Air-driven sandblasting, also known as dry blasting, is a process in which a particulate is driven by compressed air to erode the surface of an object. It is used in a plethora of applications. With that being said, what compressed air specifications should you consider for sandblasting? What materials are used to make sandblasts? What are common sandblasting applications?


When considering an air compressor for sandblasting, volume of air (rated in CFM) and air pressure (rated in PSI) are key. They are the most common measurements when specifying compressed air needs. You can check out our Units for Evaluating an Air Compressor to better understand these units. On average, sandblasting requires 50-100 CFM for industrial applications, such as paint stripping a building. Sandblasting normally requires 90-100 PSI of pressure.


Common sandblasting mediums:

  • Glass
  • Stone
  • Metals
  • Wood
  • Plastic beads
  • Steel grit
  • Brass
  • Aluminum oxide
  • Silver
  • Walnut shells


Uses of sandblasting:

  • Heavy machinery and farm equipment
    • Heavy machinery and farm equipment may require cleaning for maximum functionality, and sand blasting is useful to get hard-to-reach places.
  • Rust, mill scale, and paint removal
    • Removing paint, rust, or corrosion on equipment, such as railroad cars or buildings, can be very tedious. Sand blasting expedites this process with minimal cleanup and desirable results.
  • Monument engraving
    • Engraving tombstones and monuments are often done on site. Sandblasting can be a great mobile power option for engraving monuments, such as for lettering and engraving other imagery.
  • Surface preparation
    • Some surfaces on a worksite may need preparation before another material is placed on them, such as paint or a protective coating. Oftentimes, this requires a rugged application as sandblasting.


In search of a viable air compressor to sandblast? Vanair® offers the Viper™ Gas and Viper™ Diesel Rotary Screw Air Compressors, with configurations up to 80 CFM and 150 PSI of air. Driven by a gas or diesel engine, these air compressor systems are a fantastic choice for providing smooth compressed air when sandblasting. The Viper™ features automatic start/stop capabilities to save on fuel consumption, low idle RPMs for a quieter work environment, and a large fuel tank for increased uptime. The Viper™ is compact and lightweight to fit within the bed of a truck, ensuring you still have the capacity for other tools. It also provides flexibility so that wherever the work is, it can be done easily without having to worry about hauling large equipment. Discover more features of our Viper™ Gas and Diesel options here.