Does anybody know or have used carbide screw in studs. If so your opinion of them? Brand you used?
tire studs not chains
I've used 3/8 self tapping sheet metal screws and it works, but I too don't understand what "stove bolts" are.
Walleye27, if you you want a cheap alternative to Kold Kutters, sheet metal screws do work. Two things though. 1 - make sure the screw you use has a shorter shank than your tire lugs are thick, use your best judgement. 2 - studded tires work very well on glare ice or packed snow but unless you have deep lugs on the tire it's not going to magically help pull your gear through deep snow.
May I ask what your main concern is in chains vs studs.
On an ATV if you combine these with a tire like ITP Mud Lites you will never run chains again...
There is a downside though, you should try to protect the screws from hard surfaces like asphalt and gravel. They will last for quite awhile if you stick to ice, snow, or dirt trails but if you are constantly moving the machine around on anything other than those softer surfaces they'll wear out "prematurely." The dirt bike guys used to use old fire hose remnants and wrap them around the tire. I think nowadays they make wraps for ice racing but I don't know of any that make them for ATV sized tires.
The benefit with chains is durability and you don't need a separate set of wheels and tires. However, if you can find a way to keep the Kold Kutters in contact with ice/snow only and combine them with an aggressive mud tire the only step better is tracks.
So, with all that said. Is it worth it for an ice fishing machine? Probably not unless you can guarantee you will always be able to unload the machine directly on to ice.