Having a low tyre pressure would increase the wear and tear of your tyres. One minute you’re peacefully driving by the road and the next you hear a bursting sound of the tyre from the back.
A study by the American NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) proves this point saying that under-inflated are indeed dangerous.
To be safe and sure at all times, have a tyre gauge in the boot of the car/bike. But depending on your flexibility, quality of the product and your usage, Tyre gauges are of two types
- Digital Gauges
- Analog Gauges.
A detailed description of both of these is explained clearly in the buying guide that has been attached to the end of the article.
And now for the list of the top 5 picks for the best Tyre Pressure Gauges are…
First on our list is the Michelin MN-4203, A digital tyre gauge from the house of the 129 years old Michelin Company. The MN-4203 not only measures the tyre pressure but can also measure the tread depth of your tires.
The depth of your tyre’s tread is important for having a good grip while driving on wet, slippery roads or mountainous terrain. The tread depth pin helps measure the accurate depth. New cars have about 8mm tread depth and this depletes as the tyre runs. The tread depth pin helps measure the accurate depth. Change tyres if the tread depth falls below 2mm
This small and compact tool fits comfortably in our palm and even has a large Digital display screen which makes it easier for people who have trouble with the vision to see better.
It can measure pressure units from 5psi to 99 psi (Converted Range:0.35-6.80 Bar/35-680 kPa/0.4-7.00kg/cm2)
It’s variable measuring units make it easier to measure the pressure for people irrespective of which measuring system they are accustomed to.
The automatic On and Off option makes its usage simple. Just plug into the tyre’s air nozzle and watch the pressure of the vehicle.
- Tread depth measuring pin
- Automatic on and off power options
- Can easily switched to different measurement units.
- Large display makes it easier to read the measurements
- Display does not have a backlight.
Next on the list is an Analog Pressure gauge by Karter Super Products. It has a sturdy build quality and excellent customer support.
The 45* and 360* upfront swivelling chuck which makes it easy to rotate and measure the pressure of the tyre even if the tyre’s nozzle is upwards, downwards or inwards facing.
This gauge is capable of reading and measuring the pressure up to 60 PSI (cannot read in other units as it is analogue dial based). But fear not as typical car tyres need maximum pressures up to 40 PSI only.
The inner body is made with a wide range of alloys of brass, steel, copper, and chrome. Sturdy and strong as it can be.
The outer shell of this gauge is made out of grooved rubber which gives a brilliant grip and makes this device a safe bet for rough usage. You can accidentally throw it down and do not have to fear about it breaking up into pieces.
Its short size makes it easy to store and keep it away in the glove compartment of the car. The only downside to this is its limitations to 60 PSI reading which may make the device’s needle a 1 or 2 % less accurate.
The product comes with an extra Four-Valve caps for replacement in case one or the other is misplaced.
- Sturdy material
- Strong Outer Shell
- 360* and 45* swivelling chuck makes for easy placing of the nozzle.
- 4 extra valve caps for replacement
- Is calibrated to PSI and can only measure in that.
- Maximum measurable PSI is 60 which may leave some room for inaccuracies.
Techtest is the only Digital pressure gauge with an ergonomic handle and a nozzle top led light in the entire list.
The ergonomic handle grip of the plastic tire pressure gauge makes it easy to hold while the nozzle top led light helps in pointing and placing on the nozzle.
Digital screen present on one side of the gauge comes with a backlight which helps you see the measurements even in times of darkness.
Apart from the regular PSI readings, the device can display pressure in 3 additional formats which are BAR, K/pa and kg/cm3.
Unlike the michelin, this device does not have an automatic on/off feature. A small button present under the led nozzle needs to be pressed for power on and off.
There however seems to be a minor issue with the battery replacement. The manual does not direct the user on to how to replace the battery and also there is no panel for anything as such.
- Ergonomic Handle
- LED light for front tip making it easy to place on the tyre nozzle.
- LED backlight for the display screen
- Durable plastic body.
- Small shape easily fits in your car, bike’s boot and even in your pocket.
- No indication or instructions for Battery replacement
An analog pressure gauge with memory feature, the Coido 6075 can measure in 4 different units.
The pressure gauge has a memory switch which helps you look at the reading even when the device is not attached to the nozzle. The working principle behind this is simple. You press the gauge to the tire and some air enters the chambers, pushes the needle and gets locked in there. It stays in the chamber until we press the release button to let the needle come back to zero.
Furthermore, the device has been calibrated to measure in Lbs, Kpa, Kg or bar making it international standard.
The overall device is small, compact and is made entirely out of metal. The pipe of the measuring tip is small making the entire device compact and easy to carry around.
Outer cover of the Coido gauge is made with plastic infused rubber making it shock proof and resistant to any breakage or falling down.
There is, however, a problem with the de facto pressure settings. Many users have reported a 2-8 PSI error by default. This means that upon delivery, the device by default shows certain PSI pressure even before plugging into the tyre nozzle. Users will have to deduct the error reading out of the total measurement to find the accurate reading.
Also, care must be taken while pressing down the instrument into your tyre nozzle. Place it irregular or wrong and you may end up losing air from your tyre.
- Analog memory lock in feature
- Calibrated to measure in Lbs, Kpa, Kg or bar
- Compact and small body making it easier to carry around
- Sturdy build quality and outer layer
- 2-8 PSI default error
Last but not the least, we have the Auto Hub metallic Analog tyre pressure gauge which comes with its own cute carry case and is the most economic pick of the entire list.
This budget friendly pressure gauge comes with a carry case can house the product for easy mobility and storage in your car or bikes boot.
A small pressure release button helps to make the measurement process. Similar to the Coido metallic, the button stores a little air to keep the dial’s needle on the pressure intact for measurement.
The device is small, compact and can measure from 0-100 PSI, 0.5-7.5 kg/cm2 and even measure the pressure of tyres in 4 different units (PSI, kg/cm2,kg/pa and BAR).
On an overall, this is a budget pick and works well for small and medium vehicles including 2 wheelers too.
- Economic pricing
- Pressure release button
- Carry case making it ideal mobility
- Can measure pressure in 4 different units.
- Is ideal for 2 and small to medium 4 wheelers
- None to mention
Buying Guide: How to pick the best Tyre Pressure Gauge?
The basic principle of how the pressure in a tyre is simple. But the evolution of technology along the way has given us ample choices on how we measure this pressure. Analog or Digital?
Before picking any random tyre pressure gauge off the shelf, be sure to look for the following things in a pressure gauge.
This refers to whether the pressure gauge is digital or analogue in nature.
- An Analog/Dial pressure gauge; as the name mentions have an analogue dial clockwork based meter reading. When you place the nozzle of the gauge to the nozzle of the tyre, the pressure from the tyre enters the gauge. This air hits a meter inside the gauge which moves in a clockwise direction. It stands still at a particular number reading indicating the pressure of that tyre.
- A digital pressure gauge; has an almost similar working principle of an analogue gauge. But, instead of a meter, the digital unit converts the detected pressure into digital units and then displays the number onto a LED display. Handy for people who find the analogue device too confusing.
A Stick Pressure Gauge is an analogue natured gauge but does not have clockwork or dials. It, as its name says, is shaped like a pencil stick which needs has an opening on nozzle opening on one end. When this is pressed to the tyre nozzle, a stick pops out indicating the pressure number.
2. Max Reading of the PSI
A typical car pressure lies between 30-38 PSI in India. Hence try and pick a gauge which has a maximum of 60 PSI. It can never go wrong to pick something of about double the required PSI. Stick gauges have a limited gauge PSI reading.
Most of the analogue gauges have a higher end reading of PSI. Be sure to check out those too.
Digital gauges can typically be programmed to go higher but this may result in the breakage of the device. Use caution.
3. Weight and Grip of the gauge:
Lighter is not always better. Particularly in the case of a pressure gauge. Lightweight gauges tend to fly off when you place them and push to check pressure. Also, the gauges need to have an ergonomic grip on your hands.
While digital gauges have some issue when it comes to the handling part, dial based gauges have little to no problem in that area. Most of them are circular in nature and have a minor outward pipe which is easier to hold and push.
Hence pick a gauge that is both of good weight and also has an ergonomic handle.
4. Vehicle Type:
Another important factor is the vehicle type. For minor 2 wheelers to mini and mid-sized cars, a digital tyre gauge does perfect justice. A stick gauge works fine for them too.
But for big sized trucks and other monster cars, it is preferred that you pick a dial-based gauge as they have little room for getting damaged easily.
5. Battery Requirements:
Digital gauge meters are mostly battery powered and need a battery replacement from time to time. The requirement may be simple, but gauges on low battery levels lead to a lower display of pressure and other problems.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQs:
1. How much air pressure should I be maintaining in my car?
A typical car tyre should have an air pressure between 32 to 36 PSI. A new car should be having about 35 PSI air pressure.
2. What is considered low tire pressure?
Tyre pressures are temperature dependent. A 32 PSI on a hot day still low but a 28 PSI on a cold day can be considered fine. Fill moderate at 35 PSI which can be stated standard but just to be sure about what you are doing, check the standard pressure units available on the side of your tyre.
3. Can you drive a car with low tire pressure?
Tires move about smoothly when they are filled with proper pressured air. Lower air pressure means that the top and bottom of the tyre have a chance of touching which is bad. Lower air pressure leads to the increased wear of the tyre and decreases its life span. Have optimal air pressure.
4. What PSI is too low?
A tyre pressure that is about 10% or less than the recommended tyre pressure is considered as lower tyre pressure.
5. How long can you drive on a plugged tire?
Tyre flat plugs are increasingly becoming a norm today. Patched tyres may have lower value but plugged tyres have other future. If taken proper care of (cleaning the plugs and re-plugging once in a while), you can easily expect plugged tyres to run for about as many years as a normal tyre.
6. Should I install a TPMS in my car?
Ans: Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is a revolutionary tech which does all the work of a pressure gauge but automatic. Yes, it is an ideal pick but you would still need a tyre gauge to check as you fill in the air inside your tyres.
7. How do you calibrate a TYRE pressure gauge?
Gas stations are perfect places to get your tyres calibrated. Ask the handyman at the gas station for analogue calibration.
For digital units, it can be easily reset by changing the units from PSI to anything else and back to PSI.
8. Should I over inflate my tires in the winter?
Winters can mean lower pressure of tyres but that does not imply that you should be going about over inflating your tyres. Overinflation could at times lead to the bursting of the tyres. Under inflation, as discussed previously, will lead to an increase in the wear and tear of the tyre.
9. Do tyre pressure gauges come with any warranty
No. Tyre pressure gauges belong to a minor class of tyre accessories. They are often budget friendly and do not carry any warranty periods with them.
After careful consideration, research and discussions, we have concluded that the Michelin MN-4203 Digital Tyre Gauge as a top pick. It’s innovative tread depth measuring pin, compact size, accuracy and the 129 years old trust helped it to top our list.
While that was our scientific and calculated opinion, we would love to hear from you. What do you think should be the top pick? Do you have any queries related to tyres, pressures and tyre gauges? Be sure to write to us in the comment section below. Our team of experts will for sure get back to you ASAP.