The main goal of the sandblasting technique is smoothing, shaping and cleaning hard surfaces by forcing solid particles across those surfaces at high speeds. Since sandblasting process was patented by Benjamin Chew Tilghman on 1870, many different processes and equipments have appeared in the market.
- Automatic sandblasters are machines that eliminate the use of manual movement of either the shot stream or the workpiece, but rely on mechanical means to supply these features.
- Blast cabinets are enclosures in which items are placed to be abraded. Blast cabinets are useful in containing the blasting operation and preventing exposure of the blasting media to surrounding workers.
- Blast rooms are large enclosures in which large items may be blasted. Like blast cabinets, blast rooms keep the blasting operation contained, thereby limiting exposure of abrasives to workers.
- Micro-blast or micro-jet machines are specialized machines for applications needing selective surface preparation, material removal and finishing.
- Portable blasters remain useful in circumstances in which mobility remains necessary, such as freelance contracting. Most portable blast machines come equipped with wheels for easier transportation.