How to cut rubber tires from rims

Updated February 21, 2017

A blown tire means that the sidewalls or tread have ripped off the vehicle while driving. Typically, the end result is that the rim is left with the tyre's bead still attached but nothing left of the tire. Even the best of pneumatic machines can't easily remove a tire when the only thing left is the bead. When pneumatic tools and manpower fail, the best option is to cut the tire off the rim using a hand-held Dremel with a metal-cutting attachment so that you can cut through the steel belts easily.

Secure the rim to a solid surface using clamps, rope or other material that can hold the rim steady. You want the rim immobile while attempting to cut the tire off to avoid damaging the rim.

Deflate the tire. If there is still air in the tire, deflate it fully before attempting to cut into it.

Cut the tread off first. If more than just the bead remains and you have a full tire on the rim that cannot be removed otherwise, cut the tread off first so that you can have access to the inside of the tire, where the bead connects to the rim.

Use a hand-held Dremel with a metal-cutting attachment or an angle grinder to cut the tire. An angle-grinder will work faster and not heat up as much, but it is difficult to use on fine cuts like cutting the bead. Cut on the sidewall going around the whole circumference of the tire on both the front and the rear of the tire. The tire and tool will heat up as you cut. Spray room-temperature tap water on the tire to keep it cool as needed while you cut.

Remove the bead. Starting at the farthest point from the rim, cut towards the rim slowly. When you have cut the majority of the bead, use wire cutters to cut the remaining portion so that you do not cut the rim with the tool.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand-held Dremel with metal-cutting attachment
  • Angle-grinder (optional)
  • Wire cutters
  • Clamps or similar
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