Cole Ford – Tire Deflator History 101

When I first started four-wheeling more than a decade ago, tire deflators did not exist. If you felt the trail was difficult enough to air down your tires you simply used the tip of a screwdriver to push in the little stem and let the air come out. If you have ever tried to do it this way you know that it takes almost forever to do.

In an effort to speed things up guys started bringing valve stem pullers. This seems like the fast way to do it. The air comes out fast, but you have to screw the stem back in every time you want to check pressure and it is very easy to let them go too far. Today there are all kinds of tire deflators on the market ranging in price from $10 to 5 Billion (or whatever the government pays to have an onboard deflation system on a Hummer). What is right for you depends on how much you want to spend and how much work you want to put into it.

Things that make you go “Hmmm”

Last year, someone stole my $10 tire deflators out of my Jeep. Two weeks later we found ourselves at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, NV watching a demonstration of Staun Tyre Deflators. Our first response was “Hmmm, those are kinda cool.” The word “Tyre” also caught our eyes, as we listened to Steve Furlonger, the Australian who designed them, tell us all about them.

The whole idea of the Staun Tyre Deflators is that you can preset the air pressure you want to run and then lock them so that you can rapidly air down to that pressure every time you use them without having to fiddle with a pressure gauge.

How do they work?

Each brass tire deflator comes preset at 18psi and can be adjusted from 6-30psi. There is an adjustment cap and a lock ring to hold the cap in place. Each ½ turn of the adjustment cap decreases that setting by 3psi. Once you have set the pressure that you would like to deflate to, you can tighten the lock ring to keep them at that pressure for future use. You can also set the deflators by using a tire that is already aired down to a desired pressure. Simply screw the deflator onto that tire and turn the adjustment cap in until air just barely escapes. You are now at the desired pressure and can tighten the lock ring to keep them set there. You will have to do this for all 4 deflators. Since each ½ turn of the adjustment cap is 3psi of air you can use this to adjust to different pressures for different trails. I set mine at 12psi and left them there. Staun can also manufacture the deflators with custom valve settings.

Screw them on and forget about them!

Made in Australia and distributed in the US, the deflators come in a set of four for around $60 and include a handy storage pouch. You just screw one onto each valve stem and forget about them. In about a minute all your tires will be aired down to the right pressure and the tire deflators will shut off. Other deflators on the market will not stop and will continue to air down until the tire goes flat. With the Stauns you don’t have to run around your truck stopping your deflators and checking your pressures until you’re at your desired pressure.

It is pretty nice not to have to squat next to each tire and check it every few seconds to see what the pressure is. With all this extra free time you can disconnect your sway bar or help your friends air down their tires. Just don’t forget to take the tire deflators back off when they are done airing down your tires to avoid damaging them. Because they are so easy to use, I have done this more than once. If you’re looking for a no-brainer way to air down your tires – or tyres, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the Staun Tyre Deflators. Quick and easy to use, they’ll have you aired down in no time.

Every now and again you come across a product that is truly revolutionary and worth its weight in gold, saving time and inconvenience when out in the field. The staun tyre deflator kit is one of those rarities, a great accessory that belongs in every four wheeler’s glovebox, easily used for accurate deflation purposes, perfect as a gift.

David Wilson4WD driver trainer, author & presenter of Foxtel’s "Beyond the Bitumen" television series