Last Updated on December 23, 2023 by Stewart

I’ve discussed on the site at the importance of tyre safety and how one of the crucial aspects is the correct tyre pressure. In order to make sure that the correct tyre pressures are adhered to, it is possible to inflate your tyres at a local petrol station. This will cost about £1 per visit, but it can add up over time.

However, the problem with this is that if you’ve got a slow puncture and you need to inflate the tyre to get it replaced, then having to take the car to the petrol station might not be an option. Likewise, if the tyre is totally flat and you’re needing it repaired, but the repair won’t be for a few days then it can cause an excessive amount of damage to the tyre meaning that it can’t be fixed. In this scenario, it’s important to keep the pressure level constant. Remember that the correct tyre pressures can be found in the user manual for your car, in the door jamb on either the passenger or driver side as well as the website for your tyre manufacturer.

The different types of tyre inflators

With that in mind, it’s important to have a tyre inflator in the car. There are three kinds of tyre inflator. These are foot pumps, tyre inflator guns that run off of batteries and tyre inflators that connect to the 12V socket in the car. There are a lot of options for each type of tyre inflator. Below you will find my top picks for foot pump and tyre inflator guns.

With respect to foot pump tyre inflators, these are straightforward to use. They all have an analogue pressure gauge and connect to the valve stem. A bonus of using a foot pump is that they can be used in the rain. However, they do take longer to inflate a tyre. In addition to this, the gauges aren’t lit up so if it’s dark, it can be hard to read the pressure. However, they are an excellent addition and perfect for those on a limited budget.

Draper Double Cylinder Foot Pump Tyre Inflator

This offering from Draper is one of the best foot pumps available on the market. Thanks to it having two cylinders on it, it effectively halves the time required to inflate tyres. What I like about it is that it’s pretty robust, having been put through several years of use by me, it’s still going strong. Despite how robust it is, it is also very light at less than 1kg.

It is able to inflate up to 100psi, which is more than adequate for any car driver. In addition to this, the pressure gauge has both Bar and PSI readings, making it perfect for a wide variety of users instead of just limiting itself to one pressure reading type.

What I really like about it is that the air line is a great length at 60cm which is more than ample. This line is also braided. The significance of this is that it will protect the inner hose from fraying which would otherwise inhibit its function. When it comes to connecting the pump to the valve stem, there is also a lock on connector. This means that the fitting is nice and snug and will prevent any air escaping whilst the tyre is being inflated.

There is also a retaining clip on it so that it can be folded down to save space in the boot.

The Draper is a low cost, but highly efficient and recommend foot pump. I found it really easy to inflate the tyre to the correct pressure, and the gauge was also accurate (having tested it with a separate pressure gauge after inflation was finished).

Last update on 2024-06-13 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Air Hawk Pro Tyre Inflator

Much like the Draper, I’ve had my Air Hawk Pro for four years. The Air Hawk Pro is a handheld, battery powered tyre inflator.

I’ve got pretty big hands, but the Air Hawk Pro feels great in my hand. It has a digital display at the top, and it’s very easy to select between Bar and PSI as well as changing the pressure on the fly. I also really like how accurate of a reading it gives.  

Since you don’t need to rest this on the ground unlike a foot pump, the air hose is shorter than the Draper. On the Air Hawk Pro, it is 15cm long. However, this is not an issue at all. The hose screws on tightly to the valve stem and gives a perfect connection every time.

For those that need to inflate their tyres in the dark, there is also a light on the unit so that you’re able to see exactly where the valve stem is.

When I had a slow puncture, the Air Hawk Pro was able to inflate the tyre from 12 PSI up to 29PSI in just under two minutes. This is extremely impressive, and more importantly, the reading on the Air Hawk is accurate when checked using another pressure checker. There was also still enough power in the battery pack for top up the other three tyres. In the five years I’ve been using it, I’ve haven’t noticed any degradation to the battery life. Generally speaking, the battery is fully charged in just under an hour with the included charger.  

Of course, there can be times that the battery is flat. Thankfully, with the Air Hawk Pro there is a dummy battery that connects directly into the 12V socket in your car. The cable on this is really long and is a great way to inflate your tyres if the battery wasn’t charged.

It also comes with it’s own carry pouch. I’ve used this a lot over the last four years and the Velcro on the carry case is still extremely strong. This is just a small thing, but it really shows that the team have put a lot of thought into the package as a whole. I always carry this in the boot of my car in case I need to inflate my tyres in a hurry, or if I see someone that’s in a pinch and needing their tyres pumped up.

Since this is effectively a dual function tyre inflator as it can hook up to the socket in the car, this is the ultimate choice if you’re wanting one that runs of off electricity.

Air Hawk PRO – The Compact, Portable, Digital, Cordless, Rechargeable Air Compressor, Tyre Inflator, LED Light, Automatic Pump + Bonus Carry Case (As seen on High Street TV)
  • Air Hawk PRO comes with a 15cm air hose and three nozzle fittings; a threaded tip for tyres, a narrow pin for balls and a wide pin for other inflatables like air beds or pool toys.

Last update on 2024-06-13 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.