Sandblasting is a great way to create decorative designs or quickly remove unnecessary material from a part that needs to meet very specific size requirements. However, the best sandblasting guns can’t do a good job without the right nozzle. Use these tips to make sure the next sandblasting gun nozzle you order fits your exact needs.
Check the CFM
Start by determining how many cubic feet of air your compressor moves per minute, or its CFM rating. Don’t mistake CFM for PSI, which is the pounds of pressure per square inch. CFM is easy to figure out from the horsepower rating if you can’t find it marked on the air compressor itself. For vane air compressors, multiply the horsepower by four. For piston air compressors, multiple the horsepower by three instead. Look for a nozzle matching the CFM rating of the compressor for best results.
Consider the Use
Don’t forget that the purpose of the nozzle determines what kind of opening it needs. For example, large orifices give you maximum pressure but make it harder to control the stream of sandblasting material. Large openings are best for bulk removal work and cleaning up, while tiny holes give you a precise stream of blasting air to help you achieve fine details. It’s best to collect a range of different sizes so you always have the right nozzle on hand. The opening of a nozzle changes and gets larger with wear and age, so replace nozzles regularly.
Understand the Patterns
Finally, you’ll need to consider the pattern produced by a specific sandblasting gun nozzle before using it. Straight bore designs are the most common because they deliver a concentrated and fine blast, but venturi and double venturi models are recommended for high intensity work because they multiply the force.