To remove the rust from my beloved barbecue pit, I am considering using an angle-grinder or renting a sand-blaster. Having never used either tool, there are several spots that look hard to reach with a grinder which is why I’m considering renting the sand-blaster. Which tool would be a better match for the task?

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  • Why do you want to remove the rust? Are you going to put a heat proof rust proof coating on it afterwards?
    – Gunner
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 19:38
  • 1
    Yes. I will paint it immediately.
    – Zippy
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 10:47

2 Answers 2


No contest

Sandblaster doesn't just beat, it positively trounces any other rust removal method.

That's not me talking. It's NASA. Their location at Cape Canaveral ("Who picked this place? Nikita Khrushchev?") ... has a huge problem with rust due to being tidal and subject to sea spray. What a lovely place for millions of tons of steel latticework gantry structure, in their dozens of launchpads. So they have a rather significant division dedicated to rust control, and they have a web site: http://corrosion.ksc.nasa.gov which you can read yourself.

NASA, naturally, "did the research". They have, for years, prepared samples using various techniques (not to mention their experience maintaining their own structures). Media blast to SSPC-SP10 (near white metal) is head and shoulders above the second and third, which roughly tie: needle scaling and grinding.

Once you've media blasted to near white metal, the quality of your paint is the deciding factor. We had somebody media blast a metal structure, then paint some of the first "non-lead" primer that I procured for $11 a gallon ($25/gal inflation adjusted) at a local paint manufacturer, then topped with their same brand black alkyd topcoat. 20 years gone, the black started chipping and peeling, but the primer is still going strong. Less than 0.5% of the area has any detectable rust activity. On the other hand I've used excellent $90/gal primers on power-wirebrush prep, and had it fail within 7-8 years.

  • Zinc primers have been the industrial standard for decades ; various resins with zinc metal powder , usually minus 400 grit. The zinc primer does not require top-coat in some applications. Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 21:23

If Cost was a factor vs type of base metal being thin like an automobile then i would suggest sand blast. If it was 2" thick and cost was a consideration then grind. thick metal would take the grind a bit more.

for sand blasting a piece you could of grinded for less then it would be worth considering. setting up for sand blasting vs. borrowing a grinder or purchase would be cost effective on a BBQ grill

car fender= sand blasting sand blaster rental, sand, clean up, neighboring considerations? noise vs time on project a grinder would be best

  • Howdy and welcome to Home Improvement! Would you please edit your answer to add in some clarity. "for sand blasting a piece you could grind for less then it would be worth considering" doesn't make much sense to me. Also, the OP says nothing about car fenders - what's the connection here? Have you heard a grinder on metal? They are kinda noisy. If you'll take the tour and read through the help center, especially the section on answering, you'll see the kind of standards we expect and that help make this place such a source of great info.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 14:36
  • Well done! Much more readable and makes more sense.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 13:29

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