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Pump tips?

Discussion in 'Balloon Sculpture' started by HugoTheTramp, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. HugoTheTramp

    HugoTheTramp New Member

    So, after spending over three hours standing under a direct, hot sunlight, with no chair to sit on, blowing and twisting balloon animals for children, almost passing off once and after getting some weird flashbacks while almost loosing my consciousness, I've decided that the thing I should invest on would be a good balloon pump.

    Any suggestions? Know any good pumps?
  2. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. Special K'z

    Special K'z Well-Known Member

    I would not recommend a filbert I have one and it works but it's just too much a struggle for me. I have greater success with my mini mac. I have a balloon vendor in my area Ringling trained clown who runs a balloon shop and does a lot of decor says he's broken filberts. They are light weight for a reason but that comes with a price. I've not broken mine but admittedly I don't twist like I used to. I just don't like the down stroke. I have to struggle and push too hard to get it to inflate. I might as well be using a hand pump. The filbert doesn't require maintenance and that is a plus. The mac does require that you uncap it and re lube up the ring with petroleum jelly. You may have to order a new ring yearly or so if you use it a lot but the maintenance isn't difficult. Just make sure you get the cap on correctly. I got mine on wrong and split the cap. I fixed it but it doesn't pump the same. Also the bottom stand can be prone to breaking off. it screws on and the screw can break if you transport it unassembled. But that may have changed now. My mac is like 5 years old or so. My filbert is like 3 years old. When I buy a new one it will be a mac
  4. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    I have never heard anyone say the Filbert pumps were hard to push down. Yours might have a problem. Most are feather light to operate. The PVC pumps I have tried are all harder.... I think it has something to do with the diameter of the tubes, like the gears on a bike. If the diameter difference is too great, it will be harder to push. That is why the 160 hand pump is so small.
  5. Special K'z

    Special K'z Well-Known Member

    The balloon dealer told me he had the same problem. It takes more force to push down. That is why he broke his. I've tried others who've had filberts and I get the same result. Maybe it is my technique but I can work a mini mac just fine. You are right about tipping. What I find is the filbert also comes up off the ground on the upstroke. You are supposed to put your foot on it to hold it down but big clown shoes the toe of the shoe doesn't have your foot in it so the pump just slips out from under the shoe. If the mini mac just had the handles with the open holes to hold your blown up balloons it would be perfect. I love that handle to hold balloons when I'm doing a multi balllon character. I can put them under my arm but I find them more prone to popping that way and nope I don't have hairy pits. I just must have tough biceps.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  6. V

    V Well-Known Member

    For around the same price as a floor pump, you can rig up a nitrogen tank. This is one of mine - 2 hoses; first handles 350s/260s/Rounds/Hearts/321s/etc while the 2nd inflates 160s. Mounted to a standard hand-truck, with attached tip jar and signage.
    10309735_693798784014919_1556745209325277753_n.jpg DSC_0513.jpg DSC_0514.jpg DSC_0508.jpg DSC_0509.jpg

    You can also, for around the same amount, get an electric air compressor and rig it for balloon twisting. If I were doing mainly outdoor events, this is what I would choose. 'Flower Clown' has a good set-up that can be found on Youtube, and is similar to what I use(d)..
  7. Special K'z

    Special K'z Well-Known Member

    Nice cute paint job and yellow coiled tubing on the tank. I went to get a nitrogen tank locally a year or so ago to do balloons for an arch. The only one I could find was bigger than I could handle even with a cart.
  8. Jeff the Magic Man

    Jeff the Magic Man Active Member

    There are many different choices for balloon pumps. To find the right one, you really have to consider how you'll be using it. Below are a few of the options on the market with some of their pros/cons:

    Filbert Pump:
    Pro: Lightweight, good price, colorful, optional collapsible model
    Cons: less durable due to material, other twisters and myself have had issues with the o-ring and some have had to get it replaced.
    Notes: With proper care and treatment, this pump can last you a long time. The material isn't fragile, but could crack if mistreated. The issue with the o-ring is just from normal wear and tare. A replacement part is just a few dollars.
    Aircraft Pump:
    (no longer in production)
    Pro: VERY durable, most models disassemble, side-facing nozzle, very smooth pump action
    Con: No longer in production, doesn't look as professional as a balloon pump should be.
    Notes: Although this pump is no longer in production, if you keep an eye out on industry swap meet/auction selling places you might be able to find one. Also, even though it doesn't look as professional, this is my favorite pump and has been extremely reliable with minimal/hardly any repair required. The pump can also be wrapped with a graphic sticker to make it more professional.

    Mac Pump:
    Pro: Lightweight, durable, many options, optional collapsible model, comes with great customer service and a limited warranty
    Con: lightweight affects the pumping action a bit
    Notes: It's a good pump, but due to the light weight you will need to hold down the base of the pump with your foot while you lift up the neck. This is the same with the Filbert pump. For the ease of transportation though it is a good trade. Also, with a wrap this pump could easily become more colorful if that is desired. The pump comes in black and white colors.

    Lagenda Electric Inflator:
    (several distributors, search online for "B231 Lagenda Balloon Inflator")
    Pro: Does not require heavy pump action (easy on the hands), small and easy to transport, battery operated
    Cons: Battery operated (requires charging & battery will eventually lose it's charge), more electronic and mechanical parts than a manual floor pump.
    Notes: Even though it has a battery, with proper maintenance it can last a long time. Not as long as a manual pump, but you can deffinately get your worth out of it if you are actively using it. This pump is not for those who would use it less than once a week. Having a battery sit mostly idle is not good for it.

    Hopefully this information helps you!
  9. Donuts

    Donuts Active Member

    I have a Pump 1 from T Myers Magic bought it like 30 yrs ago its not as light weight as a filbert but is sturdy it has been through hell and back with me using it for big shows it has definetly has served me well
  10. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Harbor freight often sells smaller sized tanks. As does paintball and/or scuba shops...
  11. Special K'z

    Special K'z Well-Known Member

    Thanks V. We live in a very rural area in land locked Iowa. Doubtful I'll find a scuba show in all these cornfields LOL. My kids have paintball tanks but don't think those would give me much nitrogen to fill up an arch? I've not done them before so didnt know how much to get. I don't do much decor anyway. Not my cup of tea really. I enjoy performing to much.
  12. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Small tanks definitely not for decor, but they do ok for balloon twisting. You could essentially duplicate the Qualatex 'MagicFlate' system for a fraction of the price by using paintball equipment
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  13. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    Not sure I would want to use a portable tank at an event, at least not without a backup. With a pump, you never run out of air... OK, pumps can break... but would still provide greater capacity to fill any number of balloons.

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