KÖNIG 020 Snow Chains
Last updated date: June 7, 2019
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We looked at the top 1 Snow Chains and dug through the reviews from 5 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, XL Race Parts, Chicago Tribune, Auto Expert Guides, Top N Best Reviews and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Snow Chain you should buy.
The D-shaped, dual-sided links on the KÖNIG 020 Snow Chains provide extra traction when traveling over ice and snow. The links in these chains are made from manganese nickel alloy steel, ensuring they'll provide many uses without wearing out. Whether you drive a small sedan or a large truck, you can find a version that works with your vehicle. In our analysis of 78 expert reviews, the KÖNIG KÖNIG 020 Snow Chains placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note June 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Snow Chains for a detailed review of all the top snow chains.
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From The Manufacturer
Size: 020. The simple and sturdy manual tensioning chain. 12 mm inside and on-the-tread clearance.
Overall Product Rankings
An Overview On Snow Chains
- Your first step in choosing snow chains will be to track down the ones that are best suited to your vehicle. First, check with your tire manufacturer to make sure tire chains won’t damage them. If you have a warranty, ask if using snow chains will put it in jeopardy. Once you’ve squared that away, you’ll need to make sure you choose the right tires for your vehicle type.
- There are two major types of snow chains: cable tire chains like the Security Chain Company Super Z6 Tire Chain use metal cables, covered in a plastic coating, usually making them easier to install and less rough on roads than traditional chain-link snow chains. But advancements in link-based chains like the Peerless Auto-Trac Tire Traction Chain, KÖNIG 020 Snow Chains and Glacier Chains V-Bar Twist Tire Chain allow them to remain competitive with cable versions.
- Although you’ll need to check to find the exact size of chains you’ll need, the Peerless Auto-Trac Tire Traction Chain, KÖNIG 020 Snow Chains and Security Chain Company Super Z6 Tire Chain are versatile enough to work with sedans, trucks or SUVs. The Glacier Chains V-Bar Twist Tire Chain is made for larger-size vehicles like trucks and SUVs.
- No matter the versatility of the snow chains you choose, though, you’ll need to know the size of your tires before you start shopping. Particularly important is the sidewall clearance you’ll need for the snow chains you choose. Check snow chain manufacturers’ websites to see if there’s a compatibility guide that will help you find the perfect set for your tire and vehicle type.
- The Security Chain Company Super Z6 Tire Chain stands out by taking up less than half of the space you’d need with other snow chains.
- When you’re trying to navigate icy roads, the last thing you want to do is stop to adjust your snow chains. Many of today’s chains are designed to be self-tightening, adjusting as your tire moves. The Peerless Auto-Trac Tire Traction Chain is built with self-tightening ratchets, so you’ll rarely have to deal with loose chains. The Security Chain Company Super Z6 Tire Chain also has a built-in tightening system, with rubber tighteners that keep the grip strong even when the tires are moving.
- Snow chains that don’t include automatic tensioning may require separate chain tensioners. Make sure those are included with your purchase and, if not, price them separately before making a decision.
- As with the tread on your tires, the design of your chains, once installed, will make a big difference in how well they perform in snow and ice. The Peerless Auto-Trac Tire Traction Chain uses a diamond pattern to get traction, while the Glacier Chains V-Bar Twist Tire Chain uses V-bar twist links and a ladder design for more control. KÖNIG 020 Snow Chains uses D-shaped, dual-sided links for traction, while the diagonal pattern of the Security Chain Company Super Z6 Tire Chain boost traction. The Security Chain Company Super Z6 Tire Chain’s design also helps with control during braking, working with ABS and automatic traction management systems.
- Snow chains will go on and come off repeatedly, so easy installation is a real time-saver. The Peerless Auto-Trac Tire Traction Chain goes on easily and can be removed in a matter of minutes. The KÖNIG 020 Snow Chains also install easily. With the Security Chain Company Super Z6 Tire Chain, installation and removal each take only 10 minutes. It has a split outside cable that lets you simply slide the chains around to the inside of the tire, then fasten them and you’re ready to go. With the Glacier Chains V-Bar Twist Tire Chain, you’ll need to use the included lever end fastener, and the process can be a bit tough, especially if you’re a novice.
- Replacing your snow chains every year can become annoying, especially if you find a set you like. By investing in heavy-duty chains designed to last, you’ll be able to save time and money over the years. KÖNIG 020 Snow Chains feature manganese nickel alloy steel links that are handmade in Italy. You’ll also get extra durability from the strong carbon steel in the Glacier Chains V-Bar Twist Tire Chain, thanks to the welded V-bar built into them.
- As you weigh all the features, it may be relevant to consider prices to make sure you’re getting value out of any extra money you’re spending. KÖNIG 020 Snow Chains is among the most affordable, selling in sets of two for less than $50. You can find the Peerless Auto-Trac Tire Traction Chain and Security Chain Company Super Z6 Tire Chain in sets of two for between $50 and $100, while the Security Chain Company Super Z6 Tire Chain tops the $100 mark.
- Although there are no guarantees, some snow chains are easier on tires than others. KÖNIG 020 Snow Chains may scratch your tire rims.
- Although you likely won’t enjoy completely quiet operation with any snow chains, some operate on the noisier side. The Security Chain Company Super Z6 Tire Chain can be especially loud, particularly when you’re traveling at lower speeds.
- If you have a front-wheel-drive vehicle, it’s important to put either chains or snow tires on all four tires for maximum control. However, your manufacturer may specifically prohibit this, so check first to make sure.
- Snow chains will help with traction, but you’ll also need to use caution while driving. If you have chains on your tires, take extra care not to lock your brakes or hit curves. If you find a patch of bare pavement, avoid driving over it with chains on your tires. Only use snow chains when you absolutely have to. In many climates, snow tires should suffice.
DYWM Fun Fact
Before you invest in snow chains, make sure they’re legal in your area. In most states, there are laws regarding the use of snow chains, usually allowing them only during certain times of the year. In 23 states, you’re allowed to use snow chains if weather conditions merit them. In Nebraska, you can only use snow chains between Nov. 1 and April 1. States like New York and Maryland require you to use them when a snow emergency has been declared, and Washington requires you to have them when traveling on certain roads. You’ll sometimes see signs stating, “Chains required” on some routes when snow or ice is present.
The Snow Chain Buying Guide
Getting around in wintry weather can be challenging. But if you live in an area of the country prone to snow and ice, you can’t exactly stay home until the snow melts. Snow chains fit over your tires, offering the traction you need on treacherous roads. They can be particularly useful if you need a little more help than even the best snow tires can offer.
When it comes to snow chains, though, you’ll find that one size does not fit all. It’s important to choose chains that are sized to fit the type of vehicle you have. Not all tires can handle the intensity of snow chains, either, and tires made from softer rubber compounds will even suffer damage when snow chains are fitted over them. It’s important to make sure your tire is durable enough to handle snow chains before you make the leap.
One very valuable feature found on some snow chains is automatic tightening. These chains are built to keep the fit snug even as your tire is in motion. Instead of having to stop and adjust the chains repeatedly throughout your journey, you’ll be able to keep moving forward, confident that your chains will stay in place. Not all snow chains offer this feature, though, so it may be a deciding factor.
The extra traction that snow chains provide can make it tempting to travel at a faster pace. However, you’ll be limited to a maximum speed when you’re driving with chains in place. Most chains limit you to 30 miles per hour, so you’ll need to factor that in when you’re heading out on a snowy morning.
You shouldn’t try out your snow chains for the first time on an icy December day. Instead, make sure they fit on your tires well in advance. This will also give you practice putting them on and taking them off, which will come in handy once you’re out in the elements.
Once you get used to the design of your snow chains, you’ll likely want to use them for a while. But ice, snow and the roads themselves can be tough on chains, wearing them out quickly. Look for snow chains made from the strongest materials, and make sure the design will enhance that durability. That will help you continue to use your snow chains for many years.
Tire damage will always be a concern with snow chains. If your chosen chains do cause damage, you’ll find little recourse with the business that sold you the tires, and the warranty won’t cover chain-related claims, either. While installing the chains, look for any signs that they might scratch wheels. If you have wheel covers that protrude, you should remove them before installing the snow chains if it looks like they’ll damage them.