View Full Version : Refillable canned air?

Mike P
12-22-2008, 11:54 AM
Hi all,

Hope everyone is staying warm. 2 degrees here in Ohio this morning. -25 wind chill.

I'm trying to find refillable canned air, for blowing out nooks and crannys, dust and what-not. Something that's refillable with a schrader valve so I can pump it up with the filtered and dried supply from my compressor.

Has anyone seen one in stores? Or did you build your own?

Small, fits in your hand, so it's still as easy as the expensive canned air sources. Probably won't see much duty blowing out computers, so I'm not too worried about moisture in the air.

12-22-2008, 12:07 PM
I have a couple of refillable oilers they are about quart size. They have a gasketed nut that permits filling with oil etc. They have a shrader valve to pressurize. I think that they came from Grainger but it may have been from a tool salesman. They hold pressure over time very well.

12-22-2008, 12:10 PM
Brownell's www.brownells.com used to sell them years ago. I don't know if they still do.

Or, I'd check McMaster-Carr www.mcmaster.com

12-22-2008, 12:13 PM
Harbor Freight has what you are looking for, runs about $11.99 off sale, about $9.99 on sale. Silver can, looks like a can of hair spray, has a Schrader valve in it, and if memory serves me, comes with some different nozzles as well. The call it the: REUSABLE/REFILLABLE AEROSOL SPRAY CAN
Here's the link:

12-22-2008, 12:29 PM
McMaster does have them: see bottom of page 1669:

12-22-2008, 03:21 PM
I was unimpressed with the HF product, at least if you use it to spray fluid. probably work OK with just air but it wont last long in use.

if you want I'll trudge out to the shop and try it.

12-22-2008, 03:40 PM
You can make your own. The cans are designed to hold at least 300 PSI before bursting.




That's a schrader bulkhead fitting valve with the threads turned off on the back side to provide a flange for soldering. It's soldered with silver bearing solder which is a lot stronger than soft solder. I have been using it for over a year now with no problems. A refill to 110 psi will give about a dozen good puffs and about a dozen weaker ones. I made it for cleaning my camera gear because the regular refrigerant liquid based canned air will damage optical components if the liquid touches them.

12-22-2008, 04:12 PM
If you're willing to get a little more involved, you could make one out of an out-of-date fire extinguisher. I have one that's just over a foot tall and about 3 inches diameter. I cleaned it out hoping to find a use for it someday- it has a threaded top so the challenge would be to clean it out and use the valve pretty much as-is, or make your own top to suit with a shrader valve on it. The exit valve could simply screw onto the shrader, and you determine what hose or nozzle to make for it. I would be inclined to make up some sort of regulated output pressure device which is adjustable, so you could pull the trigger and always know how much 'blow' is going to come out. I don't like having to feather the trigger to get a light flow- it's too easy to suddenly get a blast and there goes your parts, etc.

The bottle I have says 'tested to 585lbs' on it, and 'pressurize to 195 lbs'. Should be safe for whatever a shop air compressor might be set for.

Mike P
12-22-2008, 04:59 PM
I think I'll try the HF one for the short term.

I have an old fire extinguisher that's about the same size as the one darryl described, and it's way into the discharge zone of the guage. Perfect candidate!!

I should also grab one of the store bought canned air ones and see about soldering a valve to the side of it. Thanks Evan.

Thanks so much everyone!!

12-22-2008, 05:22 PM
I use the refillable cans from Walter Abrasives.



12-22-2008, 10:55 PM
You can even get them at Amazon.com:


12-23-2008, 08:19 AM
Hi Mike,

I went through the same process a while back; here's a thread showing what I came up with. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=24946&highlight=REGULATOR

A month or so after it was completed, I got tired of unstrapping the air tank to go air up neighbors' tires plus the freon tank capacity turned out to be too small for a decent days work. I just plumbed the regulator into shop air and have been using it that way ever since. The little airbrush hose is long enough to reach both the lathe & mill so it gets used all the time.

12-23-2008, 08:55 AM
For small jobs, I like to use a solder removal tool.

It's easy to recharge, and it doesn't spread junk around or blow it deeper into crevices.


12-25-2008, 03:10 PM
Hey, a sodder sukker! I haven't seen one of those for awhile. Gives me another idea- modify a syringe-

12-25-2008, 05:52 PM
I have one of these for portable storage of compressed air.
Not sure if they are available in the US though they are sold here in OZ under the GMC and Arlec brand names. My brother in-law used an old propane tank he filled though a Schrader valve for portable air around the farm.