Owning a vehicle comes with the added trouble of having to go to the gas station frequently to get something as trivial and significant as getting tire refills or checking the air pressure of your tires. This routine job can be irritating and monotonous. Moreover, imagine having a deflated tire in the middle of a deserted road or at the middle of the night when no tow truck is available.
Invest in a tire inflator, an equipment, unlike air compressors, to inflate and deflate on the go. Also, you can check the pressure inside your tires without having to make “paid trips” to the gas station. How rare is it to even find a gas station that gives you “air” for a refill? Very r-air, trust me!
The Jaco FlowPro Tire inflator with gauge is our best pick because it is functional equipment with additional features and tools and gives very accurate readings.
The Campbell Hausfeld tire inflator is our budget pick because it features a three-in-one inflation gun with chuck and gauge that is mostly made out of sturdy metal and features an easy-to-use mechanism at an affordable price tag.
Quick Comparison Between The Best Tire Inflator with Gauges
1. JACO FlowPro Digital Tire Inflator Gauge – 200 PSI
This heavy-duty tire inflator has several functions in one instrument, making it a useful and versatile investment. Running on just two AAA sized batteries, this equipment has a bright LCD display that gives very accurate pressure readings and shuts off after two minutes of inactivity. It is also easy to read off value with the blue light and large fonts.
The unit comes with an 18in. stainless steel flexible, braided hose and quick connect-disconnect feature. Also, it has two tips- one clip-on style and the other screw-on style. The bleeding valve helps release excess air in case of accidental overfill.
The rubber around the display screen is tough and will survive heavy use. The unit can inflate or deflate and removing all air is a very simple operation. The hose clamps directly and securely to the valve stem of the tire and you can go hands-free, when reading the gauge.Using this equipment is very simple- just plug into the valve stem and the automatic lock will secure it tightly. The inflation range is 0-200 psi and gives readings in PSI, KPA, Bar, or Kgf/cm2.
2. Campbell Hausfeld MP600000AV Tire Inflator Gauge
This three-in-one tire inflator with a gauge from Campbell Hausfield is a very cheap and handy equipment to own. It has a flexible yellow hose, a successor to the old red one, that is sturdy and is easy to maneuver, especially in hard to reach places.
The 2 in. diameter gauge gives readings between 10 and 150PSI- however, a few users have reported inaccuracies of about 1 to 3 PSI high and checking with a better quality gauge would help. The values, reported by some, also seem to drift. The lock chuck fits any Schrader-type tire valve and once the clip attaches to the valve stem of the tire, the user can operate it single-handedly. Most of the users faced difficulties attaching the hose: the chuck seems to be loose and let a lot of air escape.
This problem can be solved: there is a washer inside the chuck, which when cut off a bit, will allow the chuck to connect more easily and securely. The product may seem flimsy to some but some parts are indeed well-made and durable: you want to modify it a bit, adding separate extensions to make it long-lasting. The operation in this unit is simple- just squeeze the trigger to inflate.
It also has a brass button that works as a relieve valve, which will release accidental excess pressure.
3. P.I. AUTO STORE PIAS002 Premium Tire Inflator Gauge
This extremely lightweight, small and compact tire inflator from P.I. Auto Store is a must have for a quick refill of air into a variety of tires like bicycles, bikes, cars, etc. It is an accurate tool that quickly refills about 30 PSI in just 3 minutes. The unit get a little noisy and warm when operating. The best part of this equipment is that you can just set the desired pressure level and the unit will automatically shut down when it is reached.
It also has a built-in fuse to prevent damage. The screw-on connector style easily and securely connects to the valve stem of your tire without any leaks. A tiny amount of extra air should be pumped in via the unit to make up for any loss of air during opening or disconnecting.This small unit saves you a trip to the gas stations, which are becoming increasingly rare to come across. It is easy to set up and is user-friendly. It fits inside the car and comes with a case for storage. It is the size of a hardcover book- tiny and super functional. The pricing is great which means you can also gift it to people.
4. EPAuto Heavy Duty Tire Inflator Gauge
This heavy-duty tire inflator and gauge from EPAuto combines three functional tools into one so that you don’t need separate instruments- a gauge, a chuck, and a hose. It can measure and apply pressure in the range 0 to 120 PSI via the 2” dial with a rubber covering.
This narrow range (in comparison to a wider range of up to 200PSI) means that the intervals are more readable and efficient. The needle of the gauge sometimes malfunctions as reported by some customer. It may remain stuck at some readings or sometimes require a slight tap to get it moving by a few pounds.
Some users find the gauge off by a few pounds and you need to make adjustments or check with a more accurate instrument. The unit has an industrial type plug where it can connect to an external air compressor. It is very easy to use- just pull the trigger for efficient inflation.
The clamp is easy to attach to the valve stem of the tires. Some users complain of the connection not being secure enough and leaks occurring. You may want to press or hold with a little more force. The chuck seems
5. EPAuto Commercial Grade Dual Head Tire Inflator Gauge
This tire inflator with a gauge from EPAuto features a chrome-plated dual head chuck, a ¼ in NPT female inlet and a 12-inch hose. The sturdy, rugged, well-designed tool I affordable and a must-have for it is built to last. It resembles the old-fashioned, long-lasting models seen in gas stations.
It is an efficient and reliable instrument with a liquid-filled gauge that has a magnifying scale to read off the pressure. The scale has 2PSI intervals and a range of 10-120PSI. It is easy to use. The connection between the valve stem of the tire and the nozzle is highly secure and air-tight.
There is no leak with this high-quality rugged equipment. A few users, however, reported of receiving defectives units that gave inaccurate readings or readings that were off by several pounds.
6. JACO FlowPro Tire Inflator Gauge - 100 PSI
The Jaco FlowPro tire inflator is one of the best available in the market. It is a highly functional and efficient instrument to invest upon. It is made out of steel with a 21in. flexible rubber hose. The readings on this unit are accurate and precise, measuring in the range 0 to 100 psi, with the scale being clear and easy to read. The dial face is about 2.75in. diameter and it glows in the dark for ease. The rubber casing around the gauge makes it durable and strong.
Also, provided with the unit are quick-connect fittings and interchangeable air chucks (2 pieces). The connection is air-tight, with no leak at all. The air bleeder valve lets you easily get rid of any excess pressure. The bonus Teflon thread seal tape allows you to seal to prevent any leaks.Not only is this product an excellent value for money, but it very well-designed, accurate and sturdy. The company provides excellent customer service, and readily sends you a replacement unit lest your one malfunctions.
7. TireTek TXL-Pro Heavy Duty Tire Pressure Inflator Gauge
This tire inflator from TireTek is a solid, well-constructed unit for durability, portability and accurate reading. It provides a great connection between the valve stems and doesn’t leak air at all. This is best used for motorcycle tires. The chuck on this unit is angled making it easy to reach some valve stems but not ones that are angled beforehand. The unit is actually best used for commercial purposes rather than home use.
This is also evident from the fact that the pressure reading isn’t sensitive at low values and it is a bit difficult to stop at them. The pressure reading is slighter off by a few pounds: when the supply air is removed, the reading drops down slightly. If the discrepancy is known, you may account for it each time.The dial for this unit is large and it is easier to read the pressure values. Some users have complained of the unit leaking from the thumb trigger and from the valve connection but usage of Teflon tapes would solve the problem.
8. Exwell Tire Inflator Gauge-150 PSI
This tire inflator from Exwell is a sturdy, well-constructed and reliable equipment at an affordable price tag. It has a digital LCD display that gives pressure readings in PSI, bars, kg/cm2, KPA, etc. measures in the range of 5 to 150PSI. The unit is very accurate and it has been tested against many other gauges to give the exact reading. The gauge display has a backlight for ease of reading at night.
The unit comes with several accessories like ¼” male quick fitting, ¼” female threaded connector, 2AAA batteries, etc. There is a bleeder valve to let out excess pressure. A screwdriver is included with the equipment along with small parts because an assembly is required before it is ready for use.The hose is clamp-on style but a few users reported on the clamp not being secure enough and air leaks occurring despite pushing it in forcefully. The plastic hook for the gauge is not durable and connecting to a Schrader adapter is sometimes annoying difficult and time-consuming.
9. Vondior Digital Tire Inflator/Pressure Gauge- 200 PSI
This digital tire inflator from Vondior is a quality, heavy-duty product that is also very functional. The gauge reads pressure up to 200PSI and the readings are precise to one-tenth of 1PSI. Included with the unit are interchangeable air filler chucks, 1 pcs- steel 1/4" NPT male quick-connect fitting and a BONUS thread seal tape roll so that you can easily switch between different types of tires.
It runs on 2AAA batteries which are easy to change and access but need to be bought separately. No Schrader or Presta adapters are also provided and must be purchased separately. It is heavy, rugged and tough. Behind the product stands a manufacturer that offers superb customer service and readily sends replacement or refund if a problem arises.The LCD display has a backlight for ease of reading. There is an air bleeder valve and the readings can be taken at four different units such as PSI, KPA, Bar, and Kgf/cm2.
10. Motor Luxe Tire Inflator Pressure Gauge- 170 PSI
This heavy-duty, rugged tire inflator pressure gauge from Motor Luxe is extremely well-constructed and durable. Recommended by mechanics and technicians, it is an absolute must-have for people who have a lot of bike, bicycle, truck, car wheels or even basketballs to inflate! It works like a breeze!
The unit features a large dial with tough rubber protection around it, with the scale having a pressure range of 0 to 170PSI at 2PSI intervals. The readings are reliable and accurate. The Presta adapter, 1/4" NPT Male air compressor fitting, and a sports needle adapter are included for this tire inflator gauge, and the regular Schrader nozzle is attached with the unit.There is a bleeder valve for removing excess pressure easily. The press-to-inflate trigger is hard but very simple to use. The chuck is very secure and air-tight. Once bought, it will last for a long time. Not the most compact of the tools, it can fit a garage toolbox but not a glove box.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Tire Inflator With Gauge
Now that you have decided to invest in a tire inflator, you need to wade through the endless units in the market and choose one that meets your requirement. You may want to see if your chosen unit meet the following considerations.
One of the main concerns of owning a tire inflator is how are you going to supply it with power. There are some inflators that work with only the home outlet and there are others that can work by taking power from the 12V outlet of the cigarette lighter in your car. Tire inflator may also use one, two or three AAA batteries for power. In that case, you want to remove batteries if you are an occasional user or else the unit may simply drain power.
There are thousands of tire inflators in the market – try not to fall prey to the cheap ones because more often than not, they have inaccurate gauges. Inaccurate air pressure in your tires have can lead you to have low traction, bursting of tires, bad driving experience, or even result in accidents.
When you have purchased an inflator, you must check and verify its accuracy by comparing it with known, reliable gauges.
Some gauges are off by a fixed number of pounds and that, even though is not good, can be accounted for by subtracting or adding the same number of pounds of air during a refill. But if your inflator varies between erratic readings and fluctuates inconsistently, you have a problem and need a replacement.
A tire inflator is designed for portability and compact storage. They are usually 1 to a pounds for ease of carrying and storing. Most are small enough to fit the glove box when properly folded or coiled. Some will be bigger and would be better off in your garage toolbox.
The gauge of a tire inflator can be digital or analog. Digital ones are more accurate as they give readings correct to one tenth or hundredth of a pound. Digital reading, like all other equipment, may suffer from error time to time.
A manual or analog one is more reliable. It usually has a large, round dial and needle in the middle. The needle helps read the pressure level. Elderly people or people with poor vision may sometimes have difficulty reading it but it is not strenuous or much of a challenge anyway.
The digital gauges can give readings in three or four different units like kPA, kg/cm2, PSI, etc. The analog ones usually have one scale or dual scale that also gives readings in bars.
Most units come with spare or additional accessories that can help you in different situation without having to spend extra dollars. Some come with a Presta or Schrader valve adapters: these will help you when you want to use the inflator for bikes or bicycles.
Other come with batteries, dust caps, rugged case for storing the unit, etc. Some also come with male or female connect fittings.
The duty cycle of a unit refers to the time it needs to be cooled after you have operated it. If you don’t give it sufficient cooling period, the machine will overheat and get damaged.
Machines with a duty cycle of about 45%, may need to be cooled after every 4 or 5 minutes of inflating at about 100PSI. That is just a rough estimate that differs from one inflator to the other: check your user manual to know the characteristic of your unit.
Units with 100% duty cycles can be used continuously without the need for periodic cooling.
The price of a tire inflator varies widely- the more the features it has, the higher the price. Then comes the issue of quality. You can get an inflator at a price as low as about fifteen dollars and as high as a few hundred dollars.
Some inflators have this efficient and convenient feature called auto-inflate. If you set the desired pressure level, this will automatically shut the unit down when that pressure level is reached.
This saves you the hassle of continuously monitoring the progress of refill. If you’re stranded in the middle of the road, you can also sit inside your car safely, rather than stay out and watch it getting refilled.
Some units have LED lights at the side or near the gauge for ease of taking the readings at night or in the dark. Others have glow-in-the-dark dials. A few gauges also have an LED backlight for reading out the display.
A bleeder valve lets you bleed or remove excess air in case of accidental overfills. You can deflate the excess air by just the touch of a button rather than removing the hose and emptying and rechecking.
Reading our in-depth review on tire inflators with a gauge will probably convince on why you need to invest on one if you own a car, truck, bicycle or bike- it will save you trips to the gas stations and let you refill easily anywhere, anytime.You must consider factors like scale, sealing connection to the tire, length of hose, power output required, fittings, etc. when buying a tire inflator. There are many varieties in the market to choose from, all in different price range. Our list compiles the best of the one recommended by technicians and individuals and will help you narrow down your search.