For those that are subscribed to the membership area, you have heard me talk about the different materials used to make sandblaster nozzles, but I wanted to share some more information in detail.
It may be surprising for some people when I say the high priced nozzle tips are actually more economical in the long run. So getting the best nozzle tip will actually save you a lot of money, and also save you a lot of frustration because you won’t have to change your nozzle often, while getting better blasting power through its life.
Durability Ranking of Nozzle Tip Types
The durability ranking of the nozzle tip may be dependent on factors such as how hard it is on the Mohs scale and how resistance it is to abrasion.
As I discussed before, the below sandblaster nozzles are listed from low grade to long lasting:
1. Steel Nozzle
These are mostly sold with siphon sandblaster units and I have yet to see them used with pressure pot systems. I assume this is probably because they don’t hold up well to the high pressures of pressure pots. It is said that steel is between a 4 and 4.5 on the Mohs scale.
2. Ceramic Nozzle
The most common because it is both of low cost and holds up okay to some abrasives. It is said to be about a 7 on the Mohs scale. Some folks have questioned whether ceramic really is longer lasting than steel. I would like to mention that I believe some of the cheaper ceramic tips might actually not be as durable than steel. There seems to be many different grades of ceramic out there. The cheaper ones can be less then 50 cents each, while the higher quality tips can be $20+. If you use these, look for the Aluminum Oxide or Alumina ceramic type nozzles.
3. Carbide Nozzles
Ahh… and here is my favorite of all types because it provides a relief in all my nozzle problems. Whether you are sandblasting glass or rock, this is the category of nozzles I really think everyone should be using. Reason being is most of us require aluminum oxide or silicon carbide abrasive in our sandblasters to engrave effectively and these abrasives are said to have 9 Mohs or greater. The carbide nozzles have a hardness of 9-10 on the Mohs scale.
I would also like to mention that there are a few different carbide types that widely vary in durability as well which is ranked chronologically from least to greatest longevity:
- Tungston Carbide– one of the more economical carbides but not the longest lasting.
- Boron Carbide– second longest lasting carbide which is said to last 5-10 times longer than tungsten carbide. A little more expensive but still saves money in the life of the nozzle because they aren’t 5-10 the cost!
- Composite Carbide– longest lasting and what I have found as the most impressive nozzle around. Some of you may have heard of them called the ROC nozzle. These last 50-100 times longer than Tungston Carbide!
Cost Comparison: Quality Ceramic vs. ROC Composite Carbide
To break it down even further I want to discuss the details of how long a quality ceramic nozzle (made of aluminum oxide) lasts vs. the ROC Composite Carbide when blasting with aluminum oxide abrasive.
According to the ROC manufacturer, Kennametal, it states approximately how long each tip lasts with blasting aluminum oxide until it needs to be replaced:
- Ceramic: 1-4 hours of blasting time (that is if you replace them when you should for better performance), ~$25 for typical high quality, long lasting ceramic
- ROC Composite Carbide: 1,000-2,000+ hours of blasting time, ~$180
With these numbers, the ROC nozzle calculates out to last 250-2,000+ times as long. Times that by the ceramic nozzle cost and that would equal to a minimum of $6,250!
So if you were to blast for 1000-2000 hours, the ceramic nozzle would cost over $6,250– while the ROC nozzle would cost about $180. That is quite the cost saving, let alone better performance to carve better since you will have better air blasting power without a deteriorated nozzle tip.
ROC Composite Carbide Offers
I am such a fan of the ROC nozzles that I am now offering these for sale. Other sites list these as costing about $180, but we are offering them for $129.99 for a limited time. This is the lowest price I have seen available.
Share this on social media or email by clicking below!