Both General Grabber ATX and the Falken Wildpeak AT3w are all terrain tires, and when it comes to this category of tires, we want them to have great off road performance while still being comfortable and quite on tar. And both these tires in question, are very capable of providing that.
Here the General Grabber is considered hybrid, as the tire has some common features with it’s Mud-Terrain variant, the Grabber X3 (mostly shoulders), while the rest is from the Grabber AT2 (which is comfortable on road). This allows the tire to become the best of both worlds.
But overall, as the tire is still built on a All Terrain platform, it’s just as aggressive as the Falken Wildpeak AT3w, so which is better?
Well, the key lies in their designs.
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Let’s start off with their Designs:
If you are familiar with the interlocking design of KO2, you’ll note that the General Grabber ATx looks very much alike it.
It has 3 main “worm” shaped ribs in the middle where the central one is wrapped by the other two.
All blocks have deep 3D sipes (which go half way deep), and they are seen with notches, which combined with offset edges provide enough biters.
The tire also features stud-able blocks (they are on shoulders as well).
In case of Falken Wildpeak, (which reminds you of Toyo Open Country AT3), with S (or Z) shaped blocks in the middle surrounded by other 2 angular off set blocks.
The S shaped block have very sharp edges to them, including ramps which acts as block-supports (like seen on other blocks).
The surrounding blocks have notches facing in all directions.
All block feature rectilinear siping pattern here, and although they are less in number here, they are still effective.
If we move towards the shoulders, the General Grabber ATX shows you a serrated pattern with similar notched blocks.
Deep siping is again seen here (in the form of straight lines) and both blocks, one with the scoop and other with elongated slit in it, join into sidewall lugs.
On the other side, the Falken Wildpeak don’t have staggered shoulder blocks, like the Grabber, but the tire’s saw tooth edges provide a more competitive design.
The shoulder blocks alternate in width and length with one of them notched and the other having multiple steps on its side. They then join in the sidewall in a similar fashion where their side stepped edges are seen.
The sidewall’s slanted lugs are also more attacking in comparison and are bulkier, providing this tire extra protection.
Falken Wildpeak are very well summarized on the video below.
Other Specs of the tires:
We also calculated the average weight and tread depth for the all the available sizes of these tires.
|Available sizes||15 to 20″||15 to 22″|
|Weight||28 to 75 lbs||35 to 84 lbs|
|Load Rating Range||C to E||C to F|
|Warranty||60k miles||55k miles|
As you can see the Wildpeak has more weight and tread depth in comparison.
Comparing Off-Road Mud Traction:
Now generally, all terrain tires are pretty scared of mud.
And the Grabber line up was already notorious for not performing too well here. But we still expected the ATX to perform better than before as the tire has now X3’s shoulder design (which is especially designed for mud).
But the tire’s performance was just satisfactory if not disappointing.
The reason behind it is the lack of lateral traction for this tire. And because of this the tires (on slick mud) kept on swinging sideways instead of making the momentum forward.
This can be explained with the less aggressive shoulders of this tire.
As you can see here, the staggered shoulders and less aggressive sidewalls which don’t allow this tire to maintain a side-way grip.
(The following video also talks about this while reviewing the tire)
On the other side, this is not the problem with the Falken Wildpeak. As this tire has more teeth/edges on its sides combined with a bulkier and sharper sidewall design. This allows it to maintain it’s lateral traction.
The Wildpeak also have a little more advantage here with it’s central blocks and tread depth.
- The S shaped blocks have sharp edges and side steps which grabs the mud from the middle.
- The surrounding blocks are notched which are then facing the shoulder blocks which are also notched. This allows the tire to maintain a stronger bite to the ground.
- The tire also has more tread depth which allows more mud to evacuate from its channels.
Side Note: All Terrain tires can’t out perform a mud terrain tires like the BFG Mud-Terrain or the Maxxis Bighorn MT for example.
Now the General Grabber ATx does not struggle too much while propagating through rocks as long as they are dry (Because they have the same lateral traction issue on wet rocks that we talked above).
The central interlocking design of the tire combined with the cuts, which they call “traction notches” holds on to the surface of uneven rocks maintaining traction.
The deep siping further divides the blocks and they squeeze and squirm as the tire rolls over the rock causing a sticky effect where the friction is strong at all times.
If the General had made this tire’s shoulders a little more aggressive, it might have been able to perform neck to neck with the Wildpeak.
But on Falken AT3w the lateral traction from the edged shoulder blocks combined with the biting notches in the middle allows this tire to have a better overall grip on rocky terrains.
The more deeper tread also allows the tire blocks to move more independently in all directions. This give the tire adhesive properties and enhances friction.
On gravel with high speeds both tires have the same advantage of durability with chip/cut resistant compound tread. And both of them have efficient stone ejectors as well.
But the sidewalls on the Falken Wildpeak are stronger with 2 extra plies of polyamide on the sides making it a 4 ply construction. This combined with it’s bulkier sidewall lugs protects this tire from sharp rocks and clear the tire path more efficiently.
Traction comparison in Snow:
When it comes to snow, both tires are 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake rated. So they are both expected to perform great here.
Now when it comes to snow, there are two types. One is the harder snow on roads/pavements and the other is the off road snow, which is softer.
The Grabber ATx performed remarkably well in on road snowy tracks. This is because of the uniform blocks of the tire which maintain a good contact with the road. And 2nd has to with sipes.
More siping is seen on these tires overall. These sipes gives the ice a gripping bite on a micro level. And the combined effect of it depends on how much siping the tire has.
Falken Wildpeak on the other hand has lesser siping. So the overall performance on snowy roads is compromised a little.
But with tire’s biting power from notches and biting edges of blocks the tire performs better on soft snow.
How are things on Smooth Roads?
On road, the General Grabber’s older variant the AT2 was already better and with this newer model they improved it further.
Grabber ATx is a very comfortable tire with very minimal noise and smooth drive.
With comfort balance technology, the tire features an extra layer under the durable upper tread. This dampens the noise from the tire and also makes the ride feel less bumpy.
In comparison the tire has lesser on road noise but with Falken Wildpeak but in terms of traction, the tire still wasn’t able to beat its competitor with huge margins on wet road.
But on wet roads Falken Wildpeak was able to perform better.
|Tests||Falken Wildpeak||Grabber ATx|
|Wet Handling||70.8 sec||64.8 sec|
|Dry Handling||93.6 sec||94.8 sec|
|Wet Braking||133 feet||148 feet|
|Dry Braking||94.5 feet||95 feet|
Note: Both tires were procured from the same company. Both of them had the same size and were tested on the same vehicle.
Overall we can say that they performed equally as good on road in dry conditions with Falken performing much better on wet asphalts.
Falken could have still made its tire a little quieter. They did introduce the silent core noise canceling technology but it was still nosier in comparison. But it won’t bother too much.
Overall Thoughts and Verdict:
In terms of durability, both tires have same construction of 2 plys but the Falken here also has 2 more layer covering the sidewalls. So you get more durability here.
The tire also gives you more miles too as the tread depth is one of the deepest that we’ve seen in all terrain tires, so it’s gonna take a long time to wear down. (The tire is able to let out heat efficiently as well so this also aids here).
Still the Falken gives 55k miles warranty where Grabber ATx has 60k (but they vary from sizes to sizes).
So the big question, which tire to get?
I guess if you have read everything here, its gets very clear which one is worth it.
Both tires are fairly cheaper and there is not much difference on price tags either and depending on the sizes, you can still save a couple of bucks with the Grabber ATx.
But considering the performance of Falken Wildpeak AT3w on mud, rocks and snow, the tire seems better here.