While John Sipe may have been able to improve his traction at work by siping the treads of his shoes using a sharp knife and a few other tools, please don’t think that siping tires is a procedure that you can do at home without the proper equipment. Over the past 50 years, tire siping technology has improved dramatically, and it is important that the siping process be performed by a trained professional using the right equipment. If your tires are improperly siped, you may impair your tire braking ability, seriously reduce “tire road grip,” and endanger your passengers, yourself, and other drivers.
Believe it or not, the narrow slits (or “sipes”) that make such a big difference in tire performance are almost invisible to the naked eye. During the tire siping process, the tire is rotated on a machine that slices the sipes at a 90-degree angle to the direction of the tread blocks. The process does not harm the tire, and since the process leaves some areas of the tread uncut, the individual tread blocks remain very strong.
With the right equipment, the tire siping process can be completed in as little as thirty minutes; and you can be back on the road with improved tire road grip and overall tire performance.