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The Best Winch to Get Your Truck Prepared for Any Situation

  1. Smittybilt Winch
  2. WARN 92000 Vehicle Mounted 2000 Series 12V DC Winch
  3. U-MAX Trailer Winch
  4. Superwinch 12V Utility Winch
  5. FIERYRED Electric 12V 3500lb Winch
  6. WARN 103254 VR EVO 12 Electric 12V DC Winch
  7. Superwinch LP10000 10,000 lbs/12V Winch
  8. Mile Marker 76-50260W SEC15(es) Truck/SUV Premium Sealed Electric Winch
  9. Champion Power Equipment-12003 ATV/UTV Winch
  10. Smittybilt X2O COMP - Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch
  11. Buyer's Guide

Winches are a vital part of any truck owner's arsenal that frequently goes off-roading. That being said, winches are also great to have for many other things as well such as pulling out stubborn tree stumps, loading your ATV or UTV onto a trailer, or getting your truck out of a ditch if you get stuck.

Due to the fact that the winch you choose can often times save your life, it's very important that it's top quality. Think about what you’ll be using your new winch for. Will you be crawling on rocks in a forest somewhere? Take a look at our best winch list. Maybe you’ll just be using your best winch in 2022 to help load your jet ski onto a trailer to take to the lake every other weekend. Check out our best budget winch list. No matter what you need a winch for, one of our lists will have you covered.

Best Winches of 2022 Reviewed in Detail

Smittybilt Winch - Best Winch Overall

The Smittybilt XRC 4.0 Winch is the top budget winch available because it's very lightweight at only 17 pounds. That makes this a great portable winch and a good choice if you see yourself carting it to the lake or tooling around your yard ripping out bushes. It also has a very high line pull capacity of 4,000 pounds along with 32 feet of steel cable.

This winch also has a 3-stage planetary gear system which makes the gear train more rugged and I also liked the fact it comes with a four way roller fairlead, another feature absent from comparably priced winches. Plus, roller fairleads tend to put less stress on your rope, they tend to generate less friction, and perform better overall.

WARN 92000 Vehicle Mounted 2000 Series 12V DC Winch - Runner Up

The WARN 1700 DC Light-Duty Trailer and Utility Winch is one of the top budget winches available because of a quality build and inclusion of tie down rods which is an added convenience to increase the overall stability of the product. For its size, this winch also has a fairly decent foot per minute line speed. Most winches tend to operate at around two to five feet per minute when loaded up and this winch is at the higher end of this scale.

At 1500 pounds, this winch will pull about five feet of steel rope per minute. This time increases as the pounds you're pulling decreases by about one foot per 500 pounds, a great capability to have if you want to get your jobs done quickly. The best part though is it comes with a one-year warranty. WARN is one of the best winch manufacturers out there and this winch is a solid reflection of that reputation.

U-MAX Trailer Winch - Honorable Mention

I decided to include the Master Lock 2953AT 12-Volt DC Portable Winch on this list because of its wide range of pulling capabilities. With its steel cable it can drag items up to 2000 pounds over bare ground, 5000 pounds through the water, and up to 6000 pounds if the item is rolling (such as a wheeled UTV). This versatility alone makes this a valuable winch to have.

I also liked the fact this winch comes with both a remote and a hand crank. This ensures if your remote should break for whatever reason you can still operate it. Another impressive aspect of this product is the automatic shut down if the winch ever overloads which will help it last a long time.

Superwinch 12V Utility Winch - Consider

The Superwinch LT2000 - 2,000 lbs/12V winch is on this list because like the Smittybilt, it’s very lightweight at only 17 pounds. This ensures it’s extremely easy to lug around in the back of your vehicle as well as by hand. It features a line pull rating of 2,000 pounds and 49 feet of wire rope, which is more than enough length for most applications.

This winch has an eight-foot remote control, which is great for operating it by yourself. It’s also circuit breaker protected, which is excellent if you’re concerned about accidentally breaking your winch during use. It’s also covered by a one-year warranty.

FIERYRED Electric 12V 3500lb Winch - Best Budget Winch

The Badland 3500 lb. ATV/Utility Electric Winch with Automatic Load-Holding Brake features a high 3,500-pound line pull capacity which ensures you have enough strength to pull most objects and loads with ease. There’s also an eight-foot handlebar control, as well as a 12-foot remote control which means it is easy to control when you’re operating alone.

The steel cable is incredibly strong at 3/16 inches and measures 50 feet long which is more than enough length for most tasks. The line load speed is 23 feet per minute which ensures your jobs get done quickly. Plus, it comes with a roller fairlead, mounting plate, and switch which kills the need to buy anything extra.

WARN 103254 VR EVO 12 Electric 12V DC Winch - Best Winch Overall

The Warn ZEON 12 Platinum is the top winch available because of a very high 12,000-pound pull capacity, making it a great option for individuals with larger vehicles. It comes with 80 feet of aircraft-grade wire if you’re looking for a winch which provides as much rope as possible. This winch is also very safe to use thanks to the wireless remote, a great alternative to wired remotes. This winch is also corrosion-resistant and waterproof, a big plus if you’re planning to use it on a frequent basis. On top of all this, this model comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.

Superwinch LP10000 10,000 lbs/12V Winch - Best Winch Overall

The LP10000-10,000 lbs/12V by Superwinch is a solid choice for several reasons. First it comes with a weather-sealed motor to keep the elements out of your winch motor whichs cut back on rust/corrosion, and contributes to the overall longevity of your investment. Second, it pulls 10,000 pounds, more than enough for most jobs and vehicles. Third, the 85 feet of included steel cable is 3/8 of an inch thick which increases the strength of the rope and prevents any catastrophic failures. Lastly, this winch comes covered by a two year warranty.

Mile Marker 76-50260W SEC15(es) Truck/SUV Premium Sealed Electric Winch - Best Winch Overall

The Mile Marker HI9000 Hydraulic Winch, 9000 Pounds makes our list because like the Warn winch, it’s waterproof as well as corrosion resistant which is great if you’re concerned about rust. This model is also incredibly strong thanks to its stainless steel tie bars and fasteners. This winch comes with 100 feet of durable, galvanized aircraft cable, good news for those of you planning on using your winch frequently. The biggest downside to this model is that it’s very heavy, weighing in at nearly 100 pounds.

Champion Power Equipment-12003 ATV/UTV Winch - Best Winch Overall

The 264100BFW 17,500LB BRUTE FORCE Series Winch by Recon has an insanely high single line pull rating at 17,500 pounds which ensures virtually any vehicle you have will work with this winch such as heavy trucks or vans. This winch features 92 feet of steel cable while offering a very fast line speed of 28 feet per minute. When you combine that with the pull rating, you'll be able to get yourself out of virtually any tight spot. This winch also comes with a limited lifetime warranty to cover the entire winch and not just the mechanical portions.

Smittybilt X2O COMP - Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch - Best Winch Overall

The X2O 8 8,000 lb winch by Smittybilt is perfect for off-roading in wet conditions thanks to the completely sealed engine and waterproof solenoid; this is perfect if you plan on off roading in the snow or through wet, marshy areas. The winch comes with 100 feet of synthetic rope made from marine-grade stainless steel manufactured to resist pitting corrosion (the type that leads to holes in the metal). This contributes to the winches durability which is great if you plan on using it frequently using it in wet conditions. I also liked that this winch is only 88 pounds, making it considerably lighter than other options out there. The biggest downside is this model is only rated to pull up to 8,000 pounds.

Buyer's Guide

If you are someone who likes off-road adventure, then you might know how important it is to carry a winch in your vehicle at all times.

However, choosing the best winch for your vehicle is not as easy as it sounds. There are several features and factors you need to consider before making the final purchase.

No need to worry! In this buying guide, we are going to talk about all things you should look into while buying a winch for your vehicle.

Winch Capacity

When it comes to winches, the most important factor to be considered upon purchase is line pull rating or capacity. The rated line pull of a winch refers to the amount of weight it can work with. To determine how much capacity your winch should be able to shoulder, simply multiply the gross weight of your vehicle by 1.5.

For instance, if the weight of your vehicle is 3000 lbs, then the best winch for you would be the one with 4500 lbs.

Best winch rating>= GVWR X 1.5

If you are still not sure, then it is better to buy a winch with higher capacity. The more the capacity - the better it would perform.

Winch Rope

Choosing between steel and synthetic winch rope can be tricky. Let’s have a look at how both differ:

. Steel rope

Steel ropes are durable and sturdy, which is why they are more preferred to be used in areas with rough terrain. Among the two options, this one is not only cheaper but also doesn’t require much maintenance. However, steel winches can rust easily when used in wet and humid areas. Moreover, they are also heavier than synthetic ropes.

. Synthetic rope

As compared to steel ropes, synthetic ones are much lighter and safer for use. These are a better option for sanctioned off-road events. Since synthetic ropes are lighter, they don’t generate as much power as steel ropes.However, it’s also worth noting that though these ropes cost more than steel cables, they are still more prone to getting damaged from heat, chemicals and UV exposure and other external factors.

Winch Drivetrains

Winches usually come with three gear options, planetary gear, worm gear, and spur gear. The purpose of winch drivetrains is to gear down the high speed of a motor.

. Planetary Gear

This gear type is the most popular option among the three. As compared to the rest, planetary gear is more compact, affordable, and lightweight. Not only does it offer good resistance against torque loads, but also slows down the motor effectively. This gear offers 65% efficiency.

. Spur gear

This option offers the highest power transmission efficiency at 75%. It is easy to install and maintain, thanks to its compact size. Moreover, it is also quite reliable since it doesn’t slip during operation.

. Worm gear

This type of gear is self-braking - meaning once the crank turning comes to a halt, the winch also stops immediately. This option offers very high reliability and the most reduction. However, it is not as sturdy as planetary gear. Also, it is much slower than the rest of the gear types. Its transfer efficiency is 30-40%.

Hydraulic Winch vs Electric Winch - Which one is better?

The two most common types of winches are hydraulic and electric winches. Electric winches are powered through the electrical system and vehicle battery. These are used for pulling, lifting, and shifting loads. On the other hand, hydraulic winches are powered through hydraulic pumps and systems.

As compared to hydraulic winches, electronic ones are used more commonly because they get the job done quicker and are easier to install. Moreover, most electric winches can be controlled with a remote control.

Hence, you can manage the shifting and lifting of loads safely from a distance. However, because electric winches are powered through the electric system of your vehicle, it is important to check whether or not your vehicle holds enough electric power to support the winch.

On the contrary, hydraulic winches don’t need your vehicle’s electric support to work. This is also why they are more commonly used in areas where the water supply is abundant. Unlike electric winches, these can be used constantly for long hours without any problem.

Other than this, you can also find other types of winches such as air winches, hand winches, hybrid winches, mechanical drum style winches, and more.

Are waterproof winches worth your money?

If you are someone who frequently travels to wet and muddy areas, then it is essential that you get a waterproof winch for yourself. You can get a better idea about the level of protection that the winch provides against dust, water, rust, and other external factors through its ingress protection rating. The first number of the IP rating indicates the solid particle size, whereas the second indicates the resistance to liquid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the warranty of a winch matter?

Yes, definitely. It’s always better to purchase a winch that comes with a warranty. Not only does this help secure the product you are purchasing, but it helps save the hassle of having to find spare parts. Most of the best winches come with a warranty.

Can a winch drain your battery?

You don’t need to worry about your battery draining if your winch is not running. You can also save your battery by ensuring that your ropes are tight.

Is a winch actually worth the money?

If you are someone who often travels off-road, or travels a lot in general, then a winch can come in quite handy for you. If by any off-chance your vehicle gets stuck and there’s no help nearby, a winch can effectively help you recover your vehicle.

Can you boost the speed of a winch?

To increase the speed of your winch, you would need to increase your motor’s voltage. You can also use a snack block to double the line, which would help increase the pulling power of the winch.

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