What Is An Air Compressor Regulator

What Is An Air Compressor Regulator

As the name implies, an Air compressor regulator regulates the air between the tank and the appliance the pipe is connected to. It is also a control valve that allows you to increase or decrease the airflow within a given application based on your needs with specific tools.

Note that the pressure regulator can only decrease pressure from the air compressor; it cannot increase the pressure above the PSI produced by the compressor. Thus, the air compressor does not run continuously; it will cycle off when it reaches the maximum PSI setting for your system and then cycle back on again when the pressure drops below a set point.

They are a lot of fascinating mysteries you need to know about an air compressor regulator that’s more reason you should read this article to the end as it will provide detailed information about an air compressor regulator.

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What is an Air Compressor Regulator

An Air Compressor Regulator is a Mechanical device that regulates the air between the tank and the appliance the pipe is connected to. It is used to lower the pressure when using an application so that it doesn’t get a high pressure it can’t handle. For each application to get the right amount of pressure, you need to make sure that the settings are correct.

How to Regulate an Air Compressor 

When a pneumatic tool is introduced or we say attached to an air compressor, you must change the pressure of the tool in question in order to meet the PSI requirement of the said tool. It is very essential to know how to regulate the air compressor pressure regulator of the tool before interchanging tools for another.

Below is the list of steps you need to adhere to when regulating an air compressor.

Power on the Air Compressor:

To carry out accurate adjustments on the pressure gauge, you will first of all put on the air compressor and make it warm before starting operations. The tank is expected to be left for some minutes to be filled up with new pressurized air. The noise emitted from the compressor after you turn on the power should indicate whether the initial air pressurization is successful.

Check the tool PSI compatibility:

Once the tank is successfully full of air, the next criterion is to check the PSI of the pneumatic tool to be used. If the PSI requirement is greater than the capacity of the air compressor, it is advisable to use the tool for some different air compressors with the same capacity.

Connect the Tool and Air Hose:

Attach the pneumatic tool to an air hose and then attach that hose to the air compressor. If you are connecting this tool for the first time, look for the port on the instrument. If you are unable to pinpoint this feature, consult the user’s manual to find the port.

Adjust the Pressure Regulator:

The next step is to adjust the settings on the pressure regulator to match the PSI requirements specified on the tool. The knob in the regulator is then used to set the desired pressure level. It could be clockwise or counter-clockwise to increase or decrease the pressure output.

Unlock the Regulator Knob:

The majority of regulator knobs have a locking feature that you will need to release to turn the knob. In some cases, you will encounter difficulties in releasing the knob from its locked position. It is always best to consult the manufacturer’s manual for information to unlock the regulator knob

Adjust the Pressure Up or Down:

To intensify the pressure inside the air tank of the compressor, turn the regulator knob in a clockwise direction. The increase in pressure should be readily apparent from the sound of the machine and the readings on the monitor. Once you bring the regulator to the desired pressure, push the knob back in to lock that setting in place.

If you need to decrease the pressure, perform the last step in reverse: turn the regulator knob counterclockwise until the pressure is lowered to the desired level, then push the knob back into the locked position.

Read also: What PSI Should I Set My Air Compressor for Tires

Functions of an Air Compressor Regulator

  • Air Compressor Regulators are designed to provide maximum flow capacity and maintain the outlet pressure at the set level.
  • Visually, it is easy to read because of its monitor that shows the exact pressure at each level.
  • Air compressor regulators are used to provide a constant outlet of pressure, separately from the inlet pressure or flow.
  • On each pneumatic tool within your arsenal, there will be a PSI number. You must set the regulator to that same number for the tool to function as intended.
  • It controls the flow of air that passes through the system
  • It is essentially needed to protect your air tools.

Best Air Compressor Regulators

1. G1/4 inch Air Compressor AFC2000 Oil Water Separator Regulator Trap Filter Airbrush (10MM- $17.59)

The AFC2000 air filter regulator adjusts the main air passage to the pressure required by the control equipment after decompression. It maintains a stable outlet pressure despite inlet pressure and flow fluctuation. It also maintains a stable output, if the output pressure is higher than the set pressure. Check out this product on Amazon.

2. Reboot Compressed air Regulator 1/4″ Water Separator Pressure Reducer Moisture Trap Oil Water Lubricator 

This air compressor Regulator is light and small in size which makes the installation process very easy. It filters small particles out and keeps the air clean. Regardless of the size of the inlet pressure and the flow fluctuations, you always maintain a constant outlet pressure. View product specifications on Amazon

3. Testyu 1/4 inch Compressed Air Water Separator Pressure Reducer, Compressed Air Regulator with Water Separator, and German Quick Couplings for Compressor Filter

It is an effective maintenance unit with a filter and water separator for compressors. It is pricey and affordable. Protect compressed air equipment from mechanical water and impurities, keeps the working pressure constant compact regulator for even air output and gentle compressor run. View the Product on Amazon. 

Uses of Air Compressor Regulator 

There are numerous practical uses for an Air Compressor Regulator. Below are the distinct uses of an air compressor regulator:

  1. There are used in connection to air tools and other small appliances
  2. It is mainly used to lower the pressure so that the application in question doesn’t receive a higher pressure it can’t handle.
  3. It is used to reduce the pressure in pneumatic circuits.
  4. It helps to reduce air consumption and compressed air waste.


In summary, Air Compressor Regulator mainly regulates the air between the tank and the appliances it is connected to.

I have written about some of the best air compressor regulators and their various specifications so you won’t be misled to price bidding what’s not it and prevents wastage.

I have provided useful information based on research and personal experiment that will guide you on how to regulate an air compressor, together with why you need an air compressor regulator.