Best Tire Pressure Gauges: Get the Air Pressure Needed for Maximum Performance
Our top picks for the best tire pressure gauge for your vehicle
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BY Humphrey Bwayo / LAST UPDATED ON April 18, 2019
Over or under inflating your vehicle’s tires will have a direct effect on tire wear as well as the overall performance of your car. As a result, it's essential to get the best tire pressure gauge to ensure your tires have the right amount of air pressure. It can be difficult to notice a leaking tire with the naked eye, and if left deflated for too long, it could eventually cause irreparable damage. With so many models on the market, it might be difficult for the average driver to choose a worthy tire pressure gauge for their vehicle. Whatever your preferences are, check out our reviews and recommendations for the best tire pressure gauge.
Only capable of reading up to 75 PSI. Pricey. Feels bulky and might not fit compact glove compartments. Over time, the device fails to hold the reading unit, compromising its accuracy.
Has a cheap feel. Uses two different types of batteries. The power button has multiple functions, leading to confusion during reading.
Auto shut-off feature interrupts the reading, especially when checking more than one tire. LCD display is a bit difficult to read. Gauge tip develops issues after continuous use.
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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of a Tire Pressure Gauge
- Reduce vehicle strain. The less air pressure in your car’s tires, the more strain exerted on them, damaging them more quickly. Having too much tire damage could expose you to air leaks. Worst case scenario, you will experience a blowout while cruising down the road. No one enjoys being towed, especially for an avoidable problem.
- Improve fuel economy. It might come as a shock, but the difference between good fuel economy and terrible gas mileage is your tire pressure. Fuel economy is affected when you are driving with low pressure in your tires. When your vehicle’s tires have the wrong air pressure, extra strain is put on the wheels. The engine will have to work harder to move the wheels, compromising the fuel economy of your car.
- Get better braking performance. Your tire pressure and vehicle’s braking are directly related. It will take more time and distance trying to brake with incorrect tire pressure. Properly inflated tires help give your car better grip and stopping power. Getting the best tire pressure gauge will help to ensure your tire pressure levels are where they need to be all the time.
- Enjoy better ride quality. The smoother your car rides, the more enjoyable your drive will be. When all your tires have optimal air pressure, there’s little to no strain while driving. Your tires determine your vehicle's height off the pavement. Having proper tire pressure could save your skin if you hit a pothole.
Types of Tire Pressure Gauges
Dial gauges are the most common type of tire pressure gauges you are bound to see when shopping for these gadgets. They are pocket-sized and feature shock-resistant covers. These gauges are the middle ground of reliability between stick tire pressure gauges and digital gauges.
Digital gauges are the modern tire pressure gauges; they are quite simple to use and easy to read. It will probably take between two to three seconds on average to get a reading. These gauges have a tiny digital display screen that helps give the user all the information they need in a quick and readable fashion. Digital tire pressure gauges are a little bigger compared to the dial or stick gauges, so if you are going to stuff one in your vehicle’s glove compartment, make sure there is enough room.
Stick gauges are among the most reliable air pressure gauges. They resemble a ballpoint pen. They are very easy to use and compact enough to fit into most vehicle maintenance kits. However, you will need a touch of know-how to determine air pressure when using this pressure gauge.
Tekton is a family-based tool manufacturing company founded in 1991. The company is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan and specializes in manufacturing fabricated metal products such as wrenches, sockets, pliers, driver bits, air hoses, bungees, pry bars, and vices. One of its popular products is the Tekton 5941 Tire Pressure Gauge.
Rhino USA Inc.
Rhino USA Inc. is a small American-owned company founded by a father and his two sons. The company is located in Temecula, California. Rhino USA specializes in designing and distributing powersport accessories such as bungee cords, tire pressure gauges, towing accessories for trucks, motorcycle tie down straps and loops, and wrenches, among other products. One of the popular products is the Rhino USA Tire Pressure Gauge.
Accutire is a Chinese-owned, US-based pressure gauge production company. It’s a sister company to Measurement Ltd and specializes in the production of all types of gauges including digital tire gauges, racing gauges, mechanical tire gauges, and accessories. It is known for producing quality pressure gauges and performance products for both vehicles and motorcycles. Some of its products include Bluetooth tire pressure monitors, wireless digital TPMS, air compressors, and others. One of its popular products is the Accutire MS-4021B.
Tire Pressure Gauge Pricing
- Under $10: There are a variety of tire pressure gauges available at this price. However, most of the gauges you are likely to find in this range will only have the basic functionality with a low PSI reading. Depending on the manufacturing company, pressure gauges here are popular due to their affordability and basic performance.
- $10-$25: Some of the best tire pressure gauges on the market can be found in this price bracket. They have better build quality, extra features, and have the capability of reading higher PSI. Devices in this price range are popular due to their reliability, functionality, and low cost.
- Over $40: Tire pressure gauges here are top-of-the-range premium products. They offer multiple functions and are fitted with modern features such as wireless connectivity and integration with smart devices. These products have high accuracy readings and sturdy builds to provide the best performance for the longest time possible.
Maximum PSI Reading
It's important to always make sure that the tire pressure gauge you choose is within your car’s tire pressure range. Check the maximum tire pressure on the gauge to make sure it’s enough for your car’s tires. If your car has a specific requirement when it comes to tire pressure, which is common with custom tires, you might need to get a pressure gauge to match.
Avid drivers find the stick-style tire pressure gauge most useful. However, there’s one problem with this type of pressure gauge: They are lightweight. You don’t want to accidentally release too much pressure from your tires because the gauge could pop off unexpectedly. A heavier pressure gauge with an ergonomic grip will give you proper grip to hold the pressure gauge in position.
Digital tire pressure gauges need batteries to operate them. Most products will include them in the package, with some requiring specific types of batteries. In case your battery dies, getting new ones can be a pain, especially if they are unique.
- Ease of Use: It’s important that your tire pressure gauge is easy to use. It’s also more convenient to get one that you can operate with one hand. Dial pressure gauges require two hands to use, while the stick and digital tire pressure gauges only need one hand.
- Easy to Read: Analog and stick tire pressure gauges may be difficult to read accurately, especially during low-light conditions. However, the modern-day digital gauge has a backlit LCD display that improves accuracy.
- Durability: Dial and digital tire pressure units are the most robust. With care, pressure gauges can last a while. The best tire pressure gauge is one that can endure harsh weather and can last a long time.
- Accuracy: Pressure gauge readings would be useless without accuracy. Modern gauges, such as digital tire pressure gauges, have the capability of matching the accuracy levels on stick models.
Best Tire Pressure Gauge Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- After purchasing your tire pressure gauge, make sure you keep it handy in your vehicle at all times. It's also essential that it is carefully stored in a compartment. Poorly storing your gauge will affect its durability and overall functionality.
- Understand the correct tire pressure of your vehicle. It’s vital that you do not inflate your tires based on the maximum PSI indicated on the tire wall. You should confirm the correct PSI for your tires by checking the sticker placed in the driver’s side door jamb or by reading the owner’s manual.
- Driving your vehicle heats your tires. Heated tires give incorrect pressure readings. Make sure you only check your tires when they are cold or have been sitting idle for some time.
- When checking the tire pressure, make sure you push the gauge down firmly on the valve stem to get the most accurate reading.
- In case you accidentally overinflate your tires, most tire pressure gauges are fitted with a bleeder valve to help release excess tire pressure.
Q: How often do I need to check the tire pressure?
A: It largely depends on the age and model of your car. Modern vehicles have built-in tire pressure sensors, so you may rarely have to check the pressure unless the warning light is triggered. A good rule of thumb is to always perform a visual check before driving your vehicle.
Q: How will I know if my tire is going flat?
A: If you check your tire pressure level and it's a few PSI below normal, you have a pressure leak. It's normal for the PSI to drop. However, drastic drops may be a sign of tire wear or something else going wrong.
Q: Will winter temperatures affect my tire pressure?
A: Yes. Any temperature changes outside will affect your tire pressure. If it’s 45 degrees during the day, then 15 degrees at night, your tire pressure will vary by about 3 PSI. Since it’s usually coldest overnight, the low-pressure indicator light may go on first thing in the morning and then shut off after you start driving and the tires warm up.
Our top pick for the best tire air pressure gauge is the Rhino USA Heavy Duty Tire Pressure Gauge. It comes with a lifetime warranty, has a glow-in-the-dark dial, and is very durable.
If you are looking to purchase something more practical and affordable, consider the TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge.