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ACCURACY  |  SPEED  |  BUILD QUALITY  |  PRESSURE LIMIT   |  PRICE
We answer all these questions and more

GEAR Tyre deflator comparison: Part 1

MEGA TYRE DEFLATOR

COMPARISON

Quite possibly the single most common piece of kit in a four-wheel driver’s arsenal is the tyre deflator. But which one is right for you? Let’s have a look at the main contenders on the market, ones that you can walk into a local 4X4 or camping store and purchase today, then we’ll put them through their paces. Bear in mind, we’re not holding back on the testing and our thoughts of the deflators we’re looking at. If it’s junk, you’ll know. If it’s over-priced, you’ll know. If it’s a solid bit of kit worth your hard-earned, you’ll know that too. Let’s get into it.

WORDS AND IMAGES BY WES WHITWORTH

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SCROLL TO CONTINUE

Why we did what we did…
In this comparison, we’re looking at a few main points, which we’ll give a rating out of 10. These will be:

  • Accuracy of gauge;
  • Speed of deflation;
  • Build quality;
  • Pressure limit (both high and low); and
  • Price point.

There will of course, be an overarching winner based across the average of the scores. That said, I think it’s prudent to give the cheaper options a winner, and the more expensive options a winner too. As if you don’t want to spend a lot of coin on a deflator, at least we can help you work out the best one for your money. Or, on the other hand, if you just want the best of the best, we’ll work that one out too. Think of it as bang for your bucks.

Each box you’ll see below gives the broad strokes on each deflator, and the video will show you the testing we did. From there, at the bottom you’ll see the massive table where we recorded all the scores we got and how they each fared in the testing.

In terms of the test itself, we wanted to remove a whole heap of variables that, while they might seem more real-world, would only have got in the way of our results; making them harder to defend and easier to ignore. As you’ll see in the video explainer, we opted to use a 33-inch tyre (33x12.5R15 Cooper from Wes’ 80 Series) that wasn’t attached to a vehicle, so, sure things will be different on your vehicle than our table of results but, then, if we’d used my HiLux or 80 Series then the results would be different from yours too. After every test the tyre was inflated back to 40psi and checked with our control gauge, a 5-100psi tyre pressure gauge from BluePoint (aka Snap-On) We wanted a test methodology that was repeatable and fair for the products we were testing. So, why’d we choose 10 seconds, 30 seconds and 60 seconds? Well, for a start they’re nice round numbers and also because as a general rule of thumb they kind of, almost, just about get you close to pressure drops for dirt driving, sand driving and oh, crap, I’m stuck driving… obviously that has a lot to do with the tyres on your rig and its weight, but you can see where we were going.

If you cast your mind back a few years when we first ran a test like this, we cut the hose on the deflator but this time around we decided to focus on the quality of the valve itself because that’s where the air comes out. And we noticed a few interesting things. Now, some might ask why we didn’t just test from, say, 40psi to 10psi and the increments in-between – we were looking for quality and accuracy with this test. In Round Two in Issue 72 of Unsealed 4X4 we’ll look at time to go from 40-10psi on the top picks from the below deflators, we’ll also put them up against a couple of wildcard entry products that aren’t ‘traditional’ deflators.

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SCROLL TO CONTINUE

Bushranger 4X4 Gear
The Bushranger was the better of the two non-core removal deflators. It was nicely built, more accurate and quicker than the Dr Air competitor. It’s priced reasonably well at $31.90 and is a whole eight dollars and nine cents cheaper than its competitor. All in all, this would be the go-to if you’re after a non-core removal deflator.

SCORES

7/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

3/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

7/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

8/10
PRICE POINT

6.6/10
RESULT

Adventure Kings
As you’d expect, the Kings Kwiky was cheap, both in construction and price. They’ve finally moved up to having a circlip at the end of the brass tube, however the circlip groove was tiny, and it wouldn’t take much to knock it off. At $14.95 its bloody cheap, and does get the job done, albeit somewhat inaccurately. If price is your greatest concern, and you want to step up from a stick, this isn’t too bad.

SCORES

8/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

7/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

3/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

9/10
PRICE POINT

7/10
RESULT

Direction Plus
The Direction Plus deflator was a nice neat bit of kit. It read accurate after 60 seconds of deflation, however read 4psi over at 40psi. This was one of the two digital gauges we ran, and isn’t bad for the money, sitting about middle of the pack overall at $45. It reads pressures of up to 200psi, and down as low as 0psi. All in all, not bad.

SCORES

7/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

7/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

6/10
BUILD QUALITY

10/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

8/10
PRICE POINT

7.6/10
RESULT

80 Outdoors
For a new contender entering the market, this is actually a pretty handy bit of kit. It’s priced reasonably well at $40 and was rather accurate. It has the added bonus of coming with a tyre valve tool, and a set of four valve caps for when you inadvertently lose one when you’re airing up or down. It reads from 0-60psi, is pretty well built, and is probably the pick of the mid-range deflators.

SCORES

8/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

9/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

7/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

7/10
PRICE POINT

7.8/10
RESULT

Ironman 4X4
The Ironman 4X4 deflator was the fastest deflator, and nearly the most accurate. It was however, the most expensive at $75. It’s well built as you’d expect a high-end product to be, reads between 0-60psi, however its price is a touch higher than I’d want to pay for a deflator, even a high-end model. It’s also the only deflator that did not come with a bag or container.

SCORES

9/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

10/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

9/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

4/10
PRICE POINT

8/10
RESULT

TJM
This is the brand spanking new one from TJM. We’re not going to lie, it’s a magic bit of kit. It’s a digital style gauge, so gets full points for the pressure range it will show. It was also super accurate being just a touch out of perfect at the top end of 40psi. It’s priced very well for a higher-end deflator at $50 each and also came with a valve core tool and four spare valve cores in case you lose one which is worth bonus points. The only downfall is that it wasn’t quite as quick as some of the other options out there, but an exceptionally well-built tool, nonetheless.

SCORES

9/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

7/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

9/10
BUILD QUALITY

10/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

9/10
PRICE POINT

8.8/10
RESULT

XTM 4X4 Accessories (BCF)
The XTM deflator from BCF worked as a mid-priced deflator should. It was fairly accurate, has a range of 0-60psi, and is reasonably priced at $39.99. It was probably the most accurate mid-ranged deflator, and if you can get it while on sale (for $19.99) it’s well worth the money.

SCORES

8/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

7/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

8/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

6/10
PRICE POINT

7.4/10
RESULT

Roadsafe 4WD
The Roadsafe deflator is another mid-range deflator with the only real noticeable differences being the sheath over the tubing, and a rather inaccurate gauge at the top end of the pressures. It also tied as fastest with Ironman 4X4 in that it hit a measured pressure of 9psi after 60 seconds of deflating. It’s priced at $45.00 so not exceptionally priced, however not a bad unit.

SCORES

6/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

10/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

8/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

6/10
PRICE POINT

7.6/10
RESULT

Ridge Ryder (Supercheap Auto)
The Ridge Ryder deflator worked as intended being accurate at low pressure, however a touch over at the higher limit. It wasn’t overly quick at deflating hitting just 12psi by the end of the 60-second testing period. It’s fairly well built, however remains in the middle of the pack overall. That said, it was priced well over what it should be at $64.99, especially considering the competitors.

SCORES

7/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

7/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

7/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

4/10
PRICE POINT

6.6/10
RESULT

ARB
As another high-end contender, in the same ballpark as the Ironman 4X4 and the TJM options, the ARB was both accurate and reasonably quick in deflation. It’s priced where you would expect at $69, which is not as expensive as the Ironman 4X4 option, and near enough to mid-range options like the Ridge Ryder. The ARB offering was the most accurate from our testing, measuring the same as the control pressure gauge throughout the testing.

SCORES

10/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

8/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

9/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

8/10
PRICE POINT

8.6/10
RESULT

Dr Air (Anaconda)
The Dr Air offering was the other non-valve core removal deflator we tested. Next to the Bushranger it felt cheap, though still better than the Kings option, did not lock for continuous deflation, and was far from accurate. For the $39.99 price point, I’d be looking at another option.

SCORES

5/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

2/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

5/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

5/10
PRICE POINT

5/10
RESULT

The humble stick (Random Tree)
As a bit of a giggle, we threw in the humble twig. Accuracy was all over the shop, and we found this depended entirely on pressure applied to the stick, as well as width and depth of stick use. It’s priced exceptionally well at 30 seconds looking for one and was actually faster than the non-valve core removal options. This is a great go-to if you really need to save the dollars, or you’re just starting out. It’ll certainly give you a feel for where your tyres should be.

SCORES

0/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

4/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

10/10
BUILD QUALITY

0/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

10/10
PRICE POINT

4.8/10
RESULT

ACCURACY  |  SPEED  |  BUILD QUALITY  |  PRESSURE LIMIT   |  PRICE
We answer all these questions and more

GEAR Tyre deflator comparison: Part 1

MEGA TYRE DEFLATOR

COMPARISON

WORDS AND IMAGES BY WES WHITWORTH

Quite possibly the single most common piece of kit in a four-wheel driver’s arsenal is the tyre deflator. But which one is right for you? Let’s have a look at the main contenders on the market, ones that you can walk into a local 4X4 or camping store and purchase today, then we’ll put them through their paces. Bear in mind, we’re not holding back on the testing and our thoughts of the deflators we’re looking at. If it’s junk, you’ll know. If it’s over-priced, you’ll know. If it’s a solid bit of kit worth your hard-earned, you’ll know that too. Let’s get into it.

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

Why we did what we did…
In this comparison, we’re looking at a few main points, which we’ll give a rating out of 10. These will be:

  • Accuracy of gauge;
  • Speed of deflation;
  • Build quality;
  • Pressure limit (both high and low); and
  • Price point.

There will of course, be an overarching winner based across the average of the scores. That said, I think it’s prudent to give the cheaper options a winner, and the more expensive options a winner too. As if you don’t want to spend a lot of coin on a deflator, at least we can help you work out the best one for your money. Or, on the other hand, if you just want the best of the best, we’ll work that one out too. Think of it as bang for your bucks.

Each box you’ll see below gives the broad strokes on each deflator, and the video will show you the testing we did. From there, at the bottom you’ll see the massive table where we recorded all the scores we got and how they each fared in the testing.

In terms of the test itself, we wanted to remove a whole heap of variables that, while they might seem more real-world, would only have got in the way of our results; making them harder to defend and easier to ignore. As you’ll see in the video explainer, we opted to use a 33-inch tyre (33x12.5R15 Cooper from Wes’ 80 Series) that wasn’t attached to a vehicle, so, sure things will be different on your vehicle than our table of results but, then, if we’d used my HiLux or 80 Series then the results would be different from yours too. After every test the tyre was inflated back to 40psi and checked with our control gauge, a 5-100psi tyre pressure gauge from BluePoint (aka Snap-On) We wanted a test methodology that was repeatable and fair for the products we were testing. So, why’d we choose 10 seconds, 30 seconds and 60 seconds? Well, for a start they’re nice round numbers and also because as a general rule of thumb they kind of, almost, just about get you close to pressure drops for dirt driving, sand driving and oh, crap, I’m stuck driving… obviously that has a lot to do with the tyres on your rig and its weight, but you can see where we were going.

If you cast your mind back a few years when we first ran a test like this, we cut the hose on the deflator but this time around we decided to focus on the quality of the valve itself because that’s where the air comes out. And we noticed a few interesting things. Now, some might ask why we didn’t just test from, say, 40psi to 10psi and the increments in-between – we were looking for quality and accuracy with this test. In Round Two in Issue 72 of Unsealed 4X4 we’ll look at time to go from 40-10psi on the top picks from the below deflators, we’ll also put them up against a couple of wildcard entry products that aren’t ‘traditional’ deflators.

SCROLL TO CONTINUE
ADVERTISEMENT

Bushranger 4X4 Gear
The Bushranger was the better of the two non-core removal deflators. It was nicely built, more accurate and quicker than the Dr Air competitor. It’s priced reasonably well at $31.90 and is a whole eight dollars and nine cents cheaper than its competitor. All in all, this would be the go-to if you’re after a non-core removal deflator.

SCORES

7/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

3/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

7/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

8/10
PRICE POINT

6.6/10
RESULT

Adventure Kings
As you’d expect, the Kings Kwiky was cheap, both in construction and price. They’ve finally moved up to having a circlip at the end of the brass tube, however the circlip groove was tiny, and it wouldn’t take much to knock it off. At $14.95 its bloody cheap, and does get the job done, albeit somewhat inaccurately. If price is your greatest concern, and you want to step up from a stick, this isn’t too bad.

SCORES

8/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

7/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

3/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

9/10
PRICE POINT

7/10
RESULT

Direction Plus
The Direction Plus deflator was a nice neat bit of kit. It read accurate after 60 seconds of deflation, however read 4psi over at 40psi. This was one of the two digital gauges we ran, and isn’t bad for the money, sitting about middle of the pack overall at $45. It reads pressures of up to 200psi, and down as low as 0psi. All in all, not bad.

80 Outdoors
For a new contender entering the market, this is actually a pretty handy bit of kit. It’s priced reasonably well at $40 and was rather accurate. It has the added bonus of coming with a tyre valve tool, and a set of four valve caps for when you inadvertently lose one when you’re airing up or down. It reads from 0-60psi, is pretty well built, and is probably the pick of the mid-range deflators.

SCORES

7/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

7/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

6/10
BUILD QUALITY

10/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

8/10
PRICE POINT

7.6/10
RESULT

SCORES

8/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

9/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

7/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

7/10
PRICE POINT

7.8/10
RESULT

Ironman 4X4
The Ironman 4X4 deflator was the fastest deflator, and nearly the most accurate. It was however, the most expensive at $75. It’s well built as you’d expect a high-end product to be, reads between 0-60psi, however its price is a touch higher than I’d want to pay for a deflator, even a high-end model. It’s also the only deflator that did not come with a bag or container.

TJM
This is the brand spanking new one from TJM. We’re not going to lie, it’s a magic bit of kit. It’s a digital style gauge, so gets full points for the pressure range it will show. It was also super accurate being just a touch out of perfect at the top end of 40psi. It’s priced very well for a higher-end deflator at $50 each and also came with a valve core tool and four spare valve cores in case you lose one which is worth bonus points. The only downfall is that it wasn’t quite as quick as some of the other options out there, but an exceptionally well-built tool, nonetheless.

SCORES

10/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

9/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

4/10
PRICE POINT

8/10
RESULT

9/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

SCORES

9/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

7/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

9/10
BUILD QUALITY

10/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

9/10
PRICE POINT

8.8/10
RESULT

XTM 4X4 Accessories (BCF)
The XTM deflator from BCF worked as a mid-priced deflator should. It was fairly accurate, has a range of 0-60psi, and is reasonably priced at $39.99. It was probably the most accurate mid-ranged deflator, and if you can get it while on sale (for $19.99) it’s well worth the money.

Roadsafe 4WD
The Roadsafe deflator is another mid-range deflator with the only real noticeable differences being the sheath over the tubing, and a rather inaccurate gauge at the top end of the pressures. It also tied as fastest with Ironman 4X4 in that it hit a measured pressure of 9psi after 60 seconds of deflating. It’s priced at $45.00 so not exceptionally priced, however not a bad unit.

SCORES

8/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

7/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

8/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

6/10
PRICE POINT

7.4/10
RESULT

SCORES

6/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

10/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

8/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

6/10
PRICE POINT

7.6/10
RESULT

Ridge Ryder (Supercheap Auto)
The Ridge Ryder deflator worked as intended being accurate at low pressure, however a touch over at the higher limit. It wasn’t overly quick at deflating hitting just 12psi by the end of the 60-second testing period. It’s fairly well built, however remains in the middle of the pack overall. That said, it was priced well over what it should be at $64.99, especially considering the competitors.

ARB
As another high-end contender, in the same ballpark as the Ironman 4X4 and the TJM options, the ARB was both accurate and reasonably quick in deflation. It’s priced where you would expect at $69, which is not as expensive as the Ironman 4X4 option, and near enough to mid-range options like the Ridge Ryder. The ARB offering was the most accurate from our testing, measuring the same as the control pressure gauge throughout the testing.

SCORES

7/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

7/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

7/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

4/10
PRICE POINT

6.6/10
RESULT

SCORES

10/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

8/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

9/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

8/10
PRICE POINT

8.6/10
RESULT

Dr Air (Anaconda)
The Dr Air offering was the other non-valve core removal deflator we tested. Next to the Bushranger it felt cheap, though still better than the Kings option, did not lock for continuous deflation, and was far from accurate. For the $39.99 price point, I’d be looking at another option.

The humble stick (Random Tree)
As a bit of a giggle, we threw in the humble twig. Accuracy was all over the shop, and we found this depended entirely on pressure applied to the stick, as well as width and depth of stick use. It’s priced exceptionally well at 30 seconds looking for one and was actually faster than the non-valve core removal options. This is a great go-to if you really need to save the dollars, or you’re just starting out. It’ll certainly give you a feel for where your tyres should be.

SCORES

5/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

2/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

5/10
BUILD QUALITY

8/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

5/10
PRICE POINT

5/10
RESULT

SCORES

0/10
ACCURACY OF GAUGE

4/10
SPEED OF DEFLATION

10/10
BUILD QUALITY

0/10
PRESSURE LIMIT (HIGH/LOW)

10/10
PRICE POINT

4.8/10
RESULT