Inflator Or Compressor

Inflator Or Compressor – Which 1 To Pick

To inflate the tires of the vehicles or bikes, you have a choice between an inflator or compressor. Just what is an inflator? And what also is a compressor? How do they differ? What are their benefits and potential downsides? Which of these is the better option?

We have prepared this article to address all the issues above? It is our plea that you stay on till the rest of the discussions to be able to know about these details. That way, we believe that you will be in the position to make an appropriate choice from a position of firm understanding.

Inflator Or Compressor in Details

We start by defining these two terms here below:


how to inflate a tire

An inflator is an air pump that is operable mostly by the use of the hands. It is hence portable and may be used in remote locations with absolute ease. This kind of pump has a lower capacity and cannot be used for inflating larger tires. Owing to its manual nature, it cannot also be used in situations of urgency.

Applications of the Inflator

The inflator is mainly used under the following circumstances:

Impromptu Pumping

This kind of gadget is smaller, compact, and lighter. It is as such good enough for impromptu pumping activities as you can easily carry and deploy it to wherever you might want to use it. You will find it good enough for the camping trails and other forms of distant incidences of use.

Smaller Tires and Gadgets

If you have the smaller tires and other inflatable gadgets in your household, you have no better gadget to look up to than this one. As we have stated, the compact size of the inflator makes it simpler to deploy for eventual use. Moreover, its capacity just fits smaller gadgets.

Limited Financial Muscles

Inflators are generally cheaper and ready to come by. This makes them a suitable option to look up to if all you want is a ready means of inflation but a shoe-string budget. In fact, many people opt to start with it in their search for the right compression gadget to make use of.

Limited Expertise

Owing to its simplistic form and shape, the inflator is also a great item for those who do not have the extremely high level of expertise that the compressors need to operate. Yet again, this is the item to set your eyes on if you do not have that much expertise too.


It is not uncommon for the air compressors to fail in the course of discharging their duties. To be on the safe side of issues and guarantee continued operations, you have to carry along an ordinary inflator as a backup. Their manual operability is the chief reason why this is so.

Positive Side
  • Cheaper to come by
  • Easier to operate
  • Deployable just about everywhere
  • Demands limited maintenance and repairs
  • Prolonged use is likely to tire you
Negative Side
  • Unsuitable for large scale operations


A compressor is similarly a portable gadget. The gadget comprises compressed air that is enclosed in a tight structure that resists explosions and leaks. It is automatically operable and does not require the excessive use of human brawn to power. Due to the use of high pressure, it cuts down the time of inflation.

Also Read: Best 6 Gallon Air Compressor

Applications of the Compressor

Powering Pneumatic Tools

Pneumatic tools require higher levels of pressure to be able to operate smoothly and reliably. You cannot rely on the manual inflator to supply this level of pressure hence. Instead, you must place your bet on a compressor that is able to generate higher pressure required.

Matters of Urgency

Compressors usually release air faster and at a higher pressure overall. This makes them pretty suited for the matters of urgency. You will need this item in those circumstances in which time is really not on your side. They are mainly used for evacuations and ambulances.

High Volume Filling

Inflating the larger tubes and tires manually may take too long. At the same time, manual operations are also ineffective when the volume of air has to be too high. It is under these circumstances that the compressors come in. They have a way of furnishing the supply of large volumes of air faster.

Metered Applications

Some inflation applications are metered in the sense that they demand that you supply a given volume of air at a time. The ordinary inflators have neither meters nor valves and are as such, incapable of furnishing the needed volume of air at the right time.

Professional Settings and Undertakings

Professional settings and undertakings demand higher levels of expertise and at the same time are metered. You can never rely on the manual inflators to do the job here again. The compressors are the ones to yet again set your eyes on. They are packed with tons of awesome features that make this feat achievable.

Positive Side
  • Delivers the necessary volumes of air faster
  • Are less tiresome to engage
  • Unlikely to tire you even when used for too long
  • Allows for metered applications
  • Always there when you need it
Negative Side
  • Costs a lot more to acquire and operationalize


From the foregoing explanations on inflator or compressor, the inflators clearly carry the day. They are able to deliver the necessary air regardless of the prevailing circumstances you might find yourself in. Moreover, they are also cheaper and demand limited expertise on your part. Do prioritize them hence!

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