The 10 Best Tire Inflators

Tire inflators are lifesavers even if most people might not see it as so. If you get a flat tire at night or when it’s snowing, you will need a digital tire inflator to help you out so that you can get to your destination. This is why everyone should make a point of having a portable inflator in their car care kit whenever they are driving. It is also crucial to know how to purchase a suitable tire inflator and the factors you should consider. There are several considerations which you need to make before you settle on one.

Most people barely understand the technical terms when buying an inflator. No wonder we have individuals returning their product because it never worked on their car. However, stick along because you will have this topic broken down into chunks you can digest. The industrial jargons like PSI, volts, and DC will make sense to you.

Our Top 3 at a Glance
  • Easy to use and connect
  • It is versatile and ideal for many uses
  • Heavy-duty compressor
  • Comes with many nozzles
  • Access to AAA membership
  • Easy to connect

Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator Buying Guide

What to Look For When Buying a Tire Inflator

tire-air-imageA good inflator will ensure that you get back on the road in a snap. There are significant aspects you need to put into consideration when you are buying a tire inflator. It is essential to have a car inflator because it guarantees you maximum road safety in case of a flat tire. It goes without saying that the condition of your tires affects your safety. If you need to change your tires, a cordless impact wrench will see you through.

Before you decide which inflator you will purchase, it is imperative that you conduct the required research to ensure that you get one that is going to fulfill your needs. This compilation will help you know what factor to look for when buying an inflator that is going to work for you perfectly.

Storage and Portability

These two factors go hand in hand, and they are the first things you should look into when purchasing your car inflator. It is essential to have a car inflator that you can easily carry along during your trips. Storage is also crucial. You need an inflator that is small enough to fit in your trunk. Your luggage could limit space at times. Therefore, you do not need a digital tire inflator that occupies most of the space in the trunk. Thus, the size of the air compressor is also critical.

Automation

It is of paramount importance that you have a device that is easy to use. Having a digital tire inflator which seemingly knows what you need. You need to look out for an inflator that has few sitting programmes on it. This feature will make your work more comfortable when you are using it. You do not need to keep inputting the PSI units manually. It could be unfashionable with the current advancement in technology. Get an inflator that has an automatic shut off feature.

Long gone are the times you had to keep an eye on your tire pressure gauge to avoid a tire burst. An automated device is going to ensure that your tires are maintained in excellent condition. Automation has taken the driver’s comfort to a new level.

Inflation Time

tire-air-compressorTime is a resource once lost will never be recovered. When in the market for a portable air compressor, it is advisable to you check the period it takes to fill up the tire. Of course, you are after an inflator that will save your time with maximum efficiency.

However, there are other factors which may drive you to an option of a slower inflator. It is safer to have an inflator that works faster just in case you get a flat tire in a mean neighborhood, or you are caught in adverse weather.

Size of the Tire

It is essential to keep the size of your tire in mind because some inflators cannot work on some sizes of tires. Ensure that you get an inflator that will work perfectly for your tire size. You know some machines are selective and will reject any device that tries to demean their size.

The Duty Cycle

The duty cycle refers to the amount of time that the inflator is going to take to cook down before it is used for another time. The longer the duty cycle, the longer you take before consequent inflation. The short duty cycle inflators are preferred because they save you unnecessary time wastage. Most companies are generous with the information, and you will find it on the labels. Compressors with a 50% duty cycle can be used without cooling it down.

View the Best Portable Tire Inflator, Below

1. EPAuto AT-006-3 12V Car Portable Air Compressor

best overall ratingEPAuto AT-006-3 12V

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This  EPAuto AT-006-3 12V Car Portable Air Compressor is a portable air compressor pump and has a digital inflator for the tire. It has a pressure of 100PSI and ideal for a compact or a midsize Sedan SUV. The EPAuto AT-006-3 12V Car Portable Air Compressor has multiple functions. It can be used to inflate car tires, bike tires and the apparent sedan and midsize SUV. It can also be used to inflate balls and other inflatable sports equipment. However, it does not support heavy duties like truck tires, HT and LT.

Readability

The inflator is simple to read because it displays units in KPA, PSI and BAR.

Convenience

The EPAuto AT-006-3 12V Car Portable Air Compressor tire inflator is convenient to use. All you have to do is plug in the inflator on the cigarette lighter socket under your care.

Light

It has an LED flashlight which is bright enough to see in the dark. The device will come in handy when you are caught up with a flat tire in the woods at night.

Auto shut off

The EPAuto AT-006-3 12V Car Portable Air Compressor Tire Monitor has an auto shut off the system. Therefore, you are at freedom to continue with other activities as the inflator does its duty.

Connectivity

The length of the power outlet is 9 feet- this means that it is convenient when trying to access a power source when using the inflator.

Voltage Required

The power source is 12 volts at the cigarette lighter plug socket- It is convenient to use. It is also crucial to make sure that your car/vehicle is running while using the inflator not to drain your car battery. The voltage required is 12V DC- This is the average voltage use for most portable inflators in the market. It also has an inline fuse holder with 15 amps of standard fuse blade.

Required Pressure

The maximum working pressure this inflator is 100 PSI- Therefore, it can inflate large tires. However, it is limited to inflating truck tires. Truck tires require higher PSI units to fill.

Required Temperature for Use

The required ambient temperature is 20-120 degrees Fahrenheit- It can be operated even when it is cold or snowing. This is crucial especially when you get a flat tire during winter. It will still come in handy.

Why We Like It

  • Easy to use
  • It is fast
  • It is versatile

Editor Rating:

 

2. Viair Air Compressor 45043 450p Automatic

premium choice ratingViair Tire Inflator 45043 450p Automatic

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The Viair 45043 automatic function portable compressor is a heavy-duty tire compressor that is made with dual battery clamps with a 40-amp inline fuse.

Voltage and Pressure

The Viair Tire Inflator works with 12 volts and a maximum pressure of 150PSI. It is essential to note that the engine must be running while using this inflator.

Length of the Hose

It has 1.80CFM free flow and also air hose of about 35 feet.

Usage

The pressure is read from an easy to read inflation gun that also has an automatic shutoff function. Immediately the tire reaches the desired pressure the gun signals a switch off.

Package

The inflator comes in a dulexe bag that has anti vibratory properties. Here you have a bonus if you purchase the product.

Connectivity

It is easy to connect the hose of the inflation gun to the rubber nozzle of the tire. It has a heavy-duty dual battery clamp which has a 40-amp inline fuse. The stainless steel valves will enhance the connection during the inflation process. It gives the inflator a long life because it is durable.

Protection

It has an automatic reset thermal overload protector and it ensures that the inflator is protected when there is a possibility of over-inflation. It comes with an aluminum sand tray with vibrations isolators- Therefore; you need not worry about noise when you are using this tire inflator. It also has a high-performance PTFE Piston Ring.

It is dust resistant and moisture resistant, therefore, the tire inflator’s performance is not affected by dust that it accumulates on the surface during inflation. The inflator is also moisture resistant which could affect its durability or performance.

Usage

It has a gearless drive motor which makes it easy to use. It also has an oil-less design- This give is a great aesthetic and firm grip after the inflation. It is engineered to have anodized aluminum alloy cylinder and this makes it ideal for ordinary duties and increases durability. See the Viair 95p electrical air compressor as an alternative,

Why We Like It

  • Easy to use and connect
  • It is versatile and ideal for many uses
  • Heavy-duty compressor

Editor Rating:

 

3. AAA 4024 LifeLine 12 Volt DC

great value ratingAAA 4024 LifeLine 12 Volt DC

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The inflator has high pressure output and comes with easy-to-connect triple nozzle adaptor. It is connected to the power outlet in your car. The inflator does not take a lot of space in your trunk. It comes with an AAA membership brochure too.

Voltage

The Lifeline AAA 300 PSI uses a voltage of 12 volt DC.

Connectivity

Connecting with its air hose is quick. It connects easily to the cigarette lighter plug in the car.

Maximum Pressure

It operates at a maximum pressure of 300PSI. It has an attached external pressure gauge to ensure the tire is inflated to the correct pressure. The air compressor inflates in a standard time of 8 minutes.

Cord length

The length of its cord is 10 foot.

Number of nozzles

It has three nozzles included plus an air pressure gauge. The Lifeline AAA inflator comes with an AAA membership brochure. The inflator is recommended for occasional home use rather than commercial use. It works fast and is ideal for low duty purposes. It is also quite durable and requires little maintenance.

Why We Like It

  • Comes with many nozzles
  • Access to AAA membership
  • Easy to connect
  • Electrical air compressor

Editor Rating:

 

4. Viair 00088 88p Portable Air Compressor

Viair 00088 88p Portable Air Compressor

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This inflator can be used by anyone who happens to own a car. Manufactures recommend it for checking the pressure of the tires. The Viair is ideal for the maintenance of the tires. With this inflator, you can bid goodbye to your gas station for pressure filling. Before setting out for a trip or weekend getaway, you can check tire pressure using the inflator.

Voltage and Pressure

It requires 12 volts and a maximum pressure of 120 PSI. The engine of the car must be running while using this inflator.

Ideal for

The inflator is preferred for trucks, small ATVs and sedans. It is ideal to use on tires that are up to 33″.

Lighting and Cord length

The inflator has a LED power indicator and a power cord that is approximately 10 feet. The air hose is 16 feet, and the inflator also comes with a three-piece inflation kit.

Packaging

The inflator offers excellent value for the small package it comes in. The packaging makes it easy to store in the car and in the house too.

Why We Like It

  • It is fast
  • It is easy to use
  • Versatile

Editor Rating:

 

5. PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150PSI

PORTER-CABLE CMB15 150PSI

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The PORTER-CABLE has a 1.5 gal fully shrouded compressor that is oil free. The inflator runs on a 2.0 SC FM at a pressure of 90 PSI. This ensures that the compression is high-speed and also it allows quick recovery. The gallon is very easy to carry. The inflator also comes with a water drain, rubber feet, and a valve.

Pressure Required

The PORTER-CABLE CMB15 has a maximum pressure of 150 PSI. The pressure is stored in the pressure tank so that it can run for long.

Tank Capacity

The inflator has a 1.5-gallon tank that is portable. The tank has rubber feet and a water drain valve.

Air Pump

The inflator has a durable oil-free air pump that lasts for a long time and requires low maintenance. The lubrication of the air pump is oil-free.

Power

The inflator requires 120C of power to start when it is cold. Alternatively, it can be started using an extension cord.

Hose length

This inflator has a hose length of 25 feet.

Why We Like It

  • Uses low power
  • It is durable
  • It requires little maintenance
  • Excellent pressure
  • It has a fast compressor

Editor Rating:

 

6. P.I. Auto PIAS016 12v DC Car Portable Air Compressor

P.I. Auto PIAS016 12v DC

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The P.I. Auto PIAS016 12v DC Car Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator comes with a removable pressure gauge. It has a portable digital auto reader. It is ideal for ATV, cars, RVs, bikes and motorbikes. It also comes with a carrying case. The P.I Auto is designed to be a high-quality pump that is exceptionally fast when compared to other inflators. The fact that it also comes with a removable gauge makes it ultimately stand out from the rest. Here are the key features of this outstanding inflator.

Pressure Required

It has a high-quality pump that sets it apart from most here most inflators. The pump is ideal for a mid-sized car tire. It can put pressure on a flat tire to 30PSI in 3 minutes. The pump is quiet despite the efficiency. To cap it, the inflator is durable.

Voltage Required

All you need is to plug the 12-Volt DC cigarette lighter or any other12V outlet. Then set the desired pressure on the LCD and turn on the pump. Leave the rest to the inflator. It contains a deflation valve that reduces the pressure of the tire without having to disconnect it.

Pressure Gauge

The P.I. Auto PIAS016 12v DC Car Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator has a removable pressure gauge as mentioned above. Therefore, there is no need to purchase an extra digital gauge. The digital gauge is easy to use. It can be used to check the pressure of cars, motorbikes and bikes.

Usage

It can be used on a variety of engines. It is suitable for cars, RVs, ATVs, bikes. SUV and even sports equipment. However, it is not ideal for truck tires.

Packaging

It comes with a storage case and a user manual. It has sports and inflatables adopters. In the package, you will also get eight dust caps.

Why We Like It

  • It comes with a deflate valve
  • It is quite easy to use
  • Can be used on many engines and sports equipment
  • Comes with a detachable pressure gauge
  • Has LED to use at night and in case of emergencies
  • Digital gauge

Editor Rating:

 

7. Kensun EHRCOMPT A58B 12volt Digital

Kensun-EHRComp-A58B 12v

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The Kensun AC/DC 12volt Digital Tire Inflator is ideal for home use. It comes with three nozzle attachments. It is preferred for basketballs and beach inflatables. The analogue pressure gauge is easily readable. It has an average of 6.5 minutes of inflation. The fact that it can be used from the cigarette plug in the car and also from a socket in your home makes it exceptional. It is quite easy to use on most inflatable equipment in your home. It is gentle on equipment that is delicate.

Connectivity

This 12volt Digital Tire Inflator can be used both in the car at the cigarette plug and the wall socket at the comfort of your home. It comes with additional nozzles that can be used to add pressure to any equipment that uses pressure. It is ideal for heavy-duty tire cars and delicate sports equipment such as beach balls. The inflator is well equipped to handle the pressure in almost any situation both indoors and outdoors.

Pressure

It is DC/AC adaptable. It has an analogue pressure gauge and a pressure measure of 120 PSI. It accurately measures pressure. The inflator can work continuously for a maximum of 35 minutes. It also comes with three nozzles.

Cable Length and Flow Rate

It has a black woven hose that is 80 cm. The cable length of this inflator is 3.3 m for the D/C cable and 1m for the AC cable. The maximum current for this inflator is 10 A. It has an air flow rate of 18/20L/Min. See the KENSUN YS205 as an alternative.

Why We Like It

  • Versatile
  • It is unique
  • Can be used from different power sources
  • Easy to read
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Heavy duty tire inflator

Editor Rating:

 

8. Goodyear i8000 120-Volt Direct Drive

Goodyear i8000 120-Volt Direct Drive Tire Inflator

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The Goodyear i8000 is a 120 Volt tire inflator that comes with a slightly extended hose as well as the power cord. This tire inflator is vibration free, and this is why it stands out. Therefore, it is comfortable in noise pollution restricted areas like institutions of learning and hospitals.

The Length of Hose

The air hose is 18 feet and easy to connect to the valve. It comes with a 6-foot power cord that easily reaches all the vehicle tires. It has adapters that are easy to use on practically anything that would need inflation. It comes with 1 feet rubber air hose and a 17-feet PVC air hose that connects easily to the valve.

Voltage Required

It has a powerful motor that is vibration free. The feature is essential for you if you like quietness. It has 120 Volt direct drive inflator which has the Whispers Soft Technology that gives quiet and efficient operation by the user.

Pressure

It has a maximum pressure of 268 PSI that takes a maximum of 2.5 minutes to reach the optimum. It can only input a high of 150 PSI.

Why We Like It

  • Easy to connect and use
  • Maximum pressure of 150 PSI
  • Ideal for different types of uses
  • It is fast. Therefore, saves a lot of time

Editor Rating:

 

9. Campbell Hausfeld AF011400 12volt Digital

Campbell Hausfeld AF011400 12v

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The Campbell Hausfeld  12volt Digital Tire Inflator is a powerhouse digital inflator that has a portable compressor and also comes with an auto-shutoff feature and a safety light.

Pressure

The power of the motor is a maximum of 100 PSI that is ideal to inflate the tire and slow sports equipment of any size.

The length of the Hose

The hose of this 12volt Digital Tire Inflator is designed to be leak proof when it is connected during inflation. It takes a maximum of 4 minutes to inflate the tires fully.

Light

The Campbell Hausfeld tire inflator has an inbuilt LED which is a safety light which gives added security, especially during an emergency.

Usage

It comes with a sports’ need and an inflation nozzle. This means that is ideal for use for recreational inflation.

Why We Like It

  • It is fast
  • It is versatile
  • It is easy to use
  • It has a security light
  • Small packaging

Editor Rating:

 

10. ONTEL Air Hawk Pro Cordless

ONTEL Air Hawk Pro

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The ONTEL Air Hawk Pro Cordless Tire Inflator is an automatic cordless tire inflator that comes with a portable air compressor. It has an easy to read digital pressure gauge too.

Connectivity

The pressure hose is connected to a threaded connector. It also comes with pin attachments that include a rechargeable battery as well as an AC charger.

Pressure

It inflates a tire in less than 90 seconds.

Voltage

It comes with a 12V cable adaptor if the user needs continuous power.

Cordless

It does not come with a cord. It is a unique tire inflator among the inflators reviewed. However, it is recharged often for optimum function.

Lighting

It comes with an inbuilt LED light.

Usage

It has a digital LED tire gauge. It is an automatic cordless tire inflator which makes it easy to use. It inflates a tire within 90 seconds. It is ideal for sports equipment, car tires, and inflatable tires. It has a shutoff feature that shuts off when it reaches the maximum pressure.

Why We Like It

  • It is easy to use
  • It is ideal to use in car tires, bike and even sports equipment
  • It is easy to read
  • It is light
  • Easy to carry

Editor Rating:

 

FAQs

What is the Size of Air Compressor I Need to Fill Truck Tires?

tire-air-inflatorThe size of a compressor that can inflate truck tires does not matter. What matters is the amount of PSI units which an inflator can give to inflate a truck. There are minute tire inflators that can inflate big trucks. You can opt for multipurpose inflators that are suitable for both small cars and trucks.

The only limitation with most of these devices is that they are analogue. An inflator that can work on a truck tire should be 150 PSI to the least and have an air flow of 2.3 CFM. Having an inflator that has such specification will ensure that your truck tires are well maintained.

Most the portable compressors that inflate truck tires have to be used when the truck is running. They have cables that are long enough to ensure easy access to each tire. They also have sets of clamps to enhance connectivity from the power source to the tires.

How is a Tire Inflator Used?

After buying your tire inflator, it is vital to understand how to use it. This ensures that you get the best out of your purchase. Correct usage is also essential for the long life of the device. It is advisable that you check the pressure of your tires every fortnight. This means that you might need to visit the gas station even when you are not in need of gas.

This is why you would need to get yourself a portable air compressor. So then how do you use one? The following are the general instructions on how you can use a portable air compressor.

  • Connect the digital tire inflator to the power socket in the car (connects directly to the car). This is the cigarette plug in your vehicle. Most tire inflators in the market have an extended power cable that is going to ease moving from one tire to another. It is essential to keep the engine of your car running so that you can make sure that the inflator will not drain out your car battery – you can always charge you battery with a car battery charger. Keeping the engine running is a precautionary measure.
  • Check the condition of the tire before you start inflating it. It is advisable to look out for a puncture on the tire to fix it. If you find that your tire is torn, there is no point to inflate it. If you have a spare wheel, you can replace the punctured one.
  • If you find that the leak is slow, inflate the tire. When inflating the tire, you need to connect the nozzle of the compressor to the valve stem of the tire correctly. You have to ensure that the connection is correct before you turn on the tire inflator.
  • Switch on the air inflator to allow the compressed air into the tire. In case you hear a hissing sound then you need to switch off the tire inflator and tighten the nozzle and the stem-valve. The hissing sound is an indication that there is a leakage in the system.
  • As the tire is being inflated, stop periodically to check the tire pressure gauge. The stoppage prevents over-inflation. It is also essential to know the required pressure for your car type. The measure can be found in the vehicle manual or a placard on the driver’s door.

To fully inflate a tire, it might take 2 to 3 minute. However, if you are boosting a slightly deflated tire, it might take 30 to 40 seconds. When you are done inflating the tire, you need to switch off the compressor and loosen the connection.

What Does PSI Stand For In Tire Pressure?

In tire pressure via the tire pressure guage, PSI stands for Pounds per Square Inch. This is the unit used to measure the air pressure in space. In vehicles, it is the pressure that is exerted on the inside part of the tires.

How Much Does Tire Pressure Affect Gas Mileage?

Research has shown that you can be in a position to increase the gas mileage of your car by 0.6% on average. At times, even up to 6% if you keep the tires of your car adequately inflated. Underinflated tires can lower the gas mileage by 0.2%. It is also important to note that properly inflated tires are safer to drive in and they will last longer. Read more about inflating tires in this study.

Expert Tip

Did you know that the proper tire pressure for your tires is usually found on a sticker placed on the driver’s side door jamb? If not, you can found it in the glove box or the owner’s manual. It is important to note so that you do not use the maximum pressure printed on the sides of the tire. Every vehicle has a specific tire pressure according to the manufacturer.

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