John, yes I had read that FAQ, which mentions a gauge that HJ "keeps mentioning" but I don't know exactly what HJ has said about it (are his comments on the website?). By inference, the S60X must be pretty good, but (a) is it guaranteed 100% accurate, and (b) are there any others he recommends? I recently bought a "Stetho-Gauge" for £11.99, which is made in the US and is quoted on the packaging as having "ANSI Grade B accuracy". This looks beefier than the digital gauges that Halfords are now doing (they don't seem to do dial gauges any more). But I still got a ticking-off (so to speak) from my local Ford dealer when I took my Galaxy in for service recently for having under-inflated tyres, so either his gauge or mine is inaccurate.
No gauge is 100% acurate - and being digital is no guarantee of accuracy -it's the measuring element which gives the accuracy.
If you get the ITC catalogue, or check the web site, you'll see they supply gauges with a calibration certificate - but they are not cheap! If you can find a local calibration service that's great, but you need to be sure how good it is. Ask what standards they use.
I've got one of the 'standard' ITC gauges. I'm assuming that a decent bourdon tube gauge is probably better than the small plunger or digital units available. If it's calibrated, so much the better.
As for garage gauges, some reputable establishments do have regular checks, but some don't. Also the gauges can be subject to abuse. I'd buy my own gaauge and take care of that.
I was suspicious of mine and my relatives tyre gauges a few years back. I took all five to trading standards who tested them for free. I got a printed report for each covering the range in 5psi steps. Interestingly the errors were small typically about 1psi and kept that error over the range. Worth ringing them up to see if they still test for free!
Good question guy, and very important!
I was suspicious when I checked my tyres the day after a long trip - they had GAINED about 15% pressure in 24 hours!
When I left Cape Town, the garage gauge said 2.2 bar, the next morning and 500kms later (cold test again) they were at 2.5!!! Fortunately the latter reading was wrong - I'd hate to think what would have happened if I'd gone off with either a dangerously over- or under-inflated tyre!
(Trading Standards here check fuel pumps for accuracy, but seem to ignore forecourt air lines...)
since then, I've bought my own pressure gauge, had it checked for proper calibration, and work with that.
I had a Sykes Pickavent for many years ,very sturdy with a dial face & easy to use.I now have a Halfords digital which is fragile & sensitive to use.Must look what HJ recommended,as I recall, it was pricey for my time of life.
I keep a Halfords dial gauge in the boot. It looked a lot tougher than the digital offering. Experience tells me it's accurate enough to get the pressures the same all round which seems to be all that matters (Audi give a 10 psi difference between unladen and laden anyway). Forecourt gauges are the buggers because you may not get to use the same one twice.
I have allways used a small dial type gauge marketed for years by michelin, comes in a small plastic case, the reading needle is held to retain the reading, but lately I have been trying a digital u.s. gauge which self zeros, has a lifetime battery warranty,and reads down to 6psi (we run extra wide lowprofile tractor tyres at 7-8 psi.) both came from micheldever tyres & prove very reliable.
just a point, but the old favourite forecourt PCL type air line gauge had to have the trigger pressed slightly to release air from the tyre to give a true reading, otherwise you will get a higher reading from the compressor air that is trapped between the tyre valve & the air control valve on the gauge. it can sometimes be as much as 10psi.
Alvin - must be old stock. I enquired at two separate Halfords "superstores" and both told me they no longer did the dial gauges. I know the one you mention as that's what I had ---- before I dropped it and it went doolally.
I use one of those "pen" type guages, and it seems to compare well with garage guages I've used from time to time (+/- 1psi. Mine's a bit of an antique: National Bus Company issue from (I think) the 1950s.
This is currently on offer, for £10 (nrp£13.25) + £4.95 P&P.
ITC is on 01604 646433.
I have one , but find it difficult to make a good seal with the valve, and I'd buy the RDF60X,(£14.95 + P&P), next time. It has a short, flexible hose & a 'chuck' like the garage airlines have - much easier to use, IMO.