The largest news outlet in Chicago, The Chicago Tribune, has crowned our ElitePro™ Series Tire Pressure Gauge the #1 overall "Best of the Best" tire pressure gauge available in 2020.
From their write-up:
"There are a number of easy-to-use tire pressure gauges on the market today. The three basic types of tire pressure gauges each come with their pros and cons. Many people invest in entry-level "pencil" gauges, though a more accurate choice is a digital model with a pistol grip. Our top pick is from JACO Superior Products, a durable analog gauge with a very readable dial.
Considerations when choosing tire pressure gauges
Ease of use
Taking an accurate reading with a standard "pencil" gauge can be challenging because the tire's valve stem can be at all different angles and locations. A digital readout model should be easier to read but doesn't always fit the stem securely. The higher-end analog gauges use flexible hoses to address the angle problem and feature large dial faces that are easy to read and calibrate.
Very few tire pressure gauges are 100% accurate, but the better ones only miss the mark by one or two pounds in either direction. Underinflating a tire by as little as six pounds can cause damage to the tire's structure, so overall accuracy is an important consideration. Reading customer reviews is a good way to get an idea of the reliability of a particular gauge.
Some inexpensive "pencil" gauges can clip to the user's shirt like a ballpoint pen, or be attached to a visor. Compact digital models are usually small enough to fit in a glove compartment or emergency repair kit. The larger analog gauges may include their own storage bags or fit inside a standard toolbox.
Analog or digital display
Pencil tire gauges generally have a simple pop-up mechanism with gradations according to total pounds of air, which are often difficult to read. Digital models display the results on an electronic screen, and the numbers can be quite large. Analog models use an oversized dial with a needle that stops at the final reading. This reading may be in several different modes, from pounds per square inch (psi) to bars of pressure or even kilopascals (kPa).
Although inexpensive spring-loaded tire pressure gauges can be found for less than $5, their accuracy and durability are both questionable. A quality digital model generally starts at around $9, while professional-grade models with analog dials can cost as much as $20 or more.
Tire pressure gauges we recommend
Best of the best: ElitePro Tire Pressure Gauge, 60 PSI
Our take: This professional-grade gauge from JACO is ideal for both mechanics and regular drivers who seek precise measurements.
What we like: Provides very accurate readings, with a luminous dial face for night use. Mechanical dial locks in results until released."