Having a car can be a bit of a drag at times, I have 3 tyres no less that regularly deflate to the point of completely flat if I leave them more than a couple of days. Before everyone starts advising me to go get them sealed at a garage it's already been done and I've now been told it's new alloys or keep pumping them up. As new alloys are not featuring on my financial horizon I always have one of these Tooltime Mini Air Compressors in my car to pump them up every couple of days. I won't lie to you, I'm on my third one of these Air Compressors because if used regularly they break very quickly.
Now being someone who doesn't really understand alot about car gadgets I'm going to write this as such and not research all the various terms like PSI because I frankly wouldn't understand what I was told anyway! All I do know is I had one that was 250 PSI and it's supposed to be slower than this 300 PSI model. I'll get to that later. PSI is the measurement as far as I know and the type we Brits use to get our tyres accurate, pounds and pressure spring to mind but all I really want to know is whether the compressor can inflate my tyres.
With this compressor there are attachments for balls and bicycle tyres but I usually leave them floating around until they get lost because I'm only interested in the standard end that fits my tyres. The unit is light and small, about 8 inches across with a long cable that has a fitting on the end that plugs into a car cigarette lighter and the hose on the other end that snaps onto the tyre valve. There is a guage on top that's supposed to tell you how much air is in your tyres when you attach it and how much is in after pumping but I've yet to find one of these with an accurate guage so I have a separate one that I check all my tyres with before and after pumping.
To use the compressor you plug it into the cigarette lighter, attach the other end to your tyre valve and hey presto it makes an horrendous noise that shows you up completely as being someone who can't afford new alloys while it pumps up your tyres. One thing to definitely watch out for is if the compressor gets overheated, it shouldn't really run continuously for more than 10 minutes and then needs cooling down for 10 minutes before it can be used again. I've broken one by leaving it on too long and it started to smoke so make no mistake you'll know about it if you do!
Another thing to look out for is the metal section in between the guage and the protruding part on top, it gets very, very hot and if you touch it, drop the compressor on the floor whilst squealing like a girl you don't look in control of your tyre situation! I know this for a fact.
I find this compressor takes an age to pump up my tyres, I usually leave it on and go inside for a few minutes before checking how it's doing from the window. It's actually alot of work and time before I can go anywhere even with one of these however I would rather have one than a foot pump so they are a good addition to anyone's boot just in case.
I tend to buy mine from Ebay and shell out about a fiver for each one plus p & P so they're inexpensive too. However, I have recently been given a digital model as a gift and the difference is amazing so if you can afford one of those instead forget this one! Overall though they are very useful, do the job for a while and can save you from having to pay a fortune on roadside assistance but they aren't hardy, don't last long if used regularly, the guages tend not to work and are very slow to inflate tyres. I can't comment on using them for anything else as I haven't but it's a middle of the road 3 stars from me.
Why an earth would a girly girl like me write about a tyre inflator? Well I have no car but I do know what its like to rough it! I recently moved into a flat but had forgotten to buy a bed and ended up running late night to Asda in search of something to sleep on and I ended up buying an inflatable bed. However once again, when I got it in the bedroom I realised that blowing it up was out of the flipping question. This is where this air compressor came into my world. My mate owned it and it was in the back of her car which was a good job cos she needed it to, to inflate her bed too! lol.
The inflator comes in a box and on the front of that box there is a photograph of the air compressor and small photographs of what it can help to inflate are shown which are tyres, bike wheels, footballs and airbeds and I am told in white and yellow writing that it is a 300 PSI Air Compressor, DC 12v. On the back of the box I am told a bit more about the product and contact details for Eurotrade (the importers of the product) are given. Simple but informative enough box this is.
A Bit About The Product According To The Information Given On The Box:
Easy to use - just plug into your ca cigarette lighter for power, slip in the relevant nozzle and you're to inflate.
Equipped with pressure checking gauge.
For use with tyres, toys, footballs, beach inflatable's and more.
The Air Compressor :
What you get is a black plastic smallish unit with a very long black cable (3M) with a cigarette type connector to the end of it. On the top of the compressor there is a a white faced round gauge and on that black and red numbers etc and that shows you the pressure you are using and its of decent size. All that you then do is select either a light blue or red attachment that comes with the unit which is the bit that goes into what you want to inflate and gently slide it on to the free end of the cord and away it goes, once its plugged in.
You can't use this machine for more than 10 minutes at a time as it could overheat but it really does inflate things rather fast indeed. You control the speed at what you inflate by twisting the nozzle to allow less or more air through and all in all this is a great product, lightweight, easy to manage and gives out air really well ! I have used this simple and effective air compressor to inflate airbeds and things and the only negative of it is that I can't use it around a house as it doesn't have a conventional plug socket but this is the perfect thing to store in a car boot for when its needed! Even I can use it and I'm a complete technophobe!
Available in a variety of online stores costing about £20.00 a unit.