Best Tire Deflators & How Do They Work
On the long distance journeys in your overlanding rig or truck, you will come across special circumstances where you need to deflate your tires. Beaches, sandy tracks, and trails are a few areas where you will need reduced tire pressure to counter the loss of traction. In these situations, you will need the best tire deflator available to get you and your rig across the challenging terrain.
Tire Deflators - Why Are They Essential For Overlanding Adventures
In the soft sandy ground, a fully inflated tire will sink down when you attempt to drive your truck or rig through it. The point of contact between the tires and sand is narrower, making it easier to sink into soft ground.
Sunken front tires always have a raised wall of sand in front of them. When you try to accelerate, the tires keep pushing against these berms with little or no success.
Due to the loose nature of sand particles, tires dig further into the ground when pushed, increasing the size of the wall or berm of sand in front of them. Ergo, we get stuck for good.
When you deflate a tire, it flattens and lengthens at the point where it touches the ground. This increase in contact area or footprint of the tire. A tire with a longer footprint will not dig as deep into the sand as a fully inflated narrow tire. It is common belief that a deflated tire get wider, but the truth is, the footprint actually gets longer, but not wider.
Advantages of deflating a tire are many and go beyond just getting us unstuck. Some of the other benefits include:
- Fully inflated tires end up with a lot of wheelspin, which can lead to wearing down of the tires and track damage. Deflating the tires helps avoid this.
- Sharp objects are a dime a dozen in offroad tracks. They can and will puncture fully inflated tires. Softer and flatter tires have less chance of getting punctured as they roll over them.
Now, there are several ways to get your tire pressure down. If you want to go full Flintstones, you can use a sharp stick or stone to open the pressure valve of your tire and let some air out. In a pinch, this is a useful trick.
But when you are overlanding, sand and loose dirt/gravel is an everyday adversary. You need something from the “Jetsons,” an advanced tool that gets the job done quick, clean, and under total control. Enter the Tire Deflator.
With the best tire deflator, we get several crucial advantages over the sticks and stones approach:
- It is a unique tool designed to work with tires, so there is minimal chance of damage to the valves.
- A tire deflator saves you a lot of time. Using one is as simple as one, two three. You don't have to hunt for that perfectly shaped stick!
- It removes the guesswork from the equation. The best deflator will tell you the exact PSI of the tires, and allow us to deflate it to the precise pressure level we want.
- They are also incredibly compact. When going on overlanding adventures, we have to travel as light as possible. And the best tire deflator is compatible with this philosophy.
Tire deflators come in two basic designs:
Best Tire Deflator Reviews
Preset Screw-On Type Deflators
Review of BILLET4X4 TRAILHEAD Tire Deflators
These screw on deflators are crafted from aircraft grade, anodized aluminum. These slim and slender deflators are available in silver, blue, and red finish options.
The PSI range on offer on these is between 5 -20. The factory default setting is 13 PSI.
One single kit includes four of these, along with detailed instructions, pressure chart, adjustment tool, and even a storage pouch.
Amazon buyer reviews indicate that these are highly reliable devices with next to zero failure rates.
If you need to deflate tires on the double, BILLET4x4 TRAILHEAD tire deflators are reliable and worth the money.
- High grade anodized aluminum finish
- All in one kit with handy carry pouch
- Slim yet durable design
- Max PSI setting is just 20
Review of Grit Performance Tire Deflators
Grit Performance uses solid brass to manufacture their screw-on tire deflators. These stocky deflators have a shiny metallic finish and come with airtight rubber washers inside.
The PSI range is quite broad, with the option to go anywhere between 10 -65 PSI.
The kit with four deflators is stored inside a small custom foam case. The highlight here is the inclusion of a pressure gauge (80 PSI), along with all the tools, valve caps, cores, and instructions.
Buyers appreciate the overall build quality and the easy to understand instructions, according to online reviews of the Grit Performance deflators.
- Solid brass build quality
- Comes with PSI gauge
- Handy custom foam case
- Wide range of between 10 - 65 PSI
- The case is fragile
- Not as fast as some other deflators
Review of Boulder Tools Heavy Duty Rapid Tire Deflator Kit
This is a heavy duty unit from Boulder Tools, crafted from corrosion resistant brass fittings, braided air hose, and durable rubber casing.
The gauge is an accurate instrument, manufactured in the geared Bourbon tube style. It allows you to check the PSI levels instantly.
The 4 in 1 kit included eight valve caps, four valve cores, valve tool, and detailed instructions. The equipment is carried inside a tough canvas pouch.
Many users have commented positively on the accuracy of the pressure gauge. A minority of reviewers were peeved by the slightly slower pace of this deflator.
- Heavy duty build quality
- Accurate pressure gauge
- Tough canvas pouch
- Well stocked kit
- A tad slow to work
Review of Currie Enterprises CE-9029E E-Z Tire Deflator
The Currie is all red tubing and heavy-duty brass fittings. The tube is braided fabric, and the casing for the gauge is durable rubber.
The deflator has a PSI range between 0 - 60. You can use the accurate gauge to check the current pressure levels.
The Currie kit is quite basic and includes just the standalone device in an attractive brown faux leather pouch.
Many users find the Currie tire deflator very quick and reliable. They do think that having silicon on rubber tubing would improve the durability aspect somewhat.
- Reliable and fast operation
- Simple yet effective design
- Wide PSI range between 0-60
- Comes with a vinyl pouch
- Durability can be improved
- A few defective pieces
Review of EZdeflator Tire Deflator Kit
These are yet another set of tire deflators made from solid brass. They have a simple metallic finish, and the stocky design is similar to the Grit Performance deflators.
The pressure range available is quite decent, between 6 -30 PSI. These deflators are fully adjustable within that range.
Compared to some other screw on deflator kits, the EZdeflator is pretty bare bones. You get a custom case filled with these four deflators and an instruction leaflet.
User reviews are generally positive, with a common complaint being that these deflators often take several minutes to get the job done. But they are still very reliable units.
- Four quality brass tools
- Comes with custom case
- Gets the job done efficiently
- Kit contents are not impressive
- Takes longer time than others
Review of Staun Automatic Tire Deflators
Staun deflators have the standard design used by most screw-on deflators out these. These tools are crafted from solid brass and have that metallic finish.
The deflators are available with three different PSI range options. They include 1-10 PSI, 6-30 PSI, and 15-55 PSI. Factory preset is 18 PSI.
Like the EZdeflator above, what you get from Staun is a basic kit that includes four deflators and a suede leather carry case. The case looks quite classy.
According to satisfied buyers, the calibrating process for these deflators is simple and intuitive. Only handful of reviews have any negative comments about Staun.
- High-quality brass units
- Chance to pick your preferred PSI range
- Comes with classy looking pouch/case
- Easy to calibrate
- Pricier than other deflators
Review of Boulder Tools Tire Deflators
These are heavy duty tire deflators made from high-quality brass. The pro-grade deflators have a rugged look and feel.
The default PSI range is between 10-65 PSI. They also provide a durable tire pressure gauge along with the deflators.
You get the kit inside a hard carrying case. The kit is quite packed with parts and contains four deflators, a separate pouch, and all the tools and instructions.
Buyers are satisfied with the overall build quality and performance of these Boulder tire deflators. A few buyers faced minor inconsistencies regarding the performance of the four deflators.
- Pro-grade kit
- Solid build quality
- Wide PSI range
- Comes with pressure gauge
- Minor performance issues
- Slow to work
Fast Tire Deflators With Gauge
Review of Grit Performance Rapid Tire Deflator Kit
The Grit Performance device is also shiny black and brass in design. The braided tube is black, while the metal fittings have a brushed brass finish. The gauge casing is also black.
The pressure gauge is easy to read and delivers quick and accurate readings. The max PSI capacity of this tool is 75 PSI, which is quite high.
The kit is also packed with accessories, including core replacement tool, four valve cores, and eight valve stem caps. Everything is stored inside a compact zippered case.
Rapid deflation is one of the main strengths of this kit, according to online feedback. Some users were left underwhelmed by the cheap plastic case.
- Premium looking product
- High-pressure capacity (75 PSI)
- Rapid operation
- Accurate readings from the gauge
- Cheap plastic case
Review of 4X4 EZ Tire Deflator
The EZ Deflator does not win any design awards with its red and brass tire deflator. But it is a tried and tested design, with very durable build quality.
The pressure gauge has white letters on a black dial, making it very easy to read. The measurements are quick and accurate as well.
This is a single tool that is sold without any accessories. You do get a cheap foam lined plastic case though.
The EZ tire deflator is very similar in appearance to the Currie, and the performance is also quite alike, according to verified buyers online. Though the device is good, the plastic case is trash according to many users.
- Tried and tested design
- Durable build quality
- Easy and accurate readings
- Affordable pricing
- The hose is prone to leaks over time
Review of ARB ARB505 E-Z Deflator
The ARB devices are renowned for their build quality, and the 505 E-Z does not disappoint. It gets corrosion free brass fittings, durable braided tubing, and a high-quality bronze bourdon tube in a rubber casing.
This is one of the most accurate gauges out there. It is fully geared and offers precise movement thanks to the solid brass components. The dial is also very easy on the eyes.
The package is simple and to the point, but offer a lot of value. You get an attractive canvas pouch and detailed instructions in it.
Majority of user reviews indicate that this is the best deflator brand out there. Though durable, the hose can develop leaks after years, according to some reviews.
- Best in class performance
- Fast action
- Reliable and durable product
- Easy to use
- The hose is prone to leaks over time
The tire deflator market niche is surprisingly crowded, with a vast majority of products sharing the same design. Finding the best tire deflator can be a real tough cookie in this situation.
But based on our research , we have managed to narrow down the list to three brands. They are:
While other brands scamper to offer the cheapest deflator product, these three brands seem to have a focus on quality and reliability. They provide pro-grade performance, and their products have received near universal acclaim from buyers. In our opinion, these are the best tire deflator brands out there.