Portable Compressor Guide

What Is a Compressor?

Compressors are devices that allow compressed air to be forced into something, or drive the motion of something due to the pressure building up behind them.

In the case of what we’re referring to, compressed air is used to pump up tyres.

What Is Better – Foot Pump Or Vehicle Air Compressor?

What’s better? An apple or an orange?

OK, seriously, it is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, but foot pumps and vehicle air compressors are aimed at different markets, or at least they were.

Compressors used to be expensive by comparison, which is why every garage or man shed in the land used to be home to a foot pump. Pumping up vehicle tyres manually is actually quite hard work, and while it’s just as effective, there’s really no need to work up a sweat these days.

A decent foot pump is likely to be almost as expensive as a decent air compressor, and they’re broadly as good as each other in terms of results. Of course, an electronic device takes nowhere near as much effort, but granted they’re not much use when you have a flat battery. If we take it for granted that you’d have to be very unlucky to have two flats at the same time (battery and tyre), then the compressor wins hands down!

Which Brands Of Compressor Are Best?

Take a look at Amazon and you’ll see loads of electronic tyre pumps on sale, so it’s hard to know which is best. In truth they all have very similar features – in other words they pretty much all do the same thing. Therefore, a lot of the decision making process comes down to reliability, and you’ll quickly see that scouring the reviews comes up with the same names time and time again. We agree that the best car tyre inflator is made by Ring, a common consensus across review sites on the web. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all correct, but it does mean that you can be sure you’re investing in a good model by following the crowd.

How Do Compressors Work?

Compressors are remarkably simple to use. Just plug them into the car cig lighter socket, and they’ll switch on (usually automatically). You connect the other end to the tyre valve, set the desired pressure and they’ll do the rest when you push the start button.

Be aware that they’re quite noisy things – your neighbours won’t thank you for pumping up your tyres in the middle of the night, but other than that they’re very convenient and simple devices to use.