Snow cables vs chains on passenger cars. What is your best choice for this winter?

Are you torn about what to use snow cables vs chains on passenger cars? If so then don’t worry anymore because I have come up with well-curated content to make you decide which among the two is the best for you. Therefore, below is the truth between snow cables and chains on your passenger car.
Snow cables vs chains on passenger cars

Snow cables vs chains on passenger cars

What are snow chains?

Also known as tire chains are gadgets fitted on tires to offer grip when driving on a snowy or icy road. Snow chains are fitted under the tire of your passenger car. However, they usually come in different sizes and patterns with respect to the size or measurements of your car tire. They also vary in strength, if you mostly drive on snow or ice roads then I recommend that you find snow chains that have high strength. They are suitable for 2wd.

Furthermore, using snow chains usually comes with some challenges such as the reduction in the speed of your car. It also decreases the fuel efficiency of your passenger car. Nonetheless, it also has its benefits for driving on a snow or ice road. Snow chains intensify the grip and braking of your car tires while driving in such conditions.

However, I know you are wondering if your car can be fitted with a snow chain. Don’t worry most cars are compatible with snow chains. But, you have to check first which snow chains are good for your car. You should also consider the price of snow chains because they usually differ according to quality. Nevertheless, most snow chains average between $100 to $ 200 for a good snow chain. In some instances, some snow chains are above or below this average price.

The maximum speed of your car while fitted with a snow chain usually drops by 30mph hence if your car’s maximum speed is 100mph then you know what the speed will be once you fit it with a snow chain. In addition, there are many models of snow chains but the following are some of the best:

  • Thule
  • Security Chain
  • Quality Chain
  • Peerless
  • Glacier

There are some other brands but those mentioned above are the most effective traction devices on snow and ice.

So, before purchasing you need to consider the above models first.

Pros of snow chains

  • Increases the traction of your car on snow or ice roads
  • They are easy to install
  • Helps in managing your cars speed
  • Provides a smooth ride on a snowy road
  • They are resistant to corrosion

Cons of snow chains

  • Reduces your maximum speed by 30mph
  • Don’t drive on dry tarmac roads while the snow chains are still fitted. This may lead to an accident.
  • You have to fix the snow chains tightly to avoid them becoming loose.
  • Don’t accelerate fast this may lead to the snow chain being stressed leading to wearing out of the snow chains.
  • You need to be cautious about the chains because once they break it may mechanically damage not only to your tires but also to your car.
  • In addition, you have to fit the chains on the driving wheel. Don’t fit in a non-driven wheel.
  • Can not be installed for all cars. You need to choose one that will fit your car or buy the usual snow chains or tire cables.

What are snow cables?

Like snow chains, snow cables are much lighter in weight than snow chains. They are mostly good to be fitted with a 4wd. They are also less expensive and I know you can afford them. Most snow cables average between $70 to $150 for a set. However, some may be expensive or cheaper depending on the model.

Most snow cables come with a rubber tensioner which facilitates retightening when the cable becomes loose. In addition, snow cables have good traction. Unlike snow chains, they are compatible with traction control all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, and electronically monitored control systems. Snow cables are also less risky to cause any mechanical damage even when not fitted in the required tire. Furthermore, they are easy and fast to fit in a tire.

In addition, be sure that snow cables cannot cause any damage to your car’s warranty hence you can fit them on your car tires. They are made of steel and hence hard to get damaged. There are also different models of snow cables such as:

  • Glacier
  • Quality Chain

This is the most trusted quality snow cable in the market currently. Hence, if you need one you can look for one because there are a variety of snow cables manufactured by these companies.

Pros of snow cables

  • Easy to install and remove
  • They are light
  • Most cables meet the ‘s’ class requirements
  • They are less expensive

Cons of snow cables

  • Can only be used occasionally

Best alternatives for snow chains  or cables

I know you may be in need of something else other than snow chains or cables. However, do you know about their alternatives? If not, then if you are uncomfortable with snow chains or cables then you can use the following:

  • Snow Socks or Auto Socks
  • Flex-Trax SnoClaws
  • Truck claws

What are the law regulations for snow chains and cables?

  • You should not deflate your car tires in order to fit the chains or cables
  • Drive at a speed of 30mph less than the maximum speed of your car
  • For your own safety always have a rubber adjuster to ensure the chains or cables are tight at all times
  • Stop outside the road if you want to fit or remove the snow chains or cables
  • Not at any instant will you use a snow chain to pull anything
  • Ensure you purchase the right size of snow chains or cables that fit your car tires
  • As you keep on driving ensure you check that the snow cables or chains are tight

Top models of snow chains and cables


This snow chain has the following features.

  • Konig CB-12 snow chains come in two sets.
  • They are simple and sturdy manual tensioning chains for your tires.
  • It’s 12 mm inside and on the thread clearance.
  • This snow chain is mostly recommended for front-wheel drive trucks.
  • It has an automatic braking system(ABS) the Konig CB-12 is compatible with it.


  • Made of stainless steel this snow cable is highly durable
  • Gives you a smooth ride
  • It needs a small working space around the drive tires
  • It’s light hence easy to fit and remove
  • Increases the ability of your car during ignition, stopping, or around a corner.


I think you can easily have made a choice between these two devices. They are great and perform well in winter conditions. However, you have to make your priorities right to ensure you get the best out of the one you choose. Hope you will find the best.

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