Best Air Compressor for Sandblasting: Invest in the Right Tool

best air compressor for sandblasting

Air compressors are used for various purposes, including inflating, cleaning parts before welding, or spray painting. But if you’re looking for the best air compressor for sandblasting, you need to make sure that it has enough power to have the job done.

Sandblasting is a necessary process to remove scratches or alter the appearance of different surfaces before making any welds. However, this demanding process is only possible with the help of the right tool.

When it comes to an abrasive process like this, you want to invest in the right tool. And with various models of air compressors on the market, choosing the right one can be a little challenging. This is why we researched the market to help you pick the right model for the job. So, keep reading to learn more about the right air compressor for sandblasting.

Quick Comparison Table




1. DeWalt 120 Gallon Air Compressorbuy from amazon
2. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallonbuy from amazon
3. Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressorbuy from amazon
4. NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressorbuy from amazon
5. Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressorbuy from amazon

Best Air Compressor for Sandblasting: Reviews of Our Top Picks

Not everyone is sure about the features they need to consider for an air compressor that can be used for sandblasting. This is why we researched the market to find some of the most appropriate tools to consider.

1. DeWalt DXCMH9919910 Two-Stage Cast Iron Industrial Air Compressor, 120-Gallon

For those who want to have a job done fast, this 10.0 horsepower air compressor will be an excellent choice. It comes with a pre-wired mounted magnetic starter to save money and time for those in a hurry.

This corded electric air compressor is made of cast iron for durability and smooth operation in the most demanding conditions. The 2-stage pump provides enough power to operate more than one device for challenging jobs.

Thanks to its large capacity, the 120-gallon tank allows for a high flow in the most demanding conditions. In addition, the air compressor delivers maximum pressure at 175 PSI for excellent performance and longer run times while sandblasting.

While working, the extra capacity oil reservoir ensures a low oil temperature for the best results, and the pump design cools down the compressor while it’s running. The extended fins keep the machine cool while maintaining consistent compression, and the metal belt guard improves the pump cooling with the help of the 3-phase motor.

On the downside, this compressor is heavy and can create logistics issues if you don’t have enough space to set it up. It’s also more expensive than other models.

Features and Specifications

  • Dimensions: 28.5 x 74 x 56.5 inches
  • Weight: 898 pounds
  • Tank Size: 120 gallons
  • Maximum pressure: 175 PSI
  • SCFM @ 100 PSI: 35
  • SCFM @ 175 PSI: 33.6
  • Running HP: 10.0


  • Strong motor
  • Large tank capacity for demanding jobs
  • Can operate more than one device
  • Oil reservoir to lower the temperature
  • Metal belt guard to cool down the pump


  • Heavy model
  • More expensive than other models

2. CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6 Gallon

This air compressor is suitable for most jobs. It features a 6-gallon air compressor with a durable yet portable design, so it can be used for any sandblasting job. This single-stage compressor comes with a useful handle and features rubberized feet, so you can set it up easily. It also protects the surface where it sits.

With a maximum pressure output of 150 PSI, this air compressor is one of the most versatile. It features an oil-free pump, so it provides no-maintenance operation. The 2.6 SCFM @ 90 PSI allows for quick recovery time, so you can get back to work and have the job done.

If you’re looking for an air compressor for beginners, this one will work for you. Adjusting the output is easy, and two ports allow you to use the compressor for two purposes at the same time. This air compressor comes with a complete kit of accessories, including a PVC air hose, tire gauge, blow gun with plug, blow gun with safety nozzle, 3 inflator adaptors, rubber tip, and tire chuck.

Despite its affordable price, this air compressor provides good value for money because it can be used for several applications. However, due to the low 0.8 horsepower, finishing a sandblasting job will take more time and effort.

Features and Specifications

  • Dimensions: 16.5 x 16.5 x 17.88 inches
  • Weight: 32.5 pounds
  • Tank Size: 6 gallons
  • Maximum pressure: 150 PSI
  • SCFM @ 40 PSI: 3.5
  • SCFM @ 90 PSI: 2.6
  • Running HP: 0.8


  • Affordable and lightweight air compressor
  • Comes with several accessories
  • Oil-free pump doesn’t need maintenance
  • Portable design with a handle


  • It takes more time to finish the job
  • Not suitable for more demanding tasks

3. Makita MAC5200 Big Bore 3.0 HP Air Compressor

This 3.0 horsepower air compressor is designed to provide a faster recovery time for improved performance. The cylinder and piston are cast iron for durability and come with rugged wheels for easy handling on the job site. The hand can be folded for easy storage.

This compressor is suitable for most projects, with a recovery time of about 2 minutes to fill the 5.2-gallon tank. It’s an electric-powered model with a maximum power output of 140 PSI.

It delivers 6.5 CFM @ 90 PSI to finish most jobs, including sandblasting with improved performance and less noise. It’s powerful enough to run two tools simultaneously and has a built-in compartment for storing accessories.

The pump is oil-lubricated to decrease the temperature. At the same time, the compressor runs, thus guaranteeing a long life with continuous use. The durable cast-iron cylinder reduces the wear and increases the pump life. It can also be removed for easy maintenance. Thanks to the high-quality rubber seals, there are no leaks while you’re working with it.

Because of its power and size, this air compressor works for most industrial applications and small-scale projects. However, it comes with a short power cord, which can be limiting. Moreover, this unit is noisy, operating at almost 90 decibels. But you can overcome this problem by installing foam noise dampeners.

Features and Specifications

  • Dimensions: 29 x 19.5 x 19 inches
  • Weight: 75 pounds
  • Tank Size: 5.2 gallons
  • Maximum pressure: 140 PSI
  • SCFM @ 40 PSI: 6.9
  • SCFM @ 90 PSI: 6.5
  • Running HP: 3.0


  • Durable air compressor with rugged wheels and a foldable handle
  • Fast recovery time
  • Pump is oil-lubricated to reduce the temperature
  • Rubber seals to prevent spills


  • Comes with a short power cord
  • Noisy operation

4. NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor

With no access to electricity, handling any sandblasting job will not be an issue with the help of this compressor. It features a sturdy 4.8 horsepower Honda OHV engine with an electric start and recoil backup. The gasoline engine has a 3 Amp charging system and a belt-driven full cast iron 2-stage pump.

Working in various locations is accessible, as the tank features a weather-resistant powder finish for more durability. You can easily mount this air compressor to your truck bed to use it in remote locations that lack access to electricity.

With a maximum pressure of 175 PSI and operation at 1300 RPM, this air compressor is an excellent choice for all jobs. The step-type piston allows for better compression, and there’s a glass window to show you the oil level.

The air tank has a capacity of 30 gallons, and the fuel tank has a 1.6 gallons capacity. This engine allows for a smoother and quicker fuel intake. At the same time, the V-type cylinder guarantees better cooling throughout long sandblasting sessions.

This compressor also operates with low vibration technology for smooth operation. The pump is made of cast iron for long service life. The pressure gauge is liquid-filled for better accuracy and protection against pressure spikes that might ruin the air compressor.

Moreover, the bearings are placed on both ends of the crankshaft for superior protection from wear and tear. Just like other gas-powered compressors, this one requires continuous maintenance.

Features and Specifications

  • Dimensions: 40 x 21 x 33 inches
  • Weight: 492 pounds
  • Tank Size: 30 gallons
  • Maximum pressure: 170 PSI
  • SCFM @ 40 PSI: 26.8
  • SCFM @ 90 PSI: 24.4
  • Running HP: 4.8


  • Gas-powered engine with electric recoil
  • High output power.Belt-driven 2-stage pump
  • Better compression for more challenging jobs
  • Low vibration technology
  • Liquid-filled pressure gauge


  • Requires more maintenance

5. Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor

With a 5 horsepower motor, this air compressor can be used for sandblasting and other demanding applications. It has a range of 145 to 175 PSI to suit various purposes. Because it can produce more compressed air with less horsepower, it will save energy when you’re working on sandblasting projects.

Thanks to the low pump speed, this compressor stays cold for longer. It’s also suitable for working in cold and hot weather. The thermal overload protection reduces the need for maintenance, and the pump is made of cast iron to last longer.

If you’re planning to set up a workshop at your home garage, this compressor will work for you. It’s not a portable model, but it can be set up in no time. It’s also compact compared to other models of the same power.

You have to manually drain it, but doing this won’t be a problem because it is designed for beginners. It’s not as noisy as other models, so it can be used for longer periods with no issues.

Features and Specifications

  • Dimensions: 29 x 21 x 64 inches
  • Weight: 475 pounds
  • Tank Size: 60 gallons
  • Maximum pressure: 175 PSI
  • SCFM @ 40 PSI: 15.6
  • SCFM @ 90 PSI: 15.4
  • Running HP: 5


  • Protection from thermal overload
  • All-weather applications
  • More compressed air with less horsepower
  • Less maintenance is required
  • Compact size


  • Not a portable model
  • Manual draining is required

What Size Air Compressor Do I Need for a Sandblaster?

To determine the right size for your air compressor, you need to think about the pressure measured in PSI and CFM airflow.

A higher PSI guarantees that you can finish your sandblasting job in less time. A minimum of 100 PSI is needed for sandblasting jobs. Still, you can get away with a lower rating if you don’t use your air compressor for sandblasting regularly.

The CFM can differ based on the operating conditions of the air compressor. This is why the SCFM or the CFM in standard conditions accurately represents the air compressor’s performance.

Although air compressors with CFM below 5 can be used for versatile applications, they can be weak for sandblasting. Therefore, an air compressor that produces between 5 and 10 CFM will be a decent choice for most projects.

A higher CFM above 10 or 20 will work for more demanding jobs and industrial applications. However, if you have an air compressor with a lower CFM, you can still finish your sandblasting job, although it will take more time.

Conclusion and Best Offer

With all this information about air compressors, finding the best air compressor for sandblasting becomes an easier decision to make. Of all the available options, we chose the NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor as our top choice for several reasons.

Unlike other models, this one is gas-powered, so it can be used in remote locations where there’s no access to electricity.

Best Offer

NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor

The tank is designed to work in all weather conditions, and the low vibration technology guarantees smooth operation. The V-type cylinder will guarantee better cooling with longer sandblasting sessions. Moreover, the liquid-filled pressure gauge will protect your compressor from accidental pressure spikes.

The Alternative

If you prefer to buy an electric air compressor, you should consider the Quincy QT-54 Splash Lubricated Reciprocating Air Compressor. This model is designed to deliver more compressed air with less horsepower. It’s protected against thermal overload for long work sessions. It also doesn’t need maintenance as much as the other models.

Quincy QT-54 Air Compressor

Equipped with the right air compressor, no sandblasting job will ever seem too challenging. Luckily, there are several options to choose from, so you’ll definitely find the right one for you.

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