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The Top Tire Pressure Gauges to Keep in Your Car or Garage

A hand uses a tire pressure gauge to check his car's tire pressure.

Whether they’re on a car, truck, motorcycle, or bicycle, keeping your tires at the optimal pressure amount is very important. Tires are rated to handle specific loads at certain pressures, so driving or riding on a tire at too low or too high a pressure can be dangerous. It can lead to the tire deflating or even popping, leaving you with a flat tire. Maintaining your tires at the proper pressure and inflation level also provides longer tire life, a smoother ride, faster steering response, and higher fuel efficiency. Therefore it’s important to maintain your tires at the optimal pressure, quickly identify when the pressure is too low or too high, and fill or deflate them as needed. As a result, you may decide it’s worthwhile to keep a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle or garage in case you ever need to check your tire pressure in a pinch. Most cars and trucks these days will have automatic pressure sensors that detect all four tires simultaneously. However, you may want to keep one in your vehicle anyway, in case you want a second opinion or the automatic pressure sensor isn’t working. There are several different types of tire pressure gauges you can choose from, depending on what you’re most comfortable with. No matter which type you prefer, a tire pressure gauge is a relatively inexpensive and simple but useful tool to have on hand.

What to Consider in a Tire Pressure Gauge

Look for these features in a tire pressure gauge:

  • Types: There are three main types of tire pressure gauges: stick, digital, and dial. Stick and dial models are manual, while digital ones are electronic. Stick gauges resemble a metal pen and are generally the most inexpensive and compact type, but they may be slightly harder to read. Digital ones are easy to read, resistant to debris, and always guarantee a light source to see the reading even at night, but are bulkier and require batteries that will need to be replaced. Dial models have an analog face like a clock, and some have extra features but may require two hands to use and are often the most expensive type.
  • Compatibility: Be sure that the tire pressure gauge you buy is compatible with whichever type of vehicle you plan to use it on. Some will be compatible across the board, able to work for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles. Some may only work for one or two of these vehicle types at once. Be sure to check any tire pressure gauge’s compatibility listings before you purchase it.
  • Extra Features: Some tire pressure gauges are multipurpose, doubling as another type of tool, not just a tire pressure gauge. Some can inflate or deflate a tire as well as measuring its pressure level. Others will include extra tools or features like an extension hose or bleeder valve. These may be a bit pricier than straight-up tire pressure gauges, but if you’re looking for a multipurpose tool, one of these tire pressure gauges may be worth the extra money to you.

Best Digital: AstroAI Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

ergonomic chrome and black tire pressure gauge with a blue digital screen

Digital tire pressure gauges are great because they’re easier to read than any other type, as this model readily proves. The small screen displays the tire pressure reading right away and unambiguously rather than trying to estimate a needle’s reading on an analog tire pressure gauge. It’s not just the actual reading that is simple, either. The gauge automatically resets itself when taking pressure, so you don’t have to hit a button or recalibrate or reset the tool in order to measure the pressure of different tires. The gauge turns on and off at the touch of a button and automatically shuts itself off if unused after 30 to 40 seconds to save power. The nozzle forms a seal with the valve stem on Schrader valves to give you as quick a reading as possible. Readings are measured in 0.1 increments for maximum accuracy. You have the choice of four unit settings for your measurements (psi, Bar, Kgf/cm², or kPa). If you ever want to change which type of setting you use, just hit the “unit” button to switch between them. The digital screen is backlit with an LCD display and a lighted nozzle, so you can always read it properly, even at night or in dimly lit areas. The gauge has an ergonomic design and non-slip texture, so it’s easy and comfortable to grasp no matter your hand size and reduces your risk of dropping it or it sliding from your grip by mistake. Choose between silver, blue, and red.

Best Digital

AstroAI Digital Tire Pressure Gauge 150 PSI 4 Settings for Car Truck Bicycle with Backlight LCD and Non-Skid Grip Car Accessories, Silver (1 Pack)

A digital tire pressure gauge that is quick and easy to read and allows you see the reading even in dim lighting.

Best Multipurpose: AstroAI Pressure Gauge with Digital Tire Inflator

round tire pressure gauge with several accessories

Tools with more than one purpose are always useful to have around. They can save you lots of room in your toolbox or garage, as well as saving you money since you only have to acquire one tool instead of several. This tire pressure gauge is one such tool. Besides checking your tire pressure with professionally calibrated, advanced accuracy that is always within 1% of the exact tire pressure, this tire gauge can inflate or deflate your tires as needed. The built-in air bleeder valve allows you to decrease the pressure in tires if you over-inflate them by accident, while simply pressing down on the tire inflator gauge will fill your tires with air as needed. This can help save the money and time you’d otherwise spend at gas stations inflating your tires. The leak-proof close flow valve in the lock-on chuck helps to prevent air from escaping as you work. The backlit screen ensures you’re able to read the tire pressure even on pitch-black nights, and you have the choice of seeing the measurements in psi, kPa, Bar, and Kg/cm^2. It’s also a highly compatible tool, able to work on cars, trucks, motorcycles, SUVs, RVs, trailers, off-road vehicles, and more. It will be compatible with almost all air compressors and valve stems. The included quick connect fitting allows for this compatible connection, while the NPT threading makes it easier for you to find adapters for other types of air compressors. Since it’s made of heavy-duty and top-notch stainless steel and brass, you’re ensured a tough, durable tool with longer-lasting performance. The battery-saving features increase the gauge’s lifespan; it turns on automatically when pressurized air is detected and turns off automatically after 20 seconds of inactivity to save battery power. With your purchase, you’ll receive not only the gauge but an inflator, straight locking chuck, hose, and bleed valve as well.

Best Heavy-Duty: CZC AUTO Heavy Duty Tire Pressure Gauge

a long and skinny silver tire pressure gauge
CZC Auto

There are many advantages to this tire pressure gauge. It’s simple to use, effective, heavy-duty, compact, and affordable, all in one. If you want to keep it in your car, it’ll fit easily into your glove compartment or car seat gap storage box. If you want to store it in your toolbox, it won’t take up much room, and the long, thin design means it’ll fit almost anywhere since it has no awkwardly shaped or bulky bits. It has a hang-up ring, so you can even hang it in your garage or basement if you so desire. To use, simply twist off the valve cap, press the chuck to the valve, and the scale plate will slip out so you can read the tire pressure. Push the scale plate back and twist on the valve cap after use, and it’s ready to go for the next time you need it. The tool is made of chrome-plated ABS steel with a brass core for maximum durability. The rectangular scale plate, also made of ABS steel, has two sides, so you can read your tire pressure in psi or kPa, depending on which unit of measurement you prefer. The psi scale is in black and the kPa scale is in red, so you can always tell them apart. The head’s chuck is dual-sided to better fit your tires. The straight head is meant for inner wheels, singular motorcycle or bicycle wheels, or valves in hard to reach spots, while the 30-degree reverse chuck head was built for outer wheels. It works on trucks, RVs, and vans, as well as standard cards, motorcycles, and bicycles.

Best Heavy-Duty

CZC AUTO Tire Pressure Gauge, Straight-on Foot Dual Head Chucks Auto Service Gage, Heavy Duty Air Gauge 10-150PSI 100-1000KPa for Car Truck RV Van (1 Pack, Silver)

Made of chrome-plated ABS steel with a brass core, this double-headed tire pressure gauge is compact, durable, and easy to use.

Most Compact: TireTek Tire Pressure Gauge

round analog tire pressure gauge with a dial

This tire pressure gauge with a classic clock-like face is easy to grip and won’t take up much space wherever you store it. The 2-inch face is large enough that you can read it without squinting and small enough to fit in your pocket or hand. It doesn’t require batteries to use, saving you money in the long run and the trouble of replacing them, and it will operate even in all weather conditions. The face and large-scale dial are easy to read, with a swivel chuck that allows you to rotate it a full 360 degrees. It also glows in the dark, so you can read it even in dim lighting or at night. The international accuracy standard gives you a precise and accurate tire pressure reading each time, and the chuck tip prevents air leakage during use. The tool itself is made of steel and brass and is surrounded by a rubber cover to protect it from falls and drops while also feeling more comfortable in your hand. If your tire is overinflated, press the bleed button while the gauge is attached to your tire, and the built-in relief valve will release air from the tire until it’s at optimal pressure. Whether you own a car or motorcycle, RV or ATV, truck or bicycle, this tire pressure gauge will work with them all.

Most Compact

Tire Pressure Gauge 0-60 PSI - Tire Gauge for Car, SUV, Truck & Motorcycle - Heavy Duty Air Pressure Gauge ANSI Certified - Car Accessories

A compact, pocket watch-like tire pressure gauge cushioned with rubber for protection against falls and to fit more comfortably in your hand.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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