Tire Cutting Toolsby Brenda Priddy
Tire cutting is used in several different venues. Manufacturers use tire cutting tools to perfect their tires before they are sold to the public. Racing enthusiasts use tire cutting tools to change the shape of their tires to improve performance and increase the life of a tire. Each tool has a specific function to form a tire to the right shape.
Tire cutting is done for several different reasons. In initial manufacturing, tires are cut to fit the right size and shape for each hub. Sometimes the tire molds produce odd warps on the tire which must be shaved or cut off. Treads also have to be cut into tires. Many racing enthusiasts, such as kart racing, tractor racing and car racing participants, will cut their tires to add speed and performance to their vehicles or to maintain a specific tire shape.
There are several different tools that can be used for tire cutting. Tire cutters can either be blades attached to a hand held cutting tool or they can be large lathe-like machines designed specifically for tire cutting. These machines are heavy and bulky and are most commonly used for racing. All tire cutters are motorized to provide even, powerful cuts across the entire body of a tire. The large tire cutting machines provide a turning mechanism to guide the blade along the wheel.
Tire grinders are designed to provide smaller touch-ups for tire cutting. They are made of steel and come in several different grits and shapes. Grinding cups are used to grind down large areas of the perimeter of a tire. Depending on the grit level of the grinding cup they can cut a tire deeply or make very shallow cuts. Disc shaped grinders are usually used for the edges of the tire or other localized areas. They can also be purchased in several different grit values.
A tire groover is used after the tire has been cut or ground. This hand held tool looks somewhat like a gun with a sharp flat blade at the end. The groover is used to replace tire grooves and treads where they have worn away or been cut or ground away. The blade is heated to melt the tire into the desired tread. It is possible to switch out different blades with a groover to provide the highest level of tire customization.
Knives and Blades
There are many different knives and blades used to cut and form tires to the desired shape. In manufacturing, these blades are often used to cut off additional rubber and ensure each tire is the same size. The blades can be straight, curved, pointed, multi-sided, circular, hot cut, split, triangular or other shape. Each kind of blade provides a different kind of shaping and cut to the tire, which can completely change the performance.