Is An Electric Air Duster More Powerful Than A Can Of Compressed Air?
This is a common question that is often phrased differently. “Which one is more powerful…an electric duster or a compressed air can?” or “Is an electric duster stronger than canned air?” Regardless of how it’s phrased, the intent remains the same. Rather than holding a loose piece of paper in front of both and seeing how far away the paper is blown, we’ll take a look from a more technical perspective.
First, let’s take a look at how pressure is measured. PSI stands for “Pounds Per Square Inch.” Technically, this is the pressure resulting from a force of one pound–force applied to an area of one square inch. It basically is a unit of pressure. The average can of compressed air runs at approximately 60-80 PSI. What affects this, however, is the outlet or exit through which this air is forced out.
The tighter or smaller the opening, the greater the increase in pressure. So, this still places us in somewhat of an ambiguous state in regards to measuring “exact” pressure. A can of compressed air with a tiny straw extension can actually put out more “pin-point” pressure than an electric duster with a wide or broad opening.
We know that a can of compressed air gets it’s pressure from compressed liquefied gases, while an electric duster gets it’s pressure from a motor. So, how do we determine the pressure that a motor creates? Well, engines and motors are rated by their Horsepower. What exactly is horsepower? Technically, horsepower is a unit of power equal to 550 foot-pounds per second. Now we must attempt to convert horsepower to psi.
The best way to understand how to connect horsepower to psi is to look at it this way…..”for every 1HP of drive, 1500 PSI can be produced.” From this point of view, an average electric air duster with a horsepower of 0.75 will initially be more powerful than any can of compressed air with a PSI of 60-80.
But this is initially. The outlet or opening through which this air is released greatly changes things. We know that a smaller opening will increase pressure. If a can of compressed air with a tiny straw opening can put out more pressure than an electric duster with a broad opening, what happens when we change the opening of the electric duster? You can imagine for yourself what will happen.
Yes! The pressure from the electric duster will increase as well if a smaller, tighter exit or open adapter is used. The exit attachment might actually blow off!
So in the end, we can see that a good, well manufactured, electric air duster will always be more powerful than any can of compressed air, but it is how this air exits that will make the difference. Hopefully this will give you a more technical understanding of the difference in power between an electric air duster and a can of compressed air.