3/8 Chain Vs 5/16: Which Safety Chain Is More Effective?

Chains protect the trailer tongue from damage, and they are connected to the towing vehicle through safety chains. For this reason, trailer safety chains play a crucial role in ensuring a trailer’s connection to a tow vehicle is secure.

Are you searching for the best safety chain for your trailer? Which will give you the best value for a longer time without worry? You can determine the chain strength by using your (GTW) Gross Trailer Weight. 

Fortunately, here we’ll be comparing 3/8 Chain Vs 5/16 Chain today to help you make an informed choice. Now let’s dig a bit deeper and discuss safety chains.

3/8 Chain Vs 5/16: In-Brief Specifications

A zinc-plated chain connected to an S-hook attaches to the towing vehicle for safety and security. Let’s compare the specifications of the 3/8 Chain and 5/16 Chain briefly.

3/8 Chain 5/16 Chain
Manufacturer:- ‎CurtCurt
Model:- Safety chainSafety chain
Chain size:- 3/8 inches5/16 inches
Inside length:- 1.14 inch0.98 inch
Inside width:- 0.54 inch0.46 inch
Weight (per ft.):- 1.46 lbs.1.01 lbs.
Working load capacity:- 6,600 lbs.4,700 lbs.
Plated in zinc and gold chromateFinished in gold chromate and zinc
Link count (each ft.):- 10.5012.20
Advanced thermal heat treatmentThermally heated using modern technology
Heat treated and high-carbon steelHigh carbon steel with heat treatment
Has passed 100% of the testsHas passed 100% of the tests
Design factor of 4:1Design factor of 4:1
Should not be used for overhead liftsit is not recommended for overhead operations
ASTM and NACM standards are metMeets NACM & ASTM standards
Including FMCSA & CVSA requirementsMeets CVSA & FMCSA requirements
Exterior:- Clear zinc Yellow zinc

3/8 Chain Vs 5/16: Details Comparison

Safety chains are the chains that are connected from the trailer tongue to the tow vehicle. In other words, safety chains are an essential piece for making sure your trailer is connected correctly to your tow vehicle.


The 3/8″ or 80 alloy chain from Peerless is tempered and quenched. The load was tested up to 200% of its working load. This product meets all OSHA, NACM, ASTM and Government specification requirements.

A (WLL) working load limit of 7,100 pounds is attached to this heavy duty lifting chain. This 20-foot length of 3/8 inches grades 80 hanging chain is excellent for hanging products below hooks & lifting beams that can be adjusted.

Use overhead lifting chains in compliance with OSHA rules and regulations. Never load assemblies beyond their rated working loads. 

Chain with a nominal diameter of 5/16″ and a proof grade of 30 as well. It is coated with a hot-dip galvanizing process, and the container size is 92 feet. It is commonly used in farming, industrial, and residential applications, as safety log chains.

Long lashing for 5/16″ chains also used for pipeline hanging, guardrail, tailgate, tow, & switch chain. The 5/16 chain is designed for a 4:1 ratio, imported from the manufacturer and has a maximum working load of 1900 lbs.

Be careful it does not support overhead lifting. There is an inside measurement of 0.48″. The link has an inside measurement of 1.29″. It weighs 0.93 pounds per foot.

The 5/16 is clearly the winner in the features section because of its higher load capability, maximum ratio, and high-quality hook as well.

High Strength Capability

Trailer chains with a 3/8″ diameter are rated at grade 43, and their break strength is 16,200 pounds.

The 5/16” trailer chain is rated Grade 70 and has a minimum breaking force of 18,800 pounds.

The 5/16 safety chain is the winner of the high strength category because it has a higher grade than 3/8. Although two safety chains are recommended for both 3/8 and 5/16 chain trailers, each chain must have a load capacity of at least twice that of the trailer’s gross weight.

Available Safety Features

In order to connect the trailer chain safely and securely to your vehicle, a safety chain hook is pre-attached to this 35-inch trailer chain. For enhanced security, the 3/8 inch clevis hook comes with a spring loaded lever.

For safe working, the safety chain hook is pre-attached to the trailer chain for a secure connection with the vehicle. The 5/16-inch trailer chain also comes with a clevis hook as well as a spring loaded lever for increased security.

Suppose you have a question about the difference between 3/8 Chain and 5/16 Chain in terms of safety features. Thus, I must say that both are similar performers in this category.

Durable And Corrosion-Proof 

The 3/8 inch trailer chain is generally durable. The trailer safety chain is made up of 3/8 inch diameter, high-quality steel links, and it is zinc-plated to protect it from rust and corrosion despite exposure to the elements outdoors.

However, the 5/16 trailer safety chains are constructed from 5/16 inch diameter and super strong steel links. 5/16 chain is zinc plated to provide durability and resistance to rust and corrosion regardless of harsh weather conditions.

In the durability and corrosion resistant capability, 5/16 trailer safety chains are obviously the winner. It has a larger diameter and is designed to work in any weather conditions.

3/8 Chain Vs 5/16: Price

CURT 35 inch “Trailer Safety Chain” with 3/8 inches “Clevis Snap Hook” and 16,200 lbs break strength costs around $25.26 on Amazon.

CURT 35 inch “Trailer Safety Chain” with 5/16 inches “Clevis Snap Hook” and 18,800 lbs break strength costs approximately $22.33 on Amazon.

Nevertheless, you should know that the price range can go up or down. Many factors can affect the price, such as the chain diameter, the hook diameter, the making material, different seller websites, and even the country. The 5/16-inch safety chain is the best option for quality service at an affordable price.

3/8 Chain Vs 5/16: What’s The Best Trailer Chain?

An off-road kit includes chain lengths & grab hooks. This allows the user to winch the chain up the height of the high-lift. But which product is better between 3/8 Chain Vs 5/16 in terms of capability?

The 3/8″ chain has a higher rating than the 5/16″ chain. The breaking strength of the 70 grade 5/16″ is 18,800 pounds. 

The 5/16 chain maximum working load is about 5k pounds. Although the links are smaller, the 5/16 safety chain still withstands heavy loads without issue.


What is 3/8 chain rated?

Heavy-duty Grade-70 transportation chains are constructed from extremely durable, alloy-free carbon steel. The yellow zinc chromate coating helps protect it from corrosion and makes it easy to identify as a Grade 70 chain.

How much does the 5/16 G4 chain weigh?

The 5/16 G4 weighs 1.1 pounds per square foot. The 3/8 G4 weighs about 1.5 pounds per square foot. In general, cruising yachts use a ride that is 300 feet long.


3/8 Chain Vs 5/16: Which is better to buy? When you have the money, you should consider a 5/16-inch grade 100 transport chain. This chain is lighter and almost as strong as a 3/8 inches grade 70 safety trailer chain.

The 5/16-inch feature high break strength ensures you can carry anything you might need. It is now your choice based on your safety and preferences.

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