Many things are common between the Nitto Recon Grappler and Ridge Grappler tires. Both are high-quality tires designed for all-terrain and off-road use. The duo also has an aggressive tread design for enhanced traction in all kinds of off-road conditions.
Both these tires also have built-in stone ejectors to help rid them of unwanted rock hitchhikers picked up on the trail. Also, since they are offered in high load ratings, their tread blocks are reinforced to give them the rigidity needed to tow and haul the heavy stuff.
That is where the similarities end. The Nitto Recon Grappler is a dedicated all-terrain tire that strikes the perfect balance between all-terrain and highway performance. While this model will offer the needed traction on the trail, it also stays quiet on paved roads.
That is something you cannot say about the Ridge Grappler, a hybrid model that combines the best of mud-terrain and all-terrain tires. To know more about the differences between these models, make sure that you read our comprehensive guide to the end.
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Nitto Recon Grappler
Nitto Recon Grappler is an all-terrain tire mainly designed for SUVs, light trucks, and Jeeps. It is available in 16″, 17″, 18″, 20″, 22″, and 24″ sizes. The vehicles that this tire best fits include Chevy Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge RAM 1500, and Toyota Tacoma.
A glance at its tread reveals a well-thought-out tread design. One longitudinal (top to bottom) and one lateral (side to side) rib made of four different blocks and a zigzag design can be clearly seen. Due to these design elements, this tire can mostly keep its tread clean.
Pay more attention and you may see full-depth sipes joining notches, which are presumably there to give this model enhanced traction on snow. However, as we will explain later in this guide, the Recon Grappler isn’t a tire you might want to buy if your area receives a lot of snow.
Deep sidewall lugs extended 5 to 7 millimeters don’t just give this tire an intimidating look. They also help it offer the traction needed for reliable performance in dry and wet conditions. Small wonder, then, Nitto claims this tire offers a great balance of performance and comfort.
Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Ridge Grappler is a hybrid tire that strikes the sweet spot between all-terrain and mud-terrain models. Available in 80 different sizes ranging from 16 to 24 inches, this model can fit most trims of Honda Passport, RAM 2500 and 3500, Ford Ranger, and other vehicles.
Like any premium rugged-terrain tire, the Ridge Grappler has an aggressive tread pattern for better traction in off-road conditions. It also features aggressive sidewall lugs for the same, though the lugs also keep this model from getting stuck in mid or even snow.
Multiple lateral Z grooves in a zigzag pattern give this model the added biting traction for enhanced traction on hardpacked surfaces. Plus, shoulder grooves of alternating sizes and stone ejectors don’t let mud particles or rocks stay inside this model’s tread area for long.
Throw into the mix its reinforced block foundation, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Nitto offers this model in the F load rating. Whether you intend to tackle dirt, mud, snow, rocks, or even gravel, the Ridge Grappler will rarely come short of your expectations.
What Are The Features of The Nitto Recon Grappler?
The Nitto Recon Grappler features a unique tread design that strikes a balance between highway stability and off-road performance. Its tread blocks are on the larger side and adequately spaced, allowing this tire to offer extra fuel efficiency and reduced road noise.
A three-ply polyester cord body and twin steel belts give this model the durable construction needed to withstand heavy loads and rough terrain. Plus, they enhance this tire’s ability to absorb road vibrations, keeping things comfortable on paved roads.
You may also find it good to note that the Recon Grappler comes with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, meaning you can expect to get at least 3 to 4 years out of this model. However, the exact time this model will last depends on your driving habits and road conditions.
What Are The Features of The Nitto Ridge Grappler?
The Nitto Ridge Grappler combines an all-terrain tire‘s traction with a mud-terrain model’s aggressiveness. In case you’re wondering, a dual sidewall design (this model has a different design on the inner and outer sidewall) is the reason why it can strike this balance.
Its outer sidewall has the aggressive tread pattern needed to keep this tire and, by extension, your vehicle stable on the track. The inner sidewall, meanwhile, has a more streamlined tread design. Which helps this model offer a relatively smooth highway ride.
Thanks to a wide groove design and built-in stone ejectors, the Ridge Grappler’s tread stays clear of mud, rocks, stones, and other track hitchhikers. Plus, interlocking tread blocks help this tire stay stable regardless of how haywire things get out there.
Nitto Recon Grappler Vs Ridge Grappler: Main Differences
Now that you know what both these tires are (and aren’t) capable of, let’s put them in a classic head-to-head matchup. This section will compare the on- and off-road performance of both these tires and juxtapose their snow performance, tread lives, warranties, and price.
Nitto Recon Grappler Vs Ridge Grappler: Off-Road Performance
As stated above, both the Recon Grappler and Ridge Grappler are capable of holding their own during off-roading. However, the ball drops when you enter muddy terrains or start rock climbing. As that is where the Ridge Grappler will show who the boss is.
While both these tires come with shoulder lugs, those on the Ridge Grappler are much larger, giving this tire the added biting edges for enhanced traction in muddy conditions. This model also has a deeper tread depth (20/32 inches) for better mud performance.
That is not to say that the Recon Grappler will get stuck in the mud. It’s just that compared with the Ridge Grappler, its mud performance is average, especially for drivers who throw like throwing caution to the winds when driving through the sticky substance.
Winner: Nitto Ridge Grappler (but not by a lot)
Nitto Recon Grappler Vs Ridge Grappler: On-Road Performance
The Nitto Recon Grappler is a much better option for highway driving. This model stays quiet and comfortable on the road, unlike the Ridge Grappler, which may growl on paved tracks, especially if you press the accelerator too hard for too long.
But the Recon Grappler also boasts higher fuel economy. Any driver who has put both these models to the test on the highway can attest to the fact that the Recon Grappler will let you cover more miles in a full gas tank than the Ridge Grappler, ensuring higher savings.
However, as far as wet performance is concerned, there isn’t much difference. Both these models have more than enough grooves to invite the risk of hydroplaning. Thanks to the large voids and unique tread pattern, both won’t face much trouble evacuating water.
Winner: Nitto Recon Grappler
Nitto Recon Grappler Vs Ridge Grappler: Snow Performance
While both these tires can take you from point A to point B in mild wintry conditions, the Ridge Grappler is a slightly better choice if you see snow often. That means that the Recon Grappler isn’t your tire if you live in the snow belt of the US (or any other country).
There are two reasons why we’re saying that, with the first being both these models’ tread compounds. The Recon Grappler features a much stiffer tread compound than its counterpart’s, meaning this tire’s rubber may become hard upon experiencing harsh weather.
Secondly, if you place both these tires next to each other, a close inspection will reveal that the Ridge Grappler has a much deeper tread. This enables this tire to offer much better traction and grip in snowy and icy conditions while offering superior self-cleaning properties.
All in all, if you want increased braking stability, shorter braking distances, and enhanced self-cleaning properties in harsh wintry conditions, the Ridge Grappler should rank above the Recon Grappler on your list.
Winner: Nitto Ridge Grappler
Nitto Recon Grappler Vs Ridge Grappler: Treadwear and Durability
Given the fact that both these models have the same 3-ply polyester casing, twin-belt steel design, and puncture-resistant tread compound, one may think that they’d wear similarly, too. However, as our tone might have suggested, that isn’t the case.
The Recon Grappler will last much longer and wear much more evenly than its counterpart. If you need proof, all you need is to look at the terrains these tires are designed for. While one boasts its highway performance, the other is all about off-roading.
That isn’t to say that the Ridge Grappler will become useless after a few months of conquering muddy terrain and scaling rocky ones. It’s just that the Recon Grappler will last much longer.
Winner: Recon Grappler
Nitto Recon Grappler Vs Ridge Grappler: Comfort
The Nitto Recon Grappler is a more road-oriented tire when compared to the Ridge Grappler, which is designed to be used for extreme off-roading. This becomes apparent when you compare both these models’ tread compounds. Here’s why we’re saying that.
Since the Recon Grappler has a more highway-oriented tread compound, it can absorb road vibrations better than the Ridge Grappler’s ultra-soft rubber. Also, because of shallower lugs, this model will cause less growl at highway speeds, ensuring less noise in the cabin.
Winner: Recon Grappler
Nitto Recon Grappler Vs Ridge Grappler: Price and Warranty
Although it doesn’t back most of its off-road tires with a warranty, Nitto has made an exception for the Recon Grappler. This model comes with a 65,000-mile treadwear warranty, meaning you can expect it to last 3 to 4 years before showing signs that it needs replacement.
On the contrary, the Ridge Grappler doesn’t come with a treadwear warranty. Which isn’t surprising given that this model is meant to be driven in extreme and unpredictable conditions. The same goes for price, with the Ridge Grappler costing more.
Winner: Recon Grappler
Nitto Recon Grappler Vs Ridge Grappler: Pros and Cons
Nitto Recon Grappler Pros
- Excellent balance between on-road comfort and off-road balance
- Backed with an exceptional 65,000-mile treadwear warranty
- Offers short braking distances in wet and mild wintry conditions
Nitto Recon Grappler Cons
- Unreliable in thick snow
- Not the best option for muddy terrains
Nitto Ridge Grappler Pros
- Combines the qualities of an all-terrain and mud-terrain tire
- Can safely carry you from point A to point B in harsh wintry conditions
- Is a reliable rock crawler
Nitto Ridge Grappler Cons
- Zero treadwear warranty
- Wears quickly if regularly pushed to its limits
Nitto Recon Grappler Vs Ridge Grappler: Which Tire to Choose?
If you’re searching for a tire that strikes the perfect balance between on-road comfort and off-road performance, the Nitto Recon Grappler is a no-brainer.
Conversely, if you want enhanced off-road performance and are willing to sacrifice road manners, the Ridge Grappler might be a better bet.