What is the best benchtop sandblast cabinet?
Cyclone Answers the Best Sandblast Cabinet Question
Whether you are searching for a home sandblast unit, are an avid DIY user, or are running a professional shop or medical lab you may come across many options for a small sandblasting cabinet. A web search for benchtop sandblaster or sandblast cabinet will yield a lot of options. How can Cyclone make the claim we have the best benchtop blast cabinet? Let’s take a closer look.
Blast Cabinet Construction
When looking at any blast cabinet, start with the construction material. There are plastic cabinets, steel cabinets, and some hybrid cabinets made of steel with plastic components – or – plastic with steel components. Many of the plastic units are well built and inexpensive, as are the hybrids. We chose to construct the BT 20 from all steel, weld it, and seal it tight. We bring a strong and powerful instrument to the market at an affordable cost.
Most of the time, we don’t use a screwdriver or wrench and throw it away when we’re done. The same approach should apply to a blasting cabinet. Purchasing a benchtop sandblast cabinet is an investment in your time. A quality steel cabinet from Cyclone is built to last and is backed by our warranty and support.
Why Welded Steel?
Steel is more expensive, no question. We choose to use high quality 16 gauge steel. We weld the entire unit which seals the unit from leaks as well as makes it extremely solid. The additional expense for steel, we believe, is worth it. A benchtop sandblast cabinet is a tool like any other.
Sandblaster Gun Nozzles
Tungsten Carbide Nozzle
When it comes to the sandblast gun, the orifice and nozzle are important to the operation. And, whether you go pressure or gravity fed, you’ll need to think about the nozzle. In our mind, the best benchtop sandblasting cabinet would have the best available nozzle included. But, what is the best nozzle? What about the nozzle is so important?
A sandblaster without a sandblast gun is just an enclosed workstation. When it comes to blasting, you have the abrasive media and the sandblast gun. There are may designs when it comes to a sandblast gun. Most trigger guns operate with fingers or your “grip”. Others have a foot pedal that gives the user more control over the blast stream. A “pencil” or “wand” like object controls the blast stream and users indicate this provides more precision. The BT 20 benchtop sandblaster comes with an easy to use and comfortable foot pedal.
Nozzle Material Matters!
Some cabinets sandblast guns include steel, many include ceramic nozzles, and then there is tungsten carbide. It’s all about the hardness which translates into how long the nozzle will last. As the blast abrasive leaves the gun, it makes contact with the nozzle. The nozzle directs the blast flow toward what you are working on. So, when that abrasive media makes contact, it gradually wears down the nozzle.
What material you choose depends on what abrasive media you use and how long you blast. In short, tungsten carbide is a hard metal and tends to last longer in most circumstances. We include a tungsten carbide nozzle with the BT-20. This ensures, for most users, that you can blast longer without having to get a new nozzle. Again, it all depends on what abrasive you use and how long you blast that will determine how long your nozzle will last.
A quick note about safety! When you sandblast make sure you are aware of all the risks. Always obey the warnings, read the manuals, and only blast if you really understand what you are doing. Abrasive blasting cabinets have the potential to injure or kill users if used improperly.
When it comes to any sandblast cabinet, the sandblast gloves are important considerations too! Most importantly, they offer your hands protection while blasting. As you handle the blast nozzle and parts, it is likely the abrasive stream will come into contact with the user’s hands. Another reason to think about gloves is the comfort they offer. Gloves can be lined or unlined and should be long enough to allow the user to reach around inside the blasting cabinet during use.
Uses for Benchtop Sandblast Cabinets
When we talk about a benchtop sandblast cabinet, you are specifically talking about a smaller unit. There are large industrial blasting cabinets, some large enough to house motorcycle chassis! If you think about it, a large and benchtop unit have more similarities than differences. Both have a sandblast gun, a view window and gloves. They can use the same abrasive media and perform the same functions. The obvious characteristic that is different is the size of the blasting chamber.
Did you know?
It’s not just the cabinet size that is important? It’s the footprint of the sandblast cabinet too! Think about it. If you are looking at a new home appliance, say a refrigerator, you’re going to have to make sure the new fridge fits. Also, you will think about how much that new refrigerator can hold inside. Unlike a refrigerator, a sandblast cabinet won’t keep your food cold. But, you do need to think about the amount of space the cabinet needs as well what you will put inside the cabinet.
If you are looking for a large sandblast cabinet, we have those too. Read about them here. For now, we are focused on a benchtop sandblast cabinet. The very word benchtop makes you think about something that sits on top of a tool bench. In fact, that’s exactly right! The footprint of the unit is important because you need a place to put the cabinet. And, not just any place either.
You need to think about where your air compressor will be and how high the bench is. For the compressor, you’ll need to make sure your air supply hose can reach the cabinet. For benchtop height, make sure you consider whether you are standing or sitting when using the cabinet.
The BT 20’s overall measurements are 20″ wide x 19″ deep x 28″ high. This is about the size of a large laser printer. These measurements give you an idea of how much space the blast cabinet will take up wherever yo place it. Additionally, the BT 20 is only 55 US pounds so it’s easy to move as needed.
What you want to put into a blast cabinet is a critical decision point when shopping for a benchtop blast cabinet. Think about it. If you want to blast a car chassis, a benchtop unit isn’t likely going to work unless you’re blasting a model car! But, a benchtop unit is perfect for smaller parts. The BT 20’s interior space, or working dimensions, are 17″ wide x 15″ deep. The front to back height is important to callout as well: Rear working height: 11″ and Front working height: 8″.
Abrasive Media Options
White Aluminum Oxide
Brown Aluminum Oxide
The type of media you choose depends on too many factors to list. Some popular media types are presented here. For an in-depth discussion about abrasive media you can read our article on it here. If you have questions, feel free to call us or email, we can help!
The BT 20 can handle almost all the popular abrasive media types. We do not recommend steel shot and under no circumstances do we (nor have we ever) recommended the use of sand. Despite the popular name “sandblaster”, silicosis is a real and deadly health hazard. It is not worth the cheap cost of sand when there are many safer alternatives. No abrasive is totally safe, so always read the MSDS for your media type, obey all manuals, stickers and manufacturer’s suggestions. Your safety is ultimately your own responsibility and you should take it very seriously.
No Assembly Required
The sandblasting cabinet market is very competitive. Less expensive plastic models, and even other steel units are comparable to the BT 20. The advantage of the Cyclone BT 20 benchtop sandblast cabinet is that you get it fully assembled.
The advantage of the BT 20 from Cyclone is that we can ship it fully assembled. The unit can ship via UPS. When you receive it, you remove it from the box, attach the air, add media and you are up and running!