I can vouch for G.H. Meiser’s Accu Gage lineup. For years the model# S60X was my go to. Sears (don’t get me started! I’m going to cry at just the mention of that name) Good old Sears sold the S60X for under $20USD.
Then, about three years ago, I decided to look into digital gauges I’d read about. I was excited about having a gauge with a readout down to the one-tenth PSI, that could also be switched to read kPA or Bar, should I take it with me to countries using those scales of measurement.
So with my pandemic stimulus checks in 2020, I purchased DIYCO’s D1, and later, Jaco’s ElitePro Digital model. Both can be had for under $30 on Amazon(since you can’t walk into a store anymore and buy these!).
Both have illuminated displays, and I think, most of the same internal circuitry. Plus a button on the neck to bleed air.
But my excitement of having one-tenth PSI resolution was slowly over come by how finicky these digitals are at dialing in exactly 32.000 psi, or whatever.
One of the search results for a digital tire gauge was from a brand ‘Longacre Racing’. And as I thumbed through Longacre’s catalog, I became aware of their extensive lineup of analog clock-face gauges. And so I ordered, yes, with my stimulus proceeds! Longacre’s Deluxe # 52-52003 model, 5-60psi gauge.
When I unwrapped it, I was impressed not just by its professional apperance, but its heft, and construction quality! Glow in the dark face, 1psi and half-psi tick marks you’d have to be blind to not easily interpret. Thick rubber boot surrounding the huge - to me anyway - dial face.
And the functionality: The smooth upward and downward sweep of the needle as I read and bled tires. Internally dampened, according to Longacre’s literature.
“Reasonably priced”? Well, if under $100 is reasonable for what I consider not just another tire gauge, but an investment, then go for it.
The more I used this heavy, accurate and repeatable gauge, the less I touched my digital collection - except to check my 60psi spare - since those gauges are rated up to 100psi or more. The dial on the Longacres is so easy to read, I felt I could set cold tire pressures as precisely, and with none of the fuss of, as with the aforementioned digital gauges. I will probably purchase their 100psi Deluxe model, just to have something that can check temporary spare donuts, as well as reserve range for most SUVs and light trucks I check pressure on.
Two months ago, I plunked down $12 for Milton’s simple #921 plunger ‘stick’ style 5-50psi gauge, just so I could say I own a Milton! Just as repeatable and consistent as the Longacre, but might not be as intuitive or easy to interpret the reading. You have to look at the value right up against the plastic boot that shows just past the end of the metal body of the gauge, and that is your indicated pressure. Milton is a domestic make worthy of its reputation and build quality. There is a subtle difference to the weight and build quality of a simple Milton stick gauge, as opposed to a $3-5 generic brand stick kit.
So there’s a long-winded tour of my tire gauge arsenal, the good, bad, ugly, the cheap, and the expensive, but in my estimation, worth every penny.