Our Top Pick for 2018: TireTek Flexi-Pro Tire Pressure Gauge
Read our full review.
Your car tires are the only materials that keep you safe as you drive down the highway at high speeds. If they’re not maintained on a frequent basis, a blowout can occur at almost any time. You want to avoid any accidents by performing a few simple tasks. These procedures should include a basic air-pressure check. By purchasing a tire pressure gauge, you can check your wheels whenever necessary. It only takes a few minutes, and you can safeguard all of your passengers as a result. Before you pull a random gauge off of the shelves at the store, consider some of the product features that manufacturers are offering today.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
|TireTek Flexi-Pro Tire Pressure Gauge, Heavy Duty Car & Motorcycle - 60 PSI (Right Angle & Straight...||396 Reviews||$19.95||Buy on Amazon|
|Accutire MS-4021B Digital Tire Pressure Gauge||3,771 Reviews||$11.40||Buy on Amazon|
|TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge, 100 PSI||5,231 Reviews||$12.33||Buy on Amazon|
|Milton (S-921) Single Chuck Head Pencil Tire Pressure Gauge - Passenger Car||975 Reviews||$7.50||Buy on Amazon|
#1. TireTek Flexi-Pro Tire Pressure Gauge
When you want to feel like a professional with your vehicle’s tires, look for the Flexi-Pro Gauge by TireTek. The black-ribbed detail that surrounds the display gives the product a durable appearance. Consumers report that the look fits its durability as they use this tool on bicycles, motorcycles and cars. With a price that’s less than $30, it’s worth the time to explore this gauge for yourself. It may become the star of your toolbox.
With nearly every product today requiring batteries or a charge, you might be used to some frustration when your tools don’t work because of power issues. However, this pressure tool doesn’t have any parts that require an external, power source. The TireTek model is made entirely of mechanical parts. As long as the product is properly cared for otherwise, it should always have an accurate reading.
Cars, bicycles and other forms of transportation can have complex wheels and accessories surrounding the valve stem. In fact, it may be downright difficult for you to access the valve stem with a standard gauge. TireTek took this possibility into consideration, and they offer an angled product as a solution. The head itself has a 45-degree angle so that you can maneuver it into place. Snapping it onto the valve stem will be quick work as you continue with your car-care activities.
Another clever design feature includes the model’s ergonomic design. Because the majority of the public is right-handed, TireTek made this gauge ergonomic for that population. Your left hand holds the dial as you reserve the right hand for more complex actions at the valve stem. The product’s shape allows you to focus on an accurate job in any situation, including side-of-the-road emergencies.
The manufacturer goes even further with their tire tool by adding a swivel head. The 45-degree angle is complemented with a swiveling feature in order to make short work of any tire job. It moves with ease as you use your thumb against its assembly. Keep the gauge wiped down, however, so that no debris slides under this moving mechanism. If the swivel becomes stuck in place, it’ll be difficult to move without harming the parts.
One of the best features of this gauge is the rubber hose. This hose connects the chuck with the large display. For most pressure tools, it’s this hose that becomes an issue over time. TireTek is aware of this fact so they created a no-fray hose. Turn, twist and stretch this hose within reason as you move around your car. It won’t break down as easily as other hoses because of the rubber component. The product has some flexibility in order to protect itself from any damage.
The complaint with most tire gauges is the difficulty with readings. You almost require a magnifying glass to read any PSI or pounds-per-square-inch value. TireTek solves this problem by creating a two-inch wide display. It has single-digit PSI values that are easy to read for most people. Find any accurate PSI between zero and 60 as you read this product. Simply keep the display wiped down of any residues in order to maintain that precise reading.
TireTek typically offers a one-year warranty on their gauges, but there is a way to extend it further to an entire lifetime. Their website allows you to type in your information, including the purchase data, so that they have a record of your sale. If you have any problems in the future, you can reference this extended-warranty information. Ideally, fill out the warranty information as soon as you buy the item. You want to have lifetime protection from the moment you use the gauge on your vehicle.
Some of the most important parts of this tool are hidden within the hose. The hose inserts are longer than most tools so that no air leaks will occur in those vulnerable areas. Because the manufacturer put a lot of quality into this product, you’ll benefit with better vehicle performance as a result. Try this tool on your car, and you’ll want to check the pressure each day. The simple, checking procedure encourages you to be more active in your car’s care.
#2. Accutire MS-4021B Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
An entirely different type of gauge is the MS-4021B model by Accutire. This tool has a similar shape to an ear thermometer that’s normally used on young children. When you first use this gauge, it might feel different in the palm of your hand as you press it against the valve stem. However, growing accustomed to its shape is a rapid process, and you’ll appreciate the product’s compact nature as you carry it with you in the glove compartment. Take a look at all of the other features that this gauge has to offer, and you’ll want to try one for yourself.
The first feature that you’ll notice is the huge, LCD display. It offers three digits with a bright-red appearance. These numbers look bright in normal lighting, but be careful using this product in low-lit spaces. Accutire didn’t equip this gauge with a backlit feature, which makes the numbers difficult to read at times. Be aware of your surroundings as you work on your vehicle, and lighting shouldn’t be an issue in most cases.
Working on your car often involves some sticky situations. Oil, grease and other residues will make your hands slippery. Accutire is aware of this fact so they made their product with a rubber coating. The entire handle has ABS rubber covering it so that you don’t accidentally drop it in any slippery situations. It also has a cutout hole that allows you to store or hold it with nails or other fasteners. This feature alone is often enough to make any mechanic excited about some time in the garage.
This product comes with lithium batteries already included in the assembly. These batteries are coin shapes, and there must be three of them to operate the gauge. Because you only use the tool for a few seconds at a time, these batteries will usually last for many months. At times, access the batteries within their holder in order to verify that they’re in good, working order. Leaks are rare with coin-style batteries, but you want to avoid any power issues by simply observing the compartment on a regular basis.
The main reason why you need to have a pristine battery compartment is because of the unit’s power design. If the batteries damage their compartment, you have no other power source. Accutire didn’t design this battery with an external power cord for those bad-battery moments. In fact, the product won’t operate at all if the batteries are bad, corroded or damaged. This power limitation is a drawback to the product, which makes mechanical designs much more attractive to some consumers.
The manufacturer did help consumers by adding an automatic shutoff to the gauge. This shutoff feature, however, is meant to reduce air loss at the tire compared to conserving significant battery life. The product will take a reading and shutdown so that the air within the tire remains preserved. Indirectly, this process also helps the battery life, but it’s a minimal savings.
Consumers who’re looking for a versatile gauge will love the readings from this Accutire product. You can see measurement values up to 150 PSI with half-pound increments denoted by the decimal point on the display. With a 0.05-PSI accuracy, the Accutire model is a strong contender in the marketplace.
Consumers report that you should pay attention to the product’s power consumption, especially if it’s left on for a long, time period. Although lithium batteries are long-lasting types, they will fail within about a year. Ideally, keep spare batteries on hand in order to avoid any power frustrations. These products are easily found at any electronics store. With fresh batteries ready to go, you’ll be able to take precise readings at any time of the day.
#3. TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge
With a six-ounce weight, this gauge by TEKTON is a wonder at less than $10. This small investment will give you a digital tool that’s precise and aesthetically pleasing. It has a red assembly, which makes it easily visible in poor lighting that’s often inherent to garages. Before you buy a more expensive product, give this gauge a try. For most consumers, it’s a perfectly designed item.
You’ll be thrilled by the bright screen that lights up along the handle. It’s located just above your grip so that you always have good visibility of the values. Low-light situations won’t impede your work. As another helpful feature, this unit also has a lit nozzle. Be aware of the direction that you want to go by lighting it up with the nozzle. This light tells you where the stem valve is located, and you can complete your work in no time. The lit nozzle is a unique feature to this brand.
The same, lit nozzle also has a sealing feature. When the nozzle encounters the stem, it seals the assembly against the tire. You won’t lose any air or produce an erratic reading with this model. This sealing process allows the gauge to be as precise as possible in almost any situation. Other products, in contrast, will usually allow some air to escape with each maintenance action.
There’s one push button on this gauge. Press it once to turn the unit on, and you can toggle through the modes from that point. In fact, select between four different measurement values. Most amateur mechanics merely want PSI, but you can use other values too. BAR, KPa or Kgf/cm2 are all possible with this unit. Be sure to toggle the product off by using the push button at the end of your work. You’ll maintain those original batteries for a long time by being diligent about the power.
Although some gauges have rubber and other textured surfaces, this TEKTON product has an even better grip design. It actually has finger grips that guide your hand during use. Slide your hand into these grips, and you’ll never lose the gauge to slippery conditions. This design also keeps the display in full view, which makes you aware of any value changes. When you need a precise pressure reading, the TEKTON gauge is a true winner.
Consumers are largely pleased with the product’s battery power. It comes with batteries included, and these items usually last for a year or more. The TEKTON design seems to put battery conservation first. Although you should have some spare batteries on hand for those emergency moments, you can usually count on this gauge to power up during any vehicle-maintenance project.
#4. Milton S921 Pencil Type Tire Gauge
If you remember helping out your dad in the garage as a child, you’re probably familiar with the old-fashioned pencil gauge. This tool is a time-tested product that simply uses the tire’s pressure to indicate a reading along the measurement rod. Although this tool might be difficult to read for some users, it’s still one of the most accurate products on the market today. Get to know this classic tool so that it’s a consideration for your toolbox.
The primary feature that you’ll notice with this tool is the plated-brass exterior. In fact, it looks silver from a quick glance. Within this tough exterior is a nylon, indicator bar. It has four sides in order to maintain its stability as it moves in and out of the brass housing. The square assembly also gives you an easier time with readings.
Be aware that this gauge has a smaller measurement range compared to other products on the market. The Milton model only measures between 5 and 50 PSI. For most tires, this range is ample. You’ll only require larger values for more unusual applications. Purchasing a different tool might be necessary in those cases.
Mechanics of every skill level appreciate the tool’s size. Because it’s about the size of a pencil, it’ll fit into any pocket. Take it with you on a road trip, or keep it hidden in a small, toolbox corner. A handy tool for those emergency situations will keep your vehicle and passengers safe.
Some consumers report that their pencil gauges have lasted for decades. Although the manufacturer doesn’t claim this distinction, it’s a great feature to look forward to when you care for the tool. Avoid dropping the gauge or mishandling it otherwise. It can last for decades when there are no major damages to it. It simply remains a mechanical wonder.
Milton reminds everyone that this gauge should be used on cold tires. Checking the pressure on a hot tire will result in a poor reading. In fact, this reading may damage the gauge itself. Allow the car to cool down before taking a measurement. The gauge will last longer with consistent precision as a result.
Today’s gauges have a variety of different sizes and styles. Some products look similar to a pen, whereas other tools have a complex dial-and-hose configuration. Ideally, you want a tool with a protective sleeve. This component might be plastic or metal, but it should cover all of the vulnerable parts between gauge uses. If you drop a gauge without an attached sleeve, the force can easily knock the components out of calibration. Only remove the sleeve when you’re about to use the tool. In some cases, you may need to supply your own protective cover. This fact isn’t a negative aspect because you have control over your selection of sleeves as a result.
Old-fashioned gauges used to have tiny displays that almost required the help of a magnifying glass to decipher. Some of these products are still on the market today. Take a close look at several different gauges before you buy one. You should be able to easily read the display in both bright and low light. Analog dials might be too difficult to read for some people so you have the option of a digital readout as an alternative. Everyone has a different comfort level with these pressure readings. When you’re able to read the value with no problem, you can check the tires without any stress.
Nozzle Seal Consideration
Every pressure gauge requires you to press a tool into your tire’s valve stem. This action, however, allows a minute amount of air out of the tires. Your chosen gauge should have a strong seal with the stem as you take a reading. If you constantly hear rushing air during your checking process, the tire is actively losing pressure. It might take some practice to quickly press the tool into the valve stem, but ultimately no significant air should be lost. Contact the manufacturer if you feel that the product isn’t properly working. Defects can occur, which should be covered by the company.
Each gauge is tested and quality verified at the manufacturer’s facility. You shouldn’t have to calibrate it on your own. To verify the accuracy of your tool, compare its reading with another gauge. There shouldn’t be a big difference between the values. Your product’s accuracy also depends on the detail added to the display. Half-PSI or pounds per square inch is a common increment, but the detail can be clearer than that. For the most accurate display, use digital readouts. There is no user error from improper readings. The decimal points and numbers are clearly listed on the display in order to make a sound decision about your tire’s pressure.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
The gauge choices in the marketplace today can be overwhelming. If you’re a novice with vehicle maintenance, select the simplest pressure tool that you can find. You should feel comfortable manipulating the product in your hand as you move between each tire. When you still have questions about a product, a car-care professional can help you out. Alternatively, contact the gauge’s manufacturer with any concerns. It might take some time to really understand the complexities of your vehicle, but it’s worth the trouble. You’ll prolong the tires’ lifespans along with preserving the car’s stability on the road. Keep the gauge handy, and you’ll use it each monthly as recommended.