Wheel Talk

Differences between a used wheel and a reconditioned rim

A used stock wheel is an OEM wheel that has been mounted on a car and may have sustained a bit of wear over time. While a reconditioned wheel is a used stock wheel without significant damage that has been polished, painted, machined, or a combination of to appear as a brand new factory original rim. When comparing a reconditioned wheel and a used wheel, the considerations are appearance, cost, and a customer’s personal preference.

Reconditioned Wheel vs Used Wheel 


A used wheel can look less appealing than a reconditioned or a new take-off wheel. A reconditioned wheel is meant to appear shiny and new. When we obtain used wheels, we first begin by inspecting the wheels carefully for any damage. We note cosmetic damage that has occurred over time using our 12-tier A through F grading scale. This easy to understand grading system describes wheels from brand new to heavily used condition. For instance, our “B Grade” wheel will have a minor scratch/scuff or two, is nice and shiny, and of course, is a straight wheel! Here is a quick look at our grading scale:


A Like New

It looks brand new but has been mounted. No flaws on the face of the wheel. New take-off with minimal miles. What you would expect on a new car.

B Good

Good at first glance. Few minor scratches are noticeable at a 10-foot distance. Has a bright uniform finish. No deep nicks in metal. No missing or dented metal.

B- Good


Good at first glance. Same as “B” but has light curb rash.


While a reconditioned wheel starts as a used OE rim, the reconditioning process can be laborious and time-consuming, making it more costly than a used wheel. If the used OE wheel passes our stringent examination, they will go through the reconditioning process to make the used OE wheel look like a new factory original rim. Some wheels need to be straightened and repaired if they have dents or scratches. Other wheels sometimes need to be stripped of their finish and then repainted. But due to the labor and materials used during the reconditioning process, a reconditioned wheel will cost more than a used wheel. However, if the used wheel is an A+ that has never been mounted, then that wheel may also be higher in price.

When it comes down to deciding between a used rim or a reconditioned wheel, the decision is personal. If an individual has a new model and they hit a pothole causing damage to their wheel, then that person may prefer replacing their wheel with a reconditioned wheel so it will match the others. On the other hand, another person who owns an older vehicle may not need to replace their wheel with a reconditioned rim because then they would have one oddball out of four. They may prefer to have a used wheel that matches the other three wheels. Cost and wheel appearance will play a part in deciding which is best. specializes in both used wheels and reconditioned rims. With over 150 years of stock wheel experience, we can help you find the right wheel for you and your needs. Based in Los Angeles, we sell and buy wheels throughout the country. Find your replacement wheel in our large selection of factory original wheels in both steel and aluminum alloy.