Airsoft vs Gel Blaster: Which Is Better?
When it comes to toy guns, one of the most common choices has been airsoft. But in recent years, a new contender has slowly been taking over the scene: gel blasters.
These two options are quite similar in several respects, but the differences are far more important to consider. So, what are the differences between airsoft and gel blasters? And which one is the better choice overall?
Today, we will talk about the major differences between these two options, and then together, we can decide which one you should choose. Let’s get right into the airsoft vs gel blaster debate!
Airsoft vs Gel Blaster: Breaking Down The Differences
You can use both airsoft guns and gel blasters in CQB skirmishes, and if you have experience with both, you’ll know that they are both a lot of fun to play with. However, these two types of toy guns have substantial differences when it comes to ammunition, safety, eco-friendliness, cost, and many other factors.
Let’s discuss each of these differences one by one:
Airsoft and gel blaster ammo are made from very different materials. Gel blasters shoot gel balls that are made from a super absorbent polymer called sodium polyacrylate. Super absorbent polymers come in many different types, but sodium polyacrylate is the most common one used for gel beads because they can expand up to 1000 times their original size. You can learn more about what gel blaster balls are made of in our related blog post.
Before you can use gel beads for your blaster, you must soak them in water first for 4-24 hours. Not soaking your beads long enough can cause your gel blaster to malfunction, so it is extremely important that you adhere to the correct soaking time. You don’t have to worry about over soaking them. Gel beads will only absorb water up to their limit and stop once they have reached it.
Airsoft guns, on the other hand, use plastic pellets or BBs. Gel balls and BBs are roughly the same sizes at around 6mm to 8mm. In terms of weight, BBs can weigh between 0.12 to 0.40 grams, while gel balls usually weigh around 0.21 grams. However, most BBs are around 0.20 grams, which is practically the same weight as gel beads.
Obviously, getting hit by a plastic pellet hurts more than getting hit by a water ball. For this reason, gel blasters have been the top choice for airsoft alternatives. The sting from getting hit by gel blaster ammo is much like having a rubber band snap on your skin. The pain is quick and very minor, whereas plastic BBs hurt way more.
In some cases, airsoft BBs can even break skin and damage teeth. At the very least, they can leave painful welts on your skin; something that a water ball will not do. Check out our article on how dangerous airsoft guns are for more info on their safety concerns.
Taking these factors into consideration, it is clear that a gel blaster is way safer than an airsoft gun, even in close-contact “battles.”
Gel blaster beads are made from all-natural, non-toxic, and eco-friendly material that causes no harm to humans, pets, and the environment alike. When a gel bead bursts upon impact, it simply evaporates into the air without leaving any residue or stain. This is another reason people love Gel Blasters over airsoft guns - gel blaster balls are biodegradable. So, aside from not having to clean up anything, you are also not leaving any materials that can cause harm to nature, animals, and other people.
On the other hand, BBs are made from plastic. This kind of ammo is non-environmentally friendly. Because these tiny BBs are difficult to clean up after playing, you are probably leaving this trash behind after your matches or target practice. As a result, these tiny plastic pieces can end up slowly decaying in nature, in the ocean, or maybe even in the stomachs of animals who come across them.
Due to the risk of misuse, many countries like North Korea, Honduras, and Singapore have banned the use of airsoft guns. For this reason, airsoft enthusiasts continue to look for alternatives, and gel blasters just happen to be the best. They are completely legal - so long as you don’t carry them around in public or threaten others with them, of course.
In the U.S., it is illegal for minors to own airsoft guns, and they must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian when using one. Similarly, merchants are not allowed to sell to minors. Laws can vary from state to state, but one thing is for sure - failure to follow these laws can lead to significant punishments for both the minor and their legal guardian.
If you learn more about the differences between airsoft and gel blasters, check out our previous blog!
Airsoft vs Gel Blaster: Which Is Right For You?
The answer to this question is completely subjective. But by now, you should feel more confident in making the right choice.
But in case you need a little help, here are our recommendations based on the facts we have discussed:
When You Should Choose Airsoft
Airsoft guns have more firing power than gel blasters. Plus, airsoft ammo is harder and causes more pain upon impact. Considering these two features, airsoft guns are ideal for more experienced players that have better aim and higher pain tolerance.
Furthermore, airsoft is a good choice for indoor use. While it is often more exciting to play outdoors, shooting airsoft BBs outside makes clean-up almost impossible. This can lead to tiny plastic pollutants being left everywhere.
When You Should Choose Gel Blasters
Gel blasters are very safe to use, even for young children. Gel ammo doesn’t sting much at all, and the minor pain fades away too quickly for most to notice. That said, gel blasters can be considered as the best toy guns for all ages - regardless of experience level.
On top of that, gel beads evaporate after they burst. They leave absolutely no residue on clothes, skin, hair, or the environment. You can shoot gel blasters indoors or outdoors, and you won’t have to worry about cleaning up afterward.
So, if you want a toy gun that leaves no mess, is less painful, and has no negative impact on the environment, gel blasters are clearly the best choice.
Final Thoughts On Airsoft vs Gel Blaster
Airsoft and gel blasters have unique differences, pros, and cons. But when it comes to safety, eco-friendliness, and legality, gel blasters are clearly superior to airsoft guns. Of course, this doesn’t mean that airsoft guns don't make great toys. However, they are better suited for older, more experienced players that know how to use them properly.
Gel blasters, on the other hand, are the best alternative to both airsoft and paintball guns. They make no mess, they are environmentally friendly, and they are safe to use even for inexperienced players.
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