Guide for Beginners: Different Types of Tire Gauges

One of the basic tools a car owner must own is a tire gauge. Its primary function is to help car owners assure that their vehicle’s tire pressure is correct. Overinflating can cause the tire to burst, or worse, accidents. On the other hand, too little pressure on the tire will damage the car engine, and also increases the driver’s risk to a vehicular accident.


If it is your first time looking for a tire pressure gauge, be aware that this device comes in different types. Although these devices share similar functions and purposes, however, they work differently. Below is a simple explanation about the types of tire pressure gauges for better understanding.

#1 Dial/Analog Gauge

The dial or analog gauge is the traditional version of this device. It features a dial that resembles a clock face, but instead of measuring time, it reads the PSI level of tires.

Most professional and automobile experts prefer the dial model compared to the digital version. It is because dial gauges excel accuracy.

An analog tire gauge might look complicated but is simple and quick to understand. When using this device, take off the valve of the tire. And then, apply the valve end of the gauge to the tire. Once it is attached, the device will begin to read the pressure. Wait until the needle stops moving.

If you are a private car owner, you might skip this option since it is more expensive. Also, you have to assure the device isn’t knocked around. It has a sensitive calibrated spring that immediately loses its accuracy when dropped.

#2 Stick Gauges

Stick gauge looks like a simple pipe at one glance. But when you see closer, there’s a bar that slides out of the valve end of the device.

When you get the rod out, apply it to the uncapped tire valve. Numbers will appear, indicating the pressure of the tire. Wait until the reading stops.

Stick gauges are quite tricky, unlike analog gauges, which are easier to use. Also, this device is known to be less accurate than the former.

#3 Digital Gauges

Among these options, probably the most popular to beginners and private car owners are digital gauges.

It is a more advanced version of tire gauges featuring an electronic LCD screen for quick reading. Moreover, this type of tire gauge is more convenient and portable.

To use this device, you have to uncap the tire valve. Apply the device to the tire and wait until the result is displayed.

Digital gauges are accurate. However, they only operate in batteries, so they tend to run out of power. Check out the best digital tire gauge here with a high battery life to assure it’ll last long.


In a nutshell, stick gauges are not ideal for beginners since these are harder to read. The best option for new car owners is digital tire gauges and analog. But if you are searching for a budget-friendly option with a high accuracy reading, you must go for a digital tire gauge.