There’s been a few new products hitting the market that include a rechargeable battery in the compressor recently. It’s something that you may well have noticed, and requires a little discussion about to consider whether it’s useful or just another thing that you’re paying for that’s not really necessary.
When you buy a car tyre inflator, like lots of other people, you’re tapping into a relatively new market that’s offering good quality solutions for problems that would otherwise be difficult to resolve on your own. Having to stop with a low pressure warning isn’t ideal at any time, but at least if you’ve got a tyre inflator you can resolve things yourself, if you’re in a place where it’s safe to do so.
As you’ll see in our reviews, the compressors work on a 12V plug into what we used to call the cigarette lighter, and manufacturers have re-branded the ‘power outlet’ since smoking has fallen out of favour. For that reason, it seems that a rechargeable tyre inflator is an unnecessary development. Some people tell me that’s all very well, but what if your car battery is flat. Of course that’s a fairly poor retort, as that scenario would require a breakdown service to get you moving anyway.
So, it seems (unless I’m missing something obvious), that the only really useful time to opt for a cordless rechargeable solution would be when a power outlet isn’t available – in other words if your car doesn’t have one or it’s broken. Even then, we all know rechargeable devices lose power over time even when unused, so you’d need to remember to keep checking the power level – presumably something you can’t do in the car if you don’t have a working outlet.
Nice idea then that rechargeable inflators seem at first glance, it seems to me they’re of limited use!