Best Basketball Pumps in 2020: Complete Buyer’s Guide

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Whether you’re practicing alone, playing a game of one-on-one, or practicing with your team, if the ball you’re using isn’t fully inflated, it can have a huge impact on your performance. With the best basketball pumps, you can keep your ball inflated and ready for the hardwood, at any time. These pumps are available in a variety of designs, ranging from hand pumps to battery-powered models. These pumps are often very convenient and easy to use and feature a portable design that allows you to stash it away in your pack or gym bag, so you’ll always be able to inflate your ball, wherever you are.

But finding a pump that’s packing the power you need, one that’s portable and easy to use can be a challenge. If you’re looking for a more user-friendly pump for your ball, then you came to the right place. I’ve tested out many of the best-selling models and have narrowed it down to the six models any b-baller will love. I’ve also put together a buyer’s guide, which goes in-depth concerning the features you should look for, why you always need to keep your own pump on hand, and how to determine if a pump is packing the power you need. Below, you’ll notice a comparison chart. This chart includes each of the six models that made it onto my list, their best features, and how they rated.

Basketball Pumps Comparison Chart

ProductTypeNeedles
Included
PortableRating
Cadrim Electric Ball Pump
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Battery-PoweredNoneYes
eBall Ball Pump
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Manual3Yes
Keenstone Electric Basketball Pump
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Electric1No
Franklin Sports Ball Kit
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Manual3Yes
Pifito Ball Pump
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Manual4Yes
REVIVL Ball Pump
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Manual5Yes

Cadrim Electric Ball Pump


Our Rating: (5/5)

This model by Cadrim is battery-powered and comes equipped with an intelligent detection feature, so you can ensure your ball is perfectly inflated each time. This feature allows you to accurately inflate the ball to the precise PSI, so no guesswork is involved. This model also comes with both a preset and manual mode. When the pump is placed in the preset mode, you can choose from a variety of ball types, then press the inflation button to begin the process. The pump will automatically shut down when it gets to the preset PSI level. When it’s placed in the manual mode, you’ll hit the inflation button to begin the process and release the button to shut down the pump. This model is also equipped with a large LCD screen which will display the PSI level in real-time. If you’re looking for a model that offers a faster than average inflation time, then this pump is it. The pump offers an inflation speed of four and a half liters in one to two minutes. Basically, the pump can inflate a ball much faster than you could with a manual pump and makes the entire process speedy and efficient.

Pros

  • Includes ball preset mode
  • Large LCD display
  • Automatic shut down
  • Easy to use
  • Portable

Cons

  • Requires a two hour charge time

Conclusion

This model can be used to inflate all types of balls, in fact, you can choose the exact type of ball from the pump’s inflation preset menu, so you can ensure your ball is inflated perfectly and quickly. This model uses a 2000 mAh lithium battery that is charged via a USB cable. The pump features a long battery life and can easily handle inflating several balls per charge. While the pump requires a two-hour charge time, it can inflate up to thirty balls per charge, which is pretty impressive.

eBall Ball Pump with Pressure Gauge


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is a manual pump that comes with a customized air release valve for more precise pressure control. The pump allows you to easily release the air pressure in order to minimize the chances of over-inflation. The pump is compatible with all types of balls and features a solid metal body construction. It comes complete with three standard air inflation needles. The compact, lightweight design makes this model highly portable, so you can stash it in your gym bag or backpack and take it with you wherever you go.

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Versatile
  • Accurate PSI gauge
  • All-metal construction

Cons

  • Can be difficult to inflate balls at a higher PSI

Conclusion

This versatile, highly portable lightweight manual pump comes equipped with an accurate PSI gauge, an all-metal construction, and three standard needles, so you can get started using this pump, right out of the box. The user-friendly design makes it perfect for both youth and adult use, which is a huge plus for parents. This model is a great buy if you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind using a little elbow grease to pump up a ball to the correct PSI.

Keenstone Electric Basketball Pump


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This automatic electric pump is designed using intelligent pressure detection, which ceases the inflation process as soon as the ball reaches the dialed in PSI level. The built-in digital pressure gauge provides accurate pressure readings in real-time, for any type of inflatable ball. Featuring automatic pressure alignment, use one button to inflate your ball up to the standard pressure level. This user-friendly model offers a faster than average inflation process at four liters per minute. If you have multiple balls to inflate, you will need to give this pump a five-minute break between inflations since it can easily overheat.

Pros

  • User-friendly
  • Intelligent pressure detection
  • Low price
  • Digital pressure gauge

Cons

  • Can overheat if you do not give the pump a break every few minutes

Conclusion

This multifunctional pump can be used for air mattresses, pool toys, and any type of ball. It’s very user friendly, and allows you to dial in the desired PSI level, hit the power button, and the pump will fly into action, quickly inflating your ball to the right PSI level, then shutting down automatically, to avoid over-inflating your ball. This model is a great buy for the b-baller on a budget or anyone in need of a reliable and powerful pump for home use.

Franklin Sports Ball Pump


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is a complete kit that’s available at a price that’s affordable. It comes with a seven and a half inch pump, complete with a flexible hose, inflation gauge, and needles. Also included is a carrying case that will allow you to keep all of your gear organized. The air pressure gauge measures the inflation level and features a heavy-duty design. The included three needles will work for all types of balls and other inflatables. This pump is a great choice for basketballs but should not be used for bicycle tires. The handy carrying case allows you to take this pump set with you wherever you go, for any type of inflation emergency.

Pros

  • Carrying case
  • Includes three needles
  • Portable
  • Large gauge is easy to read

Cons

  • Gauge is not very accurate

Conclusion

This model is a great buy for the b-baller player on a budget, however, the gauge does not have a reputation for accuracy, which can be a deal-breaker for some potential buyers. This kit is highly portable and can be left in your vehicle or pack for those emergency inflation situations when you’re out and about. Inflating a ball up to the correct PSI can be difficult, the closer you are to the desired PSI level, however, this is par for the course with all hand pumps.

Pifito Ball Pump


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is a dual-action pump that’s designed for all types of balls. It comes with a convenient carry pouch that you can use to store the pump when it’s not in use. Inside the pouch, you’ll find a small pocket, which you can use to store the included four needles. The pump is made out of mostly plastic, which does decrease it’s overall durability, but does include some components that are made out of metal. The pump also offers excellent needle protection. The needle is protected by a thick rubber sleeve, complete with a cap that screws over it and is designed to absorb the needle’s movements, which reduces the risk of damaging and bending the needle during the inflation process. Additionally, the manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee, which you can take advantage of if you’re not satisfied with the pump’s performance.

Pros

  • Portable
  • User-friendly
  • Carrying pouch included
  • Comes with four needles

Cons

  • Mostly plastic design

Conclusion

This is a pretty standard manual pump that doesn’t come with any bells and whistles, although it does include a carrying pouch and four needles. This model will work for any type of ball and some inflatable toys. In terms of accuracy, the built-in gauge scored well, but like many manual pumps, inflating a ball will become more difficult the closer you get to the desired PSI level. Overall, this is a great buy if you’re simply looking for a highly portable model that you can keep in your gym bag or backpack for those inflation emergencies.

REVIVL Ball Pump


Our Rating: (4/5)

If you’re looking for a basketball pump that’s highly portable, then you’ll be impressed with this model’s ultra-lightweight compact design. This model weighs in at just three ounces and is six inches long. It also has a reputation for inflating a ball twice as fast as your average manual hand pump, thanks to the double action functionality that allows air to be pumped in during both the pulling and pushing action. The pump’s flexible hose also minimizes damage and strain on the ball valve, which is a common issue with competing manual pumps. On top of the pump, you’ll find a hose holding attachment, so you won’t have to worry about missing the needle. This model comes with five standard-sized needles and a money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Portable
  • User-friendly
  • Dual pump action
  • Low price

Cons

  • Mostly plastic design
  • Built-in gauge is not very accurate

Conclusion

The lightweight, compact design is one of this pump’s biggest selling points, since it can fit in a purse, gym bag, or smaller backpack, allowing the user to take it wherever they go. The pump’s built-in air pressure gauge did not score well in terms of accuracy, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the pressure level reading and the general firmness of the ball itself. In most cases, a person can determine whether or not the ball needs to be inflated more simply by pushing on the ball and testing its firmness. However, for beginners, the lack of gauge accuracy may be a big deal-breaker.

Basketball Pump Buyer’s Guide

A good pump will inflate your ball up to the correct PSI level. A ball that’s not correctly inflated will not have a good bounce, which can make it impossible to practice crossover moves, ball control, and even dribbling drills.

There are a few main types of pumps to choose from:

  • Battery-powered
  • Electric
  • Hand pumps

Generally speaking, these pumps are pretty affordable, regardless of the type you choose. However, quality is often reflected in the price. Additionally, battery and electric-powered models are not quite as affordable as a manual pump, but they’re much easier to use.

Manual

As I mentioned earlier, manual hand pumps are the most affordable option, but they’re not exactly the easiest to use. These pumps will require you to physically pump up the ball. If you buy a low-quality manual model then you’ll find that it can take a lot of energy to inflate your ball up correctly.

Electric

Electric pumps are much easier to use and are often reserved for larger items, such as tires, however, these models also work well for balls. The drawback is that they’re not as portable as manual models and it can be easy to overinflate your ball if you’re not careful and don’t pay close attention to the PSI level. These pumps can be a great addition to your home since they can be used to inflate air mattresses, pool toys, and more. They will also come with a larger air pressure gauge, one that can read higher and lower PSI levels. Manual and battery-powered models typically have an air pressure gauge that’s only designed to read lower PSI levels for balls and small inflatable toys. While these electric models are very versatile and can be used for so much more than balls, they will also come with a higher price tag and are not portable.

Battery

Battery-powered models offer the best of both worlds. They’re highly portable, especially compared to heavier, corded electric pumps, and easier to use than a manual pump. These pumps operate on a battery that must be adequately charged before use. Aside from a higher price tag, the drawback of this type of pump is you may end up with a pump that doesn’t work when you need it if you forgot to charge it the night before. This type of pump is relatively new, so you won’t find as many models like you will with manual pumps. However, because they allow you to quickly inflate a ball in a matter of seconds, they’re quickly gaining popularity in the b-ball community, so more manufacturers are sure to release their own battery-powered hand pump in the near future.

Quality

Man inflating basketball

You may not think there’s a big difference between each type of model, but there is, especially when it comes to manual pumps. A good quality manual pump will allow you to inflate your ball easily. A low-quality model will make fully inflating a ball difficult as the resistance level increases the closer the ball is to full inflation. You’ll often find low-quality models that are poorly designed, so the needle will frequently come apart from the main section of the ball, during use. In some cases, the needle may even fall inside the ball, in which case, you’ll never get it out.

With an electric or battery-powered model, it’s important that it comes with an air pressure gauge that’s accurate and a few power levels to choose from, which will help to prevent you from overinflating the ball.

Air Pressure Gauge

Each type of pump will come with a built-in air pressure gauge. A good basketball will need to be inflated up to seven to nine PSI. PSI stands for pounds per inch and it’s important that you follow the ball manufacturer’s recommended PSI level. If you don’t, you can easily overinflate the ball, causing it to pop. Most balls will have the required PSI level written directly on them, which is very helpful for beginners. If you’re inflating the ball for a child, it can be better to inflate the ball a little less than what the manufacturer recommends, since this will make the ball less bouncy and easier for a child to control. For adults, the ball will need to be fully inflated, usually around eight to nine PSI, which is the correct PSI for balls used by the pros.

A higher-quality ball will come equipped with a built-in pressure gauge that’s highly accurate, so you can keep a close eye on the air pressure level as you inflate your ball. If the pump you end up with doesn’t have an accurate gauge, then you can overinflate or underinflate your ball. If you’re not sure whether or not the gauge is accurate, you can also purchase a separate pressure control gauge and compare the readings to the readings on the pump’s built-in gauge.

Portability

Many b-ballers are looking for a model that’s compact and highly portable, which would allow them to stash the pump in their backpack and whip it out when needed. Portable models are usually available in the manual pump style, although there are many models of lightweight portable battery-powered pumps available. Electric pumps are not exactly portable since you’ll need to have access to an outlet in order to use them, however, they’re often more versatile and can be used to inflate pool toys, pools, and other types of products, so they can be a must-have in some homes.

Inflating a Ball

Before you get started using your new pump, pay attention to the manufacturer’s inflation recommendations for your ball. Regardless of the type of pump you’re using, how the needle is positioned will be important. The needle must be positioned correctly, otherwise, air can leak out. Once the needle is in place, if you’re using a hand pump, you can begin the inflation process. If you’re using an electric or battery-powered model, hit the power switch to cause the pump to begin the inflation process.

How to Tell if Your Ball is Losing Air

Even if a ball isn’t damaged, over time, it will lose some air. However, if you have a good basketball, it will lose air at a much slower pace. The basketball’s core is made out of rubber. The air is made out of nitrogen and oxygen. The ball’s rubber membrane is permeable, which means, over time, your ball will lose air. If you’re not sure whether or not your ball is losing too much air, consider how often you have to inflate it. If your ball is losing air at the right pace then you should only need to inflate it once or twice a month. If the ball is losing too much air, you may find that you need to pump it up each time you use it.

Final Thoughts

The best basketball pumps will allow you to quickly and easily inflate your ball up to the correct PSI level. Some pumps are easier to use than others. This can depend on the type of pump you choose, but it can also be a matter of quality as well. The pumps that I’ve included on my must-have list have what it takes to inflate your ball quickly and efficiently, so you should have no trouble finding the perfect pump that will meet your needs and work with your budget. This guide is designed to help you find a model that comes with all the features you need, whether you’re looking for a model that’s highly portable, one that offers a faster than average inflation time, or a pump that has a reputation for accuracy and durability. Having your own pump will come in handy, especially if you often find yourself playing a pick-up game at your local park, or other places in which you wouldn’t have easy access to a standard pump.