Nitto Exo Grappler vs Ridge Grappler

Regarding off-road tires, Nitto is a brand that many enthusiasts trust. With various models designed for different terrain and driving styles, Nitto has become popular for those who want superior traction and performance when tackling rough terrain. Two of the most popular models in their lineup are the Exo Grappler and Ridge Grappler. While both tires have similar features, some key differences make each unique. We’ll look closer at the Nitto Exo Grappler vs Ridge Grappler to help you decide which is right for your vehicle and driving needs.

Technical Comparison:

The Exo Grappler is designed with a 3-ply sidewall construction, providing extra durability and protection against punctures while driving on rough terrain. It also has large shoulder lugs that offer excellent grip and stability during cornering, while its unique groove pattern helps maintain traction in wet conditions. While the Ridge Grappler boasts an aggressive tread design with deep grooves and sipes that deliver superior off-road performance. It also has a reinforced block foundation for strength and stability under heavy loads.

Tread Appearance:

Tread appearance is a crucial factor affecting the performance and the overall look of the tire. Tread patterns influence traction on different terrains and significantly enhance or detract from the vehicle’s aesthetic appeal. Both come with unique tread designs.

The Nitto Exo Grappler features an aggressive five-rib design with deep voids between the ribs that help prevent mud and dirt buildup. The outer ribs have alternating shoulder blocks that offer excellent grip on rocky terrain and enhance lateral stability during cornering. The center rib is reinforced with extra rubber to provide responsive handling on paved roads while maintaining good traction in loose conditions. The Ridge Grappler boasts an aggressive, modern-looking tread pattern combining functional elements from all-terrain and mud-terrain tires. The outer shoulder blocks feature deep grooves that help channel water away from the contact patch for enhanced wet traction.

Dry Performance:

The Nitto Exo Grappler tire has a unique tread pattern that improves its ability to grip dry surfaces. It has large shoulder blocks that provide excellent stability during cornering and braking while enhancing overall handling performance. The tire’s center rib enhances steering responsiveness, making controlling your vehicle at high speeds on straight roads easier. With an optimized contact patch design, It can maintain constant traction even under heavy loads or when towing trailers. The Ridge Grappler features an aggressive tread pattern with deep grooves and sipes, providing exceptional grip on dry surfaces. 

This makes it ideal for driving on rocky terrain or loose gravel, where traction can be challenging. It also boasts a durable construction that can handle heavy loads and rough terrain without compromising its ability to perform in dry conditions.

Steering Response:

Steering response is a crucial factor that should be taken into consideration. After all, your vehicle’s ability to turn and maneuver relies on how quickly and responsively your tires react to steering inputs.

The Nitto Exo Grappler-Ridge Grappler series boasts an impressive steering response, partly thanks to its innovative tread design. The treads feature wide shoulders and rigid blocks, providing stability during cornering and enhancing the tire’s responsiveness when navigating tight turns. Also, the Ridge Grappler is an excellent example of a tire that offers exceptional steering response.

Its unique shoulder grooves enhance its stability and responsiveness, providing drivers with unparalleled vehicle control. These grooves work with the tire’s optimized siping to maximize traction and grip on wet and dry surfaces. As a result, drivers can enjoy more precise steering while navigating challenging terrain or changing weather conditions.

Cornering Stability:

Ridge Grapplers feature a specially designed shoulder block with exceptional turning grip. This technology ensures that the tire maintains its shape during lateral force application, keeping it stable and preventing it from deforming or losing traction. The result is precise handling, confident cornering, and superior control over your vehicle. The Exo Grappler tire is especially popular among truck enthusiasts for its excellent cornering stability. This stability is partly due to the tire’s unique design and construction.

Its durable, 3-ply sidewall protects against impacts and punctures while enhancing cornering performance. The tire also has an aggressive tread pattern with large, staggered shoulder blocks that provide maximum grip when turning or navigating challenging terrain. 

Wet Performance:

Two distinct aspects of wet performance exist wet grip and hydroplaning resistance. Let us analyze each of them separately.

Wet Grip:

Nitto Exo Grappler delivers superior wet grip performance. The tire features circumferential grooves and lateral Z-grooves that work together to channel water away from the contact patch. The Z-grooves also add biting edges for improved traction on wet surfaces. It has sipes (small cuts in the tread blocks) that enhance wet braking by creating additional edges for better grip. The Ridge Grappler also features unique shoulder grooves that enhance its stability and responsiveness, providing drivers with unparalleled vehicle control. These grooves work with the tire’s optimized siping to maximize traction and grip on wet surfaces.

Hydroplaning Resistance:

Hydroplaning occurs when your vehicle’s tires lose contact with the road surface due to a layer of water, resulting in reduced control over your vehicle. The Nitto Exo Grappler features an innovative tread design that channels water away from the contact patch, allowing the tire to maintain a better grip on wet roads. 

The Ridge Grappler tire has an innovative design that effectively reduces the risk of hydroplaning. It features deep sipes and lateral voids that channel away water from underneath the tread, allowing for better contact with the road surface. The tire also has staggered shoulder blocks that provide additional biting edges, which enhances traction on wet roads. As a result, drivers can confidently navigate through rainy weather conditions without worrying about losing control due to hydroplaning.

Winter Performance:

The Nitto Exo Grappler is a tire designed specifically to provide excellent winter performance. It can provide superior traction on snow and ice with its unique tread pattern and rubber compound. The tire’s deep grooves are also designed to help evacuate water from beneath the tread, reducing the risk of hydroplaning. It also features durable construction that helps to ensure a long lifespan. The tire’s reinforced sidewalls can withstand impacts and abrasions while providing a comfortable ride. 

The Ridge Grappler’s unique siping technology also comes in handy during winter. It is Designed with a hybrid tread pattern; this tire offers on-road comfort and off-road capabilities. The alternating shoulder grooves provide excellent traction on snow-covered roads while enhancing grip during cornering. The staggered shoulder lugs also improve braking performance on icy surfaces by biting into the frozen terrain.

Light-Snow Performance:

The Nitto Exo Grappler is a tire that has been engineered to handle light-snow conditions with ease. This all-terrain tire boasts a combination of performance, durability, and reliability, making it the perfect choice for drivers who want a tire that can handle both on- and off-road driving. The exoskeleton construction creates a unique sidewall design that looks great and provides strength and protection against punctures. The tread pattern on this tire is designed to provide maximum contact with the road surface, which translates into improved grip in light snow conditions.

The Ridge Grappler’s unique tread pattern also features deep sipes and lateral voids, providing excellent snow and ice traction. Its high-density siping also helps to disperse water, slush, and snow for a better grip on wet surfaces. The tire has staggered shoulder lugs with alternating widths for improved stability and handling in snowy conditions.

Deep Snow:

The Nitto Exo Grappler is Designed specifically for harsh environments; this tire is perfect for those who like to push their rigs to the limit. It features an aggressive and functional tread pattern that provides excellent traction on icy and wet surfaces. Its sturdy construction also means it can withstand any punishment thrown its way.

But what sets it apart from other tires is its unique sidewall design. This tough armor protects against punctures and adds additional grip when climbing snowy hillsides or traversing steep descents.

The Ridge Grappler is also a tire that performs exceptionally in deep snow. Its rugged construction and innovative design make it an ideal choice for winter driving conditions, especially when there’s deep snow on the roads. The Ridge Grappler will keep you on track whether you head out for work or play. The tire’s aggressive tread pattern is a notable characteristic. It boasts large, blocky lugs engineered to grip the snow and deliver exceptional traction.


Nitto Exo Grappler tread design includes multiple sipes, which are small cuts on the surface of the rubber. These sipes help to create more biting edges, which provide greater grip on ice and snow-covered roads. The tire’s silica-infused compound also ensures superior wet and dry traction, making it an ideal choice for all-season use. 

The unique design of the Ridge Grappler ensures that it can easily grip ice and snow. It has deep grooves that allow it to channel water and slush away from the tire’s tread, which prevents hydroplaning. The sipes (small cuts in the tread) also provide extra edges for biting into packed snow and ice. Combined with their sturdy construction, these features make Ridge Grapplers an excellent choice for anyone driving on icy or snowy roads.

Road Noise and Comfort:

The Exo Grappler has been engineered with these factors, making it highly desirable for anyone who wants a comfortable ride without sacrificing performance. Regarding road noise, it performs exceptionally well. It features an optimized tread pattern that reduces driving noise, providing a quiet and smooth ride on highways or city streets. 

This makes long drives more enjoyable as there’s less intrusive sound from the tires, allowing you to focus better on your music or conversation with your passengers. Comfort is another area where the Nitto Exo Grappler excels.

I was excited to try out the Ridge Grappler, a tire that promises comfort and low road noise. After driving on them for a few weeks, I can confidently say they live up to their claims. These tires are some of the quietest I’ve ever experienced regarding road noise. Even on rough pavement or at high speeds, very little noticeable sound comes from the tires. This makes for a much more enjoyable driving experience, as unpleasant sounds are not constantly bombarding you. 

From the moment I hit the dirt road, I could feel the difference in comfort compared to my previous set of tires. The Ridge Grappler’s multi-dimensional siping and variable pitch tread pattern provided excellent traction while reducing highway noise. But what stood out was how smooth and stable my ride felt even on bumpy terrain.


The Nitto Exo Grappler is a tire designed for drivers who prioritize fuel efficiency. This tire features a combination of technologies that provide excellent performance while highly efficient. The result is a product that can help you save money at the pump without sacrificing performance. The key feature of the Nitto Exo Grappler contributing to its fuel efficiency is its low rolling resistance. This means less energy is required for the tire to roll, which translates into improved gas mileage.

The Nitto Ridge Grappler is a popular all-terrain tire with exceptional performance on and off the road. While known for its impressive traction and durability, many drivers are pleasantly surprised by its fuel efficiency. The reason for the Ridge Grappler’s fuel efficiency is its lightweight construction. Using advanced materials and technology, Nitto has created a strong and durable tire while still being relatively light in weight. This means less weight on your vehicle’s wheels, resulting in better gas mileage.

Tread Life and Durability:

The Nitto Exo Grappler boasts an impressive tread life, making it ideal for those looking for a reliable tire that can withstand harsh conditions. And regarding durability, the Nitto Exo Grappler lives up to its name. Built with high-quality materials and advanced technology, this tire is designed to last longer than most tires. This makes it an excellent choice for drivers who frequently drive through rough terrain or challenging weather conditions. Its unique exoskeleton design sets it apart from other tires.

The Ridge Grappler is one of the most popular off-road tires today. It is also known for its impressive tread life and durability, making it a top choice for drivers who frequently venture off-road. Its advanced rubber compound is The key factor contributing to the Ridge Grappler’s exceptional tread life. This specially formulated rubber offers superior wear resistance, ensuring the tire lasts longer than other models. The tire’s multi-layer construction protects against punctures and other damage that can cause premature wear.

Durability is also one of the major strengths of this tire. The Ridge Grappler features a reinforced shoulder design that helps to improve stability and handling when driving on rough terrain.

Off-Road Performance:

I will evaluate these tires individually as their performance varies depending on the surface.

Dirt and Gravel:

The Nitto Exo Grappler is a tire specifically designed for dirt and gravel roads. This tire offers incredible grip on all loose surfaces, making it the perfect choice for drivers who enjoy off-road adventures. Nitto’s engineers have carefully designed this tire to ensure optimal traction, stability, and durability.

Its large and deep tread blocks provide excellent grip on loose surfaces such as dirt, gravel, and sand. The tread pattern also helps to prevent stones from getting lodged between the blocks, which can cause damage or punctures to other tires. The tire has a reinforced sidewall that protects against cuts and punctures from rocks or other hazards encountered while driving on rough terrain.

The Ridge Grappler from Nitto is also a tire that can easily handle dirt and gravel. Whether navigating through rocky terrain or tackling muddy paths, this tire covers you. The Ridge Grappler’s aggressive tread pattern provides excellent traction on loose surfaces like dirt and gravel. The alternating shoulder grooves help to expel mud and rocks while providing additional grip on uneven surfaces. The deep sipes also provide added biting edges for enhanced traction in wet conditions.


Right off the bat, I noticed how well the tire tackled loose sand. The tread design helped with traction and grip, which made me feel more confident as I drove over dunes and through washouts. The wide grooves also helped to shed any excess sand that might have accumulated on the tire. The thing to note is that these tires are not specifically designed for sand. They’re all-terrain tires meant for a range of conditions.

Also, I recently got the chance to test out the Ridge Grappler tires in dunes, and I have to say, I was thoroughly impressed. One of my favorite things about these tires is how well they handled corners and turns on the dunes. They held their line exceptionally well and gave me confidence when maneuvering through tricky situations.


The Nitto Exo Grappler is a tire designed to tackle just about any terrain you can throw at it. Its unique tread pattern and advanced construction make it ideal for mud, offering exceptional traction and performance in even the most challenging conditions. The standout feature of it is when it comes to mud is its wide, deep grooves. These grooves provide excellent grip on slippery surfaces, helping you maintain control and keep moving forward no matter how muddy. 

The Ridge Grappler is also one you have to consider. This all-terrain tire has been designed with mud in mind and delivers exceptional performance on even the thickest mud. The tread design alone should give you an idea of how this tire will perform in muddy conditions. The feature of the Ridge Grappler is its variable pitch tread pattern. This design allows for a quieter ride on paved roads while providing excellent off-road performance in muddy conditions.

Rock Crawling:

If you’re an off-road enthusiast who loves rock crawling, then the Nitto Exo Grappler should be on your radar. Thanks to its unique tread pattern and construction, this tire is designed to tackle challenging terrains easily. Our testing showed that it performed exceptionally well in rocky conditions. The tires provided excellent traction on steep inclines and descents, allowing us to navigate obstacles confidently.

The Ridge Grappler all-terrain tire is also an excellent option for rock crawling enthusiasts who want to take their adventures to the next level. The Ridge Grappler’s ability to self-clean makes it stand out from other all-terrain tires. It can shed mud, dirt, and debris as you travel over different terrain without losing grip or traction.


The Nitto Exo Grappler series offers a limited treadwear warranty of up to 50,000 miles. This means if your tires wear out before reaching 50,000 miles due to manufacturing defects or other issues covered by the company, you can get replacements free of charge. Nitto offers a limited treadwear warranty on all Ridge Grappler tires. This means that if your tires wear out prematurely due to defects in materials or quality, Nitto will replace them at no cost. The warranty length varies depending on the tire size but ranges from 50,000 miles for smaller sizes up to 65,000 miles for larger sizes.

Specs – Nitto Exo Grappler vs Ridge Grappler

Nitto Exo GrapplerNitto Ridge Grappler
CategoryHybrid All-Terrain TireHybrid All-Terrain Tire
VehicleLight Truck, SUVLight Truck, SUV
Available Sizes (Rim)17”, 18”, 20”16”, 17”, 18”, 20”, 22”, 24”
Weight40 – 81 lbs40 – 95 lbs
Made InWhite, GA, USAWhite, GA, USA
Severe Snow Rated (3PMSF)NoYes


After comparing the Nitto Exo Grappler vs Ridge Grappler, I have to say that both tires are impressive in their own right. The Exo Grappler is ideal for those who prioritize off-road performance and durability. At the same time, the Ridge Grappler is perfect for drivers seeking a more balanced combination of on- and off-road capabilities. The choice between these two tires comes from your specific needs and preferences. You’ll get a high-quality tire that delivers excellent performance regardless of your choice. So, take some time to consider your driving conditions and choose the tire that’s best suited for you.


How do you check tire tread on a penny?

Checking the tread on your tires with a penny is an easy and effective way to gauge their wear. To do this, take a penny and insert it into the tread of your tire with Abraham Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see all of his head, then your tire tread is worn and needs to be replaced. If part of his head is covered by the tread, then your tires still have plenty of life left.

Is Nitto discontinuing the Ridge Grappler?

Nitto is not discontinuing the Ridge Grappler. The Ridge Grappler is one of Nitto’s most popular off-road tires and continues to be a top seller for the company.