Rocket Man!

Cleaning your gear is a maintenance ritual each of us must develop that suits our own style and behaviors.  For me it’s lists…logical lists that I formulate after thinking about what makes sense to me, so I can do things the same way every time.  For me it’s all about consistency and repeatability.  While this same technique is something I recommend for others, it may not always be the best course of action if you don’t like that kind of rigidity.

However, regardless of what styles or approaches you use to clean your gear (and I’ve talked about my approach to gear maintenance in the past in detail), some of the best recommendations I can make is in reference to the types of utilities and tools you use.  So, today, I’d like to take a look at one of the tools that I have come to rely on more than any other – the Giottos Rocket Blower.


So, what makes this thing so great?  Funny you should ask, let’s get started with the…


  1. It’s got an air valve built in to prevent it from taking in dust and dirt on the intake end.  This design (I would venture to say) was a first-of-its-kind in cleaning accessories, because every other blower that I’ve seen prior to this made no such claim, which means that they hadn’t incorporated the idea into their design at all.
  2. It’s air at the ambient temperature.  Too many canned air options use chemicals that can be damaging to your sensor – my recommendation is to stay away from canned air entirely.
  3. It’s not super fast air being directed at your sensor like a missle.  Although it kind of looks like a grenade (these are fun to take through airport security! 🙂 ), the power behind the discharge of air is not like that stinging charge that comes from canned air options.  You have more control over the flow of air too, as you can give it a quick pump or a slower steadier pump depending on what you want to do.
  4. It’s not weak air like from many other pump-style – this thing really can deliver a good blast of air to get the most stubborn dust out of a sensor area, or the surface of a lens.  Just don’t use it around your dog that likes squeak-toys because it does give a little sound like that due to the air valve!
  5. It’s dirt cheap!  This retails at B&H for $15!  Low cost solutions are always a huge pro in my book.  The picture above also includes a link to the B&H page for it.  If you are a NAPP member, you can also get free 3-day shipping.  Just my cup of tea!
  6. It looks like a grenade!  Talk about a cool conversation piece.  I can’t tell you the number of airport security people that have asked me “What the hell is that?” !


  1. It looks like a grenade.  I can’t tell you the number of airport security people that have asked me “What the hell is that?”!  The cool factor wears off when you are trying to catch a plane, or it’s oh-dark hundred and you’ve not had any coffee because they won’t let that suspicious looking McDonalds or Starbucks cup through the security gate.  (That same cup of coffee that costs $6 on the other side of security has been deemed safe though…go figure!)

There you have it, 6 pros and 1 con means this product gets a thumbs up in my book.  (Surprise surprise since it’s in my cleaning kit!)  As always, if you have any ideas, suggestions, or are interested in products that have not been covered here on the hardware review days, drop your thoughts into the comments area or kick me an email (is it possible to kick something that is all 1’s and 0’s inside a computer?).  Happy shooting and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!

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9 comments for “Rocket Man!

  1. June 22, 2009 at 4:45 am

    I have to agree with you. This item is also on my must have gear list. But you can add another cons: This thing is a little bit too high to fit in most bags so you have to twist it in. I am sure (at the worst time), all of this twisting will break it and it will fail me at the worst time.

    Until then, it is part of my standard field bag.

  2. Jim G.
    June 22, 2009 at 9:03 am

    A freind of mine had his taken by airport security even after he demonstrated the purpose of it. Told him he could pull it out mid-air and cuse a panic. Serves him right, he shoots Nikon anyway. 🙂

    • June 22, 2009 at 9:08 am

      That’s just over-zealous security – I could pull out a cellphone in mid-air and cause a panic if I hid the faceplate and claim it was a brick of C4…sheesh! Thanks for the story though! Goes to show the degree that some of our finest at Homeland Security are trained! LOL

  3. June 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I use my rocketblower before every commercial shoot. It’s a must have piece of kit for me.

  4. June 22, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Hey, I’ve got that rocket blower in my pack! Great little blower that takes a beating in an overstuffed pack. Good pick!

  5. June 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks for this! I’ve been meaning to get something for my kit but didn’t like reviews of other options that I’d read. Looks like they have a smaller version that costs less and would probably fit better in Alain’s bag. 🙂

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