Compressed Air Vs Air Duster Vs Canned Air [Key Differences]

Compressed air Vs Air duster Vs Canned air (Key Differences)

When dust or dirt accumulates on your keyboard or within lines or boards of electronics, it’s best to remove them before they form plaque and affect sensitive parts of the appliance or lead to corrosion. Using a rag won’t work because most of the parts are hard to reach.

You also can’t use water because water and electronics don’t go together. This is where air dusters come to play. An air duster is a device that uses pressurized air to blow away dirt from seemingly hard-to-reach areas without getting the spot wet.

In an attempt to find a suitable air duster, many homeowners and computer users have come across terms like compressed air and Canned air. If you’re in that position wondering whether they are the same or three different items, you’ve come to the right place.

This post will answer that question shortly and also try and distinguish between compressed air, air dusters, and canned air. We’ll begin by telling you what each of them means.

What Is Compressed Air?

What Is Compressed Air?

Compressed air is, more or less, air that is forced into a container in such a way that it has way more pressure than the air in the environment.

Depending on what it is meant for, compressed air can be regular, breathable air compressed under extreme pressure, compressed gas, or a combination of gases.

It is a pretty broad term and its application ranges from tire pumps, energy, and jackhammer, to air rifles and cleaning electronics.

Even underwater divers use compressed air as a breathing gas. The science is that compressed air often has much more volume than the container can originally take.

What Is an Air Duster?

What Is an Air Duster?

An air duster is also sometimes called compressed air (because it is, indeed, compressed) or “canned air” because it is primarily stored in a can. Its purpose is to produce a pressurized blast of air to knock off loose dust particles or dirt in hard-to-reach places.

Air dusters come in different forms and technologies. Originally, they were made in cans with a straw-like nozzle through which pressurized air is applied. Today, there are a plethora of electric and cordless options which use batteries.

These modern ones are built in the shape of a gun and use motors to pull in and push air out of the device. They are primarily used for cleaning electronics like keyboards, motherboards, and consoles, etc.

What Is Canned Air?

What Is Canned Air?

Canned air is exactly as the name implies; air trapped in a can.

Canned air can be anything from canned oxygen to canned gases used for knocking off dirt in certain spots.

The term “canned air” is often used colloquially to describe air dusters, but not all canned air is used as an air duster.

Nonetheless, when people say canned air, they’re referring to air dusters in most cases.

Compressed Air Vs Air Duster

Even though these two terms can be used interchangeably, we must note that not all compressed air is used as an air duster.

Here are key differences between compressed air and air duster

1. Packaging

Many air dusters are stored in cans, just like compressed air. However, there are some air duster products that are electric and do not require air storage. On the other hand, compressed air can be stored in canisters, cylinders, cans, tubes, etc.

2. Ingredients

Air dusters are cans often containing a combination of gases, including tetrafluoroethane, difluoroethane, tetrafluoropropene, carbon dioxide, dimethyl ether, and so on. The electric air dusters use atmospheric air which is a combination of oxygen, nitrogen, and others.

On the other hand, compressed air can be any kind of gas depending on the purpose for which it is produced.

Divers use compressed oxygen, while packaging industries and steel plants would require compressed nitrogen. But you must remember that air dusters are also a form of compressed air.

3. Purpose

Air dusters are produced for the purpose of blasting dust or dirt off important items including electronics. They can also be used to freeze warts on the body. Whereas, compressed air can be used for a variety of applications, depending on the type.

4. Refill/Replacement

Only canned air dusters need to be replaced because they go empty after use. Electric air dusters do not run empty. However, all compressed air requires refilling or replacement.

Air Duster Vs Canned Air

Again, these two terms are mostly used interchangeably because most air dusters are canned air/gases. However, it is important to note that not all canned air is an air duster and not all air dusters are canned. You’ll be able to clearly see the difference if you understand this fact.

Differences in the Ingredients used in Air Duster and Canner Air

Air dusters in a can are mostly made of gases such as tetrafluoroethane, difluoroethane, tetrafluoropropene, carbon dioxide, dimethyl ether, and so on. However, you can have canned air like nitrogen in a pack of chips for preservative purposes, or oxygen in a can as is the case on airplanes.

In some contexts, canned air is often regarded as the type of air duster produced and stored in a can, while the air duster is seen as an electric device.

Compressed Air Vs Air Duster Vs Canned Air

It can be quite complex trying to distinguish compressed air from air duster and also from canned air. One thing to underscore is the fact that people often use all three names interchangeably when referring to air dusters.

All three names are acceptable, but it is also important to note that, at face value, they can mean different things.

Key differences between compressed air, air duster, and canned air:

 Air DusterCompressed AirCanned Air
PackagingCans and electric air gunsCans, cylinders, tanks, etcBags, cans, tins, etc
PurposeFor removing dirt and dust in electronic parts and components.Can also be used for cleaning, in medical and industrial settings, including in tire pumps, Jack hammers, or other tools.Can also be used in air dusting or for other specific purposes.
Ingredientstetrafluoroethane, difluoroethane, tetrafluoropropene, carbon dioxide, dimethyl ether, and sometimes butane and propane.Can be a single gas like oxygen or nitrogen, or a combination of gases in the case of compressed air dusters.Can also be a single gas such as oxygen or nitrogen or a combination of gases (in the case of canned air duster.

Usage [Air Duster Vs Compressed Air Vs Canned Air]

When Is Compressed Air Used?

Compressed air is used when pressurized air is needed in domestic or industrial settings.

Often, compressed air is produced to provide the air-propelled force that can be used to drive an object, inflate a ball or inflatable material, or blast off dirt or dust where necessary and when they are used as air dusters.

When Is Air Duster Used?

Air duster is used to blast off dirt in hard to reach places or to remove dust from items (like electronics) that you can’t clean with water. These include a computer keyboard, calculator, electronic motherboard, ps5, Xbox, etc.

They can also be used to treat warts if done the right way. On the flip side, air dusters, specifically the canned type is often abused for their “high” feeling and euphoria.

When Is Canned Air Used?

As for canned air, the content of the air and the purpose for its production determines what it is used for and when it should be used.

If it is a canned air duster, it can be used where power is unavailable to remove dirt from hard-to-reach spots. In the case of nitrogen, they can be used for food preservation or to prevent corrosion in steel and iron products.

Final Comments:

Bottom line is that you can refer to an air duster as “compressed air” or “canned air” and you’ll be correct. The purpose of this post is to let you know that compressed air can also mean something entirely different, and so too can canned air.

This depends on the content, mode of packaging, and purpose. This knowledge will help you clearly distinguish between the three if there ever is a need to do so.

If you’re out to get an air duster, you can choose between highly-rated canned air dusters or the electric/cordless models for best results.

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