Sandblasting vs. Shot Blasting: Which Is Better for Your Needs?

When a surface needs to be cleaned, restored or otherwise prepared for finishing, you will have to determine the right blast cleaning method to use, as well as the type of abrasive material that is most appropriate to complete the job. To better decide what is best for your particular needs, it is necessary to first understand the differences between various methods. Follow along with this guide to learn about the major differences between shot blasting and mobile sandblasting services in Indianapolis, IN so you can identify what will work best for your project.


When abrasive material is propelled with a high-pressure stream of compressed air, the sandblasting method is being used. Sandblasting has long been a preferred treatment method because of its cost-effectiveness, straightforward operation and high production quality. This method is particularly useful in situations where the materials that are being prepared are either soft or sensitive, but it’s just as reliable in automotive and industrial applications where caked-on dirt, grease and oil need to be removed.

It’s important to note that while the process itself is referred to as sand blasting, sand is rarely used anymore. There are now numerous different types of treatment media available, such as dry ice, that are much easier to work with. As the technology has continued to progress over the past hundred years, the pressure stream has evolved from a relatively uncontrolled blast that was difficult to contain to controlled enclosures that allow for a high level of stream precision and accuracy.

Shot blasting

The key difference between shot blasting and sandblasting is the type of force that is used for application. As opposed to compressed air, the shot blasting process mechanically blasts the abrasive media towards the treatment area. Because this method is more invasive, it is better for larger objects that require stronger force for treatment and preparation of the surface. This might be a tank where the rough surfaces need to be treated aggressively, or the frame of a car that is being either restored or recycled.

Which is better?

The type of surface that needs to be treated will serve as the guide for the best method in your particular application. If you have a delicate part or material that needs a smoother abrasion, sandblasting is probably best. When you are working with a denser material that needs more force and penetration and will not be well suited to the subtler touch of sandblasting, shot blasting will likely be the more effective option.

For help deciding which process will produce the best results for your particular application, give Knauss Property Services, LLC a call. Whether you need to clear years of caked-on dirt and contamination from the side of your commercial building or need to prepare a surface for a new restoration project, we have the equipment and expertise to handle your job quickly, safely and professionally. To learn more about our dry ice blasting and mobile sandblasting services in Indianapolis, IN so you can select the right one for your application, give us a call today to schedule a consultation.

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