by Rick Sosebee
Posted on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at 12:00 AM
A crucial element in many forms of off road riding or racing is tire pressure. It makes the handling character of the machine you are driving become a positive or negative factor when working with the tire and chassis. This is why it is also just as crucial to have a tool that is extremely accurate when reading PSI. This is also as important when you are hauling heavy loads in your tow rig as tire pressure can change how the tow vehicle handles in corners and tire wear becomes a factor too. Maybe this is why the company Power Tank, has taken a step in the direction of perfecting air pressure delivery. Power Tanks primary customer is the off road enthusiast and these guys are not easy on their equipment. Many hours of rugged testing has brought Power Tank products to their fruition.
Known for their high performance C02 air systems used in Off-road, Construction, RV as well as commercial use, Power Tank has an on board air system for every application. With available air on your rig of course it is only natural that Power Tank has a way of measuring out crucial pressures for race situations as well as everyday use. This is where the Power Tank Heavy Duty Tire Inflators come into the scene. Power Tank has liquid filled analog style gauges but also an incredible line of Pro series Digital gauges as well. Our TIG-R100 test unit has been around the shop now for a few months and I can say it is pretty impressive.
The first thing I noticed when un-boxing the TIG-R100 is the way it felt in my hand. It has a completely natural feeling and is very ergonomically engineered. The large pressure valve and thumb trigger gives me plenty of control when using only one hand to hold and engage the inflator. This TIG-R100 is constructed with an O-ring sealed brass piston that should last the life of the device and I would assume they are totally rebuildable also. The engagement lever or thumb trigger as Power Tank refers to it, is super smooth and does not have the sticking feel you might find in a cheaper tire inflator. This also helps me control how much air slips past the valve for a more accurate pressure. As we tested the TIG-R100 we did get a little over zealous a few times with poundage but simply pressed the pressure release on the side of the inflator to get us back into our preferred range.
I would have to say that some tire inflators are not friendly when it comes to getting just the right visual gauge positioning for use. The hoses are stiff and will not always turn in just the right position for tire inflation. The TIG-R100 does not have that issue. With brass swivels on both ends of the stainless steel braided line this device has no trouble adapting to what ever crazy angle you need to be in to be able to see the gauges digital readout and hook onto the tire valve stem. This is a huge plus especially at the track when you cannot simply roll the race vehicle around to suit your needs. The 90 degree angled head at the business end of the hose also works well for cramped quarters in smaller or deeper wheels.
Stepping back just for a second to the braided stainless steel hose we know this improves accuracy due to the fact that the hose cannot stretch when pressurized. Just like a stainless steel brake line this hose will hold together under extreme environments and higher pressure loads. With a tough outer shell of high durometer durathane material the air hose itself is not only protected from corrosion but from damage as well. How many times have you held on tightly to the air chuck and fought to keep it in position to properly inflate your tire? This TIG-R100 has a European style clip on chuck that holds itself in position so you can concentrate on the pressures being shown on the digital readout. The strong spring loaded clip gave me no issues when I simply snapped it over the tire valve and let go.
The most important piece to the entire product is the brain or digital readout on this beast. The information contained in the readout is vast and changing to different units of measurement can be done by simply changing modes using on screen displayed information and the mode button on the TIG-R100. You can set how long the backlit LED stays on as well as hold certain pressures for later reference. According to Power Tank these guys drop test the unit multiple times from 4ft heights and have had no problems. It is good to know it can survive the fall but I’ve done my best to not drop mine though as a piece this nice doesn’t deserve it. The most crucial piece of evidence contained in the box with the TIG-R100 was the actual testing results for my particular HD Tire Inflator. This tells me Power Tank has taken a step that no other company has and proven that intense testing for accuracy has been performed.
Our testing ranged from 35 inch off road tires to utility ATV tires and even the shop Lawn mower now has exact air pressure using the Power Tank Heavy Duty TIG-R100 tire inflator. Although I did have to zero the readout a couple of times once completed the device worked flawlessly. When I first spotted the price of this tool it seemed overwhelming but when you are talking accuracy and dependability for years to come this is the last tire inflator you will buy. Not to mention this incredible device comes with a limited lifetime warranty so its insured for ages!
Part Number: TIG-R100
Racer Series Tire Inflator