How to Adjust Pressure on an Air Compressor

How to Adjust Pressure on an Air Compressor. Air compressors come in all different sizes and shapes, and are powered either by gas or electricity. Small air compressors are great for occasional home use and small air tools. Large air compressors are built for heavy use and used with air tools that consume a vast quantity of air. All air compressors have one thing in common: an air regulator that allows you to adjust the discharge pressure (PSI or pounds per square inch) of the air compressor. Since different tools require different discharge air pressures, this regulator allows you to accommodate all the different types of tools.

Adjust your air compressor for the particular tool you're using.

Things Needed

  • Power source
  • Air hose
  • Air tools

Step 1

Plug in your air compressor. Turn your air compressor's regulator counterclockwise all the way.

Step 2

Attach your desired air tool to your air compressor. Refer to the tool's manual to see the recommended PSI for the tool.

Step 3

Turn your air compressor on and allow the air tank to fill all the way up. The air compressor will shut off when the air tank is full.

Step 4

Turn the air compressor's regulator clockwise. Watch the pressure gauge and keep turning until the needle stops at the recommended PSI for the tool.


  • Always drain the air tank before removing or attaching a tool from your air compressor. The high pressure can cause serious injury.
  • Too much pressure can cause tool malfunction or failure. This may result in serious injury.