11 Best Tire Machines & Wheel Balancers in 2021

Anyone that has worked in a tire shop for the last 20 years knows that things have changed considerably. Gone are the days of many cars having 14” or 15” rims where you could mount a set of tires in a few minutes. Now, 17” or 18” wheels are standard with low-profile tires. Even 20” wheels are not uncommon on trucks these days. Then add in run-flat tires and Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) and your day as a tire installer just got more difficult. However, if you already have a Tire Machine and would like to learn how to install tires like a professional visit our How To Professionally Install A Tire Using A Tire Machine page to start learning how to install tires like a professional mechanic today!

11 Best Tire Machines & Wheel Balancers in 2021 main image

Tire mounters and balancers have also become increasingly complex and costly with some of the models you would find in a tire shop costing well over $8,000! However, this review will focus on lighter-duty models you would see in a small repair shop or home garage. These are designed to service a few tires a day as opposed to busy tire shop doing a dozen or so per hour. Also, most of the reviews here will focus on combo tire installers and balancers as they are complimentary and any time a tire is removed the wheel needs to be rebalanced.

Name of Product

Image of Product

Description

Price Range

Full Review

1. Triumph NTC-950-2 Tire Changer and NTB-800 Balancer Combo (Best Overall)

Triumph NTC-950-2 Tire Changer and NTB-800 Balancer Combo

Voltage: 110

Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Estimated Price: $4,250

2. XK USA 806530D Tire Changer and Balancer Combo

XK USA 806530D Tire Changer and Balancer Combo

Voltage: 110

Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Estimated Price: $3410

3. XK USA 988 Tire Changer and 680 Balancer Combo

XK USA 988 Tire Changer and 680 Balancer Combo

Voltage: 110

Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Estimated Price: $2180

4. KATOOL Tire Changer and Balancer Combo

KATOOL Tire Changer and Balancer Combo

Voltage: 110

Motor Horsepower: 2

Estimated Price: $2400

5. Triumph NTC-950-1 Tire Changer and NTB-550 Balancer Combo

Triumph NTC-950-1 Tire Changer and NTB-550 Balancer Combo

Voltage: 110

Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Estimated Price: $3010

6. Nationwide NW-530 Tire Changer and NW-953 Combo

Nationwide NW-530 Tire Changer and NW-953 Combo
Voltage: 110


Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Estimated Price: $2960

7. XK USA 950 Tire Changer and 680 Tire Balancer Combo

XK USA 950 Tire Changer and 680 Tire Balancer Combo

Voltage: 110

Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Estimated Price: $1840

8. HPDMC Tire Changer and Balancer Comb

HPDMC Tire Changer and Balancer Comb

Voltage: 110

Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Estimated Price: $2100

9. Mayflower 980 Tire Changer and 800 Balancer Combo

Mayflower 980 Tire Changer and 800 Balancer Combo

Voltage: 110

Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Estimated Price: $2100

10. XK USA 806-112A Tire Changer

XK USA 806-112A Tire Changer

Voltage: 110

Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Estimated Price: $1600

11. Eastwood Electronic Wheel Balancer

Eastwood Electronic Wheel Balancer

Maximum tire diameter: 34”

Maximum wheel weight: 143lbs

Estimated Price: $1600

Here Are The Best Tire Install Machines and Wheel Balancers

1. Triumph NTC-950-2 Tire Changer and NTB-800 Balancer Combo (Best Overall)

TRIUMPH NTC-950-2 NTB-800 Tire Changer Wheel Balancer Combo

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Key Specifications:

Estimated Price: $4,250

Voltage: 110

Warranty: 1 year

Tire Changer:

  • Rim clamping diameter: 14”-26” (outside), 16”-28” (inside)
  • Maximum tire diameter: 44”
  • Maximum rim width: 15”
  • Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Tire Balancer:

  • Rim diameter: 10”-28”
  • Rim width: 1.5” to 20”
  • Maximum wheel diameter: 44”

This the most expensive tire and balancer combo on the list but can handle just about anything out there. While it is similar to the NTC-950-1, this version features a second arm to help install more difficult tires like run-flats and large trucks. It also features a heavy-duty construction, and this is one of the more durable machines on the list. This is a tire-shop grade unit with all the accessories needed for installing all types of tires.

The NTB-800 balancer was also built with professional use in mind. It has a foot pedal that holds the tire in place making weight placement easier. Also, setting up the balancer is easy. Instead of having to enter all three dimensions manually, the measuring arm automatically enters the other two settings. This is useful in a tire shop as it means less time is spent entering the wheel dimensions.

For a tire shop, this is probably the best entry-level combination. They are well-built and reasonably priced, have a good set of features, and are designed for daily use.

2. XK USA 806530D Tire Changer and Balancer Combo

XK USA 1.5HP 806B350D 70D Tire Changer Machine Combo

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Key Specifications:

Estimated Price: $3410

Voltage: 110

Warranty: 1 year

Tire Changer:

  • Rim diameter: 14-28”
  • Maximum tire diameter: 39”
  • Maximum rim width: 14”
  • Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Tire Balancer:

  • Rim diameter: 10”-24”
  • Rim width: 1.5” to 16”
  • Maximum wheel diameter: 39”
  • Maximum wheel weight: 150lbs

This is one of the more expensive combinations available although the 806530D tire changer is unique in being it does not use clamps like most traditional tire changers. It uses a center nut and post to hold the wheel in place like a tire balancer. This means there is no table, clamps, and hydraulics to break, unlike a traditional installer. These parts frequently wear out and need to be replaced and can be expensive. Also, the mounter has a tower that tilts back, allowing for extra clearance. Two secondary arms make it easier to depress the bead when working on difficult to install tires and a hat can be placed under the bead to help lift it. By far, the 806530D has the most features of any tire installer reviewed and is ideal for a shop that frequently works on cars with difficult to mount tires.

The tire balancer is easy to use and can handle most tires. It is one of the more basic models but can handle most types of wheels.

3. XK USA 988 Tire Changer and 680 Balancer Combo

XK USA New Model 988 Tire Changer Wheel Changers Machine Combo

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Key Specifications:

Estimated Price: $2180

Voltage: 110

Warranty: 1 year

Tire Changer:

  • Rim clamping diameter: 10”-20” (outside), 12”-24” (inside)
  • Maximum tire diameter: 37”
  • Maximum rim width: 12”
  • Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Tire Balancer:

  • Rim diameter: 10”-24”
  • Rim width: 1.5” to 20”
  • Maximum tire diameter: 44”
  • Maximum wheel weight: 155lbs

The XK 988 has some additional features over the 950 that will make tire installation easier. One major improvement is the extra arms which greatly assist in the tire removal and installation of run-flat and larger low-profile tires. The swivel arm features a boot that is useful for tires with a stiff sidewall. A second arm features a roller that keeps the bead depressed, making it easier to lift the bead over the head. It also helps to prevent damage to the rim or tearing the bead. If you need to install some wide or run-flat tires, the XK USA 988 is a good budget option. Overall, this is a good combo for the money with a lot of features that can high-performance and run-flat tires.

4. KATOOL Tire Changer and Balancer Combo

KATOOL Tire Changer Wheel Balancer Combo

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Key Specifications:

Estimated Price: $2400

Voltage: 110

Tire Changer:

  • Rim clamping diameter: 12”-24” (outside), 14”-26” (inside)
  • Motor Horsepower: 2

Tire Balancer:

  • Rim diameter: 10”-24”
  • Rim width: 1.5” to 16”
  • Maximum wheel diameter: 39”
  • Maximum wheel weight: 150lbs

The KATOOL tire changer and balancer combo have a lot of features for the money. The mounter also has a 2.0hp compared to 1.5 in the other models reviewed. Where this is useful is when mounting larger tires where that extra torque is needed to turn the table. It also has an arm with rollers that help keep the bead depressed which useful for high-performance and run-flat tires. A second arm applies additional pressure on the bead and lifts the inner bead, making it easier to remove the tire. This can eliminate the need for an assistant. The KATOOL tire changer is one of the more capable machines out there with a 2hp motor.

The balancer also has a good set of features. The body is made of high-strength steel for added durability. It has multiple modes to accommodate most wheels and tires along with a fault diagnosis and self-calibration program. This balancer also comes with an optional wheel guard that prevents water from spraying on other people or equipment when balancing the tire. The machine also has a longer shaft to accommodate wider rims and extended supports prevent the balancer from tipping over that is useful when balancing heavier rims and tires.

Overall, the KATOOL mounter and balancer combo has a good set of features and is a good value for the money. With a more powerful motor and extra arms, it can install run-flat and low-profile tires. This is a good option for a repair shop or for home use if you happen to own a few sports cars.

5. Triumph NTC-950-1 Tire Changer and NTB-550 Balancer Combo

TRIUMPH NTC-950-1 NTB-550 Tire Changer Wheel Balancer Combo

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Key Specifications:

Estimated Price: $3010

Voltage: 110

Warranty: 1 year

Tire Changer:

  • Rim clamping diameter: 14”-26” (outside), 16”-28” (inside)
  • Maximum tire diameter: 44”
  • Maximum rim width: 15”
  • Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Tire Balancer:

  • Rim diameter: 10”-28”
  • Rim width: 1.5” to 20”
  • Maximum wheel diameter: 44”

While on the higher end of the price range for tire installers and balancers, the Triumph NTC-950-1 and NTB-550 combo is probably the most capable option out there. Likewise, the installer can mount most tires out there, including larger trucks. It also features a separate arm that can be used to depress the bead. This is a must when installing tires with a stiff sidewall. It also has a second arm with a hat that can be placed under the inner bead which is helpful when removing the tire. Another feature is a powerful bead breaker and inflator system.

The balancer also has several features and is capable of balancing passenger cars along with and light and medium trucks. It also has a foot pedal which keeps the tire in place and makes the balancing process easier.

Overall, this is a good combination for a busier shop that does some tire installations. The mounter can install tires on just about any wheel out there and is one of the few that can handle run-flats as well. If you want a machine that is built to last with good versatility, the Triumph NTC-950-1 and NTB-550 balancer combo are worth a look.

6. Nationwide NW-530 Tire Changer and NW-953 Combo

Nationwide NW-530 Tire Changer and NW-953 Wheel Balancer Combo

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Key Specifications:

Estimated Price: $2960

Voltage: 110

Warranty: 1 year

Tire Changer:

  • Rim clamping diameter: 10”-20” (outside), 12”-23” (inside)
  • Maximum tire diameter: 38”
  • Maximum rim width: 12”
  • Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Tire Balancer:

  • Rim diameter: 10”-24”
  • Rim width: 1.5” to 20”
  • Maximum wheel diameter: 39”
  • Maximum wheel weight: 150lbs

While the tire installer is fairly basic and similar to the XK USA 950, the balancer is one of the better models out there. This is a capable installer that can install most types of tires aside from run-flats and some lower-profile tires. However, it does have some extra features like a built-in water separator. This is important since water will damage the internal components and they can be costly to replace. While the mounter is basic, this combo makes up for it with the balancer.

The NW-953 balancer has quite a few features and is one of the better units available. It is self-calibrating and has a diagnosis program that many balancers do not have. It has several balancing modes for different types of wheels along with a multi-operator mode and this is perfect for a busy repair shop. What this does is save time when you are working on several cars with different people. Instead of having to set the machine each time, you can change operators and switch it back to the settings for the previous car.

Despite lacking some of the accessories that other mounters come within this price range, this is a good combo that makes up for it in terms of quality. This is an ideal option for a small repair shop that does some tires as well. The balancer has a good set of features as well and is one of the better models available for the combos reviewed. The only downside is the price and the fact it will not be able to mount run-flat tires.

7. XK USA 950 Tire Changer and 680 Tire Balancer Combo

Tire Changer, New 1.5 HP Wheel Changers Machine Combo

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Key Specifications:

Estimated Price: $1840

Voltage: 110

Warranty: 1 year

Tire Changer:

  • Rim clamping diameter: 10”-20” (outside), 12”-24” (inside)
  • Maximum tire diameter: 37”
  • Maximum rim width: 12
  • Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Tire Balancer:

  • Rim diameter: 10”-24”
  • Rim width: 1.5” to 20”
  • Maximum tire diameter: 24”
  • Maximum wheel weight: 155lbs

The XK USA 950/580 tire changer and balancer combo are one of the best deals out there. They are perfect for light-duty use such as a small repair shop or home garage. While the mounter is a bit basic and lacks some of the features on higher-priced machines, it is more than sufficient for most passenger cars and trucks. However, it will not be able to mount run-flat tires.

The outside rim clamping diameter between 10”-20” is decent and it can handle tires up to 37” so unless you have a truck with some big mud tires, it will be more than adequate. The bead breaker has a force of 5600lbs which again is sufficient and comparable to high priced tire installers. It has a bead blaster that helps seat the tire on the rim. Overall, this is a good entry-level tire changer although it lacks some of the accessories that are helpful when installing run-flat and low-profile tires.

The 680 tire balancer is a good complement for the XK tire installer. It is also basic and lacks a few features when compared to higher-priced models but it gets the job done. This machine can handle rims from 10”-24” with a diameter of 44” which is sufficient for most passenger vehicles. It also features three balancing modes (standard dynamic, static, ALU 1-3) and can balance motorcycle tires. A quick-release wing nut makes tightening down and removing the wheels from the spindle easy. Also, being able to balance down to within 1 gram ensures a perfect balance and smooth ride.

Overall, the XK USA 950/580 is a good entry-level tire installer and balance combo. While it is basic and the installer is not ideal for low-profile and run-flat tires it will get the job done. For a home garage, this is probably the best choice for the money.

About XK USA: Based out of California, XK USA provides equipment designed for professional use including lifts, tire installers and balancers, wheel alignment, and frame racks.

8. HPDMC Tire Changer and Balancer Comb

HPDMC Tire Changer Wheel Changers

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Key Specifications:

Estimated Price: $2100

Voltage: 110

Warranty: 1 year

Tire Changer:

  • Rim clamping diameter: 13”-20” (outside), 12”-22” (inside)
  • Maximum tire diameter: 39”
  • Maximum rim width: 12”
  • Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Tire Balancer:

  • Rim diameter: 10”-24”
  • Rim width: 1.5” to 16”
  • Maximum wheel diameter: 39”
  • Maximum wheel weight: 150lbs

One of the more affordable tire and balancer combinations, this a good option for anyone on a limited budget or just needs something basic like a small gas station repair shop or a home garage. The tire installer is easy to use with a convenient foot pedal that can allow for precise control over the clamps allowing a perfect fit on the rim. This also one of the smaller machines so it will not take up a lot of space which is perfect for a home garage.

Likewise, the balancer has all the essentials you would need for most cars. An anti-reflective touch panel makes it easy to enter the wheel information. A quick-nut adapter helps keep the wheel centered on the hub for accurate balancing. It can balance wheels on most cars and trucks tires up to 39” in diameter.
While the mounter is not ideal for run-flat or low-profile tires due, this is one of the better, basic tire installer and balancer packages on the market. It has all the essentials a small shop or home user would need at a reasonable price.

9. Mayflower 980 Tire Changer and 800 Balancer Combo

Mayflower 1.5 HP Tire Changer Wheel Changers Balancer Machine Combo

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Key Specifications:

Estimated Price: $2100

Voltage: 110

Warranty: 1 year

Tire Changer:

  • Rim clamping diameter: 13”-24” (outside), 15”-28” (inside)
  • Maximum tire diameter: 49”
  • Maximum rim width: 15”
  • Motor Horsepower: 1.5

Tire Balancer:

  • Rim diameter: 10”-24”
  • Rim width: 1.5” to 20”
  • Maximum wheel diameter: 44”
  • Maximum wheel weight: 155lbs

Another good option for the money is the Mayflower 980 tire installer and the 800 balancer. While it will not be able to install run-flat tires as it lacks the extra arms, it is capable of handling larger wheels with a 13”-24” outside and 15”-28” inside clamping range. Likewise, it can mount tires up to 49” and that is the highest of any tire installer reviewed.

Like the tire machine, the balancer can handle larger wheel and tire combinations. This makes it ideal for larger passenger vehicles or trucks with large tires. It also features multiple modes for balancing wheels and can handle motorcycle as well.

If you need to mount and balance tires on larger vehicles this is probably the best combination out there.

10. XK USA 806-112A Tire Changer

XK USA 806-112A Tire Changer Machine

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Key Specifications:

  • Estimated Price: $1600
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Rim clamping diameter: 12”-28” (outside), 14”-26” (inside)
  • Maximum tire diameter: 46”
  • Maximum rim width: 14”
  • Motor Horsepower: 1.5

While this is just the tire installer only, it is one of the better basic machines out there. It can handle a wider range of wheels with an interior clamping diameter of 12-28” on the outside and 14-26” on the inside. It features upgraded components over similar machines in this category and is more durable. If you install a lot of tires the XK USA 806-112A and do not need the extra accessories, this tire installer is worth a look.

11. Eastwood Electronic Wheel Balancer

Eastwood Electronic Wheel Balancer

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Key Specifications:

  • Estimated Price: $1600
  • Rim diameter: 10”-24”
  • Rim width: 1.5” to 20”
  • Maximum tire diameter: 34”
  • Maximum wheel weight: 143lbs

This is one of the better precision balancers short of expensive models that are designed for tire shops. It is perfect for sports cars where an accurate balance is important. The Eastwood balancer can also handle truck tires as well and has a fast cycle time. If a quality balance is important, this is probably the best available under $2,000.

How To Choose The Best Tire Machine & Tire Machine Combos (Buyer’s Guide)

This can be broken down into two main categories, repair shops, and home garages. It might seem surprising, but it is not unusual for some people to have a tire installer and balancer in their garage. Starting off for a repair shop, if tires are only a small part of your daily routine there is no need to spend $3,000-$4,000 on a tire changer. Unless you are working on trucks with large 37” tires or a Mercedes AMG coupe with wide 19” low-profile tires or run-flats you don’t need many of the accessories on the higher-priced tire changers. A basic, touchless machine with a swing arm is sufficient to install and remove most tires, even on 17” and 18” wheels.

If this happens to be a performance shop that works on some high-end sports cars you will quickly appreciate how useful those extra arms and accessories are. Things like a boot or rollers that can depress the bead are quite useful. Anyone who has mounted low-profile and run-flat tires can relate. Not only does it make the job easier, but it also reduces the likelihood of tearing the bead or making the head come in contact with and scratching the rim. Not to mention, on many newer cars with direct TPMS systems you could damage or break the sensors.

Some people might ask why you would need a tire installer and balancer for home use but there are some good reasons for owning one. Aside from people like us who enjoy working on their own vehicles, you can think of it as an investment especially if you own multiple vehicles. A significant cost of purchasing tires is the installation, balancing, and future rotation and balancing depending on where you have them installed. Likewise, if you do any racing or live in an area where it snows you will be changing out your tires frequently and that can get quite expensive. The $2,000 or so you might spend for a tire installer and balancer can pay for itself. Not to mention, you can make some money on the side installing tires for friends or neighbors.

For home use, the XK USA 950 and 680 or the Mayflower 980 and 800 combos are probably the best values for the money. Unless you are installing run-flats or some really wide low profile 30 series tires you really do not need the extra arms or accessories on the higher end installation machines. While they make it easier, worst case (aside from run-flats) you might need a friend or neighbor to help you install them at the cost of a six-pack of their favorite brew. Trust us, save your money as the above machines are more than adequate.

As for quality, despite costing around $2,000, these are entry-level mounters and balancers. However, that does not make them bad and many people are happy with them. Likewise, being simple and basic means there are fewer things to break. Also, many of the components can be easily replaced. As for the balancers, most of them are basic as well. However, they get the job done and will balance a wheel properly, and are ideal for home and light shop use.

For shop use, the Triumph machines are difficult to beat. While they are more expensive, they are built to last. If you are installing 20 or more tires a day, things will wear out quicker. Same with the balancers, most of them are not intended to spin 20 tires an hour and unlike installers, many components are not user-serviceable. Aside from the Triumph, none of the above combos were designed to be used in a tire shop.

While this review was mainly centered on tire installer and balancer combos, there are people who may only need one of the machines. In that case, there are a few options and starting with installers, if you only need something basic the XK USA 950 and HPDMC will do for home use. If you need the extra attachments, the XK USA 988 is an upgrade.
As for balancers, there are not many differences between the entry-level models. The XK USA and Mayflower are the cheapest, at around $1000. All of them will get the job done and are sufficient. Most of the time a poor balance is due to not inputting the settings correctly or forgetting to remove the old wheel weights. Unless it is for shop use where a faster duty cycle and durability are more important the models reviewed here are fine.

What Are Some Things to Consider When Buying a Tire Installer and Balancer?

For home use, space is a consideration as they need to be kept indoors. Obviously, you will need a garage with a concrete floor. Likewise, you will need a large air compressor (not the portable ones) to provide enough air pressure to operate the tire installer. If you do not have a compressor already plan on spending another $1500 or so and possibly having to wire it for 230 volts. Likewise, for home use keep in mind tire installers are noisy so if you have neighbors, they might not be too happy if you plan on mounting tires frequently. This is less of a concern for a repair shop as most have compressors anyway and noise is not really an issue.

Do I Really Need a Tire Installer and Balancer for my Home Garage?

That is more personal preference as some people enjoy working on their own vehicles. Likewise, there are some benefits to owning them and the savings might pay for it rather quickly. For example, if you own multiple vehicles, do a lot of racing, or live in an area where it snows frequently, changing out your wheels and tires can get expensive. Tire installation fees can be $100 and if you do it a few times a year it adds up quickly. Therefore, having a mounter and balancer can easily save some money. Not to mention, you can make some money on the side installing tires for friends and neighbors as well.

Tire Installer and Balancer Maintenance

This can get expensive as parts do wear out and you will always need extra supplies. For tire installers, more complex means more things that can break like the extra arms and accessories. However, even the simple swing arm machines have items that need to be replaced. Some of the most common wear items are the plastic sleeve on the bead breaker, the removal bar, and clamps. While you can operate the machine without them, especially for steel wheels, they provide some extra protection when working on alloy wheels. Likewise, if you are using a plastic head, they wear out frequently and need to be replaced although this is not really an issue for a steel head.

Other issues are the bead breaker and cylinders that operate the clamps. These tend to wear out over time and can be expensive to replace. It is advised to check the price and availability before buying a machine. Fortunately, many of these items are not too difficult to replace.

As for tire balancers, you will need wheel weights and they can get expensive. Not to mention there are different types and it varies by the vehicle manufacturer. For a repair shop, you would need to have many of them available, along with weights for steel wheels and tape weights. For home use, this is less of an issue as you only need to buy the ones that fit the wheels you are working on. Another consideration is you may need special cones for the balancers. Toyota trucks and SUV’s require a special cone to balance the tires properly and that is usually not included. Also, there are not many parts that are serviceable on a balancer. Not to mention, parts can be expensive, and you may need to hire a technician to service it.

Tire Installation and Balancing How-To’s

While most of this is common sense and anyone who has installed tires is familiar with these procedures it doesn’t hurt to go over them. For one, you should always let the air out of the tires before breaking the bead. If not, you are putting additional stress on the bead breaker which can damage the arm, a costly item. Likewise, pay attention if the vehicle has a direct TPMS system, meaning the sensor is inside the wheel (usually located at the valve stem). Also, make sure the inner and outer bead is fully broken. If it is not, when trying to dismount the tire it may pull the head down and scratch the rim. As for clamping the rim, ideally, you should clamp it from the outside, especially alloy wheels. Doing so keeps the wheel stable and it won’t come shooting off the machine which happens.

When removing the tire, always start at the valve stem if the car has TPMS. If not, there is a good chance you will break the sensor, especially when removing the inner bead. That is a very frequent mistake that many tire techs make, even experienced ones. Likewise, if you are working on run-flat or low-profile tires use the extra arms on the machine if equipped. The rollers or boot can save you a lot of stress by keeping the bead broken and make the tire removal and installation process a lot easier. Even then, you still might need a second hand. That is especially true for run-flat tires which can be difficult to install and air up.

Also, keep in mind that most of the machines have a bead blaster which is useful for setting the beads. However, many times, even on professional installers they are insufficient, especially for larger truck tires and some high-performance tires with stiff sidewalls. A useful accessory is a portable bead blaster and there are models available for less than $100.

For tire balancing, it is a little easier. Some of the higher-end machines are easy to set up and usually have an arm that extends and comes in contact with the rim, taking all the measurements. On older or more basic balancers, you have to use a caliper to measure the diameter, then input the numbers and choose the type of balance (Dynamic, Alloy, Static) manually. It is important to make sure the numbers are correct as an inch can affect the balance significantly. Likewise, the recommended procedure for most alloy wheels is to place the cone in the backside of the wheel. Depending on the vehicle (or manufacturer for aftermarket wheels) you may need a special cone that usually needs to be bought separately.

Frequently Asking Questions About Tire Machines

Can you install low-profile and run-flat tires without the extra accessories on the more expensive machines?

Aside from some non-performance run-flats with high aspect ratios, they are going to be nearly impossible to install without the extra accessories on the more expensive mounters. Anyone who has installed wide, Z-rated run-flats knows how difficult it is even with the extra arms. Many times, you still need a helper to remove the tire. The same can be said for regular high-performance tires as some of them have very stiff sidewalls and you will learn to appreciate the extra features these machines have.

Can I just buy a tire installer and not a balancer?

Yes, but any time you install a tire it needs to be balanced. If not, you feel a vibration in the seat or steering wheel at highway speeds. Likewise, as tires wear they need to be rebalanced which is usually done when you rotate them. If you are going to spend the money on a tire installer, you are better off buying a combo.

Will the mounters and balancers work with motorcycle wheels?

Yes. Most of the tire machines can install motorcycle and ATV tires. However, you will probably need an adapter for the clamps which usually cost around $150 depending on the machine. If you plan on working on motorcycles, it is advised to check availability first. As for the balancer, most of them will although you may need a special cone or adapter.

Where are the tire installers and balancers made?

Most of them are made in China although that does not make them bad. As noted, most of them are entry-level machines and not intended for use in a tire shop. They are perfect for home use or a small repair shop that might install a few tires a day. The installers and balancers you see in a tire shop are considerably more expensive than any of the units here.

Final Thoughts 

With that said, there are benefits to owning a tire installer and a balancer for a home garage. Likewise, it is an investment that can pay for itself if you use it regularly. Not to mention make some extra cash on the side. For most vehicles, you will not need the extra accessories and arms. The basic installers will do just fine. Aside from the Triumph machines, none of them are designed for use in a tire shop as you would see more specialized installers and balancers that are considerably more expensive than anything reviewed here.

Likewise, many of the XK USA, Mayflower, and Nationwide machines listed here are very similar in terms of features. Same with the balancers, they are all very basic and there are not many differences between them. If you decide to buy one, take care of it and enjoy it. Hopefully, this review will assist you in choosing the installer and balancer combo that is best for you.

Feel free to leave a comment below on whether or not you think we have missed any products that might belong on our list. Also, please leave a comment below if you have had any experiences with any of the tire machines or tire balancers on this list, you might be able to help someone choose the best tire install machine or wheel balancer for them!

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