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What Are Winter Tire Studs?

Winter tire studs are designed to be installed on studdable winter tires, and work to supplement traction in select winter conditions. Studdable winter tires are sold without studs. They must be acquired and installed separately.

Winter tire studs have a large diameter cylindrical end that roots down into the tire tread, and a small tungsten carbide pin that extends from the “active” end of the stud. Hard rubber studs are also available in select markets.

Once installed, the top pin of the stud extends beyond the surface of the tire tread by about 1/32", and works to penetrate frozen roadways to provide extra grip. Think of studs as hammering and clawing into frozen precipitation under wheel rotation.

Alternatively, some off-road truck studs have a screw design that lodges them into the tire tread.

Get a set of Winter Tires for your vehicle from Jackson's today!

How are winter tire studs installed?

Each stud is individually inserted with a “stud gun” into preset locations. The stud holes are clearly visible on studdable winter tires like the General AltiMax Arctic 12.

Stud sizes vary, and each studdable winter tire is engineered with a particular size of stud spec’d. (The TSMI chart above outlines the various stud sizes.) Proper stud size for the tire is necessary and is indicated on the tire sidewall by many manufacturers.