A tire changer is a fundamental machine for a tire shop and general auto shops that provide tire products and services. It’s usually paired with a tire balancer machine that together allows dealerships and non-dealership to properly uninstall and install tires on their customers’ vehicles.
while tire changers and wheel balancers deal with the physical components of a vehicle’s wheels, the obd2 scanner deals with the vehicle’s electronic components such as Foxwell NT710, and all three are essential tools for any automotive repair shop.
Types of Tire Changer Wheel Balancer Combos
There are actually different types of tire changer wheel balancer combos available in the market. The differences majorly refer to how it works and how you can operate the machine. However, each combo may also share similarities with the others.
Table Top Tire Changers
It’s the classic tire changer with a table-top operation that’s been widely used in tire shops for decades. Operators may use the side shovel in the machine to help them with tire-changing operations.
Center Clamp Tire Changer
The setup usually involves the center clamping system that makes the whole operation accessible from the top. Generally speaking, modern technicians are more familiar with center clamp tire changers as it’s more practical. Some people also prefer this tire changer as it usually provides better protection on the rims.
Static Wheel Balancers
Static Wheel Balancers work by using gravity to detect any imbalance issue with the tire. The wheel would be mounted on the non-rotating spindle machine as the balancing procedure is run.
Bubble Wheel Balancer
It’s another traditional wheel balancer that works with bubbles for detecting imbalances on tires. Professional tire shops have left this type of wheel balancers but DIYers or at-home mechanics can still use them.
It could have been the best tire changer for home garage applications. There’s no gauge to measure imbalances so accuracy isn’t the main point. This balancer is the most affordable among the others.
Dynamic Wheel Balancers
As opposed to the stationery machine, dynamic wheel balancers come with more robust functionality. These balancers are usually more expensive and less portable but offer more accuracy and wider compatibility. Dynamic wheel balancers are generally ideal for bigger tire shops.
Combination Wheel Balancers
Today, there are many wheel balancers that support both static and standard dynamic modes in one machine. There are actually more modes supported in the wheel balancers that allow you to access different methods of balancing wheels.
Top 4 Best Tire Changer In-depth Review
1. Nationwide NW 530 Tire Changer and NW 953 Wheel Balancer
The ultimate pair of Nationwide NW 530 Tire Changer and NW 953 Balancer is the first on this list. Even though it is generally a standard tire changer, the NW 953 balancer is an expert’s recommendation.
Together, the combo can install most types of tires with no problems. You may not expect too many accessories, but you can get the best value for your money from the pair.
Tire Changer NW-530
It’s a swing arm style tire change that requires manual mounting and demounting. The bead breaker is side-mounted for easier access and more comfortable operation. NW-350 already supports quick and safe tire inflation where the tire bead seating inflation jets are integrated in clamping jaws. The whole tire changing operation would be more efficient than the disintegrated designs.
The inclusions are also valuable for your tire or auto shop. NW-350 already comes with an air pressure regulator, lubricator, and water separator. This way, you can assemble parts from the package and be ready to use the tire change without purchasing any additional parts.
Tire Balancer NW-953
The tire balancer from New World goes ahead of the changer’s class. It’s the best wheel balance machine that has comprehensive features. These include self-diagnosis, self-calibrating, static balancing, and even optimization programs. NW-953 can handle light-alloy rims for performance wheels because it already supports ALU-s balancing.
NW-953 is an advanced tire balancer with complete perks for its price. With three centering cones and multiple operator programs, operators can handle different balancing scenarios.
This also allows the balancer to work on a wider range of tires with more flexibility. Generally speaking, NW-953 has the complete capability to do most tire balancing tasks efficiently.
Together, Tire changer NW-350 and tire balancer NW-953 become the pair that enable you to properly change and balance various tires. While NW-350 is still a standard-grade machine, the installed tire can be properly taken care of later with NW-953.
2. Mayflower 560 Tire Changer and 680 Wheel Balancer
Another tire changer pair comes from Mayflower that offers a more powerful performance. They include 560 semi-automatic tire changers and 680 electronic wheel balancers. These machines suit tire shops since they can cater to most tire sizes. Whether you’re a dealership or auto retail shop, this Mayflower duet could be something you should invest in.
560 Semi-Automatic Tire Changer
Mayflower tire changers come with a powerful setup that allows you to change tires more efficiently. The operating pressure is up to 10 bar with 5600 lbs pneumatic piston on the bead break.
This allows you to uninstall and reinstall tires without effort, especially as it comes with a semi-automatic system. However, Mayflower 560 only works on 110V only so you better check your voltage in your shop.
The best tire changer has wide compatibility that can cater to all tires up to 35” and wheel width up to 12”.With this coverage, you can change pretty much all standard vehicle tires with no problems. It has larger inside and outside rim clamping that secures all wheels within the range.
Mayflower 560 is powered by a strong 1.5 HP motor that speeds up tire-changing jobs every time. While it’s slightly more heavyweight than the competitors, it’s understandable considering the power and features the tire changer brings
Mayflower 680 Wheel Balancer
Mayflower 680 is an electronic wheel balancer with American standard measurements on its presets. It’s a pretty accurate wheel balancer of its price range for sure. The operation takes a low power consumption of 250 watts max and is considerably more silent than comparable products(less than 70dB). Like the tire changer, Mayflower 680 runs only on a 110v power supply.
The wheel balancer already supports multiple modes that cover more tire operations. These include static mode, standard dynamic mode, motorcycle mode, and three ALU modes. At this point, you can adjust the suitable mode for the tires you’re balancing with the machines.
More importantly, Mayflower 680 comes with complete inclusions. These include the three centering cones, quick-release wing nut, and comprehensive tire balancing accessories. This way, you don’t need to buy any additional tools to operate the tire balancer.
Mayflower 560 and 680 are a great pair for standard tire-changing jobs. Both machines can work together efficiently as the tire changing and balancing station in your shop. If you’re dealing with standard vehicle tires most of the time, then this pair would be a valuable investment.
3. TRIUMPH NTC 950 and NTB 550 Tire Changer & Wheel Balancer
You might have been familiar with the TRIUMPH brand and yes, they produce tire changers and balancers. TRIUMPH NTC-950 tire changer and NTB-550 tire balancer are the pair with everything you need to properly change and balance tires. It also has wider compatibility that expands the functionality of the tire workstation in your shop.
The main feature of TRIUMPH NTC-950 is the Jet Blast Inflation System that allows you to inflate any kind of tire in the range real quick. The tire changer also comes with the ultimate bead breaker system. They allow you to complete multiple sets of wheels within a short time. In other words, the tire changer can operate efficiently especially if you have such an active tire shop.
It is important to note that while the NTC-950 can change most standard tire sizes, it may not be suitable for vehicles with custom or oversized wheels or those that require wheel spacers for trucks. In such cases, specialized equipment may be needed, and customers may need to seek out specialized tire shops or mechanics.
Our wheel balancer reviews also find that NTC-950 is rich in inclusions that make it worth investing in for any scale of the shop. Our purchase already includes a lube bucket/brush, tire iron, demount head(metal and plastic), wheel clamp covers, and other accessories. Once assembled, we can straightforwardly operate the tire changer.
We’ve noticed the ultimate accuracy of TRIUMPH NTB-550 thanks to the foot pedal wheel brake that allows the operator to hold the wheel when the weight is placed. This system enables more accurate and efficient tire balancing operation than generic machines without breaking pedals.
It’s certainly clear that TRIUMPH NTB-550 can cater to all tires worked with an NTC-950 tire changer. Both machines are compatible with tire and wheel measurements that they can accommodate. These include most sizes of tires for regular cars and light pickup trucks.
Generally speaking, NT-950 is the best tire changer machine that offers an easy and safe operation with a great interface. The monitor interface makes the functions more accessible for operators.
You don’t have to purchase any additional operational accessories because the unit already comes with the cone adapters, wheel weight hammer, quick-release wing nut, safety hood, rim caliper, and so forth.
TRIUMPH NTC-950 and NTB-50 is the ultimate combo with great value for your money. Together, you can have a more efficient tire workstation in your auto shop. Both machines have the same tire measurement coverage so you won’t find any compatibility issues for tires you’re changing.
4. XinKong XK 988 Tire Changer and 680 Balancer
XinKong USA comes into the market offering a competitive tire changer and balancer combo. 988 Tire Changer and 680 Tire Balancer are new models from the manufacturer for the US market.
The combo offers wider compatibility and functionalities for tire shops or auto shops with tire services. Xinkong 988 and 680 are sold in pairs where operators can use them promptly for changing the tires of different vehicles.
988 Tire Changer
It’s not the most powerful tire changer on this list but XinKong 988 would do the job for sure. The operating pressure can go up to eight bar which is adequate and not overpowering for regular tire works.
Most importantly, the tire changer already supports air bead blaster functions that optimize the whole operation.
We find it very interesting that XinKong 988 has a bigger capacity despite its lower operating pressure. The tire changer can accommodate a wheel diameter of up to 41 inch which is larger than comparable competitors. At this point, XinKong 988 tire changer consequently have wider compatibility as long as the tire width doesn’t exceed 12.5 inches.
Generally speaking, XinKong 988 is a great all-around tire changer for tire shops. You can easily deal with standard tires of cars and regular pickup trucks. However, anything that goes beyond the standards must be subject to re-measurements.
680 Tire Balancer
XinKong 680 tire balancer comes with American standard presets and works in conjunction with 988 tire changers. It’s competitively accurate compared to other balancers in this list. The console is well-managed so you can access the kits easily when balancing the tire.
Despite having standard measurements, XinKong 680 also already has multiple modes including the static mode, standard dynamic mode, motorcycle mode, and three ALU modes. We’ve found these modes expand the balancing operations and allow you to work on different types of wheels within its range.
Like other balancers in this list, XinKong 680 tire changer already comes with four centering cones and a quick-release wing nut. Unfortunately, the wheel hood protector isn’t included and you need to pay another $200 to get one. For safety reasons, we suggest you purchase the protector and don’t operate the machine without it.
XinKong 988 and 680 could be the best tire changer for the money to invest for your tire shop if you’re serving regular vehicles. Don’t worry about the compatibility because these models are already present with American standard measurements. They have a slightly larger capacity than the competitors.
What to look at before buying a Tire changer
When choosing a tire changer, you better consider several fundamental factors. It’s because tire changers in the market may have different technical specifications or even operational procedures.
Check the materials that the manufacturer uses to build the tire changer and balancer. You don’t have to be an expert but you can always count on the reviews from other customers.
Today’s tire changers are generally accurate but you better check again the technical specification. On paper, the accuracy must be somewhere between -1g to +1g. This range outlines the best tire-changing results after the balancing.
It’s very important to see the maximum capacity of the tire changer and balancer. These include the max-width and max diameter of the wheels. You should refer to the measurement range of the tires that you usually work on.
Despite the technical-related factors, you may consider the inclusions of the machine. Some tire changers may come with separate tools and accessories that support the operation. You can save hundreds of dollars on tire changers with wider flexibility.
As previously mentioned, a tire changer typically comes in a combo. It means that you’d buy a bundled package of a tire changer and a tire balancer. It’s better to choose them in a pair to avoid compatibility or disparity issues.
After all considerations, you can set your budget and choose a tire changer that suits it. Price differences can be subject to brands, inclusions, quality, and even after-sales services. Therefore, take your time in comparing prices of tire changers on your list.
How Can I Calibrate my machine properly?
The “chasing weight” situation is the main reason why you should calibrate your machine, especially the tire balancer. You should check the manual book for the exact calibration procedure because it might be different for every machine.
What else do I need aside from my tire changer and wheel balancer?
Major tire changer and balancer manufacturers already include tools, parts, and accessories that allow operators to properly change and balance the tire. This way, you don’t need anything more to get the job done. Just complete tools or accessories that support operation.
Will the mounters and balancers work with motorcycle wheels?
Prominent tire mounters and balancers now come with the so-called motorcycle mode. It literally means that you can change and even balance motorcycle wheels with these machines as long as they’re still in the range.
Tire changer and balancer are inseparable pairs to properly change the tires of a vehicle. That’s why machines are sold in combo packages so tire shops can get all the job done on their tire workstation. You need to consider technical specifications and other non-technical factors carefully to get the best tire changer and balancer.
The products we’ve mentioned are actually the best combos currently available in the market that have the most competitive specs and prices. It’s better to buy tire changer and balancer in combo packages to prevent compatibility or disparity issues between two machines.
About the author
Hi, I am David Richard a formal mechanical engineer. I completed my graduation in 2009 from the University of Colorado Denver. now I am working for a well-known company. You can review articles about car diagnostic tools can be found on my own website obdcore.com