When it comes to go-kart tools, tyre pressure gauges are up there when it comes to must-haves. They serve the purpose of accurately measuring the pressure of tyres (using the unit psi or bar) on your go-kart. Having the correct pressures on your tyres is key to maximizing the performance of your go-kart, as it affects things such as grip and balance. Having the wrong pressures such as going under or over the psi can cause the kart balance to be out, increases wear on the tyres, and more physically demanding. There are two types of gauges to choose from which are the analog and digital gauges. With both carrying their own strengths and weaknesses, which one is best suited to you?
ANALOG TYRE PRESSURE GAUGE
Nowadays, people use digital gauges more than analog. However, don’t let that distract you from the fact that they are still very efficient and effective. Also known as dial gauges, these are your best bet if you are karting on a budget, with the average price for one being around $30-$70.
Compare this to digital gauges which can be upwards of $200-$400, and you are looking at a drastic saving. But keep in mind that the fact an analog tyre pressure gauge is cheap, doesn’t mean you won’t get much in terms of quality (there are exceptions however). The parts are easily damaged if they’ve been dropped or mishandled. The more they get damaged, the tyre readings get less and less accurate.
Lastly, it is recommended you work under a tent when using this kind of gauge as this type of gauge does not handle extreme cool or hot conditions. Despite all this, if you are looking for an affordable, cheap, and more hands-on experience, using an analog tyre pressure gauge is your best bet. Examples of good analog gauges are Kartech, Longacre, and Intercomp.
DIGITAL TYRE PRESSURE GAUGE
For a more advanced version of the pressure gauge, the digital version also presents its fair share of strengths and weaknesses. As mentioned earlier, they are more expensive than analog gauges, but make up for it in performance and durability.
Furthermore, they require less calibration or maintenance as well. If you’re a mechanic or driver who likes to work in finer details, a digital gauge allows you to be more accurate when checking and altering your pressures. For example they allow you to put 9.3psi in a tyre, where this is near on impossible to accurately do on all four tyres with an analog gauge.
Lastly, digital tyre pressure gauges can be customized according to your liking. Things such as the unit used to measure tyre pressure and data gathered are just some of the features of the digital pressure gauge that you can adjust to your liking. You can save your cold and hot pressures on the gauge and can download using their software to look back on or save for your own records. All major teams racing in karting and motorsport will use a digital gauge to get the accuracy they desire.
Despite this, it is a fact that these gauges are not cheap. Damaging one of these can be very expensive to repair. Also take note that because digital gauges run on battery power, the hassle of the gauge running out of battery is certain. But if these things don’t sway you away from this gauge, then buy it. Some good brands to buy digital gauges are Prisma and Alfano gauges.
So now that you are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the analog and digital tyre pressure gauges, which you buy is up to you. While the analog tyre pressure gauge does not come close to the digital in terms of reliability and durability, it makes up for it being cheaper, requiring no power, and more hands-on. On the other hand, digital pressure gauges present a more efficient and accurate experience with less calibration, albeit at a much higher price than that of an analog pressure gauge.