Is there anything as good as a can of compressed air?

My question for today for the hive mind, before I plunk down $40 for a case of compressed air, is there anything on the market that works as well?

Like This purports to be?

I’d rather just get a small compressor and tank. The Harbor Freight Fortress series is pretty small, portable and quiet.


i use this. it’s wired, but it feels like it’s got way more power (and 2 speeds) than compressed air in a can. and you don’t have to keep repurchasing.


the issue with a compressor is it has moisture in the air.
I don’t think I want that.


I have an pool toy inflater that is similar to that, It doesn’t seem to be THAT much velocity. (it says its 90 cfm)

No more than ambient air does. In fact, the moisture content of air coming out of your compressor should be lower than ambient air; some of the water condenses due to air pressure and temperature increase in the tank. The condensate can accumulate in your tank, that’s why you have to drain it after use to prevent corrosion.

When you release the air from the tank its temperature and pressure drop, so the air leaving the system should have a lower RH than what you took in.

I had a few misconceptions of the mechanism at play here, this page was informative:


I bought a ‘plug-in’, too…it’s really powerful…much more so than canned air. Has a couple additional adapters for the nozzle. Have to hold it a ways out from anything delicate…otherwise it’s like a mini-leaf blower. I use it to ‘dust’ baskets that I have.


yeah, you can clear a tabletop quickly if things aren’t heavy enough with this one.


Hmm you’re making a good sales pitch. How heavy is it? Build quality: if I drop it, is it going to destroy itself?

What’s the sound like, in the internationally accepted unit of “GlowForge Exhaust Fans”? 0.5 GFEFs? 1.5 GFEFs? (Of course I mean metric GFEFs, I’m not a heathen.)

Are all the attachments useful or are they gimmicks?


it’s plastic. i’ve dropped it on a rug with no problem, but not from higher than table height (30"). but it’s pretty sturdy plastic, tho. i’m sure if you drop it enough on tile/concrete it will eventually break. but i would be surprised if it broke easily.

it’s totally not quiet at all. i haven’t run the internal GF fan in a while, but it’s basically like running a small vacuum cleaner volume-wise. but it’s not like you leave it on for 5 mins. i run it for 5-30 seconds at a time. so it doesn’t bother me that much.

i only use the small opening. maybe you (or someone else) would want the others for something else? i just need the traditional small tube.

it’s not the most amazing tool out there. it’s just nice and convenient. never run out of air. plugged in, so never run out of battery. i think it’s about a 6’ cord.

there are a bunch of these out there. couldn’t really distinguish that there was one that stood out over the rest, so i looked at the ones that seemed to get the best reviews, and bought the one that had a sale coupon button on amazon that made it the least expensive of the “this could work fine” group.

edit: oh yeah, weighed it, it’s 2lbs.


What you linked to has a built-in air compressor inside of it.

Here’s another fun one to consider: a cordless, portable, rechargeable (via usb) airbrush compresser:


Plus- if you get a small compressor you can ALSO use it to drive an airbrush for even more decorating/finishing options…

A single can of “air” lasts me years but if you go through it as apparently, you do, and you don’t want “damp” air, get a small compressor and add an air dryer. A good dryer will leave your air bone dry as they are made for painting and other uses that require dry air.
A good dryer will run you as much as the small compressor but it will be equivalent to 1000s of cans of air and have other uses to boot.

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Just wanted to chip in that the battery/rechargeable air dusters don’t compare to a compressor or a canned air duster. I have one of the more expensive rechargeable ones, and it’s useful for many things, but really not as good for cleaning dust off fans and electronics. It doesn’t deliver that same dust-dislodging forceful blast a fresh can does. Either get a compressor or stick with cans for cleaning IMO.

i’d be curious to test a battery/rechargeable one against a corded one.

Thank you all for your replies, I do more then Glowforge cleaning with compressed air, I am always working on computers, and they are hutches for dust bunnies! - and being in the desert, DUST is always a major factor around here.

I would say I use a can of compressed air a month, in my normal usage
12 cans = $60 - and a good (if such a thing is out there) plug in is $80-100
so now is the time for me to decide.

We have a ‘rug’ out on our deck, under the table, made out of basically astro-turf. Being on the shaggy side, I didn’t want to try vacuuming it, so I took my electric duster out there and just blew all the stuff off of it. A leaf blower would have been easier to handle, but I don’t have one and this worked like a charm. This is the one I bought…haven’t used even one of the attachments, yet.

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You can always return the plug-in if it’s not going to work for you.

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I just got a high-velocity dryer for my dogs that I think would also serve quite well for blowing sawdust and such out of stuff. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: