Return to Level1Techs.com

Air compressor for dust cleaning

hey,
i am tired of using compressed air cans and throw them away after 5 uses,plus their pressure is too low for proper cleaning. so can someone recommend a decent air compressor that I can use to clean dust in my case and also my keyboard, but mostly for my keyboard? i want something that’s not too powerful because I don’t want to destroy my keyboard.
thanks.

1 Like

I got one of these a while ago for the same reason. Loud as hell, but does the job.

2 Likes

One of those airbrush compressors with tank could work.

2 Likes

I use this, and I am very happy with it:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-DC-12V-AC-120V-Dual-Power-Air-Inflator-Power-Source-Car-Electric/1000092575

This is what i use.

I also have used this at times.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-18-Volt-ONE-Dual-Function-Inflator-Deflator-Tool-Only-P747/308746324

1 Like

CompuCleaner:

Demonstration:

I got myself a DataVac. Sure, it was a little expensive, but I’m no longer buying cans of air. I use it to clean dust out of everything from my computer, keyboard, air filters and even the Roomba. It comes with a bunch of attachments, some of which restrict the air flow making it safe to use on things like keyboards.

1 Like

I have what @redocbew recommended and I LOVE IT!

Hello!

I found this forum while looking for M-discs. Sadly the 100GB and 50GB M-discs have skyrocketed in price and some are discontinued. I was trying to see what happened to them.

…But to get to this question.

I work a photo and film archive among other areas of collection. We use the Makita quiet mini-compressors for dusting. We used to use Rocket hand blowers. (And still do for delicate work.) But the compressors are fantastic. They make ones even quieter, but these are fine for indoor use.

1 Like

I just use a regular 230V aircompressor with tank,
which i also use for car tyers and what not.
Just a bit carefull with the preasure.

1 Like

I was warned once by someone who’d done it, to be careful with fans, as air from a compressor can spin them to destruction.

Repeating some of what others have said… Get a proper mains powered compressor with a decent tank… And an adjustable regulated output. That way you can use it for other jobs, not just one task.
They also tend to last longer than smaller blowers - I got mine about 20 years ago, and it was only a cheap one… Used it at work for blowing PCs out - probably averaging one per day - and it’s still going like when it was new.

Definitely agree with this. I have one with a tank that I use to clean computers and all sorts of other things. It’s just light enough to drag around the house / yard when needed: Kobalt Quiet Tech 2

is there a recommended min/max pressure?

I have a small 3-gal tank air compressor I use mostly for dusting, and I would recommend almost everyone go with a plug-in blower, instead.

A compressor is heavy & loud, you have to wait for it to fill up before using, might have a partial tank of air left when you’re done, or might have to stop and let it recharge in the middle. The air pressure is very high at the start and quickly becomes very weak as your volume gets lower. Takes up a lot more space, power, etc. It works, but is not very good at the job.

And forget about a compressor without a tank. Whether battery-operated or not, they don’t output the volume of air you want and really need to dust effectively. Air compressors are low volume high pressure, where you really want high volume with lower pressure… more of a leaf-blower or air-mattress inflator than air compressor. You wouldn’t use a turkey baster to vacuum a carpet, or a pressure-washer to fill a swimming-pool, and you shouldn’t use an air compressor for blowing dust out of electronics.

Those plug-in blowers are much better for dusting, unless you need an air compressor for some other purpose anyway or can’t possibly get an extension cord long enough. They’re as cheap as the cheapest tank air compressors plus the accessories you need, and they just work so much better for the job.

I recommend watching the Techmoan video @Remisc posted.

6 gallon craftsmen kit about $150. Puts air in everywhere you need it.

You must have one of these or something similar. Air Compressor Filter, Water Separators for Air Compressors, Air Compr | Pro Air Tools

many of the osha compliant air nozzles are not too harsh but you may have to be careful not to get too close to the keys on a keyboard or you will blow them off their clips.
also its highly recommended to use an air drier unit and water trap to prevent blowing condensed water drops onto the electronics

OK… I have a datavac and I love it.

Best practices say don’t use a typical air compressor because a byproduct of air compression is condensation… Blowing moisture on your electronics is bad. I believe @Axe was hinting at this with his product recommendation. Second bit of wisdom suggests as, @jlittle pointed out, avoid blowing your fans with forced or compressed air because you can very easily exceed the fans rated rpm and typically what will happen is you’ll ruin any bearings that your fan might contain. Hold the blades in place or use tape or something to avoid flywheeling them.

I think use makeup brushes is also working. It is a tips for those who want to clean the keyboard softly.