Winter tires will take you into the snow…

If you do a lot of driving in areas with heavy snow, or you’re wanting to visit an area that gets a lot of snowfall, then other than just using a car snow brush, you should definitely consider getting a set of snow chains for your vehicle.

Here Are The 5 Best Snow Chains On The Market in 2019

Snow chains are an easy tool that can help you out big time on the road, and is a lot cheaper than using snow tires – giving you better traction in the worst conditions, and even more importantly, giving you a much safer drive wherever you go.

Security Chain Company SZ143 Cable Snow Tire Chains Review

1. Security Chain Company SZ143 Cable Snow Tire Chains

The SZ143 from Security Chain Company isn’t actually a set of snow chains. They’re snow cables.

These steel cables are great for two main reasons. First off, they have great clearance on them compared to most chains, which makes it safer for most vehicles.

And second, most snow chains are made for a specific type of vehicle. The SZ143 chains are great because they can be used for almost every vehicle type, making them quite versatile.

The cable design makes them easy to fit on, which means you don’t need to move your car while installing the cables. Plus, they are more compatible with Anti-Lock braking than most snow chains, giving them a higher safety rating.

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Top Features:

  • Cables instead of chains
  • Low Clearance
  • Simple installation
  • Auto-Tightening Rubber
  • Great traction

Konig XG-12 Pro Snow Chains Review

2. Konig XG-12 Pro Snow Chains Review

Konig has been one of the leading German manufacturers of snow chains for years.

These snow chains are a higher-end set of snow chains, made specifically for SUVs.

They are one of the top-level snow chains on the market (and likewise, one of the most expensive). The high price is justified though with several benefits for the SUV owner.

The best feature on the snow chains is the self-tensioning system (it’s even patented). It allows for a quick, easy installation. The snow chains essentially regulate the pressure on the chain to allow for top performance on the road.

This will save you many headaches of lower-quality chains that constantly need to be adjusted from getting loose.

Also, a standout feature on the snow chains are the nylon bumpers – they are little red nylon balls that stand as a barrier between the wheels and the chains to protect your wheels from getting scratched up from the chains.

The traction is incredible as the chains have double traction plates along with a rugged chain pattern to give excellent traction in any condition.

If you have an SUV and want the top of the line chains, this is your best bet.

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Top Features:

  • Made for SUVs
  • Easy to install
  • 12mm clearance
  • Anti-scratch durability
  • More expensive

TerraKing TerraGrips Tire ChainsTerraKing TerraGrips Tire Chains

3. TerraKing TerraGrips Tire Chains

If you live out in the country and have a tractor, ATV, or other industrial vehicles, then you’ll want to feast your eyes on the TerraGrips.

These snow chains aren’t made for regular vehicles… they’re made for much bigger tires.

These chains are designed differently than your standard snow chains as they have rubber slats that stay right on the tire to give extra traction on the road.

They are ideal in any condition – whether it’s gravel, snow, mud, ice, or anything else for that matter. These chains can actually be put on prior to snowfall as they won’t tear up the road or breakdown like other chains would. The rubber is soft enough to let you drive them in any condition (though you will get the most out of them if you are using them in mud or snow).

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Top Features:

  • Great traction in all conditions
  • Rubber slats protect the wheel and the road
  • Long lasting
  • High Durability
  • Resistant to rust

Konig XB-16 247 Snow Chains

4. Konig XB-16 247 Snow Chains Review

If you want a no-nonsense, classic snow tire just to get the job done, then this is probably your best option.

Konig is one of the most trusted and best snow chain brands in the world and the XB-16 247 is their standard set of snow chains. It has a straight-forward design and is a high-quality set of chains for the everyday driver.

It is a bit better on the budget which means it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. This means it does require manual tightening compared to other high-tier chains, but ultimately, you’ll be getting a solid set of traditional chains.

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Top Features:

  • Standard Design
  • Very Durable
  • 16mm Clearance
  • Manual Tightening Required
  • Better Budget

5. Security Chain ZT735 LT Light Truck & SUV Tire Traction Snow Chains

Security Chain ZT735 LT Light Truck & SUV Tire Traction Snow Chains

This set of snow chains is the bigger version of the set at #1. Security Chain scaled up their first model up at the top to give a more optimal set for those with bigger wheeled trucks and SUVs. It’s essentially the same model but designed bigger.

This means, you get all the same great features as the smaller set of chains: easy installation, automatic tightening, and overall great traction on the road.

The metal cable chain is used just the same here (rather than a more traditional chain) to give great clearance and durability. It’s also very compatible with Anti-Lock Brake Systems to give you that extra reassurance of safety for every drive.

Compared to the standard set of cable chains by Security Chain, this one is a bit pricier, as they are a bigger set. However, they are one of the best snow chains for anyone with an SUV or light truck looking to gear up their vehicle this Winter.

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Top Features:

  • Light Trucks & SUVs
  • Quick installation
  • Self-Tightening chains
  • Great traction for most conditions
  • Compatible with ABS

How To Install Snow Chains

3 Things To Consider Before Buying Snow Chains

There are a few things you need to know before making a decision on any set of snow chains you see.

Not all snow chains will be the right fit for your vehicle. Snow chains vary in several ways, with some being built for specific vehicle types and some made for different conditions.

For example, the official Yosemite website has recommendations on the type of snow tire chains you’ll need for their snow.

1. Ratchets (Self-Tightening)

Some snow chains have self-tightening ratchets which will help you big time. They help make the installation process easier (they tighten the chains as the wheel turns). They also make sure the chains are consistently tight – keeping a steady grip on them while you drive.

It’s vital to make sure your chain doesn’t have any slack as if it is too loose, it won’t provide the traction you need to be safe on the road. Most high-quality snow chains are self-tightening.

2. Snow Chains Tread

The tread level is measured at the point of contact between the snow chains and the snow.

There are different types of chains that you can use on your tires with varying degrees of tread. Some may have nails, while some have cables. A more traditional set of snow chains will have more surface area to build traction through patterns cut in the chains.

Another newer type of snow chain with high tread is steel cable chains. They can build quite a bit of traction for an extra level of safety.

3. Chain Clearance

Chain clearance depends on how thick the snow chains are. It’s the gap between your vehicle’s body and the tire. The thicker the snow chains, the higher the clearance. It’s crucial to make sure you have enough clearance that the chains won’t come in contact with the body.

Using Snow Tire Chains in Winter

When Should You Use Snow Chains?

You should already have winter tires on before you start using snow chains. The only time you should consider snow chains is as soon as there has been some snowfall (at least an inch worth of snow on the ground).

If there is too little snow on the ground and you strap on your snow chains, you will damage the road and wear out your snow chains very quickly. They aren’t meant to come into contact with the pavement, but with compact snow or ice (you can also use them in mud).

Do You Have To Drive Any Differently?

Using snow chains on your tires changes the way your vehicle interacts with the road. Because snow chains add a higher level of grip and are made out of steel (rather than rubber), you will need to adjust the way you drive.

When you have snow chains on your tires, you really shouldn’t be going any faster than 30 mph. Also, you should be cautious not to brake or accelerate very quickly, as this can break down your chains.

How Do You Maintain Your Snow Chains?

Snow chains are a durable tool that can help you for years to come… if you treat them well. You won’t have to break your back over keeping them in good shape though.

After you’re done driving out in the snow, remember to always remove the chains. Give them a good wash with a pressure washer if you have one (a hose works as well). You’ll want to remove any dirt and debris that get stuck in them.

After you’re done cleaning them, hang them up to dry and add a bit of WD40 to keep them in top shape before your next use.