August 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Mini Sandblasters

There are a lot of people that want to get into sandblast etching (link) but don’t want to invest in large blaster equipment, so I decided to point out the different small sandblasters that you can use.  These mini sandblasters are less cumbersome, cheaper and don’t require as big of an air compressor.  Listed below are some of the available blasters in the marketplace with included links showing where you can get them.

  • A mini sandblaster made by Paasche for smaller etchings. Paasche Air Eraser Kit- The Paasche air eraser usually costs around $70 – $110 for the kit, but you have to order the air compressor separately (as do all the others).  It is recognized as a quality name brand for smaller sandblasters.  Paasche also makes airbrushes for painting which will not work with sandblasting so be sure you pick the correct one.  They look similar in appearance.
  • Another mini Paasche sandblaster with a slightly larger abrasive can. Paasche Remote Air Eraser Etcher Kit- (After purchasing this, I strongly discourage anyone from buying this.) It has poor blasting power and the abrasive always lags behind. It is another brand made by Paasche with a larger container at a quart large and costs around  $90 – $140.
  • Mini blaster with a larger gravity feed hopper. Larger Paasche LAC #3 Air Eraser- The third type that Paasche makes is a little bit larger in general.  If you have slightly larger projects, you might want to check this one out too.
  • Small sandblaster made by Badger and is powered by aerosol. Badger Mini Sandblaster Set- This is another different type by Badger and costs about $40- $60.  It appears to be powered by aerosol cans, so you don’t need to buy an air compressor.  I’m not sure if it has an attachment to connect it to an air compressor, but I am sure you can rig something up to fabricate it to work.  It requires very fine grit of 220 and finer.

All these are sold through You can visit the pages by clicking the above links.  Please leave me a comment, any reviews of these (I haven’t tried all of these yet), and let me know if I missed any.  Be sure to bookmark this page for future reference and ask me any other questions.

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Eric Robert
About Eric Robert
I am the owner and creator of this website. I got my start in etching many years ago. At first I wanted to start a business, but after finding a lot of cool information through countless hours of researching, I decided to etch as a hobby and build this website to help others. -Eric

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25 comments so far

  1. Katherine

    August 9th, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Eric, We have a Paasche AEC-K Air Eraser,I have only used it once and it worked great.

    The only downside that I see is you have to keep adding compound because of the size.

  2. Eric Robert

    Eric Robert

    August 9th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Katherine, thanks for the reply. I hear what your saying about refilling the container. Its ridiculously small, thats why I suggest the next one down (Paasche Remote Air Eraser Etcher Kit) becuase it has a nice large container. These would be great for shading also.

  3. Bharath Kumar

    August 10th, 2010 at 5:23 am

    It looks good. only thing I do not know whether Amazon can dispatch to India because of Import regulations. Any way I will try sending them a mail.
    Bharath Kumar

  4. John A James

    August 10th, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Eric. like you I would much reather spend a little more for a larger container, so I got the Paasche Remote Air Eraser Etcher Kit, it works GREAT>>>>>>>>
    Thanks for the info, Its great working with yall (its a southern thing)

    thanks Eric

  5. Eric Robert

    Eric Robert

    August 10th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    John, that one definitely looks like one I’d like to have and thanks for the review (I haven’t tried every sandblaster known to man). lol, I hear the word yall every once in a while.

    @ Bharath, I decided to do some research for you. Amazon ships International but some items might be a problem or if they are larger items. It sounds like they will tell you if you can or can’t when you fill out your information before you buy.

  6. Ron Dean

    August 12th, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Harbor Freights has one for only $19.99 Item #99636 Just got one today. I have one I made out of worthless airbrush. A C Moore’s sells a fine sandblasting abrasive. You can go on their website and get a 50% off coupon. Deal is just one a day. Hey every time I go to town. Hey if I can get a deal I’m going for it. Have a good one, Ron

  7. Kenji

    January 14th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Thanks for the information… Where would be a good place to get the compressors?



  8. kyle

    May 14th, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Been using an air eraser for many years…Paasche version has been an incredibly unreliable, inconsistent piece of crap. I bought a generic version and was so much better for a quarter the cost! I use high air pressure to get fine details so this is taxing on the tool but the generic held up for longer and worked better.
    Decided to give Paasche another shot with the remote version—-tried it today and it doesn’t work! Then in an attempt to get something to happen I went above the 50psi and the container popped and bubbled, so I’m guessing they’ll say I can’t get a refund, but we’ll see—it didn’t work to begin with. I’m in the middle of a big commission and all my erasers are toast so I was planning on finishing up with the remote version but now I’m stuck with another Paasche dud!!

  9. Eric Robert

    Eric Robert

    May 14th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Kyle, lol- thanks for the review.

    Thats a surprise for me. I though they were a quality name brand- but I guess not.

    Its good to hear from you also. I hope all is well.

  10. kyle

    May 15th, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    Hey Eric,
    All is going well…staying pretty busy with work and have made some pretty cool new things.
    As far as Paasche I know they’ve been around for a long time and they must have a good following—maybe their airbrushes are good? I’ve seen other people use the air eraser and seem to have good luck but when I compare the lesser expensive and more reliable generic, then that’s where I’m going! And receiving a remote unit that won’t spray is a real bummer.

  11. stephen

    January 19th, 2012 at 5:55 am


    I seen a video on youtube and wanted to know how they did the “Etching/engraving”. Can this be done with the Air Eraser Kit and or what media will make it look like this? When I see other videos of etching work, it looks like the glasses that have been etched are frosted. Or again does it depend on the media that is being used. Please help.


  12. Eric Robert

    Eric Robert

    January 19th, 2012 at 6:25 pm


    All of these including the Air Eraser Kit will etch the glass but most of these are siphon sandblasters so it might not etch as deep. To achieve deeper etchings, we typically use pressure pot sandblasters.

    Some people use etching cream and it somewhat does look like frost sprayed glass. Or it could have been sandblast etched with a light pressure.

  13. Destini Guillot

    April 12th, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Very good article.Much thanks again. Cool.

  14. Julie Perryman

    October 22nd, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Eric, I bought #1, it worked great; but after the third glass it stopped working. i cleaned and washed it but to no avail. I also bought the Badger Mini kit but as you know the canister is not refilled, so i am back to using Etching Cream.

    I just love to look at your articles and get advice from you. Thank you.

  15. Eric Robert

    Eric Robert

    October 22nd, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Yeah, I think it’s safe to suggest that people shouldn’t buy these air brush style sandblasters now. Everyone, just buy a regular sandblaster size or a handheld one with a smaller tip.

    As Kyle said above, the remote one is junk because I finally tried it. It looked promising. Maybe I can improve it and make it into a mini pressure pot.

    The only one I think might be worth the investment is the third one (Paasche LAC#3 Air Eraser).

  16. Doug

    January 2nd, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Hey Eric……….I’ll have to agree with you on the Passche remote air eraser. It’s very inconsistent with amount of sand it pushes. I added a long perforated plastic tube to the inside lid and it did seem to help. I was also going to adapt this one to a pressure pot.

  17. Norm

    August 14th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Harbor Freight has a copy of the Paasche air eraser, a copy down to the color of the handle. The HF version seems a bit more agressive than the Paasche, blowing more grit (bigger nozzle maybe?) but really works quite well for very small scale etching glass. Tends to plug, that could be an adjustment on my end, I haven’t played with it all that much. Anyway, a very nice pretty much complete kit including a bottle of 220 grit abrasive.

  18. Eric Robert

    Eric Robert

    August 14th, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks Norm, someone else told me that the generic version worked better also. I might have to check it out. Thanks

  19. Rick

    January 18th, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I bought a Paasche Air Eraser – piece of junk. I just picked up the Harbor Freight one, I’ve heard it works alot better & if you want more flow, there is a screen, with three holes & if you widen these; you will get more flow; this is what I’ll do. Also …… depending on what your using, it has to be 100% dry, so guys suggest baking it at 225 degrees, for 25 minutes & sifting it through sreen, to avoid clumping, also; it helps to have a moisture trap/filter on your airline; or even better; an in-line air dryer.

  20. Rick

    January 18th, 2014 at 9:29 am

    The above should read, sift your Material, ( Aluminum Oxide, Etc. ) through a SCREEN – I’m using a cheap Splatter screen, meant for the Kitchen; for what I’m using this for ( Fossils ) ; I’ll be using Dolomite Powder, which is really fine; but if your using a heavier grit; just try & find a screen close to the particle size & use that to sift your material through it ….. & …… keep your sand/powder; in a airtight jar; to keep moisture out.

  21. Doug

    March 18th, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I have used a w.r. brown mini blaster model #HS342 for around ten years long enough to have used up 13 replacement tips. I trashed the small glass media jar and plumbed the sandblaster into a small blasting cabinetmuch like the large commercial set ups. I use a 1 gallon shop vac that exhaust through the back of the cabinet to keep the media dust down. Replacement parts were at one time available through Federal Equip. Co.North Chicago Illinois (also known as the Speedy Sprayer Co. but the unit is so simple common size o-rings are about the only items I have ever replaced. After going through the number of tip I had a local machine shop turn 3 titanium tips – that was 3 years ago and I have yet to change the first tip. I use 220 grit alum oxide @ 30 – 40 lbs of air on average .

  22. Rod Ganzer

    November 27th, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I have just started to do etching on glass. I purchased a Masterbrush mini sandblaster/eraser and it works great. I am an aerospace coatings instructor and the Master has done a great job so far. It only cost about 40.00 from TCP Global, well worth it.

  23. Philsc

    March 13th, 2015 at 9:43 am

    I bought the Harbor Freight Central pneumatic Air eraser kit from HF. but I have not baought a compressor, because i got a bit confused. It says 1-6 Gal not recommended , 7-29 Gal intermittent use. Average air consumption 4CFM at working pressure 65 psi.
    If I look at these specs, you need a pretty big and powerful air compressor. with a big tank. not really what I want.
    Does anyone has good experience with small compressors, for removing paint of metal parts such as camera parts / Models ?

  24. Norm

    March 13th, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Compressors come in two sizes, too small and too large. These little “sandblasters” are like opening up the end of the hose – they go through a lot of air. My advice is to get the largest compressor you have room for. Of the Harbor Freight compressors, it looks like the 17 gal. 1.8 HP 150 PSI Oilless Air Compressor would be a good fit. It won’t be continuously cycling, not too big, large enough for future additions to a pneumatic tool, collection. Portable and I prefer an upright because of the smaller footprint. Oil less is good for what you are doing, no contamination of the grit or if spray painting, the paint. For the delicate parts you are working on, you might want to look at the soda blasting.

    Don’t forget that you will probably want to contain the grit/media you are blasting. It goes everywhere. The 40 Lb. Capacity Floor Blast Cabinet is my third cabinet, after fairly extensive modifications, it pretty darn good. You will also need a fairly heavy duty vacuum cleaner to keep the dust to a tolerable level in the cabinet. The air eraser is only the tip of the iceberg.

  25. DougC

    March 13th, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    I’m not sure if I had mentioned this before somewhere, but I’ll repeat it again. I had 2 Paasche Air Erasers. Both with the aluminium pots. And like above tried to get a little more pressure through it and hopefully,better flow of grit, to no avail (boom). So I gutted it and ran the plastic hose right through to the tip. For air pressure and grit I just went directly to the bottom of my 10 lb pressure pot with my 60 gal compressor. No more problems. I also made some improvements to the pressure pot, such as installing a perforated copper tube attached to the the exit side and a short piece of metal brake line from the bottom of the exit and going into the perforated tube. It will cut right through glass.

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