I’ve always had a complicated relationship with canned compressed air. For a neat freak it is an essential tool. It keeps your keyboards clean, it blows dust out of your gaming PC and it gets dirt out of those hard-to-reach parts of devices. It is an invaluable resource, an ally – ah, even a friend.
I’m not trying to be a cheap skater here, but a can of compressed air costs about five dollars, and I got some air from home. Like a lot, just roaming around, not paying rent. Can’t I just put that in a can? I think you see where this bit is going.
Say hello, dear reader, to the XPower A-2S Cyber Duster. I want to tell you how much I love this little man. I love it more than most of the tools in my house. I love it more than some of my relatives. Imagine, if you will, a small vacuum cleaner but vice versa. It’s a pretty simple concept. It has two power settings (quite powerful and very powerful), a brush head, and a shorter nozzle that I can’t find right now, but is probably in the cupboard where I keep all my tools. It’s an absolute game changer.
I found out about the XPower a while ago because I looked up different keyboard cleaning methods (including this weird goo). I had seen it on the shelf at Micro Center and, like many things in that wonderful store, I thought, “Wow, that sounds really handy. I should buy that one.” Micro Center stocks two similarly priced models — this one and one almost identical looking model – but I went for the latter because it had the word “cyber” on the box and so was better. It turned out so good that I immediately sold several friends on it, including my friend who works in a cafe and has to clean up coffee grounds all the time. They come in too lots of fun colorsand the same company specifically makes heavier models for it pet care.
An electric duster is not a one-to-one replacement for compressed air. Compressed air cans come with a flimsy plastic straw which is really handy when you’re trying to get into hard to reach places, and that’s just really hard to replicate. But what my duster lacks in precision it makes up for in sheer power and cost savings. You don’t need to ration your electricity like you do with canned air, so it becomes very useful for making casual, quick cleanups. This thing blows away on the highest setting. With this naughty boy you knock stuff off your bedside table from a distance.
As the name implies, it’s also a duster, which doesn’t sound like a big deal until you realize how much dust is in the average human home. It’s a lot, and it likes to hide somewhere. I have a significant dust allergy so I am anal when it comes to air quality. For a good time, put on an N95 mask, turn on your air purifier of choice (I have a Coway Mighty, because that’s the one everyone bought collectively), and let loose in the hard-to-reach areas of your room of choice. You will be shocked at the amount of disgusting gunk you will discover in your home and how much the basic air quality will improve.
I am constantly amazed at the number of people who don’t have an electric duster, but everyone who has converted sings praises. Jess Weatherbed doesn’t have the XPower but does have one CompuCleaner and noted a similar improvement in basic air quality. Another person online recommended the Metrovac DataVac ESD (a duster specially designed for data centers) since at least one of Metrovac’s models doubles as a vacuum cleaner. I haven’t had a chance to extensively test these models side-by-side, but I’ll bet those things blow pretty hard too.
If my tone was a little sassy in this post, it’s because it’s hard to overstate how much I use this guy. I constantly reach for it while doing projects. While writing this post, I’ve been blasting decades of gunk out of an old eBay VCR using my XPower. I feel like a hackneyed TV pitchman now, but it really is is that useful.
Purchase an electric vacuum cleaner. It cleans your computer, it cleans your house, and hell, it can even cleanse your soul. (Warning: Individual souls may vary.)