Gel Blaster vs Paintball: Everything You Need To Know
Looking for a fun and competitive way to stay active with your friends or family? You might be interested in this new toy gun that's been gaining fame in the world of fun shooting games—gel blaster.
Gel blasters are often compared to paintball guns. Although they are both incredibly exciting toys to play with, they each have their own unique pros and cons. If you're thinking about buying toy firearms, gel blasters and paintball guns are great options.
But before you make any final decisions, you need to know about the differences between gel blasters and paintball guns. That's exactly what we're going to tackle in this article.
What Are Gel Blasters?
Gel blasters—also known as hydro blasters, gel guns, or gel blaster guns—are the newest innovation in toy guns. They are often seen as a cross between paintball and airsoft guns. Similar to paintball and airsoft guns, gel blasters are also used in CQB-style shooting skirmishes. This is where two teams play against each other using toy firearms to win the game. These games can get pretty intense and are a great way to burn off steam.
What Are Paintball Guns?
Paintball guns—also known as paintball markers or paint guns—were originally used for agricultural and scientific purposes. They were used to mark livestock and trees from a distance and were even used to mark penguins in the Antarctic. Today, they are more commonly used for fun and sport.
Gel Blasters vs Paintball: What Are The Main Differences?
Now that you have a general idea of what gel blasters and paintball guns are—it's time we delve deeper into the differences between the two toy guns. Although they have similarities in how they're used, they actually differ in several aspects. Knowing the differences between the two will help you decide which of these toy guns is best suited for you.
One of the main differences between gel blasters and paintball guns is the ammo that they use. As their names suggest, gel blasters shoot out gel balls or gel pellets. On the other hand, paintball guns shoot paint-filled projectiles.
Gel balls are made from super-absorbent polymers known as sodium polyacrylate. They are water-absorbing beads that can grow to as much as 100 to 1000 times their size. If you ever played with orbeez as a kid, gel balls are very similar. Before you can use gel balls, they have to soak in water for at least four hours to reach their full form. Learn more about what gel balls are made of and how to use them in our blog.
Paintballs or paint pellets have two components. The first component is the shell or the outer layer of the paintball that holds the paint. This component is made from a gelatin-based substance—the same kind of gelatin that we use in different foods. But you should definitely not try to eat paintballs!
The second component is the liquid filling. Paintballs aren't actually filled with literal paint. Instead, they are filled with either an oil-based filling or a substance called polyethylene glycol or PEG mixed with different colored dyes. PEG is a compound derived from petroleum but is considered biologically inert and safe by the FDA.
Ammo Size and Weight
When it comes to size and weight, paintballs are larger and heavier than gel balls. The majority of paintballs are around 17.3mm in size and 3.00 grams in weight. A gel ball can be anywhere from 7mm to 8mm. It all depends on the amount of water it has absorbed. It is also much lighter in weight and is usually only around 0.21 grams.
But just because gel balls are smaller doesn't mean gel blasters are weaker than paintball guns. Since gel balls are much smaller and lighter than paintballs, they require less force to achieve the same velocity as paintballs.
Paintball guns use expanding gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) or compressed air to operate and shoot paintballs. All paintball guns come with a tank where the gas is stored.
Gel blasters, on the other hand, use a battery-powered motor gearbox to shoot gel balls. Some gel blaster guns make use of disposable batteries, while others use rechargeable batteries. Other gel blasters may also use single-shot springs to shoot projectiles.
How far your toy gun can shoot largely depends on the quality of the gun you're buying. Low-quality gel blasters can only shoot between 30 to 70 feet. More high-quality gel blasters can shoot between 80 to 100 feet (or even more), which is similar to the range of an average paintball gun.
Purchasing and owning gel blasters and paintball guns are legal in the United States. But some states have certain regulations when it comes to toy firearms. Paintball guns are actually considered weapons in certain states. In New Jersey and New York, paintball gun sales and transportation are regulated similarly to real guns.
States such as Rhode Island and New Hampshire have made it illegal to sell paintball guns to anyone under the age of 18. It is also illegal for anyone 18 years old or under to own a paintball gun. Some states, such as Illinois, have more relaxed rules when it comes to paintball. Only children below 13 years olds are not allowed to own or be sold paintball guns.
When it comes to gel blasters, they fall in a kind of legal grey area. Because they are relatively new, states are still deciding whether or not they should treat them like paintball and airsoft guns. So far, gel blasters are completely legal to use as long as you aren't using them in a threatening way and as long as you use them on your property or in designated playing fields.
Plenty of airsoft and paintball fields these days allow gel ball skirmishes. If you can't find any playing fields in your area, you can always play in your backyard. Don't worry - gel blaster balls are biodegradable.
Both gel blasters and paintball guns are technically safe if used properly. But you are more likely to get hurt by a paintball than a gel blaster. Since paintballs are larger and weigh heavier than gel balls they are more likely to cause bruises when they hit your body. And if they hit bare skin, they can leave painful welts. This seldom happens with gel blasters.
Another thing to point out is the number of injuries that each gun causes. An estimated 11,998 people were injured by paintballs between the years 1997-2001. 60% of these injuries were to the eye 1. As of today, there is very limited literature on gel blaster injuries, but there have been two cases of children getting shot in the eye by a gel blaster gun that led to lifelong ocular complications 2.
The main lesson to be learned here is to always wear proper protection when dealing with toy firearms, especially eye protection. Most playing fields will require you to wear full-body gear when playing paintball. But when using gel blasters, you are only required to wear eye protection.
Obviously, paintball guns will leave more mess than gel blasters. Gel blasters are mainly made of water, so they don't really leave any stains or residue. This makes them perfect for use in your own backyard. Paintballs, on the other hand, can leave stains that won't come out for days.
This is totally fine if you don't mind your clothes getting dirty. But if you're playing in your backyard, you might end up staining the exterior of your home, ruining its curb appeal and property value. For mess-free and low-maintenance gaming, choose gel balls.
The best thing about gel balls is that they're made from non-toxic and 100% biodegradable materials. In fact, gel balls explode on impact and evaporate almost seconds after contact. So aside from being mess-free, they are also completely environmentally friendly.
As we mentioned before, paintballs can either be filled with an oil-based substance or PEG. The oil-based fillings tend to be toxic and harmful to the environment, but the PEG fillings aren't and are also biodegradable. So if you're choosing paintball, you have to ensure that you're getting ones filled with PEG and not an oil-based filling.
Entry-level paintball guns tend to cost around $300—that's just the gun. You still have to spend on different paintball protection gear, which can cost you an additional $200 to $300. Meanwhile, you can find high-quality gel blasters for less than $150.
Not to mention, the only protection you need for a gel blaster is a pair of glasses or goggles which most likely already comes with the gel blaster gun. Gel ball packs are also incredibly cheap and only cost less than $20, while paintballs cost about $35 to $60 a box.
Gel Blaster vs Paintball: Which One Is Better?
Although gel blasters and paintball guns can both be used in skirmishes and are incredibly fun to play with, that's about all they have in common.
A person playing with paintballs can't play against someone using a gel blaster and vise versa. That's because they use different ammunition and firing mechanisms. They also differ largely when it comes to safety, legality, and so on.
Both are great, but paintball tends to be a bit more unsafe - not just for participants, but the environment, too. That's why we consider gel blaster to be the #1 paintball alternative currently on the market. Want to get started? Keep reading!
Get Your Very Own Gel Blaster Today!
The Gel Blaster Surge is the number one gel gun on the market. It can shoot over 100 feet away and even has an adjustable FPS velocity barrel that can be turned down to as low as 90 FPS or cranked up to as high as 170 FPS.
The best part is, it comes with two blaster modes. For accurate and precise shots, use the single blaster mode. But if you want to rain fire on your opponents, switch to full auto mode. The Gel Blaster Surge also comes with a built-in rechargeable lithium battery that can last up to 5 hours of non-stop use. All it takes is one hour of charge time, and you can use it for another 5 hours—the action just never stops!
Each Gel Blaster Surge comes with a pack of our patented gel blaster pellets or Gellets. One pack contains 10,000 Gellets that can fill up 12 Hopper Holds. Plus, it comes with a pair of eye protection and a USB C charging cable. Oh, and the Gel Blaster Surge is completely customizable too. Switch out your fins and tips with the color of your choice and match it with different colored Gellets too.
Get your very own Gel Blaster today and battle it out with your closest friends and family members!