This article was coauthored by Grace Imson, MA. Grace Imson is a math teacher with over 40 years of teaching experience. Grace is currently a math instructor at the City College of San Francisco and was previously in the Math Department at Saint Louis University. She has taught math at the elementary, middle, high school, and college levels. She has an MA in Education, specializing in Administration and Supervision from Saint Louis University.
There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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A cylinder is a simple geometric shape with two equallysized and parallel circular bases. Calculating the volume of a cylinder is simple once you know the formula.^{[1] X Research source }
Steps
Help Finding the Volume of a Cylinder
Method 1
Method 1 of 1:Calculating the Volume of a Cylinder

1Find the radius of the circular base.^{[2] X Expert Source Grace Imson, MAMath Instructor, City College of San Francisco Expert Interview. 1 November 2019. } Either circle will do since they are the same size. If you already know the radius, you can move on. If you don't know the radius, then you can use a ruler to measure the widest part of the circle and then divide it by 2. This will be more accurate than trying to measure half of the diameter. Let's say that the radius of this cylinder is 1 inch (2.5 cm). Write it down.
 If you know the diameter of the circle, just divide it by 2.^{[3] X Research source }
 If you know the circumference, then you can divide it by 2π to get the radius.^{[4] X Research source }

2Calculate the area of the circular base.^{[5] X Expert Source Grace Imson, MAMath Instructor, City College of San Francisco Expert Interview. 1 November 2019. } To do this, just use the formula for finding the area of a circle, A = πr^{2}.^{[6] X Research source } Just plug the radius you found into the equation. Here's how to do it:
 A = π x 1^{2}
 A = π x 1
 A = π
 Since π is normally rounded to 3.14, you can say that the area of the circular base is 3.14 in.^{2}
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3Find the height of the cylinder.^{[7] X Expert Source Grace Imson, MAMath Instructor, City College of San Francisco Expert Interview. 1 November 2019. } If you know the height already, move on. If not, use a ruler to measure it. The height is the distance between the edges of the two bases. Let's say the height of the cylinder is 4 inches (10.2 cm). Write it down.

4Multiply the area of the base by the height.^{[8] X Expert Source Grace Imson, MAMath Instructor, City College of San Francisco Expert Interview. 1 November 2019. } You can think of the volume of the cylinder as the area of the base being extended throughout the height of the cylinder. Since you know that the area of the base is 3.14 in.^{2} and that the height is 4 in., you can just multiply the two together to get the volume of the cylinder. 3.14 in.^{2} x 4 in. = 12.56 in.^{3} This is your final answer.^{[9] X Research source }
 Always state your final answer in cubic units because volume is the measure of a threedimensional space.^{[10] X Research source }
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Community Q&A

QuestionHow do I calculate the length of the radius?Community AnswerThe radius is half of the diameter. If you know the diameter, just divide that by two to find the radius.

QuestionHow can I find a cylinder's volume when I know height and diameter?Community AnswerCalculate the area of the base (which is a circle) by using the equation πr² where r is the radius of the circle. Then, multiply the area of the base by the height of the cylinder to find the volume.

QuestionHow do I calculate the volume of a water tank?Community AnswerMeasure the tank and calculate the volume like a normal cylinder. If it's irregularly shaped, just fill it with water until it's full, and however much water you filled it is its volume.

QuestionHow can I find the height and radius of a cylinder if I only have the volume?Community AnswerYou can't. You need at least one of either height or radius. Since the volume V of a right circular cylinder is given by V = πr²h. This leads to: h = πr²/V ; r = +√(πh/V). What the above expressions mean is that you need to know two of the variables to determine the other. Note also that if V > 0, then both r and h must also be greater than 0.

QuestionHow do I convert cubic inches to gallons?DonaganTop AnswererDivide by 231.

QuestionWhat is the formula if only the diameter is given, but the height and volume are unknown?Community AnswerYou can divide the diameter by 2 to get the radius, square the radius and multiply it by pi and get the area of the base, but since you don't have height or volume, you wouldn't be able to solve the equation v=bh.

QuestionWhat is the volume of the cylinder if the cylinder is 1 meter full, and it's height is 20 meters, radius 1.2 meters?Community AnswerThe volume of cylinder: r squared times pi times height= 1.2 times 1.2 times pi times 20 = 1.44 times pi times 20 which is around 90.48 meters squared. Volume of water: r squared times pi times height = 1.2 times 1.2 times pi times 1 = 1.44 times pi which is around 4.52 meters squared.

QuestionHow do I change 800 cm into meters?DonaganTop AnswererDivide by 100.

QuestionIs this measured in cubic units?Community AnswerYes.

QuestionA classmate says you should use the formula (V=bh). Is this right?DonaganTop AnswererThat's true, where "b" is the area of the circular base of the cylinder, and "h" is the cylinder's height, as explained in the final step in the above article.
Video
Tips
 Make sure you have accurate measurements. Doublecheck your work.Thanks!
 The volume of a cylinder is given by the formula V = πr^{2}h, and π is about the equivalent of 22/7 or 3.14.Thanks!
 As a general rule of thumb, volume is area of the base times the height of the object. However, this will not work for shapes without equal bases, like a cone.Thanks!
 Make up a few problems to practice so you know that you will get it right when you try it for real.Thanks!
 This is easier with a calculator.Thanks!
 It may be easier to measure the diameter and divide by 2 in order to get an accurate radius without needing to find the exact center.Thanks!
 Once you've calculated the area of the circle, consider the multiplication by the height as height stacking. In other words, you're basically stacking the base circle up until it reaches the height of the cylinder, and because you've calculated the area, this equals the volume.Thanks!
 Remember the diameter is the biggest chord in a circle or in a circumference, i.e. the biggest measurement you can get between two points in a circumference or in the circle within. The edge of the circle should meet the zero mark in your ruler/flex tape, and the biggest measurement you obtain without losing contact with your zero mark will be the diameter.^{[11] X Research source }Thanks!
References
 ↑ https://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/cylinder.html
 ↑ Grace Imson, MA. Math Instructor, City College of San Francisco. Expert Interview. 1 November 2019.
 ↑ https://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/radius.html
 ↑ https://www.mathsisfun.com/definitions/pi.html
 ↑ Grace Imson, MA. Math Instructor, City College of San Francisco. Expert Interview. 1 November 2019.
 ↑ https://www.khanacademy.org/math/basicgeo/basicgeoareaandperimeter/areacircumferencecircle/v/areaofacircle
 ↑ Grace Imson, MA. Math Instructor, City College of San Francisco. Expert Interview. 1 November 2019.
 ↑ Grace Imson, MA. Math Instructor, City College of San Francisco. Expert Interview. 1 November 2019.
 ↑ https://www.mathopenref.com/cylindervolume.html
About This Article
1. Measure the circular base to get the diameter.
2. Divide the diameter by 2 to get the radius.
3. Calculate the area with the formula: A = πr^2, where r is the radius.
4. Measure the height of the cylinder.
5. Multiply the area by the height to get the Volume.
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