Author Topic: Tire Gauges  (Read 10308 times)

Offline Red01

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Tire Gauges
« on: January 02, 2006, 05:20:16 PM »
Here's the MCN tire gauge shootout:













Paul
2001 GSF1200S
(04/2001-03/2012)
2010 Concours 14ABS
(07/2010-current)


Offline Red01

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Tire Gauges
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2006, 06:19:57 PM »
In the event something should ever happen to the images, or you can't read them for some reason, MCN did a shootout of 22 different tire pressure gages. Scoring categories are pretty self-explanatory, except pehaps Durability. Durability was tested by pushing each gage off a 40" high work bench onto a concrete floor two times and then retesting the gage for accuracy.
(Like a torque wrench or any precision instrument, you shouldn't subject it to falls or rough treatment if you want to be able to trust it.)

Here's their test standard:

Intercomp Digital #360045
$395-$295

    Master Calibration Gauge
    Accuracy: 5.0
    Durability: N/A
    Form/Fit: 5.0
    Readabilty: 5.0
    Type: Digital
    Range: 0-100 psi
    Claims: Repeatable to 0.1 psi. Accurate to 0.5% of readout.
    Comments: Easy to use, keypad calibration, peak hold, thumb-operated bleeder, 20" hose and swivel nozzle. Our calibration gauge. Only gauge to read in 0.1 psi increments. Automatic compensation for temperature and humidity.
    Contact:
Intercomp Racing[/list]

I'll list the gages in the order the finished, rather than the alphabetic order they appear in in the article scans above.

MCN BEST BUY:[/b]
Auto-on Digital Tire Gauge
$9.99

    Overall Score: 18.0
    Accuracy: 4.5
    Durability: 4.5
    Form/Fit: 5.0
    Readabilty: 4.0
    Type: Digital
    Range: 5-150 psi
    Claims: +/- 1% (Full Scale) +1 LSD
    Comments: +.5 psi across range. LCD display is larger than others. Nearly as good as analog to read. Consistent readings.. Styled well. Fits well on stem. Good hand feel. Nice case. Excellent accuracy.
    Contact:
Griot's Garage[/list]

MCN Recommended:[/b]

RoadGear
$24.99

    Overall Score: 17.0
    Accuracy: 4.0
    Durability: 4.5
    Form/Fit: 4.0
    Readabilty: 4.0
    Type: Digital
    Range: 5-99.5 psi
    Claims: Accurate to +/- 1%
    Comments: +.5 psi mid-high range, +/- 1 psi low range. 3/8" LCD reads in tenths. Appears identical to Radio Shack gauge, except for chrome paint. Good feel. Voice loud enough to hear. Rubber handle. Good angle for bikes.
    Contact:
RoadGear.com[/list]

Talking Tire Gauge 63-1205
$9.99-$12.99

    Overall Score: 16.0
    Accuracy: 4.0
    Durability: 4.0
    Form/Fit: 4.0
    Readabilty: 4.0
    Type: Digital
    Range: 5-99 psi
    Claims: None
    Comments: +.5-1.5 psi across range.3/8" LCD reads in tenths. Identical to RoadGear but black. Same Maxell battery. RS attempts to sell you a battery when you buy it, but comes with one. Good fit in hand. "Talk" is a bit of a gimmick. Recall button is a nice feature.
    Contact: Radio Shack


Accu-gage S60X
$6.99

    Overall Score: 16.0
    Accuracy: 4.5
    Durability: 4.0
    Form/Fit: 2.5
    Readabilty: 5.0
    Type: Analog dial
    Range: 5-60 psi
    Claims: None
    Comments: +.5 psi across range. Big, easy to read dial. Holds pressure until released. No protective cover, so don't drop it, but accuracy was not too bad after drop test. No swivel on chuck. Length of fitting means it's not adapteable to all bikes.
    Contact: Sears Auto Center


NAPA Tire Pressure Gauge 90-378
$7.99

    Overall Score: 16.0
    Accuracy: 4.0
    Durability: 4.5
    Form/Fit: 4.0
    Readabilty: 3.0
    Type: Pencil
    Range: 10-50 psi
    Claims: Gauge has been accurately calibrated and inspected.
    Comments: +/-.5-1 psi across range. Best pencil gauge. Very consistent readings. Standard style pencil gauge, slanted chuck. Works fine. Be careful when removing the stem. Bump it and the readings change.
    Contact: NAPA Auto Parts Store


Accutire Key Chain MS-46B
$13.99

    Overall Score: 15.5
    Accuracy: 4.5
    Durability: 4.0
    Form/Fit: 4.0
    Readabilty: 3.0
    Type: Digital
    Range: 5-60 psi
    Claims: Accuracy +/-1%
    Comments: -1 psi @ 20. Works well, although tiny LCD is hard to see in poor light. Small enough to keep on key chain in your pocket. Small, key chain design, easy to push onto stem. Excellent accuracy.
    Contact:
TireRack.com[/list]
Paul
2001 GSF1200S
(04/2001-03/2012)
2010 Concours 14ABS
(07/2010-current)


Offline Red01

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Tire Gauges
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2006, 07:37:48 PM »
Here's how the rest of them faired:

Professional Tire Inflating Gun 92549
$49.99

    Overall Score: 19.0
    Accuracy: 5.0
    Durability: 5.0
    Form/Fit: 5.0
    Readabilty: 4.0
    Type: Analog Dial
    Range: 0-140 psi
    Claims: None
    Comments: +/- 0.5 psi @ 20. For such a large gauge, they could have made the scale bigger for more precise readings. Garage use only. as it requires pressurized air source to work. Check air pressure as you fill. Large gauge, wide range. Super accurate.
    Contact:
Griot's Garage[/list]

No name Pencil Gauge #2
$2-$3

    Overall Score: 15.0
    Accuracy: 4.0
    Durability: 4.0
    Form/Fit: 4.0
    Readabilty: 3.0
    Type: Pencil
    Range: 10-50 psi
    Claims: N/A
    Comments: +1 psi @ 35 and 50. Pencil gauges can be accurate, but precise readings are difficult. Aluminum. Light, cheap feel, you almost don't want to trust it, but readings were consistent. Standard type pencil gauge, slanted chuck. Works fine, but care is required to not bump the slider as you remove it from the stem
    Contact: N/A


Monket Grip MG8859
$2.29

    Overall Score: 14.5
    Accuracy: 4.5
    Durability: 3.0
    Form/Fit: 4.0
    Readabilty: 3.0
    Type: Pencil
    Range: 5-50 psi
    Claims: Steel body, chrome finish, plastic head
    Comments: -0.5 psi across range. Cheap feel. Lighter than Slime Tire Gauge 2005A. Has pocket clip.
    Contact: Checker Auto Parts


No name Pencil Gauge #3
$2-$3

    Overall Score: 14.5
    Accuracy: 3.5
    Durability: 4.0
    Form/Fit: 4.0
    Readabilty: 3.0
    Type: Pencil
    Range: 10-100 psi
    Claims: None
    Comments: +1-1.5 psi across range. Found in tool box. Nothing to recommend it. Holds pressure until you push it back in. Good, so long as you don't bump it and change the reading. Accuracy improved after drops!
    Contact: N/A


Slime Tire Gauge 2005-A
$3.99

    Overall Score: 14.5
    Accuracy: 3.0
    Durability: 4.0
    Form/Fit: 4.0
    Readabilty: 3.0
    Type: Pencil
    Range: 20-120 psi
    Claims: Bonus: 4 piece standard black valve caps.
    Comments: -2 psi @ 20, +/-2 psi @ 35, +/-1 psi @ 50. Pulling the slider out and trying to recall your mark is tough. Heavier feel than other pencil type gauges. Spot-on at 80 psi. Fits the valve stem well, difficult to get precise readings.
    Contact: AutoZone


Accu-Gage DT171 Talking Bilingual
$19.99

    Overall Score: 14.0
    Accuracy: 3.0
    Durability: 3.0
    Form/Fit: 4.0
    Readabilty: 4.0
    Type: Digital
    Range: 5-100 psi
    Claims: Hear tire pressure in English or Spanish
    Comments: +1 psi @ 20, +1.5 @ 35, +2.0 @ 50. 3/8" lCD. "Voice" is difficult to hear and is delayed. Nice place to put thumb on back. No Auto-On like other units. Auto-off. Nice light, red alloy, good feel.
    Contact: Sears Auto Center


Accutire MS-4820B
$9.99

    Overall Score: 14.0
    Accuracy: 3.5
    Durability: 3.5
    Form/Fit: 3.0
    Readabilty: 2.0
    Type: Digital
    Range: 5-99 psi
    Claims: +/- 1% plus .5 psi
    Comments: +/-1.5 psi @ high end. Smallest LCD window of all, it uses a magnifying plastic lens so you can read it. Can be recalibrated by resetting to zero. Smallish head makes you think it will break if you push too hard. Sort of like a digital pencil gauge.
    Contact: Sears Auto Center


AutoSport PH60Xal
$19.95

    Overall Score: 14.0
    Accuracy: 4.0
    Durability: 0.0
    Form/Fit: 5.0
    Readabilty: 5.0
    Type: Analog Dial
    Range: 0-60 psi
    Claims: None
    Comments: +/- .5-1 psi across range. Brass case gives quality feel. Release valve holds rock solid. Great guage, but dropping it ruined it. Swivel chuck. The 10" braided hose makes it easy to use. We like the way it locks to the stem. Very good accuracy before drops.
    Contact:
AutoSport.com[/list]

Accu-Gage EX02
$15.95

    Overall Score: 13.5
    Accuracy: 3.5
    Durability: 0.0
    Form/Fit: 5.0
    Readabilty: 5.0
    Type: Analog Dial
    Range: 0-100 psi
    Claims: Inflates with air pump
    Comments: +1 psi @ 35, +1.5 psi @ 20 & 50. Super easy to read gauge face. Rubber bumper case doesn't adequately protect it. A fine instrument; drop it and you'll knock it out of whack. Locks to valve stem. 10" braided flexible hose. Holds reading solid until you release valve.
    Contact:
AutoSport.com[/list]

Intercomp #360070
$38.95

    Overall Score: 13.0
    Accuracy: 4.0
    Durability: N/A
    Form/Fit: 2.0
    Readabilty: 4.0
    Type: Analog Dial
    Range: 0-60 psi
    Claims: 2 1/2" high quality, glow-in-the-dark face
    Comments: +1 psi @ 35 and 50. Easy to read. Big numbers, clear marks for every whole psi. Fine, precise needle. Heavy-duty feel, swivel chuck, thick hose. Pressure falls when it's removed from valve.
    Contact:
Intercomp-Racing.com[/list]

Slime Sport Gauge
$4.99

    Overall Score: 13.0
    Accuracy: 2.0
    Durability: 4.0
    Form/Fit: 3.0
    Readabilty: 3.0
    Type: Analog Dial
    Range: 10-75 psi
    Claims: with Trigger Rest Button
    Comments: +/-3 psi @ 50. Gauge face is very difficult to read. All plastic, feels cheap. Fits in hand okay, chuck angled correctly. Holds pressure well until you push plastic release button. Accuracy better after drops!
    Contact: AutoZone


Monkey Grip #M872  
$6.99

    Overall Score: 11.5
    Accuracy: 2.0
    Durability: 2.5
    Form/Fit: 2.0
    Readabilty: 5.0
    Type: Analog Dial
    Range: 0-60 psi
    Claims: Nothing Grips Like the Monkey
    Comments: +/- 3 psi at times. Easy to read gauge. 1 psi increments. Heavy chrome, cheap vinyl carrying case, no real protection. Must be held striaght on. Release valve holds pressure well. Accuracy better after drops!
    Contact: Checker Auto Parts


Magnetic Mini Tire Gauge
$2.49

    Overall Score: 5.0
    Accuracy: 1.0
    Durability: 0.0
    Form/Fit: 3.0
    Readabilty: 1.0
    Type: Pencil
    Range: 10-50 psi
    Claims: None
    Comments: +/-4 psi @ 20-40, -1.5 psi @ 40+. Marks are 2 psi apart. Very small and hard to read. Fits in hand okay. Fell apart when dropped, but was hard to push off bench due to clip-on magnet.
    Contact: Checker Auto Parts


Accu-Gage DP120C Truck Tire Gaugel
$4.99

    Overall Score: 4.5
    Accuracy: 0.0
    Durability: 0.0
    Form/Fit: 2.0
    Readabilty: 2.5
    Type: Pencil
    Range: 20-120 psi
    Claims: Dual Cuck (both ends)
    Comments:
Poor accuracy.[/i] +5-5.5 psi across range. Fits the valve stem like a vacuum. Best of any gauge in this test, no "pssst" when taking it off. Large, heavy duty gauge with dual chuck on both ends, neither works particularly well on motorcycles.
Contact: Sears Auto Center[/list]

BikeMaster #15-1506
$10.99

    Overall Score:
Unacceptable
Accuracy: 3.0
Durability: 2.5
Form/Fit: 3.0
Readabilty: 0.0
Type: Analog Dial
Range: 0-60 psi
Claims: Simple, honest value
Comments: Unacceptable.[/u][/i] -2 psi @ 20 psi, +/- 1 PSI @ 50. Easy to read. Fitted with a release valve and swivel chuck, but pressure reading begines to fall as soon as it's removed from the tire, making reading the gauge nearly impossible on a motorcycle.
Contact: Cycle Gear[/list]
Paul
2001 GSF1200S
(04/2001-03/2012)
2010 Concours 14ABS
(07/2010-current)


Offline chupacabra

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Tire Gauges
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2006, 06:54:35 AM »
I've been using a Accutire Key Chain. Glad to see it did well. I like the small size and it seams fairly tuff. Had it three years now.  :shock:
Dave . . . San Diego, California
1996 GSF600S Marble Italian Red
I bought new in sept of 95
D.I.D. 530ZVM gold x-ring chain
Pirelli Diablo 120/60F & Strada 160/60R
Progressive fork springs
H.S. HD rear axle nut & washer
Hole Shot 17" comp1 can

Offline PitterB4

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Tire Gauges
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2006, 05:05:54 PM »
Cewl!  Great post, Paul.

FWIW, my only M/C related Christmas gift was the Intercomp #360070.  It came recommended by my geek, mechanical engineer-turned-motorcycle suspension specialist friend.  I love it.  I realized that my cheap, pencil-style one was WAY off.  

I would like to get that Accu keychain one, too.  The Intercomp isn't really something to throw in your pocket.
Rob
Bikeless!
'93 Bandit 400 - SOLD
'98 Honda F3 Track Bike - SOLD
'98 Kawi ZX-6R Street Bike - SOLD
NESBA #87 - RETIRED
'00 Gary Fisher Kaitai
'09 Bianchi Via Nirone 7

Offline Red01

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Tire Gauges
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2006, 10:21:30 PM »
Glad to see someone likes the post...  :grin:
It took quite a bit of time to hammer all that out. Didn't help that my scanner gave me troubles and I had to reboot a couple times to get it to finish the first part of the job. Then I ran into some weird UBB code problems in the hand-typed parts and it took several edits to get it to display the way I wanted it..
Paul
2001 GSF1200S
(04/2001-03/2012)
2010 Concours 14ABS
(07/2010-current)


Offline ldbandit76

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Tire Gauges
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2006, 01:06:40 PM »
Has anyone done any comparison on the Flaig gauge?

http://www.aerostich.com/product.php?productid=16390

I bought one in a fit of geeky gadget greed, not because I really needed a fancy gauge, but because I thought it was cool...

I have since found only one owner's comment, who said it stopped working after several years (a bit of a downer).  

Thoughts?

Offline vadim

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Tire Gauges
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2006, 09:56:02 AM »
I got the accu tire key chain one.  It's sold for under six bucks by Amazon right now.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000WODVU/103-4934141-8116651?v=glance&n=15684181

works nice, love it.  Especially compared to my old one which was a PITA to use!
*******
'01 600s

Offline stormi

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Tire Gauges
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2006, 02:42:48 PM »
I have ( had) an accu tire keychain guage.  I just threw it out.  Do -not- use it as the keychain that you use on the ignition key.  My LCD became unreadable within a year.   I suspect from bouncing around on the bars, but it could be from the elements as well.  Otherwise I quite liked it.
stormi

Dita - 91 Bandit 400 - SOLD
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Offline ricklee4570

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Tire Gauges
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2007, 09:40:40 AM »
I have a Campbell Hausfield I bought from Wal-Mart called the Professional series.  I also bought one from Sears for $24.99 (digital)

On my car tires, one reads 36.5, the other reads 32.

That sucks! Looks like I need to buy a third and see which one is closest to being right!

Offline Nitro

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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2007, 07:20:27 PM »
I read somewhere years ago that the stick type gauges are the most accurate. The dial type are the worst for accuracy.
97 Bandit 1200S

Offline Sven

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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2007, 01:30:50 AM »
Quote from: "Nitro_Fluffy"
I read somewhere years ago that the stick type gauges are the most accurate. The dial type are the worst for accuracy.


Bizarre, I recently read something that was essentially the opposite...throw the stick guage in the trash!

I don't like the digital ones, because the batteries in them are always dead, and replacing the battery is not cheap.   I use and like the dial type with the long braided hose.

Like other numbers in our lives (such as weight, cholesterol or PSA), it's not so much knowing the number as it is knowing whether the number changes.
2003 Suzuki Bandit 1200S | el Bandido de Cerceta | the teal bandit
2010 Yamaha FJR1300A | Gin Tama | the silver bullet
2002 Honda CRV | the dirt-colored car