It is essential that your tires are inflated to the proper amount. Having improperly inflated tires can cause uneven wear, keep you from getting the best fuel efficiency and even instigate an accident. If your tire doesn’t have enough air pressure, it will create extra heat as you drive, which could cause a flat. Regularly checking your tires with a tire pressure gauge will help keep your tires in good working condition.

Comparison Table

Tire Pressure Gauge FAQs

  1. 1
    What is a tire pressure gauge?
  2. 2
    What are the different types of tire pressure gauges?
  3. 3
    How often should you check the pressure in your tire using a tire gauge?
  4. 4
    How do you check the air pressure in a tire?
  5. 5
    Where can you buy a tire pressure gauge?

What Is A Tire Pressure Gauge?

A tire pressure gauge is a simple tool you can use to check the pressure level in your vehicle’s tires. The best tire pressure gauges can give you a quick and precise reading so that you can maintain your tires at the proper inflation.

What Are The Different Types Of Tire Pressure Gauges?

There are three main types of pressure gauges. They vary in price, accuracy, and ease of use. If you have an RV, you’ll need an indicator that will test for higher inflation pressure. 

Stick gauges

stick gauges

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Stick gauges look somewhat like a metal pen. They are sometimes called pencil gauges. There is a rod inside that slides out when the valve end presses the valve stem on the tire being tested. They are easy to understand, easy to store, and inexpensive. If you are unfamiliar with this tool, they can be tricky to read and can be inaccurate. 

Dial Gauges

dial gauges

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Dial gauges have a round face that looks like a clock. They are also called analog gauges. Dial gauges use a calibrated spring to measure the tire pressure. This spring can be easily damaged, so don’t drop it. Dial gauges are more accurate, easier to read, and more expensive than stick gauges. They are bigger too so your analog gauge will need a larger storage space. You may need to keep it in the trunk rather than the glove box. You will need two hands to operate a dial gauge. 

Digital Gauges

digital gauges

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A digital gauge uses an electronic LCD. Some models have backlit screens so you can get your tire readings in the dark. They are often the most accurate air pressure gauges. Digital gauges use batteries, so make sure you change them regularly for accurate readings. They are reasonably simple to read and not as expensive as dial gauges.

How Often Should You Check The Pressure In Your Tires?

You should check the air pressure in your vehicle’s tires once a month. Don’t forget to check your spare tire as well. 

You should check more often in the winter and fall if you live in an area that has cooler weather during those seasons. Tire pressure often is lower in colder months. Tires can lose about a pound of pressure for every 10-degree drop in temperature. 

How Do You Check The Air Pressure In A Tire Using A Tire Gauge?

Checking the air pressure on a tire can be done with any of the three types of gauges mentioned before. Make sure the tire has cooled to the same temperature as the surrounding climate. Usually, this will happen when your vehicle has been sitting parked for three hours. 

The air pressure of your tire should be listed on the tire information placard, which is usually a yellow sticker on the driver’s door jamb or in the owner’s manual for your vehicle. The maximum pressure is listed on the tire’s sidewall. 

If the gauge is dirty, the scale might not slide out well, and your reading can be inaccurate. Be sure to keep your tire gauge in a clean spot like the glove compartment. If the battery of a digital gauge is low, the reading also might not be accurate.

To check the pressure:

  • Take the cap off the tire valve.
  • Press the open end of the stick gauge to the tire valve stem for just a few seconds.
  • Wait until the white stem stops moving if it is stick gauge.
  • Wait until the needle stops moving if using a dial gauge.
  • A digital gauge will begin reading almost immediately.
  • Read the gauge. 

If the level of pressure is below the amount specified on the door jam or manual, you need to fill the tire to that level. If the pressure reading is above that number, you should let some of the air out by pressing on the tire valve stem. Repeat the tire pressure reading and air adjustment until the tire is inflated correctly. Remember to put the tire valve cap back on.

Where Can You Buy A Tire Pressure Gauge?

A tire gauge can be ordered online through commercial sites such as eBay or Amazon. You can also find tire gauges at automotive stores and retail stores that have an automotive department like Walmart or AutoZone.

How We Reviewed

Finding the best tire pressure gauge for you isn’t as easy as you might think. For that reason, we checked with Consumer Reports, which did laboratory tests on the accuracy, durability, and ease of use on several gauges. We also considered customer satisfaction reviews in our list of the ten best tire pressure gauges.

Overall Price Range Of A Tire Gauge

The price of an air pressure gauge is determined by whether it is a stick, dial, or digital indicator. Stick gauges are the least expensive. They can be hard to read. 

They are the most accurate of the three types and the easiest to understand. They can come with additional features such as an illuminated display. 

They are the most expensive of the three types. The less expensive models may not be as accurate as the higher priced ones.

Top Seven Best Tire Pressure Gauges

Milton S-920 Pencil Tire Gauge


Milton (S-920) Pencil Tire Pressure Gauge with Tread Depth Gauge
  • INCLUDES: Built-in deflator valve AND tire tread depth gauge in 1/16" increments.
  • MILTON: Pencil Gauges made with machined parts, unlike our competition!
  • IDEAL: For higher-pressure automobile tires and handy in cold temperature weather conditions.
  • Type: stick
  • Pros: reads in kilopascal and pounds per square inch
  • Cons: hard to read small marks
  • One-year limited warranty

The Milton S-920 Pencil Tire Gauge has a tire tread depth gauge in 1/16-inch increments and a built-in deflator valve. It is ideal for higher-pressure car tires. It measures in pounds per square in (PSI) from 10 to 70 in 2-pound increments and kilopascal (kPa) from 60 to 500 in 10-kPa increments.

Gorilla Automotive TG1 Pencil Style Tire Pressure Gauge


Gorilla Automotive TG1 Pencil Style Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Features Precision Made Components
  • Gives an Accurate Readout Every Time
  • Quality Workmanship Ensures Durability
  • Type: stick
  • Pros: reads in kilopascal and pounds per square inch
  • Cons: hard to read small marks
  • One-year limited warranty

The Gorilla Automotive TG1 Pencil Style Tire Pressure Gauge has a pressure range of 0 to 50 PSI. The shell is made of aluminum, and the knob on the back can be used to release air from your tires. The Gorilla measures in 1 pound increments PSI.

Accutire MS-4021B Tire Gauge


Accutire MS-4021B Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Heavy duty construction and rugged design for long lasting use
  • Angled head and rubber coated handle for easy gripping
  • Large, easy-to-read LCD display
  • Type: digital
  • Pros: easy to read, automated shut-off
  • Cons: only measures in PSI
  • Five-year limited warranty

The Accutire MS-4021B Tire Gauge comes in two color choices, black, and silver or red. It has a solid performance record and is simple to read. The rugged construction means it will be long-lasting. The rubber coated handle and angled head make it easy to position. 

The LCD is large, backlit, and easy to read. The Accutire shuts off automatically to prevent tire deflation. It’s accurate and can read air pressure from 5 to 150 PSI in half pound increments. It uses a lithium battery as a power source.

Accutire MS-4400B Tire Gauge


Accutire MS-4400B Pistol Grip Digital Tire Gauge
  • Accurate tire pressure - Gauge reads from 5-99 PSI (in 1/2 lb units)
  • Ergonomic design features an easy to use pistol grip handle
  • Extra-large easy to read LCD display
  • Type: digital
  • Pros: accurate, automated shut-off
  • Cons: not backlit
  • Five-year limited warranty

The Accutire MS-4400B Tire Gauge is a reliable digital gauge. It comes with a replaceable lithium battery. The LCD is big and easy to read but not backlit. It will turn off after 10 seconds. The pistol grip handle is ergonomic. The MS-4400B reads from 5 to 99 PSI in half pound increments. 

Longacre 53006 2″ Basic Digital Tire Gauge


Longacre 53006 2" Basic Digital Tire Gauge 0-60 PSI
  • Pressure reading always active - no hold
  • Reads to .2 psi with .8 percent accuracy
  • Air pressure release button
  • Type: digital
  • Pros: Available in 0-60 and 0-100 PSI
  • Cons: not backlit
  • One-year limited warranty

The Longacre 53006 2″ Basic Digital Tire Gauge is available in both 0-60 and 0-100 PSI. The pressure reading is always active, so you don’t have to hold a button or lever. The LCD face is 2 inches and displays the result in large numbers. 

The Longacre has a metric or pounds option. The 14-inch hose comes with an angle chuck but also comes with a ball chuck. It reads to .2 PSI with .8% accuracy. 

Joe’s Racing 32307 Tire Pressure Gauge


Joes Racing 32307 (0-60) PSI Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Glow in the Dark Face
  • Air Pressure Release Button
  • 17" Flexible Hose
  • Type: dial
  • Pros:  glow-in-the-dark face
  • Cons: no warranty
  • 25.99
  • No warranty

Joe’s Racing 32307 Tire Pressure Gauge has a glow-in-the-dark face making it easier to read in dim lighting conditions. It comes with a 17-inch flexible hose with a swivel chuck, air pressure release button, and internal gauge damper. A ball chuck and chrome angle chuck are included. 

Intercomp 360060 Glow-In-The-Dark Air Pressure Tire Gauge


Intercomp (360060 4" 60 PSI Glow Air Pressure Gauge
  • 4" Air Pressure Gauge Glow-In-The-Dark
  • 0-60 x 1 PSI
  • Thumb operated bleeder and nozzle
  • Type: dial
  • Pros:  accurate and durable
  • Cons: need two hands to operate, more expensive than some
  • 90-day warranty

Intercomp 360060 Glow-In-The-Dark Air Pressure Tire Gauge comes with a protective rubber cover, 17-inch swivel hose, and thumb operated bleeder and nozzle. It can handle pulsing systems and is shock resistant. The glow-in-the-dark feature allows for high visibility for both minor and minor graduation marks on the dial.

The Verdict

Digital tire gauges are the easiest to read for the average consumer. Our recommendation for the best tire pressure gauge is the Accutire MS-4021B Tire Gauge. It’s accurate to within 0.05 PSI, and its backlit LCD screen makes it effortless to see. 

Since it always pays to keep a non-battery powered tool in the glove box, the best stick tire pressure gauge on the market is the Milton S-920 Pencil Tire Gauge. We recommend you pick one of those too.  

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