Rolson 200 PSI Mini Air Compressor
Best price 6.99 (Maplin.co.uk)
For Low price; light weight
Against Hugely inaccurate gauge; awkward shape; not sturdy when running
The Rolson took five minutes 10 secs to reach 30PSI on the analogue gauge, but thats because the gauge was woefully inaccurate. The true pressure was 22.5PSI dangerously low. The small footprint and heavy vibrations made the gauge hard to read when inflating, and caused the unit the dance around on the Tarmac.
Ease of operation
Odd, lop-sided shape made the Rolson prone to falling over when setting it up. The lack of an off/on switch meant the only way of starting or stopping inflation was to plug in or unplug the 12v lead. When wed finished inflating, there wasnt anywhere to tuck the wires, so storage could be a problem. On the plus side, it was the lightest and most compact unit here.
At such as bargain price we can overlook some of the Rolsons shortcomings. Bare in mind, though, if you havent already got a decent hand-held pressure gauge, youre advised to buy one along with this unit, as its pressure dial wasnt to be trusted when we tested it it was 25% out for accuracy.
Not great. The exposed gauge and the plastic mouldings felt cheap, and the lack of rubber pads on the base meant the unit bounced around on the ground. The Rolson also got fairly hot after just over five minutes of use, so we wouldnt fancy pumping up four tyres on the trot. Having said that, you are usually adding a few pounds of pressure, not inflating from scratch.
The Rolson is a budget, no frills inflator. You do get a couple of adaptors for a football and an airbed or lilo, but thats your lot. Having said that, it is the cheapest inflator here by some margin, so you wouldnt expect much other than a tyre inflator for your money.