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Tire Pressure Gauge Guide

Find out which tire pressure gauge is right for you with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

Are you looking for the most accurate tire gauge? The least expensive? The one that can be stored easiest? There are three different kinds of tire pressure gauges to choose from. With this list of pros and cons, you can find the right tire pressure gauge.

Pencil/Stick Tire Pressure Gauge

A pencil tire pressure gauge is a type of analog tire gauge. It’s also known as a stick tire pressure gauge. The key components are a metal outer shell, an inner plastic measuring rod and the stem attachment. The inner plastic rod will extend when air pressure is applied. On the plastic insert, you’ll find large and small numbers.This gives you the PSI reading for your tire. For example, if you see a large three and a small nine, the reading is 39 PSI.

Tire Pressure Gauge Guide
Can’t figure out which tire pressure gauge to choose? Let us help you with a list of pros and cons.
  • Compact size, which makes it easy to keep in your car
  • Least expensive when compared to dial and digital gauges
  • Least accurate of the three types of gauges
  • Wear and tear can decrease accuracy

Dial Tire Pressure Gauge

A dial tire pressure gauge is an analog pressure gauge with a dial instead of a measuring stick. To use a dial gauge, attach the gauge directly to the valve stem. Some dial gauges come equipped with an extension hose. If that’s the case, attach the extension hose to the valve stem. The air pressure will go through the hose. This will cause the needle to move on the dial face. The needle will give you an accurate PSI reading for your tires.

  • Easy to use while inflating the tire
  • More accurate than a stick gauge
  • The dial is simple to read
  • Dependable
  • Less durable—the face of the dial can easily break if made of glass
  • Calibrated spring can be sensitive to a lot of motion
  • Less portable
  • Dials with extension hoses require two hands
  • Can be more expensive than digital and stick gauges if extension hoses are added to the dial
  • Bulky when compared to stick and digital gauges

Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

To use a digital tire pressure gauge, attach it directly to the valve stem. A digital number will appear on the screen. This is the PSI reading. This gauge is very easy to read. If the digital gauge doesn’t have enough battery power, your readings will be inaccurate. If you choose to use a digital gauge, we suggest you keep extra batteries in your car in case of an emergency.

  • Most accurate, because it reads the pressure in precise digital measurements
  • Less expensive than some dial gauges
  • Can come equipped with back-lit screens and LED flashlights
  • Some can be programmed to remember the desired pressure for your car’s front and back tires
  • Usually more expensive than a stick gauge
  • Less dependable than analog gauges–requires batteries to work

We recommend checking the pressure of all four tires once a month. This will help maintain your car’s performance. Also remember to check the spare tire, in case you need it in a car emergency.


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