Underrated and important beyond belief, a good tire pressure gauge is the difference between a leaking tire and a quick fix, a blowout or a cheap-and-easy replacement. No matter which way you spin it, your tire pressure is important. When you’re driving, you’re gliding on air. For the underdog of the small car tools, we salute you, and found the eight best tire gauges from around the internet to show you today.
Best Rated Tire Pressure Gauges in 2018:
Tekton Digital Tire Gauge
Tekton hit the peak of our list for a lot of reasons, price being one of them. Amazon’s top choice on a tire pressure gauge have proven right for over 4,800 other car enthusiasts, and comes with some killer features that really set it apart from the rest of the lot.
You get a digital read on the left side of your gauge, but the excellent part of this tire pressure gauge is the light-up ring. You don’t have to stumble in the dark to find your pressure cap. If you’re checking the pressure while still in the garage, and the lighting isn’t the best, you’ll praise this product up and down for its ability to help.
The ergonomic grip ensures that you won’t drop this while you’re trying to use it, while the nozzle seals the valve stem to eliminate the amount of air that leaks out when you apply pressure. With a push-button trigger control, your gauge wakes up and gets to work. Batteries last for 2+ years, and takes LR44.
One-second digital readout
- Weight3.2 ounces
Astro 3018 Digital Pressure Gauge
Our editor’s pick! Astro’s digital gauge is simple to read, and the hose ensures you don’t have to get too close to the tire, avoiding crunching over for extended periods of time while you fiddle with the pressure cap. The large backlit LCD display quickly tells you what you need to know, all accurate within 0.1 psi.
This versatile tool will allow you to display psi, BAR, or KG measurements, while the rubber no-slip grip along the body of the gauge ensures you won’t drop it or allow it to slip out of your hand. Your hose is crafted of stainless material, allowing you to bend and weave it without damaging the starting and ending position on the meter. All in all, you get more function with this model than any other on our list. Inflate, deflate, or just simply check your pressure.
- BrandAstro Pneumatic Tool
- ModelDrake Off Road Tools
- Weight1.8 pounds
TireTek Premium Tire Pressure Gauge
They went ahead and made this tire-themed, so, points for the pun. You get up to 60 psi on your readout, while getting the accuracy that you need. ANSI B40.1 grade B ensures that you get accuracy within 2% of the end result, and is excellent for international use as well. Mechanics actually recommend this product for a correct, quick readout of your tire pressure.
The best thing about any product is when you hear, “No batteries required.” Those are always an inconvenience, but with this model, you just plug and get a readout in seconds. This is made up of steel and brass, so a weather look will occur, but absolutely no rust, no matter how long you own this. Your dial window is superbly easy to read, while the 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee puts some serious weight behind TireTek’s promise that you’re going to love this gauge.
Recommended by mechanics
Dial gauge / no batteries
Accurate within 2% of your actual psi
- Weight5.6 ounces
Accutire MS Digital Pressure Gauge
As the title suggests, everything is displayed in an easy-to-read digital readout while the angled head makes for an easy time popping it into the tire. Rubber coats the stainless steel handle to ensure maximum stability when in use, while the LCD display lights up in the pitch black of your garage or the parking lot before you head out for work.
The range on this is truly amazing. A 5 – 150 psi readout for this price is unheard of, and it even comes with an automatic detector to shut down and prevent deflation, which is especially useful for high psi tires. All in all, you get a lot of bang for your buck, and Accutire equips this model with a lifetime warranty on parts.
Lifetime warranty on parts
5 – 150 psi range
Angled head for ease of use
- Weight0.64 ounces
AstroAI Digital Pressure Gauge
It’s sleek, it detects up to 150 psi, and it’s under ten bucks. It’s not a dream, it’s the best-selling digital tire pressure gauge available right now. AstroAI makes this incredibly ease to read, hold, and use with every inch of this gauge being utilized. Hang this on a hook in the workshop with the loop on the bottom if you fancy, or slip this extremely small gauge into your car’s kit or toolbox, hassle-free.
The rubber-coated ergonomic grip ensures that there won’t be any slip-ups while using this, and the bright blue LCD screen lights up the night, no matter how dark. You get a one year warranty, the batteries come standard, and it even has an automatic shutoff when not in use for more than 40 seconds to avoid battery burnout. Four international readout settings, and accurate as they come.
0 – 150 psi readout
Ultrabright LCD screen
No-slip ergonomic grip
- Weight2.4 ounces
JACO ElitePro Pressure Gauge
There they go with the tire-themed gauge again. JACO wants to make sure you’re getting the most accurate readout possible, so they make their ElitePro tire pressure gauge for the occasion. Mechanic-recommended and a solid, this gauge comes with a short hose to give you control, with a readout of up to 100 psi.
Your joy with this product is guaranteed for life. If you’re not satisfied, you’ll be able to get a full refund (though, seriously, you’re going to love this pressure gauge). This locks in place until you get your accurate readout, and comes with a 360 swivel function for optimal use. Excellent for the cost, and durable through everything you throw at it.
Accuracy within 2-3%
Glow in the dark dial
100% lifetime satisfaction guaranteed
- Weight5.6 ounces
RHINO USA Heavy Duty Tire Pressure Gauge
With excellent range between 0 and 75 psi, you’ll get some of the benefits of a digital gauge, coupled with the accuracy of a dial window. Glow in the dark backing allows you to see your tire pressure no matter what, while the bendable and sturdy construction of the flexible hose ensures no slip-ups. RHINO is built for performance and durability under any circumstance, and they guarantee a five star experience.
100% satisfaction guaranteed, or 100% of your money gets returned to you. Snap this on and use the certified accuracy to best test your tire pressure. Brass makes up the working parts, allowing a 360 swivel for maximum control and comfortability when in use. Made in the United States, and comes with a full lifetime warranty. These are by a father and son company in California, and they want to ensure you’re happy as can possibly be with assurance that it’s love it or leave it.
Lifetime warranty backed by small US business
0 – 75 psi readout
Durable and accurate
- BrandRHINO USA
- Weight8.2 ounces
Tacklife TG01 Digital Pressure Gauge
Similar to our Tekton top pick, this one gives you a light-up ring to ensure you’re not fumbling around when trying to locate the tire pressure cap. A quick trigger operational button allows you to turn your unit on, and get an accurate readout in 2-3 minutes. With international readouts, a low price, and backlit LCD display for viewing in the dark, this model comes with some killer features at a cost that you won’t believe.
The ergonomic grip and tool loop allows you to hold it sturdy while in use, and store it by hanging it over a hook near your tool bench in the garage. If you need a budget-friendly option that’s going to provide exceptional results, you’ve just met your match.
Fast response + high accuracy
Automatic shutdown to preserve battery life
- Weight1.92 ounces
Tire Pressure Gauge Buying Guide & FAQ
Tire pressure is monumentally important, and so is your pressure gauge quality. If you’re all about extending the life of your fuel economy, putting less strain on your vehicle, and enjoying that nice, smooth ride you used to have, then you’ll know that this isn’t just a purchase—it’s an investment in your vehicle.
Why is Tire Pressure so Important?
It’s one of the least thought-about things when you try to diagnose problems with your vehicle. Here are three main reasons why your tire pressure is vastly important:
- Fuel Economy: You love your car, but gas prices are always fluctuating, especially following natural disasters. If you’re trying to get the most out of your MPG, especially if you’re travelling a lot of highway miles or commuting each day to work, you’re going to need the most for your money. A nifty little tool like a tire pressure gauge allows you to keep everything in check, so you’re not dumping out your wallet at the pump and praying that you’ll get to your destination.
- Vehicle Strain Reduction: Less air in the tires means that you’re going to put more strain on your tires, and damage them at a much higher pace. Too much damage, and your tires will leak (if you’re lucky), or potentially blowout while you’re on the road. Nobody wants to wait for a tow truck to pick them up, especially for a problem that is so easily avoidable.
- Smoother Ride: Smoother ride, happier you. Apart from that, there are a few actual reasons why having a smoother ride is better for your vehicle. When all your tires are at their specific tire pressure requirements, there’s little to no strain on the rest of your vehicle. Your car is the designated height off the pavement that it’s supposed to be, which can save your skin if you hit a pothole.
- Better Braking: Your tire pressure is directly related to your brakes. Slamming on the brake pedals without having proper pressure tire requires a longer distance to stop, and a looser grip on braking. While you’re only going to see a significant decrease in stopping power from seriously underinflated brakes, it’s still best to ensure they’re where they should be all the time.
How do I Check my Tire Pressure?
There’s always more than meets the eye, with everything in life—when checking your tire pressure, you might be surprised to find that there’s a commandment, if you will, that you have to follow to determine your correct tire pressure: check it cold.
That is, before you start your engine or drive your car at all. Your tires are most likely losing 1psi per month, on average from regular use, so checking them frequently is recommended. Unscrew the knob, and apply the tip of your pressure checker to your tire pressure escape valve. If you hear the sound of air escaping, like a faint whistle, then you’re doing it right. Losing a tiny bit of air from applying/removing your gauge isn’t going to mess with your tire pressure all too much, so don’t worry.
Your indicator will either read immediately (standard gauge) or take 2-3 seconds (electronic gauge), and you’ll get a clear answer. If the pressure matches what your owner’s manual suggests, then you’re good to go for a while before checking it again.
If you’re wondering what the proper pressure should be for your tires, your vehicle owner’s manual will have that information. If you’re rocking an older car or you just don’t have access to a manual for your car, your vehicle manufacturer’s website should have a PDF you can view for your make and model, where you can figure out your required tire pressure.
How do I Tell if My Tire is Going Flat?
If you check the tire pressure on Monday, and it’s good to go, and by Wednesday you notice a difference in your driving and handling, you check the pressure, and it’s down at least 1psi or more, you have a leak. Your psi drops over time, but 48-72 hours shouldn’t impact it enough—you’ll need to patch up.
If you’re losing 1+ psi per day, your tire may be leaking bad enough that you’ll need to replace it. As a heads-up, this is also an indicator that your other tires are running low on time, as well.
Does Winter Influence my Tire Pressure?
Absolutely. Any extreme temperature shift is going to greatly impact your tire pressure, so for those of you planning a road trip from Florida to the frosty north of Maine, you’re going to encounter a lot of tire pressure shifts as you go. The cold cuts down on oxygen in the air, so the colder it is, the harder it is to breathe. This constricts that air in your tire, so to speak, and compresses it to actually have less pressure.
If you are driving in the winter, make sure you have a set of snow tires that can handle these types of conditions.
Types of Tire Pressure Gauges
In total there are three types of tire pressure gauges: digital, dial, and stick. So long as you properly learn how to use the one that you believe to be the best buy, they’ll each perform their tasks as well as any other type of gauge. Here’s the gist of each type, broken down a bit.
- Digital: These are simple to read and display within 2-3 seconds, on average. With a little LCD screen, you get all the info you need in a quick, readable fashion. Digital gauges come a tad bit bigger than stick or dial gauges, so if you’re going to stash one in the glove compartment, just be sure you have the room, and pay attention to the dimensions on product sales pages.
- Dial: These are the most common types you’ll see in stores. They display a clock face-type dial window, hence the name. These have been known to be pocket-sized, and come with shock resistant covers. They’re the middle ground between reliability from stick gauges and digital ones.
- Stick: Ever seen those gauges in plastic that resemble ballpoint pens? Yep—those were stick gauges. These are simple to use, compact enough to fit into a car maintenance kit, and require a touch of know-how to determine your proper pressure when using, but they’re among the most reliable types.
Features to Look For When Buying a Tire Pressure Gauge
With simple, straightforward products like tire pressure gauges, you actually have a lot more to focus on than what you may expect. Here are a few tidbits to be on the lookout for during the buying process.
- Max PSI Reading: If your vehicle has a specific requirement for pressure, which is especially common in custom tires/vehicles, you’ll need to go above the standard 60 psi you’ll find on most gas station tire pressure gauges. For instance, our top pick, the Tekton, is able to climb up to 100 psi.
- Display: This is wholly going to depend on what type of tire pressure gauge you decide on. The only time this really comes into consideration is if you either have a difficult time reading one type of gauge, or if you work the graveyard shift and check your pressure before you hit the road. If the latter is the case, you’ll want a digital reader to clearly see the pressure display.
- Weight and Grip: Sounds a bit simple, right? While a lot of avid auto enthusiasts will always pick a stick style tire pressure gauge, there’s one issue that goes with them: they’re lightweight. You don’t want to accidentally end up releasing too much air from your tire, which happens when you apply pressure, and it pops off. With a higher weight and ergonomic grip, you’ll have the proper pressure and grip to hold it in place.
- Battery Requirements: Digital gauges require batteries—while most models are going to include them, they might require specific types. If your batteries burn out, replacements could be a pain. For instance, the Tekton on the height of our list requires LR44 batteries, which aren’t your average AA or AAA solution.
- Size: Digital gauges end up being bulkier than dial, and dial are bigger than the stick. If you have a small kit for your car and not a lot of space, or if your glove compartment is already cramped enough, consider size as a factor.
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