Your tires don’t ask for much – just some basic care and maintenance, and maybe a nice replacement as the seasons change. And when the tire pressure light comes on, quick action to bring that PSI back to its ideal number. We’re here to offer some of the best portable air compressors to have on hand when you need to refill your car tires quickly.
What is the best air pump for use in cars? While the air compressors on this list are best-in-class for general use, they should all be capable of being used as a tire inflator with the right equipment and attachments.
5. This Senco is the best lightweight portable air compressor
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This is one of the best air compressors for car tires due to its small size and light weight. The Senco Portable Pancake Air Compressor weighs just 25 pounds and has a 1-gallon tank, so it won’t take up too much space wherever you’re working.
If you check your tires regularly, a small and lightweight air compressor can help inflate tires that may be a little low.
4. The Milwaukee M18 is the best wireless portable air compressor
The Milwaukee M18 Compact Quiet Compressor is a great way to properly inflate the tires without having to lug a large plug-in compressor. It has a two-gallon tank and runs on an 18-volt battery. It’s one of the most useful options on this list while still being powerful enough.
It’s also one of the lightest on the list, weighing in at around 31 pounds. This is one of the best car tire battery pumps for the money.
Did you know that keeping a close eye on your tire pressure can extend the life of your tire? The California Air Tools Two-Gallon Quiet Series Air Compressor is a low-volume way to keep your tires looking their best.
This tire pump has a compact two-gallon tank, but it weighs about 35 pounds. However, it is one of the quietest air compressors at only 60 decibels.
2. This Ridgid is the best portable air compressor!
The Ridgid Six-Gallon Electric Pancake Air Compressor is one of the largest Family handyman‘s list. It has a six-gallon tank, but still weighs only 35 pounds. It is also one of the loudest at 80 decibels. However, the price of this air compressor is only $130, which makes it an incredible value.
The Ridgid is great when you need more than just filling tires. Its size doesn’t make it great for small spaces, but it is one of the best garage air compressors for car tires. But if you just need a tire inflator, read on…
1. The Ryobi Wireless High Pressure Inflator may be all you need to fill your car tires
Okay, this isn’t actually an air compressor, but stick with me.
If you’re not interested in nail guns, pressure washers, or compressed air cleaning, you probably don’t need to buy an air compressor, portable or not. For basic tire pressures, Family Handyman recommends the Ryobi 18V One+ Wireless High Pressure Inflator. It features a digital gauge and is rated for 0-150 PSI. It weighs less than 1.5 kilos. Ryobi backs the product with an impressive 3-year warranty.
And if you own other Ryobi products, you can use the same batteries and chargers you already own. The best part? This wireless tire inflator is only about $25-30. The only downside is that it is quite loud – 80 decibels from this pint-sized product.
How do I choose a compressor for my car?
What size air compressor do I need to fill car tires? As you can see above with the Ryobi tire inflator, it doesn’t take much to put air in a car tire. Since most conventional car tires only need to go up to 32-38 PSI, even small air compressors can get the job done.
When looking for the best portable air compressor for car tires, make sure to check whether the compressor’s maximum PSI range can meet your needs. Some larger trucks and RVs need to be inflated much higher than 35 PSI.
Poor tire pressure can lead to uneven tire wear, shortening the life of your expensive tires and increasing the risk of tire blowouts. The added benefit of an air compressor is that it can be used for car detailing, washing and tire inflation.
If you don’t want to invest in an air compressor or an inflator, you do have options. Make sure you know the locations of all the nearest gas stations with an on-site tire inflator.
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