Sometimes it is necessary to cut tires in order to dispose of them properly. Since tires are made from thick, durable rubber, you need the right tools to cut through them. You can remove sidewall from a standard tire with a sharp knife by cutting along the seam just next to the tread, being careful not to get the knife too close to the tread. To reduce a tire to manageable pieces, equip yourself with a power cutting tool, such as a circular saw or dremel, that is equipped with a blade suitable for use on metal.
Method 1 of 2: Removing the sidewall
Step 1. Pierce the sidewall close to the profile with a sharp knife
A box cutter or snap-off knife provides the best results when piercing the thick rubber. Push the tip of the blade straight into the smooth surface, approximately one inch from the start of the profile. Be careful not to cut too close to the tread as it may be reinforced with steel straps.
- If you have trouble making the first hole, use an awl, ice pick, or other tool with a sharp, pointed end.
- Trying to cut directly into the steel bands manually can damage or dull your cutting tool, or result in a lot of wasted effort.
Step 2. Push on the band with your foot or knee
Place the sole of your foot on the lower part of the band or kneel and push the band against the ground with one knee. This prevents the band from wobbling or shifting as you cut.
To avoid accidents, make sure you only put your foot or knee in the area where you are not cutting
Step 3. Cut along the outside of the profile with a sawing motion
Use your free hand to stabilize the tire as you smoothly push the blade through the rubber of the sidewall. Follow the seam that runs along the thicker profile.
- For maximum lifting power and control, place the blade with the tip toward you and slowly guide it down between your legs.
- If you're in a hurry, you can use a jigsaw or dremel with a cutting attachment to speed up the process.
spray your blade with WD-40 or a similar lubricant to reduce the friction the rubber creates.
Step 4. Use a wooden stick to keep the cut parts separate
Insert one side of the stick into the split band and lift it up. This pulls the rubber apart on both sides, making it easier to work without your knife getting pinched or deflected towards the profile.
Holding the cut parts open with a stick, rather than your own hand, also makes cutting yourself less likely
Step 5. Rotate or move the band to complete the cut
Once you've cut the top ⅓-½ part of the sidewall, pause and turn the band half a turn or walk around it until you're in a good position to continue working. Bring the blade all the way around to the starting point, then pull the material off the sidewall.
- Most garbage disposal services will not pick up old tires unless the sidewalls are removed. Not only are they difficult to handle when whole, but they can also accumulate water and other substances.
- If you want to reuse the tire instead of throwing it away, consider converting it into a garden hose holder, mini pond or unique planter for your garden.
Method 2 of 2: Cutting tires into smaller pieces
Step 1. Cut in a workshop or outdoor area
Cutting tires can be tricky as they tend to leave behind lots of small rubber and metal fragments. To ensure you work as safely, efficiently and neatly as possible, place the belt on a work table or set of sawhorses, or lay it outside on the ground.
- When you're done, sweep up the materials and toss them in the trash.
- You may need an extension cord if there are no outlets near your outdoor workspace.
Step 2. Place a metal-safe blade on your power saw or dremel
Most large belts are equipped with supporting metal belts, which means it is important to use a cutting blade that can cut through metal. Ferrous metal blades are recommended for circular and jigsaws, while for a dremel a metal grinding wheel provides the best cutting power.
- If you need to cut a lot of tires, invest in a set of saw blades with carbide saw teeth. Carbide blades make cleaner cuts and stay sharp for much longer than regular blades.
- You may also be able to cut a tire with a hacksaw, if you don't mind the extra movement.
Step 3. Start the first cut in width, through one side of the tire
Lay the band flat on its side on your work surface and turn on your saw or dremel. Push the cutting edge laterally or transversely into the sidewall, into the top surface of the tire. Move the tool slowly from the inner edge to the outer edge, stopping just before you get to the profile.
- You can feel resistance from the steel bands that sit on the inner edge of the band. Don't worry - as long as you've used the right blade, you should be able to cut through the tire relatively easily.
- If you are going to cut the tire in multiple places, you can make all the cuts on the same side first to save time.
it's good to wear safety goggles in case pieces come out of the tire unexpectedly.
Step 4. Flip the band over and complete the cut on the other side
Align the tool with the end of the cut you just made on one side and complete the cut on the other side. Work slowly and carefully, and don't forget to take your time when you come to a steel or nylon band.
Dividing the belt into two halves makes cutting faster and easier than trying to push the cutting tool through both sides at once. It also helps to avoid unnecessary damage to the work surface
Step 5. Make any other necessary cuts in the same way
Once you've cut tire in half, rotate the resulting pieces 90 degrees and begin cutting through the center of both halves. You can work this way until you've cut the tire into quarters, or even smaller.
- Stabilize the tire well after the first cut. As the pieces get smaller, they are more likely to slip or shift on the work surface.
- Most municipal disposal guidelines require tires to be cut into at least two pieces.
Step 6. Cut through the profile separately if it is difficult
It can be difficult to cut through the profile of a particularly large tire if you want to cut through it from the side. In this case, you can cut the sides of the tire and then stand the tire upright to cut directly into the profile. When the three cuts intersect, the rubber should fall apart without any difficulty.
- If possible, secure the band with a vise or adjustable clamp. If you don't have one, you can also clamp the band between your thighs to keep it in place.
- Be very careful when using your cutting tool and always keep it a safe distance from your body.
- When you're done cutting your tires, you can drop them off at any recycling center, waste collection point, or waste disposal center that processes rubber.
- Tires are a good source of residual rubber for various construction, craft and garden projects.
- The exposed steel bands in the cut band are very sharp, so avoid touching them.
- Remember that tires cannot be resold once they have been cut.