A winch is a powerful tool that can help a person pull a vehicle out when it’s stuck in mud or snow. And there’s a pretty large variety of different models of them on the market. Some are designed to be used on jeeps or trucks, some on ATVs and some on UTVs. All a person has to do is figure out which one they need and then pick out the best winch possible.
Of course, finding the best winch isn’t always easy, which is an unfortunate side effect of having so many different models to choose from. Fortunately, I’ve decided to compile a list which will shed some light on which models are good ones and which ones should be passed over.
10. Champion 3000-lb ATV/UTV Kit
Designed with a 3,000-pound max rated pull line and a 1-horsepower permanent magnet motor, this model is equipped to handle the winching needs of most ATV and UTV vehicles on the market today. It has 46-foot by 3/16-inch heavy-duty aircraft cable that is not only extremely strong but also resists fraying, even when used in sandy, muddy or rocky environments. It uses a reliable roller fair-lead to guide the cable onto a 1.5-inch by 3.2-inch drum which ensures that the cable has the maximum amount of life possible. And with a gear reduction ratio of 171:1, this product can pull up to 8.9-feet of line per minute without load or 4.3-feet of line with a full load.
9. Rugged Ridge 8,500-lb (15100)
This model is manufactured with safety in mind, which is probably why it uses body screws and bolts that are corrosion resistant and manufactured from stainless steel. That isn’t the only thing this product has going for it, however. It also has a 5.5-horsepower wound motor that gives a lot of pulling power, a 2-stage gearbox with a 172.8:1 gear ratio and 94-feet of 5/16-inch wire rope with latched hook. It also has an automatic load holding brake system, a light mount roller fair-lead and a 12-foot remote switch.
8. Smittybilt 10,000-lb X2O (98510)
Rope winches have to operate in all kinds of different weather, which is probably why this model is designed to be waterproof with a waterproof rating of IP68. It also has a 6.6-horsepower amphibious motor, a 3-stage planetary gear system with a gear ratio of 218:1, a sliding ring gear clutch and an automatic out-of-drum brake. It has a drum size of 2.5-inch diameter and has 98.5-feet of 3/8-inch synthetic rope. This model also a waterproof 500-AMP solenoid, a 10-inch by 4.5-inch mounting bolt pattern and has overall dimensions of 22.3-inches by 5.4-inches by 9.4-inches (LxWxH).
7. Superwinch 3,000-lbs LT3000 ATV
ATV winching is as important as models used on jeeps or UTVs and that’s why they need a high-quality design which this unit provides. It has a sealed 1.2-HP permanent magnet motor that delivers power and has a gear ratio of 136:1 thanks to its 1-stage planetary gear system. This unit also has a free-spooling clutch, an automatic brake, a sealed solenoid, a heavy-duty fair-lead, and a heavy-duty clevis pinned latch. It also has 50-feet of durable 3/16-inch wire rope and a 12-foot handheld remote as well. This unit also has an installed weight of 20-pounds and is 13.2-inches long by 4.25-inches wide by 4.25-inches high.
6. Warn 4000-lb Capacity (89040)
Manufactured to be used on ATVs and Side by Sides, this product is designed to be lightweight and yet still remain powerful. It has a fully-sealed 1.4-HP motor and drive train that keeps rain and snow out and a free-spool clutch that’s cam activated. It also has a 3-stage planetary gear train that allows for smooth operation and has a mechanical spring brake that gives the user control. This model has a 180:1 gear ratio, a roller fair-lead, and comes with 50-feet of 7/32-inch wire. It also has an attractive and durable gray powder coat finish.
5. Superwinch Terra 45 ATV & Utility Model
This unit is equipped to not only provide the power that ATV and Side By Side users need but also to provide them with a number of safety features as well. It has a sealed, 1.6-HP permanent magnet motor, an all-steel planetary gear with a gear ratio of 191:1 and a weather-sealed solenoid contact. This unit also has a 4-way roller fair-lead, a cam action free spooling clutch, a heavy duty latched hook with thimble and 55-feet of 1/4-inch steel rope. This unit has a 4,500-pound pulling load and has a rubber handheld remote with ten feet of rubber.
4. Reese Towpower 600-pound (74337)
Designed for use with lighter loads, this model has a 600-pound capacity that makes it a useful tool for everything from pulling loads up to the ceiling in garages or for bow tuning. It has a zinc-plated capacity that makes it resistant to corrosion and has high carbon steel gears that help it to last longer. This one-way ratchet features a full-length drum brushing and has a 3.1:1 gear ratio. This ratchet is designed to be used with 36-feet of 1/4-inch rope or 15-feet of 2-inch straps. It also has a comfort-grip handle that gives the user a positive hold while they are cranking the unit.
3. Warn Vantage 2000 (89020)
This 2000-pound capacity unit is designed to be mount on either an ATV or a Side By Side and to provide power and convenience without being overly expensive. This model has a sealed permanent magnet 0.7-HP motor and a sealed drive-train that gives the user the power they need to pull their vehicle out of snow or mud. It has a differential planetary gear train with a gear ratio of 155:1. Included with the unit is a handlebar-mounted rocker control, a fair-lead plate and has all metal gears and high-quality composite gear housing.
2. Warn VR12000 12,000-Pound (86260)
Although this unit is marketed by Warn to be a model used by first-time buyers, it still delivers quite a bit of power and convenience. It has a 12,000-pound capacity, which makes it ideal for use on trucks or SUVs and has a remote control with a 12-foot lead. It has a low profile design that fits most vehicles and has a brake design that gives the user control over their winching. Equipped with a 3-stage planetary gear train with a gear ratio of 261:1 and a sliding ring gear clutch, this product is designed for just about any task put to it.
1. Warn M8000-S (87800)
Whether it’s used for pulling a truck out of mud or an SUV out of snow, this unit is designed to give the user the power and convenience they need during difficult situations. It has a 4.8-HP motor that provides an 8,000 pounds pull rating, a 3-stage planetary gear train with a gear ratio of 216:1. This model weighs approximately 55-pounds and has an automatic direct drive cone brake. It also comes with 100-feet of 5/16-inch wire rope and a roller fair-lead, a sliding ring gear free spooling clutch and a wired remote as well.
Winch Buying Guide
With a whole lot of torque behind it, a Jeep or RV can make light work of towing, helping to get you or someone else out of a tricky situation. The better products will ensure the power supply can do the hard work, and you do not end up getting let down by the Winch.
They are handy to keep around and many RV and Jeep drivers would say they are an essential piece of equipment to keep in your trunk as you never know when you might need one. To help make sure your purchase is a good one, the following winch guide will help make sure you know what to look for.
What To Expect From A Winch
This is sown to the materials used and if it is going to help tow a tonne or more then it has the be strong. A lot of winch cables are made from stainless steel, although you can find those that go for a strap cable. These are not as strong but might be enough to tow certain units. This links to…
This will be down to the quality of the product but you wan to make sure it can give you a good amount of pull capacity otherwise it is not going to be worth buying. Heavy-duty winches will give you anything up to and beyond 15,000 lbs which is heavier than a Bull Elephant to put it into context.
A lot of the time, you are not going to be able to get your vehicle close to the one in need. If it has fallen into a ditch or is out of reach by some distance, you are going to need at least 10 m of line to give yourself plenty of room. The longer the cable, the greater the power you will need, so consider what you are intending to use the winch for.
This is important as a lot of accidents happen in bad weather. Because of this, it is a common time where a winch can come in handy. Still, it is only going to be useful if the motor is protected against the elements so it needs to be weather and waterproof. Anything less might result in you buying a low quality product that lets you down when the clouds gather.
If time is vital, you will need a winch that can help you fast. A typical line speed is around 2 – 5 ft a minute but even the faster speeds will require patience as they are designed to work with power, not necessarily speed.
Because a winch is designed to be put through a fair bit of wear and tear, you need to know your purchase is protected. The more reputable brands will offer at least a 1- year warranty which is worth considering because fixing a broken winch can be expensive.
Manual Vs Automatic Winch
If you are looking to save a bit of money but want something in case of an emergency, a manual winch can be useful. Still, this requires a certain amount of strength from the user. On the flip side, an automatic winch lets the vehicle do the hard work and is capable of pulling much larger loads as a result.
Electric Vs Hydraulic Winch
The best thing about an electric winch is that it can be hooked up to the 12 V car battery or an external one and is considered to be pretty versatile.
The alternative is the hydraulic winch and this one is great for towing bigger loads and gets its power from the hydraulic system. Heavier built and considered more durable, it can also be more expensive.
Winch Mounting Base
This is crucial to the performance of the winch and most commonly, it will come with a mounting base with holes for your to attach it to the vehicle. The base itself is going to need to be seriously strong so it doesn’t break as you tow or start to show signs of damage after only a couple of uses.
This is also what determines how easy it is to install the winch so be check it comes with a reputation of being easy to fix to your vehicle.
Whilst there are plenty of great winches on the market, you need to find one that matches your needs. If you don’t need such a heavy-duty winch you can probably save some money. Just make sure you consider the above before you buy it.