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Best Tire Inflator

The Best Portable Tire Inflator 2019

Ensuring that your tires are set to the correct PSI is crucial for both safety and performance reasons. Owning a tire inflator that is easy to use and inflates quickly will encourage you to regularly check and inflate the tires when required.

The best tire inflator is the AUDEW Portable Digital Inflator, which has a max pressure of 150 PSI, quiet operation, automatic shut off, LED light and much more.

Portable tire inflators have improved massively over the last few years. The majority include digital gauges, automatic shut off and lighting. Spending slightly more for a quality unit is highly recommended and will make inflating your tires far easier.

Tire Inflator Comparison

Portable Tire InflatorTypeMax PSI
Audew Digital12V150 PSI
Kensun PerformanceAC/DC90 PSI
CKIECK DigitalCordless150 PSI
Audew Lithium BatteryCordless160 PSI
FORTEM Digital12V150 PSI
JACO SmartPro12V100 PSI
Slime 40029120V125/150 PSI
Goodyear i8000 120V120V150 PSI
VIAIR 85P Portable12V80 PSI
EPAuto12V100 PSI

Unlike an air compressor for a home garage that are used for air tools, a tire inflator is a smaller and more portable device. They are available as a cordless or AC/DC inflator that vary in their performance and noise output.

Tires can require inflating for numerous reasons and having a portable tire inflator available is essential. Below is a list of the best tire inflators that plug straight into a 12V socket in your car and inflate tires quickly.

The Best Tire Inflator


1. AUDEW Portable 12V Tire Inflator


The new and improved Audew 12V tire inflator is a highly rated unit with a unique triangular design. The brand offer a wide variety of inflators but this is the best option. It simply plugs into a 12V socket and inflates to a specified PSI.

Compared with the older version, the upgrades include a high rate metal motor with an air flow of 38 liters per minute and 2 lighting modes.

Other features of the Audew 12V Tire Inflator include:

  • Max pressure of 150 PSI
  • LED lighting with 2 modes
  • Clear digital display
  • Automatic shut off
  • Multiple attachments
  • 10 foot long power cord
  • Includes a 1 year warranty

It’s an excellent all-round tire inflator that offers great value for money and will not disappoint. Unlike other cheap units, Audew offer a 1 year warranty, 180 days replacement and even a 90 day full refund for peace of mind.

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2. Kensun AC/DC Tire Inflator

For those that are on a budget, we recommend that you avoid this tire inflator as it is fairly specialized. It is both AC and DC adaptable for car and home use, which is very convenient and fairly advanced compared to the alternatives.

The design of this portable tire inflator makes it one of the easiest to carry around and it can even be hung on a hook when not in use.

Other features of the Kensun AC/DC Tire Inflator include:

  • LCD digital gauge
  • Maximum pressure of 90 PSI
  • Unit conversion
  • LED work light
  • Additional attachments
  • Automatic shut off

It’s the best AC/DC tire inflator you can buy with an excellent portable design and the performance to match. Kensun state that inflate up to 30 liters per minute, which is fairly impressive for this type of inflator.

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3. CKIECK Portable Cordless Tire Inflator


The CKIECK is a premium cordless tire inflator that has an impressive flow rate of 55 liters per minute. This is made possible by the advanced air cylinder that is powered by a 2,000 mAh lithium battery.

As with the 12V inflators, this cordless alternative also has the desirable automatic shut off once it reaches the pre-set pressure value.

Other features of the CKIECK Cordless Inflator include:

  • LCD backlit digital display
  • 4 units of measurements
  • ABS and stainless steel construction
  • Dual powered motor
  • Bright LED flashlight
  • Max pressure of 150 PSI
  • Includes a carrying case

The CKIECK is the best cordless tire inflator available that offers superior flow rate performance. It does come with a premium price tag but it’s been built to high standards with a rugged construction and the ability to use AC or DC as a power supply.

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    4. Audew Rechargeable Cordless Tire Inflator

    Another cordless tire inflator is by the Audew brand and it’s designed for maximum performance. It uses a 2,200 mAh large capacity battery that is able to power the air cylinder, which is able to operate to a maximum pressure of 160 PSI.

    In case that you run out of power from the battery, it’s able to make use of a 12V power supply, which allows it to be powered in all situations.

    Other features of the Audew Cordless Tire Inflator include:

    • 2200 mAh large capacity
    • Rechargeable lithium battery
    • Option to use a 12V adapter
    • Automatic shut off
    • 120 watts of power
    • Flashlight and digital gauge
    • 60 dB of noise

    It’s a cheaper alternative to the CKIECK alternative and features plenty of functionality and a dual powered motor. It even features a bright LED flashlight and digital gauge for usage within poor lighting conditions.

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    5. FORTEM Digital Car Tire Inflator


    The FORTEM car tire inflator is by far the most popular available in the USA. It’s easy to operate and includes all the attachments to inflate other inflatables. Simply plug the inflator into the car outlet, attach the hose to the tire and set the PSI.

    It uses a simple 3 button user interface that allows you to pre-set the PSI and alter the measurements upon the LCD display.

    Other features of the FORTEM 12V Digital include:

    • Lightweight and durable construction
    • Rugged hose that resists high pressure
    • Built-in LED flashlight
    • 3 different nozzle attachments
    • Easy to read display
    • Max pressure of 150 PSI
    • Satisfaction guaranteed

    The FORTEM digital car tire inflator is quiet, inflates quickly and is easy to use. It ticks every box and is the reason why it’s so popular across the USA. The only drawback is that it has a max runtime of 8 minutes before it needs to cool down.

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    6. JACO SmartPro Digital Tire Inflator


    The JACO SmartPro is another popular digital tire inflator that inflates tires at a flow rate of 25 liters per minute. It’s a premium option but has unique features such as a built-in fuse, anti-vibration feet and more, which make it a worthwhile investment.

    Unlike a standard LED flashlight that is integrated into the inflator, this light has 3 settings to choose from that include a flashlight, flashing red and SOS.

    Other features of the JACO SmartPro include:

    • 10 foot power cord
    • Flexible 24 inch hose
    • 3 piece adapter set
    • Easy to read LCD display
    • Automatic shut off
    • Measurements in PSI, BAR and KPA
    • Max pressure of 100 PSI
    • 100% satisfaction guarantee

    Although expensive, the JACO SmartPro is a highly rated and popular car tire inflator that won’t disappoint. It uses an efficient air cylinder and “SmartPressure” technology to allow you to accurately reach the pre-set pressure value.

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    7. Slime 40029 Tire Inflator 120V


    Slime offer their 120V tire inflator in two options that include a 125 or 150 PSI model. The more powerful is the best choice and is able to inflate a standard car tire in just 4 minutes due to the efficient air cylinder.

    A clever design feature of this tire inflator is the adapter storage within the center of the device, which keeps them safe and easily accessible.

    Other features of the Slime 40029 include:

    • Plugs into any extension cable
    • Wrap around air hose for storage
    • Fan cooled inflator motor
    • Dial gauge integrated into the hose
    • Compact and rugged design
    • Screw on nozzle

    The Slime 40029 is an affordable 120V tire inflator that is available in two options to best suit your requirements. It has a unique design that is built to last and can be easily stored in the back of your car for emergency use.

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    8. Goodyear i8000 Tire Inflator 120V

    Goodyear are one of the biggest tire brands in the world and they have developed a portable tire inflator that is powerful yet quiet. The 120V tire inflator is able to inflate a basic tire from 0 to 28 PSI in just 2 and a half minutes.

    The Goodyear i8000 is very popular but the brand offer other cheaper options with less performance if you are on a budget.

    Other features of the Goodyear i8000 include:

    • Max pressure of 150 PSI
    • 17 feet PVC air hose
    • 6 feet power cord
    • 120 volt direct drive inflator
    • Zero vibration
    • Whisper soft technology
    • 60 dB of noise

    If you require a highly rated 120V tire inflator from a reputable brand, the i8000 is the best option. Included are all the adapters and attachments you will need for inflating other items other than tires.

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    9. VIAIR 85P Portable Tire Inflator


    The VIAIR brand produce a wide variety of tire inflators that can be used within multiple applications. The 85P is their most popular option that has a heavy duty construction and is powered by a 12V power source.

    The brand state that this inflator is suitable for tire sizes up to 31 inches with a maximum pressure rated at 80 PSI.

    Other features of the VIAIR 85P include:

    • LED flashlight
    • Easy to read analog gauge
    • 10 feet long power cord
    • Efficient air cylinder
    • 3 piece inflation tip kit
    • High quality storage bag

    The VIAIR 85P may not be the highest performing tire inflator but the premium price is due to the superior build quality. The brand are highly reputable for all of their portable tire inflators and they will not disappoint.

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    10. EPAuto Digital Tire Inflator


    For those that are looking for a cheap tire inflator to use for emergency situations, the EPAuto is the best option. At a fraction of the cost compared to the alternatives above, this inflator offers excellent value for the money.

    Unlike many of the similar priced alternatives, it has many premium features such as unit selection, automatic switch off and much more.

    Other features of the EPAuto Digital include:

    • Digital gauge
    • LED torch
    • Automatic shut off
    • 4 units of pressure
    • 10 amp power
    • 70 dB noise ouput

    Overall, it is an affordable option that packs a fair amount of performance for the money. It won’t be as good as the more expensive alternative but if you will only be using it as a backup or storing it in your car, you cannot go wrong with the EPAuto.

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    Portable Tire Inflator Buying Guide

    Ensuring that you have the correct PSI in your tires is crucial in terms of safety and the handling of the car. Failing to inflate them properly will increase the chances of a blow out, reduce fuel efficiency, cause bad wear of the tire and much more.

    Tire inflators have improved massively over the last few years, which makes using them far easier to use. They are cheap, compact, portable and are fairly quick these days. Not owning one can be a real issue when you have a flat tire.

    To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the comprehensive guide below regarding tire inflators.

    Best Portable Tire Inflator

    Auto Shutoff

    Over inflation is a common mistake made by car owners whilst inflating their tires. The main reason for this is misjudging the gauge and this can cause uneven tire pressures.

    This is where an auto shutoff feature becomes very beneficial. It works by the user manually inputting the desired PSI and once the pressure in the tire reaches the pre-set PSI value, the inflator will automatically shutdown.

    Digital Gauges

    The analogue gauge is mostly found on the older inflators and they work perfectly fine. However, reading from a digital gauge is much easier. The text is larger and easier to read with many providing the option to change the pressure units.

    LED Lighting

    The introduction of an LED flashlight on some of the best tire inflators is a much needed feature. Inflating your tires in the dark is fairly difficult and made worse when you cannot see the dust cap or gauge if its not digital. Some premium options have multiple lighting modes such as color changes, SOS and much more.

    Multiple Attachments

    You can use a tire inflator for many other applications other than inflating a cars tire. From beach balls to bike tires, virtually any inflatable can be inflated using one of the above tire inflators. However, you will need to have all the additional attachments, adapters and other connectors. All of the recommendations include these and they can be very useful when required.

    AC/DC & Cordless Tire Inflators

    Tire inflators are all fairly similar in terms of their functionality but their power source does vary. The most common tire inflator will use a 12V AC power source such as the cigarette lighter. This is because virtually every car has a cigarette lighter and it’s the center point of the car. This means you are able to reach all four tires without needing a huge power cord.

    Opting for a AC 120V wall outlet is just as portable and it has several other uses without going into the car. For example, you may want to inflate other products other than your cars tires. It’s also more reliable as not all cigarette lighters will work in some cars but you will always be able to find a wall outlet. On top of this, your car may have a flat car battery, which means there will be no power going to the 12V power source.

    There are some tire inflators that can use both AC and DC power such as the Kensun tire inflator above. This gives the best of both worlds but you will have to pay a premium for the dual power source option.

    Finally, you can have a cordless tire inflator that is powered by a lithium ion battery and is usually a handheld device. These are normally the most expensive type of inflator but its the easiest to use, most portable and offers excellent power.

    However, be sure to charge the battery otherwise you will be resorting to using a 12V alternative for powering up the inflator.

    best tire inflator with gauge

    Air Compressor Noise

    Older tire inflators are known for being noisy and vibrating everywhere on the floor thus producing more noise. The noise that it makes can be highly annoying to neighbors and people nearby and its important that you look out for a quiet inflator.

    Anything that is above 80 dB is considered as loud and if your modern air compressor is making this type of noise, there is more than likely something wrong with it.

    Tire PSI Rating

    To avoid the pain and stresses of a flat or over inflated car tire, be sure to check the correct tire pressure for your vehicle. They are often found in the fuel filler cap or door sills but if not, they can be found from within the cars manual and other documentation.

    Many modern cars make use of a tire pressure monitoring system to monitor the PSI of the tires. This is a great feature but can become problematic if you do not have access to a TPMS tool. They often require resetting to relearn the tire and the pressure that it requires.

    The amount of air you put into a cars tire can depend on a range of factors from the temperature, number of passengers or different tires/wheel combination. If you are struggling to find the PSI, you can use the PSI stated on the tire for temporary use until you can find the correct pressure.

    If you are driving with incorrect tire pressures, you may find the below symptoms.

    Flat Tire Symptoms

    Driving with a flat tire is considered far worse than an over inflated tire. Below are some symptoms that you will find when driving with a flat tire:

    • Reduced fuel economy
    • Car handling reduced
    • Uneven tire wear
    • TPMS light
    • Pulling to one side
    • Vibrations
    • Visibly flat tire

    If you notice that you have a puncture, you may be able to repair it by using a tire repair kit. Once you have stopped air from leaving the tire, you can then inflate it to the correct pressure and monitor any fluctuations.

    Over Inflation Symptoms

    Over inflation is usually caused by not knowing the required manufacturers PSI rating or by mistake. Drawback of an over inflated tire include:

    • Uneven tire wear
    • Harder ride
    • Less contact on the road
    • Stress marks on the tire

    The only real sign of an over inflated tire is the very harsh ride when driving. You will be able to feel every stone or stick in the road and if this is the case, double check your tire pressures. If you have switched between cars, do not be fooled by sport suspension and other factors.

    best tire inflator 120v

    Portability and Ease of Use

    Unless you own a garage, you are more than likely going to purchase a portable tire inflator. All of the recommendations are portable but they do operate differently.

    Some inflate via predefined PSI whereas others are manually operated by the user until the PSI is reached. The last thing you want when you are trying to inflate a tire is a hard to use tire inflator. Limited buttons and an intuitive digital display really do help when trying to use the device.

    In terms of portability, a compact design that is easy to carry and stores well are important. On top of this, for corded AC/DC tire inflators, you will want to be able to wrap the cord easily and the Audew recommendation is the best at doing this.

    Conclusion

    Checking your tire pressures on a regular basis is highly recommended. The slightest of changes can make all the differences to the way your car handles. Even the temperature will require you to change the PSI of your tires.

    For example, when you are using winter tires, it is recommended by Tire Rack that you increase the by 3 to 5 PSI over the normal PSI.

    All of our recommendations are popular across the US and will inflate your tires effectively. If you use all terrain truck tires or larger tires, opting for the more powerful tire inflator is highly recommended otherwise you may spend long periods rating for the tire to inflate.

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