Frequently Asked Questions: Lightning™ Air Chucks | JACO
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Frequently Asked Questions: Lightning™ Air Chucks

#1 - What are air chucks?

Simply put - air chucks are valve fittings that secure to your tire valve stem for tire pressure inflation & maintenance. They allow air to flow to and from the tire to help monitor and maintain correct inflation. Air chucks are typically sold as attachments for tire pressure gauges, inflators, or air compressor hoses.


#2 - What's the difference between "open" and "closed" flow air chucks? What type are your Lightning™ Series?

Our Lightning™ Series are open flow air chucks.

"Closed flow" air chucks are meant for direct connection to air compressor hoses. These types of chucks will allow air to pass from the compressor into the tire only after they are secured to the tire valve stem. These are ideal if you want to connect your air chuck directly to your air hose without any way of monitoring tire pressure. Closed flow air chucks cannot be used with tire filler gauges (such as our FlowPro Series) or other standalone tire pressure gauges.

"Open flow" means the air chuck will constantly allow air flow to pass through as long as the air compressor is running. This is the more modern and ideal way of using air chucks, because it allows for use with tire filler gauges that can let you monitor tire pressure as you are filling the tire. This makes the open flow style chucks easier to work with because you do not need to remove the air chuck from the tire valve stem before checking tire pressure with a separate gauge repeatedly during the inflation process. That said, open flow chucks are best used when set-up with a tire inflator gauge or standalone tire gauge to maintain tire inflation. In this case, the inflator gauge (or regular tire gauge) will act as the device that controls the air flow from the compressor into the tire.

These reasons are why our Lightning™ Chucks are design to be open flow. It allows for compatibility with our line of top-rated tire pressure gauges & inflators. It is truly an "all-in-one system" that makes tire pressure maintenance quicker and easier.

Although you may use them directly connected to an air compressor hose, it will eliminate any control you have of the air flow from compressor. That's why we suggest that you first connect a compatible tire inflator gauge to your air compressor hose. Then, you may connect open flow air chucks to the air hose of the tire inflator gauge for maximum control during inflation.


#3 - How do your Lightning™ Air Chucks work?

Our Lightning™ Series air chucks utilize industry-first features that make them the strongest, most reliable, and easy to use air chucks ever made. Before we get into how our Lightning™ Chucks work, let's first cover the other common types of air chucks that you will find.

Clip-on chucks

These are the most common air chucks you will see. They have been around for a long time without much innovation or change and are usually made from steel or brass. However, they have quite a few drawbacks.

If you've ever used these, you probably have experienced how inconsistent they can be. Often times, you will need to "fight the valve stem" to get a proper seal. The clip-on mechanism is usually pretty stiff, and when you do get a decent seal it's hard to maintain that seal without some minor (or even major) air leakage, especially when using with an air compressor or when you move the hose around. These chucks are usually very sensitive to movement, and a slight tug of your air hose can completely compromise your seal.

What's worse, the clip-on mechanism is not very smooth and often requires multiple attempts to get a proper seal. Also, the body of these chucks are often made up of a few different components that are held together by threading, making them very easy to fall apart on you.

Classic air chucks

Next, is the "classic" or "manual" air chuck models. These types of air chuck require you to hold them onto the valve stem for as long as you're working on your tires - they do not clip-on or hold the seal on their own. Although these usually have less problems than the above clip-on style chucks in terms of falling apart, they are still a pain because you are required to constantly force the chuck onto your valve stem to maintain the connection. This can become tiresome very quickly, and is our least preferred option due to the difficulty of use and manual labor.

Twist-on air chucks

If you have ever shopped for a portable 12V tire inflator - you have probably seen twist-on air chucks. These types of air chucks are usually made of plastic, steel, or brass and require you to fully twist the chuck on and off the valve stem. These actually provide a decent seal when fully twisted on, but the process of twisting them on and off the valve stem takes a lot of time. What's worse, you are almost guaranteed to lose a decent amount of air from your tire during the disconnection process.

Although these are okay for casual use (i.e. emergency tire inflators in your trunk) we do not recommend these for anything more than that.

Lightning™ Air Chucks

For the first time ever, you have access to our all-new, patented collection of Lightning™ Series Air Chucks. After years of development - we are proud to introduce the greatest advancements to air chucks ever created.

We have solved all of the problems of the previous three air chuck options, resulting in the strongest, most reliable, and easy to use air chucks ever.

100% Air Tight Seal, Every Time.

Our patented AirLock™ Internal Locking System utilizes military-grade locking clamps that grab & hold onto the tire valve with a simple push, providing a 100% air tight seal that will never leak or fail you, even under high pressure or movement. Most of our Lightning™ Series air chucks offer one of more integrated 360-degree swivel points that allow you to completely rotate the chuck from various points, allowing easy access to the tire valve stem from any angle, while eliminating any tension that will cause other air chucks to "pop off" or leak air.

No more fighting the valve stem for a proper seal. No more air loss.

Lightning Fast Removal, Zero Air Loss.

Next, we have integrated Quick-Release Technology into all of our Lightning™ Series air chucks. Our quick-release valves are easily accessible on every model air chuck we offer, allowing you to rapidly disconnect from the tire valve stem with absolutely zero air loss - completely eliminating any margin for error when precision matters most.

Easy to Use, Built to Last.

Finally, we have built all of our Lightning™ Series air chucks with high performance steel - ensuring they will never rust, wear, or fall apart on you. They are built for a lifetime of use in the garage, shop, or anywhere adventure takes you. Most importantly, they have been designed to be as easy to use, consistent, and reliable as possible.

These are only a few examples of how our Lightning™ Air Chucks work. For product specific details and features, please check out the individual product pages/videos for each model we offer.

#4 - Which JACO tools are compatible with your Lightning™ Series Air Chucks?

Below is a current list of our products that are compatible with Lightning™ Chucks:

- JACO ElitePro™ Digital Tire Pressure Gauges (100 PSI / 200 PSI)
- JACO FlowPro™ Tire Inflator Gauges (All Models)
- JACO EliteProPlus™ Tire Pressure Gauge (160 PSI)
- JACO BikePro™ Tire Pressure Gauge (60 PSI / 160 PSI)
- JACO FlexPro™ Hybrid Air Hose (with FlowPro)

#5 - Will these chucks fit air hoses and tools that are not made by JACO?

Yes, they are compatible with any air hose or tool that features 1/4" NPT threading. Our Lightning™ Series air chucks are laser-cut to precision with universal 1/4" F-NPT threads for maximum compatibility with any air gauge, inflator, compressor, fitting, or air hose that uses this standard.


#6 - Can I use these with portable 12V tire pumps such as your SmartPro Series?

These air chucks are not recommended for 12v portable-style tire pumps. You may be able to make it work with proper connection adapters, but these types of inflators do not traditionally have air hoses equipped with 1/4 inch NPT fittings. 

That said, we are in the process of developing a new style portable tire pump that uses 1/4 inch NPT hose fittings. Stay tuned!

#7 - My air chuck is leaking from the area where it connects to the air hose of my tire gauge - what is going on?

Firstly, always make sure the tool you are trying to connect to utilizes 1/4" NPT threads. If your gauge or air hose uses different threadings (1/16" or 1/8" for example) our air chucks will not fit an adapter.

Luckily, the gold standard for most air tools in the USA is 1/4" NPT. Most tools you will find at hardware stores or reputable online dealers should have this standard threading, which is why it is what we use with our Lightning™ Chucks.

All of our air chucks feature 1/4" NPT female threads laser-cut with a very low error tolerance, so the threading is extremely consistent throughout our entire product line.

However, even if your tool claims to have 1/4" NPT threads, there are still a few other factors that can effect compatibility.

Firstly, the threading tolerance on many different tire gauges, inflators, and air compressors is usually somewhat inconsistent. This may be due to either a lack of quality control at the factory level for that company, or incorrect thread count/size (i.e. may be too long or short).

If you know your air tool uses 1/4" NPT and you are experiencing air leakage, please follow these steps:

  1. Wrap the threads of your air tool with thread seal tape (also known as teflon tape)
  2. Twist the air chuck onto the threads of your tool by hand as tightly as you can.
  3. Using a correct sized wrench, tighten the air chuck to your air tool as tight as it will go, but be sure to not over-tighten and strip any threads.

These three steps alone should combat against air leakage caused by inconsistent threads on your tool.

However, to guarantee a perfect fit - we recommend using our Lightning™ Chucks with any of our award-winning JACO air tools for a fully customizable, seamless experience. We offer numerous tire gauges, inflators, and air hoses featuring interchangeable air hose threads (see question #3).

We laser-cut all threads with precision, using a very low error tolerance during production, resulting in an extremely consistent thread size across all of our top-rated product lines.

#8 - Why are these so much more expensive than other air chucks?

Lightning™ Chucks are unlike any air chuck you've ever seen. We integrate industry-first, patented features that offer far superior performance in every aspect compared to other air chucks available (see question #2).

What's more, when you buy our Lightning™ Series air chucks, you can rest assured your purchase is backed by our 100% Lifetime Warranty. This means the air chuck you bought is guaranteed to serve you reliably for life, or we will replace or refund your product with no questions asked.

We are a company that is passionate about precision air tools. Serving the powersports industry since 1983 and staffed with an award-winning customer support team - you can rest assured we will always be around to help with whatever you need.

#9 - Where can I purchase Lightning™ Chucks?

Lightning™ Series air chucks are available exclusively by JACO. We offer 100% Free Standard Shipping (3-4 days) for all orders in the USA when you place an order here on our official online shop.

You may also purchase directly from our official storefront on Amazon to enjoy Free 2-Day Shipping and lowest pricing if you're a Prime member.

Since these air chucks feature technology that is not available anywhere else, it is inevitable that counterfeit products will be produced from companies that are not authorized to sell our air chucks, resulting in a cheaper, less reliable, and completely different product. Always make sure you are purchasing Lightning™ Air Chucks from one of our official storefronts. Most customers will buy from us either here on our online store or Always look for the "Lightning" trademark in the product title, as we are the owners of this trademark and will take action against any company or seller that infringes upon this intellectual property.

#10 - What is the warranty for these air chucks?

Our Lightning™ Air Chucks are built from solid steel with as few moving components as possible for a simple, yet reliable, design. That said, we do not expect you to encounter any quality issues with these air chucks - they truly are built to last a lifetime.

However, if you are unhappy with your air chuck for any reason (i.e. they do not fit one of your old gauges) you may return or replace your product at anytime thanks to our industry-best 100% Lifetime Warranty.