Atturo Trail Blade MT vs Nitto Trail Grappler

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If you’re looking for a mud-terrain tire that provides excellent performance in all conditions, then both the Atturo Trail Blade MT and the Nitto Trail Grappler are worth considering. Both have been designed to deliver superior commercial traction on all types of rugged tracks.

Atturo Trail Blade MT
Atturo Trail Blade MT

In my view as a tire engineer, the Nitto Trail Grappler being a tougher off the two, does better on rocks, mud off-road. And on pavements, its surprisingly a quieter choice, and offers decent directional grip (on only dry). On the other side, the Atturo M/T does great with sand, snow, and on road when it comes to comfort, fuel economy and wet traction.

Available Sizes

The Atturo Trail Blade MT comes with following specs:

  • Sizes: 17 (16 to 22″ rims).
  • Speed ratings: R and Q.
  • Load ratings: XL, D and E.
  • Weight range: 40 to 80 lbs.
  • Tread depth range: 17 to 20/32 inches.

On the other hand, Nitto Trail Grappler comes with following.

  • Sizes: 53 (15 to 26″ rims).
  • Speed Ratings: P or Q.
  • Load Range: C to F.
  • Weight Range: 61 to 116 lbs (heavier).
  • Tread depth: 19/32″ to 21/32″ (smaller, comparatively).

Review Trail Grappler in detail (recommended).

Tread Pattern

Starting with the Nitto Trail Grappler, with dual sidewalls, the tire is a beast. The image below shows its more aggressive side (its up to you to choose, which side to show out).

Nitto Trail Grappler
Nitto Trail Grappler

Its sidewall lugs present you with high rigidity. And they are connected to the mud scoops (on shoulders), so that they can offer traction at multiple angles, with lowered air pressure.

Moreover, its shoulder lugs have sharp edges and slanted slits providing grip, and with wide lateral tread voids having stone ejectors, they offer self cleaning capabilities to the tread as well.

Towards the middle, there are 2 ribs with L shaped lugs in them, and they supply similar biters (like the rest).

They make narrower longitudinal grooves in the middle, yet they still interconnect all these tread voids together keeping the tread clean.

Nonetheless the middle section is not that aggressive compared to Atturo, which supplies more ‘angles’ overall (see below).

Atturo Trail Blade MT
Atturo Trail Blade MT

In the middle, you get thicker blocks with sharp edges and curves, wrapping around the shoulders.

The sharp chamfered edges, combined with small notches and full depth sipes provide grip in multiple directions, whereas with a combination of slanted longitudinal and lateral voids, you also get superior self cleaning capabilities.

The shoulder lugs are also more aggressive in comparison.

They are elongated, and make wider lateral grooves in between, which render self cleaning and paddling.

Though still the outer edges of the these lugs are not as biting as the Trail Grappler, even though they feature decent mud scoops and sidewall lugs.

Fuel Consumption

In general, off-road tires with deeper treads and heavier structures consume more fuel compared to those with shallower treads and lighter weights, as they cause more lug bending, which wastes energy.

That’s why the Nitto Trail Grappler with relatively deeper tread voids, and a greater weight consumes more fuel in comparison.

The Atturo Trail Blade MT on the flip side comes with more stable tread formation, (as discussed in the steering response section). So less fuel energy is wasted here in to the bending of its blocks, and more of it is used up in to the rolling of the tire.

Tread Life

Although the Atturo Trail Blade MT yields smaller rolling resistance, it’s overall tread life still takes the back seat, in comparison.

This is because the Nitto Trial Grappler features a harder tread compound, which is less susceptible to as much burning.

Moreover, helping to that is also its tread depth, and although its only 1/32″ greater (on average), it still generates a noticeable difference overall.

The Atturo Trail Blade’s softer compound on the flip side burns faster. Though keep in mind, its only a difference of 5 to 10k miles.

Also if you rotate these tires religiously after every 3k miles, you may get up to 50k miles out of them both. I talked about them more here:

Pavement Traction

Optimal performance on the “dry” pavements is attained through several variables, including grip, handling stability, and steering sensitivity. Lets talk all.

Directional Grip

MT tires aren’t so great on pavements, due to their aggressive structure, so gripping on highways is always a challenge for them. This is because they are highly voided, and don’t offer ample rubber to road meetup.

Though still, with a superior directional orientation of Nitto Trail Grappler, the tire features shorter braking distances, upon deep testing.

Basically it’s lugs are more streamlined when it moves straight, the inner 2 ribs basically keep a more consistent connection with the road.

Atturo Trail Blade in comparison, does better laterally, see below.

Lateral Grip

For sideways grip, the structure of shoulders are taken in to account, and here the Atturo M/T takes the lead. It although features slightly wider voids between the lugs there, it’s superior steering response still renders it’s handling better.

With lighter weight, and lower tread depth, its shoulder blocks basically form a firmer contact with the ground as the tire corners.

Whereas the Nitto Trail Grappler’s heavier make pushes it’s lugs to bend a lot more, causing lacking under/oversteering balance, relatively.

Tire Responsiveness

Tire’s response gets calculated by the steering inputs, and is influenced by factors such as weight and sidewalls design. Both of these basically tell you about the continuity of lug-ground contact.

And so with a better sideways maneuvering efficacy, combined with lighter structural weight (reaching up to 80 lbs only), the Atturo Trail Blade MT yields better handling feedback.

Whereas the Nitto Trail Grappler being the heaviest tire in the mud-terrain category, (116 lbs), generates greater moving inertia.

Wet Traction

Mud terrain tires most-lacking performance area is seen on wet roads. These tires basically lack in providing ample sipes, which supply most of the grip. That’s why some companies offer aftermarket sipes on the tread for these aggressive tires, to improve traction.

Sipes are basically tiny slits which soak up water particles in them, and out of both tires, they are seen more effective on Atturo Trail Blade MT.

The Nitto Trail Grappler offers rectilinear (shaped) siping, which tend to get stiffen up with the tire’s maneuverability, and so they can’t flex as much, to create suction for the water particles coming in contact with them.

Ride Comfort

When it comes to ride quality one of the main factors is how well a tire settles the vibrations on pavements. And here, the Atturo Trail Blade MT with it’s malleable compound, and larger tread depth cushions the imperfections of the road better.

The Nitto Trail on the other hand, although has similar voided structure, it’s greater weight compromises on the overall maneuvering stability, especially on smooth tracks , relatively speaking.

Though the tire does great in the second part of overall comfort, which is tread noise.

Although with balder design, both tires allow air particles to freely move in the tread, and strike with the walls around with full force, generating unwanted sounds, at least you get superior pitch sequencing on Trail Grappler.

Nitto calls it variable pitch technology, and it works by varying the geometry of the tread in a way, that different parts of it produce different tones (as air particles hit them). And they try to cancel out each other.

Winter Traction

Both tires are not branded with 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake symbols, yet they are still capable on deep snowy tracks. Though running them on ice and paved snowy roads is a disaster.

Nonetheless, out of these two, the Atturo Trail Blade shows better capabilities.

This tire basically provides more curves to it’s tread blocks, which are more capable of grabbing snow particles and make snow contact with them.

This type of contact is better compared to rubber-to-snow, as it produces larger frictional values (basically snowflakes are very sticking on each other).

Off Road Performance

Off road things get very interesting for these M/Ts, as that’s where they shine the most. Let talk about that, considering all the terrains below.

Muddy Trails

Mud requires efficient self cleaning and its one of the toughest terrains, comparatively, that’s why these tires are named after it, even though they are as much capable on other terrain types as well.

Though comparing both tires, I have to say, I am really impressed with Nitto Trail Grappler. It’s definitely a better tire here.

It’s central lugs are slightly more spacious, and dual sidewall lugs supply amazing forward momentum, when aired down deep in mud.

In comparison, the Atturo Trail Blade lacks to it’s counterpart mostly because of it’s interlocking central lugs. Although its only by a tiny margin, they aren’t as self cleaning as its counterpart.

On Rocks

On rocks you need a lot biters and toughness. And both mud terrain tires have gotten those covered, with their 3 ply sides, and bald enough structures, which create a lot of biting power.

Though out of them, I like the performance of Nitto Trail Grappler, better. It’s centrally aligned biters, although offers similar directional grip, in comparison, its lateral traction is very superior.

Its bigger shoulder lugs and thicker dual sidewall biters get to grip the rocky surface in a much better way, especially with lowered air pressure.

The Atturo Trial Blade on the other hand, does better with climbing, especially when its really inclined, (here, the tire’s lighter weight helps it a lot).

Sandy Terrains

On sand you need to avoid as much digging as possible as that is the worst thing for traction.

And so with heavier weight the Nitto Trail Grappler lacks overall, and you really feel it on slopes. It’s hard keeping the forward momentum going with this tire, and you have to keep your foot down all the way on the paddle.

The Atturo Trail Blade on the other side, provides softer edges and with comparatively lighter weight, it floats better. So considering it’s overall ease of maneuverability, I rated this tire superior here.

To Conclude

So overall, we have learned form the above, that the Nitto Trail is a better for rocks and muddy tracks, and offers superior directional (dry) grip in comparison, on highways.

Whereas, the Atturo Trail Blade is the one to opt for, if you want the best out of sandy, and snowy terrains. The tire is also great with overall wet traction, fuel economy and comfort.

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