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How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 21, 2020 02:40PM
I'm looking for a cheap-ish easy-to-use tire gauge to give my adult daughter to keep in her car. There's one particular one that looks like a decent candidate, but there are about a dozen listings for what all look to be the same thing. I'm sure they're all made in the same Chinese factory, and they all get a ton of positive reviews with a couple of negatives. I have to believe they're all the same thing, just with a different "brand name" stamped on them and a different color. Agree? So how would you decide? And yes, I know one option is to buy a different, more expensive gauge, but for as often as it may be used, something like this should be fine.

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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: Bixby
Date: September 21, 2020 02:49PM
I'd go analog, no battery to die. Even the stick ones can be accurate.

And to answer your question, I'd cross reference another review source, such as Consumer Reports.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 21, 2020 02:58PM
So how would you decide?


Very often, there are similar products made by the same manufacturer and branded differently for various distributors.

But these do appear identical, in which case I'd go for the cheapest cheap import.

IF there were a very responsible, trustworty AMZ seller that charged more but offered a warranty, I might pay a couple bucks extra for that.

Cheap manufacture, whether it be Chinese, Japanese (way back when), or good ol' USA (is cheap manufacturing actually cheap, here?) is sort of like Russian military technology — "it doesn't have to be the best or most reliable, as long as we make enough of them". (There are some exceptions, of course.)

So in this case, I'd go for the cheapest.

But I'd prefer it to have user replaceable batteries, by which I mean not dissecting a product as an experiment to see if I could replace the batteries.

Oh– and I'd want it Shipped and Sold by or Fulfilled by AMZ so as to make returns easy.





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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2020 03:00PM by RAMd®d.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: davemchine
Date: September 21, 2020 03:02PM
When the item is cheap it really isn't worth doing a lot of research or pouring over the details. Pick one and see if it works well enough. Also, I like Bixby's suggestion of going analog for a tire pressure gauge. I use one similar to this. [www.amazon.com]





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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 21, 2020 03:11PM
100% analog stick gage.
Here is one made in the US. No, really.
[www.amazon.com]
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: Bixby
Date: September 21, 2020 03:16PM
For what it's worth, Consumer Reports found this stick gauge to be highly accurate. The reviews on the Milton one seem to indicate it may not be.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: jdc
Date: September 21, 2020 03:26PM
No TPMS?





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: Carm
Date: September 21, 2020 03:28PM
K.I.S.S analog pressure gauge at local auto parts store.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: artie67
Date: September 21, 2020 03:30PM
I like the Tiretek line available from Amazon. I have the 60lb. one for auto tires. Designed in USA and made in China. Very solid and one tool you will store in the box. Swiveling chuck, pressure relief valve and housed in a "off road tire".
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: rz
Date: September 21, 2020 03:42PM
We have a really nice analog gauge (actually a couple of them). Inexpensive and works great.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: September 21, 2020 03:43PM
A little bit more is the Milton S-925 also US made.
"20-120 PSI in 2 pound increments. Durable plated brass with 4 side nylon indicator bar."

That Bell reviewed on CR is imported. Had one, what a pos.

My biggest issue with the digital models is those d@mn button cell batteries.
Some use five, making a set of batteries cost more than a new gauge.
Find one that uses AAA batteries and has good reviews (C or better on FakeSpot).



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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 21, 2020 03:55PM
Thanks for all the thoughts. Yeah, I go back and forth between analog and digital. I'm less worried about batteries than accuracy and consistency. I've heard/read so many "this is the best" and "this is the worst" about the exact same item that my head starts to spin. And that's for both the analog and the digital types.

Selfishly, I'm also looking for one for myself for the motorcycle. The one I use for my car is great and interestingly enough I finally had to change the batteries in it this past weekend in it. I checked my records and I bought it in April of 2015. Not bad. Problem is it's a pita to use on the bike. I end up have in push the valve stem to the side a bit to make a good connection. I think maybe a 90 degree angled head on the gauge would be better. So that search continues as well.

Anyway, I may try one of these cheapies while I continue my search. And as RAMd®d mentioned I'll make sure the return policy is right, if not the warranty. Most of these things are Free Shipping and Free Returns (which I suppose could also mean I could be getting someone's reject).

-- edit --

Forgot to mention that yes, she has TPMS in the vehicle (Rav4) but it doesn't indicate which tire is low nor by how much. And if it's just a couple of pounds, you really can't tell visually.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/2020 04:07PM by wurm.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 21, 2020 03:59PM
The reviews on the Milton one seem to indicate it may not be.


An interesting interpretation.

Without hands on and a lab grade standard to compare it to, I'd say with 2,557 reviews, the 4.5 means it probably is accurate, though some of those gauges many not be.

CR may have a contender with their pick, but there aren't many reviews at AMZ, so that 4.5 may or may not be as accurate.

As stick gauges go, I think accuracy isn't that critical, at least not as critical as build quality.

Over the years, I've had more than a couple cheap stick gauges fail, and some self-destruct.

My 'at home' gauge is this dial gauge.

I honestly don't know that it's anymore accurate than a 'good' stick gauge, but it's easier to get consistent readings, especially over time.

For my bike, it's a BT TPMS.

This might be my next gauge.

But without a way to test any given gauge to say +/- .5lb or less, the majority are probably close enough for Govt. work, and probably less accurate than we think.

As for the OP's request, I'd go with the cheapest, and a digital gauge would be less fiddly for some users.





Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 21, 2020 04:10PM
Quote
RAMd®d
[snip]
As for the OP's request, I'd go with the cheapest, and a digital gauge would be less fiddly for some users.

And when it comes to dear daughter, less fiddly is the rule of the day. ;)
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: jdc
Date: September 21, 2020 04:48PM
Quote
wurm
Forgot to mention that yes, she has TPMS in the vehicle (Rav4) but it doesn't indicate which tire is low nor by how much. And if it's just a couple of pounds, you really can't tell visually.

Hmm, both of my cars do (near 5 years old), and pretty sure my wifes 2010 mzda 3 did. thought it was a standard thing.

usually if we get the indicator we just swing by americas tire and they will check/fill all 4 for free...





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 21, 2020 05:36PM
Quote
jdc
usually if we get the indicator we just swing by americas tire and they will check/fill all 4 for free...

Yeah, but they're supposed to be checked when cold (well, not literally cold but not having been driven for several hours) to get an accurate reading.

And in a strange coincidence, I got a text from my wife a little while ago as she was heading home from work to "get the pump ready. My low tire pressure light came on". her vehicle (2020 Nissan Rogue) does tell her which tire is low.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: jdc
Date: September 21, 2020 05:51PM
Quote
wurm
Yeah, but they're supposed to be checked when cold (well, not literally cold but not having been driven for several hours) to get an accurate reading.
.

I guess that depends on how obsessive/compulsive you are about 1 lb +/- pressure in your tire really matters... =)





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: September 21, 2020 07:05PM
Quote
Bixby
I'd go analog, no battery to die. Even the stick ones can be accurate.

And to answer your question, I'd cross reference another review source, such as Consumer Reports.

CR is not going to waste their time reviewing junk like this.



It is what it is.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: datbeme
Date: September 21, 2020 08:23PM
I have NO idea how to tell the difference between those cheapo imports, but I've had several of the analog stick varieties like the Milton, and they are an absolute pain in the a$$ to read—especially in poor light or at a less than optimum angle.

My uncle gave us a couple of the digital type with the blue backlight. Not sure if he bought them or if he got them as some type of promotional item through his business, but I thanked him and promptly put them in the junk drawer never expecting to use them.

But we recently had a few tire issues with one of our vehicles, and I've used the digital several times this summer. Really easy to use—and read. I trust it and absolutely think it's worth having one in every vehicle's glove compartment. Usually, I top off the air with my Viair compressor and assume its analog gauge is within a few pounds. I then fine tune with the digital. Even if the Viair's gauge is more accurate, my ability to read it sure as heck isn't.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: jdc
Date: September 21, 2020 09:28PM
Mine looks like this







Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: How do you compare identical products?
Posted by: Bixby
Date: September 22, 2020 09:06AM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
Bixby
I'd go analog, no battery to die. Even the stick ones can be accurate.

And to answer your question, I'd cross reference another review source, such as Consumer Reports.

CR is not going to waste their time reviewing junk like this.

Huh, they've got a whole page on tire gauges with 17 reviews.
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