Difference Between Tyre Inflator & Pump

The tyre is one of the most necessary elements of the car. We can also say that the tyre is the component that also derives the term ‘four-wheeler’. An ideal car tyre should always have adequate air pressure to function effectively. One finds it challenging to run the car even a few miles with a flat tire. Instead, it can have a dangerous impact on your tyre tube & the whole car. Therefore, the two most common appliances used to measure the tyre pressure of the car- tyre inflators & pump are necessary. One should always have one out of these appliances on their car’s toolbox to prevent themselves from landing in an emergency.

However, people find it tricky to choose among them. It is because both these tools are used for the same purpose. They help in filling and checking the air pressure in the car. If you can manage to buy a decent quality appliance, you will also be able to use it for more psi. One can also use it for little purposes, such as filling air in the toys or balls. We know that the fact being that both these instruments fill the air to the tyre makes it a bit challenging to select one. However, there lies a little difference in a tyre pump and inflator. Let us cite some necessary points that will help you to pick anyone out of them:

  1. How do they function?

The tyre inflator helps in filling/inflating the tyre with the air of sufficient pressure. Once you connect it with the 12V cigarette port of the car, it will start functioning. In some cases, you will also get a case to store the inflator safely. On the other hand, a car tyre pump is another device designed for the same purpose. You can call a tyre inflator as an upgrade of the tyre pump. An air pump will effectively pump the tires with low to high air pressure. You can use it on trucks and other loading vehicles too. Most of the time, an air pump will operate with the help of the AC through a wall outlet. But, some of them can also run by the cigarette lighter.

  1. Power requirement:
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The current amount increases as the air pump starts pumping out more pressure. But, in general, most of the air pumps will require 12V DC to function effectively. It will consume somewhat around 20-30 amp of current. On the other hand, an air inflator connects to the cigarette lighter that supplies it 12V of power again. However, as you go on increasing the pressure, the power consumption will increase. An air inflator will require the power consumption of around 120-140watts.

  1. Size and weight:

The car air pumps are usually larger in contrast to the air inflators. The air inflators are the modification of the air pumps. Thus, they have effectively reduced the size and weight to make it more suitable to use. You can readily store an air inflator in your car while you are out for a long road trip. It is easier to lift, use, store, and manage a car air inflator. However, an air pump also has variety in sizes. You can explore it too!

  1. Which one is portable?

It is one feature that everyone requires in almost all the products nowadays. It is reasonable for the car! If you are setting out for a happy journey, you probably would pack a lot of stuff for yourself. You must invest more space in storing your luggage instead of the toolbox. Thus, one should always look for a small and portable device that can do wonders. The car air inflator is one of them. You do not need to port it to the wall power supply & can operate it in the middle of the road readily.

  1. Air pressure limit:
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The Air pressure limit is a variable factor. Different kinds of cars require different tyre pressure needs. However, it will be better if you determine the air pressure needs of your car tyre before buying the device. If you have a small & a large car, we would recommend you to go for a multifunctional appliance. The pump can effectively pump the air ranging from flat to 800psi. However, it depends on the size of the pump as well. The air inflator mostly has a capacity of pumping 120psi of the air inside the tire.

  1. Other features:

Who in the world does not likes to buy a product that has additional features? We all do! Therefore, if you want features like LED lights, Flash for working, and also emergency light for call, you should probably invest in a car tyre inflator. It will give you all these qualities due to the presence of the digital monitor in it. However, you will not get these features in an air pump. It is necessary for people working in the basement, garage, or at night.

  1. Price range:

The car tyre pumps are usually cheaper than the air inflator. However, there can be variation in price according to the brand too. It will be better to select the size and pressure requirements first. Then you can compare the price of two devicesĀ  & pick the better one out of them. The air inflators are mostly digital. Therefore, they are costlier than the air pump.

  1. Which one out of them should I buy?
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It depends upon your mode of use. If you frequently do static work, like in the garage or somewhere, using an air pump would be a much more reasonable idea. It will deliver more pressure and can be used on different vehicles, irrespective of the size. However, if you wish to buy it for mobile purposes, such as for storing in toolbox for emergency, go for an air inflator.


Both the tyre inflators and pumps are must-have devices for your car. Not only car, it will help you to do the routine tasks readily without the need to visit the pump store. We hope that you will be able to decide after reading all the points mentioned above. Thanks for reading!