In this Hands On Review: Kensun AC/DC Air Compressor Tire Inflator, a truly portable powerhouse of tire inflation is examined under the tightest scrutiny.
What brings about such scrutiny?
My vintage Camaro’s wheels, of course!
After a surprisingly dramatic day and night led to a full to flat tire scenario, this writer had had enough.
The need for a tire inflator that can easily and quickly handle filling a tire while stranded on the bleak roadside at five or six in the morning, and also easily plug into an outlet on the side of the home and top off the Cooper Cobra rubbers with ease from the driveway was a priority.
Meet the Kensun AC/DC Swift Performance Air Compressor Tire Inflator.
This air compressor let’s you can drive without worry for just $40 bones, US.
Gas stations now charge at least a dollar, in most cases in New York, and only take bloody quarters (not nickels or dimes, because that is not currency anymore) or credit cards (in some places) for compressed air.
I will say that again.
The gas stations charge us for air, even though we pay in blood for our gas. I have spent over $40 filling tires at gas stations in the last year or two.
And gas station air pumps do nothing for you when you find yourself flat on the highway.
Cammy (the 1996 Camaro of yore) detests being stranded with a donut (not a jelly donut, because that would have worked out just fine).
Dramatic tire woes, and spinning tires had nothing to do with it, but in the end a long commute made me finally take the plunge on a Kensun AC/DC Swift Performance Portable Air Compressor Tire Inflator purchase.
The want was for something cheap, but durable and versatile.
So the need was for an AC/DC option, where a 12V lighter in the car or a traditional 110V outlet outside of the car could power up the bad boy for instantaneous air compression.
Reviews and prices floated from car store and auto parts havens to Amazon where the Kensun proved very sexy at $40, 3.5 pounds, and seemed reliable via reviews.
The Kensun unit comes with a nylon carry bag, connections for vehicle tires, bike tires and basketball and sports ball connections, so almost everything you need is in its compact case.
I say ‘almost’, because the 110V cord is only a few feet long and though that works for inflating a volleyball, an extension cord (found in most homes, I hope) is needed to give the Kensun compressor the length to go around the car and tackle all four tires. And you should always have your own manual car tire gauge.
Having been a mechanic, I can attest to the beefy air compressors that have large air tanks and are invaluable tools that inflate everything, including 20 foot Ryder trucks 80-pound tires extremely quickly.
The Kensun compressor is 1/10 the size and weight of a shop model.
The unit is light, but not cheap-feeling in the hand and sports a huge gauge on the front that is very handy.
Kensun neatly hides a sturdy wire and its other tire connections in a compartment in the back of the device, so everything is found in one place.
There are some complaints out there that state the Kensun AC/DC Air Compressor Tire Inflator is slow to fill tires, that the connection to car tires is a bad one, and that the gauge on the unit is not accurate.
In our Gadizmo Hands On Review, we found that these claims were largely untrue and were possibly founded in ignorance.
A tiny portable air compressor like this one will never match a shop compressor or even most gas station inflators because it cannot match the power of the motor inside.
That said the Kensun Air Compressor surprised me by adding at least a few pounds of air a minute, often more, for a fairly quick endeavor.
For example, the gas station unit might be two minutes to your desired fill and this Kensun might take three to four minutes to get you up to snuff.
It fits in your palm, has a great handle, and has a screw-on connector for car and vehicle tires that works wonderfully.
You just have to watch the gauge, and make sure you are tight but not too tight while screwing onto the valve, so that you do not leak air or show inflated (pun intended) numbers on your gauge.
That said, all car owners NEED to have a tiny manual air gauge tire checker to use before inflating from any compressor, as no gauge will be as accurate as a manual.
Always check your tire twice to let the manual plunger come out to the fullest and show you the true PSI in the tire.
Then go to town with your air compressor, whether in a shop, at a gas station, or with the Kensun.
That said, when you know there are 12 pounds of air in the tire and you screw the Kensun head onto the tire valve for a snug fit you will see the matching number on the gauge and hear any hiss of leaking air stop: then you know you are ready to go.
Press the large AC button for 110V startup or the equally big DC button for a 12V hookup from your car and listen as the little engine that could roars to life and starts filling up your tire.
The Kensun Air Compressor works surprisingly quickly and efficiently.
The gauge is pretty accurate when you go off of your manual to start, but even so it is always good to stop and check with a hand gauge to see what PSI you are reading at (the Kensun is damn close to within a PSI or two when it is not dead nuts accurate).
The screw-on connection of the Kensun is easy to use and eliminates having to get a handcramp while your tire fills.
You can walk away, flip a burger, and come back to a full tire.
The case has plenty of room for your own hand manual air gauge (not included but they are cheap at any auto store), though not an extension cord.
But I keep the cord at my house and the Kensun in my car in case of road trip emergencies.
The Kensun AC/DC Air Compressor Tire Inflator truly holds its own in terms of providing a car owner the ability to fairly quickly handle tire problems on the go or at home.
Hands on Review GRADE: A!