As a computer technician / technology enthusiast I have a lot of electronics that need to be kept clean. I used to use canned air / duster for this task but it’s pretty nasty stuff to work with. It is extremely cold, you don’t want to contact any coolant with any components, the bottles run out at the most inconvenient times and generate a bunch of waste, etc.
For this article I just wanted to share a tool I found a couple of years ago that made my life a lot easier. It is also cheaper over time and much more environmentally friendly!
The OPOLAR Air Duster for Electronics / Computers is a rechargeable air duster with a large 6000 mAh battery that is recharged using a USB cable. Very effective for cleaning and much less of a pain and more environmentally friendly than air duster cans.
The handheld air duster is rechargeable via a USB port. The charge lasts for weeks at a time as it has a pretty generously sized 6000 mAh battery (that’s a much larger battery than most cell phones for comparison, the iPhone 12 Pro Max only has 3,687 mAh and a Samsung Galaxy S20 only has 4000 mAh) for a consumer-based rechargeable device.
To compare the performance between a can of duster and the electronic air duster is a little tricky because the performance of a can of duster is not constant. When you start with a fresh can or a can that hasn’t been used for at least a few minutes (enough time to not be cold to the touch anymore) it is much more powerful. The more you use it the colder the can gets until it can quite literally freeze your hands. The pressure also drops the colder it gets.
With that established, how powerful is the OPOLAR in comparison? The OPOLAR puts out a blast of air at 33000PRM by spinning a fan really quickly. It definitely sounds exactly like you would expect: a fan spinning really really fast blowing air! I would rate it as less powerful than a completely fresh can for about 15 seconds where you will start to feel the can’s temperature dropping. After that, the OPOLAR is more powerful, and it can go at the same constant power for HOURS on a full charge. Because of this, the OPOLAR is by far the superior cleaning tool. It doesn’t get cold and it won’t lose an ounce of power until the battery is dead.
To get the absolute best of both worlds (the extremely high power of the first “blasts” from a can as well as being able to sustain that for long periods of time) you would need an actual air compressor. This may be possible at a technician bench but the OPOLAR is handheld and can go anywhere. I’ve found the OPOLAR powerful enough to clean all of my equipment whether it’s desktop computer cases, GPU fans, cryptocurrency ASIC miners, gaming consoles, you name it!
If you are a technician or enthusiast who works with technology a lot how many depleted cans of duster do you think you’ve sent to the landfill? Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands?
I shudder to think of how many it was for me before finding a better alternative since I am both a technician AND an enthusiast! I can absolutely guarantee that I have prevented hundreds of these things from going into landfills ever since getting an economic reusable and rechargeable option.
I’ll sometimes run the OPOLAR unit for a good 10-15 minutes straight when cleaning all my electronics. I would say that cleaning all of the equipment I have would use at least a single can each time. This adds up fast!
I’m not sure how difficult it will be to replace the battery. That would be one outstanding environmental impact question I have about the unit. Any battery can be replaced but it’s a question of how difficult/expensive it will be. That being said, I’ve had the unit for 2 years and the battery shows no signs of slowing down. Once the battery reaches the end of it’s useful life I’ll definitely update this article what I find out about the difficulty of replacing the battery as I was not able to find any other information about this out there.
Overall, if you at all use cans of compressed air / duster this is a no brainer to vastly reduce your environmental impact and how much junk you’re sending to the landfill!
Now it’s time for the best part. It’s actually cheaper to use one of these devices. Canned air / duster really isn’t very cheap. The “Amazon’s Choice” duster cost around $6.79 at time of writing and 4 packs for about $20. If you are a technician / enthusiast though you will need much more than one or even four cans and they will not last long.
I’m sure you can see where this is going: this unit pays for itself completely after a few 4-packs of duster. You can calculate yourself pretty easily what your ROI (return on investment) of buying one of these would be based on how quickly do you use a 4 pack of air which is about $20.
Pros / Cons
- Will not generate static or moisture like an air compressor
- Rechargeable battery
- Not quite as powerful as an air compressor or canned air
- Battery while rated for hundreds of charge cycles won’t last forever and isn’t easily removable
This was definitely one of the best IT related issues I’ve ever made despite it maybe seeming like a small thing on the surface. In reality, keeping your electronics / computers clean is extremely important. Many of the problems I have fixed over the years were related to heat / dust from not keeping electronics clean.
I have some other essential tools / tricks of the trade similar to this that I’ve picked up over the years that I’ll be writing more articles for so stay tuned!