How to Adjust Cut-Out Pressure on an Air Compressor

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Setting your compressor’s cut-in and cut-out pressures correctly might save you a lot of time and money. Despite the fact that the default setting on your air compressor is indeed the best, you may find yourself in a situation that will demand different settings. Let’s get to know more about how to adjust cut-out pressure on an air compressor.

How to Adjust Cut-Out Pressure on an Air Compressor

An air compressor usually has two pressure set-points, the cut-in, and the cut-out set-point. These are simply the starting and stopping pressures for the compressor. When the pressure reaches the cut-out pressure, the compressor will shut down automatically and restart when the pressure returns to the cut-in pressure.

Pressure on air compressor

This setting makes it easier for you to operate the machine because you won’t have to keep an eye on it and switch it off at the exact point cautiously. The cut-in pressure should be lower than the cut-out pressure. The pressure differential is the difference between cut-in and cut-out pressure.

It’s recommended to set the cut-in pressure first because the cut-out pressure is defined as the cut-in pressure + the pressure differential.

How to Set Cut-in Pressure

  1. Make sure the air compressor is turned off to avoid the risk of electric shock. Remove the cover of the pressure switch.
  2. You’ll see two set-screws underneath. One is the cut-in pressure screw, and the other is the cut-out pressure screw. The one on the left is usually the cut-in screw, and the right one is for the cut-out screw. Look for labels on the switch or refer to the owner’s manual for confirmation.
  3. Using a screwdriver, rotate the cut-in screw counterclockwise to lower the pressure. Turn the screw clockwise if you wish to raise the pressure instead.
  4. Connect the compressor and wait for the compressor to start. The pressure at which it starts is the new cut-in pressure.

To avoid electrical shock, unplug the compressor before making any additional changes.

How to Set Cut-Out Pressure

The cut-out pressure point should ideally be 20-40 PSI higher than the cut-in pressure. The procedure is the same:

  1. Disconnect the compressor.
  2. Turn the cut-out screw anticlockwise/counterclockwise to make the motor stop at a lower pressure. Rotate the screw clockwise to raise the pressure at which your compressor’s motor shuts off.
  3. Now start your air compressor again to see if your changes have reached your desired levels and are effective.

Ensure your adjustments maintain a minimum of 20 PSI of the differential pressure. If your pressure switch just has only one adjustment screw, rotating it raises or lowers both the cut-in and cut-out pressures automatically.

That is all there is to it. That’s how simple it is to alter an air compressor’s cut-off pressure.

Importance of Cut-Out Pressure

It is all about safety when it comes to cut-out pressure. Not just for yourself but also for your air compressor. Consider the following scenario; your air compressor is working with a tool that requires more pressure than your air compressor can provide.

The cut-out pressure comes to the rescue at this point. This setting causes your machine to stop before it reaches a certain level of safety. There’s a reasonable risk your device will break down or blow up if you don’t use the proper cut-out pressure.

Even if it doesn’t break down, there’s a good possibility it’ll have a damaging impact on your machine’s performance. The tanks on most air compressors are designed to withstand higher pressures. On the other hand, exceeding the safety limit will always end in an unpleasant outcome.

Air compressor working on the floor

Importance of Setting the Right Pressure

Remember to set the pressure as low as possible for your application while determining the ideal pressure for you and your compressor. Most compressors are advertised as 7 bar (125 psi) and are pre-set at that pressure when purchased.

If you just want 5 or 6 bars, it is preferable to reduce the pressure. Efficiency is also a factor. If you don’t need as much pressure, lowering the switch can improve the efficiency of your compressor, reducing expenditures and maintenance.

Cautions and Safety Measures to Follow

Because an air compressor isn’t like any other machine, you’ll need to have enough knowledge to change its settings. Before, during, and during the change of your air compressor’s cut-out pressure, keep the following in mind:

  • Depending on the air compressor pressure switch you have, the procedure to adjust cut-out pressure may differ.
  • Before moving on to the pressure switch, double-check that the plugging connection is detached. There’s a possibility you’ll get an electric shock if you touch the screws while your compressor is connected to the power supply.
  • Don’t set the pressure limit too high while adjusting it. Increasing the cut-out pressure makes the compressor not turn off and continues to run until the safety valve engages, the engine burns out, or the tank bursts.
  • Make sure there is a minimum difference of 20 psi between the cut-in and cut-out pressures as stated.
  • Every air compressor model is unique and comes with its manufacturer’s recommendations. Always check for essential remarks in the instruction menu. If you have any questions, contact the manufacturer or seek professional advice.
  • If you replace your air compressor switch with a newer one, inspect to see if the suggested pressure level has changed. The settings on pressure switches might differ from one to the next.
  • Increasing your pump’s pressure output can be pretty harmful. If the storage tank ruptures, the consequences can be catastrophic.
  • Assume you’re operating your air compressor after a long period of inactivity. Before making any changes, make sure everything is working correctly.


Although it is not recommended to change the cut-off or cut-in pressure from the original values, you can do it now if you want to. Safety is always crucial. If you’re not sure whether you are doing something correctly, you should always seek professional assistance.