There's one certainty you can count on when a burst tire stops you in your tracks—it’s sure to happen at the most inconvenient moment. Whether you're on your way to a vital meeting or heading home for dinner with the family, how can you get yourself back on the road with minimum fanfare?
One cheap but effective solution is to invest in the best tire plug kit.
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We'll be walking you through how these nifty little tools work and what to look out for when you're browsing for a purchase. Once you have all the information that you need to get you started, we'll highlight ten of the strongest tire plug kits at your disposal.
How effective are these plugs, though?
If the puncture in your tire falls within the main tread pattern, then tire plugs are highly beneficial. If the damage is closer to the sidewall, though, you will need to consider a more permanent solution.
What other options are available on the market?
Tire plugs are cheaper and easier to administer than tire patches, but is the tire plug a better solution overall?
One of the drawbacks of plugs is that many people still think about the earlier versions, which were little more than a temporary fix. The updated kits you'll find today offer strength and endurance, so the modern solution is not as temporary as its predecessors. Some of these products will even vulcanize your tires, giving you even greater protection against future incidents.
Patches might be more efficient for repairing a puncture, but they are also much more challenging to apply to the tire. The first stumbling block is the need to remove the tire from the rim. This movement alone deters many people from attempting to use a patch—its physically more taxing than other options.
What's the best solution for those without superhuman strength, then? It mostly depends on you, and the extent of the puncture. There's no answer that works for everyone in all circumstances.
What sort of lifespan can you expect from a plug after you’ve repaired a punctured tire?
There are variables that impact how long the temporary fix from a plugged tire will last. As a rule of thumb, though, a tire patched with a plug could go on for another 25,000 miles. You should continue to perform regular checks, monitoring any bulges or other signs of wear and tear.
You can expect your tire to continue for a while after giving it a quick fix, but you should always take your vehicle to a garage immediately after the puncture. Have the technician check everything is functional and that there are no other ‘slow’ leaks. If the tire does need attention, invest in a proper repair to avoid another nasty mishap at an inconvenient time and location.
If the plug is not skillfully applied, the tire plug might rip open as it deteriorates or when it hits another sharp obstacle.
The plug can also dry out and shrink, causing another leak. The outcome depends to a large extent on the type of puncture and how the repair was carried out. It may also be affected by the climate and season.
If you're planning to invest in one of these repair kits, you should take the time to absorb yourself in the instructions beforehand. Watch a video tutorial if necessary. If you do the job properly and it's not too difficult, you should have a puncture kit capable of giving you thousands of miles or more from the repaired tire.
We've outlined some of the most common issues that people experience when thinking about repairing punctures. Now, we'll explore what you should check for when you're searching for the right tire plug kit to purchase.
While it might seem like one of the simplest possible buying decisions, there are a few key considerations if you want the most suitable kit.
Most kits are marketed on the number of pieces they contain. Rather than angling for the most comprehensive set you can find beyond all costs, ask yourself a couple of simple questions:
If so, your buying needs will be minimal. An insertion tube, a spiral probe, some lube, and a few plugs will give you everything you need to perform a quick fix on any tire. If you're looking for a semi-permanent solution to a burst tire, though, you'll need a few more tools to add to your repertoire.
It's also worth bearing in mind that a wide range of tools will only be as useful as the person who wields them. If you're not comfortable with this kind of project, the best kit in the world won't be of much use.
You'll generally need to dig a little deeper for a kit with more components, but this is not a rule. Buy in line with your needs rather than being sucked in by the cunning marketing hype.
Too many products come with weak instructions. Something like a tire repair kit needs clarity. You're well advised to check in advance that the set comes with worthwhile guidelines.
If you do end up with woefully translated garbage, we have you covered. Here are basic instructions for using a tire plug kit to patch up a puncture.
Remove the foreign object from your tire using a pair of pliers.
You'll need to enlarge the puncture hole first (use the T-handle reaming tool).
Thoroughly lubricate the area of the tire that you'll be patching.
Insert a plug with the T-handle insertion tool.
Push the plug right in until half an inch is hanging outside.
Remove the tool from the plug.
Cut any excess plug away with a sharp knife.
Apply water to the tire and check for any air bubbles.
When you're analyzing tools, you should look at both the handle and the business end.
You'll be applying a great deal of force when you push down on the tools to insert plugs into the tire. It's vital that you have a tool with a handle that is capable of dealing with this force comfortably. You should also pay close attention to user reviews to check if comfort levels are mentioned.
Make sure the handle is both robust and ergonomically designed.
The bottom part of the tool needs to be equally durable. Its job is to penetrate a bulky tire. Look for solid tools constructed from stainless steel or other suitable metals.
Rather than judging a tire kit purely on the bottom line, you should also examine the value of the kit. It's senseless grabbing yourself the cheapest set you can only to find it lets you down the first time you need to use it on the road.
The versatility of the kit you need depends almost entirely on how you are likely to use the tool. Do you frequently go off-roading? If so, you'll need a kit designed for heavy-duty tires, and the same applies if you drive a truck or an RV.
Do you need the kit for repairing tires on lawnmowers, ATVs, and other smaller vehicles in this category? You'll need to buy a set that is suitable for these types of tires.
All the bundles we look at below have included a reference to the type of vehicles they are suitable to repair. Don't sell yourself short here by doing inadequate research and purchasing something too lightweight for your needs. You also don’t need to go out of your way looking for the heaviest grade kit you can find when you're only going to be repairing motorbike punctures.
With the groundwork laid, it's time to push on with our best tire repair kits review for 2019. We've carefully curated the ten most effective kits to suit all tastes and budgets.
Boulder is one of the top tire repair kits on the market, but what makes this Boulder Tools heavy-duty kit stand out?
You'll have all the accessories you need when you have a puncture. It is a compact yet expansive set featuring 56 pieces.
The components are all built to a high standard, so you won't be burdened with cheap, ineffective tools on the road. The needle-nose pliers are solid and remarkably efficient. The T-handle insert tool and probe are designed with comfort and safety in mind.
You'll be able to repair those tubeless tires quickly and easily, and with thirty string plugs bundled, you won't need to worry about constantly restocking your kit.
It also has a hard storage case to keep everything together, and a smaller case ideal for the accessories.
The Boulder Tools kit is suitable for use on a wide range of vehicles, from cars and trucks to motorbikes and ATVs. As its crowning glory, you'll benefit from a dependable 1-year limited warranty. Combined with robust and responsive customer care, this rounds out one of the best tire repair kits available.
Next time your tire lets you down when you least expect it, a Boulder kit in the trunk will make all the difference.
Next up in our search for the best tire repair kits is a complete set from Tooluxe, featuring 35 pieces. The next time you fall victim to a puncture, and you don't have a spare tire in the trunk, whip out this professional-grade kit to save the day.
The durable tools are made from stainless steel and feature classic T-shaped handles. The handle and the plugger will save you from having to replace the tire. The rubber cement included puts a stop to the automotive disaster and puts you back on the road again.
While other tire kits feature more components, it's the simplicity of the Tooluxe that allows you to work speedily to repair a tire puncture. There are thirty rubber plugs bundled in this kit, so with plenty of tire sealant, you're all set for plugging multiple punctures the easy way.
The Tooluxe is not only an excellent product but great value for money, too. The sandblasted steel tools are capable of delivering years of faithful service at a price you'll love. It is one of the best tire repair kits you can find on Amazon in 2019.
Another top-quality tire plug kit, this bumper set from TECCPO contains an impressive 94 pieces, but what comes in the box?
Fifty string plugs ensure you have ample supplies for repairing multiple punctures. The kit also features a tire pressure gauge, a feature that is lacking in most of the competition’s offerings. A utility knife and valve steam tool sit alongside a hex wrench, valve caps and cores, pliers, lubricant, and grips.
It is as close to a complete bundle as you could get and comes in at an exceptional price point.
From cars and motorcycles to lawnmowers, trucks, and jeeps, this repair kit is cut out for vehicles and tires of any shape and size.
Despite the value price tag, you'll get top-notch steel tools and more than enough accessories to cater for all eventualities.
If you've never attempted these types of patches on a hole in your tires, you'll also benefit from detailed instructions that are included in the pack. It's well worth checking out these products on video if you're a visual learner.
All tools and accessories from this kit can be neatly organized into the hard case included.
Safety Seal offers a contender for the best tire repair kit in a corded vertical. What makes it so good, though?
The metal tools give you the power and precision you need to fix a puncture in a hurry. While you won't benefit from a pressure gauge or other extras, the average Safety Seal customer is satisfied with the high-quality basics in a pinch.
Along with the metal insertion tool and probe, you'll receive an extra insertion needle thrown in for good measure.
If you're looking for a complete kit to plug your tires, you might feel disappointed, though. You won't get any add-ons, like a valve cap or tire pressure gauge, but the kit does include everything that counts for tire repair. It is not designated as a heavy-duty tire plug kit, but you'll be able to mend a puncture on most vehicles.
This kit comes in a hard carry case, ensuring durability across the board.
The next time you experience a flat tire at an inopportune moment, a no-nonsense Safety Seal kit in the trunk will have you straight back on the road.
Next up in our quest to find the best tire plug sets of 2019 is ARB's Speedy Seal. It shows that good things come in small packages, too.
If you questioned whether a tire plug was an effective means of repairing a puncture, pop this kit into the trunk and become another happy customer once you press it into action. Marketed as the "perfect recovery kit companion," this product has lived up to the strap-line.
It is one of the best kits you can find in terms of components, too. While it looks like a small and manageable kit, you'll find everything you need, from rubber cement and plugs to all the tire tools you'll ever need.
Everything comes neatly compartmentalized in a vivid orange carrying case.
The build quality is fit for all purposes without driving the price up too much.
When you have a puncture, there’s no need for it to ruin your day. Whip out one of these ARB tire repair kits, and you'll be congratulating yourself for thinking ahead.
Another versatile and dependable universal tire plug kit, this bargain set from WYNNSky might be the best investment you make this winter.
Regardless of the vehicle that you drive, the kit gives you the power to get right back on the road, even if you've never mended a puncture before. Straightforward instructions guide you every step of the way.
The vibrant blue case is easy to spot in a dark trunk, and the substantial bundle of tools and accessories gives you everything you need (and nothing you don't). It is a compact tire repair set that's priced to fly off the shelves.
The tools come with a sandblasted finish for years of faithful service out of this kit. Each plug you receive is remarkably durable, and you'll be able to fill even large holes in huge truck tires without too much trouble.
A handy gauge helps you ensure the tires are properly inflated once you're done.
If you're looking for a bargain, but you're not prepared to compromise on quality, road test this tire plug solution at your earliest convenience.
The Secureguard product is one of the most generously stuffed tire plug kits you can find on the market.
Kicking off with the strings, you'll create a reliable and long-lasting seal that will hold out until you can make a more permanent repair.
Probe and insertion tools come with ergonomic T-shaped handles so that they sit comfortably in your hand. They're also built to last.
From the plier and hex keys to the sealant and even a pair of gloves, you'll have a comprehensive package in place next time you're struck by the nightmare of a puncture at the least convenient time.
The case comes with a large luminous emergency sign, which is useful if you are caught with a puncture on a dark back road.
The kit is designed for almost any vehicle, including trucks, trailers, and RVs.
While the Secureguard is not the cheapest tire repair kit you can find, there's absolutely no doubt it's one of the best.
MATTC has an ideal solution for burst tires with this heavy-grade kit. The sprawling 76-piece set includes everything you could possibly need for tire punctures, and you will be able to give the repair immediate roadside attention.
A pair of gauges ensure your tires are properly inflated and carrying the right tread depth. It is something unique to this kit and a welcome addition.
Despite such a breadth of tools and accessories, it is one of the cheapest tire repair sets you'll find. A steal like this leaves no excuse for being caught unprepared on the road. From cars, jeeps, and trucks to motorbikes, tractors, lawnmowers, and ATVs, you will have the means to fix almost any puncture at any time.
You won't need to outlay much for the privilege, but you'll still be covered by a solid one-year limited warranty. It removes any trepidation from the purchase and rounds out a hard-hitting repair kit worthy of a place in your trunk.
You'll struggle to find a puncture repair kit with more pieces, yet the whole set fits neatly into the case and won't eat up too much real estate in your trunk.
There’s a simple 6-step procedure to follow, and you'll soon be ready to hit the road, even if you've never tried to fix a puncture in the past.
The one-year guarantee removes any risk from purchase.
This kit is competitively priced and rugged enough to last, so you're protected in the event of anything going wrong, too.
Last on our curated list, but not inferior in the slightest, is this bright green beauty from Slime. It is a neat little bundle to call upon in an emergency.
You'll receive nothing beyond the basics, but that's all you need. The mini 9-piece set includes a full-sized pencil gauge, a plugger and reamer with classic T-shaped handles, and half-a-dozen plugs.
Repair strings are extremely robust and get you back on the road or to the garage where you can arrange for a permanent repair.
While you won't get any extras with this little set, what you will get is the means to repair a puncture in a hurry. Why not invest in this Slime kit and avoid any nasty mishaps, even when you don't have a spare tire in the trunk or a fancy repair kit you don’t need.
You should now have a complete overview of the tire repair kits that are available on the market. We’ve covered what they are and how they work, as well as our top ten kits for 2019. You also have a pre-assembled shortlist with the most effective kits laid bare for you.
The only choice left is for you to choose the best product for your needs. Bookmark our site for more comprehensive buying guides and capsule reviews to make your life easier. See you on the road.