Have you ever woken up in the morning to find that your car tire has low air pressure? You slowly drive it to the gas station to check the level and fill it up, but it seems that the tire pressure gauge at the air pump is broken. There is no way to find out how much air you need to put in the tire without a tire pressure gauge, so you walk to the auto repair shop nearby to purchase one. Which tire pressure gauge is the best for your needs?
This guide is designed to help you make an educated decision that will help you keep the proper amount of air in your tires at all times. We will take a look at a few of the best options that are available on the market and the features that you want your new pressure gauge to have, but first, let’s look at the different types that you can purchase.
There are three types of tire gauges that you can purchase. Each has its benefits and weaknesses, so it is ultimately up to you and which type you prefer. Let’s take a look at each type.
- Stick Gauge – This is a thinly designed item that looks sort of like a ball point pen. Since the device is so small in size, it can easily fit into your glove box and be forgotten about until you need it. If you need to check your car’s tire pressure in a low light area, it may be difficult to read. This is often the cheapest type of tire pressure gauge, so it you don’t have a lot to work with, this may be the best option for you.
- Digital Gauge – This is a little bit of a more advanced pressure gauge guide. It measures the air pressure electronically, and the PSI is displayed on an LCD screen. Some digital gauges glow in the dark for night time use, but if the one you select does not, the screen is usually big enough to see easily in most situations. Since the gauge is electronic, it does require batteries to function properly, so always keep spare batteries in you glove box along with the pressure gauge.
- Dial Gauge – This style of pressure gauge utilizes an analog dial that tells you the exact amount of pressure that is in the tire. It is designed to give accurate readings that are easy to read, but it is a bit on the bulky side, so it may not fit in your glove box.
Features to Look For
As you can see from the types of tire pressure gauges that we listed above, not every gauge is designed the same. Some are higher quality, some are easier to read, and the features differ from gauge to gauge. Decide which features you want your pressure gauge to have before making a purchase decision. Let’s take a look at some of the more common features.
- Accuracy – If a tire pressure gauge is not accurate, then your tire will not be inflated properly. The whole reason that you are purchasing a tire pressure gauge is so that you know the exact amount of air that is in your tire. The best way to test accuracy is to use the device and make sure that it corresponds with other air pressure gauges. You can also check reviews for the product to see what others are saying about its accuracy and even look for certifications concerning the accuracy of the device.
- Increment Capacity – If your tire is low, you need to know how low it is, and the ability to pinpoint low PSI will help you know the exact pressure at any given time. Some gauges cannot measure low PSI, so make sure the one you select has this ability.
- Display – How large of a display do you want? Do you prefer a quick digital readout or are you fine with a manual readout? Do you need a display that is easy to see at night? All of these display features are important for a pressure gauge.
- Hose Length – If you are thinking of purchasing a dial gauge, then you need to have a hose that can easily reach where you need it to reach. If the hose is too short, reading the gauge could prove to be difficult, so make sure that you get a longer hose if you are getting a tire pressure gauge that uses one.
Best Design Feature
TireTek Flexi-Pro Tire Pressure Gauge
It measures from zero to 60 PSI.
JACO ElitePro Tire Pressure Gauge
It has a two-inch dial that glows in the dark for easy reading.
Accutire MS-4021B Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
It has an angled head to make inflating your tires easier.
TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge
The nozzle and the display light up to make it easier to see in low light.
Milton S-921 Passenger Car Tire Gauge
This device includes a deflator valve.
Accutire MS-4350B Setpoint Tire Gauge
It comes with a blue backlit LCD screen to make it easier to read.
1) TireTek Flexi-Pro Tire Pressure Gauge
The first tire pressure gauge on our list is the TireTek Flexi-Pro, which is designed with a heavy duty brass and steel construction. The Dial is a full two inches so that you will have no trouble reading it, and it is protected with a gear-style rubber cushion that resembles a real tire. This rubber is designed to protect the dial form falls and unintentional impacts.
We loved the fact that it measures from zero to 60 PSI and that the hose on the unit is built to last. It is designed from flexible rubber that has been reinforced to add strength to the hose and help prevent leaks from occurring. The hose comes with a 45 degree attachment to make it easy to use. We also like the fact that once you remove the gauge from the tire, the pressure reading remains on the dial.
2) JACO ElitePro Tire Pressure Gauge
The nest tire pressure gauge on our list is the JACO ElitePro, which is another dial gauge. It comes with a nice two inch dial that is easy to read. The background of the display is black, but the numbers are white so that they are easy to see. It also is designed to glow in the dark so that you can check your tire pressure in any lighting. The nozzle has a 260 degree swivel that makes it easier to check the pressure of your tires. If your tire is inflated too much, there is a bleeder valve to release some of the air. It can measure from zero to 60 PSI at an extremely accurate level of plus or minus two percent.
We liked the fact that the reading remains on the dial until you clear it, and the hose is designed to be durable and leak-free. The dial is secured with a rubber cover that helps protect it from falls. This device also comes with a satisfaction guarantee, which means that the manufacturer stands behind the quality of the product.
3) Accutire MS-4021B Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
The next tire pressure gage on our list is the Accutire MS-4021B and it is the first digital pressure gauge on our list. It is able to measure air pressure from five to 150 PSI, which is quite a range, especially when compared to the ranges that we have looked at so far. It does require batteries to function, but the good news is that the first set of batteries that you will use is included in the packaging.
We liked the size of the LCD screen because it is easy to read in any lighting, including bright sunlight. The gauge measures in 0.5 pound increments so that means that the accuracy level is to 0.5 PSI as well. We liked the design of the gauge. The angled head makes it easy to connect to virtually any tire and the grip is fitted with a rubber covering that helps you keep your grip. We also liked the fact that the pressure gauge will not continue to deflate your tire once the reading is taken because of the automatic shut-off valve on the device.
4) TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge
The TEKTON 5941 is the next tire pressure gauge on our list, and it is another top of the line digital style gauge. The feature that we liked the most on this device is the display screen because it is backlit in a very nice shade of blue that makes it easy to take a reading at any time, day or night. The display is not the only thing that lights up though, the nozzle does as well, so if you need to check your tire pressure in the dark, then you will be able to do so with ease. The nozzle of the unit is also designed to seal when it is positioned on the tire valve to give the most accurate readings possible.
The display is a digital one, so it does require batteries to function, but the first set of batteries is included with the purchase. After 30 seconds of use, the device will go into power saving mode to help save the life of your batteries. We like the ergonomics of the handle. It has a very comfortable grip that is sure to stay in place because of the non-slip material that the device is make from.
5) Milton S-921 Passenger Car Tire Gauge
The Milton S-921 is the only stick gauge on our list, but if you are looking for simplicity without all of the bells and whistles, then this is the ideal tire pressure gauge for you. It is designed as a single bronze tube that has an angled head to make it easier to reach the tire valve. It is an extremely durable device; in fact, the rugged construction is one of the most valuable features of this gauge.
The small, compact size is perfect for fitting into any glove box, even those that are filled with other things that you like to keep on hand. It measures a tire’s pressure from five PSI to 50 PSI. The only downfall of this gauge is that it measures to one pound increments, which is perfectly fine for most vehicle applications, but some bikers may like a smaller increment of accuracy.
6) Accutire MS-4350B Setpoint Tire Gauge
The final product on our list is another digital tire pressure gauge. The Accutire MS-4350-B is a gauge that is designed to measure tire pressure that ranges from five PSI to 99 PSI, which is a pretty impressive range. It gives readings in increments of 0.5, which means that you will always know how much air pressure that you have in your tires up to half of a pound.
Once you know the amount of air pressure that your tires require, you can program the device to remember the specific amount that your vehicle needs to make the next time you need to check your air a quicker process. The tire gauge is designed with an easy to grip handle that is comfortable to use, no matter which angle you are working with. We really love the blue LCD screen that is back lit because it is easy to read no matter where you are. You can read it in the dark or in bright sunlight with ease.
This pressure gauge even comes with a flashlight that can help you find the valve on your tire with ease in low lighting. It also comes with a five year warranty, which shows that the company stands behind their products.
Having a working tire pressure gauge is important for anyone who drives a vehicle on a daily basis because you never know when you will catch a slow leak that you need to take care of. Having the proper air pressure is important. Without it, you can use more gas, wear your tires more, and even put your passengers in a dangerous situation. Safety is always important, so make sure that you have a pressure gauge to help you know when your tires need air.
When it comes to the products that we reviewed in this guide, the one that we consider to be the best is the TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge. It has an easy to read digital readout that can be seen in any lighting, which is the entire reason for a pressure gauge. It is extremely accurate, and it is sold for a reasonable price. If you are looking for something a little more budget friendly, then the Milton S-921 Passenger Car Tire Gauge is perfect for you. It does not have all of the bells and whistles, but it is a compact device that will help you keep your tires inflated properly.