Tire Cutting Do’s & Don’ts

Splitting tires into halves is the absolute most logical thing to accomplish for those old, waste tires, either for appropriate tire disposal or reuse into decorative, agricultural, or gardening reasons. Tires, on the other hand, are made of tough rubber to survive tremendous damage and are encased inside using high-tensile steel belts, therefore it takes the correct equipment to get past them.

You can pick between two simple procedures for cutting tires into half: The first step is to cut through a gap in the sidewalls underneath the tread pattern with a blade or other pointy instrument. 

The subsequent procedure is to break them into smaller pieces using power equipment that includes a jigsaw, rotary saw, or Dremel machine containing metal cutting edges. The next step is to slice these into smaller pieces using power equipment including a jigsaw, round saw, and Dremel machine fitted with metal-chopping blades.

Things You Should Think About Before Tire Cutting

When you begin slashing tires, verify with your town to see if there’s any restrictions on wheel handling along with disposal. Wheels are not recyclable since they are constructed of synthetic rubber, therefore their chemical makeup might seep through the earth. As a result, some local rules are particularly detailed in this regard.


Because scrap tires and older ones count as solid trash, they are generally regulated by states. As of this writing, every state have particular laws or rules regarding scrap tire handling. While every nation’s program is distinctive, the similar elements include correct responsibility on dealing with, disposal, then recycling.

Correct disposal

If you intend to remove tires only to get rid of the pieces without considering reuse or reusing, you need also examine the regional or municipal restrictions. Tire disposal guidelines are required by some local legislation. Some particular standards, for example, state that wheels should be split into at least two sections.


When splitting wheels in the other half, you’ll need sharp and pointy instruments to pierce through the sidewalls and/or cut off the tread. 

That explains why precaution must be followed at all instances, and keeping instruments far from one’s skin is a smart place to start. 

Furthermore, the rubber particles left after removing tires range in shape from large chunks to showers of dust. This has a potential of passing via the nose or vision, causing discomfort. However, the released gases, which resemble flaming rubber, may be dangerous at low doses. Finally, the exposed area of steel belting is extremely sharp, therefore handle cut tires with great care.

Technique 1: Ways to Split Tires in Two Without Using Power Tools

You will require the following tools:

Step 1: Drill a hole at the ‘sweet spot’ within the sidewall

The ‘sweet spot’ within the sidewall refers to the gentler, smoother area approximately an inch from the treads. With almost no reinforcing belts, that is the tire’s vulnerable spot. However, refrain from cutting too near to the treads or excessively near the rim since these areas are overflowing with steel belting. Learn more about Sweet Spot in this video;

To do so, aggressively punch the sidewall using the point of the blade. Whenever you’re encountering problems or are dubious that the cutting edge will simply go across, an awl, ice pick, and other pointed instrument will come in handy.

Step 2: Anchor the wheel to keep it from wobbling

While slashing across the sidewall, the wheel will most likely rotate or move. To avoid this, put the tire down on the floor and stand on the reverse side of the wheel, farthest from where you’re cutting. A different method is to hold the tire straight by flexing into your toes or legs to avoid it from slipping. Nevertheless, you must exercise great care in this posture and ensure that you are carving out of your body.

Step 3: Using a sawing movement, cut through

When cutting using a sawing action, you might build velocity. Seams run along the sidewalls of some wheels, one around the tread area and second near the edge of the rim

While slashing through, utilize them as an indication. When slicing across the sidewall, the knife will find it more difficult to cut across the rubber. This is caused by resistance; you may spritz the blade some lubrication and instantly see the distinction.

Step 4: Use a piece of wood to keep the chopped part apart

Hardwood dowels maintain the drilled area open, allowing you to cut across the rubber more easily. These wooden dowels split apart the felt on each side of the blade, protecting it from becoming stuck.

Step 5: Keep cutting once the sidewall separates

If you’re almost halfway done, spin the wheel to another location to continue. This will allow the procedure go more smoothly. You may also aid yourself by pulling the opposite side from the sidewall with your left hand.

Method 2 of Cutting Wheels in Half: Cutting into tiny pieces

You will require the following tools:

  • Round saw, jigsaw, or a metallic grinding device on a Dremel tool
  • Iron cutting knife
  • Lubricant, such as WD-40
  • Safety goggles or spectacles
  • Face mask
  • Gloves and elbow sleeves
  • A vise or other similar gripping device

Step 1: Set up your chopping task in a public outdoor area or an office

Breaking tires using power saws leaves a lot of latex and metal particles behind, along with the gases that the chopped tire emits throughout the operation. 

To ensure a safe, successful, and tidy tire slicing activity, operate in an enclosed space with appropriate tools and supplies. If you’ll be working outdoors without access to power outlets, become certain the extension cable you’re using has a rating for high-voltage operations.

Step 2: Gather your materials

Every tire, no matter the size, is loaded with powerful steel straps, with bigger ones having stronger steel. That’s why it is crucial that the tool you are using can cut into metal. The work may be completed securely and effectively using ferrous-metal scissors or steel grinding tires.

Wear PPE that has eye coverings and dust respirators as well. Arm protection and gloves are also suggested for safeguarding your limbs from metal fragments shooting out from the tire.

Step 3: Make an across cut across one side

Push the blade horizontally over the sidewalls of the wheel, making your way carefully from the wheel’s inner lip towards the outermost part of its tread. 

Remember that the interior strong section of the wheel, known as a bead, is made up of an array of high-tensile steel cables twisted into a piece of rubber. In addition, there could be some resistance at this portion, but it’s nothing to fret about if you’ve got the proper blade.

Step 4: Finish the cut on the reverse side

Turn the tire around and trim on the other side, using the same technique as in Step 3. Following that, cut along the grooves to thoroughly remove the tire ends. Rotate the wheel 180 degrees then continue the operation until the tire is neatly separated in two. 

This method can spare you a substantial amount from effort and time. Since it decreases strain caused by the stiffness of the interior steel belts that hold the wheel together.

Step 5: Keep slicing in half

Keep cutting each set of tires equally onto smaller portions, as if slicing a piece of pie, unless you’ve shrunk it to four or eights. 

Because of the lower weight, the components will be more prone to shifting and rolling as they get smaller. Holding them fixed with a clamp or equivalent clamping instrument will assist.

Suggestions for Tire Cutting That Conserves Time & Resources

Tire slicing, if not well planned, requires extra but useless time, aside from the extra work that can be avoided in the initial stages. There are quite a few suggestions to think about, such as commencing cutting operations by penetrating the outer wall using a pointed instrument rather than the same blade and preventing trimming through metal belts.

Begin by drilling a hole through the sidewall using a sharp instrument.

Use the awl, an ice pick, or other similar instrument for probing through the tire. When you use a sharp blade or box cutter, that can lessen the amount of pressure you apply to the wheel.

Trimming steel belts straight is time-consuming if done mechanically

Machining directly into steel belts via hand demands too much work, even if you’ve got a power cutter, and the tool’s edges may get dull or broken. Let the tread or beading cutting for a jigsaw, round saw, and Dremel equipment.

I intend to recycle used tires for decorative uses.

What kind of equipment are required For Tire Cutting?

If you have to deal with vehicle tires, the procedure will stay the same no matter the size because you’ll be dealing with the identical steel reinforcing. If you are without any electrical tools, you may use an appropriate old saw or an enormous pair of steel shears, but prepare yourself for a more difficult operation, and you’ll most likely harm your fingers as well. 

Can I remove a tire away a rim?

Yes, that is conceivable. In fact, at an appropriate angle, you may cut down simply and as near the rim as feasible. The issue is to maintain that angle that is perfect, since you don’t desire the edge to contact the rim.


At first glance, the tire slicing procedure may appear scary. This thinking may have been triggered by the application of powerful equipment and the individual’s handling of difficult tire rubber compounds. Nevertheless, if done properly and with the right supplies and machinery, you should have no trouble completing this task. Just keep your safety in mind throughout all times.

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