Rating the Top 5 Lawn Mower Tire Chains

Lawn mower tire chains are just about essential if you want to plow snow with a riding lawn tractor. You might have heard stories about chains tearing up and ruining tires. Fortunately, this only happens when 1. You use one of the many terrible lawn mower tire chains on the market right now or 2. Your chains aren’t tensioned well. The good thing is the high-quality chains aren’t much more expensive than the bad ones. The hard part is knowing what to avoid. You can’t go wrong with the 5 we rate in this article.

5. Stens 180-136 Lawn Mower Tire Chains

These Stens lawn mower tire chains are a great no-frills option. They are priced as a pair and fit 23″ down to 21″ rear tires on garden tractors. These are a great value for medium-duty use. There are cheaper chains (like Tirechains.com brand) but don’t waste your time with them, in my experience, they last a season at best. Chinese junk chains with overwhelmingly negative reviews have been showing up everywhere lately. These Stens lawn tractor chains are the ONLY ones we recommend for under $50 a pair. The prices on all the chains we rated fluctuate pretty significantly so it’s important to check multiple options before making a purchase.

Check Price and Availability: Stens 180-136 Lawn Tractor Tire Chain

Our rating: B

4. Peerless Prime 20″ Tire Chains

Peerless tire chains are about the best brand of chain you can buy from trucks to tractors and anything in between. Their lawn mower chains are no exception. These are heavy-duty chains, and will likely outlast the vehicle they are on. That being said they can be a bear to get on and off. With the extreme amount of traction these lawn mower tire chains provide, it is essential to use chain tensioners like these Quik Grip Chain Tighteners: QG20030 Quik Grip Small Tire Chain Rubber Tightener Using these tighteners will keep the Peerless tire chains from slipping on the tire, due to the high amount of traction on the chain. This set fits most popular John Deere, Cub Cadet and Craftsman riders with 20″ rear tires.

Check Price and Availability: Peerless Lawn Tractor Tire Chain Set

Our rating: B+, but an A+ for traction

3. Terra Grips Tire Chains by TerraKing

These chains can only loosely be called chains since the traction component is actually rubber bars. These are perfect when you need garden tractor tire chains that won’t mark up driveways or sidewalks like conventional chains. They are also fantastic for dirt and wet grass on hillsides. Where Terra Grips struggle is on ice. The rubber bars seem to struggle to get bite on sheet ice, but excel in snow and especially deep snow. The rubber bars act as paddles and tend to do as well or better than conventional chains in snow. Conventional tire chain sizing is pretty forgiving but Terra Grips need to be sized correctly for your tire. Fortunately, they make a ton of different sizes, here’s a few of the more common sizes available:

TerraGrips Tire Chains 20×8-8 [ST90001]

TerraGrips Tire Chains 22×9.5-12, 20×10-8 Carlisle Turf Saver/Turf Master [ST90003]

TerraGrips Tire Chains 20×9-8, 20×10-8, 20x10x10 [ST90002]

Our rating: B+

2. John Deere Lawn Tractor Tire Chains

John Deere chains are great all-around chains. They will last forever, are easy to install and provide an adequate amount of traction. The best way to find these chains is to head to your local John Deere dealer and let them know what size of tire you have. They will find the chains that will fit your specific tire. The downside to these chains is they are pretty pricey.

Our rating: A

1. Arnold 490 Lawn Mower Tire Chains

Our final pick is easy. The only chains we’ve tested that provide more traction than these is the Peerless chains, and these are close. These Arnold chains are true 2 link chains, not the China 2 link chains which just use bigger outer links to fake a true 2 link chain. The retainer system for clasping the chain together is the easiest to use of all the chains we tested. Pairing these chains with the Quik Grip chain tensioners we linked to earlier will transform your rider to a snow pushing tank. The best part? You can pick up a pair for around $50, about half price of the John Deere mower tire chains. We can’t recommend these enough, check out the reviews on Amazon: Arnold 490-241-0025 Lawn Tractor Rear Tire Chains

Our rating: A+

Who makes filters for Case and New Holland?

Just like John Deere, Case tractor filters (and likewise New Holland) are manufactured by aftermarket companies.  Fleetguard (owned by Cummins), has been manufacturing filters for Case IH/CNH for years. Unlike John Deere, they do not go out of their way to advertise that their CIH branded filters are superior to the identical Fleetguard filters.  This tells me that we can cross reference Case filters and save some money, without sacrificing performance.

It can be rather difficult to find and cross reference tractor filters, and CNH filters are no exception. There is little to no information out there on many CNH filters, which is why this site was created.  One issue I’ve found when trying to cross reference CNH filters is the newest Case tractors have some proprietary filters.  From what I can tell Case and New Holland are trying to tweak their filters (or maybe just the part numbers) so that there aren’t any aftermarket crosses for them.

Case Filter Cross Reference Example:

For this example, I’ll use a Case IH Magnum 215 tractor, which is pretty popular. This is another one of those examples where Case has made it impossible to find crosses for some filters. The engine oil filter on this tractor is unfortunately only available through Case.  That’s OK because we can cross all of the other filters on this machine.  You will find Amazon has better prices than any dealership on filters, its kind of a little known secret.  You can access Amazon’s filter database here: Amazon Filter Search Page Just change the filter number to whatever number you have.  Amazon’s Filter Search is smart enough it does the cross reference automatically.

  1. Navigate to our Case Magnum 215 filters page using either the search bar or going through the menus above.
  2. Type the case part number into the Amazon Filter Search Page, Case part # 1971728-C1
  3. Use the chart to cross reference the OEM filter to Fleetguard, NAPA or Baldwin and see the prices of both
  4. Case IH filter price: $127
  5. Baldwin Part # BT8870-MPG (Amazon Baldwin BT8870 Cross to Case IH)
  6. Fleetguard Part # HF6684 (Amazon Fleetguard HF6684 Cross to Case IH)
  7. WIX Part # 51729 (Amazon WIX 51729 Cross to Case IH)

As you can see there is a huge variation of price on this hydraulic filter. The WIX filter over the OEM CIH/CNH would save almost $50, and looks like a no brainer. You can get WIX filters at NAPA under the NAPA Gold label for a similar price.

You can also use our tractor filter cross reference database to find matches for the OEM air and fuel filters for this tractor. Just by shopping around you can save hundreds over the manufacturer’s prices. You can often save even more by purchasing multiple filters at once, especially retailers like SimplyFilter. John Deere also uses this hydraulic filter, JD part # RE174130. If you have multiple tractors, even different brands, using the same filter stocking up and getting a volume discount can save you a substantial amount.