The Best 12 Volt Air Compressor For Emergencies

The Best 12 Volt Air Compressor For Emergencies

Growing up, dad has strict rules on the tools. Namely, no child was allowed to touch the tools, ever. Initially, it seemed like a good safety rule. Many of the tools can be dangerous.

But as the years ticked by and we were trusted with the lawn mower, it became clear that “no tool rule” was purely for his own convenience: he didn’t want to chase down the tools that his children lost for him.

His solution was genius, but it also taught me the importance of having separate toolkits for different purposes. Emergency toolkits are at the top of that list.

The Importance Of A Dedicated Toolkit

The “don’t touch the tools” rule began to get ludicrous (do you know how hard it is to air up your bike tire without an air pump?) until one day when he showed up with a separate toolbox. In the box was all of the basics. There was a hammer, screwdriver, a basic socket set, a tape measure, pliers and vice grips. They were all used, and best I could tell he had gotten a really good deal on them at the local pawn shop.

Then he also bought a few additional tools that we stored with the toolbox. There were two flashlights, an air compressor, a roll of shop rags and a hacksaw.

Because my brother and I had been deprived tools for so long, we took good care of our set and were every bit as protective of them as he had been of his. It served as a strong precedent for us, and to this day my brother and I have multiple toolsets.

For example, there will be an “inside” toolset with the everyday tools the wife and kids will need for tasks around the house. The “car” toolset is an emergency kit for most roadside servicing and contains a broad enough kit of tools to swap out an alternator or a fuel pump if you needed to.

And, of course, there is the “kid kit”.

The neat thing about tools these days is that so many of them are cordless, lightweight and easy to use. As long as your children understand the importance of returning the tool to the original location, these cordless tools are an excellent option.

As long as each kit is where it belongs and the tool is in the kit, you are guaranteed to have everything you need when an emergency arises.

The Best 12 Volt Air Compressor For Emergencies
Flat tire of a car

Why 12 Volt Compressors Are The Best Choice For An Emergency Kit

The power source for your compressor is everything. Even if you have a 30-gallon air compressor along with you when you have a flat, it isn’t going to be able to do much unless you have a place to plug it in.

With a 12-volt compressor, you can plug it into the car’s cigarette lighter or hook it up to the car battery for instant power.

Now, there are cordless compressors that hold a charge and are always ready to use. If the battery dies, you can also plug them into the cigarette lighter of your car to charge them.

The Best Air Compressors For An Emergency

When you shop for a compressor online, there are so many great ones to choose from. You just need to have a pretty solid idea of what you will be using them for. For example, if you plan on using this compressor a few times per month to air up your car tires than you will probably want to buy a better, more robust compressor that won’t take as long to air up the tires.

Oasser Compressor

The Oasser is one of the best, highly portable, 12-volt compressors on the market. It is extremely small, lightweight and can charge on either 12-volt or 120-volt power.

It’s so small, you could slip it into your jacket pocket. Tool Tally calls it “the best motorcycle air compressor.”

It’s a slower compressor but is great for those moments when you need to air up a tire just enough to safely drive it to the shop without damaging your wheel rim. It’s one of those things where you could hop out, attach the compressor, and in 10 minutes have enough air in the tire to limp your car to the next destination.

The Oasser is also a good choice for

Stanley Fatmax

This is the one to choose if you frequently get called on to rescue other people. The Fatmax is your swift solution just about any emergency that you could come up against.

The air compressor on the Fatmax is extremely robust. It’s a 120 PSI compressor with ample flow to help you get the flattest tires re-inflated. The Surefit nozzle makes it easy to connect the compressor to your vehicle’s tires even during those rainy and cold roadside rescues (emergencies never happen in nice weather, am I right?)

If you have a dead battery, the Fatmax is ready to give it a jump. Don’t worry about finagling vehicles around in traffic to connect jumper cables. Just go up to the dead battery, clip the Fatmax on, and you are ready to start the car and get off the shoulder. There is also a reverse polarity alert, so if you accidentally cross wires in your rush to jumpstart the car, the tool will warn you.

If that isn’t enough, there is a built-in inverter with 120-volt outlets. Need to charge a laptop battery? Just plug it into the Fatmax and get those reports finished on time.

It’s a lot more than an air compressor, but that is what makes it ideal for emergencies.

Check Your Equipment Frequently

Batteries go dead, fuses blow, and tools get “borrowed” and never returned. You need to have one day a month where you check your primary emergency items. I like to do that at the start of every month. There is an alarm set on my calendar, and I run through everything, recharge the compressor and flashlights and make sure that nothing is missing.

As a result of my preparedness, I’m often the first one who extended family calls when they are in a pinch. It’s one of those distinguishing facts that I love about being prepared. Most emergencies are something that I can “laugh at”. Flat tire? When you have the right tools (like a cordless impact wrench)  you go from spending hours waiting on the tow truck to getting it resolved in 10 minutes.


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