How to Remove Regulator from Paintball Tank

A paintball regulator is an important part of any paintball gun; especially if you’re trying to take your gaming skills to the next level. But if for whatever reason you end up needing to replace your regulator, you need to know how to avoid damaging this important piece of equipment.

How to remove the regulator from paintball tank:

  1. Release compressed air.
  2. Take off the gauge.
  3. Place two slabs of wood around the regulator inside of the vice and lock it in.
  4. Use a strap wrench to turn the regulator initially.
  5. Continue spinning the regulator until it is released from the tank.

Knowing how to remove your regulator and switch out your tank is always going to be handy knowledge. It will save you time and money doing it right from the comfort of your home. We’re going to discuss the easiest ways to remove regulators, as well as some helpful tips and tricks to make the process go smoother.

For easier presentation check this handy Youtube video.

Info: Don’t worry if you are not a handyman. After removing the regulator for the first time, you will see how simple the process is.

Always Make Sure the Compressed Air is Released

Before you even think about switching out your regulator you must always ensure all of the compressed air is released from the tank. For most models, you will simply need to unscrew to release the air. Check with your specific gun model to ensure how to properly release all of the compressed air quickly, safely, and efficiently.

Once you have adequately released the compressed air and the gauge is showing ‘0’, you will want to remove the gauge from the regulator. It’s easier than you think; it should slide off with ease, or potentially a little bit of willpower. Either way, you should not need anything special or tools to remove the gauge.

If your tank is free of compressed air and the gauge is off, you’re ready to start taking off the regulator itself. Depending on your paintball gun model, this will either be a fairly simple task or require a little bit more time and effort on your behalf. Remember that a lot of these methods will require tools.

Some Regulators Simply Screw Off

The good news is that there is a wide variety of paintballing companies that provide regulator tanks that simply screw off. It may take a little muscle to get it going, but it’s better than having to purchase extra equipment in order to remove it.

Check the regulator first to see if it is possible to remove by simply screwing it off. This will allow for a quick and easy fix without any expense to you.

Try Using a Good Pair of Pliers

If you are unable to screw off the regulator from the tank, your next option is to use pliers for removal. You will want to get a very good grip around the knob and begin turning, which may sometimes need excessive amounts of force.

Many paintball gun models have a special locking device that ensures the compressed air stays inside of the regulator. This is why it can be such a major challenge to remove it.

The biggest challenge with trying to use a pair of pliers is that you may not be able to get the grip necessary for complete removal. Some people have had luck by holding the regulator tank in between their legs and twisting the top off, but for others, it may be unsuccessful.

If you cannot screw off the regulator using pliers you may need to consider using one of these other methods on the list.

The Best Way: Using a Vice, Strap Wrench, and Wood

Using a vice, strap wrench, and wood will make the whole process really easy.

The absolute best way to properly remove a regulator from a tank is by using a vice, strap wrench, and wood. With these tools, you can easily remove the regulator from the tank without causing any damage. With other methods, you leave a risk that a part of the tank or regulator will be bent, scratched, or otherwise disabled.

  1. Always begin by removing all compressed air from the tank. This is critical, not only for safety but for ease of access. It will be far easier to remove the regulator without any leftover compressed air keeping it locked shut.
  2. Next, take the gauge off of the regulator. Doing so will make the removal of the regulator much easier. And with removal being such a challenge in most instances, it’s best to take extra measures to make it easier.
  3. Get two pieces of wood. These pieces of wood will be placed on each side of the regulator to keep it safe while being squeezed in the vice. You can also try and use other items if you don’t have the wood on hand, such as extra thick towels.
  4. Place the wood (or other soft, but thick and sturdy items) and the regulator in the vice, and close tight. The importance of using a vice is something that is often overlooked. However, using a vice will ensure the regulator stays in place and comes off without much challenge.
  5. Twist the regulator off using the strap wrench. If you don’t have a strap wrench already you can pick one up for around $5 at a hardware store. It makes the removal of the regulator extremely easy, so it’s a handy tool to have lying around.
  6. Continue turning until the regulator is removed from the tank. There are usually a lot of turns needed to remove the entire regulator, so keep turning in a counterclockwise motion until it is completely off.

This entire process should only take a few minutes to complete. The best part about doing the proper method of removal with a vice and strap wrench is that it will not cause damage to the regulator or tank and won’t require you to use any excessive amounts of force in order to remove it.

Soak the Regulator in Hot Water

Whether you’re opting for a pair of pliers or using a vice and strap wrench for the removal of a regulator, one key thing you should do beforehand is to soak the tank for about 10 minutes in hot water. This will ‘ease’ some of the tension of the regulator making it infinitely easier to remove in the long run.

Keep in mind the water shouldn’t be too hot that it causes any damage to the tank. You want the water to be hotter than ‘warm’, but not boiling. You should also keep the soaking to a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes to avoid possible damage as well.

Get Professional Help

If you’re not handy with tools and don’t think this is a task you can handle, the best thing to do is let a professional remove the regulator for you. They will know exactly how to handle your specific model without causing any damage, which can occur when trying these methods at home.

There are many places you can have your regulator removed. If you have a local paintballing shop, that should be your first option. Other choices include hardware stores or sports stores where they sell a variety of equipment. They will likely have the tools and knowledge necessary for removing a regulator quickly and easily.

Look for Specially Made Regulator Removal Products

Some companies are beginning to provide specially made products designed for easy removal of regulators. There are very few on the market right now as more and more companies are beginning to get on board with the idea, but a few companies have already made these tools.

Check to see if your specific paintball gun company has a tool for easy removal.


The best way to remove the regulator from the tank is to use a vice, strap wrench, and slabs of wood. Always make sure the compressed air is entirely released before removing the regulator, and consider soaking the tank in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes to loosen it up.