Surface Area of a Cylinder Calculator

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There may come a time when you need to know the surface area of a cylinder. You could be baking a cake with some serious mathematics involved or you could want to find out the type of water tank your property needs. 

When that time comes, try out a surface area of a cylinder calculator. This tool will help you find out the base surface area of a cylinder, its lateral surface, and the total surface area.
This data becomes essential when working with any three-dimensional cylinders. A cylinder has two congruent bases and one lateral surface. Cylinders can take on many different forms, but they are often oblique or right cylinders.

If it’s a right cylinder, its two bases are parallel. If it doesn’t, it’s oblique. If you want to learn more about cylinders, their formulas, and their parameters, then read on.

Finding the Surface Area of a Cylinder

The easiest way to find a cylinder’s surface area is to imagine it flat as a net. Undo the shape as if it were a carton with something in it. If you can’t visualize it, then create it and work backward. 

When you flatten out a cylinder to this form, it looks like two circles with a rectangle. The base area surface is twice the circle’s area with a radius (r). The lateral surface area is the rectangle’s area. The first side of the rectangle has the same height as the cylinder (h). The second side is the base’s circumference. The formula for that would be 2 x π x r.

What is the Formula for a Cylinder’s Surface Area?

When you find out the area of a circle with its radius (r), you can calculate the cylinder’s base surface area. As a cylinder has two bases, you would then multiply the answer by two, using this formula below. 

The base area = 2 * π * r²

Establishing the lateral surface area is even more straightforward than that. A rectangle’s area is a product of its sides, so the formula is: 

The lateral area = (2 x π x r) x h

2 x π x r = the base circle’s circumference
h = the cylinder’s height 

Finding out the total surface area of a cylinder is effortless too. It’s the sum of the lateral surface area and base surface area together. 

The total area = the base area + the lateral area


The total area = 2 x π x r2 + (2 x π x r) x h


The total area = 2 x π x r x (r + h)

There are many reasons you’d want to use our surface area of a cylinder calculator. You get to avoid having to use all these formulas, saving precious time. But you can also use the units you want, rather than having to stick with one with which you’re not familiar. If you’re not certain, feel free to use another of our tools, the area converter, to help. 

Once you know the surface area of a cylinder, is there anything else you want to know? What about the volume of a cylinder? In the advanced section, you can use your parameters to find out as much information as you need.

Surface Area of a Cylinder Calculator

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