover and pump again. A smaller gallon will make the job a lot longer.
5. Can You Use Any Compressor for Sandblasting?
You won’t have satisfying results if the air pressure and volume aren’t suitable for sandblasting. But for very small objects, you can try sandblasting with a smaller compressor, but the results won’t be too promising.
You now have all the information to know which is the best air compressor for sandblasting. So, all you need to do now is be true to yourself and determine what you want to use it for.
But before we end this, we do recommend you follow proper safety measures. You need to do the work in an open space while making sure you can dispose of the sand rubble created as the aftermath.
Piling up the sand could cause dangerous effects, and that’s something you want to avoid.
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