When it’s the matter of emergency “tire inflation”, nothing can beat a 12v air compressor. A 12v air compressor is quite beneficial because of its flexibility, convenience in handling, mini-shape, etc. But it won’t be so if you are unaware of how a 12v air compressor works in the first place.

A 12-volt air compressor is easy to handle and does its job effectively if used properly. A good quality 12v air compressor has maximum pressure with an appropriate airflow rate which is around 40-50 psi (pound per square inch).

There’s more to discover about the 12v air compressor. The following content might provide you with enough information which will help you in fixing your deflated tire or your child’s football or tennis ball.

How does a 12v air compressor work?

A 12v air compressor generally refers to the available compressors which are capable of inflating your tire or any object by using direct current. These compressors are easier to use than manual compressors.

A 12-volt air compressor’s working process is not as complex as it seems rather quite simple.

There is an internal motor present inside a 12v air compressor which draws air straight from the environment or atmosphere. Then the compressor pumps the air into the object eg. cycle or car tire, football or tennis ball, etc. The 12-volt air compressors are not capable of supplying a large volume of air pressure but are almost appropriate for emergency needs.

How do you use a 12V digital air compressor?

When you are traveling alone or with your family, you might face situations where you need to inflate the deflated tire or other things. For this to happen, go through the following steps to operate the compressor properly.

Preparing the tire/ object

You will find it easier to inflate your tire if you prepare the tire beforehand. Here’s how…

  • Step 1: Figure out the air amount needed

At the very first, figure out how much air pressure is needed.  Starting with this is significant as over-inflation can damage your tire. You can know the required air amount easily from the owner’s manual. Most often the air amount is measured by psi and informs you of the required amount.

  • Step 2: Make the tire ready

Now, make the tire or objects ready for the inflation process. For this, take out the tire cork from the tire. A tire cork generally blocks the inside air from being released.

  • Step 3: let the remained air out

After taking out the tire cork, the remaining air will be out from the deflated tire and your tire will be ready for inflation.

Preparing the air compressor

After making the tire ready, prepare the air compressor. Do it accordingly like below…

  • Step 1: Turn on the compressor

You need to turn on the compressor by plugging it into a proper socket. Make sure the socket board is not defective. Then connect the compressor with the hole (which appears after opening the tire cork) and put the “just” amount of air pressure.

  • Step 2: Maintain duty cycle

Maintain the duty cycle of the compressor. This means if your compressor comes with a 20% duty cycle, let it cool for 32 minutes after working with it for 8 minutes. Don’t use the compressor while it’s still warm.

  • Step 3: Avoid over-inflating

You should avoid overinflating the tire as that will result in some serious mishaps.

  • Step 4: Wrap up properly

Now it’s time to wrap up. Disconnect the compressor, release some air (If the tire is overinflated), and put the tire cork back on to its place. Unplug the compressor from the socket.

After going through the above description which proves the 12-volt compressor’s easy usage, if you are thinking about buying a 12v air compressor, then you should read more about the ac/dc tire inflator before making the purchase.


What should I look for in a 12V air compressor?

A 12-volt air compressor is quite different from traditional compressors which require manual inflation of air. You will be able to inflate your tire easily with this gadget. You should look for maximum pressure (around 40-50 psi), airflow rate, desired duty cycle, portability convenience, and the accessories that come with it.

Does an air compressor need to be plugged in to work?

An air compressor needs to be plugged in to accumulate air or pressure within the tank and then to inflate your desired objects. You can also keep inflating the tire or other things while keeping the air compressor plugged in. In brief, you just need to make sure that the tank has enough air pressure to complete your task.

What is the highest CFM 12-volt air compressor?

The 12-volt air compressors are portable and easily maintainable. Most often these come with a medium level of air pressure and airflow. Still, there is best in every stage and every type of air compressor. If you consider from a high-quality performance, portability, and powerful perspective, ARB CKMTA12 is the highest CFM 12-volt air compressor. This is considered best among its types.


As you may already know, a 12-volt air compressor is a very beneficial product from many perspectives because of its easy maintenance. But if you expect the same amount of performance as the manual compressors for a large volume of air pressure, you might be downhearted.

However, if you are finding a solution for your emergency needs that require a medium level of air pressure for inflating the object, this tool is just a perfect match for your purpose.

If you were not familiar with the 12-volt air compressors and their working process before, hopefully after going through the above article, you will have the basic and fundamental knowledge.