The Family Handyman Approved Ryobi Cordless Tire Inflator Is a Worthy Addition to Your Garage
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Air compressors require a lot of work if you only need them for a minute or two to top off a tire or blow up a basketball. That’s where the compact and user-friendly Ryobi One+ Battery Operated Tire Inflator comes in.
If you live in a climate like mine in Minnesota, every year around this time my tire pressure sensor light illuminates the dashboard. That means digging out the air compressor and all the fittings, or making a quick jaunt down the street to the gas station for a tire top-off.
For the holidays, my father-in-law and trusty golf partner, Bob, gave me the Ryobi One+ Battery-Operated Tire Inflator. I was eager to see what it’s all about.
What is the Ryobi One+ Tire Inflator?
The handheld, battery-operated tire inflator is small and lightweight, a tad bigger than a standard handheld drill. It features a 20-inch long air hose and a clear digital readout screen for adjusting your pounds per square inch (PSI) with pinpoint accuracy.
It’s compact enough to take on a road trip, the mountain bike trailhead, or to the pool to blow up all those inflatable toys. The inflator includes fittings for Presta valves on bicycle tires, a needle for athletic equipment, and a cone shaped adapter for pool floaties and small camping sleeping pads. When not in use, the fittings conveniently snap into the handle for safe keeping.
How We Tested It
I can remember getting my first store-bought slingshot as a kid. I spent the next few hours in my backyard, shooting at (and mostly missing) soda cans, fence posts, branches and tree trunks.
I had a similar feeling when I broke out this Ryobi tire inflator in my garage. So much stuff to inflate! I tested it on the tires of my snowblower, wheelbarrow and motorcycle, along with our vehicles. I then tested the attachments. I filled a basketball and football, Presta valve tires on two bicycles, and finally a kid’s pool floatie.
The tool worked great for most tasks. It easily filled the small floatie, sports balls, smaller tires of the snowblower, wheelbarrow, motorcycle and mountain bike. I was surprised by the loud, vexing noise it makes due to the firing internal piston, but it breezed through all of these. But the tool struggled to fill the high-pressure road bike tires and my truck tire.
My road bike has narrow, 32-mm wide tires with Presta valves that require 110 to 135 PSI. The plastic Presta valve attachment threads smoothly onto the valve stem. But in these high PSI applications, it’s hard to maintain a tight, impervious seal without forcibly pressing the nozzle onto the valve stem while pulling the trigger.
The issue has more to do with the attachment than the inflator itself. A $2 aluminum Presta valve attachment purchased from my local bike shop solved the problem.
The automotive tire was an adventure in itself. Since I had a compressor on hand if needed, I decided to let ALL the air out of my knobby 31-inch, midsized truck tire to see if the Ryobi Inflator could handle it. It did, but it took almost 11 minutes of inflating time, with a break every few minutes and a battery change halfway through.
I did the same with my wife’s smaller Subaru tires. It faired better, but still seemed to labor inflating completely flat tires. I recognize my truck tire was a big ask. But the whole point of owning an inflator is to fill auto tires, and this tool struggled when those tires got really low.
As with all battery-operated tools, value is relative. That’s because the most expensive component of a battery-operated tool is usually the battery and the charger.
At less than $40, I think the Ryobi One+ inflator is a fantastic value. But if you need to buy the battery and charger, adding at least another $60 to the cost, I think there are better options out there.
Reliability and durability
Over the past decade or so, I’ve owned a few battery-operated tools from Ryobi. None ever failed me. The tool itself seems well-built, but because of the digital readout screen I’d avoid tossing it in a toolbox unprotected.
Ease of use
The Ryobi One+ Inflator couldn’t be simpler to use. The nozzle at the end of the 20-inch hose snaps on to a standard valve or one of the included attachments, just like a manual bike pump. Then just pull the trigger and monitor the digital readout until you reach your desired PSI.
The most difficult part of operating this Ryobi One+ Inflator is making sure you’ve charged the battery.
Why You Should Buy This
If you’re a gearhead constantly filling car tires, I don’t think this tool is for you. But if you need something to fill smaller tires and sports equipment, while occasionally topping off your car tires, this tool is a perfect fit.
It’s small and compact, easy to take on the go, and straightforward enough for a child to use. Plus, if you’ve already invested in other One+ tools and own a battery and charger, the modest price tag make this Ryobi Tire Inflator a pleasant addition to any garage shelf or basement workshop.
- Easy to use;
- Inexpensive if you own other Ryobi One+ tools;
- Attachments with onboard storage;
- Clear digital readout
- Cheap presta valve attachment;
- Labored to fill totally flat tires.
Where to Buy
The Ryobi One+ Tire Inflator is available at The Home Depot.