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lonestardux
08-23-2007, 12:56
I'm looking into purchasing 2-4 air tanks for recreational diving with my wife. I'd rather not spend a fortune, so can anyone recommend the best type of tank and specs to get the most bang for my buck? Thanks.

NitroWill
08-23-2007, 13:02
I think AL80s would be your best bang for the buck..For around 130 a piece - dont think you can come closer to that..

chewyjr15
08-23-2007, 13:34
i agree i think that as other have stated in threads they are the most widly used tanks and they are used all over the world so for the price they really cant be beat.

mm_dm
08-23-2007, 15:06
You'll always find a use for an AL80 and if not, they're easy to resell.

No Misses
08-23-2007, 15:22
Ok, I'm gonna hijack this thread. I prefer non-painted tanks. It is my experience that once you start to get scratches (and we all do) the salt will hide under the paint, just munching away at you aluminum, until you have a pit the size of a dime and 1/8" deep. With non-painted tanks the aluminum gets a patina but there is no place for the salt to build up and start corroding the tank. However, you will have to take care around/under the VIP sticker and the boot. Good luck.

(OH NO! the NSA saw me type hijack on the internet, I'll be expecting a knock on the door soon).

WaterRat
08-23-2007, 16:30
No Misses is right on. Get the shot blasted or brushed aluminum 80's. No need for a tank boot either. 80's have a flat bottom. If you get colored tanks you will have a post on here called "How to strip aluminum tanks".:smiley36:

Ron

cummings66
08-23-2007, 18:53
Most bang for the buck, get an AL80 from Scubatoys.

Best tank for the buck is in another thread so I won't go there.

jeraldjcook
08-23-2007, 19:01
Yup, AL80. Shot blasted if you can get them.

CompuDude
08-23-2007, 19:09
Best bang for the buck, and cheapest by far, is used Al.80s, just be sure they're under 10 years old and in hydro. I'd say $60-90 each, depending on age and imminence of hydro date.

Second best is new Al.80s.

Third best is used steel, if you can find good ones.

Most expensive is new steel. But you have more options.

I prefer used or new steel. Not a fan of aluminum except in very particular circumstances that don't really apply to the diving I do.

mm_dm
08-23-2007, 19:17
I prefer used or new steel. Not a fan of aluminum except in very particular circumstances that don't really apply to the diving I do.


Same here...but those steel babies sure set me back a few bucks.

CompuDude
08-23-2007, 19:26
I prefer used or new steel. Not a fan of aluminum except in very particular circumstances that don't really apply to the diving I do.

Same here...but those steel babies sure set me back a few bucks.

The used steel prices tend to be not that far off new Aluminum prices. And with the price of Aluminum skyrocketing, that price differential is only going to get smaller.

Hollywood703
08-23-2007, 20:12
I have a few of each...I dive with steel HP x8-119's and my wife actually likes the AL80 as where ever we go on vacations, she knows that is what she will be diving with. It is really personal preference...I prefer steel...

mm_dm
08-24-2007, 08:33
I prefer used or new steel. Not a fan of aluminum except in very particular circumstances that don't really apply to the diving I do.

Same here...but those steel babies sure set me back a few bucks.

The used steel prices tend to be not that far off new Aluminum prices. And with the price of Aluminum skyrocketing, that price differential is only going to get smaller.


Quite true, but I'll stick with new tanks when I can. I already have enough used gear in my life- a used home, a used car, a used wife...

willardj
08-24-2007, 08:53
It really depends on the type of diving you are going to do. If you have a good SAC al 80 work's great for dive's above 80'. If you are going to deeper stuff to some st 95's to 120's ,but really get one of each.. What even better is a st 77(witch is the same as an 80) for the shallow stuff and a 95 or 100 for the deeper stuff... And the best thing is you can take a few pound's off the weight belt.

in_cavediver
08-24-2007, 11:49
I disagree with everyone here. First, go dive several different tanks and see what fits. Al80, AL63, Steel HP80, HP100 even try 119's and 130's.

Then, go for what you like. In many cases, the advantages of steel over AL are worth it. For instance, look at the wieght difference between a steel HP 100 and an AL 80. The steel tank ways less out of the water and it is negative so it takes less lead on the weight belt as well. (oh yeah, its also slightly smaller and has 20ct more air).

I like AL tanks for diving in a skin, for doubles in a wetsuit and for stages. Everything else, steel is better

CompuDude
08-24-2007, 14:38
I disagree with everyone here. First, go dive several different tanks and see what fits. Al80, AL63, Steel HP80, HP100 even try 119's and 130's.

Then, go for what you like. In many cases, the advantages of steel over AL are worth it. For instance, look at the wieght difference between a steel HP 100 and an AL 80. The steel tank ways less out of the water and it is negative so it takes less lead on the weight belt as well. (oh yeah, its also slightly smaller and has 20ct more air).

I like AL tanks for diving in a skin, for doubles in a wetsuit and for stages. Everything else, steel is better

How is it you disagree with us? I agree with you 100% on preference, but the OP didn't ask for preference, he asked for "bang for the buck". And once you bring price into the question as a primary factor, it becomes harder to justify/quantify the advantages of steel.

Oh, to the OP, I will note this: Steel has a higher resale value, as long as you take care of it. They also have the potential to last 30 years+ as long as you take care of them, compared to the average 10-15 years max lifespan of aluminum (in general; there are always exceptions).

subsur
08-24-2007, 15:12
you did not specify anything - what kinda diving is she planning to do, where do you live, how tall is she. Aluminum is definitely cheaper than steel and if money if your primary concern then go with Aluminum but depending on your answers to the above questions - small steel tanks might work better and you can get each for ~$200 ea.

cummings66
08-24-2007, 18:02
You know, I agree with CompuDude and perhaps when a person says most bang for the buck you could justify the steel tanks on better buoyancy characteristics and potential lifespan. I don't know.

What I know is this, I told one of my instructors once after moving to steel tanks that I'll never dive with an AL tank again, I'd forgotten that stage bottles are usually AL.

But in the traditional context of the question the answer I gave and the ones others gave is correct. You can buy more AL tanks for the same dollar vs steel tanks.

reefugee
08-30-2007, 12:20
Al 80 does seem best bang for the buck. But I am going with a HP100. If figured that if I am spending this much money, why not get what I want and will be happy with.

Capt Hook
08-30-2007, 12:28
Joining the chorus - for what you're after go for the AL80s.

in_cavediver
08-30-2007, 16:57
I disagree with everyone here. First, go dive several different tanks and see what fits. Al80, AL63, Steel HP80, HP100 even try 119's and 130's.

Then, go for what you like. In many cases, the advantages of steel over AL are worth it. For instance, look at the wieght difference between a steel HP 100 and an AL 80. The steel tank ways less out of the water and it is negative so it takes less lead on the weight belt as well. (oh yeah, its also slightly smaller and has 20ct more air).

I like AL tanks for diving in a skin, for doubles in a wetsuit and for stages. Everything else, steel is better

How is it you disagree with us? I agree with you 100% on preference, but the OP didn't ask for preference, he asked for "bang for the buck". And once you bring price into the question as a primary factor, it becomes harder to justify/quantify the advantages of steel.

Oh, to the OP, I will note this: Steel has a higher resale value, as long as you take care of it. They also have the potential to last 30 years+ as long as you take care of them, compared to the average 10-15 years max lifespan of aluminum (in general; there are always exceptions).

I guess for me, bang for the buck includes the intended uses and that determines your choices. Its kinda like shopping for a car and getting the cheapest model you can find even though it may not be the best choice for you or your needs.

I will concede cost is a factor in all purchases, I just won't let it be the first consideration when making the choice. In this case, the OP's best option is to dive a few tanks and see what they like for the diving they do. Then, move on to the cost benefit analysis. Everything I know now, if was outfitting a LDS for teaching gear, the tanks would be either 85's or 100's, not AL 80's.

Cost may end up being the deciding factor at the end but that shouldn't derail the evaluation process.

edit: I forgot to mention, best bang for the buck doesn't always mean cheapest option either.

scubasamurai
09-02-2007, 14:09
so the best value over the long run is steel, if taken care it will last longer and has better trim control than the al 80's. i gotta try some steel tanks. most of the lds are al 80's
thanks guys

http://diveriteexpress.com/library/tanks.shtml

i found this just looking around. some good information