Having your own car is great. However, it is usually very frustrating when you run into car trouble. Sometimes, though, the problem doesn’t require the expert, and usually costly services of a mechanic.
At times, the problem is just the ignition timing of your vehicle. When this problem happens, the best timing light is the product you need! But which of the numerous timing lights on the market should you buy? Well, we have compiled ten of the best options you can buy right now.
The Best Timing Light on the Market of 2021
1. ESI 130 Self – Powered Timing Light
- Accurate up to at least 14, 000 RPM
- For 2 or 4 cycle engines, all ignition systems
- Protective heat sleeving withstands high temps (1200F)
Our first choice that you can buy right now is the timing light from ESI. We are in love with this unit for several reasons, all of which we will lay bare now.
First, it is a highly versatile tool that can work with a wide variety of ignition systems. It features a pair of genuine “D cell” batteries which give it the juice required to function efficiently.
Furthermore, the light this tool produces is very bright. By using the light from this timing light, you will require no other light. It, therefore, offers you a clear, detailed view at all times of the day; even in bright daylight. Another advantage of the brightness of this light is that you don’t need it connected to another battery.
If you have a 2-cycle or 4-cycle engine and worry if this timing light will be compatible with the engine, worry no longer. As a versatile tool, it can work with both types of engines efficiently. As we pointed out earlier as well, you can use it with different types of ignitions.
Aside from the versatility, we also have discovered that this timing light is very durable. One feature that highlights its durability is the protective sleeve that it comes with. Due to this sleeve, you can use it in high temperatures without any problems.
A self-powered timing light, it doesn’t require you to hook it up with an external battery before it can work.
The downside of this product is that it lacks a flashlight.
Other than that issue, this is one of the best options you can buy on the market today!
2. INNOVA 5568 Pro-Timing Light
- Four function digital readout: Tachometer; Advance; Dwell; and Voltage
- Patented Skip Circuitry Test up to 9,990 RPM
- Heavy-duty shock proof housing features a molded boot for extra protection...
The second product on our list is this remarkable timing light from Innova that delivers excellent performance. This timing light comes with exceptional features that make it a top option that you can depend on.
First, it is actually a professional-grade timing light. Hence, while it can be used by DIYers, it is an excellent choice for professional users. It comes with a durable casing, which means you can use it for a long time without any damage. The ABS housing means that it is resistant to bumps, impacts, and falls. It is a practical and functional timing light that comes with features that ensure ease of use. For instance, you will find a backlit screen on this tool. Therefore, you can use it in low light conditions. This display is visible in bright light, and it can be seen from different viewing angles.
With an adjustable advance dial, you can check retard and advance timing easily and quickly. Impressively, it also allows you to check base timing with similar ease.
As with our top pick, this timing light is a versatile tool that can be used for a large number of ignition systems and engines. Installation and use are straightforward and super-easy.
The design of this product means that you can use it for extended periods, even holding it at odd angles without experiencing plenty of discomforts.
One issue that we have with this timing light is that they believe it isn’t very bright.
Overall, it is a very comfortable-to-use timing light as it comes with several nice features that will make using it efficient.
3. INNOVA 3551 Inductive Timing Light
- Check timing, diagnose a no-spark condition, check for electronic advance/retard...
- Slim, rotating barrel for better aim at timing mark
- Protective hand guard for one-hand operation
Innova is pretty good at manufacturing automotive tools; hence, it isn’t surprising that the company has another entry on this list. This time it is the 3551. It is, like the model reviewed above, an excellent tool that delivers good performance across the board.
Using this timing light, you can check out the timing and diagnose problems with the ignition. If you are looking to get your very own tune-up kit, then it is a good idea to have this particular model among your tools. It is especially great for DIY enthusiasts as it comes with buttons and features that are straightforward and easy to use even for a beginner. For instance, it features an advance dial that has a direct reading function. This dial is easy to operate and can be adjusted.
It is highly versatile and can work with several types of ignition systems and engines. Hence, whether your ignition system is DIS, electronic, or something else, you can rest assured that this timing light will assist you.
Aside from the versatility, its ergonomic design and build make it comfortable to use. It is very convenient, coming with an adjustable barrel and a rotating head that can reach areas other products will have a hard time accessing.
One issue we discovered is that return procedures are cumbersome.
Other than that, it is a versatile tool that comes with a nice design and features that make it super-easy to use.
4. Wilmar W80578 Self-Powered Timing Light
- Perfect for street rods, race cars and power boats
- Detachable inductive pick up can be easily hooked up
- Works with magnetos
Next up is a timing light that is the product of choice for so many folks today, and continues to be a top-rated option on the market today.
This timing light isn’t designed for amateurs or DIY enthusiasts in mind. Instead, it is an excellent timing light that is made for race cars and similar powerful vehicles. It is one of the most versatile options you will find right now as it works, not only with vehicles, but also with motorcycles, mowers, tractors, electric generators, and much more!
We love it for several reasons, including the self-powered function. Due to this design feature, it doesn’t require any external source of power to function. As with our top pick, which is also self-powered, this option has a pair of rechargeable D cell batteries that give it the power required to work efficiently.
It is one of the most convenient options you can use too. It comes with detachable parts which ensure that it can fit into your tool-kit easily. Additionally, the kit contains a removable inductive pick-up which allows easy start-up of the timing light.
Its drawback is that it feels big and heavy in the hand.
Overall, it is an excellent tool that will last for a long time while delivering reliable and impressive performance. If you are a professional looking for an excellent timing light that will last for an extended time without requiring plenty of maintenance, then this tool will likely meet your needs.
5. Actron CP7528 Advance Timing Light
- Heat resistant over molding on battery clips with one touch control
- Linear xenon flash tube and focused fresnel lens provides light bright enough...
- Molded inductive pickup clamps over spark plug wire make hook-up easy
This product from Actron lies at the midpoint of our roundup. However, it doesn’t offer middling performance. Instead, it is one of the most reliable options on the market.
Although the Actron brand isn’t a very popular brand, the company has been around for some time, working behind the scenes to produce some of the best tools in the automotive care industry. Unlike some of the options on this roundup, this timing light is an analog timing light.
Hence, it offers you a great deal of control as you fine-tune your engine. Due to the LED bulb it has, this tool delivers a clear light that lets you see your timing degrees easily. It is a versatile option that allows the user to set different timings, including advanced timing. With an RPM of 9999 RPM/S, this particular tool is a powerful and reliable tool for all users who love to do things “the analog way”.
It comes with an ergonomic design that lets you hold it well for an extended period. It also comes with detachable parts for easy storage.
The main drawback of this timing light is the construction. Many folks have complained about the poor construction of the tool, which means that it doesn’t last for long.
A powerful, reliable timing light that offers you an advanced dial and is more accurate than most options, you can rest assured that you will enjoy the Actron CP7528 Advance Timing Light.
6. INNOVA 3568 Digital Timing Light
- Top-of-the line timing light for the selective do-it-yourselfer
- Split-screen digital LCD readout displays tachometer and advance functions...
- Slim, rotating barrel for better aim at timing mark
You might be surprised to find yet another Innova product on this roundup. Still, if you are used to automotive tools, and have taken the time to research as much as we have, you’d understand why another model from their lineup is making an appearance.
It is very highly rated and is especially great for any amateur or DIY enthusiasts looking to fine-tune their engine. It is a digital timing light, which means that it is easier to handle than several other options.
To assist you even further, it features an advance dial that helps you to achieve accurate and direct readings. Using this tool, you can do so many things. For instance, you can use it for base timing or some advanced operations. Since it is made with beginners in mind, you can use it with several types of ignition systems and engines too.
A selling point of this excellent tool is the construction. From the research carried out, this timing light is one of the most durable and well-constructed timing lights on the market. From the LED screen to the handle, all the parts are made with high-quality materials that are sure to stand the test of time.
It is very easy to use, coming with an adjustable barrel that grants you better aim.
Unfortunately, it is quite expensive. If you are on a budget and looking for an inexpensive option, then this is not for you.
If you can afford it, though, you can rest assured that you will have a wonderful time using this impressive tool.
7. Wilmar W80587 Digital Advance Timing Light
- Display engine speed up to 9, 000 RPM, and ignition spark advance from 0-90
- Professional set initial and advance timing to obtain total timing and peak...
- Super bright Xenon flash, and a high vis LED display
With its professionally set timings, you can be sure that this timing light will deliver accurate readings that can help you with any problems you have with the ignition system of your vehicle. The LED display feature on this tool is very clear to see in low light conditions and from different viewing angles. It also features a super bright Xenon flash, and that contributes to the success of your endeavor.
Performance-wise, if you are looking for a timing light to use to solve your MSD ignition problems, the W80587 is the right tool for you. Although it doesn’t have the largest engine speed display, its 9,000 RPM maximum reading is decent and should be enough for your use.
Durability is a plus with this tool. Made of ABS material, the plastic casing of the tool is durable and will survive falls, bumps, and impacts that occur from everyday use.
An easy-to-use option, this timing light even comes with a button control that grants the ability to change engines in a jiffy. As a bonus, this button control ensures durability and accurate operation.
An issue that many have complained about is the durability of the bulbs. We observed that these bulbs tend to burn out easily and need to be replaced.
Other than that problem, you will likely love using this timing light.
8. INNOVA 3555 Advance Timing Light
- Advance dial enables user to check base timing, mechanical advance or retard,...
- Direct reading advance scale adjusts from 0-60 degrees
- Slim, rotating barrel for better aim at timing mark
Are you looking for a decent timing light that offers similar performance to many great options on the market, but that comes at a low price? If yes, then this budget entry is just what you need. The 3555 timing light offers you decent features that you will find super useful.
Innova has waded into the budget category with this offering with the aim of offering everyone, regardless of budget, a chance to enjoy the quality performance from timing lights.
This model is an excellent model that comes with the basic features and functions upon which the more complicated and invariably more expensive models are built. It comes with the basic stuff like maximum RPMs, and adjustable barrel that makes it easier to use, and an ergonomic design that lets you use the tool for an extended period without any problem.
It also comes with detachable parts which make it quite easy to store.
The downside of this model is that, as it is a budget option, it lacks some of the more advanced features found inexpensive models. For example, it is majorly for base timing and not retard or advanced timing.
This option is arguably the best you will find at this particular price range.
9. Actron CP7529 Digital Timing Light
- Actron's CP7529 Digital Timing Light features microprocessor-controlled...
- Use to measure engine RPM and advance, and set initial timing, check and...
- Works on gasoline powered vehicles equipped with conventional, electronic,...
The penultimate option on this roundup comes with features that make it stand out from several other options on the market and even on this roundup.
If you are stuck in a situation where your spark plug isn’t working efficiently and in tandem with your engine’s efficiency, then you will be pleased that the CP7529 can assist you.
In its base form, it is a strobe light that helps you as you check the ignition system of your vehicle. As with the best options on the market, this timing light is versatile and can be used in different systems and for 2 or 4 cycle engines. Additionally, the RPM light found on this tool allows you to ascertain how fast your engine is rotating.
This timing light is one of the easiest that you can lay your hands on. Whether you are an old hand or a beginner user, you will likely enjoy the simplicity of this timing light. It is aided by a bright Xenon bulb that is visible even in daylight. It also features a clamp that makes it very easy to connect the timing light to the ignition system.
We have noted, though, that this light’s RPM scale develops faults after extended use.
Overall though, it comes at a great price, is easy to use, and delivers reliable performance.
10. Dirautos Timing Light
- Timing Light Will Extend The Life of Engine - It doesn't exactly inspire...
- Never Have To Worry About Running Out of Power -The cool thing about timing...
- Ergonomic Pistol Grip Design - First, you should know that timing lights come...
If you are working with a diesel engine, the lack of a spark plug or distributor can be a challenge. However, the last tool on our list, the Dirautos timing light, is one of the best tools that can do a good job with such engines.
This model is compatible with different systems, although most recommend using it with 12V battery systems. It comes with several features and parts that make it a top choice on the market. For instance, it comes with a design that makes it easy to reach normally inaccessible spots. There is a nice non-slip and ergonomic grip that makes it easy for you to hold on to the tools. Aside from helping you to hold on to the tool, this design also ensures that you aim accurately to get precise results.
Use and set up is straightforward since it comes with an easy to read the instruction manual.
One problem with this tool is that that light is not very bright.
If you can work with the dim light or if you have an alternative source of light, though, you will likely love using this excellent too as many others have.
From the roundup above, you likely have a better idea of the best products to consider when choosing the best timing light. However, we realize that you might want even more information that can help you make a buying choice. In this section, we will consider important information that can assist you.
Features to consider when buying timing lights
Several essential features should guide you as you choose your timing light. Let’s consider them.
- Design and Durability
In your quest to purchase the best timing lights, you must closely consider the design and the durability.
The design of the tool will help you get more accurate results and improve convenience while using the tool. For example, as can be seen from some of the products reviewed above, some of these timing lights come with rotating heads. Rotating head design will grant you access to spots that a fixed head cannot reach.
You should also choose a product that will last for a long time. It should come in a durable casing that can survive bumps, falls, and other things that result from use.
Brightness is arguably the most essential feature of timing lights. After all, they are timing “lights”. Now, when considering brightness, you should ensure that the light shouldn’t be too bright or too dim. If the light is low, especially in bright conditions, then the tool is rendered useless. On the other hand, if it is too bright, it might reflect into your eyes and can affect efficiency.
Some of our products reviewed above come with strobing lights. This type of light is generally regarded as the best choice because it is easier to read.
- Power Source
Timing lights use a variety of power sources. Some of them run on batteries, while others require an external source of power to operate. From research and reviews, most folks prefer versatile timing lights that can be used with two or more power sources.
There are two main types of timing lights. You have the inductive and the incline types. What differentiates these two types of lights is the way they are connected. By clipping the spark plug wire via a sensor, you can efficiently use the inductive timing light. On the other hand, the incline timing light needs the No. 1 spark plug unplugged.
There are many benefits to using a timing light. From improving the health of your engine to improving fuel efficiency and ignition tune-up, you can’t go wrong with these tools. From our roundup, the best timing light is INNOVA 5568 Pro-Timing Light.
It is versatile, relatively affordable, offers bright light. It also comes in a nice design that makes it quite easy to use for extended periods. You can buy this tool or any of the other options we have reviewed above and rest assured of excellent performance.