One thing that NEVER happens at a convenient time is the realization that you have a tire without enough air in it. Whether it’s on your truck, motorcycle, fixie hipster bike, trailer, or Lamborghini, finding a source of air for your low tire can be a major pain. For years, I’ve been using a tire inflator from C & H, and it has served us well. However it has the annoying trait of needing to be plugged in. When the folks in red recently released the Milwaukee M12 Cordless Inflator, we eagerly requested one in the hopes it might rescue us from one of those awkward, un-pumped situations. Read on for our experience using the Milwaukee inflator they sent our way for this review.
The actual product name is The Milwaukee M12 Compact Inflator, and when they say “compact” they are not kidding. At just over 7″ tall and about 6″ wide, you can almost squeeze one into your glove compartment. It’s about one third the overall size of the previous inflator we used, and that one had to be – plugged in (insert look of horror here)! As you might expect from the “M12” designation, this pint-sized, air-crankin’ inflator is compatible with Milwaukee M12 batteries.
Get Pumped! Using the Milwaukee Inflator
As luck / misfortune would have it, we had several opportunities to test out the Milwaukee inflator. Our most routine use was to inflate the tires on a running stroller we use to cart around
beer for concerts our children. This is basically like inflating a few bike tires. The inflator has a screw-on valve connector to get you securely connected to any typical tire valve stem. While many pumps have a quick connect, I actually liked the more streamlined screw-on connection. It takes slightly longer to connect the Milwaukee inflator to the tire than some of the quick connect pumps out there, but you can do it one-handed, there’s no lever sticking off the side of the connector to get in the way and it seems more secure once connected.
Once you’re screwed onto the valve stem, you’ll want to designate your target pressure using the plus and minus buttons. The display is backlit so you can get things dialed in even in low-light conditions. Then just hit the inflate button and the Milwaukee inflator goes to work getting you pumped up! Right on bro’ (or sis’), you’re SO pumped! (Fist bump, bro-hug). The little tires of our running stroller got topped off in mere seconds. A car tire will top off in less than a minute, unless you let the air pressure get very low. However, that would never happen because you regularly check your tire pressure monthly like we do, right? Yeah, we don’t either.
According to Milwaukee, the compact inflator will fill a light truck tire in under 4 minutes (30-45 psi). Speaking of which, max PSI on this little box of power is 120. The Milwaukee inflator is very quiet. It was noticeably more quiet than our old, corded inflator, and quieter than most other air inflators we’ve come across.
We even had one of those awkward un-pumped moments, except it wasn’t awkward for long thanks to the Milwaukee inflator being close by. During a recent landscaping makeover, we had a triple-trunk palm tree delivered in a 30″ box. The nursery guys came prepared, including their massive hand truck, custom made for wheeling around huge boxed trees. However as soon as we loaded the tree onto the hand truck we realized one of the tires was very low on air. Not good. With one look at the sad, flabby, deflated tire I knew this was the perfect opportunity to test out the Milwaukee inflator again.
I was able to grab the inflator and hook it up to the hand truck tire in mere seconds. Running an extension cord to the street would have been a major pain, and wheeling the hand truck anywhere wasn’t very appealing since we just loaded it with what felt like a 10,000 pound tree. Cordless and compact, the Milwaukee inflator was a breeze to get hooked up, right when and where we needed it most. Less than a minute later the hand truck was feeling pumped, and the tree installation continued right on schedule.
Accessorizing with the Milwaukee Inflator
Milwaukee conveniently includes a couple accessories on the back side of the inflator. If you wear spandex regularly and zip around on a road bike, chances are you know what a presta valve is. An adaptor stored on the Milwaukee inflator screws into the normal valve connector and lets you pump up a presta tire too. There’s also a ball inflator tip (just don’t try to pump your sports gear up to 120 psi, ok?) Lastly, there’s a “raft” adapter which we sadly did not get a chance to test out due to a disturbing lack of inflatable giant flamingo pool floaties at our house at the moment. Whatever type of inflating you need to do, the Milwaukee inflator has you covered.
In case you prefer more distorted, hard-rockin’ guitar than this written review provides, check out the video from Milwaukee:
Should You be Pumped Up to Get the Milwaukee Inflator?
Yes, yes you should. The Milwaukee M12 Compact Inflator is conveniently-tiny, simple to use, quiet, and very fast and effective. It can save you the hassle of trying to get your low tire over to the nearest gas station, where you’re likely to find their tire inflator broken anyway. Whether you are a homeowner tending to your vehicles and pool floaties or a pro managing wheeled equipment on your job sites, the Milwaukee Compact Inflator is inevitably going to rescue your butt and save you time. At just $69 for the bare tool, we think it’s a great accessory to turn your un-pumped moments into totally pumped up victories.