SHOT BLASTING Sand blasting
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Shot Blasting & Sandblasting: What’s The Difference?

When we talk about abrasive blasting techniques, the most common form of blasting that crosses our mind is the shot blasting and sandblasting techniques. While today a lot of people prefer using the shot blasting techniques for the abrasive blasting processes, the usage of silica sand in the industry has almost become passé!

No wonder, many people are still confused as to whether both these methods imply to the common techniques or not as because they almost ‘look’ the same during the implementation but they are not!
While shot blasting implies to abrasive blasting processes where surface finishing is associated, sandblasting at the same time is associated with blasting processes in which the modification of a surface is concerned. This is just one form of the difference between shot blasting and sandblasting. We will discuss more such differences below in this article.Read on

Difference between shot blasting and sandblasting in terms of the equipment used

Shot blasting

Shot blasting

In this process, a media wheel is used to ‘throw’ the abrasive media to the surface after creating a centrifugal force for doing the same. The equipment used in doing so are

  • Swing table blast wheels
  • Hanger blast equipment
  • Tumble blast equipment
  • Cylinder blasters
  • Table blasters
  • Spinner hangers

These equipment are designed specifically with controlling wheels which creates the centrifugal force to blast surfaces like steel grits and steel shots!


Unlike the shot blasting technique, this one does not use the ‘throwing’ of abrasive media on the surfaces, rather it uses ‘blowing’ of silica sand under highly compressed air for executing the abrasive blasting procedure. The equipment used for the same includes

  • Portable blasting stations
  • Air blast rooms
  • Blast and recovery system
  • Air blast tumble equipment
  • Bulk blasting systems
  • Blast cabinets, suction and pressure
  • Wet blast equipment
  • Cryogenic deflashing system

The implementation of this equipment is useful for certain abrasive processes like removing contaminants from the surface, removing dust and grease, stripping old paint for allowing new paint coatings, etc.

The argument; which one is better?

Ideally, we cannot really say which one is better as both have their own way of dealing with surfaces, thereby leaving lesser reasons to be judged for what they bring on! but we can definitely look out for the better perspective of both these blasting techniques to find out which one can be better for your surface blasting requirements.

If we talk about sandblasting, it is actually a lesser invasive abrasion process as compared to shot blasting. However, the execution of the process depends on what materials you use and how much air pressure is given out for the blasting purpose. As it is a lighter and smoother form of surface blasting, you can use it in blasting sensitive surfaces as well!

Shot blasting, on the other hand, is an intense and rough abrasive blasting technique which is mostly done on harder surfaces. It is quick to be implemented and can treat heavy surfaces with ease unlike that of sandblasting.

So, on a whole, if you have abrasive blasting works related to lighter and smoother surfaces which require lesser force to be accomplished, the opting for sandblasting is the right decisions whereas if the surface you are willing to treat is hard and requires deeper force to be treated, then going for shot blasting is always the better choice!

Hence you don’t have to worry much about which one is better as it is best done by the experts, you just know the pros and cons, the equipment and materials used and the processes of both shot blasting and sandblasting to understand your abrasive blasting work better!


Abrasive blasting technique is a strategy to fix uneven surfaces or modify it by various means of applications. This technique has prevailed a long time and cannot be actually tagged as a modern technique of adding the finishing touch to any surface. But if we talk about how it has evolved with time, then we can definitely say it has now become a modern way of fixing surface by the shot blasting and sandblasting methods.

If you are trying to figure out as to which processes are best suited for your surface treatments then you might just trust the professionals for the same. In this article, you get to know the details about both the methods which helps you understand which all materials are used in executing the processes and how this abrasive blasting is done! The next time you need any such abrasive blasting assistance, Call for a professional expert to help you out!

Shot Blasting & Sandblasting: What’s The Difference? was last modified: by