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Whats the difference between Single Stage and Multi Stage Regulators

Friday, 20th March 2020
Graham (Tech Advisor)
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Single Stage Regulators

A Single Stage Regulator takes Cylinder Pressure and reduces it down to an adjustable pressure output.

For example, in the case of an Oxygen Cylinder, the cylinder pressure of up to 300 bar (4410 psi) is reduced in a single step to the output of 0-4 bar (for example).

The main advantage of a Single Stage Regulator is price. Simply put, they’re cheaper than Multi Stage Regulators.

Single Stage Oxygen Regulator
0-4 bar Oxygen Regulator (for example)

Multi Stage Regulators

A Multi Stage Regulator uses its 1st stage to reduce Cylinder Pressure to around 100 psi (6.8 bar). It then uses its adjustable 2nd stage to deliver the output pressure required by the operator.

Multi Stage Regulator
Multi Stage Regulator (for example)

Multi Stage Regulators offers two key advantages over Single Stage Regulators.

Multi Stage Regulator Output pressure is more stable.

This is because the second stage of a Multi Stage Regulator is only reducing pressure from around 7 bar to the output range of 0-4 bar (for example), while a Single Stage Regulator is reducing from around 300 bar to 0-4 bar.

Reducing cylinder pressure in 2 steps results in greater output pressure stability and consistency. Stable, Consistent output pressure is especially important where a very low pressure is required – very small flame torches for example.

Secondly, where high gas consumption is used, the delivery pressure is more consistent over the life of the cylinder. This is because as cylinder pressure drops, a Single Stage Regulator will gradually deliver a higher and higher gas pressure. This will necessitate regular adjustment to maintain delivery pressure.

A Multi Stage Regulator offers much more consistent output pressure because the depleting cylinder pressure has little effect on the adjustable second stage.


If you need your Gas Regulators to be cheap, Single Stage Regulators are likely to be your best choice.

If consistency of delivery pressure during high gas consumption applications is important to you, Multi Stage Regulators are likely to be a better choice.

If you use micro torches (Model ‘O’ or Little Torch for example), the greater outlet pressure stability of Multi Stage Regulators will be a significant advantage for you.

I hope you found this blog article about the difference between Single Stage and Multi Stage Regulators useful.

Please let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment.  

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