How Much PSI is Required For Sandblaster

Hey Eric.
My specific question is, my compressor is a 26 gallon tank with up to 150 psi. Will this compressor be able to supply enough air pressure for most any pressure pots? I am not setting up a siphon set up. This will be used mostly for etching glass.

The system I am trying to set up is this:

  • compressor – 26 gallon tank with up to 150 psi (I have this already – hope it is large enough)
  • 2 inline water filters (one for compressor and one for pressure pot, just want to make sure no clogging occurs, etc., have these)
  • pressure blast pot (don’t have one yet)
  • inline air gauge (have one)
  • blasting cabinet (1/4″ inlet hole for grommet and other fittings, bought from Harbor Freight)

Thank you,


One of the most important factors when finding out if the air compressor will keep up with the sandblaster is CFM output.

It also depends on the size of the nozzle that you will typically use. A larger nozzle diameter will require more CFM. I posted a chart about it here:


4 responses to “How Much PSI is Required For Sandblaster”

  1. Bob

    Hey Eric,
    Thanks for all the great info. In order to make a compressor decision, can you give me a basic idea of nozzle size and pressure needed for various substrates? Specifically, river rock, slate, and granite, as I would think those would need the most air. I can go to your usage chart and then look at compressors to match.
    Thanks for all the help.

  2. Eric R. W.

    For me personally, I like to use a 1/8″ or smaller. That is because I don’t want to buy a huge compressor and I usually blast smaller items. But that should a okay size to work with decent size rocks. Sometimes it can be a preference for people also.

  3. Lynne Krestan

    Hi Eric,
    I’ve read through a lot of the info on your website (which is great) but I still don’t understand all the numbers enough to figure out my requirements.
    I’m an artist and am sandblasting plaques I cast using resin and copper powder in order to expose the copper. I’m using a blasting cabinet and air compressor I bought at Harbor Freight. They said the compressor was the right size but I’m only able to blast for a minute or so before I have to stop and wait another 5 minutes for the pressure to build up again. Not only is it a huge waste of time, it takes me 3-4 hours to finish a job that should only take me 1 hour but it’s boring me to tears!

    Here’s what I have:

    Cabinet: Central Pneumatic
    Air Pressure 125 PSI Max
    Air Inlet 1/4″ NPT
    Nozzle Size 4,5,6,7 mm
    CFM 12-16 CFM @ 70-115 PSI

    115 PSI Max
    Air Flow: 4.9 SCFM @ 90PSI
    7 SCFM @ 40 PSI

    I’m using aluminum oxide 70 Grit

    I would change to a 1/8″ nozzle but I’m not sure if that would help.

    A friend suggested I add another air tank and switch back and forth. Is that possible? How would I even do that?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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