If you’re one of the lucky few who haven’t had a flat tire yet, you may not think you need one of the best tire repair kits. But it can happen at any time, whether you’re going to the mall or travelling across the country: You drive over a nail or screw that has fallen into the road, and it becomes embedded in your vehicle’s tire and causes it to go flat. Obviously, that is the kind of scenario for which your vehicle was probably equipped with a spare tire. However, most modern vehicles come with compact donut spare tires that can only be driven for a short distance, and to a maximum speed of 50 MPH.
Other newer cars leave out a spare tire altogether in an effort to reduce weight and increase fuel economy. In this case, your vehicle may either have run-flat tires; or more likely come with a tire inflator and a can of aerosol tire sealant, a product whose effectiveness can be limited. Either way, you won’t want to drive far or fast until you have an actual repair.
You may actually do better by performing a do-it-yourself roadside repair on your punctured tire. While that sounds like a daunting task, it is surprisingly simple and, unlike replacing a damaged tire with a spare, you can make such a repair without even taking the wheel off the car. All you need is a few minutes of time, one of the best tire repair kits, and a good inflator to get your tire pumped back up.
If you would like the added peace of mind of being able to make your own tire repairs wherever you are, keep reading, as we’ve compiled a list of the best tire repair kits you can buy.
For more information on the best tire repair kits, and how to use them, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1: Editor's Pick: Rhino USA 86 Piece Tire Repair Kit
- Promoted Product: JACO TRX-50 Heavy Duty Tire Repair Kit
- 2. Most Innovative Kit: Stop & Go 1075 Tire Plugger
- 3. Best Basic Kit: Tooluxe 35-Piece Set
- 4. Best Compact Kit: BETOOLL 22-Piece Tire Repair Kit
- 5. AUTOWN 62-Piece Tire Repair Kit
- 6. BlackJack T-Bone Tire Repair Kit
- 7. Boulder Tools 56-Piece Tire Repair Kit
- What other items should you travel with in the event of a flat tire?
- Do you have to repair a tire when you find a nail or screw in it?
- What should you do after you fix a punctured tire?
- Can you repair any flat tire with one of these kits?
1: Editor's Pick: Rhino USA 86 Piece Tire Repair Kit
We've had great luck with Rhino in the past, and really like the features of their tire repair kit. Photo credit: Rhino USA.
Rhina USA’s tire repair kit costs a little bit more than basic kits, and comes with a lot of features that we really like. Standouts include metal tools with replaceable ends with Allen wrenches for changing tips; a depth stop on the insertion tool; valve stems and caps; dual-foot pressure gauge; needlenose pliers; and a quality fitted case.
The kit comes with 12 repair strips and a utility knife, to trim off ends. The distinctive bright Rhino green case makes it easy to find, which we appreciate in a sea of identical red and black cases. It’s even Clark Advanced Testing Facility Certified, one of the only automotive accessories of any kind we’ve run across with any provable testing.
There are a handful of tire repair kits with slightly higher consumer ratings (like the #3 Toolluxe), but Rhino offers a lifetime warranty with a 100% refund; and we’ve had good experiences with their US-based customer service in the past.
Promoted Product: JACO TRX-50 Heavy Duty Tire Repair Kit
JACO is well known in the off-road world for making outstanding tire pressure gauges and other useful products, but they also offer a well-equipped tire repair kit that would be a great choice for just about anybody.
As the name implies, the TRX-50 is loaded with 50 pieces to give you everything you need to quickly plug a tire on your car, truck, SUV, trailer, or ATV. And JACO has outfitted this kit with top quality repair cords that are designed to harden from the heat created by the friction of your tires as you drive down the highway or on the trail.
But more than that, this kit also has the parts necessary to allow you to repair your tire valve. While this isn’t a difficult job, JACO has included instructions on how to repair those valve stems and properly plug a tire – just in case you’ve never had to do it before.
The JACO TRX-50 comes with 20 tire repair cords, T-handle spiral probe tool, T-handle insert tool, two replacement insert tool needles, two Allen keys, a pair of needle nose pliers, lubricant jar, four-way valve tool, eight valve extenders, eight Schrader valve cores, four plastic dust caps, four metal dust caps, and a durable storage case to keep everything together.
2. Most Innovative Kit: Stop & Go 1075 Tire Plugger
Stop & Go makes our list of the best tire repair products with its Tire Plugger, a device that you might think is too good to be true, just like we did at first. While every other tire repair set we’ve listed here makes do with old-school (if well-proven) tools and materials, Stop & Go’s Tire Plugger does a lot of the work for you thanks to its innovative gun-style plug inserter.
That tool works with mushroom-shaped plugs that go head-first through the hole in the tire. Once it’s inside your tire, the top of the plug expands to cover the hole, where the inflated tire’s air pressure helps keep in place.
The Tire Plugger kit is one of the favorite kits for members of the Tesla Motors Club. “[It] may be easier and faster, which is a safety advantage when you’re stopped on a shoulder,” said user KenC. Avid agrees: “They work great on standard tires,” they said. And according to CaseyL, “It works, but you need to follow the instructions and it helps to be familiar with how to use it before you need it.”
This surprisingly simple repair set includes the gun tool, 25 mushroom plugs, reaming and rasping tools, and a utility knife to trim off excess plug material. All of those items are stored in the included zippered pouch, which is sized to fit in your glove box or trunk. The only item we’d like to see included is a set of pliers for removing the foreign object that caused the flat in the first place.
3. Best Basic Kit: Tooluxe 35-Piece Set
If the basic kit is too basic, there's a 57-piece Tooluxe tire repair kit for $10 more. Photo credit: Amazon.com.
If think a big tire repair set like the Rhino that we named our Editor’s Pick might be more than you need, then consider a simpler one like this Tooluxe kit. Designed to allow you to easily repair any tubeless tire, Tooluxe’s 35-piece set is simple to the point of austerity but still contains the basic items you need to make the fix.
Tooluxe’s bright orange hard case contains rasp and needle tools, sealing lubricant, hex key, and 30 pieces of plug string. About the only item not included that you will need is a utility knife for trimming the rubber string you’ve used to plug the hole.
The rasp and needle have simple sandblasted steel handles that Tooluxe says will give you good leverage for reaming out the puncture and inserting a plug. Tooluxe’s case is slim for easy storage in your vehicle’s cargo area, although some buyers feel it could have been made even more compact given the small number of tools you get.
4. Best Compact Kit: BETOOLL 22-Piece Tire Repair Kit
BETOOLL's kit is the most complete compact kit we've found. Photo credit: Amazon.com.
Speaking of compact puncture repair kits, here’s one that fits that bill perfectly. Despite being the physically smallest set in our list, BETOOLL’s kit boasts a more comprehensive set of tools than some of the other basic products we found.
BETOOLL provides you with corrosion-resistant steel-handled rasp and needle tools for preparing the puncture and inserting a plug, along with a jar of lubricant, a hex key, two valve stems, a valve stem tool, and 15 pieces of self-vulcanizing repair plug material. This tire plug kit is meant to let you repair any tubeless tire for on- or off-road vehicles, trailers, or ATVs.
All 22 pieces are organized in a soft, zippered case with just enough space to tuck everything in its place. This kit is small enough to be kept in your glove box; its compact size also makes it well-suited to being carried in a sports car where your cargo capacity may be limited. BETOOLL has three other kits to step up to, with more components, all priced under $20 at time of writing.
BETOOLL backs up its tire repair kit with a full refund in the event of any manufacturing defect.
5. AUTOWN 62-Piece Tire Repair Kit
This is a standard commodity rebranded tire repair kit, but one that our forum users like. Photo credit: Amazon.com.
AUTOWN brings you this 62-piece puncture plug kit, which comes nicely organized in a red, hard plastic case. This is yet another well-equipped kit whose parts count focuses on the items you are mostly likely to need to address virtually any flat tire situation.
There are steel T-handled tools to let you ream out the puncture and then insert the included self-vulcanizing plug material. AUTOWN also includes a replacement needle for the plug insertion tool. There are also two sets of pliers to help you remove both large and small nails and screws from the tire. This is a popular kit with members of the Tesla Motors Club. User SalisburySam says this plug kit, “includes lots of “nice-to-haves” like needle nose pliers, gloves, and so on for what is a dirty sticky job.” User Mompe says, “This is what we carry on our trunk.”
If the cause of your flat tire is a faulty valve stem, there are four of them in this repair set, along with valve extenders and caps and a valve core removal tool. Finally, AUTOWN throws in a utility knife to trim away excess plug material and a tire pressure gauge so you can properly reinflate the tire.
Among this product’s most impressive features is how neatly everything fits inside the box. There is little wasted space, so you can carry this kit in your vehicle without sacrificing much trunk capacity.
6. BlackJack T-Bone Tire Repair Kit
The BlackJack T-Bone kit offers a unique handle design and promises a permanent repair. Photo credit: Amazon.com.
Blackjack advertises its tire repair kit as one you can use to make a permanent repair to your passenger vehicle’s flat tire. While we still recommend these tire repair kits as a stopgap measure, Blackjack’s promise does speak to its product’s quality.
Blackjack’s rasp and needle tools have the largest handles of any of the other kits we found for this article, and they look like they would be easier and more comfortable for you to use than most. They also look durable enough to stand up to repeated use. For the tire plugs themselves, Blackjack uses high-tensile fibers instead of cotton or polyester, promising you a longer-lasting repair. Blackjack says this material is better at molding itself to the shape of the puncture to provide a better seal.
In this kit, you get 40 pieces of repair material in two sizes: the smaller size is for punctures up to 3/16 inch in diameter, while you can use the larger type in holes as large as 1/4 inch. It also comes in an HD kit (model KT-335) for truck and all larger tires.
Blackjack’s kit also includes a spare needle tool attachment, a screwdriver with a reversible shaft, a valve core remover, lubricant, and a razor blade.
7. Boulder Tools 56-Piece Tire Repair Kit
The Boulder Tools tire repair kit has good instructions and great reviews, but is otherwise very similar to many other kits. Photo credit: Amazon.com.
Here’s a 56-piece puncture repair set from Boulder Tools that comes with one item we saw in few of the other kits in this list: instructions for how to repair a punctured tire. While these kits are designed to let anyone fix a flat, that how-to will be valuable if you find yourself doing so for the first time. Tesla Motors Club member Mark57 says, “[This] has served me well on large SUV tires and small car tires for many years.”
Otherwise, you’ll find all of the expected items in this kit. There are steel T-handled reamer and needle tools, a replacement needle; a set of pliers; 30 pieces of tire plug material; lubricant; a small plastic box that contains spare valve stems, valve cores and caps; a utility knife; and a tire pressure gauge. Everything is packed into a robust-looking orange case.
Boulder Tools says this set is designed to let you fix any tubeless tire, whether it’s installed on your road car, an off-road ATV, a trailer, farm equipment, a riding lawnmower, or a snowblower. The only thing that would make this kit better is a set of gloves to protect your hands while making roadside repairs.
The manufacturer backs this product with a lifetime warranty.
What other items should you travel with in the event of a flat tire?
Photo credit: Nor Gal / Shutterstock.com
If you buy a tire puncture repair kit that does not include pliers and/or gloves, we recommend making sure you carry both these items with you.
For flat tires caused by a screw or nail that’s stuck in the tire, pliers will be very useful for pulling that foreign object out before you plug the resulting hole. Meanwhile, gloves will help protect your hands from mess and injury as you make your roadside repair.
The other thing you will need is a tire inflation pump to fill the tire with air after you fix the hole. We would recommend an electric pump that you can plug into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. These make it quick and easy to inflate the tire and get back on the road.
Do you have to repair a tire when you find a nail or screw in it?
Not necessarily. While you should get the tire fixed as soon as possible, you can drive carefully on a punctured tire as long as it is not leaking air too quickly. We would recommend reducing your speed, however, as even the weight of a small nail or screw can throw the tire off balance and cause noise and vibration at higher driving speeds.
What should you do after you fix a punctured tire?
The repairs you make with most of the kits we’ve featured here are meant for emergencies only so that you can continue to a tire shop, where a technician will take the tire off the wheel to inspect it. They may install a new plug and patch the tire from the inside for a longer-lasting fix.
Can you repair any flat tire with one of these kits?
You can fix virtually any punctured tire with the repair kits we’ve featured here. However, whether you can fix it depends on the location of the puncture. If the hole is in the outer block of tread, or is more than 1/4 inch in diameter, then any repair should only be considered temporary so that you can reach a repair facility. In that case, you would be better off using your vehicle’s spare tire, if it is fitted with one.
Also, never use a tire repair kit to fix a punctured sidewall. A tire’s sidewall is constructed differently than the tread, and that means that your plug may not properly seal the hole. And even if it will hold air, a sidewall puncture affects the tire’s structural integrity and could lead to a blowout and a serious crash.
December 5, 2022: Updated introduction and product links. Removed Orcish and Makeheigh brands from recommendations.
October 28, 2022: Added user reviews.
September 15, 2022: Added a new promoted product recommendation.
September 14, 2022: Removed unavailable TEPPCO brand, added Rhino USA kit as Editor’s Pick.
August 3, 2022: Removed GSSUSA 78-piece tire repair kit; no longer available.
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Main photo credit: Nor Gal / Shutterstock.com