Complete Portable Air Compressor Guide

Portable air compressors are most commonly known and used to help inflate tires and is a tool that no garage should be without.

What a lot of people don’t understand is how versatile an air compressor can be for you. Our complete guide to portable air compressors offers full reviews that help you pick out the perfect portable air compressor for you.

There is more to an air compressor though than just inflating tires.

Want to know more? This guide is perfect for you!

In this guide,

  • We break down exactly what to look for in a portable air compressor,
  • break down everything air compressors can do that you probably didn’t know about,
  • help you learn how to use air compressors for the first time, and
  • present to you our top recommendations based on our research.

Let’s get started!

Understanding What Portable Air Compressors Are and Why They Are Great Tools-

Simplified an air compressor is a tool that takes in air or energy into a tank that stores the energy and then creates enough pressure to release the air at much higher power.

For a full breakdown of exactly how an air compressor works, we suggest checking out this wiki page for the full summary of the science.

Even a relatively small air compressor can create enough pressure/energy to take out the tedious and strenuous labor of pumping a tire manually.

Whether that machine is going to predominantly stay in your garage, carried around in your car or truck, or even stored on an RV, there are plenty of options that are not only affordable but versatile.

Understanding the power capacity, size, and your needs for an air compressor will help in your decision-making process.

The rest of this guide is designed to figure out your needs so that you can purchase the perfect portable air compressor for you.

Making Life Easier: The Benefits of An Auto Tire Air Compressor

Many people associate air compressors with either industrial work or other only for blowing up tires.

What a majority of people don’t realize is how versatile a portable air compressor can be. With all the major benefits of owning an air compressor, it easily becomes one of the most valuable tools you own at the house.

1) Blowing Up Tires– We know this seems like the most obvious benefit of an air compressor but there is actually a lot more you can do with tires than you could with hand pumps or going to the gas station.

With a tire inflator, you have more power which gives you the option to air up tires that have become unbeaded.

A good portable air compressor will pump not only car tires but motorcycle tires, bicycle tires, and tires for tools like dollies.

2) The Air Is Free and Can Be Used for Multiple Purposes– Your portable air compressor’s pressurized air can be used for multiple different tasks around the house.

With the right air nozzle, the air can be used anywhere from woodworking projects to clearing and cleaning out pool piping for the winter.

3) Powering Power Tools– Air compressors can be used to help power tools around your house.

Some of the more popular tools that use air compressors are nail guns, drills, sanders, wrenches, and ratchets.

Air compressed power tools are far more powerful, require less physical exertion by the user, and are far more effective than the same tools without being powered by air compressors.

4.) Paint Sprayers– Using an air compressor with a paint sprayer not only increases the power of the paint sprayer but it also gives a more even coat of paint. Almost all car paint jobs use an air pressured paint sprayer to ensure an even coat without the paint running.

If you want to find out what air compressor paint sprayers I recommend, just check out my air compressor paint sprayer guide.

5.) Portable Air Compressors are Portable– Another simple and obvious benefit but portable air compressors fit almost anywhere. You can take your air compressor with you in the car, place it in your garage or shed, or easily lend to friends due to its portability.

Portable Air Compressors for Tire Inflation: How They Save You Money

According to the most recent study done by the government at, having properly inflated tires is a big money saver.

The review is here , but a summary of the research shows that under-inflated tires hurt gas mileage.

Roughly speaking, for every one PSI your tires average under the recommended level, you lose .2% on your gas mileage.

While this seems like a small number that averages out to .2 cents per gallon for every PSI, you are low.

That means if you are 5 PSI levels low you could be losing up to .10 cents a gallon in gas.

Having your tires at the proper PSI levels at all times also extends the life of your tires. Under or over inflated tires shorten the lifespan of your tires by putting unnecessary strain on your tires. Under-inflated tires are also more likely to lead to flats or replacements.

It is simple to see having a quick and easy way to check and inflate your tires to the proper levels will keep you safer, save you money immediately with gas milelage, and save you money in the long run by extending your tires life.

Why should you trust our recommendations?

We have spent hours researching, talking to industry professionals, and testing portable air compressors to provide you with the most accurate and up to date information.

Through our process, we break down every aspect of what makes a great portable air compressor to give you the best recommendations possible.

Our hours of research mean you can purchase a portable air compressor stress-free knowing you are buying a portable air compressor that is not only right for you but the best value for your needs.

Our Complete Car Air Pressure Sizing Guide (Size matters, get it right)

It’s true that you could inflate your car tires with an air compressor of any size, but the best car air compressor for tires will be powerful enough so that the process is quick and convenient.

After all, if you were inflating a set of completely deflated tires that had been in storage, you wouldn’t want to wait around for an hour or more while your tiny electric compressor trickles air into your tires.

For speedy operation, tire inflation should be performed with a unit that produces at least 1 – 2 CFM.

CFM is a measurement of the volume of air that can be moved by a compressor. Many solutions, such as an electronic cigarette lighter compressors produce far less than 1 CFM, and are generally only good for emergency inflation when you have no other options.

The most efficient car air compressor will be coupled with a tank to store pressurized air. A powerful unit with a suitably sized storage tank will pump high-pressure air continuously, to quickly inflate car tires, truck tires, or even bicycle tires.

In all of our reviews and recommendations, we have taken the time to measure the CFM and compare it to the size and portability of the tank. We have carefully analyzed each portable air compressor and give you our best recommendation for every possible one of your needs.

Two Popular Compressors for Tire Inflation

Of course with all of this information, it can still be difficult to determine the best air compressor for tires, either car or bike tires. As with many air compressor scenarios, the ‘best’ really does depend on your individual needs. Take a look at these two options which represent different segments of the market.

The first is suitable for cars, light trucks (SUV’s), bicycles, and low-intensity DIY duties.

The second is more compact and is perfect for inflating tires, but will struggle with other larger tasks.

Porter Cable PCFP02003

This portable Porter Cable compressor was reviewed in full right here on Power Tools Ninja.

We found the compressor to be capable of a variety of air tool related tasks, but it was especially impressive when it came to inflating tires. Unlike some smaller compressors, the Porter Cable was able to run near continuously when inflating vehicle tires. This is helped by the 3.5 gallon tank size and 2.0 CFM rating (see more about CFM at this link).

When topping up tires you won’t need to wait for the compressor to kick in and restore air, however if you’re inflating full flats you could wait a few minutes between each tire while the tank gets back up to pressure.

For bicycle tires, motorcycle tires, and inflating things like boats and water-toys, the Porter Cable does a phenomenal job. The fact that it can be had at a number of online retailers for under $100 makes it one of the best air compressors for tires.

Here’s the link to Amazon for easy reference and to check the latest price.

DeWalt D55140

If you don’t need the flexibility of running other air tools, the D55140 is an excellent choice. For inflating tires it performs well with just under 1 CFM of air flow, and a small 1 gallon tank. Due to the smaller tank this compressor will cycle continuously while you’re inflating tires, but the good news is that it is able to keep up. This means you won’t wait around for the compressor to rebuild pressure in the tank.

The key advantage of this DeWalt compressor is that it’s one of the most portable tank air compressors on the market. It weighs in at only 24 pounds, and it’s only 9 inches high. It can be run off an inverter, and draws 2.6 amp in operation. In addition, it’s quiet operation (only 69 db) makes it an ideal choice for people who are put off by the loud noise that other similar air compressors might produce.

This makes it the perfect road companion, and it would be well suited to sit in a vehicle, truck, or even an RV motor home. Needless to say, just like the Porter Cable, this compressor has enough power to inflate bicycle tires, motorcycle tires, or anything else around the home that you can think of.

Check below to get a more detailed description and the latest price and discounts on Amazon.

Best 12V Air Compressors

As already mentioned, the cheap alternative to the bigger air compressors would be the small, portable 12V air compressors which are designed to exclusively pump air not only into a car, bike, motorcycle, and even truck tires but also into inflatable toys, balls etc.

These smaller compressors allow you to hook them up to power tools such as ratchets, paint sprayers, and nail guns and still give you the freedom to move around for your projects. The smaller tanks also are designed to cycle quicker so you can continually work without waiting for the tank to fill.

Below, I present to you for easy reference, a summary table where you can see a list of my top eight (8) recommendations for 12V portable air compressors and their main features.

If you want to learn more, you can click on the link below the images in the table to go directly to a relevant section of this article, where you can read more details.

Or, alternatively, you can click on the button below the features, to go directly on the product page on Amazon and check out the description listed and the latest price and offers.

12V Portable Air Compressor
Main Features
Audew Portable Air Compressor Pump Option 1

Audew Portable Air Compressor Pump

Read More
- "Best Overall" Award
- Auto-shut off
-10 foot long air hose
- LED lights
-Small and lightweight

LifeLine AAA 300 PSI 12 Volt DC Portable Air Compressor Option2

LifeLine AAA 300 PSI 12 Volt DC Air Compressor

Read More
- "Best Value" Award
- Quick connect air hose
- 300 PSI
- Loud and jerky
- Good for filling up, not from zero to full

VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor Option 3

VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor

Read More
- "Best Quality" Award
-60 PSI
-Easy to read pressure gauge
-Built in LED
-Top quality
-Might get hot

Kensun Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor Option 4

Kensun Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor

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-"Best Smallest" Award
-Dual Power Source
-Very versatile
-Small and lightweight

Tcisa Portable Air Compressor Pump Option 5

Tcisa Portable Air Compressor Pump

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-"Best Warranty" Award
-LCD Display
-Solid and durable
-150 PSI rating
-3 Year Warranty

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump Option 6

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump

Read More
-"Best Performer" Award
-Auto shut off
-High performance to size ratio
-LED flashlight

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor Option 7

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor

Read More
-"Car Battery Powered" Award
-Alligator clamps for car battery attachment
-Small and portable

Tsumbay Portable Air Compressor Option 8

Tsumbay Portable Air Compressor

Read More
-"Most Versatile" Award
-150 PSI
-Can fill car tires from flat to full
-Auto shut off
-5 piece LED light

OPTION 1:  AUDEW Portable Air Compressor (Our Best Overall)

Audew Portable Air Compressor Pump Option 1We do like the AUDEW Portable Air Compressor quite a bit. We rank it our best overall portable air compressor because it tests like other high performing air compressors but does not cost the same. What you save in your wallet was not sacrificed in  .

One of the reasons for this is because it comes with an auto-shutoff feature. Simply set the desired PSI and let the pump do its thing. Once the desired PSI has been reached, the pump will shut off to prevent the over inflation and popping of your tires or whatever else you are inflating.

AUDEW is charged by a cigarette lighter just like the air compressor above but adds convenience with its air hose. The AUDEW Portable Air Compressor comes with a 10-foot-long air hose, which means you can easily fill the rear and front tires of your car. Speaking of your vehicle, the AUDEW Portable Air Compressor has more than enough juice to fill up RV tires, cars, bikes, motorcycles, ATVs, trucks, and sports equipment too.

The AUDEW Portable Air Compressor is also very small and lightweight, making it a highly portable air compressor that you can take with you no matter where you go. Our test proved that it ran quietly compared to other portable air hoses.

The AUDEW Portable Air Compressor is so light and compact you can put it in your trunk without taking up a ton of space.  This pump also comes with long-lasting LED lights, so you can easily use the AUDEW Portable Air Compressor during the night without being totally in the dark.

There is also a one-year warranty on this device. Consequently, you’ll be able to trust that you’ll be taken care of if there should be any problems during normal use within the first year.

OPTION 2: LifeLine AAA 300 PSI 12 Volt DC Air Compressor (Our Best Value) 

LifeLine AAA 300 PSI 12 Volt DC Portable Air Compressor Option2One of the more popular DC 12V tire air compressor among consumers, the LifeLine AAA 300 PSI 12 Volt DC Air Compressor represents true value for your money. Easily our best value pick of the bunch if you are looking for a wallet-friendly option that still performs well this is the air compressor for you.

It is equipped with a quick connect air hose, it goes up to 300 PSI.

The cord that goes to the cigarette lighter from the compressor is 10 feet, while the part of the hose that goes from the unit to the valve stem is 18 inches.

It is recommended that you use a15A rated cigarette lighter to ensure proper functionality even though the unit itself draws 10A. When you purchase from Amazon the seller offers a 1-year warranty that will give you ease of mind on your purchase.

According to the manual, it takes about 8 minutes to go from 0 to 35 PSI. Our actual test took about 2 minutes to go from 33 PSI to 40 and less than 5 minutes to go from 20 PSI to 44.

The only real drawback is that the unit as a whole is a bit loud and jerky. This can be expected when it is drawing power from a cigarette lighter and you must keep in mind the price point when you hear the noise.

As long as people realize that this little compressor is meant only for occasional use and good only for filling up rather than going from flat to full, then it’s the best value for your money.

Check out the link for the latest price on Amazon.

Lifeline AAA 300 PSI 12 Volt DC Air Compressor
List Price:$22.99
You Save:$6.18
Price Disclaimer

OPTION 3: VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor (Our Best Quality)

VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor Option 3The most popular mid-tier priced air compressor, the VIAIR 85P performs well over its price point. There is a reason this is Amazon’s best seller online.

This unit operates up to 60 PSI maximum working pressure, draws powers from the 12V cigarette lighter outlet in your car, is capable of inflating up to 31-inch tires and comes with a large, easy to read pressure gauge.

The VIAIR 85p has a built-in LED which comes in handy with situations where the surrounding light is low.

The test shows the compressor is fast (it took him less than 30 seconds to go from 32 to 35 PSI) and is quiet. If you are worried about noise this a much better option than the LifeLine.

One great aspect that puts this tool ahead of its competition is the top quality of its construction: Other than the handle which is plastic, the rest of it is made of metal. This fact alone makes it very reliable and durable and contributes to the low noise production.

Although VIAIR is a US corporation, the unit is made in China and imported to the USA.

One other thing that owners should be aware of, the compressor is oil-less, so it generates a lot of heat inside. During testing and use the metal became very hot on the inside and should not be touched with your bare hands.

Check out the product page and latest price on Amazon.

VIAIR 85P Portable Air Compressor
List Price:$69.93
You Save:$21.34
Price Disclaimer

OPTION 4: Kensun AC/DC Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor (Smallest Portable Air Compressor Recommendation)

Kensun Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor Option 4Perhaps the most convenient part of this particular 12-volt air compressor is that it can be powered 2 different ways.

If you like, you can use an extension cord to power it, which is nice if you just have it in your garage and want to fill up some balls or bike tires. On the other hand, it can also be powered using the cigarette lighter in your car, allowing you to use it anywhere you have your car.

What we can say is that the Kensun AC/DC Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor is that it is one of the strongest and most durable models around thanks to the high-quality parts used in its construction.

We also like the fact that this air compressor pump is very versatile. You can use it to fill up virtually everything and anything ranging from balls and sports equipment to inflatable rafts, and all kinds of vehicle tires too.

This air compressor has a max output of 120 PSI, which is fairly good for such a small item.

Speaking of the size, the Kensun AC/DC Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor comes in at under 1 foot in length and weighs 3.45 pounds, making it a very small, convenient, and portable option to keep in mind.

While the tank is fairly small, it still manages to come with a whole lot of functionality and quality. The analog pressure gauge is pretty handy too.

Unlike other options, this one offers a fantastic 2-year warranty that will keep you protected during normal use for that time period.

With quality parts, a well-built tank and accessories, and one of the best warranties offered you know your investment will be protected for a good while.

You check out the latest price and offers on Amazon by clicking the link down below.

OPTION 5: Tcisa Portable Air Compressor Pump  (Best Warranty)

Tcisa Portable Air Compressor Pump Option 5Yet another awesome 12-volt air compressor to go with, the Tcisa Portable Air Compressor Pump is under 12 inches in length and weighs just a little over 6 pounds.

It might not be the lightest of all portable air compressors, but it is still small enough to be considered portable and small. It can fit in the trunk of any car with ease.

Tcisa operates by simply plugging it into the cigarette lighter in your car. It really could not be any easier than that. We like how the Tcisa Portable Air Compressor Pump is made to be very durable. It features a solid metal body with high-quality parts to ensure optimal longevity.

At the same time, the nice little LCD display makes this air compressor really easy to operate. It comes with 4 different display units that help you keep track of exactly what is going on.

The Tcisa Portable Air Compressor Pump has a max pressure rating of 150 PSI with a flow rate of 35 liters per minute.

It might be a really small air compressor pump, but it still packs quite the punch. You can use this pump for cars tires, bike tires, motorbikes, and everything in between.

It can even be used for things like sports balls and inflatable rafts too. We also like how the Tcisa Portable Air Compressor Pump comes with LED lights, so you can easily operate it in the dark.

Furthermore, you’ll get a fantastic 3-year warranty that promises quick service and resolutions to any potential problems.

OPTION 6: EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump (Our Best Performer)

EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump Option 6The EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor Pump is about to deliver one of the highest PSI ratings while coming in under a foot in size. The whole thing weighs under 4 pounds and is under 10 inches in length, making it one of the smallest and most portable options on the market today.

Even though it is small, it still manages to have quite a strong motor and deliver a high PSI rating. It is one of the better options out there for larger tire inflations or if you are hooking up larger power tools to the air compressor because of its max working pressure of 100 PSI.

The EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor is quite convenient because you can plug it into the cigarette lighter socket of your car, therefore eliminating the need to be near a power outlet and needing long extension cords.

What is also pretty cool is that this compressor can pump up bike tires, car tires, SUV tires, and mid-size sedan tires too. The only thing it cannot really do is pump up large truck tires. However, it does come with an adaptor to pump up balls, which adds to its versatility.

The EPAuto 12V DC Portable Air Compressor comes with 4 display readings including PSI, KPA, BAR, and KG/CM, making it quite easy to read and use.

It also features an LED flashlight so you can see what is going on. To make sure you don’t pop a tire, this particular air compressor also comes with an auto shut off feature.

Check this neat small portable 12V air compressor on Amazon by clicking the link below.

OPTION 7: Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor (Car Battery Powered)

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor Option 7This is another good option to go with if you need a small and portable air compressor to fill up tires and balls.

The 12V Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor has a strong motor with a max working pressure of 120 PSI, which is quite impressive for such a small compressor.

It has more than enough juice to fill the tires of cars, small trucks, SUVs, bikes, and that kind of thing. Our tests show anything with tires 33 inches or less will be able to be inflated with the Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor.

The Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor is one of the few portable air compressors that includes alligator clamps to attach it straight to the battery of your car. You do not have to worry about your shorting your cigarette lighter or if there is enough juice from you cigarette lighter.

Being able to directly connect to the car battery means you don’t need any extension cords or power outlets to run it. The long power cord and fairly long air hose help make life a little more convenient and will allow you to air up your back tires with ease.

We like how the Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor weighs only 4.5 pounds and comes in at under 11 inches in length.

It is absolutely one of the smaller and more portable models out there today. It might not be the biggest air compressor, but if you need one to take with you on the go, this is a good option to keep in mind.

Another great aspect to keep in mind is that you’ll get a one year warranty with this compressor, meaning that you’ll be in good hands if you should notice any problems.

All you’ll need to do is contact the company or Amazon depending on where you purchase the compressor.

Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor
List Price:$65.95
Price Disclaimer

OPTION 8: Tsumbay Portable Air Compressor (Our Most Versatile)

Tsumbay Portable Air Compressor Option 8If you need a good portable air compressor for all of your inflation needs, the 12V Tsumbay Portable Air Compressor makes for a good choice indeed.

In terms of its size and weight, this particular air compressor comes in at under 8 inches in length and under 4 pounds. When it comes to being portable, you will be hard pressed to find something better than the Tsumbay Portable Air Compressor.

The maximum pressure output of the Tsumbay Portable Air Compressor is an amazing 150 PSI. Our test show it can bring a completely flat car tire up to 35 PSI in under 2 minutes, which is one of the best performing pumps tested.

The pump is made with heavy-duty materials and easy-to-service parts, thus increasing the longevity of the Tsumbay Portable Air Compressor.

What is also convenient about the Tsumbay Portable Air Compressor is that it comes with an auto-shutoff feature which turns the pump off once the preset PSI has been reached. It helps to stop you from over-inflating tires.

You can use this bad boy for a variety of applications including car and bike tires, balls, motorbikes, SUVs, inflatable rafts, air cushions, and many other such things. However, it is was still not strong enough for truck tires.

Even better is that the Tsumbay Portable Air Compressor comes with a 5 piece LED light, so you can always see what you are doing.

Check the latest price and offers by clicking the link below.

Best Tire Inflator Recommendations: No More Guesswork for You

Now, I will give you my top six (6) recommendations for the best tire inflator models.

Tire inflators are tools that are either hooked up with the air compressor and their job is to provide a readout (digital or analog) of the pressure inside your tires and also control the flow of air, or they are small air compressors themselves.

Here’s a summary table for my top recommendations, that includes the main features of each model, for your easy reference. As in table above for the 12V air compressors, you can use the links to go to a more detailed description further down, or go directly to Amazon.

Tire Inflator ModelMain Features
EPAuto Heavy Duty 120 PSI Tire Inflator Option 1

EPAuto Heavy Duty 120 PSI Tire Inflator

Read More
- "Money Saver" Award
- Combines three tools in one
-Suitable for occasional use
- 120 PSI
-Large analog display

Astro 3018 Digital Tire Inflator Option 2

Astro 3018 Digital Tire Inflator

Read More
- "Best Performer" Award
- AAA batteries
- 21" stainless steel hose
- 175 PSI
- Digital gauge
- Two-position lever

RoadTek Digital Tire Inflator Option 4

RoadTek Digital Tire Inflator

Read More
- "Most Compact" Award
-150 PSI
-Under 10 inches in length
-Simple design
-Automatic pump setting
-Easy plug-in system

FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Digital Tire Inflator Option 5

FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Digital Tire Inflator

Read More
-"Most Durable" Award
-DV power adaptor
-Long air hose
-Auto shut off
-LED lights
-Durable parts

DBPOWER Portable Mini 12V Tire Inflator Option 6

DBPOWER Portable Mini 12V Tire Inflator

Read More
-"Most Portable" Award
-Long power cord
-Under 7 inches in length and 15 ounces in weight
-100 PSI

Oasser Tire Inflator Option 7

Oasser Tire Inflator

Read More
-"Most Innovative" Award
-Sleek and innovative design
-Dual power source
-150 PSI

OPTION 1: EPAuto Heavy Duty 120 PSI Tire Inflator (Best Money Saver)

EPAuto Heavy Duty 120 PSI Tire Inflator Option 1This entry point unit combines three tools in one, a filling gun, an air chuck, and a gauge.

This unit is perfect for people who are more on budget and/or want something for occasional use and not looking for a big investment.

The PSI range (0-120 PSI) is very convenient as it is suitable for quite a wide range of things that need inflating. Our tests were able to get the PSI levels up to the maximum PSI which is impressive for the price point of the unit.  The display is also conveniently large and most say it’s pretty accurate, although there were also some who complained about it.

Overall, despite its low price, we were are pleasantly surprised with its overall performance and did not feel like we were using a budget air compressor.

There are a lot of plastic parts on the unit so some care will need to be taken when handling the portable air compressor. It is understandable for its price point and its durability was not an issue for us.

Check latest price on Amazon.

OPTION 2: Astro 3018 Digital Tire Inflator (Best Overall Performance)

Astro 3018 Digital Tire Inflator Option 2The Astro 3018 Digital Tire Inflator has been one of the most popular models of tire inflators for a while now and for good reason.

Astro’s 3018 model is an upgrade from an earlier version, with two big improvements. Astro first improved the power source from a battery source to AAA batteries. Having the pump powered by batteries gives allows this portable air compressor to be well more portable. They also replaced the hose with a 21” stainless steel braided one.

Its operating pressure is 3 – 175 PSI and one powerful feature is that it comes with a two-position lever, allowing the user to not only inflate but deflate at will, thus making more precision fills. In our tests, the digital gauge was accurate up to .01 PSI making it one of the most accurate gauges that we tested.

You only need to squeeze the level a little to deflate and squeeze more to inflate. The deflation process can be done even with the air compressor line unhooked. You can also get a reading without the airline connected, so it can act as a pressure checker level as well. Its display has an auto shut off function, thus saving on battery life.

While the price point might be higher than most of the other tire inflators we recommend it performs like an elite unit. If you are looking for one the best tire inflators and don’t mind investing a little more this tire inflator is perfect for you.

Here’s a video that shows the improvement in features of the new version vs the old version of the Astro 3018 digital tire inflator and some other cool features as well.

Check out pricing on Amazon.

OPTION 3: RoadTek Digital Tire Inflator (Most Compact)

RoadTek Digital Tire Inflator Option 4The RoadTek Digital Tire Inflator is one of the smallest units we have on our recommended list.  It comes in at under 10 inches in length and at around 10 ounces in weight.

The RoadTek Digital Tire Inflator immediately caught our eye with extremely simple design making it easy to use. Simply turn it on and you are good to go it just starts inflating.

To help you stop the over-inflation of tires, the RoadTek Digital Tire Inflator comes with an automatic pump setting. Simply set the PSI which you require, turn the pump on, and it will pump up your tires to the desired level, automatically shutting off once done.

In our test, we were able to get the inflator to reach its max PSI output of 150 PSI, surprised us because of the size of the unit. You can easily fill up any inflatable with it apart from large truck tires.

The RoadTek Digital Tire Inflator features 4 self-monitoring caps for some added convenience.

It also features an easy to use plug-in system. Simply plug it into the DC power outlet in your car or use the cigarette lighter, in order to power it.

This little air compressor is built to be solid, durable, and long-lasting. Long story short while this unit might be small it packs a punch and won’t break down on you.

If you think this model fits your requirements, then just click on the link below to go check it out on Amazon.

OPTION 4: FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Digital Tire Inflator (Most Durable)

FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Digital Tire Inflator Option 5The FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Digital Tire Inflator comes with a nifty DV power adaptor so you can plug it right into your car to power it. A long air hose allows you to reach all your tires with ease even if its plugged in the front center of your car.

During testing, we loved how well all the materials held up during our durability test.  All of the parts are designed to last for years, making it well worth the investment.

The FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Digital Tire Inflator has an auto-shut off feature. Simply set the PSI to where you need it, let the pump do its thing, and it will then shut off when complete. It’s a good option if you tend to over-inflate tires and balls.

This inflator comes with many attachments and can be used for balls, inflatable rafts, bike tires, motorbike tires, and car tires too. It is not the best option for truck tires, but it will still get the job done.

We also like how the FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Digital Tire Inflator is very lightweight and portable even with all the durable parts. It comes in at under 2 pounds in weight and at 8 inches in length.

The LED lights that come integrated into the FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Digital Tire Inflator are also convenient, so you can always see what you are doing at all times.

One of the best parts about the FORTEM THE EXTRA MILE Digital Tire Inflator is that the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty. Not only is the device durable but it’s backed up by the manufacturer’s confidence in a lifetime warranty. The value of the warranty along makes the FORTEM digital tire pump one of the smarter investments.

Click the link below to go straight to Amazon and check the latest price and offers.

OPTION 5: DBPOWER Portable Mini 12V Tire Inflator (Most Portable)

DBPOWER Portable Mini 12V Tire Inflator Option 6The DBPOWER Portable Mini 12V Tire Inflator plugs straight into the cigarette lighter jack on your car.

Since the DBPOWER Portable Mini 12V Tire Inflator requires less power than most you will not have to worry about shorting your cigarette lighter or draining the car battery. The power cord is also much longer than most ensuring where ever your cigarette lighter is you can reach all four tire on your car.

Coming in at under 7 inches in length and at only 15 ounces, it is one of the most portable and convenient small air compressors that you can get your hands on at this time. It also comes with various nozzles so you can fill up things like balls and rafts.

Through our testing, we were able to get a PSI max output of 100 which is right in line with what the manufacturer claims as maximum output. It was able to bring a car tire to 35 PSI in roughly 7 minutes. Some of the other portable air compressors will fill it faster but are larger in size.

Sellers on Amazon at the time of writing this are offering a 1-year warranty on this tire inflator. We have reached out to the sellers and the warranty covers everything from defects to normal wear and tear.

Check the latest price and offers on Amazon, by clicking the link below.

OPTION 6: Oasser Portable Air Compressor (Most Innovative Design)

Oasser Tire Inflator Option 7The Oasser Portable Air Compressor is one of the more sleek and innovative designs with metal parts and its advanced LCD display. The display really does make this pump quite easy to operate.

We like how the Oasser Portable Air Compressor can be plugged right into the cigarette lighter of your car but can also be plugged into an electrical outlet. This compressor is battery powered, so plugging it in charges it, but it can actually run for about 1.5 hours on a full battery charge giving you multiple options to power and use this tire inflator.

What is impressive is that the Oasser Portable Air Compressor has a max output of 150 PSI, making it more than strong enough for small car tires, bike tires, balls, and inflatable rafts too. Through our testing, we were able to get very close to 150 PSI of output.

The Oasser Portable Air Compressor also has a 1-year warranty to protect your investment.

When you combine a sleek and durable design with high powered performance you can’t really go wrong with the Oasser Portable Air Compressor.

The Best Accessories to use with an Air Compressor for Tires-

Accessories to your portable air pumps can help diversify its usages and improve upon the quality of your air compressor setup.

Having high-quality accessories will not only increase the effectiveness of your air compressor but will also protect your investment.

Here are some of the top accessories to take your portable air compressor game to the next level.

Quality High-Pressure Hose

There are many reasons to buy a new pressure hose for your air compressor. You might want another hose if your old hose has got a hole or corroded, you want a long or shorter hose, or you want something of higher quality than the stock hose that comes with your air compressor. Whatever the reason there are a couple of things to keep in and mind and look for in a hose.

 There are three things to keep in mind when purchasing a new hose for your air compressor- Diameter of the hose, length of the hose, and type of material the hose uses.

 The diameter of the hose is essential for two reasons. The width of the hose needs to be able to connect to the output valve properly on your air compressor, and a hose to big or too small will not work.

 Secondly the wider the tube, the more air needed to fill it. If your air compressor’s output is on the lower PSI level, a tighter tube can increase your air compressors performance. However, if you have a powerful air compressor but small hose you restricting the overall output and wasting your compressors power.

 The hose that carries the air from your compressor to the tire should be a high-pressure product (up to 250 PSI) and should be made by a reputable manufacturer. A 3/8 inch hose is suitable for inflating tires, and 25ft is the perfect length for getting around a vehicle to service all four tires. Goodyear, Amflo, and Campbell Hausfeld are all leading manufacturers who produce high-quality hoses for as little as $20.

Best Portable Air Pump For Car Tires with Gauge

The other all-important accessory is the inflator that you will use. Simply connecting the right inflator will put air in your tires, but how will you know once you’ve achieved optimum pressure? Bicycles, cars, and trucks all require different PSI in the tires to achieve manufacturer safety and performance ratings.

A tire inflator with a gauge will make sure that you’re always on the mark.

After researching many different models and digital gauges, we recommend a digital gauge.

There are two types of gauges analog and digital. Both are effective, although a digital gauge is much easier to read and through our testing were just as accurate as analog gauges.

Gauges can indicate pressure in BAR, PSI, and some will display a KG reading also. The most common measurement is PSI.

Digital Tire Gauge

Another handy tool that is is especially useful if you have the bigger compressor and you don’t have a tire inflator equipped with the pressure readout display is a digital tire gauge. Insert the end of the tool in the valve stem, and you can read the display.

The best tire gauge that we currently recommend is the TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge.


 Well that does it for our guide on portable air compressors.

Have any questions, did we miss something, or thing we got something wrong? Don’t be shy leave a comment and we will be happy to hear from you!

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