Over 30,000 injuries on the road are caused by improperly inflated tires. A problem that’s seemingly irrelevant can harm both you and others — it can even be fatal. Finding out what the best tire pressure gauges for the most accurate results are may save your life.
Tire care may sound like a job for a professional; people spend half of their lives trying to become car whisperers. On the other hand, you can learn to be a hero in your garage. It’s the perfect excuse to wear a cape around the house — what else could you possibly need?
To begin with, you need to think about your safety. A gauge exists to show you whether your tires are in good condition or not. If the tire pressure is too low, you’ll have problems with controlling your vehicle. The road itself doesn’t have to be dangerous. If your tires aren’t in a good state — you can easily drive off it.
Once you start paying attention to your tire pressure, you’ll find that breaking is far more effective when the tires are inflated.
In addition, properly inflated tires can save you money. When the air pressure is in the Cright range, you’ll get better gas mileage.
When you take care of your tires, your drive will be not only safer but also more comfortable. You’ll be able to enjoy the full comfort of your car without experiencing unpleasant bouncing or loss of control.
Features to Look for When Buying a Tire Pressure Gauge
You shouldn’t be surprised with the variety of gauges once you enter an auto-part store or go shopping online. As you will see, gauges come in different shapes and sizes. However, a gauge’s shape or size aren’t as relevant as is its type.
So, you’ll get to choose from three types — digital, dial, and stick.
Digital Tire Pressure Gauges
A digital tire pressure gauge looks quite similar to a calculator. The reason why this type may be the most popular one is its readability. Thanks to a small LCD screen, you won’t have any problems reading your tire pressure.
Another reason why digital gauges are well-liked is their resilience. Both dial and stick gauges can get dirty easily — the digital ones are more challenging to damage.
Moreover, some digital gauges light up when you use them. If your garage doesn’t get a lot of light, this may be a good choice for you.
In addition, you should have in mind the battery life. The battery quality depends on the manufacturer, but chances are you won’t have to replace it for years.
The only potential downside is the size of digital gauges. When compared to the other two types of gauges, the digital ones are a bit bulkier. Because of that, you won’t be able to carry them with you easily, for example.
Dial Tire Pressure Gauges
The second type on our list resembles a clock. In this case, an analog dial with a simple pointer will indicate your tire pressure.
When you’re browsing through dial gauges, you’ll see that their construction isn’t always simple. Some of these gauges will require you to use both hands to operate them. So, if you’re not what you’d call handy, perhaps you should turn to another type.
Stick Tire Pressure Gauges
The simplest and the least expensive type of gauges are the sticks. They’re easy to transport — it will fit in your pocket because it’s the shape of a ballpoint pen.
While the size is compact, the stick-type may not be for newbies. You might have some issues reading your results, being that they appear on a small display.
Reviews of the Best Tire Pressure Gauges
As I’ll go through the reviews of the best gauges, you should first know how I categorized them. In my opinion, all the gauges on the list differ — you should take your pick based on your needs.
For that reason, I’ll sort the following ten products based on their size. This way, you can take that into consideration too. Let’s start with the largest one.
1. AstroAI Tire Pressure Gauge with Inflator
A 3-in-1 Gauge
What makes this product interesting are its multiple functions. With this gauge, you can do more than just check the tire pressure. So, if you need a gauge for long-term use, this may be the one for you.
To check the air pressure, you need to connect the chuck to the stem of your tire. Once it’s connected, the results will be visible on the display.
Other than that, this gauge coming from AstroAI also allows you to deflate and inflate your tires. So, you can get everything done in your garage — you don’t have to visit gas stations.
While you’re searching for the right gauge, you should also pay attention to its compatibility. With this product, you’ll be able to regulate the pressure of the tires on your car, bicycle, truck or a motorcycle.
Although this is a dial gauge, it still has some of the qualities digital ones possess. As garages can be deprived of light, you should really think about getting a gauge that glows.
A glowing display is another feature that characterizes this gauge. You’ll be able to read your results on a clock-like display in the dark as well.
Durable and Resilient
If you get a chance to have the AstroAI gauges in your hands, you’ll be able to notice its sturdy construction. This is yet another important characteristic — you want a long-lasting product.
Furthermore, AstroAI claims that it has developed a product that you can use in all weather conditions. A gauge like this can come more than handy when you find yourself on the road, away from your home.
Although the AstroAI product does have some great qualities, it’s quite bulky. You’ll agree that it’s not really a pocket-size gauge. So, if you need a small piece of equipment that you can effortlessly carry around, this gauge may not be the right product for you.
2. JACO FlowPro Digital Tire Inflator with Pressure Gauge
Durable Materials for a Long Life
JACO offers a lifetime warranty to its users — it’s because the team behind the product made sure it developed a resilient gauge.
Although the display is digital, you won’t be able to find a weak spot on it. It will stay in one piece even if you drop it. As you will see, the display is encased with sturdy material.
In addition, this gauge comes with a braided stainless steel hose. It has surprising mobility even if it’s made of steel. It’s easy to use and durable at the same time.
Inflate on the Go
Other than being able to show you the tire pressure, the JACO gauge also allows you to inflate your tires. A feature like this can be quite useful if you’re experiencing tire problems while you’re on the road.
Accurate Reading up to 200 PSI
A backlit digital display of this gauge can measure up to 200 PSI. Some vehicle owners don’t really need a device as powerful as this — perhaps you simply don’t need it. However, others will be thrilled to find it.
Other than an extensive PSI scale, JACO also promises highly accurate readings. With this gauge, you should be able to know the exact PSI reading.
JACO’s customers are quite satisfied with its gauge. All the complaints are related to the battery life of this product.
To begin with, you should know that you can’t replace the original battery with just anything. Even brands like Duracell may not work. My suggestion is to consult the support team of this company before buying a new battery.
Also, have in mind that the readings become less accurate when the battery life is at its end. Even the display shows problems when the batteries need replacing. If you plan a long trip, you should replace the batteries before you leave just in case.
3. DIYCO D1 Elite Series Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
Easy to Read & Use
You don’t have to consult a manual to use this product. DIYCO managed to develop a gauge that’s simple to navigate — previous experience isn’t necessary. If you get this gauge, you’ll find it incredibly user-friendly.
In addition, you won’t experience any problems with the readings. A quality LCD that emits blue light has a scale that can go up to 200 PSI. Moreover, the display is well-protected — the case should keep it in one piece even if you drop it.
Inflate on the Go
It’s always smart to get a gauge that has multiple functions. Other than showing your PSI readings, the DIYCO gauge can also inflate your tires. It’s a handy product to have in the back of your car.
Amazingly enough, not all vehicles are compatible with this design. If your car is older than 2008, DIYCO can’t guarantee precise readings. Therefore, make sure this gauge is compatible with your car.
Even though it shows a clear image, the product isn’t quite accurate — lots of complaints are being sent this way. However, if you contact the DIYCO support team, they should be able to help you — chances are they will replace your gauge.
Some customers complain about the speed of the system. According to user experience, sometimes you need to be patient with the gauge.
4. Rhino USA Heavy Duty Tire Pressure Gauge
In case you want to replace your old gauge because it’s difficult to read, this may be the product for you. The team from Rhino USA made sure you won’t have any problems seeing the results.
If you get a chance to hold the dial in your hands, you’ll be able to see a clear clock-like face. Besides, since the dial glows in the dark, you won’t have problems measuring tire pressure during nighttime.
Deflate on the Field
If you find yourself with overly inflated tires while you’re away from home, you can use this gauge to deflate them. Although inflation isn’t possible with this product, deflation is an extra feature that can be more than useful.
Not a lot of companies offer a lifetime warranty. However, being that Rhino USA is a family-owned business, you’ll be able to use this product for a long time. Rhino USA is a small company that appreciates their customers.
A rugged dial, a hose that doesn’t leak, and a pressure lock will help you keep your tires safe and sound. Rhino USA offers all of these features. You should also know that hardware is made entirely of brass, which will give the gauge a long life.
Although the company emphasizes the size of this gauge as an advantage, not everyone will see it that way. If you need a smaller product that you can carry around, I suggest that you look for another one.
A more serious disadvantage you should know about is the PSI scale. The gauge in question doesn’t measure over 75 PSI. Perhaps you won’t need a more powerful gauge, but it’s important that you’re aware of the scale.
5. AstroAI Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
Clumsiness can be very expensive. If you’re constantly buying new stuff just because you managed to yet again break something, think about getting this gauge.
What makes it so interesting is its ergonomic design — dropping it is quite a challenge. Your entire hand will perfectly fit around the product because of its shape.
Perfect for Dimly Lighted Areas
Losing this product is also difficult. If you use a more simple gauge that doesn’t have any light features, chances are you’ll lose it sooner or later.
It’s not something you should worry about with this AstroAI gauge. Being that it’s a digital gauge, your readings will be backlit, so you can see them clearly during the night as well. However, the nozzle of this product also glows. This way, you can easily connect it with the stem on your tire even if you’re in the complete dark.
Saves Its Own Battery
Another clever thing that AstroAI came up with is an automatic shutdown. If you don’t use the gauge for longer than 40 seconds, it will turn off by itself. Digital gauges usually have problematic batteries, but that’s not the case with this one.
Although the functions of this product are quite simple, some customers found it difficult to use. Apparently, there’s only one button for all functions that you need to press over and over again. It’s the only way to reach the desired function.
Also, there seems to be a problem with accuracy. Not all customers agree on this, but my suggestion is to repeat the reading at least twice to be sure. Considering that your readings will appear instantly, it’s not too much work.
6. TireTek Premium Car Tire Pressure Gauge
There’s nothing complicated about this gauge — don’t expect to see a state-of-the-art piece of technology. However, its simplicity is what counts; you’ll be able to use this product instantly.
Moreover, sometimes it’s best to listen to the professionals — mechanics love this product. Perhaps this appreciation also has something to do with the fact that you can use the gauge to deflate tires as well.
Long-Lasting and Accurate
Even if you let this gauge slip, the fall won’t ruin it. It’s actually quite the contrary — the TireTek gauge is highly resilient.
Equally important, the gauge in question is highly accurate according to the customers. Besides, you won’t have any problems with understanding the readings — the system can’t get any simpler.
Although it’s durable, accurate, and recommended by mechanics, the product still measures only up to 60 PSI. In case you don’t need a gauge more powerful than this one, I sincerely recommend it.
7. Accutire MS-4350B Setpoint Tire Gauge
Backlit LCD Screen
The soft blue light on the LCD screen of the Accutire’s product will make reading the air pressure of your tires simple. Accutire created a gauge with a sophisticated design that’s quite simple to use.
Other than being nice to look at, this gauge is developed to enable you an easy grip. You don’t need two hands to measure the air pressure — one simple movement will do.
Programmable Pressure Memory
While some people can easily memorize the recommended PSI for their car, others have major difficulties with this task. So, if you constantly find yourself consulting your car’s manual, you’ll love this product.
Being that it’s a digital device, this gauge allows you to enter your PSI that’s recommended for your car. Once you do, the Accutire gauge will remember it and use it as a reference.
Automatic Battery Shut Down
Batteries may be problematic when you’re getting a digital gauge — you need to have their life in mind and find an appropriate replacement when they expire.
Although the battery on this gauge will eventually die, Accutire found a way to prolong its life. Even if you forget to turn off your gauge once you’re done using it, it will automatically go off.
Strangely enough — even though the LCD screen is backlit, customers aren’t quite satisfied with it. It seems that harsh weather conditions don’t go well with this product.
Therefore, if you live somewhere with a lot of rain or snow, you won’t be able to use the Accutire’s gauge outside of your garage. I recommend that you take the weather as a serious factor before making a decision.
8. Craftsman Programmable Digital Tire Gauge
Pressure Memory for Different Tires
If the pressure that’s recommended for your vehicle often slips your mind, Craftsman is a company you should turn to. Interestingly enough, you can program even two different settings. So, if the recommended pressure differs for your back and front tires, the Craftsman gauge can remember the details.
Also, you can use this setting if you own two cars. However, the tire pressure needs to be the same on all four wheels in this case.
Clear Backlit Screen
Although it doesn’t seem like a problem at first, some LCD screens can show a blurry image even though they are backlit. This won’t be an issue if you decide to go with Craftsman.
According to its users, Craftsman developed a product that shows a clear image during both day and night. The weather conditions won’t be an issue either — the display of this gauge will enable you to see the results properly.
Lightweight & Easy to Use
The product is simple to use — you don’t need more than one hand to connect the gauge with the stems on your tires. Because of the compatible nozzle, you need just a simple push to connect the two parts.
There are some complaints coming from Craftsman’s customers. First of all, the battery life is quite short for a digital gauge. If you plan on buying the product, make sure to have spare batteries in your garage — you’ll have to change them twice a year.
Another inconvenience is that a number of Craftsman’s gauges arrives with a battery that’s already dead. The truth is you can change it by yourself, but this is not what I would call a great service.
9. TEKTON Instant Read Digital Tire Gauge
Find Your Way in the Dark
Sometimes you need only one attempt to check the tire pressure. However, in other cases, you can’t get it done at all — the process can take forever.
TEKTON offers a product with double lights. For starters, you’ll be able to see your reading clearly thanks to a digital display. In addition, you’ll be able to connect the nozzle and the stem of your tire with ease — the nozzle has its own light.
It’s Challenging to Drop It
There are two reasons why it will be quite difficult for you to drop this gauge and thus damage it.
Primarily, the gauge is ergonomically shaped — your hand will simply close on it. Being that you only need one hand to do the reading, you don’t even have to put the gauge down.
Secondly, the surface of this gauge is made from a material that isn’t slippery. So, it should stay safely in your hands.
Some of the TEKTON customers complain about battery life. It seems that there’s a problem with one edition, not the entire TEKTON collection.
A bigger problem is the structure of this gauge. As I mentioned, the company made sure that the gauge won’t slip. But, the team didn’t really think about what happens if you actually drop it. In that case, don’t expect the gauge to survive.
10. Astro 3018 Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
Durable & Resilient
Being that the gauge is encased with durable rubber, it will be difficult for you to damage it even if you drop it. Astro’s customers claim they’ve had this product for years and that it doesn’t show any signs of failure.
The other main part is the hose; both brained and stainless, it’s made to last for a very long time.
You’ll be quite grateful to have a product like this one on your travels. With this gauge, you can check the pressure, inflate, and deflate your tires. Being that it’s made to last, a product like this can be more than useful.
Long Battery Life
Because it’s powered by two AAA batteries, the life of this gauge is prolonged. So, you don’t have to give too much thought to changing the batteries constantly.
Highly Accurate Gauge
Another reason Astro has a wide customer base is the accuracy of its products. You’ll be able to get a clear, accurate reading as soon as you connect it with the stem of your tire.
The only problematic thing with the Astro gauge is its seal. You may experience problems with connecting the nozzle with the stem of your tire. In my opinion, some tape won’t be enough fix the problem in this situation.
How and When to Check Tire Pressure
Now that you know more about gauges and their features, you should also find out how to use them. Let’s begin with common mistakes that most people make when checking their tire pressure.
Primarily, just a small percentage of car owners remembers to check all their tires. The spare one should be in perfect condition, as well. Therefore, make sure to check the spare tire as well.
Secondly, you should know that the right tire pressure isn’t the same for every car. To learn what the allowed pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure are, you should consult your manual. This part is quite important; your car’s manual is your go-to database. Some people base the tire pressure on the types of their tires — that’s a mistake.
In addition, you shouldn’t inflate your tires up until the maximum allowed in your manual. What you’re looking for is the optimal PSI of pressure.
Thirdly, your tires need to cool off before you measure the pressure. To explain — I’m not talking about actual heat here. When you hear someone talking about cold tires, it means the car hasn’t been used for three hours or more. Three hours is the exact period you should allow to pass from your last drive before you check the tire pressure.
Now that you understand what not to do, you should know that the process is quite simple. To check if your tires are properly inflated, all you need is a tire pressure gauge.
Now that I went through the don’ts, we can move to the actual steps.
So, once your tires cool off — after a period of three hours of not driving your car — you can use a gauge. Also, as I mentioned, you need to know the right PSI range that’s suitable for your vehicle.
For starters, you need to remove the air cap — you’ll find it at your tire valve stem. Contrary to popular belief, caps don’t hold the air in so you shouldn’t worry about letting it out once you remove it. You should be careful not to lose them — caps keep the dirt out of your tires.
Once you remove the cap, connect your gauge to the stem. This part doesn’t require a strong hand — you should just press the gauge in lightly. Once the two parts are properly connected, your gauge will display the results. It’s as simple as that.
As you can see, the process won’t take more than a few minutes. Considering that it’s quite simple and that it doesn’t take a lot of your time, you should make this process a habit. Although it’s recommended to check your tire pressure twice a month, you should be safe with consulting your gauge at least once in thirty days.
How to Add Air to the Tires
If you drive your car to the closest gas station, you should be able to find everything you need.
Although you’ll probably hear from someone that you can use a gauge on a gas station too, I don’t recommend it. Considering that everyone is free to use the equipment on gas stations, it may not be in the proper state. As I already mentioned, some gauges are easy to damage.
Before you arrive at the gas station, make sure to check the pressure in all tires — remember the spare one too. While checking the pressure, I suggest that you take notes. This way, you won’t forget anything and you’ll inflate all your tires properly.
Now, make sure to park close to the air hose once you arrive at the gas station. If you don’t, you’ll have to move your car in order to reach all the tires.
To inflate your tires properly, you should add short puffs of air to your tires using a hose. Make sure to check the pressure regularly during this process. Otherwise, you can easily overinflate your tires.
As an addition, I’ll tell how to know if your tire is not in a good state. In case you notice one or more tires are losing air more often than they should, something is wrong. When that happens, chances are you have a problem with your stem or the rubber sidewall of your tire.
If you need more details regarding the tire check, I advise you to check the link below.
Chances are you’ll agree with me when I say that using a gauge isn’t that difficult. However, choosing one may be a problem.
In my experience, you shouldn’t really focus on the price here — the most expensive product isn’t necessarily the one you need. Before you make your decision, you should consult your car’s manual. Once you find the PSI range your car needs, you’ll be able to make a choice.