How to Size Welding Gas Cylinders


Correctly sizing welding gas cylinders is necessary to ensure you have enough gas to finish the job. Sizing varies on the type of fuel used and the length of welding time. A two-tank system (oxygen and acetylene) is the common welding container.

  • Calculate how much time you will be welding. Only take into account actual time welding and not preparation time. You will need 20 cubic feet of capacity per every hour of welding.

  • Vist the location where you will be welding. Notice if you can transport only certain size tanks because of space restrictions. If you will be working in scaffolds or high areas, use only "B" sized tanks, which are labeled accordingly. If you are working in a location where there is no limit on size, or you will be located in one spot, go for a tank with up to 400 cubic feet capacity.

  • Calculate amount of oxygen needed. Oxygen will be spent at an almost two-to-one ratio to acetylene. Double the amount of oxygen needed compared to acetylene. For example, if you are going to use 400 cubic feet of acetylene, you will need 800 cubic feet of oxygen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear a face mask, welding gloves and follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.


  • Photo Credit welder image by Allyson Ricketts from
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