What Are Shaved Tires? (All You Need To Know)

If you’re purchasing a single new tire, then you may want to consider shaving it to match the rest of your tires.

However, tire shaving isn’t widespread and can be a bit controversial. How safe is it? For everything you need to know about tire shaving, keep reading!

What Are Shaved Tires?

Shaving a tire involves removing tread rubber. This is done for a variety of different reasons, but is usually meant for a tire to match the other three tires on the car. However, it can also be done for track-racing cars, as it may help them maintain more grip and get the most out of their car model.

If you’d like to learn more about what tire shaving is for, where you should shave your tires, how much tire shaving costs and more, keep reading for useful facts, tips, and information!

What is Tire Shaving For?

Most tires have tread. Therefore, it may seem pointless to get rid of that tread, as it’s there for a reason.

However, there are situations where the tire’s tread may not be all that useful, like on a race track for example. In this circumstance, lacking tread can actually make the tire more durable, since blistering on the hot race track will be less common.

Plus, tires with little tread can often get a good grip on a race track.

With that said, tire shaving has been used for regular cars as well. For instance, if you purchase a single new tire while still using three older ones, your tires will not be the same. As you might imagine, this can lead to handling problems and similar issues.

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Fortunately, you can use tire shaving to reduce the tread of the new tire to match the old ones, as you’ve been driving on it the whole time.

Of course, this will minimize the lifespan of the new tire. However, it will also minimize accidents and save you money on components, which may wear down faster due to the mismatched tires.

When Should You Shave Your Tires?

When Should You Shave Your Tires?

For the most part, tire shaving makes sense if you have a relatively new set of tires and need to replace one (ex. one of your tires got a puncture).

Even if you haven’t been driving on your tires very long, they will be missing some tread. Therefore, the new replacement tire won’t match them. In the end, this can lead to more accidents, since driving on mismatched tires can affect handling.

Some of your car’s software and components can also be affected. For instance, traction control is often thrown off by mismatched tires, and your suspension may also be affected.

With that said, tire shaving is an easy way to make your new tire match the wear of the old one, as you’re getting the tires’ tread to the same length so that it matches the other tire

However, this only makes sense if you’re driving on new tires. If your tires are older, it doesn’t make much sense to buy a new one and wear the tread way down. In fact, it might save you quite a bit of money to replace all the tires rather than customizing them.

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What Does it Cost to Shave a Tire?

Usually, shaving a tire is quite cheap and costs about $25 to shave a single tire. However, the amount of tread you need to remove does matter.

The more tread you need to remove, the longer the process takes. Therefore, it also drives up the price, as more time and effort are involved.

Is It Safe to Shave Tires?

For the most part, you can safely shave tires as long as you don’t shave them too low. The tread still needs to be street-legal, but as long as it stays above the safe limit, there is no reason that shaving tires would be dangerous.

However, tires slowly become less safe as they’re worn down. Therefore, shaved tires will be automatically less safe than unshaved tires.

Of course, if you’re shaving your tire to make it match the other tires, then it’s probably the safer decision. Having mis-matched tires is less safe than having tires with less (but still legal) tread.

How is a Tire Shaved?

To shave a tire, you need a special shaving machine, which consists of a rotating blade that can be adjusted as necessary.

The blade will spin and come into contact with the rubber, causing pieces of the rubber to peel off, and the angle of the knife can be adjusted depending on the type of tire and the depth needed.

To find out more, you can also read our posts on what are bias tires, what are tire plies, and how to get rust off tire rims.

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Conclusion

Shaved tires have had some of their rubber removed from their tread. While this can be done for many reasons, it’s largely done when purchasing a new tire.

When you purchase only one tire, it won’t match your other three tires. However, instead of spending huge amounts of money on all new tires, you can simply pay to have one shaved down, which is much safer than driving on tires that don’t match.

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