Air compressor reserve tank

I have a one gallon California Air compressor with two regulators and relay for cutting. I think it doesn’t have enough CFM. I set the regulator to 35PSI but when it starts to cut it drops to about 10 and stays. I’m not happy with how my machine is cutting and I think the air is one of the issues.

I’ve read about others installing a reserve tank to either increase CFM or at least get my PSI up to 20 while cutting. Any advice or instructions?

Thank you

Some of those regulators need adjusting during flow, try that…

I think most of us would have to ‘see’ it to help you much. The inside diameter of the tubing is 6mm, so I find it hard to believe you have a restriction on the compressor side smaller than that.

Does it drop immediately or take time to drop to that pressure?
How long are you operating when this happens.
Do you have ‘tank’ pressure to see if the tank is empty and you are running on the compressor only?


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A reserve tank may not do anything for your pressure unless you only need airflow for a minute or two. It will give you a larger volume of pressurized air, but will also take longer to fill up the main and reserve tanks. Depending on what you are doing, you might need a compressor with a higher capacity (more CFM at a specified pressure). How long does a typical job last and how often do you run them?

Kind of depends on how big the other tank is :slight_smile:

Thanks for the responses. I connected my 5 gallon pancake compressor as a test and it maintained 30PSI during the entire cut. My longest cut may be 3 min max. I would leave the pancake connected but it’s so loud it vibrates my teeth out, hence the silent California compressor. I’m going to try a reserve tank with the CA compressor and I believe this issue will be resolved.

While you’re here, what is a general PSI for cutting? I know all machines vary but I seem to cut successfully with around 20-30PSI which seems high to me.

Thanks again for the responses

The key is how is the compressor cycling? If it stays on, it’s not keeping up with the requirements. If it’s cycling on and off, it would be working.

How do you measure this?
What is your regulator showing?