Autocar product test: What tyre gauge is best?

4 Tyre gauges

Tyre gauges are essential for keeping your car on the road, so which gauge should you buy?

A tyre gauge is an essential bit of kit, whether it’s to keep in the car or the garage, and there are lots of different options out there. We tried not to lose the valve caps while we found out which ones are best.

We tested our tyre gauges both in daylight and in low light to see how visible the dials are in different conditions. We factored in how easy they are to connect to the tyre valve, their perceived quality and durability, the tyre pressure range in which they function and any additional features that they offer. Naturally, value for money is a consideration, too. 

Best buy – Goodyear Portable Tyre Pressure Gauge

Price: £14.99

Buy from: Amazon

Pressure range: 0-60psi (0-4.1bar)

The Goodyear gauge feels really weighty and well built, despite the conveniently dinky size that makes it ideal for life in a glovebox. The 45deg rotating chuck makes it easy to fit to the valve, although those gauges with flexible hoses are a little easier if it’s a tricky-to-reach valve. The plastic case keeps it from getting damaged and would make it easy to hang in your garage, too. For a classy, straightforward and compact option, the Goodyear gauge is hard to fault. We also really favour the analogue products here; for a tool that often goes unused for months at a time, it’s common sense to not complicate it with battery life when you don’t need to.

Autocar says: 5 stars

4 Product tests 1600x1066

Recommended – Draper Tyre Pressure Gauge 69924

Price: £11.94

Buy from: Amazon

Pressure range: 5-100psi (0.3-6.9bar)

The Draper guage’s blue face looks really smart and is easy to read, and the whole product feels classy and solid. Despite the low price, this feels like it will last a lifetime. The flexible hose and angled chuck makes it really easy to marry to the tyre valve, and it will be accurate for very-high-pressure readings, too. We gave the win here to the Goodyear for its nifty, compact size, but if that’s not a concern for you, the Draper is just as highly recommendable. 

Autocar says: 5 stars

4 Product tests 1600x1066 2

Other available products – ATsafepro Precision Gauge

Price: £11.99

Buy from: Amazon

Pressure range: 0-60psi (0-4.1bar)

The ATsafepro is reassuringly hefty, and the heavy-duty rubber surround makes it feel extra durable. It’s the old-school Land Rover Defender of gauges. Our only gripe is that the dial is a little harder to read than some others, even in good light, but it’s a nifty trick that it glows in the dark. The four spare valve caps that it comes with are very welcome freebies, too. You can pay £4 extra to extend the range up to 100psi.

Autocar says: 4 stars

Atsafepro 2

AstroAI High Accuracy Tyre Pressure Gauge

Price: £12.99

Buy from: Amazon

Pressure range: 0-100 psi (0-6.9bar)

This is another analogue affair that feels likely to withstand the strains of many years of use, and the rubber surround makes it easy to hold as well as promising additional durability. As with the others, it’s complete with a rotating, angled chuck for an easier connection to the tyre valve. The rubber hose is chunky and difficult to manipulate, though, and the glow-in-the dark dial isn’t as easy to read as the Draper’s. It does read high pressures, though, and overall is well made and good value.  

Autocar says: 4 stars

Astroai 1

Goeco Tyre Pressure Gauge

Price: £13.88

Buy from: Amazon

Pressure range: 5-99psi (0.33-6.8bar)

This is the best of the digital gauges. It has a really clear backlit screen, plus it will show the tyre’s tread depth on the screen in millimetres when you use the retractable pin, which is a neat additional safety feature. The chuck can be tricky to fit tightly to a tyre valve, because it’s short and not canted at a 45deg angle as most others are, but this is still a really effective and accurate gauge, and conveniently small. The batteries are included and easy to access. 

Autocar says: 4 stars

Goeco 2

Halfords Digital Tyre Pressure and Tread Depth Gauge

Price: £12.00

Buy from: Halfords

Pressure range:  5-99psi (0.35-6.8bar)

The Halfords tyre gauge is similar to the Goeco, with its digital readout and tyre-tread and tyre-pressure functions. The chuck is a bit short, but we still managed to get a good fix on a variety of tyre valves without much issue, and the fact that you can attach it to a keyring makes it less likely to disappear into the miscellaneous ‘drawer of no return’ that every household has. There’s no backlight for the readout, though, so it’s surprisingly difficult to read in any light. 

Autocar says: 3 stars

Halfords gauge 1

E-Smarter Digital Tyre Pressure Gauge

Price: £7.99

Buy from: Amazon

Pressure range: 0-150psi (0-10.3bar)

The E-Smarter has a backlit digital readout and nozzle, so it’s great if you need to check your tyres in low light. It’s perfectly straightforward to use and can take whatever measure of pressure you like across a very high pressure range, including KPA and kg/cm3 for trucks or bikes. The batteries are included, but they’re tricky to access, and the handset itself feels very light and cheap. That’s forgivable at the price, though.

Autocar says: 3 stars

E smarter 2

AstroAI Digital Tyre Pressure Gauge

Price: £8.99

Buy from: Amazon

Pressure range: 0-150psi (0-10.3bar)

The AstroAI digital pressure gauge feels brittle and light and is almost exactly the same as the E-Smarter. It does the job, though. The readout and chuck have a backlight and it’s accurate and a doddle to use, provided that your tyre’s valve isn’t unusually difficult to reach. Overall, it’s effective, but the analogue gauges certainly feel like they will last a whole lot longer so will be a better buy in the long run. 

Autocar says: 3 stars

Astroai digital 1

AA Digital Tyre Pressure Gauge AA1634

Price: £8.31 

Buy from: Amazon 

Pressure range: 0-100psi (0- 6.9bar)

This handset is similar to the other digital gauges that we’ve tested and feels similarly cheap. It doesn’t have the same pressure range as the others, though, and it reads only in PSI and Bar. The light on the chuck is so weak that it doesn’t help much even in the dark, and the readout is tricky to read, too. Even next to the other digital gauges here, the AA gauge feels tacky – even more of a shame, given that it comes from a reassuringly familiar brand. 

Autocar says: 2 stars

Aa gauge 1

How we test products

Disclaimer: The products or services referenced in this story have been reviewed independently by our experts. When you buy using the links on our site, we may earn a commission, but this will never influence our opinion or ratings.

Source: Autocar

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