If you're after a floor pump that can double as a seriously built weapon if someone tries to take your beautiful bikes away from you then the Blackburn Piston 3 is a choice that will keep the inner security guard satisfied. Steel construction, simply massive gauge and solid build quality are also good reasons to check it out.
I've been happily using my trusty Silca floor pump for longer than I would like to admit (read, 15+ years), so when I was asked by Blackburn to review the Piston 3 I thought it was a good opportunity to bring my life up to date...
So, what do I think of the Piston 3? The Piston 3 is massive. Taller and wider in every dimension than my old Silca. It is built strong and has survived a good smashing about from me over the last month and at $90 I think it's a good choice when stacked against the competition.
The pressure gauge is a massive winner for me. It is ginormous at 4" and unless you're legally blind you'll have a good shot at reading it, making getting your tyres really close to the right level of inflation at too early o'clock is about as easy as it gets.
The gauge was pretty much spot on compared to my pressure gauge and against two other pumps. The locking leaver on the head has a nice firm open and close feel that really locks onto the valve, with not a whiff of air able to escape. If you over-pump there's an air bleed on the head that works nicely. If you jump between presta and schrader valves you'll need to get active and dissassemble the head to change between the two.
A wide handle and tall and wide barrel allow you to push your tyres up to pressure with a relatively low number of strokes, while not requiring too much force. The Piston 3 claims a max pressure of 160 PSI (11 BAR), I went nowhere near this pressure, and I'm sure very few normal people would, but I'd be prepared to bet that you'll get to these numbers and beyond if you're feeling excited.
Add in a lifetime warranty and a solid reputation, this is is one that I would put on the Christmas list.
This is not a paid review, a huge thanks to Blackburn for sending us the Piston 3 to check out.