Best Air Sand Blasters

Best Air Sand Blasters: What are they?

Air sanders come in many shapes and sizes. They range from small hand held models to large industrial units with multiple blades. Some air sanders have wheels or other attachments that allow them to be moved around easily while others require a stand and some even need batteries to operate. All of these types of air sanders work by blowing compressed air at your desired size into the surface you want it to hit.

The most common type of air sander is the one that uses a fan to blow air at high pressure through a nozzle onto the target. These are called blowers and they are used primarily for dusting purposes. Other types include those that use water jets or those that rely on magnets to blast away the dirt. There’s also an electric model which requires no external power source and can be operated wirelessly using Bluetooth technology.

The main advantage of any type of air sander is their versatility. You can use them for just about anything you’d like. If you’re looking for something simple, then a hand held model will do the trick. However, if you’re planning on doing some heavy duty cleaning or painting jobs, then an industrial unit may be needed. Finally there are those that utilize electricity to blast away the dirt and grime on your car or truck.

Best Air Sand Blasters: Why do I need one?

The reason why you need an air sander can be broken down into two different areas: home use and industrial use. Air sanders are great to have at home if you plan on doing some light cleaning or maintenance work. If you’re planning on painting your house, then an air sander is a must. Keeping your car clean might also be easier with the help of an air sander.

Air sanders are also great for industrial use because they can blast away dirt and grime very quickly and easily. They’re also quite powerful so they can get the job done even if it’s a rather dirty or oily task. Some models can be used in a factory setting while others are better off in a workshop environment.

Best Air Sand Blasters: Where can I buy one?

If you already know exactly which air sander you want, then the best place to buy that product is online. There are so many different models to choose from that it can be really time consuming to compare all of them in person. Since you need to be careful when choosing an air sander, it’s in your best interest to take as much time as possible when making your final decision.

If you haven’t decided on exactly which one you want yet, then it might be a good idea to go to a local hardware store or do some research online first. You can then go to a store and hold them in your hand before making a final decision.

Best Air Sand Blasters: Things to look for

When you’re trying to choose the right air sander for your needs, there are several things that you need to take into consideration. First and foremost, you need to think about the types of jobs you’ll be performing most often. This will help you narrow down your search considerably.

Once you know what type of jobs you’ll be using the sander for most, it’ll be much easier to choose the one that suits those needs. For example, if you do a lot of woodwork in your spare time, then you’ll want to get an air sander that’s made specifically for wood.

You can also choose an all-purpose model that’ll work well for most jobs. It all comes down to personal preference and the types of jobs you do most often.

Best Air Sand Blasters – Comparison Table

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Air Sander Reviews

1. Porter-Cable PCB600AC

This is a mid priced electric air sander that you can use in your workshop or garage for all sorts of jobs. It’s small and lightweight enough to use with just one hand but it’s also powerful enough to blast away dirt and grime quickly.

This is a great all-purpose machine that you can use in many different situations. It’s perfect for working on cars or sanding down small furniture jobs. You can also use it for industrial work or large jobs as well.

If you need to do a lot of metal work or want a powerful air sander to remove a lot of material quickly, this might not be the best choice. It’s best used for jobs that require precision and a delicate touch.

It comes with a lot of different nozzles so you can vary the width of the stream when you’re blasting dust away. This feature is great if you need to clean out a specific area or just want more control over the tool.

2. Makita 2012NB

This is a powerful and reliable electric air sander that’s great for industrial use. It has more power than some other models which can come in handy if you need to blast away a lot of material quickly.

It also comes with a variety of different nozzles so you can use it for many different applications. These nozzles can be changed out quickly so you don’t have to worry about adjusting any settings.

It runs a lot quieter than some other models which can be great if you need to use it for extended periods of time. Since it’s electric, it requires a proper power source and cord that can be a pain when working in tight spaces.

The weight and feel of this air sander are also pretty good. It has enough heft to it that it won’t feel flimsy or fall over when in use.

3. Bostitch U/F21

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This is a powerful and versatile pneumatic air sander that’s great for all types of jobs. It has two different nozzles that you can use and both of them have their own benefits. The wider nozzle can blast away material quicker while the other one is more precise.

It has an excellent grip on it that allows you to move it around and control it with just one hand. You can place your hand on either side of the tool so you have more grip and control than you do with other models.

It’s a little louder than some of the other air sanders on this list but it’s not so much that it becomes a major issue. Just make sure you wear ear protection if you’re going to be using it for long periods of time.

The only real drawback to this sander is that it requires a lot of air pressure to run. You’ll need to hook it up to a proper air compressor and if your garage doesn’t have great ventilation, this can be a drawback.

4. 3M Dual Action Sander

This is a great sander for the money. It can be used for many different types of jobs and it works quite well in most instances. It’s small and compact so you can easily work with it in tight or awkward spaces.

The grip on it is excellent and you can hold it easily with just one hand if need be. It’s not going to slide around or slip out of your grasp while you’re working with it.

It comes with two different types of sanding discs so you can easily change between them when they become worn out. You just pop them out and put the new ones in, there’s no need to adjust any switches or turn any dials.

It’s a pretty quiet sander which is good if you need to use it for long periods of time. Just make sure you wear earplugs or earmuffs because extended use WILL cause hearing damage.

5. Bosch 1380A

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This is a powerful and versatile sander that can be used for many different applications. It has an excellent grip on it that allows you to easily control the tool with just one hand.

The air exhaust is located at the top of the tool which means it won’t blow dust or debris all over the place. This is great if you need to use it indoors because it prevents dust from settling on floors or furniture.

There are multiple holes in the sanding pad so the abrasive material can flow through it easily. This prevents clogging or jamming and allows the sander to work day after day.

It’s a little on the heavy side but not so much that it becomes unwieldy to use. Just be aware of its weight if you have injuries or issues with your wrist or arm.

Types Of Sandpaper

There are a few different types of sandpaper for each of the different types of sanders that are available. It’s important to use the right type because not all of them are compatible and some work better than others with certain materials.

How Sandpaper Is Measured

The numbering system for sandpaper seems pretty arbitrary and it is. There is no real system or organization to it at all. It’s all based on the grit size and each company can have their own numbering system.

The higher the number, the finer the grit size and the smoother the surface will be when the paper is done. But because everyone has their own numbering system, a 400 grit from one company can be equal to a different 400 grit from another company.

The most important thing is that you use the same brand of paper for the entire project if you want your sanding results to be consistent.

Grit Size

When working with wood, you typically will start out with a coarse grit and finish with a fine grit. The larger the number, the smaller the particle size and the smoother the finish will be.

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The most common sizes are as follows:

60 to 80: Coarse

80 to 100: Medium

100 to 150: Fine

150 to 220: Very Fine

But these are just general guidelines and there are always exceptions. Some woodworkers prefer to start with a fine grit and work their way down instead of the other way around. Either way works fine, it’s all based on personal preference.

The most important thing is not to skip any grit sizes and always sand in a single direction. The grain of the wood has a tendency to splinter in different directions so you need to ensure that it all runs the same way before applying a new grit size.

Types Of Sandpaper

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There are many different types of sandpaper and each one is used for specific jobs or materials. It’s not uncommon to have a large variety in your tool box because you never know when one will come in handy!

Coarse Grit

This is the type that you’ll typically use first when sanding. It removes material quickly so you don’t want to spend too much time with it but it’s great for shaping large flat surfaces or getting some of the heavy work done before you move on to a finer grit.

Medium Grit

This is typically used next after the coarse grit. It’s a little bit finer so it won’t remove material as quickly but it can still get the job done. This is a good all-purpose grit to have around for general purpose sanding.

Fine Grits

These are great for when you need to get down to some serious sanding. There are finer grits that you can get but most people stop at the fine grits because they tend to clog up too quickly and aren’t any smoother than the very fine ones.

Sticky Back Paper

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This type of sandpaper is different from the others in that it has a layer of adhesive on the back so you can adhere it to your work piece without needing to use clamps or tapes. It’s great for odd shaped or hard to reach places but the downside is it doesn’t come in as wide of a variety of grit sizes and it’s more expensive than regular sandpaper.

When To Use Roloc Discs

Roloc Discs are special sanding tools that use a fine abrasive glued to a flexible rubber disc. They’re great for curved surfaces and getting into corners because you just need to turn the tool slightly to follow the shape.

They’re available in a wide variety of grit sizes and can be used for many different materials but they do wear out much quicker than regular sandpaper so you don’t want to use them on large flat surfaces because it will be extremely expensive.

When To Use A Belt Sander

A belt sander is a great tool for quickly removing large amounts of material especially when sanding flat surfaces like table tops or boards that have only one dimension to them. They can typically be used for both wood and metal but they do require special sanding belts. These also wear out quickly so don’t plan on making too many custom wooden objects if that’s your only sander.

How To Hold The Sandpaper

You’ve read the reviews, you’ve made your selections and now you’re ready to get down to sanding! But before you start, you need to know how to properly hold your sandpaper.

Holding The Block

You typically only need one hand to hold the block but if you’re doing something like an intricate carving then it’s best if you use two. Place your thumb over one long edge of the sandpaper and wrap your fingers around keeping them well clear of the edges.

Holding The Stick

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The stick is a little bit trickier to hold because you need to be able to turn it in different directions. It’s best to hold it between your thumb and one finger at a time. If you’re just doing some general sanding then you can just use your thumb to press on one long edge of the sandpaper and turn it with your other hand. For more intricate work like sanding small joints or curved surfaces, it’s best to change which finger you’re using to apply pressure.

How To Sand

You can’t just sand in any old direction that you feel like, there’s a little bit of technique involved. There are many different ways to sand but the two most common are known as the “W” pattern and the “E” pattern.

The “W” Pattern

The first pattern is called the “W” pattern because it resembles the letter “W”. You use this pattern when sanding flat surfaces or table tops. Hold the sander at a 90 degree angle against the wood and move it forward then switch to a parallel angle and move back over the area that you’ve already sanded.

The “E” Pattern

The “E” pattern is used for sanding curved surfaces like the edges of table tops or other wood pieces that have been nailed together. Hold the sander at a 45 degree angle and make overlapping circles along the edge.

How Coarse Then Fine?

You may have noticed that most sandpaper comes in a “coarse”, “medium” and “fine” grading. These work just like they do with regular sandpaper, the more coarse grit you use, the faster you can remove material but the finer surface you’ll have to finish off. The more fine grit you use, the slower you can remove material but the rougher surface you’ll have to finish off.

How To Use A Belt Sander

A belt sander is a much larger tool than an electric hand sander and is used to sand large flat surfaces like table tops or large pieces of wood that can’t be easily reached with an electric sander. They typically sit on a stand and have a belt on the inside that spins at a very high speed. The purpose of these sanders is to sand broad areas rather than small detailed areas.

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How To Use a Random Orbital Sander

A random orbital sander, also sometimes referred to as a “orbital sander”, is a combination of an electric hand sander and an air sander. It uses small tungsten carbide grains or beads instead of sandpaper to do the actual sanding.

With a regular hand sander, you can only use it in an upright position because if you try to hold it any other way, the sandpaper will just tear. With a random orbital sander, it can be held at any angle and even used upside down without the sandpaper tearing.

The downside to these is that they get through the grits much faster than regular sandpaper does. You also might have to do a little bit of cleaning now and then because the dust can clog up the grinder.

It’s also best to only use these on softer woods like pine, MDF and particle board because if you try using it on hardwoods, it’ll burn right through.

Holes And Detail Sanding

No matter what type of sander you use, whether it’s an electric hand sander or a random orbital sander, if you’re going to be doing a lot of detailed sanding or sanding holes or other small areas, you should try to use the right sandpaper.

The most common types are “flutted”, these have an edge on them that flips under the paper to keep it in place. You also have “caffled”, these have small indentations in them to capture dust and grit to keep it from clogging up the sander.

As for grit sizes, if you’re sanding anything softer than pine or fir, use a 60 to 100 grit size. If you’re working with oak, ash or birch, go with a 50 to 120 grit size.

For softer woods like pine, ash and balsa, anything less than 60 grit could leave scratches behind. You also don’t want to go any coarser than 120 grit or you risk leaving deep scratches that will be very visible after your wood finish has been applied.

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For hardwoods like maple, oak or birch, start out with a 80 to 100 grit size. This will help remove the deep gouges left by the 40 to 60 grit size. For finishing, you can go with a 100 to 150 grit size.

Apply Your Stain And Finish

Now that you’ve sanded everything down, it’s time to stain and finish everything. If you want to keep your table top a natural color, use a wood conditioner first before you apply your stain. This helps protect the wood and make sure the stain soaks into all areas evenly.

Make sure you stain in a well ventilated area and use rubber gloves. Also, make sure the stain is wet before you apply the finish. This means you should not apply stain and then leave to go do something else because if it dries before you apply the finish, it could create different shades in your wood.

The last thing to keep in mind when staining or finishing your wood are any knots that you may have in your wood. Knots are darker or have different color sap than the rest of the wood. If you’re going to have a finished surface, make sure these knots are on the underside of your table so that they won’t be visible.

As for the finish you can use anything from old furniture polish to linseed oil as a natural finish. You can also use modern table top finishes like varnish, lacquers and stains.

Apply your stain or finish with a lint free rag or a clean paintbrush. Make sure the first coat is fully dry before applying a second coat.

When you’re finished, let your wood finish dry thoroughly and apply at least two coats of your chosen finish before you begin using your table.

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These are just some basic tips to get you started on making your own table. Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced, the most important thing to keep in mind is safety as well as protecting the environment by reusing and recycling unwanted wood.

See related guides below:

Or see our list of all Turned Wood projects.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Acute silico-proteinosis: a new pathologic variant of acute silicosis in sandblasters, characterized by histologic features resembling alveolar proteinosis by HA Buechner, A Ansari – Diseases of the chest, 1969 – Elsevier

The Risk of Silicosis in Sand-Blasters. by ERA Merewether – Tubercle, 1936 – cabdirect.org

DETERMINANTS OF PROGRESSION IN SANDBLASTERS’SILICOSIS by JM Hughes, RN Jones, JC Gilson, YY Hammad… – Inhaled Particles V, 1982 – Elsevier

Particulate blaster assembly and aspirator by DL Daniel – US Patent 6,793,563, 2004 – Google Patents

Best management practices for Oregon shipyards by R Kretzschmar – 2000 – p2infohouse.org

Silicosis in Sand-Blasters: The Examination of Sands Associated with Sand-Blasting by FS Fowweather – Epidemiology & Infection, 1936 – cambridge.org

How to Properly Place HEPA Air Purifiers in Dental Settings by N Frey – vaniman.com

The efficiency of sandblasters’ hoods in the prevention of silica exposure by LJ Washlake – 1980 – scholarworks.csun.edu