Falken Wildpeak MT01 vs Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires

Last updated 4/23/2024 - Originally published 4/23/2024
Written by SimpleTire

For drivers who like to go way, WAY off-road and into muddy, sloppy terrain, most all-terrain tires just aren’t going to be capable of getting the job done. The truth is, mud is really the Great Equalizer in these situations. If your tire can’t clear the mud in its treads and dig in for some real traction, it doesn’t matter how much ground clearance, torque, or horsepower your truck has – you’re going to find yourself with your wheels spinning in place and your truck bogged down and in need of a winch. Over the years, mud-terrain tires have developed a bit of a reputation for being noisy, a little squirrely on the pavement, difficult to balance because of their size and weight, and clumsy when it comes to handling. Fortunately, the latest generation of mud-terrain tires have been able to beat many of those shortcomings.

That brings us to our comparison of the Falken Wildpeak MT01 vs the Nitto Trail Grappler M/T. These are both very capable premium mud-terrain tires, and they both come with their strengths and weaknesses that we’ll delve into in this head-to-head comparison test. You’ll see us refer often to SimpleScore numbers in this writeup; if you’re not familiar with SimpleScore, it’s a tool that the team at SimpleTire has developed to give you an at-a-glance idea of what a tire is all about.

SimpleScore looks at specs, data points, and reviews and then distills that information down into a numerical value for the categories of traction, durability, and longevity as well as an overall average SimpleScore. For the Falken Wildpeak MT01 and Nitto Trail Grappler M/T, the SimpleScore rating breakdown as follows:

Falken Wildpeak MT01

  • Traction: 8.4
  • Durability: 8.5
  • Longevity: 8.6
  • Overall average SimpleScore: 8.4

Nitto Trail Grappler M/T

  • Traction: 8.4
  • Durability: 8.5
  • Longevity: 8.9
  • Overall average SimpleScore: 8.6

Of course, as handy as those SimpleScore ratings are, they’re the 30,000 ft view and don’t tell the whole story. So let’s go in for a closer, more detailed look at these premium mud-terrain tires:

Falken Wildpeak MT01 tires

Trusted by the pros, the Falken Wildpeak MT01 is a tough and dependable mud-terrain tire that’s also surprisingly composed and civilized on the pavement. Traction in difficult terrain and sloppy, gravy-like mud is outstanding thanks to an aggressive lug tread and 18/32” tread depth, with a wide void ratio and grooves that make it easy for the tire to fling mud and stones out of the tread.

The Wildpeak MT01 is durable too, with Falken’s DURASPEC technology package that includes a 3-ply reinforced sidewall that protects against cuts, impacts, and punctures. DURASPEC also includes a twin-ply turn-up at the bead for an extra measure of stability and protection. Its shoulder lugs are designed to deliver lateral traction to get out of ruts and tracks as well as adding more pulling power, especially when used aired-down over rocks and obstacles.

The Wildpeak MT01’s lower sidewall is designed for good heat dispersal, which is especially important for towing or hauling heavy loads. It’s also surprisingly quiet on the pavement, with a 3-pitch tread pattern that’s randomized and variable to cancel certain frequencies and resonances, keeping road noise down.

Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires

The Nitto Trail Grappler M/T is a great example of a next-generation mud-terrain tire design. It’s a tire that delivers unbeatable performance off-road and in deep mud, without compromising on-road manners, ride quality, and overall drivability on the street.

Leading edge tread and side blocks give the Trail Grappler M/T more surface area and biting edges for lateral stability and forward traction in rough off-road conditions. Reinforced shoulder grooves work as part of a system with the rest of the Trail Grappler M/T’s tread features for off-road performance without compromising the tire’s tread block rigidity. Deep sipes in the center blocks enhance wet-weather traction on pavement, and the well-balanced void ratio is designed for easy evacuation of mud and debris.

The 3-ply sidewall and high-turnup design of the Trail Grappler M/T gives an extra layer of armor for rough use and resistance to damage. The noise/vibration/harshness design team at Nitto fine-tuned the Trail Grappler M/T’s tread pitch, altering the size, shape, and position of tread blocks to neutralize frequencies and resonances for a surprisingly quiet ride. The Trail Grappler M/T is also engineered for roundness and uniformity, improving ride quality and helping to address any balance issues. It’s also worth noting that the Nitto Trail Grappler M/T has two different sidewall designs – one with traditional lettering and squared-off shoulder buttresses, the other with more stylized lettering and V-shaped lugs, making it easy to customize your truck’s looks and suit your aesthetics.

Falken Wildpeak MT01 vs Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires on traction

When it comes to the traction category, this is a tough call. Both tires are designed for tenacious grip in mud or aired-down over rocks and rough obstacles. Both do an excellent job of self-cleaning mud and debris, and both have a system of shoulder lugs that wrap around onto the sidewall for enhanced lateral grip. The Falken and the Nitto both have sipe patterns that improve traction on wet or snowy pavement, although neither tire has the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake rating for severe winter service. Both tires have a SimpleScore of 8.4 in the traction category, making them extremely closely matched in performance. Our decision:


Falken Wildpeak MT01 vs Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires on durability

Again, this is a category where the two tires are not just closely matched, but they share some of the same construction and material details. Both have 3-ply sidewalls, both have tread designs that are reinforced at the base of the tread blocks. The Falken Wildpeak MT01 has Falken’s DURASPEC technology package with a 2-ply turn-up at the bead, while the Nitto has a high turnup at the sidewall. We did take notice of the Falken’s heat diffuser technology on the lower sidewall – an important feature since excess heat accumulation is the enemy of any tire. Our decision:


Falken Wildpeak MT01 vs Nitto Trail Grappler M/T tires on longevity

This one is a little more clear-cut.

First, we should note that neither the Falken nor the Nitto tire is covered by a conventional mileage or treadwear warranty from the manufacturer. That’s not uncommon in the mud-terrain category. Both have deep tread depth and tread formulations that are designed for damage resistance as well as long wear. However, the Nitto comes in with a longevity SimpleScore of 8.9 vs 8.6 for the Falken tire, and some drivers’ reviews report putting more than 70,000 miles on their Nittos before replacing them. Our decision:

ADVANTAGE: Nitto Trail Grappler M/T

When to use each

It all depends on what you need from a tire and your truck. If you live far back in a rural area or if you love taking your truck way back into the backwoods and getting in some good times in deep, sticky mud, then mud-terrain tires like the Falken or the Nitto could be a great option. If, on the other hand, you want mud-terrain tires because you think they’d make your truck look cool (even if you spend most of your time on city streets), then mud-terrain tires might not be the best choice.

Yes, mud-terrain tires have improved a lot and tire manufacturers have addressed many of those complaints about noise, ride quality, vibration, harshness, handling, and wheel balance. Still, for daily driver duties, you really should consider if you’d be better off with all-terrain tires or mud-terrain on your vehicle – unless you need that added off-road traction.

Which one should you choose?

When it comes right down to it, the Falken Wildpeak MT01 and the Nitto Trail Grappler M/T are pretty closely matched in most respects. Performance, durability, traction, handling, and off-road capability are stellar with both tires, and both tires represent what a modern, next-generation mud-terrain tire is really about. However, the Nitto Trail Grappler MT does nose out the Falken Wildpeak MT01 in the SimpleScore ratings, especially when it comes to longevity, and the anecdotal info that’s in reviews of the Nitto is all pretty positive. With all that in mind, our pick would probably come down to the Nitto over the Falken at purchase time.

Still not sure which tire to buy? Fortunately, SimpleTire is here to help as our helpful agents are more than happy to assist you in selecting the right tire for your ride and budget.

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