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Respectognize!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
anyone here use tire groovers to put an edge back on their tires? especially the "used tire budget" types like myself. I was looking at options and it seems like they come it two versions, cheaper and expensive. Id like to opt for the 85 dollar one but if i want to grove the outside edge of my tires during service, the 400 dollar one seems to be a faster cutting, instant on kind of deal and looks to be overall of a higher quality. Anyone have experience? Im going to look for used options as well.
 

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straight at T
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647 Posts
Don't get a cheapo one like this

They're a pain to use and don't work anywhere near as well or as fast as the expensive ones. Keep searching Ebay, used Van Alstines and Rillfits come up from time to time. I got a used Rillfit off Ebay for $150, like this:


The cheap ones work but they are slow and you will go through a lot of blades.
 

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The cheap ones do work but you hand will get tired after one tire and it is slow going. The only reason I used the cheap one is because a friend had it and let me use it.

I broke one blade on the first tire and decided to make my own blade out of some thicker steel I had. I just filed the edge. Worked great on the next 5 tires.
 

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Having used a cheap one before there is no way the cheap one would work in the limited time during a service. I doubt you could even do one tire in 30 minutes.
 

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While putting new edges on the tires at service is nice to think of, In reality it's not really practical unless you have a large cervice crew- there usually is just too many other things that HAVE to be fixed then should / could be done that are worth more than new edges.

If I think I'll wear the edges, I have a second pair ( in my case it's only rears) of pre-grooved tires to put on, then grooving can be done at leasure in the garage at home with beverages in hand --- or at least leave your crew something to do while you're on stage :D

When you look for a groover, I'd stick with the used expensive one, or at least get the cheapie for now and keep looking. Also make sure you can get blades, if you can find a local source ( commercial tire shop supply ) so much better - and they may even know of old machines sitting around. Keep in mind for use at service, power is not usually availiable and I think a groover would really take over an average generator - no power left for lights, coffee maker, micro wave ( you know the important stuff ) etc......

PS as you look at generators the basic electrical rule Watts = Voltage x Amperage

EG...
A 1500 w generator = 12.5 amps MAXIMUM output
@ 120 volt
 

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Having heard about struggling with some of the cheaper units we ended up picking up a Van Alstine G1000 unit. For the few times I've used it it's relatively expensive but it's so easy to use when I am grooving tires that I don't care. Never tried anything else. Put a bunch of mud cuts in some old Michelins for rallyx and sandblast.
 

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Respectognize!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well ebay will certainly be my plan then. I like the idea of just having another set of rears ready. And i have the spares to do it. I was mostly thinking of overnight service where there is a lot more time. But keeping the service crew busy isnt a bad idea either. Regardless, the ownership of one with my tire budget would be smart. I can certainly feel the difference on the smoother idaho roads since there is less media to bite into.
 

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Trogdor
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No, not useable during a service.

I heavily cut a pair of Hankooks in a half hour with my Afco unit (same as all the other $80 things). It took an hour to do a much lighter trimming on four tires. The trick is, to let it get HOT and let the heat do the work. Slices right through the rubber. Using it insufficiently hot just dulls/breaks blades. I plug it in and come back to it after 20 minutes to a half hour.

That's on rally tires. For snow tires (General cheapos), I wanted to add some circumferential grooves so maybe my car would turn in a little better. With a hot gun, I found that I could put the wheel on a tire machine and just hit the turntable. Zip!

But you gotta prepare.
 

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Respectognize!
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
so what im hearing i should talk with a few of my electrical engineering friends from college and build some 2000w death cutter... i kid. mostly.

well i might just get the 80 dollar sucker used on ebay for a lot less if nothing good becomes availble. at least i can keep the tires i have doing their best for me til i find a better one, if i decide i really need one.
 

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so what im hearing i should talk with a few of my electrical engineering friends from college and build some 2000w death cutter... i kid. mostly.
Or skip the electrical and go straight to the propane powered open flame death cutter model 2 ...........
 
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