For professional contractors and dedicated DIYers, great tools are a must. Some of those tools have stayed in your toolbox or on your truck forever: a great hammer, a simple screwdriver, and other essentials have been useful for generations. But tough jobs call for tough and modern tools, and that means that DIYers and contractors are always learning about the newest types of tool and the latest innovations on proven designs. Which brings us to what we’re here to talk about today: bead blasters. What exactly is a bead blaster? What is it used for, and do you need one? And where can you buy a bead blaster?
Abrasive blasting: an overview
Bead blasting — like sand blasting — is a form of abrasive blasting (“sand blasting” is also sometimes used as a generic term for abrasive blasting, even if what is being blasted is not sand). It’s a technique that propels an abrasive into a surface at a high speed.
Abrasive blasting can be used like a very powerful version of sanding. You can use an abrasive blaster to smooth a surface or strip paint. You can use it to clean metal and other substances that are tough enough to stand up to the abrasive blast. You can even use it to etch designs into glass.
Of course, different sorts of abrasive blasting tools require different sorts of abrasive blasters. An abrasive blaster that is too powerful will shatter glass instead of etching it, while an abrasive blaster that is too small won’t help you make much progress if you’re trying to smooth out hard brick. This is why abrasive blasters come in different sizes and types.
Abrasive blasters can also vary in the sort of abrasive that they use. A bead blaster, then, is exactly what it sounds like: an abrasive blaster that uses a special type of bead as its abrasive.
Why use a bead blaster instead of a sand blaster?
Old-school abrasive blasters tended to use sand. More modern ones use different types of abrasives. So how do beads stand out from the abrasive crowd?
The most important reason to use a bead blaster is that beads are a safer form of abrasive than sand and many other abrasive options. As you might imagine, blasting abrasive things at top speeds can come with plenty of on-the-job hazards. It’s important to minimize those hazards, and using a bead blaster will do just that.
Bead blasters tend to use lower air pressure to blast their beads. That can allow for more precise and careful work, and it also helps to make the entire job safer.
In addition to immediate safety concerns, there are long-term health concerns associated with some abrasives. It’s important to use a safe abrasive — some older ones can be toxic, and no job or DIY project is worth harming your health!
Where to shop for a bead blaster
Bead blasters can be powerful and useful tools. But you’ll want to be careful about where you turn to buy one of this bad boys. These aren’t toys: like all abrasive blasters, they’re serious tools that rely on key safety features in order to control their power and put it to use for you. You don’t want to skimp on safety, so you’ll want to buy your bead blaster from a reputable dealer. At the same time, though, you don’t want to break the bank by overpaying!
The good news is this: you can shop online. Look for a glass bead blaster for sale on the internet from a reputable dealer, and you’ll get the sweet spot between quality and price. Without the overhead costs of their brick-and-mortar cousins, online retailers are able to offer the same products for less. That means that you’ll get the quality and safety of a truly superior bead blaster without having to pay through the nose.