Buying Guide: Semi-Automatic Wheel Balancers
Whether you’re thinking of buying your first ever wheel balancer or are planning to upgrade from an old manual input model, a semi-automatic wheel balancer makes an awful lot of sense. This category is the most popular across the industry, offering an excellent blend of efficiency, ease of use and affordability.
We have a number of different semi automatic machines in stock here at Tyre Bay Direct. So, to help you decide which one’s right for you, we’ve put together a handy guide to the ins and outs of these popular models.
What is a semi-automatic wheel balancer?
As you might have guessed (the clue’s in the name!), manual wheel balancers are exactly that: you’ll have to input the parameters of the wheel you’re balancing manually. That means measuring the diameter, width and offset yourself, wasting precious time.
Semi-automatic wheel balancers remove a large part of this process. Using built-in sensors, they work out the rim’s diameter and offset automatically, saving you the time of checking or measuring it. Rim width still has to be measured manually, but the time saving is still significant.
Who is a semi-automatic balancer suitable for?
Semi-automatic models are ideal for garages that expect to do a lot of wheel balancing, purely because of the time savings they can deliver.
Over the course of a busy day, the time saved per job adds up – and when you multiply these time savings over a full month or year, it’s clear that the extra cost of a semi-automatic machine is well worth it. Time savings mean more work can be completed in less time – so it’s easy to see why so many garages invest in a semi-automatic balancer.
Fully automatic machines are available, but they come at a premium; semi-automatic versions offer a great blend between both extremes, which is why they’re so popular.
Features to look out for
When buying a balancer, there are a few key features and technical specifications to be aware of:
- Rim diameter – different machines have different maximum rim sizes (and total wheel sizes with the tyre included)
- Cycle time – the lower it is, the faster the balancing process
- Maximum wheel weight
- Warranty – this varies from brand to brand
A variety of different brands produce semi-automatic balancers, ranging from budget options like Redback to high-end, high-tech alternatives like Atlas Platinum and Hofmann Megaplan.
Which you choose depends entirely on your own requirements. If you’re on a budget and don’t anticipate wheel balancing being one of your bread-and-butter services, a Redback machine would fit the bill perfectly. If, on the other hand, you expect to get a lot of use out of your machine, it may be wise to invest in a more advanced and durable machine from a higher-end brand.
Explore our range of semi-automatic wheel balancers
Now you know a little bit about semi-automatic machines and what to look out for, why not explore our complete range? We have a wide variety of wheel balancers in stock for you to choose from, and if you have further questions, you can always get in touch – we’re here to help.