I’m wondering if anyone has experience or knowledge of these hand-sized tyre inflators. I’m seeing quite a few ads for various brands on social media. (One example.) I can’t find any reviews or mentions on Choice website. (How about it?)
Obviously not what an off-roading enthusiast wants . But it’s of interest to me for a specific reason. Long story short (medical stuff): I have serious limitations in hand dexterity and skin condition, meaning I have no hope of operating an air pump at a servo. (And my days of changing a wheel are long gone). So if one of these devices would help me maintain tyre pressures at home, and even maybe an emergency puncture repair with a sealant thingy, then I’d definitely be up for it.
Can anyone say whether these devices are worth the cost?
I personally would avoid buying anything which is advertised on social media, unless it one can prove it is from a bona fide seller. There a a lot of scammers and sham sellers.
The example you have shown is $187. There are similar and far cheaper ones available in reputable Australian companies like:
There are two things I would check. That the pump output can meet or exceed the maximum pressure stated for the tyres on your car and that the digital gauge is accurate. Also see how many tyres it can pump up (based on the tyre size of your car). The later is important if you have a slow leak and it might take some time/distance to travel to get the tyre repaired - requiring more than one inflation.
Rather than cordless, there are also 12V tyre pumps which plug into a 12V port in a vehicle. If I was to buy one, I would be looking at one of these as they don’t need charging and can bounce around in the back of a car/under a seat - meaning one can forget about it until it is needed. These are usually also cheaper, and like any cordless one, the accuracy of the gauge is important. If the digital gauge/reading isn’t overly accurate, it might require the purchase of a secondary pressure gauge.
Choice has reviewed pressure gauges in the past (member content):
I have one that is about 30 years old. It has an internal 12v 7.2AH alarm type battery. I would call it a luggable more than handheld weighing almost 2 times the battery all up. The compressor part is pretty robust. It is all in terminology
Not many are represented and zero of the lightweight ones that are advertised, but
The light weight hand held might suit because of your conditions although they will not work as well or as quickly as a more substantial one.
The shops (Bunnings, Repco, SuperCheapAuto, etc) have anecdotal reviews and when there are many over time with a good return policy they can be helpful.
I use the 18 volt Ryobi one, it uses the replaceable Li-on batteries from the range and has a gauge to tell you what pressure has been achieved.
The hand sized tyre inflators also require a degree of dexterity to handle. Especially removing the tyre valve cap and attaching the inflator (air compressor) hose.
If I had a choice and did not wish to use a servo, I’d use a small mains powered air compressor. Permanently plugged into the garage power point with a short hose to reach all 4 tyres and a tyre pressure gauge inflator on the end. Reality - this is what I use at home. Meets other needs including the tractor.
The same car accessory retailers that sell cheap (often low quality) and the better battery or car 12V powered tyre inflators also sell small 230V air compressors and hose kits for DIY at home.
For a flat tyre on the road, YMMV. Personal experience is 50:50 as to whether the cause of a flat tyre can be cured with a temporary puncture repair kit. A motoring organisation support vehicle offers a 99% success, assumes mobile coverage and extreme outback adventures excepted. Unlikely one would undertake such a trip relying on just a kit with goop in a tube?
I also have a small plug into cigarette outlet compressor and tyre inflator. It was not expensive. It takes a long time to pump up a tyre from near flat. The motor accessory shops specialising in 4WDs offer more capable compressors, note Choice reviews. The reliability of the 12V accessory outlets can be a problem if under load for extended periods of time, hence note the models with 12V battery clips in the Choice review. A compressor operating from a rechargeable battery per @grahroll suggestion is a solution, assuming it is recharged regularly.
…the member has a spare tyre,
→ We’ll swap out your flat or damaged tyre with your roadworthy spare.
not always the case. Would they attend with or to use an emergency inflation can and if that were a solution why wouldn’t/couldn’t the driver do it oneself and be on their way? If the can didn’t work and no spare are they towed, is the flat taken for repair and returned, or is the driver left to their own devices? Depending on the emergency service it could be any of ‘the above’.
It could also be tens of minutes or more often hours to enjoy their services. The worse the weather the longer.
Both our cars have spares, 1 a full size the other a temp, but because of the size and difficulty of changing one out at our age, both carry an emergency inflation can. So far not needed but came close recently when the partner limped home with a ‘flattening’ tyre. Inspection revealed a leaking shrader valve, a new experience, and a quick tightening up was all it took. The old 12V pumped it back up no worries.
I purchased this one (from Outdoor Tool Box, via FB - Electric Tyre Inflator 🚘 – Outdoor Tool Box) back in February this year & have found it very useful.
As is common with many Made in China products a) it took quite a while to arrive (to the point I thought I had been scammed!) & b) extremely limited instructions for ‘how-to-use’.
It comes with a USB charging cord, plus multiple extra connections (eg for ball, bicycle etc inflation) but the default connection is for car tyres. Once I worked this out, & had fully charged it (you need to supply your own USB electrical adaptor) - I selected the psi needed for a (seriously flat) trailer tyre & started it. It fully inflated the tyre within 10 minutes (to +/- 2psi) and stopped itself when it reached the preset level.
Easy to apply/remove the connector from the valve stem, and I was pleasantly surprised that it had held the remaining charge, when I needed to repeat the process (several times due to a slow leak - before the offending tyre was taken for repair).
I now keep it in my car’s console, but suggest it will need periodic full recharge, to ensure it is ready for emergency use: I wouldn’t rely on using my car’s USB connector to be fast enough…).
There appear to be cheaper price points,and a plethora of different busines names selling the same/similar units - I can only comment on my experience!
Electric Tyre Inflator × 1
Total $76.99 AUD
You saved $33.00
I’ve seen the portable battery tool brand air compressor tyre inflation kits from Makita, Ozito, etc. Less expensive the all in one looks like a very practical backup option for more than just pumping up a tyre.
A Repco option $79 or $49 member price.
Has the prior referenced Choice review of 12V compressors been superseded by technology change? I’m left wondering, considering the options Choice previously reviewed were relatively high powered (up to 40A at 12V). The majority of the energy used in compressing air is lost directly as heat. Plenty of scope for a review of what are 3 different portable designs. One car battery powered, another with a portable tool battery and a third an integrated near pocket size large power bank style.
Thanks for that review. (And thanks everyone too). That might just get it over the line for me. But I’ll see what the folks at Supercheap or wherever say.
The 5.0 Ah ones last quite a long time between recharges. There is a Ryobi battery charger for the 18 v series designed for cars if someone wanted to have a battery on a charger in the car.
Well I’ve ended up taking the plunge on the one I linked in the OP. It’s 50% more expensive than the Outdoor Toolbox one, but I decided it was worth that for double the battery life. Should last longer sitting in the car.
I have an air compressor for tyres that connects to the car battery with crock clips. It sits in the boot in a little bag ready to go. And I have done all of my puncture repairs over the years on my medium sized 4 wheel drive.
No issues about whether the battery in some device will be depleted of charge if and when it may be required.
No issues about if the battery device is depleted it could take hours to recharge.
No issues about cigarette lighter type plugs that may well be protected by fuses that may only allow 10 amps before blowing.
Choice tested the car battery clip on powered portable compressors
One example the Repco Air Compressor Single Cyclinder RAC085 pumped up the test tyre from flat in 4 minutes. It has the following specs per Repco including an 85lpm airflow output.
Looking to the portable battery option mentioned in the OP it has a 10lpm airflow output. All things being equal, it looks like a totally flat tyre could take close to 30minutes to fully inflate.
It’s worth noting the Repco 12V compressor weighed approx 6.1kg according to the Choice review. It also has a 400W motor. The majority of the work done in compressing the air for a tyre is evident as heat.
Looking to the small size, lesser weight and low battery power of the small portable inflators they look to be far less capable than the 12V externally powered compressors Choice tested. Hence more suited to topping up when the pressure has dropped a few psi or 10’s of kPa.
It will be great to get some feedback from @eN0ch on the purchase and how it goes to check and top up the tyres at home.
If/when you use it please add your personal review here
Probably longer. Depending on tyre size and pressure possibly much longer. But the problem being addressed is the ability to do it at all, or to have to wait for a service truck. I punt even a 1 hour inflation would beat the truck ~100% of the time.
The rub is in why the tyre went flat and whether someone with dexterity issues could fix it in any case, and that could imply a can (or two) of tyre repair sealant would be cheaper as well as more practical to get one rolling again.
The real problem seems a routine top up, so it would serve the intended purpose.
No way known if the tyre was on the car and the car on the ground. Maybe with an 85lpm unit, like mine, you could get from 0 to 10 psi in 4 minutes. The higher the pressure, the lower the air flow gets as the compressor has to compress more. And it gets hot. That’s what happens when air is compressed.
I just consider these battery powered air pumps suitable for bikes or footballs, not car tyres. But hey, may be OK if the idea was to adjust from say 25 psi to the desired 30 psi on a monthly tyre check. But from dead flat with a puncture or valve release, forget it.
Appreciate the further contributions. Thanks guys.
The battery clip-ons I’m sure are good. But not really an option with my dexterity challenges. Probably even more of a challenge than the pump at the servo
Yes I’ll report back on what I find with the purchase. At least on using at home, anyway. Won’t promise a report on puncture repair at roadside
I am not sure of the wisdom of storing a tyre inflator in the car. I was given an Air Hawk Pro 6 months or so ago. The instructions say to never expose the air compressor or battery pack to rain, frost or temperatures above 50 degrees. The advice is also to avoid storing the battery pack in the car. Does this apply to other similar tyre inflators?
The Air Hawk Pro also has a 12V DC car adaptor. I presume the adaptor could be useful as a temporary aid for a slow leak in cars without a spare. However, the instructions also advise that the air compressor should not operate for more than 15 minutes at a time - allow to cool for 15 minutes before using it again.
While I share that concern many new cars come with an emergency inflation can not a spare. I suspect they are as or more dangerous under high heat than an inflator’s battery pack, and the cans generally have what seems a standard not to exceed temperature limit of 50C.