If you’re thinking of starting your own home garage, then a tire mounting machine is one of the best investments you could make. Changing tires and wheels take quite a bit of effort, and if you don’t have the right tools on hand, you could either end up damaging your rims, puncturing the tire, snapping your tools, or even hurting yourself and others in the process.
An automated machine that clamps the rim and removes the tire for you in seconds reduces these risks significantly. In this article, we’ll show you our picks of the best tire mounting machines money can buy. We’ll also throw in a brief buying guide that you can use to do your own shopping if our picks are not available in your region.
Top 3 Best Tire Mounting Machines
Mayflower 1.5-HP 560 Tire Changer and 680 Wheel Balancer Combo Set
The first machine we’re looking at isn’t just used to mount and remove tires. This combo kit also features a wheel balancer to help your professional garage get started immediately. Essentially, you can kill two birds with one purchase by getting this Mayflower kit.
The Mayflower 560 is the semi-automatic tire changing machine that can clamp onto rims from between 10 and 18 inches inside diameter and 12 to 21 inches outside diameter. The entire unit supports wheels of up to 35 inches – more than enough space to remove any size tire you have from your rims.
This machine does not come with a bead blaster – a feature that blasts huge amounts of air into the tire’s inside cavity – nor does it have assist arms for removing rims from flat tires. However, you should be able to get along fine without them. Furthermore, upon purchasing this machine, you’ll also receive a wheel balancer that works with rims of between 10 and 24 inches in diameter and wheels of up to 20 inches wide.
CHIENG RONG 1.5-HP 560 Tire Changer and 680 Wheel Balancer Combo Set
Aesthetically, there’s hardly any noticeable difference between the previous model and this one. The CHENG RONG is also a combo set that comes not only with a tire changer but also a wheel balancer that accepts rims of up to 24 inches in diameter and 20 inches in width.
Looking at the tire changer, you get a heavy-duty 1.5-HP motor that delivers a break force of up to 5,600 pounds with the pneumatic pistons. You need an air compressor that generates between 120 and 145 PSI to get this unit to function perfectly.
Using this machine is extremely simple. To bring the bead breaker down, all you need to do is turn the handle until it meets the connecting points between the rim and tire sidewall. A push of the button turns the table, and in a few seconds, the tire will pop right out.
Controlling this CHONG RENG machine is similar to the Mayflower. You have six pedals in total – two that open and close the jaws, two that engages an disengages the bead breaker, and the final two turn the table in clockwise.
Mayflower 1.5-HP 950 Tire Changer Machine
The third and final product on our list is another one of Mayflowers beasts – the 950 Tire Changer Machine. Other than being able to change tires on larger wheels, the 950 machine is a sole tire changer. There is no wheel balancer that comes with this tool, so unless you have one already or you need a machine to change tires on 24-inch rims, then consider purchasing either the first Mayflower or the CHONG RENG.
The rim-grasping capacities of the 960 are 10 to 20-inch outer diameter and 12 to 24-inch inside. The maximum tire diameter that can rest comfortably on this machine is 37 inches, while the maximum width is a whopping 12 inches.
Another thing that separates the 960 from the previous models is that this machine includes a bead blaster. Reattaching tires onto rims can be done literally in a split second with this awesome blaster.
Tire Mounting Machine Buying Guide
Type: Manual vs. Semi-Automatic vs. Automatic
The most basic type of tire changing machine is a manually operated one. They’re the most affordable type, but they also require a bit of upper-body strength to operate. These are mainly used by DIY grease monkeys or small-scale garages, and with a bit of experience, you can remove a tire in just as little time as an automated machine.
Using either electricity or compressed air, a semi-automatic is quicker and more cost-effective than manual models. The mounting head is positioned on a hex bar which is frozen in place by a hinge located on top of the rear column. The rim distance is screwed onto the read column which adjusts in size based on the diameter of the wheel. The mounting head swings to the right with a single push by the operator.
The main difference between automatic and semi-automatic models is the setup of the mounting head which also improves tire-changing speed. Instead of locking the mounting head in place using a hinge, it is controlled by a click of a button which introduced compressed air which engages the jaws. If speed is a virtue, then a fully automatic tire changer might be for you.
When shopping for a tire changing machine for your home or commercial garage, you need to make sure that the rim clamps are large enough to grab hold of the rims and keep the entire wheel in place. Most semi-automatic machines can work with wheels of between up to 18 inches in diameter, which is a large portion of tires used by the market. Specialized tire changing machines can go wider for pimped-out cars and trucks.
Other than the diameter of the wheel, another important consideration is how far up the jaws will. This concerns the width of the wheel, or rather the distance between a tire’s sidewalls. For the most part, semi-automatic tire changers should be able to grasp your tire’s rim regardless of what high up it is, but you should always check with the manufacturer.
Bead blasters are a revolutionary feature that introduce an amazingly high amount of compressed air at the inside cavity of a tire to force the tire’s sidewalls snug onto the rim. This tool makes reattaching tires a breeze since the high-pressure burst of air repositions the tire in its optimal original position in just a fraction of a second.
Another important consideration to make is whether your garage can get by with a tire changing machine or whether you would benefit from a combo set like the products mentioned above. Wheel balancers are oftentimes sold alongside tire changers so you can kill two birds with one purchase. Of course, if you’d rather have your wheels balanced by a professional mechanic or your garage already has one, then a non-combo set would be the more cost-effective purchase.
1. Do I need an assist arm?
The most commonly asked question by tire changing machine shoppers is whether they need to get a model with an assist arm. The simple answer is no, a tire changing machine can operate just fine without it. However, if your business mainly deals with flat tires – which is probably the case for most garage owners – then an assist arm will help make changing tires a breeze. For larger, deeper wheels, you might even want to consider getting a machine with two assist arms for quicker and safer work.
2. Can I change my motorcycle’s tires on these machines?
All of the machines mentioned earlier can technically be used to change motorcycle tires, but they require the use of an adapter. As we all know, motorcycle and car tires are generally different in terms of diameter and width, and attempting to place an incorrectly sized wheel on a machine can lead to two things: absolutely nothing or total chaos.
3. How much air do I need to operate the bead breaker and claw?
Semi- and full-automatic tire changing machines use an electric motor to drive the turntable, but the claw and bead breaker (if it comes with one) need compressed air to function. The right sized air compressor – in terms of PSI – vary from model to model, but for most semi-automatic machines, anywhere between 90 and 150 PSI will do the trick. Also, you might want to get a 10-plus gallon air compressor since tire changing machines use quite a bit of air per tire change.
Whether you’re starting your own garage workshop or are a serious car enthusiast, you would benefit from having a tire changing machine at your disposal. These machines make the painstaking task of changing tires and flats a lot more effortless, and they go easy on the rims so you won’t need to worry about scratches and ruined paint jobs.
In this article, we’ve included three different models that have fared extremely well with their customers, but the Mayflower 960 and its handy bead blaster takes the cake. The Mayflower 560 and CHONG RENG are great combo sets that include a wheel balancer to help furnish your workshop.