Winter is the most dangerous time to drive and many accidents occur around this time. This is because it is the time of the year during snowfalls in different parts.
The snow affects your visibility when driving and the buildup of snow also affects your car’s traction. To be on the safe side, you must invest in quality snow chain for tires. These accessories provide the required traction and grip when driving.
They are easy to install and also affordable. However, selecting the best is not easy since today they are so many. Purchasing the wrong snow chain for tires can be very risky and it is a waste of money.
When buying, consider those ones which are easy to install, affordable and those with a reliable link pattern. You should also pick the correct size for your car tires.
Comparing The Top Snow Chains for Tires
1. Security Chain Company Super Z6 – Best Overall
One of the best things about this chain is that it is very easy to install and you do not need to move the car when installing. They also feature rubber tensioners which ensures that you do not have to stop and retighten after installation.
Also, they provide a better traction performance as compared to conventional tire chains or cables. Another impressive thing is that they last longer than the conventional tires.
You will also note that they offer better compatibility through the anti-lock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control and other electronic systems which are monitored by the control systems.
They are made for cars with limited clearance on the driving wheels. This chain is ideal for all types of cars irrespective of whether you are driving an SUV, truck, pickup or a passenger car.
They only need a clearance of ¼ inch at the sides of the tire. This means that it is possible to use them even on vehicles that are not able to accommodate standard tire chains. Lastly, they do not cause any damage to the wheel rims or your suspension.
- They are long lasting
- Easy to install
- They have a nice design which requires 6.33 mm only
- Compatible with different types of vehicles
- They do not cause any damage to the vehicle even when abused
- They are likely to come into contact with the vehicle’s body
- They limit the driving speed
2. Konig XG-12 Pro Snow Chains – Most Expensive Snow Chains
This system makes your work easier when installing since the chain can effectively regulate pressure required between links to provide the best performance.
You just need to mount the chain and nothing else. Unlike other tire chains, you do not need to do any adjustments on these. They also come with Nylon bumpers which ensures that to keep the abrasive metal surface of the chain does not come into contact with the alloy wheels to prevent damage.
These bumpers appear as red balls on the chain. Another thing is that they come with color-coded connection points which guides you during installation.
They also come with a plastic case where you can place them when not in use. The maximum driving speed should be 30 MPH when the chains are on.
Lastly, they have an outstanding diamond chain pattern and welded double traction plates which provides an excellent grip in snowy conditions. They are among the most expensive but are more effective than the rest.
- They have a unique chain pattern
- Easy to install
- Nylon bumpers which prevents the alloy wheels from damage
- Inbuilt self-tension system
3. Quality Chain Cobra Cable – Most Durable
They are also able to withstand any hardships when driving by providing the required resistance to your tires. This enables your vehicle to move without skidding.
They are made of high-end materials which enables them to withstand the weight of the car and offer the required support. The chains are made of carbon steel and the best thing about this material is that it does not break easily. This material also gives the chain the traction required.
They feature a low and small construction which enables the tire to get into contact with the ground safely. Additionally, they are able to reduce vibrations and noise when you are driving in snow. They also absorb any vibrations which result from the movement.
Another thing is that they are rustproof and are easy to install. They are suitable for vehicles with a small clearance. This means they are not ideal for big vehicles and trailers. They also come with rubber adjusters.
- Made of strong metal
- They come in different sizes
- Prevents noise and vibrations
- They are rustproof
- They are heavy
- You cannot use them in large vehicles
4. Security Chain Company Radial Chain – Most Affordable Snow Chains
These ones are an entry-level snow chains which are ideal for those on a budget. They are durable despite their low cost since they are made of stainless steel which makes them durable. Before buying.
It also ensures that they will fit perfectly on your car tires. The best thing is that they are available in different sizes which makes them ideal for all vehicles.
These chains have an improved design which enables them to provide the best performance when they are used with radial tires. They are suitable for general commuting in medium to low snow. However, you cannot compare their performance with high-end premium models.
The best thing about these chains is that they provide reasonable braking and works perfectly with ABS systems. They are very easy to install but you should tighten them after driving for a short distance. They are the best if you are searching for long lasting snow chains.
However, if you are intending to use them in bad or icy conditions, you need to consider premium chains which are a bit expensive.
- Long lasting
- They are available in different sizes
- Works well with ABS systems
- Offer reasonable braking
- They are not reliable since you have to tighten them frequently
5. Peerless Auto-Trac – Easiest To Install
They also have an excellent ratchet system which tightens the chains to the perfect tension using the movements of the wheels. This means that you do not need to move the car during an installation.
In addition, they have a nice diamond pattern which enables them to remain intact to your tires when driving. The diamond design provides excellent traction and a smooth ride. You just need less than a minute to install them per tire. You should not exceed 30 MPH when using these chains.
Moreover, they have advanced features such as better braking, advanced traction, compatibility with ABS and you should also note that they are electronically managed by the traction control systems.
These chains are suited for different types of vehicles. For instance, they are ideal for SUVs, sedan and trucks.
- Easy to install and remove
- Diamond pattern enables them to remain intact
- Auto track system tightens the chains automatically
- Meets all the clearance requirements of class “S”
- Maximum speed of 30 MPH
Factors to Consider When Buying Snow Chain for Tires
Now you already know the best snow chains for tires available today. If you still find it hard to determine the best, follow these tips.
You will find that snow chains come with different link patterns. Diagonal link pattern is highly recommended for slippery surfaces. Square links provide the best grip and are also durable. Ladder link patterns are the best for on and off-road driving.
This is a very important factor that you should never overlook when buying snow chains. However, you should not buy a chain just because it is affordable.
What matters most is the quality. Most of the cheap snow chains are not durable and are not reliable.
There are different types of snow chains on the market. When buying, you should go for the one that fits your car perfectly and one that is suitable for different driving conditions.
There are four types of tire chains for snow. You can choose from entry-level, premium, standard and traction snow chains. If you live in areas where snow and ice occur occasionally, entry-level snow chains will be the best.
As a rule of thumb, the standard chains are the best for regular snowfall. Traction devices are suitable for occasional driving in snow and are ideal for vehicles with low profile tires.
Some snow chains require professionals to install. It is always good to look for a snow chain that is easy to install. Ensure the chain you have selected has clear instructions on how to mount. This will make things easier for you and will save a lot of your time.
Some snow chains will require you to move the vehicle when installing. When using these chains, you need to keep tightening them after driving for a short distance. However, there are chains which contain rubber tightening systems and they have self-adjusting systems.
Type of Vehicle
Vehicle tires are very different in terms of size. You will find that standard entry-level and premium snow chains are very versatile. This means that they fit perfectly in SUVs, trucks and passenger cars.
When buying snow chains for tires, ensure that the chains you have selected will fit perfectly on your car tires. Check the width and diameter of your tire to confirm the correct size.
Car manufacturers usually recommend specific snow chains for their cars. You can find this information in the user manual provided for your vehicle.
Always look for the recommended snow chains since using the wrong ones may cause damages to the brakes, suspension wheels, or other parts of your car.
Every snow chain comes with a specific speed rating. This means that there is a recommended speed of driving. Most of the snow chain for tires allow a maximum speed if 30 MPH.
However, a higher speed rating does not guarantee the quality of the product. For that reason, it is good to confirm the recommended speed before purchasing.
Snow Chain for Tires FAQs
Q: How to Know Which Size to Choose for My Tires?
A: Take a closer look at your tires above the rim on the side wall. You will see three numbers out there. The first is triple-digit, while the 2nd and 3rd is double-digit.
The Tire Width is indicated by the first number. The 2nd number is the Tire Height Ratio – the height of the sidewall as a percentage of the total width. At last, the 3rd number indicates the diameter of your tires.
These measurements will give you a better idea of the size of your tires. You will need to choose snow chains based on these three measurements. They are all in inches.
Q: How Thick the Snow Chains Should Be?
A: It is all about tire clearance. You should ensure that there is enough clearance between the tire and the vehicle body, as the chain will need to sit on the wheel exterior over the whole length.
You can check this by putting your hands at top of the tire on the wheel. Run them behind and over the tires while reaching back and performing sweeping motions. If you don’t hit anything by your hands while going all the way around, then the tire clearance is good.
Passenger vehicles such as saloon cars have a lot of clearance between the car body and wheel. Minivan style vehicles, SUVs, and trucks usually have less clearance, generally speaking. Cars on lowered suspension or sports vehicles have the least clearance.
Q: How Many Tire Chains for Snow Do I Need?
A: It is a matter of personal preference. Some people only use snow chains for traction wheels – the wheels attached to the engine that cause the car to move.
If you have a 4×4 drive SUV, you will need chains on all four wheels. For normal cars, two powered wheels will be quite enough. Nevertheless, some people prefer putting chains on all the tires. While this provides better control in some situations and adds to the overall traction, it’s not necessary.
Q: How to Drive with Snow Chains on?
A: Be careful! The best snow chains provide a real boost to the car traction, which is n aid to driving. However, they do not let you simply drive just as you would when there’ snow.
Drive carefully. Do not exceed 30 mph while driving with tire chain and avoid accelerating or harsh braking. Aside from having less control of your vehicle, you will risk damaging or breaking the chains.
Even if your vehicle has an anti-lock brake system (ABS), you should still use snow chains during winter. ABS allows you to stop your car safely and quickly without skidding. However, it is pretty useless on a snowy or icy road without snow chains.
Best Snow Chains for Tires
You should be very keen when buying snow chain for tires. A good chain will make your work easier when driving and will ensure that you are well protected from accidents which might occur due to the slippery ground caused by snow.
The best thing about snow chains is that most of them are very easy to install. They also come in different sizes and all you need to do is to ensure the ones you have selected will fit perfectly on your car tires. You will also note that they are very affordable and there is no reason why you shouldn’t buy.
However, don’t just go for a cheap chain. Some people do this as a way of saving money but they end up spending more money on repairs since most of these chains are not made of quality materials. They are also likely to cause accidents due to their poor quality.
We hope that this in-depth guide will be of great help when shopping for snow chains for tires.