To people new to scuba diving, one of the hardest choices they make is choosing the right regulator. "Which brand should I choose?", "DIN or yoke?". The number of options are intimidating to new divers, and the regulator is arguably the most important part of any scuba setup. We will answer these questions so you can decide for yourself which regulator is right for you.
First things first...
How do Regulators Work?
Regulators, as the name suggests, "regulate" the air from your tank so its breathable. The air inside is stored at such high pressures that breathing directly from the tank is extremely dangerous, especially underwater. The higher the pressure, the more air we can store. More air means more time underwater. A regulator takes that air and drops the pressure in two stages so we can breathe comfortably and safely.
The first stage of your regulator connects to the cylinder, and drops the pressure significantly.
The second stage drops the pressure to the ambient pressure, allowing you to breathe.
DIN or Yoke?
"DIN and yoke" refer to how the first stage of your regulator connects to the cylinder valve. "DIN" regulators screw directly into the cylinder valve, and the o-ring is part of the regulator. "Yoke" regulators clamp onto the cylinder valve, with the o-ring being part of the cylinder valve. Tech divers prefer DIN regulators, while Yoke regulators are used by more recreational divers. We at Stone Sports offer both configurations on most of our regulators.
Unbalanced or Balanced?
If you're a casual diver, or don't dive past 80 feet, unbalanced regulators are for you. When the air pressure drops during a dive, these regulators breathe slightly harder. Otherwise, you should purchase a balanced regulator, which are usually more expensive. These regulators are used for deeper dives and breathe the same throughout the dive. Both unbalanced/balanced regulators come in either DIN or yoke configurations.
I Decided What Config I Want, but Which Brand do I Choose?
If you're overwhelmed from the number of scuba brands, stick to the big ones, such as Aqua Lung, ScubaPro, TUSA, or Atomic. Talk to your dive repair tech or call your local dive shop to see which brand is right for you. Ask if you can test a regulator before you buy it. A good regulator should be easy to setup, reliable, and comfortable.
What We Recommend
For a budget-friendly regulator, we recommend the TUSA RS-1001 Regulator, either in yoke or DIN, depending on your needs. If you buy from Stone Sports, we will service your gear for free for five years, including parts.*
If you don't have any scuba gear, we recommend the TUSA Soverin-Alpha or Tina Packages. These come with a BCD (which we will cover in a later blog post), regulator, dive computer, safe-second regulator, and a mesh roller bag. These bundles are great for any beginner looking to avoid the hassle of finding the right gear for their scuba setup.
*Product must be registered with the manufacturer, and proof of purchase from Stone Sports must be given. Please read our Scuba Repair FAQ for more information.*