You can purchase an inflation needle for very little money, but choosing high quality needles may save you money and time. It may be impossible to dislodge a broken needle that is stuck in a sports ball, and replacing the ball may cost more than simply buying strong inflation needles. Size, cost, and metal type and quality are all important considerations.
One important factor is the inflation needle size. A standard sized needle is generally 1 1/4 inches (about 3.2 cm) long and 5/16 of an inch (about 0.79 cm) in diameter. Standard sports balls only permit 1 1/4 inches of a needle to enter the ball, but a longer length may allow you to use the needle on other types of inflatable items. Excessively long needles may increase the likelihood of bending or breaking, so it may be wise to purchase a needle that is about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches (about 3.8 cm) long.
The quality of the metal used in an inflation needle is also important. Poor quality metals can bend or break easily during normal use. Some needles might need to be pulled out slowly to avoid breakage, but slow removal allows more air to escape. It is a good idea to find out as much as possible about the metal used for manufacturing the needle you intend to purchase.
Different types of metal may be better for strength and durability as well. You can find inflation needles made of metal alloys and plated metals. Nickel-plated steel, zinc plated iron, and stainless steel are all common materials used. Stainless steel may be the best option because it is a very strong metal that does not rust, making it a good choice for children or teenagers who may not take proper care of it.
Researching inflation needles on the Internet may provide you with useful information. Some needles are flimsy and prone to bending or breaking, but consumer reviews can help you avoid these problems. Online research also can help you find a price that will suit your needs. Inflation needle packages can range in price from less than a dollar to more than $20 US Dollars (USD), and may include a single needle or many needles. A large supply of poor quality needles may cost very little, but needles breaking inside your sports balls may be a hassle.
Going to a store that sells sports supplies may be a good alternative. The sales representatives may assist you and answer any questions you may have. They may have information for you about which inflation needle brands customers dislike.