Your car was not built to course through roads like an Olympic figure skater. It can't glide smoothly through ice and snow without losing traction. It can't speed up along frosted highways without skidding across the ground. But just like how a figure skater needs her skate to perform on ice, your car needs a durable tire chain to perform on the road. Go for gold on those snow-covered streets with a tire chain that perfectly fits your car and your driving lifestyle.
Installing chains on all tires vs. Fitting chains on the driving wheel
Tire chains are installed to give tires a firmer grip on the road. So to get the most control out of steering, especially during extreme road conditions, it is best to have all your tires fitted with tire chains. But if you really can't afford buying 4 separate chains, you can just purchase one pair of chains. Just remember to consult your vehicle's owner manual, especially for all-wheel-drive vehicles, to determine which wheel it should be installed on.
Cable chains vs. Steel links
The type of tire chain you need depends on how and where you drive. If you're most likely to drive in roads or places with extreme cold weather conditions, then a steel link chain would give the tires the best protection. Its steel aircraft cable and steel rollers are durable enough to withstand the demands of driving through ice and snow. But if snow is the least of your worries, then it is recommended you install cable tire chain instead of steel links. They are relative cheaper than steel links and are more flexible to different driving conditions. That is why cable chains are also recommended if you drive a lot and for longer distances. They offer a smoother ride rather than steel chains, which tends to cause vibration when driving for long periods of time.
Ladder-style vs. Diamond-style tire chains
Tire chains also vary according to how the cables or steel links are patterned. They can either be arranged crisscrossing each other (diamond-style or Z-type) or laid perpendicularly (ladder-style). The style of tire chain can greatly affect your tires' response to the road where you're driving. Ladder-style chains have steel links or cables that are laid perpendicular to each other. Although this kind of tire chains does not offer much performance, they are the cheapest out of all the styles of tire chains. So if you simply need one that will work, this type would be a good choose. But if you're looking for nothing but the best for your tires, you can install either a diamond-style or Z-type chain. This kind of chain offers more starting traction and works best with a car's traction control system or antilock brakes. These chains are also the best type for on-road use. They do particularly well in deep snow. Diamond-style or Z-type chains offer the best ride comfort, and they are definitely worth the price if you're always passing through rough terrain.