Back in March, Stuart first wrote about Milwaukee’s new M12 inflator and, not long after, he offered a follow-up in which he offered some thoughts on why Milwaukee introduced the inflator to its M12 platform instead of the more powerful M18 line.
I’ve had the inflator for about two months now, and absolutely love it. In fact, I probably use it more often than any other tool in my workshop, though I wish I didn’t need to.
Until recently, I had two vehicles — a 1999 F150 and 2002 Ford Focus — and both had some major tire issues. The truck had a number of problems, but a slow leak in the front driver’s side tire required daily attention until I was able to get it fixed.
Because of incidents like that, I travel with an inflator at all times. I used to rely on a Husky 120V corded model, which I used at my old place with a heavy-duty, all-weather extension cord I ran from my back door, across a giant patio and down two stories to my parking spot. It worked great for the car, but when I was traveling, it was hard to find power if I couldn’t find a gas station.
When I added a small Stanley two-gallon air compressor to my workshop, that became the tool of choice for my truck tires and I added Ryobi’s 18V inflator when I purchased my Ryobi garden and lawn tool set. The Ryobi did a fine job, but was worthless with the truck and now starts rattling violently when I get it over 20 PSI.
So, when I saw the Milwaukee inflator sitting all by itself on a promo stack at Home Depot — and bundled with a 2.0Ah battery — I figured I’d take a chance. At the very least, I figured, I’d have another battery for my growing collection of Milwaukee heated gear.
As luck would have it, my truck tire was flat again. About 21 PSI. I had planned to stop at my favorite gas station to fill it up, but with the inflator in my cart, I popped it out and filled it up right there in the lot. The battery was only partially charged — a little over a half — but in a little under three minutes, my tire was back to 35 and I was on my way home.
I fully charged the battery, and checked the tires on my car the next day. One was at 16 PSI and the other at 22. Again, I hooked up the inflator and filled them both up in no time.
But the battery drained quickly. I had about 1/4 charge capacity left after filling the two tires. So, remembering my neighbors across the alley have had a car sitting in their driveway essentially on its rims for the last year, I grabbed a fully-charged 4.0 and got to work. All four tires filled from flat to 35 PSI with plenty of battery to spare. For good measure, I drained air from my front truck tires to about 25 PSi and filled them up again.
No issues, no drop out, no stalling, no rattling.
It’s a winner in my book, and I’ll be adding a second one soon so I can keep an inflator in each vehicle.
Stuart covered most of the nuts-and-bolts in his earlier post, so here are just a few more quick thoughts from my own observation and use:
The display is pretty basic. You press the power button and it shows the current PSI and the target PSI. You use the easy-to-read plus and minus buttons to set the target, press the inflate button and that’s it. The inflator runs until it hits the target. No more, no less.
- 0.88 CFM at 0 PSI
- 0.63 CFM at 35 PSI
- 0-120 PSI rating
- Backlit LCD display
- 50% duty cycle
- ± 3% gauge accuracy
- 26″ hose
- Weighs 5.21 lbs with battery
There’s really nothing notable here. It’s small and compact, and really, it’s kind of a miniature version of the M18 radio (without the bottle opener, though…).
If I have one complaint, and I use the term loosely, it’s the lack of a corded option, or at the very least, a DC option for the vehicle. It would be a nice touch and add an extra level of functionality but in no way is it a deal-breaker.
$69 for the bare tool, $159 for the 4Ah kit, $79 for the special 2475-20P promo bundle.
I’ve seen a number of them on display stacks at the Home Depot stores in my area, still priced at $79 with a battery (but again, no charger).
Buy Now(Bare Tool via Acme Tools)
Buy Now(Kit via Acme Tools)
Buy Now(PROMO Bundle via Home Depot)
A Note About Leaks
If you step inside a store and come out to find a flat tire, you’re probably going to need to swap the tire for a spare, or use the emergency patch kit that some cars come with in lieu of a spare. Slow leaks might not require the same immediate attention, but should still be fixed as soon as possible.
If you only drive locally and notice a 5 PSI loss over 3 days, for example, you *might* be able to wait until the weekend. But if you fill up a tire and it’s flat again in minutes, don’t drive on the tire. Each situation is different.
I’ve had mine for a couple months too and agree, it works fantastic on regular old car tires. It’s pretty fool proof, especially with the way the hose screws onto Schrader valves. Works great on Presta valves on my bike tires too, though the pressure reading doesn’t seem to work correctly so you just have to inflate it until you want to stop. LOVE this thing.
I bought one, because yes it’s better than firing up the compressor and unwinding a long air hose – and I love all things RED! But the real beauty would be using it to inflate a SUP or small raft – or so I hoped. But no, this thing is incredibly slow. Slow at filling tires (slower than inflating with compressor) and so slow at inflating inflatables I gave up before it finished inflating the SUP. In fact after 5 minutes the SUP still looked flat. Not to mention the inflator only comes with a tiny adapter (supposedly for pool floaties) I had to find an adapter from another pump to make it fit the large port on the SUP. That should have been the first clue that this thing would be terribly underpowered for that task. For 50 bucks you can get a 12v plug in that’s way less bulky and way more powerful and quick. Apparently my application is not what Milwaukee designers had in mind but I think they dropped the ball here by not producing a smaller more compact yet more powerful inflater with broader application possibilities. I suppose they didn’t add a 12v adapter cord because they want you to burn through and buy more batteries because that’s where the money is
Do you have a link to what you bought? I’m looking for something for my raft and SUP.
I have the Ryobi 18v inflator, which has been very useful. It has a low pressure pump as well (inflate AND deflate), which I have used for little inflatable kids toys.
The one thing that annoys me about the Ryobi is – you set the target pressure to, say, 30psi. It will keep pumping beyond 30psi and stop itself around 31.5psi. After it stops pumping, the indicated pressure drops by about 1psi, in this case down to 30.5psi. Does the Milwaukee pump do this?
How does the Milwaukee compare to a traditional dial gauge?
I got the same $79 kit from home depot about a month ago. I also really love the portability and the auto-shutoff at a defined psi. It is significantly easier than using my Ingersoll rand compressor to air up tires.
I mostly like the idea – I wish they’d used a 18v battery for the design mostly for the power duration – size of unit wouldn’t have changed (look at the battery box).
However not currently being in the milwaukee battery ecosystem makes this a spendy proposition for me. So I won’t buy one but I like the idea.
I might consider the dewalt thing – but mostly because I’m in those battery systems.
If I was on a red system I would get one of these mostly to keep in the car on longer trips. One of my car’s has a 12v plug in inflator with tire goo – it’s a sports car with no spare.
The other car doesn’t have anything and this would be very useful.
At first I wondered why they brought it out as an M12 then realized that if they wanted to Milwaukee could offer an automotive 12V cord for when you run into a situation where your M12 battery is dead. Easy-peasy to have it as a backup. I love mine I got the special $79.00 deal with the extra battery because you can never have to many batteries! It’s quiet, compact, simple to operate and I love the backlight feature that comes on only when you need it (must of a light sensor in it somewhere). Just a very well thought out inflator that takes the M12 system a little further, love it!
That’s a great thought. In fact, I bet somebody could print up an adapter that you could just stuff into the battery slot.
As yet the dewalt one is set for their 18V battery platform and has a 12V dc car cord AND runs on 120VAC via extension cord. So if they wanted to put effort into they could have. Just saying for comparision sake. Milwaukee chose to make this small and on the 12V platform for some specific reason I assume.
The dewalt one isn’t much bigger as I can tell but it is bigger.
and yes I agree it’s a bit of a surprise they don’t have this rigged for a 12Vdc car adapter.
Might run a little hot since a car would be 30% more voltage.
M12 is 10.8 volts, like all of the 12v max brands. There actually is no such thing as a 12 volt cordless tool platform.
I have both Ryobi and Milwaukee 18V batteries – but I haven’t felt compelled to buy an inflator. I have a Viair 88P that I carry with me on road trips, mercifully never having had to use it. I check tire pressure with a dial gauge (most recent one is a Jaco) – and usually don’t see any need for action. I do sometimes see some small variability in pressure when I check the tires “cold” – but I usually chalk that up to a particularly cold (e.g. Upstate NY in the winter) or hot (e.g. Texas in the summer) ambient temperature. Is there better modern thought on maintaining tire pressure? I’m also never quite sure if my cars’ tire pressure monitoring systems work worth a darn – I’ve never had a dashboard alarm – but haven’t had a flat either.
reason I’d have one at home – and then chuck it in the car on a longer trip – is that one of these is a tick more convenient for that air job than turning on my air compressor. I don’t keep my air compressor charged all the time so there’s a good minute delay before I’m going to then unwind my 50ft or so hose to inflate a tire. Then I have to turn it off – depressure it etc before I can go.
These devices I don’t have to do that. Also with the compressors that run on 12DC car adapters you should have the car running when you use them. Again with this I don’t have to and it would air up bikes, balls, etc.
Built-in tire pressure monitoring systems usually only alert the driver when the pressure is 5-10 psi below proper operating pressure. If you check your pressures regularly, which I bet you do Fred, you probably never get below the thresholds.
My 2008 GMC Sierra TPMS works well. It alerts me if I happen to have a tire running low and displays the pressures on the instrument panel.
TPMS have saved my bacon before so I appreciate having TPMS. Granted none of the TPMS system that I had tell me the exact pressure of each tires. Though I am kinda glad that they don’t since I think that would be expensive to replace.
Like you have noticed most of TPMS system doesn’t tell us if a tire is low. They tell us if there is a tire that is low enough that’s dangerous to drive. So I don’t see them as a replacement for regular aircheck but rather compliment them. They can also come on when there is a major drop in temperate that cause the pressure to go below their warning threshold. So there is both false positive and false negative but overall they work well enough to save my bacon when I got a slow leak and haven’t been checking the tires in my vehicle as often enough.
My last few cars have given the actual pressure of each tire (Honda, Ford, and a new Buick TourX – a sweet AWD wagon!). I really like that feature. I check the pressures regularly, and they are within a lb or so of a guage.
2014+ Chrysler vehicles are pretty accurate and are only a few minutes delayed on the display. You can put it up on the dash and fill up the tires and watch it update.
Bosch really needs to hurry up and come out with one now!! ive invested in the 12v line and love the products but this would just add to it all
heck my just get this for the heck of it
thanks for the recommendation !
I won it as a kit,so I can’t complain,..I use for bike tires and floats, I find it heats up, and batteries drain fast, but the Ryobi kit I’ve had for years works as well( the larger one) ….I’ll be buying the Dewalt version when it’s out,because it has a dc adapter.
The one I use now in my truck is a Dewalt, battery charger/ inflater/ light..it’s charged by plugging it in…about 12hr…but lasts months ..works fast and has the jumper cables just in case
Picked one up at HD. I love it. So much more convenient than dragging out an air hose.
Last week, I had to air down to get myself extricated from a muddy pasture. Going from 30 to 80 on load range E tires was outside it’s comfort range, but two batteries, and some cooling time and she handled it. Managed to determine that it does have an over temp sensor.
It eats batteries, but I’d still buy it again if I needed to. I’d buy it again now if they came out with a fuel version.
I like my Milwaukee inflator, however, the reading show 1 PSI when it is plugged into nothing.
Mine just started doing the same.
That makes three of us. My first one was reading 9psi while plugged in to nothing after 1 month of light use. Then, it would just run and wouldn’t pump. The second one I purchased read 1 psi right out of the box. I get the feeling this thing isn’t going to last.
I have the 12v charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter receptacle so that is nice compliment to this unit.
That 12V charger might be nice too.
My Viair doesn’t plug into the cigarette lighter receptacle (now a bit of a misnomer since they no longer come with the lighter) . I guess that’s because it draws too much current and needs to be clamped onto the battery terminals directly.
A few things this inflator is awesome at besides filling car tires: filling road bike tires (120 psi on the nose – use a valve adaptor). Filling the dry side of water pressure tanks (think RO system – how do you get exactly 5 psi wothout cranking down your compressor?)
It’s handy. It lives in my trunk. Was a good buy.
Thanks for the comparison to the Ryobi. I haven’t been thrilled with the Ryobi, but it suffices for slow leaks. If I hard to plug and fill a tire from dead flat, I have my reservations. And frankly, from the sound of it, it doesn’t inspire much confidence either.
Dude buy a tire repair kit. Some places (like my shop) will repair tires for free. Some charge a small fee. Driving around on deflating tires is dangerous. You not only put your safety at risk but the people around you as well.
Leaks should be repaired or tires replaced as fast as possible. Slow leaks can be very hard to find, and I believe I once heard that it can require replacement.
I had a slow leak a while back, and couldn’t get it fixed very quick either, forcing me to top it off every other day before going anywhere.
By no means are we recommending that anyone do this, but an inflator can help maintain a tire until it can be repaired or replaced. Some leaks require more immediate attention that others, obviously, but they all require attention.
Slow leaks are generally from the bead – due to corrosion on the wheel.
I find I reach for mine all the time. The convenience is something I never realized until I had one. It’s so easy compared to getting out the compressor.
Yeah – I’m starting to think it might be handy. When I’m at the home where my shop is – my routine when I want to inflate something (not a frequent occurrence) is to close the drain valve and start up the shop compressor when I arise in the morning, then open the valve to the pipe leg that provide compressed air to the garage. Then I wait until the gauge pressure at the pressure regulator and manifold in the garage are within range. This process always has me being chastised by my wife for having created so much noise too early in the day. The last time I did this – I was filling the tires on one of her garden carts that she had deflated for some reason and she had asked me to re-inflate. I said nothing, concluded that “no good deed goes unpunished” and decided I should have used a hand bicycle pump.
I notice that it sells for $69 at Acme – but it qualifies for $6.90 (10%) off today (4th of July) with coupon code “MERICA”
At Tool Plus it sells for $79 but comes bundled with a 2Ah M12 battery (48-11-2420) that has a usual selling price of $49 – so if you need the battery its a good deal
I have 10# m12 batteries,16ish m18 batteries,I bought the Ryobi for $20,and paid $28 for a surbonder m18 adapter,and have not used it yet, thankfully!
I don’t see the need for this. I use a portable inflator powered from the car 12v outlet. All the same features but powered from a 60 amp hour battery backed up by an 80 horsepower generator 🙂
I only ever use an inflator on car tyres so a cordless inflator is an inferior solution. Sorry milwaukee.
Here is a comparison of DeWalt, Milwaukee, and Ryobi inflators at another site: https://www.coptool.com/best-inflator-dewalt-milwaukee-ryobi-inflator-shootout/
I posted this in the other thread, but I’ll post it again because it really shows how handy this is.
This thing is great. I got mine last week and put it in the workshop. Today my wife handed me a soccer ball and said “can you find that hand pump and fill this thing up please – so I pulled this out and in 10 seconds we had an inflated ball.
I have a tire inflator that came with my Acura – good little box that plugs into the cigarette outlet in the car. Here is the sequence:
Unwrap the power cord
Open the car door
Put the ignition in the accessory position
Lower both front windows
Plug the box in and put it on the seat
Close the door
Reach in and get the box, untangling the power cord
Unwrap the air hose
Connect the hose up to the tire
Check pressure on tiny dial
When done with tires on that side of car, place box through window on seat
Walk to other side of car
Reach in window and get box, untangling power wire
Connect the hose up to the tire
Check pressure on tiny dial
When done, reach into car and unplug box
rewrap air hose
rewrap power cord
Open car door, roll up windows and remove ignition key
With this unit:
Unwrap air hose
Connect to tire
Do the same for other tires
After using this inflator for several months now, I have one complaint that seems so simple to fix that I can’t imagine why nobody has thought of this.
I was topping off my sister’s tires a few nights ago. It was dark on the driveway and I had to be careful to not lose the valve stem cap.
Where do you put the tire valve stem cap?
It would be simple to add a little tray (or a little nipple) to hold the cap. This thing doesn’t vibrate very much so it should stay put.
With that addition, this thing would be almost perfect.
I’ve got two Ryobis and one Sears inflator. I looked at the Milwaukee, but it’s 3X the price, and Yet Another Battery System. I have a full-size air compressor for the big jobs, but the Ryobis work so well on bicycle tires I have one in the house and one in the garage. The Sears inflator I converted to a Presta connector for road bikes (the adapters are a pain).
Last week I had to repressurize my well water tank. It’s easily the volume of a truck tire. I could have hauled the air compressor in, but instead used the two Ryobis alternately (so as not to overheat them). Made 38 psi easily on one battery. $20 each…
I used it a handful of times and went to use it again today and the temperature indicator is flashing and won’t turn on. I’ve tried it out ever day for about a week now and still has the flashing temperature indicator on everytime i turn it on. Sad day, is there a fix?
Unfortunately, it sounds like you’re due for a phone call to Milwaukee’s customer service or service center.
What seems to be not clear for folks here is the difference between a tool designed to compress air to higher PSI vs a faster inflator designed to pump high volumes of air but can’t compress air above say 10 or 15 PSI. There is no way you can have both in a small package and frankly it requires much more power to compress air than to move larger volumes. I own this inflator and it works fantastic for what it is designed for. I use it for pumping up the air ride seats in my boat, pumping up boat bumpers, buoys, tires etc. you could use it to quickly top off a SUP (with the right adapter) but as is mentioned above, it will be very slow. Better to use a cheap electric pump or a two stage hand pump. Then if you wanted to you could top it off with the Milwaukee inflator but be careful. You could easily over inflate an SUP or inflatable kayak with an inflator capable of 120 PSI!!!!