I was asked the question on Tuesday by a customer - 'which ball pump should I buy to inflate my ball when it arrives?' My honest answer was it depends on how much she was willing to spend as we have ball pumps ranging in price from £3.29 up to £96.99. So obviously budget is key but, i was then asked by a colleague which pump was the best regardless of budget. So, we conducted a test of each pump to evaluate each pump on 3 criteria.
Time recorded to inflate a ball
Effort used to inflate the ball.
I selected 4 pumps from our range as follows
Precision Training Hand Pump
Mitre Double Action Pump
Mitre Stirrup Pump
Mitre Electric Ball Pump
Each pump was timed on how long it took to inflate a size 4 Mitre Impel football. Each ball had the valve lubricated with glycerine prior to inserting the needle. The Precision Training Hand Pump is priced @ £3.29 so is our cheapest pump. To inflate the ball to 8 psi as recommended on the ball took 53.48 seconds. The effort used was at the upper end and if inflating 5 balls or more, i would go with a heavier duty pump. The Mitre Double Action Pump is priced @ £3.99 is our biggest selling ball pump and is also classed as a budget pump. This inflates the ball with the up and down stroke of the pump so should be twice as quick...or so we thought. In fact it was only marginally quicker @ 47.22 seconds.The effort used was similar to the Precision Training pump so again if inflating 5 or more balls i would choose a bigger, heavier duty pump. Next up was the Mitre Stirrup Pump priced around £9.99 so would be a mid priced pump. The air vessel is larger so should be quicker and so this proved, with the ball fully inflated in an amazing @ 19.35 seconds. The effort used was less than the hand pumps too. If you have a single ball or lots of balls to inflate this would be a great value choice. Finally we had the premium range with the Mitre Electric Ball Pump which we currently offer with a free Mitre glycerine pack, which is used to lubricate the valve and needle before inflating the ball. The electric pump is priced at a more substantial £96.99 so is probably out of many people's budget when looking for a pump. We sell many of these to large clubs who order balls in the 100's/1000's. The time it took was slightly more than the stirrup pump though @ 23.13 seconds. The effort used though was minimal and most of the operation can be handle with one hand. So our conclusion is - if you have 1 or 2 balls to inflate choose either of the hand pumps. If you have 5 or more and buy balls regularly a great value option would be the stirrup pump. However, if you are in the habit of having to spend all evening inflating 50 plus balls then i would strongly recommend the electric pump.