A tire inflator is a type of air compressor used to inflate the tires of vehicles to their appropriate PSI rating for safe and comfortable vehicle operation. The power source for a tire inflator is typically the cigarette lighter jack of your vehicle. While tire inflators are typically found in professional shops and garages nearly anyone is capable of using a tire inflator and they are usually regarded as extremely safe pieces of equipment. Tire inflators are typically quite small devices capable of fitting in a large shoe box, and easily stored in a trunk, under the seat of a car, in a garage, shop, closet, or shed. The typical lifetime for a tire inflator is quite high, with some devices operating functionally for many years. Tire inflators make some amount of noise, akin to that of a very small air compressor. The amount of noise generated by a tire inflator varies from model to model based on a wide variety of factors but, generally speaking, they are not incredibly loud in an outdoor or garage environment.
How To Choose The Best Tire Inflator for You?
Generally there are many factors that determine what product is right for you, so picking the best tire inflator can sometimes be a difficult task. Critics, reviewers, mechanics, machinists and hobbyists all fail to choose a single best tire inflator, as well. While the opinions of those who use them differ greatly, there are several sure signs you are picking a good model. Trusted reviews, ease of use, and overall craftsmanship quality are all important indicators that you are purchasing a quality product. When attempting to purchase the best tire inflator these are all areas you may wish to consider.
Our Top 5 Cheap Air Compressors:
|#1||Buy on Amazon!||Slime 40022 12-Volt Digital Tire Inflator|
|#2||Buy on Amazon!||VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor|
60 PSI max
|#3||Buy on Amazon!||Kensun YS-205 (Home 110V)/ DC (12V Car) Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator|
Dual Power Source
|#4||Buy on Amazon!||Viair 00073 70P Heavy Duty Portable Compressor|
100 max PSI!
|#5||Buy on Amazon!||Goodyear i8000 120-Volt Direct Drive Tire Inflator|
150 max PSI!
Review not yet available
The Slime 40022 model tire inflator is one candidate for the best tire inflator. This model is extremely light, weighing in at one pound! It is a 12-volt electric powered portable tire inflator that comes with a bright LED light for use at night. This device comes with built-in “Inflate Right” technology, meaning that it will shut off at the desired pressure every time. The cord on this model of tire inflator is 12 feet long (or approximately 3.6 meters). This model is well reviewed, and some have praised it for its accuracy and relative speed in comparison to other 12 volt tire inflators.
The Viair 85P model air compressor is a portable air compressor that could also easily be considered the best tire inflator on the market today. This model is a 12-volt electricity powered model that is considered highly portable. The Viair 85P is powered via the cigarette lighter jack of your vehicle, and it includes a 10 foot long cord for maximum portability. This model, like the Slime 40022, also weighs in at around one pound. This small but sturdy device has a maximum output capacity of 60 pounds of air pressure per square inch. Like the Slime 40022 model, the Viair 85P comes equipped with its own super bright LED working light, which should make it easier to refill a tire with low air pressure at night. This is also good in case of a roadside emergency, as it may help other cars or drivers to see you more clearly in the event that you must inflate a tire near the road at night, though that is never recommended. The Viair 85P comes with a super easy to read tire pressure gauge, which is mounted directly on top of the compressor. It is worth noting, however, that the engine must be running for you to use this tire inflator. The Viair 85P is capable of filling most tires from 0 to 30 pounds of air pressure per square inch in under 4 minutes, making it a very high contender among all currently available models for the title of best tire inflator.
When it comes to tire inflators, the Kensun AC/DC Heavy Duty Air Compressor Tire Inflator deservedly ranks near the top of the list. There are several key attributes any good tire inflator must have, and the Kensun AC/DC inflator checks all the boxes. It’s extremely light and compact, weighing a scant 4.4 pounds and occupying very little room. It can easily be stored in a trunk or pickup bed, under a seat or elsewhere in a vehicle. The unit can be powered by either 110-volt standard AC power or the 12-volt DC power from a vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Capable of a maximum 40 PSI pressure with an air flow rate of 11 liters per minute, the compressor is well-suited for inflating most car and bike tires, sports balls, rafts and other pool equipment, air mattresses and a range of other items. In fact, the Kensun AC/DC Inflator comes with three different nozzle adapters for various applications. Despite the light weight and low price, the compressor is durable and well-made. The unit is built with heavy-duty metal and the air hose is made of thick, durable rubber. Unlike many lower-quality compressors, the Kensun also has the ability to pre-set a desired pressure level to avoid over-inflation. There’s a lot to like about the Kensun AC/DC Heavy Duty Air Compressor Tire Inflator, and it’s no surprise that it ranks as one of the best tire inflators available.
The Viair 00073 model is potentially the absolute best tire inflator available on the market today. This electrical device is powered by a car or truck’s 12-volt cigarette lighter jack, and equipped with a 16 foot (or approximately 4.9 meter) cord. This device also comes with included vibration isolators, a 3 piece inflation tip kit, a 150 pounds per square inch gauge, a 4 foot (1.2 meter) air hose, and a deluxe carrying bag. The maximum working pressure for this specific device is capped at 100 pounds of air pressure per square inch, and the device has a maximum ampere draw of 15 amps. The Viair 00073 has been praised in reviews as everything the best tire inflator should be, and is often lauded for its smooth, quiet, and cool operation. While this device weighs in at 4.3 pounds, it is one of the single best reviewed products in its class, and a highly respected device for those who may find themselves in need of a portable tire inflator.
The Goodyear i8000 Multi-Purpose Inflator is one of the most popular choices for those who need a compact, well-designed tire inflator. Though it lacks the mobility of compressors that are powered by a vehicle’s cigarette lighter, the Goodyear i8000 still has a lot to offer. The compressor is very solidly constructed, with a sturdy metal body and a curled PVC air hose that extends up to 18 feet in length. The oil-free direct drive pump requires virtually no maintenance and offers quick, quiet operation. The compressor stays surprisingly cool during use, and it can pump up a typical car tire in just two to three minutes. The inflator also comes with a variety of accessories, including high-flow adapters, a ball inflating needle, a presta valve adapter and a nozzle for inflating mattresses. The built-in gauge is highly accurate up to the compressor’s maximum pressure rating of 150 PSI. The motor builds pressure more quickly than most 12-volt tire inflators, and the screw-on valve adapter provides a solid, secure connection to prevent unnecessary air leakage. When it comes to an all-purpose light duty air compressor, the Goodyear i8000 Multi-Purpose Inflator clearly stands out as one of the best.
Care For Portable Tire Inflators
Whatever device you choose, remember to provide the required maintenance (if any) on your new device in order to ensure a long, healthy, device life. Always remember: using a tool properly increases the lifespan of the tool, and the safety of the user!