Properly inflated tires are vital to safe operation. There are four major types of tire pressure gauges, each suited to a particular need or accuracy. They all have advantages and disadvantages; tire pressure monitoring systems are limited in availability after market but are being installed in many newer vehicles. Understanding the differences in the types of tire pressure gauges will help you have the appropriate tool for your needs, from working around the home to traveling cross-country on a bike.
Stick Gauges – Stick gauges are small but not especially accurate. A stick gauge is a shaft or tube with a sliding interior bar or rod. When the valve end of the gauge is pressed onto a valve stem, the bar reacts by sliding out to indicate the air pressure in the tire. This is the most common and least expensive type of gauge, but it is also the least accurate. One of the major advantages of a stick gauge is that they are available in compact sizes, perfect for keeping in the glove compartment or packing along on a cycling expedition.