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+