You’ll always benefit from having a tire repair kit in your vehicle, especially if you travel a lot and on rough terrain. With a tire plugging kit, you’ll be able to fix your tire and get back on the road in a matter of minutes without having to use your spare.
Here are the best tire repair kit options on the market today:
Quick Product Roundup
What Is a Tire Repair Kit?
Tire repair kits help you fix your tire fast when you’re on the road. Tire plug kits can consist of just a couple of basic tools and plugs, or they can include a variety to repair your wheel, from pliers to tire valves.
The most common option for tire repair kits is rubber string plugs you insert into the wheel. They block the puncture hole, bond with the tire material and seal it, keeping the air inside.
Another alternative is reusable metal plugs, but you’ll need some vulcanizing glue or rubber cement to seal them inside the tire. Rubber plugs attach to the tire on their own, but you can help the isolation with some rubber cement.
What Do Tire Repair Kits Include?
The contents of the tire repair kits you’ll find online and in stores will vary, and so will the price. Basic tire repair kits will include a spiral probe tool you can use to shape and widen the puncture, a selection of plugs and a needle to insert them. They usually also include some greasy lubricant to insert the needle.
Other tire repair kits bring some basic valve tools and caps for the wheel. Some include an air compressor to pump your tire or a pair of pliers to remove the foreign object causing the puncture. You can buy these tools separately to keep a full selection in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
Note that while some tire repair kits are marketed as having 30, 60 or even 75 pieces, a high number of pieces sometimes just means the kit includes more rubber plugs.
Do some research on what all the tire repair kits offer to make sure you have all the tools necessary for your vehicle at all times.
What Is the Best Tire Repair Kit?
In our opinion, the Safety Seal KAP30 plug kit for tires is the best option for your vehicle. The quality of the plugs is what can make or break your tire patching, but the ones Safety Seal makes are top of the line.
Are Tire Repair Kits Safe?
Tire repair kits are usually safe to get you out of a tough situation on the side of the road and are especially handy with small repairs.
To repair a tire safely with your plug tire kit, make sure you pay attention to these conditions before use:
- Small damage: The puncture needs to be no more than a ¼ inch in diameter.
- On the tread of the wheel: You should never try to repair a tire if the puncture is on the sidewall of the wheel. This will make it more likely to blowout.
- Don’t overlap repairs: Never try to fix a previous repair by adding another plug to the wheel.
- Far apart: If you have more than two punctures or they’re less than 16 inches from each other on the wheel, the repair won’t be safe.
- Plug and patch: The safe and permanent way to repair a tire is complete and done from the inside: plug for the tire, patch for the lining. You shouldn’t leave the emergency fix of a plug permanently on the tire.
Remember that you can patch up your tire and get back on your way, and even drive on them for weeks or months. Still, tire repair kits don’t replace new tires. When you have more than one plug in your tire, it will become less safe, and you’ll eventually need to replace it to avoid it from exploding.
How Long Does a Tire Repair Kit Last?
A tire repair kit can last you anything from a couple of months to a lifetime. Rubber plugs can get dry in a couple of years, while the tools, as well as metal plugs, can be pretty much eternal. Check out the state of your rubber plugs every now and then to make sure they’re still usable, and do a refill if needed.
A Review of the Best Tire Repair Kits
This set from Safety Seal is a top-quality tire repair with only the essential pieces. It includes a metal insertion tool, an extra needle, a t-handle spiral probe and 30 string repair plugs.
The package comes in a handy, hard plastic case that’s well organized and nearly complete, but you’ll need a compressor to inflate the tire. It also includes lube for insertion and a couple of razor blades, so you can shave off any excess material left on the plug.
It’s not the cheapest set, but Safety Seal plugs are high quality, and you can rely on them to last on your tires for a long time. How well you can trust the plugs to stay on is what ultimately makes for a good and safe repair. If you run out, Safety Seal sends them separately, so you can always order more plugs when needed.
The only negative part of the manufacturing are the tools that can feel a little flimsy, especially in the handles and when you have to exert a lot of pressure.
- Quality, long-lasting product.
- Thorough instruction manual.
- Made in the USA.
- Possibility to refill.
- High price point.
- The handles on the tools feel flimsy.
The Tooluxe tire repair kit is another bestseller and user favorite for repairing tires. It’s low-priced, and while the plugs may not last for years, they’re enough to get you quickly back on the road.
This tire repair kit includes 30 plug strips, some sealing lubricant, a spiral probe tool, an insertion tool for the plugs and a couple of Allen wrenches. It comes in a storage box that’s organized, but perhaps slightly bigger than needed.
The tools are a bit more flimsy than on some higher-priced products, and the plugs are not the highest quality on the market. Overall, it’s good value for the price and will get you out of an emergency.
- Comes with the basic tools needed for tire repair.
- Low-budget option.
- Heavy-duty plugs for large punctures.
- The plugs are safest to use over short distances, not for weeks or months.
- Hard to get a good grip on the tools.
US company Boulder Tools makes these tire repair kits that come complete with tough needle nose pliers to extract the object lodged in your tire.
It also includes some Allen wrenches, a utility knife to trim off the excess from the plug, valve caps, cores and extenders and a valve tool for the wheel.
The kit is complete, but a pair of angle pliers would give you a better grip when removing a needle. Still, overall all the tools and string plugs are of sturdy quality. The t-handle repair tools, insertion needle and spiral reaming tool are so tough the brand gives them a lifetime warranty.
- Complete set with pliers and valve tools for the wheel.
- Lifetime warranty on the tools.
- Easy to use, strong plugs that last.
- Good grip on the tools for using a lot of force.
- Angle pliers could be more helpful than the needle-nose option included.
This 62-piece set from Autown includes all the basic tools needed from tire repair kits, along with some useful extras. It comes complete with 30 tire repair strings, so you won’t run out anytime soon. The kit also has a tough t-shaped spiral probe tool, some lube and an insertion needle for the strips.
On top of these, the hard plastic case includes a valve core remover, valve caps, cores and extenders for replacing leaking, worn-out valves on your wheel. To top off the selection, the kit includes two Allen wrenches, two pairs of pliers and a utility knife.
This tire repair kit is on our list because it’s hard to beat this selection of tools, especially for the relatively low price. The plugs work well enough for an emergency situation, and the tools are tough and sturdy.
- Great value for the price.
- Wide selection of tools and plugs for tires.
- Tough and sturdy t-shape tools.
- The instructions are very poor.
This repair kit is made to last heavy-duty use, so it’s ideal for professional drivers who log in a lot of miles. It comes with a tire pressure gauge, an inflator and an LED light, so you’re able to quickly fix a flat even in the dark. The kit also includes valve caps and cores, and a valve cap tool for your wheel.
Instead of plugs or repair strips, Slime uses a tire sealant that’s also sold separately, so if you end up running out, you can easily replace it. The sealant can fix a puncture of up to ¼ inches of diameter that will last up to two years, so you can count on it to get you safely to your destination.
What isn’t included is a thorough set of instructions, so make sure you go through how to patch a tire before you’re on the road.
- Built-in pressure gauge for your tires.
- LED light is incorporated into the pump to help you work.
- Long-lasting, reliable fix.
- Tire inflator and LED included.
- The compressor is not as high-quality as the rest of the kit.
- Poor instruction manual.
The Best Fit for Your Tire
The best tire repair kit, in our opinion, is the Safety Seal KAP30 Tire Repair Kit. It has the right amount of tools without having too much, and it’s relatively affordable. On top of that, Safety Seal has the best rubber plugs on the market, and you’ll get a durable fix with one of these tire repair kits.
Remember that this is still not a permanent measure, and you should get that tire properly patched or replaced when you can. Also, remember the other tools you’ll need, from a compressor to pliers, to be prepared for an emergency situation.