Watch as these wheels are crushed in a hydraulic press

The aluminum wheel behaves quite differently than a steel wheel

The big idea behind the Finnish YouTube oddity, Hydraulic Press Channel, is, "I wonder what happens if we put [OBJECT] in a hugely powerful hydraulic press?" It's a great question, and for a couple years the channel has been squeezing things to bits with often hilarious – sometimes outright dangerous – consequences. Now that winter tire season is creeping towards us, the rallydriver-English speaking channel has gotten some sets of old wheels with the means of making them less round than they used to be.

Which wheel is stronger, an aluminum wheel or a steel wheel? This video shows how a Chevrolet Venture five-spoke aluminum wheel, complete with tire, cracks into pieces under 20 tons of pressing force. In a way, the clip shows what a really, really big pot hole can do to both kinds of wheels: the alloy wheel cracks, and the steelie bends without cracking.

It's only when the pressmaster decides to place an aluminum wheel on its bottom when things start exploding: the tire blows off the rim in such a bombastic fashion that bits of aluminum get thrown everywhere. Good thing there's enough protection for the video crew. And as for the steelie: it just gives way, as a steelie does. The video serves as a good instructional clip about the wheel materials' different characteristics, worth keeping in mind if you live in Potholeville, USA.

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