The two major types of portable sandblasting systems are either pressure-fed or gravity-fed. Small shops also use inexpensive siphon-type portable blasters for light-duty blasting applications. Air supply is an issue with portable sandblasters, which usually feature blast hoses of less than 50 feet in length to compensate.
Pressure-fed portable sandblasters use a pressurized pot to push sandblasting media through the hose and out the nozzle. These types of sandblasting systems are suitable for industrial applications of small size. Examples of projects for which portable sandblasters of any type are suitable include refinishing vehicles, boats, stone monuments, brick buildings, log homes and industrial equipment.
Portable sandblasters come in a variety of sizes and can even feature blast hoses of up to 100 feet in length if supported by an appropriately sized air supply. Many portable sandblasting systems support a variety of blast media, including aluminum oxide and crushed glass grit for aggressive applications, as well as walnut shells, glass beads and abrasive plastic for moderate applications. Some sandblasting systems support the use of soft media, such as corn cob for wood surfaces that are easily damaged by harder media.
Some manufacturers offer compact portable dustless vacuum blasters that eliminate the need for special blasting rooms because they do not spread blast media around. These vacuum blasters are ideal for small, enclosed spaces where regular blasting is ill-advised.