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Choosing the Right Size Compressor for Sandblasting


Choosing the Right Size Compressor for Sandblasting

Choosing the Right Size Compressor for Sandblasting

Are you trying to figure out what size compressor you need for sandblasting? And what are the key factors to consider when making your choice? Don’t worry, we have got you covered! This article will provide you with a detailed understanding of the role of air compressors in sandblasting and how to choose the right one. Not only will we explain the importance of CFM and PSI, but we will also introduce you to the different types of air compressors available in the market. So, let’s dive into it.

What Size Air Compressor Do You Need for Sandblasting?

The size of the air compressor you need for sandblasting largely depends on the CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) and PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). Let’s explore these factors in detail.

Understanding CFM and PSI

CFM: Sandblasting is a demanding procedure. The higher the CFM rating of an air compressor, the better it is for sandblasting. CFM refers to the volume of air that the system can move in a minute. For a powerful sandblasting experience, you need a compressor that can produce between 18 and 35 CFM. Industrial sandblasting is even more demanding and requires compressors with 50 to 100 CFM.

PSI: To run a sandblaster effectively, you need an air compressor with 90 to 100 PSI. PSI stands for pounds per square inch, and it refers to the pressure that the compressor system generates. The air tank will drain while you’re sandblasting, and it is important to maintain a working PSI of around 50 to 90. If it drops below 50 PSI, the pressure won’t be sufficient to take material off, and you’ll have to wait for the compressor to catch up again.

Types of Air Compressors for Sandblasting

Sandblasting air compressors come in a variety of styles. Here are some of the options:

Piston Air Compressor

Piston air compressors are the most popular and the least expensive. These compressors work by using one or more pistons that move up and down in a cylinder to compress air. When selecting a piston compressor, pay attention to the CFM volume at 100 PSI.

Single-Stage Air Compressor

A single piston compresses the air directly into the storage tank or through a delivery hose to the sandblaster or any other tool. When selecting a single-stage air compressor, aim to choose one that turns off at 150 PSI and on at 120 PSI so you don’t run low on blasting pressure.

Two-Stage Air Compressor

A two-stage air compressor is a type of piston air compressor that compresses air in two stages. After the first stage of compression, the compressed air is sent to a second cylinder for further compression. Two-stage air compressors are effective but expensive.

Rotary Screw Air Compressor

A rotary screw air compressor uses two rotating screws to compress air. Rotary screw air compressors produce more volume than piston-type compressors, but they are also more expensive.

Vertical Screw Air Compressor

A vertical screw air compressor is a type of rotary screw compressor that stands vertically. The motor and air tanks of these compressors are mounted on top of each other to maximize floor space. Vertical screw compressors are commonly used in industrial applications where space is limited.


Choosing the right size air compressor for sandblasting is crucial for the success of your project. By understanding the importance of CFM and PSI and familiarizing yourself with the different types of air compressors, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs. Remember, the right compressor will not only make your work easier but also more efficient.

Shaleen Ashish

Shaleen is a Journalism postgraduate, and like every other gen-z, loves a good dose of humor, Italian food, fashion trends, and TV series. She is an acomplished author and expert in the field of air compressors. Shaleen discovered her passion for technical products and gadgets early in life, which drove her research and write about it.

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