Ryobi Digital Tire Inflator

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Ryobi 18 Volt Inflator with Digital Gauge

Handy at home, and maybe on the road, too

Back in 2005, I bought my first 12-volt motorcycle tire inflator, made by Slime. It still works today. How much longer it will last is anyone's guess???

I've been doing a lot of handyman type work lately and have built a sizeable collection of Ryobi One+ tools. These all run on a One+ 18-volt battery making each tool very portable. So, when I bumped into the tire inflator, I couldn't resist getting one.

Installing a 2 amp One+ battery I already had around, I was amazed at how easy it was to simply attach it to any tire valve and away you go with one touch of a button. No messing around with wires and connecting to a 12-volt power source is really nice.

The latest model has a digital readout (prior versions had an analog gauge), which is designed to read PSI only. Other measurement units such as Bar are not supported. That's not a big deal to most of us.

In more recent years, inflating a tire with a pump connected to a can-bus system can throw things out of whack, sometimes to the point that the bike won't start. The Ryobi inflator eliminates that issue.

It always reads 2 pounds higher while inflating than when stopped. Taking the tire up to 38 pounds, then releasing the trigger, the reading drops to the actual pressure of 36 pounds. Okay, I can work with that.

The pump is smartly manufactured with a sturdy Lexan and steel locking air chuck. Unlike more expensive pumps that provide a brass clip that notoriously can't maintain its grip, it's nice to have the locking air chuck.

It's a great inflator to have around the house but is it worthy of travel? Its size is slightly larger than most motorcycle-specific pumps on the market. The 2 amp One+ battery takes up a little more room, and if you think you'll need to recharge it, you may want to tote a small One+ charger along as well. If you're touring with a group, one pump is all you need to service everyone. In that case, it makes a lot of sense. For the solo traveler who needs to conserve space, a smaller 12-volt powersports pump makes more sense.

When travelling, don't forget to disconnect the battery from the unit when not in use. The slightest pressure to the trigger lights it up. No sense in getting a flat on the road, only to find you can't inflate your fix with a dead battery.

Price-wise you have different purchasing scenarios: The tool-only price at the time of this writing was just $37. Add on a 2-amp battery and a charger for $90 more. But remember, you can use that battery across nearly 300 Ryobi One+ products and with any luck you'll be on your way to starting your own collection of their handy tools. Available from Home Depot and online.

PT/March 2023


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