Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Feb. 15, 2019

It’s a scenario most of us can relate to – you’re driving carefree along the road, only to be halted by a sudden puncture. If you don’t have a spare tire in the trunk, you might think you need to call out triple A, but there’s actually a third option: tire repair kits.

These handy kits contain a latex gel or plug that can be inserted into the puncture. Once inside the puncture hole, the tire is temporarily resealed, and you can simply pump it up and go. These kits are lightweight, easy to store, and almost anyone can use them. With this in mind, keeping a kit in the trunk in case of emergency is a great idea for anyone who drives regularly. To help you choose the right tire plug kit for you, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 options. Following on from the list, you’ll find our handy guide to using these kits safely and effectively.

The Best Tire Repair Kit

Kicking off our list it Tooluxe, with their easy to use car puncture repair kit. The simple kit works with all tubeless tires, without the need to remove the tire from your vehicle. Inside the kit, you’ll find a rasp tool, an insert tool, two hex keys, 30 string plugs, and a tub of sealing lubricant – everything you need to get you back on the road in no time.

Both tools feature and ergonomic T-shaped handle design for greater comfort during use, and maximum turning power. All tools are built to last, from sand blasted stainless steel. They’re resistant to dirt, grime and corrosion, and are easy to clean. Each kit comes in its own compact box, featuring a carry handle for easy storage. Users were impressed with the professional quality of the kit, which can be used again and again thanks to the high number of string plugs.

Key Features
  • Complete puncture repair kit suitable for all tubeless tires
  • Includes everything you need to perform a roadside puncture repair
  • Easy to use
  • Tools feature ergonomic handles
  • Tools made from durable stainless steel
  • Kit can be neatly organized in its own compact box
  • Carry handle for easy transportation
Specification
  • Brand Tooluxe
  • Model 50002L
  • Weight 2.3 pounds

The next tire repair kit to earn itself a spot on our list is this heavy duty option put together by Boulder Tools. The 56 piece kit can be used to repair any tubeless tire puncture with ease, making it suitable for cars, tucks, motorcycles, ATVs, trucks, and even lawnmowers.

At the heart of the kit are a set of strong and durable tools, including a set of pliers to make removing the source of your puncture safer and easier than ever. Each tool features an ergonomically designed handle for easy use, while a clear set of instructions included with each kit allows you to plug the tire in no time, without any mechanical experience. Each kit comes in its own compact and organised box, and includes a one year warranty. Overall, this heavy duty kit certainly lives up to its name – it includes everything you could possibly need to get your tire back in working order in a matter of minutes.

Key Features
  • Heavy duty tire repair kit suitable for all tubeless tires
  • Features 56 pieces
  • Includes strong, durable, ergonomically shaped tools
  • Easy to follow instructions included
  • Comes in an organised and compact box
  • Protected by a one year warranty
Specification
  • Brand Boulder Tools
  • Model BT4001
  • Weight 2.6 pounds

Their name might not be appealing, but Slime have put together a great car tire repair kit that you’ll want to get your hands on. Unlike the first two kits to make out list, it’s designed to seal punctures by the application of rubber cement.

As well as this strong and durable rubber cement, the kit also contains a rasp tool, a plugging tool, and five plug strings. This amounts to everything you need to fix a puncture on the go. Both tools in the kit feature ergonomic, T-shaped handles, complete with individual finger rests for easy and comfortable use.  Users report that the cement and plugs are extremely durable, and the kit is easy to use even for complete beginners.

Key Features
  • Complete tire repair kit, suitable for use with all tubeless tires
  • Seals punctures with rubber cement
  • Includes a rasp tool, a plugging tool, five plug strings, and a tube of rubber cement
  • Tools feature Ergonomic, T-shaped handles for an easy grip
  • Easy to use, even for complete beginners
Specification
  • Brand Slime
  • Model 1034-A
  • Weight 0.8 ounces

Slime have earned their second spot on our list straight away with this 48 piece complete tire repair kit. Inside, is pretty much everything you could hope for when confronted with a puncture in the middle of nowhere – all contained inside a compact and handy travel case.

Included is a 12 volt tire inflator, which can be plugged directly into the cigarette lighter of any car. It’s capable of inflating a standard car tire in just three minutes, so you’ll be back on the road in no time. The kit also features a large tube of Slime’s own tire sealant, formulated to seek out and instantly seal punctures up to ¼” in size, using their unique Fibro-Seal technology. To prepare the puncture for the sealant, the kit includes a T-handle rasp tool, and a plugging tool, along with 30 repair strings. It’s quick and easy to use, built to last, and takes up hardly any room at all in the trunk of your car.

Key Features
  • Complete tire repair kit suitable for all tubeless tires
  • 48 piece kit contained inside a compact travel case
  • Includes a 12 volt tire inflator, which can be powered through your car’s cigarette lighter
  • Includes a tube of tire sealant, featuring Fibro-Seal technology
  • Kit also includes T-handle rasp and plugging tools
Specification
  • Brand Slime
  • Model 70004
  • Weight 9.36 pounds

Safety Seal have nabbed the next spot on our list with their sturdy yet compact tire puncture repair kit. Inside the box you’ll find a spiral probe and insertion tool, each of which feature an easy to grasp T-shaped handle.

The kit also includes a tub of sealing lubricant, and 30 string plugs, allowing you to fix multiple punctures before you need to replace anything. Users say the kit is great quality, and includes everything you’ll need to fix minor punctures wherever you are. It’s also designed and made in the USA, to a high standard of quality. Popping it in the trunk before a journey is sure to give you peace of mind as you travel.

Key Features
  • Puncture repair kit suitable for use on all tubeless tires
  • Includes everything you’ll need to perform a puncture repair wherever you are
  • Features a spiral probe and insertion tool, each of which features a T-shaped handle
  • Includes a tub of sealing lubricant and 30 string plugs
  • Designed and manufactured in the USA to a high standard of quality
Specification
  • Brand Safety Seal
  • Model KAP30
  • Weight 752-178

The next tire repair kit to make it onto our list is this compact but complete set by Smittybilt. Inside its attractive case is everything you’ll need to deal with a puncture on the go, including 30 self vulcanizing plugs, aluminum rasping and plugging tools, a tire pressure gauge, and sealing lubricant.

The kit is designed specifically for off-roading enthusiasts, and is suitable for use with a range of vehicles including cars, trucks, trailers, and UTVs. Its small size allows for easy storage in the glove compartment or under your seat. Customers were impressed with the sturdy quality of the kit, and found it effective against many tire woes. To help you get the most out of their kit, Smittybilt have even taken the time to produce some handy instructional videos about how to use their kit. You can find them online.

Key Features
  • Tire repair kit suitable for all tubeless tires
  • Kit contained inside a compact and attractive case
  • Includes 30 self-vulcanising plugs, aluminum rasping and plugging tools, and sealing lubricant
  • Also includes a tire pressure gauge, so you can easily top up tires to their correct level
  • Designed with off-roading enthusiasts in mind
  • Instructional videos for using this kit available online
Specification
  • Brand Smittybilt
  • Model 2733
  • Weight 1.8 pounds

This tire repair kit by Blackjack has also impressed us. Each kit, contained in a handy, compact box, contains everything you’ll need to repair a puncture on the go, no matter where you find yourself.

Inside, you’ll find a spiral probe and plug insertion tool, each of which feature T-shaped ergonomic handles, coated with a durable and soft rubber grip. Alongside these tools, the kit contains sticky plugs, sealing lubricant, and a valve core remover that doubles up as a screwdriver. The plugs themselves are made from a butyl rubber compound that’s designed to last, sealing out moisture and dirt with ease. Customers say that the kit is made to a professional standard, and ideal for emergency roadside situations.

Key Features
  • Complete tire repair kit suitable for all tubeless tires
  • Contains a spiral probe and plug insertion tool, featuring T-shaped ergonomic handles with soft and durable rubber grips
  • Also includes sticky butyl rubber plugs, to keep air in, and dirt and moisture out
  • Manufactured to professional standard and easy to use
Specification
  • Brand Blackjack
  • Model KT-340
  • Weight 2.6 pounds

At less than two pounds in weight, and only a few inches in size, Stop & Go’s pocket sized tire plugger kit certainly lives up to its name. Its small size makes the kit ideal for vehicles with limited storage space, such as motorcycles, ATVs, golf carts, and small tractors.

Inside, you’ll find a rasp tool, a plug insertion tool, and a hex key, alongside 12 mushroom plugs. The kit also includes compact COcanisters and an adapter, so you can inflate your tire to its proper size wherever you are. Users report that the kit is easy to use, even if you’ve never plugged a tire before, and can be a real lifesaver when it comes to rural punctures.

Key Features
  • Tire repair kit suitable for use with tubeless tires
  • Pocket-sized version is ideal for users of motorcycles, ATVs, golf carts, and small tractors
  • Includes a rasp and plug insertion tool, hex key, and 12 mushroom plugs
  • Features compact CO2  canisters and an adapter, allowing for remote tire inflation
  • Kit includes easy to follow instructions
Specification
  • Brand Stop & Go
  • Model 1001
  • Weight 1.4 pounds

Victor’s 30 piece tire repair kit equips you with everything you’ll need to sort out punctures wherever and whenever. The kit, housed in a compact and easy to carry case, includes 20 repair plugs, rubber cement, three round patches, and all the tools you’ll need to use them.

A handy pressure gauge in the kit helps you to inflate your tires to the exact right pressure, while rasp and plugging tools, both of which feature ergonomic T-shaped handles, ensure the new plug is inserted properly. Users say that the kit is a welcome addition to any vehicle, and very easy to use. The tools are manufactured to a high quality, and provides all the essentials you’ll need for simple tire plugging on the go.

Key Features
  • Complete puncture repair kit suitable for all tubeless tires
  • 30 piece kit
  • Tools and parts housed in a compact carrying case
  • Includes repair patches, plugs, and rubber cement
  • Features a rasp and plugging tool, with ergonomic T-shaped handles
  • Easy to use and stores easily in the trunk, under the seat, or in the glove compartment
Specification
  • Brand Victor
  • Model 22-5-00126-8A
  • Weight 15.2 ounces

Last, but no least, is this heavy duty tire repair kit by AllTools. The kit makes for an easy tire fix wherever you are, featuring high-quality pliers, a pressure gauge, and T-handle spiral rasp and plug insertion tools.

The kit also contains a selection of 20 plugs, in three different sizes, for differently sized punctures. These brown string plugs are strong and durable, designed to be much tougher than their black string counterparts. AllTools have added a few extra pieces to their kit too, for your convenient – a set of gloves protect your hands while you fix the puncture, and replacement valve cores and caps are handy to have around in any tire repair situation. Customers say the kit is compact and versatile, offering peace of mind during any car journey.

Key Features
  • Puncture repair kit, suitable for all tubeless tires
  • Features a pair of high quality pliers, and a tire pressure gauge
  • T-handle rasp and plug insertion tools are easy to use
  • Includes 20 brown string plugs of various sizes
  • Includes a pair of protective gloves, and replacement valve cores and caps
Specification
  • Brand ALLTOOLS
  • Model A-101
  • Weight 14.4 ounces

Best Tire Repair Kit Buying Guide & FAQ

Clearly, keeping a puncture repair kit on hand is sound advice for any motorist, and there are plenty of options to choose from. To help you find a kit that meets your individual needs, we’ve put together this handy buying guide.

Below, we discuss what to look out for in a tire repair kit, how to use them safely and effectively, and how to properly care for your car’s tires.

What to Look for in Tire Repair Kit

When choosing a tire repair kit, there are a few key features to watch out for:

  • High Quality Tools

Your puncture repair kit is useless if the tools inside it are unusable. Look out for tools made from a durable material, such as steel or aluminum, and consider how easy they will be to use. A good kit will include a rasp, plugging tool, and hex key, but you can also purchase a more extensive kit, with additional tools such as pliers and a knife, for easing the object which caused the puncture out of your tire.

  • Durable Plugs

Once you’ve established that the tools in your new kit are made to a high standard of quality, check that the plugs are equally durable. Some kits contain plugs in varying sizes, allowing you to repair punctures in a variety of sizes, while others make use of a rubberized cement to form a seal. Whichever option you select, check out the product’s reviews to ensure the plug will stay in place.

  • Size and Storage

On the road, you won’t always have a lot of space to store your tire repair kit, so it’s important to choose an option that works with the space you have. It’s generally best to choose a kit that comes in its own bag or case, in order to keep the tools and equipment together.

Benefits of Tire Repair Kits

Keeping a tire repair kit on hand comes with a whole host of benefits:

  • Tire repair kits take up less room in your car than a spare tire would
  • Using a tire repair kit does not require any skills, knowledge, or extra tools
  • Almost anyone can use a tire repair kit, whereas some people might not be physically strong enough to replace the full tire
  • Tire repair kits are lighter than spare tires
  • Purchasing a tire repair kit is considerably cheaper than purchasing a new tire
  • Plugging a tire can increase its lifetime, and you may not need to replace it in some time

How to Repair Sidewall Puncture

Unfortunately, sidewall punctures cannot be repaired. If your tire sustains a puncture to its sidewall, you will need to replace the tire all together.

Sidewall punctures can’t be plugged for two main reasons:

  • The Plug Won’t stay in Place

Each tire has a set of cords that run around the tread. They help to keep a plug in place when it’s repaired. However, these cords don’t reach the sidewall, so there’s nothing for the plug to anchor to.

  • A Repair Would Compromise the Integrity of the Tire

If you were to patch a tire’s sidewall, the risk of blowout would be significantly increased. Tire blowout is a serious issue, which can result in accidents, injury, and even death to the occupants of the vehicles involved. In addition, with a damaged sidewall, air will continue to leak out of the tire, brining the pressure inside below its optimum. Under-inflated tires do not grip or handle as well as they should, and can also increase your risk of having an accident.

Best Tire Repair Kit FAQ:

Q: What kind of tools are usually included in tire repair kits?

A typical tire repair kit will usually include the following tools:

  • Rasp Tool
A rasp tool is used to even out and roughen the edges of the puncture hole once the cause of the puncture has been removed. The tool features a spiralled point attached to a T-shaped handle, making it easy to grip and twist into the hole.
  • A Plugging Tool
As its name suggests, this tool is designed to insert plugs into a tire’s puncture hole. If you’ve ever seen a needle threading device, you’ll be familiar with the plugging tool’s design: it features a needle-like shaft with an eye, through which the plug is threaded. This needle is then inserted into the puncture hole, and as it is pulled out, the plug slides into place and stays behind. Tire repair kits might also include other useful tools, such as:
  • A set of pliers – used to remove the source of the puncture
  • A pair of gloves – to protect your hands while fixing the tire
  • A tire pressure gauge
  • A compact compressor or CO2 canister to inflate the tire

Q: How long will a tire plug repair last?

This can depend on the severity of the puncture, and the terrain on which you’re driving. However, thanks to technological improvements, tire plugs can last for a long time. A tire repaired by a plug can drive up to 25,000 additional miles without problems, but do remember to check it for punctures and bulges regularly, as all tires should be checked. If in doubt, have a trusted professional check your tire. They’ll be able to let you know whether you can continue to drive on the plug, or need to replace the whole tire.

Q: Can I patch a tire after it has been plugged?

Yes. Using both a plug and a batch to repair your tire is actually considered the safest repair solution. Many tire repair kits do contain both plugs and patches. Plugs are a great way to repair punctures greater than ¼” in diameter, which patches can’t always cover. Using both devices gives your tire the best chance of continuing to last. However, do bear in mind that if the puncture is too close to the tire’s sidewall, it will probably need to be replaced.

Q: How many repair plugs can I use in a puncture?

Different tire manufacturers provide different recommendations, but, as a rule, tires should not be plugged more than twice before being replaced. Even when punctures are visibly repaired, damage may still have been done to the tire’s interior. For this reason, plugging isn’t foolproof, and you should get your tire checked by a professional as soon as possible.

Our Top Pick

For us, the best tire repair kit has to be this simple and compact offering from Tooluxe. Each set, housed inside a handy storage case, features a spiral rasp and insert needle, both made from sturdy hardened steel.

The kit also includes a hex key, sealing lubricant, and 30 string plugs, allowing you to make multiple repairs before having to purchase replacement parts. The set offers excellent quality at its price point, and is easy to use whether you’re a qualified mechanic, or have never so much as checked your own oil level! Simply store this complete repair kit in the trunk, and you’ll never have to worry about getting a puncture in the middle of nowhere again.

Sources:

  1. How to Use a Tire Repair Kit – Do it Yourself
  2. Tools Needed to Change a Tire – HowStuffWorks

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