SUMMARY TABLE

Name

Image

Price

Rating

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SHERWOOD
C100 Aluminum
OUR TOP PICK

scuba tank manufacturers

4.5  /5

CATALINA
Compact
BEST VALUE

aluminum 80 scuba tanks

4.2  /5

OUR TOP PICK

scuba dive air tank

Overall Rating – 4.5  /5
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General Impression

New to diving, and maybe a bit of an air-guzzler? Or maybe you like staying down as long as possible. The Sherwood C100 has to be one of the best scuba tanks on the market for those reasons. This aluminum 100 scuba tank is negatively buoyant, at around 4lbs, and comes with a Pro K Valve for either Yoke or DIN regulators. Oh, and it comes in three colors; black, sanded and yellow, making it perfect for identifying different mixes.

Specifications

Capacity: 100cf
Materials: Aluminum
Measurements: 30.3” x 8”
Weight: 46.2lbs
Max fill pressure: 3300 PSI / 228 Bar
Valve type: Pro K Valve
Nitrox Compatible (%): Up to 40%
Buoyancy: Full: -7.8lbs, Empty: 0.0lbs

Standout Features

  • Great overall build quality
  • High PSI rating of 3300
  • Nitrox ready up to 40%
  • Great for tall divers, or those heavy-breathers
BEST VALUE

steel scuba tank sizes

Overall Rating – 4.2  /5
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General Impression

The Catalina is a solid and reliable workhorse. It’s the scuba tank you buy when you want to log some serious hours in a variety of settings; cold, temperate, or tropical waters, ocean or lake/quarry, recreation or Tec diving. Whether you’re diving on regular air or nitrox, this tank will accommodate. It also has a Pro K valve, so no matter your 1st stage fitting, you’ll be breathing easy with this 80cf scuba tank.

Specifications

Capacity: 80cf
Materials: Aluminum
Measurements: 25.5” x 7.25”
Weight: 34.7lbs
Max fill pressure: 3300 PSI / 228 Bar
Valve type: Pro K Valve
Nitrox Compatible (%): Up to 23.5%
Buoyancy: Full -5.8lbs, Empty: 0.0lbs

Standout Features

  • Slight negative buoyancy for greater control
  • Nitrox compatible to 23.5%
  • Comes with a complimentary nitrox tank wrap for EAN ID, and a safety tank boot

underwater air tank

Overall Rating – 4.0  /5
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General Impression

The CYL-TEC – A great entry-level amateur or regular recreational diving tank. The most budget-conscious of scuba tanks in this review, this cylinder is ideal if you’re starting scuba diving and want a tank of your own – so you can dive anywhere, anytime!

Specifications

Capacity: 80cf
Materials: Aluminum
Measurements: 29.75” x 7.25”
Weight: 35lbs
Max fill pressure: 3000 PSI / 230 Bar
Valve type: Combo K-style Valve
Nitrox Compatible (%): Approved, but % undisclosed
Buoyancy: Full: -1.9lbs, Empty: 3.8lbs

Standout Features

  • Budget-friendly scuba diving tank
  • Professional appearance
  • Combo valve for Yoke or DIN connections
  • Great dive travel tank.

high pressure scuba tank

Overall Rating – 4.1
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General Impression

An industry standard lightweight high capacity scuba diving tank that’ll have you underwater and diving like no other. This diving tank is an all-around star, that comes in many colors, from a trusted US manufacturer that meets DOT and TC standards (See Buyers Guide). This diving tank also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, great if you have any concerns.

Specifications

Capacity: 80cf
Materials: Aluminum
Measurements: 25.5” x 7.25”
Weight: 31.5lbs
Max fill pressure: 3300 PSI / 200 Bar
Valve type: Pro K Valve
Nitrox Compatible (%): Up to 23.5%
Buoyancy: Full: -1.7lbs, Empty: 4.2lbs

Standout Features

  • Heavy duty design
  • Chrome-plated marine brass fittings
  • High flow capacity valve
  • Won’t rust like steel cylinders
  • Great for divers who travel

steel diving tanks

Overall Rating – 4.5
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General Impression

Faber scuba tanks are an industry standard steel scuba tank seen across the globe at a myriad of dive shops and liveaboards. Comes in a variety of scuba tank sizes; the small scuba tanks are ideal for shorter divers on twinsets or those side mounting.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 40cf
  • Materials: Steel
  • Measurements: 5” x 7.25”
  • Weight: 7lbs
  • Max fill pressure: 3442 PSI / 237 Bar
  • Valve type: Pro K Valve
  • Nitrox Compatible (%): Up to 40%
  • Buoyancy: Full: -9.41lbs, Empty: 2.41lbs

Standout Features

  • Nitrox ready out of the box, up to 40%
  • Excellent for buoyancy using back inflation
  • K-type valve for DIN/Yoke regulator

lightweight scuba tank

Overall Rating – 4.3
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General Impression

This scuba diving tank will give you a great combination of pressure, durability, usability, and of course price! It comes in a variety of colors for personalization, or if you dive with a selection of mixes. An ideal all-rounder that will have you diving for years to come!

Specifications

Capacity: 80cf
Materials: Aluminum
Measurements: 30” x 9”
Weight: 32lbs
Max fill pressure: 3300 PSI / 228 Bar
Valve type: Pro K Valve
Nitrox Compatible (%): Up to 23.5%
Buoyancy: Full: -5.8lbs, Empty: 0.0lbs

Standout Features

  • Standard tank pressures
  • Brand and model are recognized worldwide
  • Selection of colors
  • It comes with Hydro and VIP

scuba diving oxygen tanks

Overall Rating – 4.8
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General Impression

Booyah! Who’s going pro? You are, with this scuba diving tank! There are no two ways about it, this is when tanks get real. A high-pressure tank that’s compatible with any regulator in the industry. It comes Nitrox ready, up to 40%, and has a durable corrosion resistant finish.

Specifications

Capacity: 80cf
Materials: Blue Steel
Measurements: 25” x 7.24”
Weight: 28.6lbs
Max fill pressure: 3442 PSI / 237 Bar
Valve type: Pro K Valve
Nitrox Compatible (%): Up to 40%
Buoyancy: Full: -8.05lbs, Empty: 1.74lbs

Standout Features

  • Great size/weight/pressure design
  • Nitrox ready up to max recreational limits

large scuba tank

Overall Rating – 5  /5
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General Impression

It’s hard to know where to start with this steel 100 scuba tank. It means business; whether that’s as a dive professional who teaches or guides, or deep underwater for commercial practices, this is the tank you want. With 100cf at high-pressure, this tank will not just get the job done, but you’ll never have to worry about running out of air. Standard white tank color for air, just add your EAN wrap for Nitrox and you’re good to go!

Specifications

Capacity: 100cf
Materials: Blue Steel
Measurements: 29” x 7.24”
Weight: 36lbs
Max fill pressure: 3442 PSI / 237 Bar
Valve type: Pro K Valve
Nitrox Compatible (%): Up to 40%
Buoyancy: Full: -9.41lbs, Empty: 2.2lbs

Standout Features

  • FX series approved by DoT and TC
  • Self-draining boot, and DIN/Yoke valve included
  • Corrosion resistant finish
  • High-pressure and max capacity for serious divers

BUYERS GUIDE AND TIPS
Best Scuba Tank

So, you’ve decided that you want greater flexibility in when, where, or for how long you dive. Why would this matter to you? Does owning a personal tank make that much difference to your diving lifestyle? These are some of the questions we’ll discuss in this scuba tank buyer’s guide.

We’ll start with the most asked Q&A: What’s the difference between steel vs aluminum scuba tanks? What are the best scuba tank sizes? Together with; how long a scuba tank will last, how much does a refill cost, and do cheap scuba tanks actually exist?

Steel vs Aluminum

It sounds like the title of the next Superman movie, doesn’t it? In actuality though, trying to make that decision about which tank is better for your needs can feel like buying scuba tanks is a super-human feat.

So, here’s the low-down.

Aluminum:

Aluminum has a lower tensile strength, which means the walls will be thicker to compensate. As such, the extra thickness then makes aluminum tanks heavier than steel in a like for like comparison. A result of this construction is that aluminum tanks are generally a fraction larger than steel tanks in their overall dimensions. This may sound like a certain downside; however, this means aluminum tanks are negatively buoyant when full. This allows your tank to change over to a positive buoyancy throughout your dive. It is reassuring to know that when your dive is done your tank will float!

Aluminum tanks are the most common tank used for dive shops. They’re also cheaper than other scuba tanks for sale, which is why dive shops have so many. Why are they cheaper? Because aluminum tanks have a shorter lifespan, due to their tensile strength which means they’re more likely to dent, scratch, or crack. However, they are also easier to maintain and are less susceptible to corrosion.

Steel:

The heavy-duty characteristic of this metal allows the tank walls to be thinner, making steel tanks slightly lighter in weight than their aluminum counterparts. Steel tanks have greater durability, are less likely to suffer from wear and tear, but this increases with exposure to saltwater. This corrosion means steel tanks need regular servicing, cleaning, and may require tumbling to remove oxidation from inside.

As for buoyancy, the good news is that steel tanks are negatively buoyant at the start of a dive, and they won’t change much throughout the dive. Steel tanks, even when empty, retain a degree of neutral buoyancy, but only just, which means finding your trim is straightforward and won’t change much.

Is one better than the other? Not really, as they both have the same visual and hydrostatic inspection requirements. Which tank is best for you depends more on the type of diving you do, and your physical build – see below for sizing.

Why haven’t we mentioned the new kid on the block, the carbon fiber scuba tank? Well, our research has shown that although some US Navy divers (US Department of Transport) have had promising dive experiences with these tanks due to their high-pressure capabilities, as yet most carbon fiber scuba tanks are not Department of Transport or Transport Canada approved – meaning there are still some causes for concern.

The only carbon fiber tank we know of that is being sold for scuba purposes is made by Luxfer, and has been granted a special permit to do so (DoT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration). However, we are unaware of any other carbon fiber DoT or TC approved scuba tank for recreational diving, only to supply air for air-guns, etc. As such, we would caution any diver considering these tanks as there are potential risks and many dive shops may not refill them as a result.

The other problem with carbon fiber tanks is that as they are made of a super-lightweight composition your buoyancy will need a major overhaul. This type of tank is significantly positively buoyant, so you’ll need to wear a large amount of lead to remain neutrally buoyant while diving.

Size/Weight/Capacity

Once you know which type of tank you want, the next important consideration is size. The first thing to consider is your physical build, and what’s going to be comfortable for you to wear. Shorter scuba divers might want to consider a steel 80cf tank over aluminum, as the tank itself will be smaller for the same amount of oxygen.

Equally, if you’re a female diver, you may wish to consider a longer cylinder as they have been known to aid buoyancy due to sitting lower over the hips. Ladies, it’s worth noting that tanks will have a significant effect on your buoyancy in connection to your exposure suit, you can find out more about women’s wetsuits here.

Either way, it’s worth remembering that you should be able to comfortably carry your tanks when on land. If you’re looking to buy a complete setup, tank, and BCD, then check out this link for advice on men’s and unisex BCDs.

Tank capacity is calculated by its size and pressure rating. Tanks generally range between 50cf and 120cf. There are three pressure ranges: low-pressure (LP) at 2400-2650psi, standard pressure at 3000psi, and high-pressure (HP) at 3300-3500psi. What does that mean? Put simply, the higher the psi the thicker the walls of your tank.

What’s the difference between LP and HP, other than numbers? There are advantages to both. LP tanks are more readily refilled as there are plenty of dive shops equipped to fill them. LP tanks also put less stress on your regulator and valve components – although, this is now less of a concern with modern HP tanks. HP tanks can hold more air, and a steel HP tank means you’ll be diving for longer with a smaller tank on your back!

One alternative is a compromise; a high capacity HP steel tank, and routinely not filling it to capacity. That way you have plenty of gas to dive, but lessen the risk of damage to your equipment, and you can always fill it right up when you need to!

Tank Lifetime & Underwater

This will vary between manufacturers and diver use. A tank that’s used daily and treated poorly will last a shorter time due to knocks, scratches, and general mistreatment. A tank that’s handled carefully, that has a boot or mesh protector, and is stored appropriately will fair much better.

However, no matter what sort of tank you have, you should always ensure that it has a maintenance routine which includes both visual and hydrostatic inspections, most federal regulations require tanks to be requalified every 5 years for solid wall tanks, so make sure your tank is in date! If you’re thinking about diving with EAN, then you’ll need an extra step, an O2 clean to keep you safe.

Refilling

Filling up a scuba tank sounds like it should be easy, right? Just hook it up to a compressor and that’s it. Wrong.

A common misconception is that diver’s breath just oxygen underwater. We don’t, it’s usually a mix of nitrogen and oxygen, with small amounts of other gases. Using a compressor that isn’t designed for scuba could leave you breathless… or worse.

Compressors that are commonly used in garages or workshops are less likely to have air filtration systems on them, meaning the air that comes out the end isn’t ‘clean’. If you put that in your tank, when you’re 100ft down it’ll be like sucking on the tailpipe of your car. Tasty, and potentially fatal.

So what alternatives are there? Only buy refills from reputable dive shops! If you have any doubts, ask to see their certification, all filling points must have a regular maintenance schedule and be certified to fill tanks. How much will it cost to refill? Roughly the cost of a cup of decent coffee, $3-5, less if they offer a loyalty scheme.

You could also consider purchasing your own scuba compressor. Just imagine, you can fill up whenever, wherever, and never have to queue again. Just be prepared to outlay some cold-hard cash to do so!

Buying Scuba Tanks

Now, the hard bit, where to buy your next scuba tank, and how much to pay. There are several options here, if you’re keen to buy secondhand you can check online, or your local newspaper’s classified section for scuba tanks for sale.

Alternatively, online auction sites also regularly list scuba diver’s tanks, and some sellers will encourage inspection before bidding. However, if you want a new tank, then either your local dive shop, online dive shops, or of course other online sellers.

As part of this buyer’s guide and review, we’ve included the 8 best scuba diving tanks we know are on the market.

As to price, scuba tank prices can vary a lot. There’s no such thing as an ‘excellent, near new, cheap’ tank, not unless you’re the luckiest person in the world. Realistically, to get the best scuba tank deal for you, work out what sort of tank you want, what your budget is, and go hunting. Be prepared to make a significant financial investment in your new tank, cheap tanks can retail at around $120-150, and expensive ones are often 3-4 times that.

REACH OUT

As always, we create our content with you, fellow divers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next dive is a great one!

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