How to adjut cut out pressure on air compressor

If you’re using an air compressor regularly, it’s necessary to maintain the pressure on the tank so that it doesn’t overheat. If your air compressor is overheating, you might need to adjust the cut-out pressure. 

Are you having trouble getting the pressure right on your air compressor? You’re not alone. Many people struggle with this, but it’s not as hard as it seems. In fact, all you need to do is adjust the cut-out pressure. This is a fairly simple process, I will show you how to do it. Keep reading to learn how to adjust cut out pressure on air compressor.

What is cut out pressure on an air compressor?

Cut-out pressure is the maximum air pressure that your compressor can maintain before safety valves kick in and shut it off. Adjusting the cut-out pressure valve allows more or less air to flow into the tank, which regulates how much work can be done before a shutdown occurs. 

Some Safety Precautions to follow before adjusting cut out pressure

It is important to follow safety precautions when adjusting your cut-in and cut-out pressures.

  • Make sure that the compressor is unplugged and that the tank is not pressurized.
  • Do not play around with the pressure when your machine is plugged in because you accidentally damage it.
  • Taking care of your air compressor is important and adjusting the pressure is vital for its performance. If you feel like you cannot do this by yourself, be sure to ask for help from a professional family or friends.

How to Adjust Cut Out Pressure on an Air Compressor.

It’s not difficult at all to adjust the cut-out pressure on an air compressor. Here is a quick, easy guide that will help you adjust the cut-out pressure on your air compressor. 

Step 1: Locate the pressure switch

The first thing you will need to do is locate the pressure switch. This is usually located on the side of the tank, but it varies depending on what type of compressor you have. It can be yellow or red.

Step 2: Open the cover of your pressure switch.

Once you have located it, you will need to open the cover. If you are unsure that you opened the cover properly, make sure it is on tightly by giving it a light tug. If you can’t get the cover to open, try loosening the screw that holds it in place. If you’re not sure, you will need to pull out your owner’s manual to see where the screw is located. 

You can now see what the pressure switch looks like after opening it. The cut-in and cut-out pressures are usually marked with written numbers, but you can use your owner’s manual for reference if they are not. Mostly the right one is the cut-out pressure, and the left one is the cut-in. Some manuals may show this differently, so if you are unsure, be sure to check with your owner’s manual. 

Step 3: Adjust the cut-out pressure 

To adjust the cut-out pressure, simply turn the screw clockwise or anti-clockwise to increase or decrease the pressure. 

Sometimes it can be helpful to use a screwdriver, but if your switch doesn’t require a screw, then just using your fingers will do. 

When you turn it clockwise, you increase the cut-out pressure, and when you turn it anti-clockwise, you decrease the cut-out pressure. You will need to increase or decrease the pressure based on your needs. Once you have it where you want, make sure you tighten the screw. 

If you are unsure how much pressure you should have, consult your owner’s manual for the proper setting. You don’t want to use too much or too little pressure because both will damage your air compressor. 

Step 4: Testing 

After you have adjusted your pressure switch, it’s always a good idea to test it. To do this, turn on your air compressor and let it run for a few minutes. If it shuts off, then you know that you used too much pressure. Turn the screw clockwise to lower your cut-out pressure and try again. 

If your compressor keeps running and never shuts off, you likely used too little pressure. Turn the screw anti-clockwise to increase your cut-out pressure and try again. Sometimes you may need to adjust regulator and test more than once, but you should be able to find the perfect setting for your compressor.

What Is Cut-In Pressure? 

The cut-in pressure is the air pressure that your air compressor needs to begin running. It is usually lower than the cut-out pressure. 

For example, if your cut-in is 12 psi and your cut-out is 50 psi, it will begin to run when the machine receives 12psi. When it receives 50 psi, the compressor will stop running. If you don’t know how to adjust the cut-in pressure, check the above steps because it is the same process as the cut-out pressure.

Why is it important to set the right pressure?

It’s very important to set your cut-out pressure correctly because if you do not, this can cause multiple problems for your air compressor. If you set the cut-out pressure too high, this will damage the pump of your air compressor. This is because if it’s constantly going above the right pressure, it will cause the pump’s valves and rings to wear down over time. When these parts wear out, your compressor can break. 

If you set your cut-out pressure too low, this will cause the oil to get into the air and then get onto your tools and workspace. This will damage the air quality and ruin your tools and everything else around you. It can cause a lot of issues, so it’s very important to keep the pressure in the proper setting.

Main things to consider when adjusting the compressor pressure switch

When adjusting the cut out pressure there are couple of things to consider, main points are highlighted below.

  • The safety of the people around you is important, especially adjusting your cut-in and cut-out pressures. The compressor should be unplugged before you do this. You also need to make sure that the tank is not pressurized, or else it can cause damage to your air compressor.
  • The next important thing to remember is that it’s a good idea to ask for help if you’re not capable of adjusting the pressure switch on your own. If you’re not completely confident that you can do it, then don’t try.
  • It’s very important to set the right cut-in and cut-out pressure because it can cause multiple problems for your air compressor if you don’t. If the cut-out pressure is too high, this can damage the pump. If it’s too low, this will cause oil to get into the air and ruin your tools and workspace.
  • The compressor’s power is also worth considering. If you have an air compressor that is not powerful enough for your needs, this can cause problems. It will not be able to run for the desired amount of time.


Having an air compressor with a proper cut-in and cut-out pressure is important for the longevity of your air compressor. If you don’t know about the required level of air pressure, I recommend you consult your owner’s manual because every compressor is different. It will save you money in the long run by preventing unnecessary damage to your air compressor. I hope this article helped you learn how to adjust cut-out pressure on air compressors. 


How much time does it take to adjust the cut-out pressure switch?

Adjusting your pressure switch shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes to complete. However, some compressors have more detailed settings that may take a few minutes longer. If you are unsure how to check or adjust this on your air compressor, it’s best to look at your owner’s manual for these specific instructions. 
The purpose of adjusting the cut-out pressure is to work for longer without having to stop when you increase the pressure in the tank.

Can I adjust my cut-in pressure? 

Yes. You can easily adjust the cut-in pressure. The cut-in pressure is the smallest amount of pressure needed to keep your compressor running. However, this is often a very low amount, and few people adjust it. If you feel that your compressor is not running correctly, you can try adjusting the cut-in pressure and see if this has any effect.

How much does an air compressor cost?

An air compressor can range anywhere from $100 to over $1000. It all depends on how much power you need. If you are looking for something smaller, I recommend the Makita mac 2400 air compressor. If you are looking for something more heavy-duty, I recommend an Industrial Air compressor.

How much air pressure do I need in my tank?

It really depends on how much air pressure you need. Mostly 40 60 psi is enough to get the majority of jobs done. 

How do I lower the cut-out pressure?

If you want to decrease your compressor’s cut-out pressure, do so by turning the knob anti-clockwise. 

By Matthew

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