Digital Motorcycle Tire Air
Craftsman Programmable Digital Tire Gauge
| Owner Comments (Below)
The Evil Gadgeteer within me could not resist when it
saw the ad for this Sears Craftsman Digital Tire Gauge
in the Craftsman Club tool catalog.
What was the hook?
The ad copy beckoned me with the tempting "Program
the target tire pressure of your vehicle" clearly
printed on the package.
Now let's pause for a sec and think about what this
means, because it is an important factor in the
evaluation of this product.
My interpretation of "Program the target tire
pressure...", is that I can program, or set, a target
tire pressure and then the gauge will bleed off extra
pressure and bring me to the programmed pressure.
When I got to the store and read the package, front
and back, it said the same thing. So I bought it.
When I got home, I opened the instructions, and read
the two parts, A and B. Part A is entitled
"Pressure measurement without preset target" and Part B
is "Target Setting". Great, I thought -- this will
be cool. I'll pump up the tires, set the gauge and
it will automagically bleed off the excess air right
down to the "programmed" setting.
The Sears interpretation of "program" means that you
can store the front and rear tire pressure values in the
gauge and that's it.
For example, if the
front/rear recommended pressures on your bike are, say,
31/36, then those numbers can be stored in the gauge for
display later on as a reminder.
But the gauge will
display the values for you as a reference only.
The gauge can not be programmed to bleed off excess
pressure down to a set value.
Plus, only one set of front/rear pressures can be
stored. There is no capability to store front/rear
pressures for more than one vehicle.
I was disappointed and I also felt like I was fooled
with this discovery. My understanding is confirmed
by the fine print about 3/4 of the way through the
"Note", it reads, "The target numbers are
only reminders of the vehicle manufacturer's suggested
tire pressure levels. They cannot be used to test for or
indicate actual pressure in tires."
Still not very clear, but the bottom line is that
this is not a programmable tire gauge in my
understanding of the term.
Oh well... With that feature unavailable, it
becomes just an expensive electronic tire pressure gauge
with a big LCD and a tiny LED light.
There's a button under the "Craftsman"
logo that operates a small LED light on the side.
The light works well enough to illuminate the valve cap
at night, but does not add much during the day.
The gauge does have a rotating head,
which is a plus, and it includes a little nub for
depressing the valve stem to bleed air from the tire;
both are nice features. The rotating head helps
with accessing some motorcycle tire/wheel combinations
when taking the tire pressure.
The gauge can also be used without any
programming or fuss by simply popping it on the tire
valve stem. The LCD readout is illuminated, which
is another nice feature, although I'm not sure how this
will affect battery life over time.
The numbers on the LCD display are about 0.5" tall
(about 13mm), so they're easy to read. The gauge
is "programmed" by holding down the button marked "Set"
for 3+ seconds. An outline of an automobile is
displayed (too bad it can't be programmed to show a
motorcycle instead) and pressures for the front tire and
rear tire are "programmed" into the gauge with up/down
buttons. As I said, this feature simply stores the
entered values to act as a reminder of the recommended
The Craftsman Digital Tire Gauge has a range of 5 to
99 PSI with a resolution of 0.5 PSI. The gauge can
be switched to readouts in Bar. The accuracy is
claimed to be 1%, which isn't bad; that would be 0.3 PSI
at 30 PSI.
The gauge uses two CR2032 batteries,
but there are four tiny Phillips head screws that must
be removed to access the battery box. There were
no battery replacement instructions included in my
gauge, so I'm hoping that the batteries will last for
years and that I won't have to worry about it.
The gauge carries a one-year warranty and is made in
China. It feels hefty and it weighs 3-5/8 oz., or
104 grams. Compare that to the lightweight
Digital Tire Gauge at 1-5/8 oz. (46g) or the
flyweight Roadgear pencil
gauge at 3/4 oz. (21g). Every gram counts when
packing a motorcycle, although you do get the LED light
as a bonus. The Craftsman gauge has a rubberized
body which provides a good grip.
The bottom line? The Craftsman digital tire gauge
is well made, has a rotating head, a large and backlit
LCD and a bonus LED light. The downside is the
weight, size and cost. My all around favorite
digital tire gauge? The
Digital Tire Gauge with the 90-degree bent head does
it for me.
Review: Sears Craftsman Digital Tire Gauge
Retail Price: $24.99
|Colors: Black and red;
Comments: Hefty, well made, apparently accurate, rotating
head, backlit display with large numbers, built in LED light.
Cons: expensive, not programmable with my understanding of the word.
Review Date: April 2006
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