EV, ICE, jet-propulsion — it doesn't matter. All cars have tires. If you're looking to take your private garage to the next level or are going to start working on passenger vehicles professionally, you need to set yourself up with the equipment to work with wheels and tires. Thankfully, manufacturers understand that mounting and balancing tires happen at the same time and bundle the appropriate machinery together. All you have to do is decide which tire changer and wheel balancer combo fit into your life. This guide is here to help you understand just how easy it is to narrow down your selection and give you suggestions on which setup belongs in your shop.
Honorable Mention: Nationwide NW-530 Tire Changer and NW-953 Wheel Balancer Combo
Easiest to Set Up: XK USA INC. Tire Changer Combo
Best for Oversized Tires: Mayflower 980/800 1.5 HP Tire Changer Balancer Machine Combo
Tire changers and wheel balancers are serious machines that bring in a lot of money. It's very important that you read into whatever you're considering so that you know where your money is going. My selection is largely based on what's available to the general public through easily accessible retailers, but I did take the time to research anything I’m highlighting to ensure it'll serve the average consumer well. I made sure to research each of the listings to better understand what they bring to the table. That information, combined with the features each has to offer, allowed me to come up with a list that has something for everyone.
Best Tire Changer Wheel Balancer Combo Reviews & Recommendations
Overall quality and performance put the Triumph NTC-950 & NTB-550 Tire Changer Wheel Balancer Combo Package on the top of our list. However, the Mayflower 1.5 HP Tire Changer Wheel Changers Machine Balancer is a great choice if you're working with a tight budget. Of course, it's important that you read through the specs of any tire changer and wheel balancer combo you're considering to ensure it'll work for you, regardless of what anyone has to say.
When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place I look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money.
If those options don’t have what you need, your local salvage yard is great for car parts, while swap meets are a great resource you should tap. Just Google either and head on down.
To make your secondhand search easier, here are two tips for finding the best deals and making sure your new-to-you stuff wasn’t destroyed by the previous owner.
- Check your local classifieds before buying new ones. Many high-end models are sold for cheap because a shop is either upgrading or closing. Be sure it's fully operational or could be repaired before you purchase.
- Don't worry about buying your tire changer and wheel balancer separately, as it might be impossible to find a matching set used. It also does help to buy machines with matching manufacturers but is not necessary.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Tire Changer Wheel Balancer Combo
As complicated as these machines seem, you only need a little bit of information to get started with the selection process. Once you sort through the following details, you can begin to compare factors such as quality and ease of operation to narrow down your choices.
Wheel and Tire Size Range
Both wheel balancers and tire changers are designed to work with a set range of wheel and tire sizes. Assemblies that are too small simply won't fit either machine. And though a size larger than that range may fit, attempting to work on them will damage the machine. Manufacturers often list the size ranges in the description of the listing to make verification easy before you buy. Even if you think your size is common enough, it's wise to check the size range to ensure you don't end up with a system you can't use and have to send back.
Assuming is never a good thing when it comes to machinery of this caliber. Most of your options are equipped to run on a 110-volt power supply, but the power supply is something you always want to double-check before you buy. You need to make sure you buy a machine your shop is equipped to run. Even if your shop has 110-, 220-, and even 240-volt power supplies available, you must pick the right setup as it will determine where you can set these machines up in your garage.
You're going to need more than just the machines to get the work done that you intend to. Tire irons and valve stem removal tools are two mandatory tools for this type of work. Some sets might include these tools, but you shouldn't assume so. It's worth verifying what is included so that you know what you'll need to purchase so you can begin to work once the tire changer and wheel balancer arrive.
Tire Changer Wheel Balancer Combo Pricing
If you're just changing tires for your personal vehicles or fleet, you will be just fine investing in a combo set in the $2,000-$3,000 price range. These are consumer-grade tools that are more than good enough for that level of work. If you're buying for a professional shop or just want the best in terms of quality and precision, you will likely pay somewhere around $4,000 or more.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: What are the two types of wheel balancers?
A: Static and dynamic. Dynamic is the superior choice as it balances the wheel and tire assembly under conditions that replicate what it will face on the vehicle.
Q: Can tires be mounted incorrectly?
A: Yes. Some tires are directional, and the tread must be facing a certain way. They can also be damaged during installation, improperly balanced, and so on. It's important to understand the tires you're working with and the mounting process in full before attempting the work yourself.
Q: How do you not scratch rims on a tire machine?
A: Simply working carefully and using the right tools for the job is usually enough to prevent scratching the wheel during tire mounting. Rushing the job or using tools like pry bars rather than tire irons will easily damage the wheel.
Q: Where do I recycle my old tires?
A: Tire dealers often accept old tires for a fee, or you can transport tires to a recycling facility in your area. If you intend to repurpose your old tire as a swing, garden barrier, or anything else, be sure that no cords or belts are exposed, as they can cause injuries.