3/8 VS 1/4 Air Hose – Full Comparison

Garden and yard care includes so many different things, and every little detail is very important. Starting with the lawn mower, ending with the air hose, everything requires proper knowledge. 

As for me, choosing the right type of water and air hoses was a challenge. Until I got fed up and started figuring them out. If you have to get a new air hose and do not know what option to choose, you are reading the right article.


To say generally, 3/8  air hoses are larger in diameter in comparison to 1/4 hoses. Therefore, it has a larger space for airflow. 1/4 air hoses, on the other hand, are lightweight. Another difference when comparing 3/8 and 1/4 air hoses is the price. 1/4 inch diameter hose is typically cheaper in comparison to 3/8 inch.

What Is a 3/8 Air Hose?

3/8 air hose has an inside diameter of 3/8 inches. Materials that are used to make 3/8 air hoses include rubber, PVC, polyurethane, and hybrid. They can withstand temperatures between -40 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. 

What Is a 1/4 Air Hose?

1/4 air hoses have diameters of 1/4 inch inside. They are used for home tasks and lesser compressors. 1/4 air hose has moderate durability and moderate corrosion resistance. Materials often include nylon, PVC,  hybrid, and polyurethane. It can tolerate temperatures between -22 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How Are 3/8 And 1/4 Different?

In comparison to 3/4 hoses, 1/4 is lightweight. This makes them easily portable. Those types are approximately two times smaller in comparison to the 3/8 hoses.  However, one of its cons is that it can not be used in high-end applications. 


Air hoses are not expensive and are easy to find. For example, the 3/8 inch diameter rubber hose can cost around $10. However, in this case, the length of the hose will be 3 feet long. 

The hybrid hose price is almost the same as the rubber ones. 3 feet long hybrid hose can be around $10. Polyurethane hose is typically cheaper, and for $10, you may get one that is 25 feet long. 

As for 1/4 air hoses, they tend to be cheaper in comparison to 3/8 ones. For a nylon material hose, $7 will be enough for the length of 25 feet. As for the hybrid hose, 25 feet long can be around $25. 

To conclude, the price range of a 3/8 air hose can be between $9 to $545. On the other hand, the price range of 1/4 hose can vary from $8 to $285. 

How Are 3/8 And 1/4 Similar?

Air hoses that are found in the stores can resist pressure amounts of 300 PSI. Yet, in most cases, the PSI level is adjustable. A recommendation is to set the pressure level to 90 PSI. This can work on both, 3/4 and 1/4  air hoses.

Typically, materials that are used in air hoses vary and can be similar for 3/8 and 1/4 hoses. They can be either hybrid, polyurethane, rubber, or PVC. 

From my experience, hoses that are made from rubber are better. They are more flexible and can withstand frost and cold weather. Another advantage is its durability and lightweight. Yet, the rubber air hoses are difficult to find. The PVC hoses tend to be stiffer which makes them hard to twist. 

What Are The Advantages Of 3/8 Air Hose?

A 3/8 air hose can be used for high-pressure tools such as air polishers. It means that the hose can do just fine with high-powered equipment. However, you can not use it with gadgets that need low power.

3/8 inches air hoses are adaptable to specific equipment. The corrosion resistance of those hoses is also high. It has a high durability level.  

What Are The Advantages Of 1/4 Air Hose?

If you have Samplers and Nailers, most likely will need a 1/4 inch air hose. This one is best for light-duty tools. The weight of 1/4  air hose is light and therefore, they are easy to carry around and store. 

When Should You Get A 3/8 Air Hose?

When you need the air hose for high-powered equipment such as an air polisher, you need to get a 3/8 air hose. 

When Should You Get A 1/4 Air Hose?

If your main work is  DIYing, then the high pressure won’t be needed and the low pressure will do just fine. So, in this case, you can get a 1/4 air hose. 

Comparison Table

3/8 Inch air hose1/4 Inch air hose
MaterialPolyurethane, rubber, PVC, hybridHybrid, nylon, polyurethane, PVC
PSI level300 PSI300 PSI
LengthAt least 3 feetAt least 3 feet
UsageFor High-pressure equipmentFor low-pressure equipment