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Buyer Beware: Complaints About Blasting Cabinets

We often hear complaints about blast cabinets from people who are in the market for a replacement machine. These are usually people who bought the wrong machine for their application, and here are the most common things they complain about.

Common Complaints About Blast Cabinets

  1. “I can hardly get anything done before I have to clean my dust collector and perform routine maintenance.” Dust collector cleaning and dust collector maintenance are among the most important features of any blasting cabinet – regardless of the cost. Dust collector cleaning and maintenance is also the responsibility of the user. You can never have enough dust collector on any Mediablaster®. In fact, while a very expensive blasting cabinet with a low-cost dust collector will always fail, a very inexpensive blasting cabinet with a high cost dust collector will work great. Matching your application to the cabinet’s dust collector is the most important thing you can do when purchasing any blast cabinet.
  2. “I should have done my homework and really thought about how I was going to use the machine before I bought it.” Abrasive quality, part hardness, abrasive mesh size, blasting pressure, compressed air being used, and daily hours of operation are never the same from user to user. If you’re not sure what your needs are, you’re setting your machine up to disappoint you.
  3. “My air compressor hose is warm to the touch and my abrasive flow gets gummed up after about 30 minutes of blasting.” Dry blasting cabinets and wet air are like salt shakers in the rain, they never work. This is commonly an abrasive flow problem related to hot air entering your cabinet. Make sure the air supply going into the cabinet is not warm to the touch… if it is, you need to cool the air to remove the moisture from the compressed air.
  4. “My abrasive keeps clogging my delivery hose.” Small, inexpensive blasting cabinets seldom have an abrasive mixing valve used to regulate abrasive flow. This would be compared to one shoe size fits all with most people unhappy! Abrasives come in all different mesh sizes and mixing valves help them all flow appropriately.
  5. “My abrasive has to be replaced every couple of times I blast and it’s expensive.” A separator Reclaimer removes dust and spent abrasive from the cabinet and recycles the usable abrasive for reuse. Operating a cabinet without one can be compared to driving an automobile without an oil filter. In both cases, the oil and abrasive have to be replaced more often.
  6. “I should have bought a wet blasting cabinet.” Wet blasting cabinets are gaining more popularity in the marketplace today. There are some applications that cannot be achieved using a dry machine, but only some. Even though wet blasting is 4 to 6 times slower than dry blasting using zero frictional heat, there are some huge benefits to wet blasting machines.
  7. “I bought a cheaper cabinet to increase my return on investment but now I’m spending a fortune on labor.” Doubling the cfm used by any blasting cabinet will do the same work in a third of the time. Double the cfm again and 9 hours of work becomes only 1 hour. Any industrial machine can easily save the labor time of a single person equal to more than $100,000.00 in a single year. That’s an important factor when comparing the cost of an Industrial machine and an internet bargain deal.
  8. “My cabinet makes a huge mess of my workspace with dust particles everywhere.” A great blasting cabinet matches the gun cfm size being used to the dust collector blower and filter area size then considers daily usage called duty cycle. Almost all low-cost blasting cabinets only have a 5% daily duty cycle. When the cleaning of the dust collector exceeds being practical to operate the user simply stops cleaning the dust collector. These light duty machines are designed for 20 to 30 minutes of maximum daily operation. Running one of them for a weekend will result in a messy work environment that’s not the fault of the machine.

Pro Tip: Most of these complaints about blast cabinets are based on not enough research done before purchasing a mediablaster®. Typically, great tools are more expensive for a reason, and they are often more than worth the additional cost.

To Sum it Up

Most people don’t realize that it takes more time making a low-cost do-it-yourself blasting cabinet than buying a low-cost blasting cabinet unless your time is worth nothing. Understanding blasting cabinets (or really NOT understanding blasting cabinets) is the main reason users can end up frustrated, look for ways to improve the cabinet beyond a 5% daily duty cycle, and end up making complaints about blast cabinets.

Media Blast® has over 50 different blast cabinet models and 170 different blasting cabinets, so we’re confident we can find the right machine for your needs the first time you make a purchase.

Tell us about your specific application and we’ll help you select the best machine for your unique needs.