PVC vs. Rubber Air Hose: What’s the Difference?

Walking inside a supply shop and buying an air hose seems like an easy task to do. However, you can’t just grab something without knowing what the different air hoses are and what the right one for the job is. Those experienced in this field will understand how individual materials of air hose can affect your productivity. Some can be too stiff, too unmanageable, or too coily to untangle. If you’re choosing between PVC and rubber, here is how they fare against each other.

Polyvinyl chloride or PVC is a synthetic plastic polymer that is one of the most widely produced worldwide. It is white and brittle solid in its pure form. The PVC material can be commonly seen in several household and industrial products, ranging from children’s toys to plumbing. Meanwhile, rubber originates from an elastic substance obtained from tropical plants with milky juice. It is an ordinary material in the industrial field, mainly utilized for parts of appliances, gardening tools, automobiles, and more.

Main Differences Between PVC and Rubber Air Hose

A rubber air hose is the best air hose for any job in any season and environment, although slightly heavier and more expensive than a PVC.

Most importantly, you should be most mindful of your budget and tangle tolerance besides weighing the qualities. Certainly, PVC air hose is the cheaper option, but If you want to get the best of two worlds, you can try a hybrid air hose.

In the end, PVC and rubber air hoses can be chosen interchangeably depending on your type of work. You are the most knowledgeable on what work you will do, so pick the material that suits the job well.

We listed the detailed specifications of PVC and rubber air hoses side by side for you to choose what air hose will do the job.


PVC is made from lightweight plastic that is scratch-resistant, stiff, and denser than regular plastic.

Rubber is made from a flexible material.


Rubber air hoses can be heavy, but the weight is still manageable. PVC is significantly lighter than rubber because of the material.


PVC is made from regular stiff plastic, but its durability is not the best. It can crack after several uses since it has a rigid material that is not pliable. Rubber is more durable since it is flexible, and its shape can adapt to your work environment.


PVC has a stiffer material so it’s harder to twist and more resistant compared to rubber. Rubber is also a good material with excellent resilience to snags and punctures, thanks to the outer mesh layers.

For sturdiness, PVC wins the game for its resistance because rubber is too bendable.


The rubber air hose is made from a naturally stretchable material. Thus, it has better flexibility than PVC. Although PVC is manageable in normal warm weather, you will have a hard time in cold seasons as it will become stiffer.

Kink and Storage

PVC will highly likely retain a coil shape if you’re storing it in long loops or a coil as the plastic material is not bendable. On the other hand, resilient rubber materials do not kink, and it is also easier to roll.

The kinks on your air hose most likely will emerge based on how you store and use it. PVC can be okay to use if you can manage by being extremely careful with your air hose. But, if you are someone who is easily irritated over these troublesome kinks and coils, do not buy PVC.

Environmental Factors

Rubber is versatile, and you can work with it in any season. Meanwhile, PVC can only be productive if you’re not working in winter or on a cold day. PVC gets rock solid and stiff in this weather, which makes it unmanageable. Rubber is easier to use in the winter season, as it is flexible and does not get hard like the PVC.


You can get around with anything if you are using rubber since it has a flexible material. Although it’s heavy, it is still easy to flip and adjust. 

PVC is more rigid, and it can be stuck constantly on things since it’s not as bendable as rubber.

If you’re doing rough jobs like mining, drilling, or construction, expect a rubber air hose to degrade faster as the material is not sturdy or stiff for those kinds of jobs. Meanwhile, if you’re working with compressed air, PVC is not the best option. The heat from the compressed air can cause faster erosion for your PVC air hose since plastic materials are generally heat-sensitive.  

All in all, rubber is more serviceable and versatile than PVC.


PVC is a readily available material, which is why it is cheap. Expect that PVC air hose wouldn’t raise its price sooner or later since the quality is subpar and there is a stable supply for the raw material.

A rubber air hose is pricier than PVC, but it is still not so expensive if you weigh it with its qualities. Overall, if you are looking for a cheaper option without looking much at how the two types differ, PVC is the best air hose for you.

PVC vs. Rubber Air Hose: Quick Comparison


PVC Air Hose

Rubber Air Hose


Stiff plastic

Flexible rubber



Heavy but manageable


Prone to cracks



Abrasive-resistant, harder to twist, stronger than rubber in terms of stiffness

Snag and puncture-resistant


Can be stiff in the cold

Flexible at any temperature

Kink and Storage

Prone to kinks and coils

Does not kink, easier to roll without coiling

Environmental Factors

Only good in hot weather

Efficient in any weather


Good for its resistance, not recommended for compressed air jobs

Good for its resiliency, easier to work with, not recommended for rough jobs



More expensive option

Which is Better: PVC or Rubber?

After weighing the difference, each material is good in different specifications. PVC is sturdier and can retain its shape in different situations since it is made from a stiff plastic material. However, this quality can backfire as it is not flexible enough to be as versatile as rubber. The rubber material is more useable in many applications and settings, as it can adapt well to its surrounding. Rubber is not the best if your job requires your air hose to not bend around much because it can’t hold its shape.

A small tip:
The quickest way to know which air hose you will buy is to sense if you need something resilient or resistant. Rubber is a flexible material for resiliency, while PVC is a stiffer material for resistance.

Final Verdict

Although both PVC and rubber air hoses can be good at specific jobs, if you want an air hose that can be your companion for any work, it is best to buy a rubber air hose. You can use a rubber air hose for any job, unlike PVC that is not adaptable to its surroundings. It can be more durable and useable for a long time even if it’s not as stiff as its counterpart.

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