Finding the right compressed air duster can be a daunting feat considering all the available options. Although most retailers will market their offer as the best choice, only a fraction will back these claims. Air dusters, also commonly referred to as compressed air or simply dusting gas, are mainly designed for electronics.
They are used to knock off the dust and loose dirt from devices. Compressed air will clear inaccessible computer vents, blow out crumbs from typewriters/keyboards and open up closed apertures.
Your air duster can be used to clean the following:
- Computer keyboards
- Printed circuit boards
- Audio equipment
- Lab instruments and medical devices
- Switches and relays
- Connectors and contacts
- PLCs (programmable logic controllers)
- Video and photographic equipment among others
Determine Whether You Need Retail or Industrial Duster
Not every compressed air duster is the same. Industrial and retail offers have some hallmarking differences. If you are going for affordable, then retail air dusters will provide various options to choose from. These offers are designed to be very cheap. However, they may raise a few concerns and are certainly not recommended for industrial use.
Retail compressed air often contains HFC-152a. Like the propane and butane in hairsprays, this compound is used because it is cheap and not necessarily good quality. Some brands also contain a bitterant added to prevent huffing (inhalation) by minors.
The bitterant simply makes it taste bad, but this added component may leave unwanted traces on delicate electronic circuit boards.
Industrial air dusters are offered by reputable brands and have significantly improved quality. They contain HFC-134a and have low flammability which makes them ideal for energized circuit boards. These options also tend to be more expensive. It is advisable to check the label on the container.
As aforementioned, there are several choices in the market. Choosing the right option requires insight and includes reviewing all aspects including brand, product and company reputation. As a general rule of thumb, you should buy compressed air dusters that enjoy a thriving reputation in the market.
Look for user manufacturer descriptions, user reviews, expert opinions and general acceptability of the product. If more people are warning against the specific air duster, then it is probably undesirable. Compare different opinions and reviews to come up with an informed decision.
Choose Compressed Air Duster for Your Unique Application
There is no single best-compressed air duster for everyone. Cheap retail dusters may be sufficient for blowing dirt off your keyboards. However, they would cause major harm to energized circuit boards.
When reviewing air dusters, you should always compare the specific attributes to your application. For instance, working with electronics that are susceptible to residue damaging immediately restricts you from using dusters that leave a residue.
Other Things to Consider
Additional features like high spray force, refill cans and fill weight can all be used to inform your decision. You can also find safer alternatives. The best way to go about finding the compressed air duster is through reviewing as many offers as you can.
Make sure you read through the labels and do some research on the product before spending your money. With that said, there are many ideal air dusters that are safe, affordable and easy to use.