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Reliability is the key factor in choosing diving regulators. This is one of the most important pieces of dive equipment as it is your underwater breathing apparatus. You'll want to weigh a variety of factors when selecting diving regulators, such as your intended diving environment, frequency of use, comfort, and your price range. Whichever factors are most important to you will guide your choice.
Nearly all diving regulators are suitable for general recreational diving, either in your favorite lake or shallow ocean waters. Recreational diving is usually defined as no more than 130 feet deep, in calm waters. More advanced diving such as cave diving, cold-water diving, extended-range deep diving down to 198 feet requires a more technical scuba regulator.
Finding a scuba regulator to fit your needs depends on your preferred diving conditions. This may require basic background knowledge of how a scuba regulator works.
The first stage of a scuba regulator, which is the part that is attached to the tank, takes the pressure of the cylinder and reduces it to an intermediate or working pressure.
The second stage, or the scuba regulator, is located at the hose's end along with the mouthpiece. The second stage reduces the pressure in the hose to a breathable pressure. A balanced second stage scuba regulator typically performs the best for divers. Many second stages also include an assist, a venturi-like device that allows the diver to adjust the flow of air they receive.
More advanced scuba regulator designs have led to more comfortable and long lasting dive regulators.