Last Updated on
Thomas Edison said:
“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, a really great sandblasting cabinet.”
Okay, maybe that’s not the exact quote. But he does have a point.
In our world, rust and bad paint jobs are a given.
When you run into rust or a bad paint job, a sandblaster may end up becoming your best friend.
In this article, we’ve got some of the best sandblasting cabinets picked out for you that even Edison would approve of.
Top Sandblasting Cabinets
23.5 x 37 x 55 in
Generic Abrasive Cabinet
(Best for the money)
23" x 19" x 19"
Shop Fox M1114
(Best benchtop sandblaster cabinets)
AJ Tools CHIM0061-04
5 BEST SANDBLASTING CABINETS - REVIEWS
The goldilocks of sandblasting cabinets...
...the Dragway 25 finds a perfect balance. It’s got good materials and high-quality nozzles. It’s small but not too small, works with a wide range of air compressors, and won’t break the bank.
We love that this blaster comes with four ceramic nozzles.
Ceramic is pretty resilient as far as nozzles go, second only to superb materials like tungsten or boron carbide.
These nozzles should last you a good long while.
Small and loveable, like a shih tzu...
At 23in.x20in.x19in, the Dragway 25 is a smaller, benchtop sort of sandblast cabinet.
I love this size because sandblasting isn’t something I do every day: I don’t want to dedicate a ton of space in the shop to a machine I rarely use.
Being able to store this cabinet away when not in use is a definite plus.
Plays well with many compressors:
Make sure your air compressor can put out 4-12 CFM (Cubic Feet/Minute).
This cabinet being as small as it is, you can use it with a wide range of air compressors.
Silicon seals prevent leakage:
The biggest problem we run into with these cabinets is media leakage. This can happen if seals aren’t airtight.
Dragway’s silicon seals do a lot of hard work to keep air and media inside the cabinet.
That being said...
...it’s unlikely that any cabinet will be perfectly sealed.
No matter what sandblasting cabinet you end up buying, we recommend caulking the inside seams
Door leaks, wear respirator/try taping it shut.
Whether you’re a hobbyist or an intensive user......I think you’ll find something to love about the Dragway 25. It’s our top pick because it’s got a good balance of things needed in a sandblaster. If you’re looking for a bigger cabinet, next up on the list is the Dragway 60.
2. Dragway 60 Sandblaster Cabinet - Premium Pick
For the serious sandblaster:
The Dragway 60 doesn’t mess around, and is probably the most hefty sandblaster on the list. It’s got size, it’s got quality, but you’re gonna have to shell out.
A bigger cabinet needs more air...
The Dragway 60 has got an appetite. Make sure you’ve got a good compressor that can do at least 12 CFM at 40-80 PSI.
This is asking a lot, and makes this cabinet less accessible to the average hobbyist.
Not only is it a big eater--it’s big:
At 23.5 x 37 x 55 inches, the Dragway 60 will be taking up a decent amount of space.
Not super ideal for the casual hobbyist.
If your work requires a lot of sandblasting, the size here is a big plus.
Dragway keeps it real with the nozzles:
Just like the Dragway 25, the Dragway 60 comes with four ceramic nozzles - 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, and 7mm.
They don’t have to do that. But the gesture sure is nice--like when your grandparents give you a birthday card and it’s got just a little bit of cash inside.
Stands on its own legs:
At 55”, the 60 is just shy of five feet tall. The solid steel legs put the blast cabinet at a convenient height.
Some assembly required...
...okay a lot of assembly. And the instructions are a bit tricky to interpret. If you’re a natural tinkerer or problem solver you shouldn't have too much of a problem.
The only reason this cabinet isn’t number one...
...is the price. This list is tailored to more casual users that won’t be using their sandblasting cabinet so often. If you’ve got the cash and/or will be using your sandblaster often, go for the Dragway 60.
3. Generic Abrasive Sandblaster Cabinet - Best for the money
What you see is what you get:
This cabinet from Generic is, well, somewhat generic. It sure is cute though.
This being another relatively small sandblaster cabinet...
...you can get away with a weaker air compressor.
Being able to output 5 CFM @ 80psi should do the job just fine.
Like both Dragways...
This sandblaster comes with four ceramic nozzles.
This seems to be the standard for sandblasters in this price range.
Small and sturdy like the Dragway 25:
At 23" x 19" x 19", this sandblaster is perfect for the benchtop, and to be stowed away when not in use.
Or, it can even be taken to a job site, which is super handy.
Brighten your day...
A low voltage light in the cabinet makes it easy to see what you’re working on.
Most sandblasting cabinets will come with lights inside.
A word of caution:
Sandblasting will wear down the plastic of the light over time--the more scratched the plastic gets, the less bright the light will be.
If the light stays cool, we like to cover it with a piece or two of clear packing tape.
This protects the light, keeping it brighter for longer. The tape is easily replaced.
I’m not sure what it takes to make a sandblasting cabinet that doesn’t leak.
Caulk the inside seams of your sandblaster. It’ll save you hassle and a headache.
Not a bad choice for the money:
If you’re a hobbyist looking to try cabinet sandblasting--or sandblasting in general--for the first time, this is a good starter setup.
4. Shop Fox M1114 Benchtop Sandblaster - Best benchtop sandblasting cabinet
A unique little cabinet with a weakness:
I love the look of this cabinet--especially the doors. Unfortunately, it only comes with a single ceramic nozzle.
A reasonable ask:
For the Shop Fox, you’ll want an air compressor that can put out 5 SFM @ 60-100psi. Not so bad.
Four... wait, just one ceramic nozzle?
I guess Shop Fox didn’t get the memo on this one. The M1114 comes with just a single ceramic nozzle.
All the previous cabinets come with four, so this feels like a betrayal.
Just a smidge bigger than the Dragway 25...
This Shop Fox sandblaster cabinet is 24 1/2” x 21 1/8” x 19 1/2”, and weighs in at about 50 pounds.
A unique set of doors:
The Shop Fox opens up from the sides, rather than the top like the Dragway 25.
Personally, I find it much easier to clean and put in a workpiece from the side.
This could just come down to personal preference, but the hefty Dragway 60 (a high quality cabinet) also opens up from the sides.
They almost got it right...
...almost. The doors are made of plastic.
I know what you’re thinking, and look:
The plastic isn’t a problem in and of itself.
For some, the doors worked perfectly and the foam seal kept the blasting media 100% inside the cabinet.Unfortunately, these doors can warp during shipping. Usually they don’t, but they can. Be careful.
Looks aren’t everything:
Cool, ergonomic doors make this a sleek & unique sandblaster cabinet. Unfortunately, it only comes with a single nozzle...
5. AJ Tools CHIM0061-04 - Best Small sandblasting cabinet
A small treasure:
I like this AJ Tools cabinet. It’s small, friendly, but still has everything needed to kick butt in the shop.
The AJ doesn’t ask too much of your air compressor:
A 5 horsepower compressor that can do 5cfm @ 60psi should serve you just fine. This is another cabinet on the smaller end...
Or rather, the smallest end:
This petite sandblaster cabinet is just 20”x12”x12”, and weighs 38 pounds. That’s about the same as a Border Collie.
Back to reality, sanity...
Rest assured: the AJ cabinet comes with the standard four ceramic nozzles. Still not sure why the Shop Fox doesn’t.
Like a few of the other machines on this list, this AJ Tools sandblaster cabinet seems pretty leaky.
Use it outside or in a shed where you don’t mind media getting into the cracks and crevices.
No matter where, when, or how you’re sandblasting, never forget to wear a respirator. Even if the seals are tight.
Even if there’s no apparent leakage. You can’t replace your lungs.
Baby on Board:
The smallest cabinet on the list, this AJ Tools machine can still keep up with the other cabinets just fine. Always keep in mind what size pieces you’ll be working on when buying a sandblaster cabinet.
A winner must be chosen...
For us, the Dragway 25 comes out on top, though some of the other cabinets are comparable.
Though when it came down to it, the other cabinets seemed a bit leakier than the Dragway 25.
The side doors on the Shopfox, while cool, don’t seem worth the risk of warping. And it doesn’t come with four nozzles.
The Generic and AJ Tools cabinets are both solid, but don’t offer anything better than the Dragway 25 does.
The Dragway 25 wins on nozzles, size, air compressor compatibility, and price.
At the end of the day:This is a list geared more toward casual users.
We like the Dragway 25 because of its quality and price, combined.
If price isn’t a concern and you’re looking for a bigger sandblasting cabinet to use often, then consider the Dragway 60.