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BF Goodrich KM3 vs Nitto Ridge Grappler

BF Goodrich KM3 vs Nitto Ridge Grappler: KM3 is a mud-terrain tire while its opponent, Nitto Ridge Grappler is an all-terrain tire made to perform well on all kinds of grounds.

KM3 is well known for its off-road capabilities, due to its wide grooves no other tire can beat its performance on muddy terrain.

While Grappler performs pretty well on road, all thanks to its carefully designed unique pattern.

Want to know how Grappler is able to dampen sound while moving even at high speed? then must read the comfort section!

Comparing Both Tires

BF Goodrich KM3

BF Goodrich KM3

Nitto Ridge Grappler

Nitto Ridge Grappler

KM3 comes with an open tread design. The shoulder lugs are big in size and have unusual empty spaces between them. Bold and long stone emitters are also placed in spaces between the lugs. Shoulder lugs have a cut placed in between them. Central part of the tire has small blocks placed in form of pairs; a groove is running between each pair. Wide grooves have surrounded the central blocks and strong edgy stone ejectors are placed within the grooves.

KM3 on road

Grappler has a closed pattern compared to its rival. The shoulder blocks are of two different shapes, placed one after another. The grooves in between these blocks are wide compared to the other grooves of the tire. Stone ejectors are placed in between the lugs but they aren’t as bold as of KM3. Triangular shaped blocks are present in central part, a wide and deep cut is on every second block. The blocks have sharp edges and they are surrounded by comparatively narrower grooves. A lot of sipes are present on the whole tire.

Nitto Ridge Grappler on Road

On Road

Grappler is the clear winner talking about on road performance. This is because it has a compact tread design and more of the area of tire is touching the road so grip is boosted therefore traction is improved. Coming towards wet traction, Grappler wins again due to higher contact patch and frequent siping, sipes clear the water and grip is improved. Hydroplaning resistance of this tire is good as well but it isn’t as good as of its competitor due to its narrower grooves which aren’t able to throw water backwards efficiently, so chances of hydroplaning increase.

KM3 is a mud terrain tire and isn’t recommended to be used on road as it has open tread pattern and very less contact patch. This hinders it’s on road capabilities cause grip is decreased. On road wet traction of this tire is not good as well due to its less contact patch and nonappearance of sipes. Though it isn’t good on road but its hydroplaning resistance is better than its competitor due to its wide grooves which let the water pass through them very easily.

Off Road

Mud Terrain

KM3 performs perfectly on muddy terrains. This is due to its open tread design having wide grooves as when the tire comes across mud all the mud particles easily pass through these grooves. Wide grooves throw mud in the opposite direction clearing the path, helping the tire to move forward. The wide grooves between shoulder blocks help the tire while cornering as the mud gets passed by these wide grooves and the cornering gets smooth and easy and there is no way tire could get stuck.

Nitto Ridge Grappler has closed tread pattern with narrow grooves and this hinders its performance on mud. The narrow grooves aren’t able to throw enough mud particles backwards and so there is always chance that tire will get stuck in mud ponds. Still this tire can be used in areas with light mud and it won’t disappoint but if you go in deep and heavy mud then your vehicle might get stuck.

Snow Terrain

Soft snow is same as mud and you will not get any different results from KM3. It will perform as good in snow as it did in mud thanks again to its wide and deep grooves that grab and throw the snow particles backwards clearing the way of the tire. But same is not the case on ice, Infact it is opposite. Cause KM3 has less contact patch so tire won’t grip on ice and sipes are also absent so slipping will increase, leading to accidents.

Ridge Grappler due to its narrower grooves lacks in soft snow as well as narrow grooves aren’t able to throw the soft snow particles backwards and resultantly the grip is decreased and tire will get stuck if taken in deep snow. On ice, this tire performs way better than its opponent all due to its high contact patch and frequent siping, the high contact patch increases the grip while sipes wipe away the water, preventing the tire from skidding or slipping. So, we can conclude that in soft snow KM3 is the winner while on ice Grappler takes the lead.

Rocky Terrain

In order to have good traction on rocks/pebbles, tires need to have wide grooves, biting edges and most importantly frequent and bold stone ejectors. As discussed above, KM3 has wider grooves than its counterpart and it also has bold straight stone ejectors between its shoulders and triangular shaped emitters in the central part. Although this tire doesn’t have edgy blocks which hinder its biting ability but still wide grooves and ejectors fill the gap. As stone ejectors emit the stones from getting caught in the grooves and wide grooves help the tire to climb.

Grappler has narrow grooves but it has stone ejectors placed in between its shoulder lugs although they are not as bold as of its counterpart. This tire has edgy blocks which are a plus point and help it to bite the surface but as it lacks sturdy ejection technology and wide grooves so it won’t perform as good as its counterpart. To conclude, KM3 is the victor in rocky/stone area due to more improved pattern.  


As KM3 has less contact patch then its rival so it has less rolling resistance as well. The less contact patch means lesser area of the tire is in contact with the road so the treadwear will also decrease resulting in the long life of this tire. This tire is made with tough and long-lasting material, CoreGard Max Technology is used in its construction and Krawl Tek compound is also utilized in this tire which makes it much more durable and it comes with six years of warranty from manufacturer.

Ridge Grappler has higher contact patch so rolling resistance is also higher. And as more of its tread comes in contact with the ground so more treadwear occurs resulting in less life of the tread compound. The material used to produce this tire is strong and long lasting as well. In terms of durability KM3 is better due to its lesser treadwear and CoreGard Max Technology.


The on-road comfort of KM3 is not good as it has wide grooves which allow more air particles to come in between. The more the air particles the more noise production as these particles strike with tread block walls and this collision results in production of noise. So KM3 due to its extraordinary wide grooves produces a lot of noise especially while moving at high speed. But in terms of off-road comfort KM3 performs very good as its wide grooves work as an extra suspension and it feels like lesser inflated tire, resulting in less jerks and comfortable ride.

Ridge Grappler produces very less noise due to its narrow grooves which allow less air particles to get stuck in between them so this tire is much comfortable on road. The pattern of this tire is specially designed in a way to dampen the sound and provide peaceful and quite highway rides. While moving off road, Grappler isn’t comfortable as KM3 due to its narrower grooves and higher contact patch, which makes the tire rigid and more jerks are felt in the cabin.

Last Words

  • KM3 is a mud-terrain while Grappler can be used on all kinds of grounds.
  • Grappler performs well while moving on road.
  • KM3 has wide grooves while Grappler has narrower grooves.
  • KM3 is the clear winner on muddy and snowy terrains.
  • Grappler performs better on ice.
  • KM3 performs better on rocky terrains.
  • In terms of on road comfort Grappler is the clear winner.
  • KM3 takes the lead in off road comfort.
  • KM3 is more durable tire among both.
  • Grappler is more expensive compared to its rival.
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