The 10 Best Bead Breakers

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This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in February of 2019. When you need to change your tire, it can be separated from its rim quickly and easily by use of a well-designed bead breaker. Since the rubber and metal components of your wheel can become melded together stubbornly from heat or rust, it usually takes a sturdy tool to provide enough force and leverage to get the job done. Here we rank them for ergonomics, durability, ease of use, and price. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. BeadBuster XB-450

2. Mophorn Little Buddy

3. K&L Supply Tire Tamer

Editor's Notes

October 21, 2020:

Today we added in the cleverly designed K&L Supply Tire Tamer, which can help you get the job done in a single motion and with just one hand. It’s a convenient way to minimize the effort of prying open the most stubborn of beads, and is affordable and compact. Even when you’re alone, it can have you installing tubes, valve stems, and rim locks in a matter of minutes. Its molded, rubberized grip makes it comfortable in the hand. We also added in the three-piece Mophorn Repairing Set, a manual tire changing kit that comes with a tire changer, a steel bead breaker, and a bead keeper. The tubes of the two larger pieces are equipped with a protective powder coating available in your choice of blue or red. To make room for these new additions, we say goodbye to the Stop & Go Black, a C-clamp model, and the 10-inch Motion Pro 08-0536, which is smaller than, but quite similar to, the 6-inch Motion Pro 08-0519.

We also replaced BestEquip Hydraulic, which is unavailable at this time, with the similar Mophorn Hydraulic, a set that takes most of the manual effort out of the job, as it delivers 10,000 pounds of force to separate the rubber from the rim. It's compatible with the wheels of trucks, tractors, and other commercial and agricultural vehicles. It comes with a hose and a pump, and offers a maximum working range of five inches. While it’s not light, at 62 pounds, it is relatively compact to make for easy storage. We’re still partial to the BeadBuster XB-450, a bright red all-steel model that’s versatile enough for use with the wheels of ATVs and UTVs, as well as lawn mowers, golf carts, and small aircraft. This lightweight American-made choice is highly portable and can be operated easily by one user.

May 14, 2019:

Bead breakers have been around since 1984 and can make the job of changing a tire easier by helping you separate the thick rubber section (a.k.a. the bead) from the rim, which can be a major undertaking without the right tools.

Today you can choose from among several different designs to suit your budget and preferences. Selections made with the shoe and lever design are generally affordable and work well with motorcycles, passenger vehicles, and trailers. Two such models from Motion Pro landed on our list: the 08-0519 and the 08-0536, crafted from aluminum and forged steel, respectively. Both are budget-friendly, hard-wearing sets that will provide the leverage needed to break stubborn connections.

A hydraulic tool will supply impressive force and take much of the manual labor out of the process. The American-made BeadBuster XB-450 is compatible with the tires of an impressive range of vehicles. It’s conveniently portable and easy to use, with a padded clamp to prevent scratching.

The STKUSA and AME selections on our list feature a slide-hammer mechanism, whereby you push down to force a wedge between the tire and rim. Their spring-action design makes them simple enough to operate without your arm becoming injured or fatigued.

Whichever of the many designs you choose, be sure to follow all directions with care and abide by all safety guidelines when working with any of these tools.

Special Honors

Pittsburgh Automotive 92961 Manufactured by Harbor Freight Tools, this model features durable steel construction that makes it strong enough to break tire beads quickly and with little hassle. It conveniently offers four height adjustments, so it’ll fit many a car or truck tire. It’ll stand up well to years of use, thanks to its powder-coated, rustproof finish.

Strongway Hydraulic Kit In addition to the tool itself, this selection is equipped with an oil tank, a pump, and a hose with a coupler. It’ll handle tough jobs in seconds, delivering 10,000 PSI of force. It works great on agricultural wheels, as well as single- to three-piece truck tires and rims.

4. Mophorn Hydraulic

5. Allstar Performance

6. Mophorn Repairing Set

7. STKUSA Stark Yellow

8. Motion Pro 08-0519

9. AME 71500

10. BikeMaster 03-171

Karen Bennett
Last updated by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.

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