Table Of Contents
- 1 5 Best Winches of all categories Quick Reference Table
- 1.1 BEST OVERALL WINCH OF 2022
- 1.2 BEST 10000 LB WINCH
- 1.3 BEST 4X4 WINCH OFF ROAD WINCH
- 1.4 BEST LIFE TIME GARANTEE
- 1.5 BEST WINCH FOR ATV/ UTV
- 1.6 You May Also Like:
- 2 Winch Brands - Most Reliable List
- 3 Top Truck Winches: For Any Taste And Budget
- 3.1 WARN 17801 M12000 SERIES ELECTRIC 12V
- 3.2 BEST BUDGET (CHEAP) WINCH
- 3.3 X-BULL 12V ELECTRIC WINCH
- 3.4 BEST 8000 LB WINCH
- 3.5 ORCISH IP67 WATERPROOF 12V
- 3.6 SUPERWINCH 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC
- 3.7 ZESUPER 12V 13000-LBS
- 3.8 BEST 12000 LB WINCH
- 4 Best Winches Comparison & Review
- 5 Best Winches For The Money - Affordable And Awesome
- 6 Heavy Duty Winches For Trucks And Jeeps
- 7 Users’ Choice – Best Winches According To User Reviews
- 8 Editor’s Pick – Best Winches That Won Our Hearts
- 9 Electric Winches FAQ
- 9.1 What capacity winch do I need?
- 9.2 Electric vs hydraulic winch. What’s the difference between them and which one is better for me?
- 9.3 Steel cable or synthetic rope for winch – what should I choose?
- 9.4 Can I install a winch? Will I need expert help?
- 9.5 Do I have to buy a mounting kit?
- 9.6 Can I replace the winch cable?
- 9.7 Do I have to maintain my winch? How do you do that?
- 9.8 What are winching safety measures?
- 10 Best Winches Conclusion
We spent more than 21 days choosing the best winches and now we are happy to present best of the best products rating! Our editors choice: Warn 89305 ZEON 8-S Winch and Smittybilt X2O COMP
A reliable, durable, powerful winch is a valuable tool. If you drive an ATV, SUV or heavy-duty truck, this piece of recovery equipment can stand you of service in hairy situations that occur on the roads. You will use it not just in off-roading, but also in many everyday activities.
There are so many different models available in the Best Winches market now, that even battle-seasoned users experience choice overload. Luckily, we prepared some helpful best truck winches review as well as the best SUV winches buying guide which you can use as a direct instruction in a wide world of pulling and lifting devices.
Expensive winches, affordable winches, heavy-duty winches, lightweight and easy-to-fit winches, well-known and new winches brands – we covered all these categories and also added a short FAQ section with answers for essential questions on choosing the best product, so you won’t make a costly mistake by purchasing a wrong one.
5 Best Winches of all categories Quick Reference Table
Winch Brands - Most Reliable List
What are the most reliable winch brands?
Although there are many nice winch manufacturers, only some of them deserve to be included in our recommendation list.
SmittybiltAnother industry leader that offers a full line of recovery equipment and accessories. Over 50 years of experience, top-quality materials, highly skilled engineers – all these factors contribute to Smittybilt success.
SuperwinchThe biggest privately held recovery equipment corporation in the world. They create durable, reliable, simple and therefore affordable winches. No fancy extra-features added, just quality.
ChampionFounded in 2003, this company became an expert in power equipment. They mainly offer generators, inverter generator engines etc., but their winches series is also good. All Champion products are known as durable, tried and trusted equipment you can rely on.
Top Truck Winches: For Any Taste And Budget
Best Winches Comparison & Review
Let’s start our list with top-notch quality and excellent performance winches built to the highest standards – costly, but totally worth the price.
This best Warn winch is an amazing performer, extremely durable, reliable, and strong. Lightweight, but powerful Warn 89120 Zeon delivers the fastest and quietest pulling power. It’s strongest in class Spydura rope is urethane-coated and covered with a special heat-protection sleeve. It has the highest waterproof rating. The matte black finish of this winch is resistive to rust and corrosion. Warn 95950 Zeon comes with a special patented Warn relocation kit that brings a convertible control pack – so you can either mount or remote mount the winch.
2. BEST CHOICE 12K LB – WARN 17801 M12000 SERIES ELECTRIC 12V
WARN 17801 M12000 is perfect for bigger off-road vehicles’ this specification is especially good for heavy-duty winching. It delivers quick, efficient and smooth operation. This winch is quite powerful yet compact. With its low-profile design, this winch can be easily mounted in almost every vehicle. WARN 1780 is weatherproof; corrosion and shock resistant finish make it even more durable. It comes in set with a strong hook, clutch, and roller fairlead.
Best Winches For The Money - Affordable And Awesome
Superwinch Tiger Shark easily overperforms other brands in a similar pricing range. While its capacity is slightly lighter, this winch can do almost anything that more expensive winches do.
It is durable and built to last, easy to install and operate. It is weather-resistant, so the motor, as well as other winch parts, are effectively protected from the elements. In general, this best budget cheap winch for sale delivers high quality and good performance.
Heavy Duty Winches For Trucks And Jeeps
Whether you’re a proud truck owner or have a jeep and like driving off the beaten pass in your free time, you’ll need a special powerful tool to assist you in pulling and dragging. Off-roading is often risky, so if you don’t want to get stuck in the mud, better check out our jeep and truck winches reviews.
This is the best 8000 lb winch – compact lighter product for medium-duty recovery. Easy to install, fits comfortably thanks to the low-profile design. Warn VR 8000 is known for its faster speed and less overheating. Designed for longer pulls during a longer period, this winch has a free-spooling clutch that uses sliding ring gears.
Warn VR 8000 reviews also indicate that this winch for trucks is very easy to operate through user-friendly controls. Simple and durable – exactly what a truck owner needs.
7. SUPERWINCH 1145230 TERRA 45 4500LBS
Superwinch 1145230 Terra 45 4500lbs features high-end power, reliability, and versatility. Although the winch comes with strong synthetic rope, its drum is designed for use either with rope or with steel cable. The sealed solenoid unit is protected from the weather; a circuit breaker is also weather-sealed. Easy to fit in and operate. Superwinch Terra series is rightfully considered to be one of the best off-road winches for the money.
8. ORCISH IP67 WATERPROOF 12V
ORCISH IP67 Waterproof 12V electric winch combines high pulling capacity, powerful engine, and durable branded rope. It is reliable and strong enough to pull your truck or SUV from deep water or mud in minutes. The motor bracket of this winch is designed to withstand higher pressure thanks to thickened steel plate. Protected from dust and water, ORCISH IP67 Waterproof can be used in harsh and even extreme weather conditions. Comes in set with winch cove, overload protector and a pair of thick protective gloves. Requires simple and quick maintenance procedures.
Users’ Choice – Best Winches According To User Reviews
Users’ opinion is important, especially when these users are enthusiastic SUV and truck drivers who know what it’s like to be stuck in a tough situation on (or off) the road. We carefully checked Amazon reviews and found the best Jeep and truck winches with the highest ratings.
9. SMITTYBILT 97417 XRC GEN2 17500 LBS
Heavy-duty Smittybilt’s XRC winches can handle any situation on the road. Smittybilt 97417 is a reliable winch that delivers great pulling power and ultimate performance even in the toughest circumstances. Comes in a complete factory package that includes a four-way roller fairlead, extremely strong forged steel tow hook, and durable synthetic rope. Smittybilt’s XRC has a specially-designed versatile solenoid box that can be mounted or remounted in 3 different positions. Smittybilt 97417 owners receive a Lifetime mechanical warranty from the manufacturer.
10. BEST ATV WINCH FOR THE MONEY – SUPERWINCH 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC
Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC is a Best ATV Winch For The Money. It`s very compact and light winch, very easy to install, fits in greatly in almost all vehicles. The winch comes with a handheld and wireless remote control, strong wire rope, tough 4-way roller fairlead, and free-spooling ergonomic clutch. The motor is protected by the circuit breaker even in extreme weather conditions. 100% automatic load holding and mechanical braking reduce to a minimum the possibility of steel cable slippage and provide the quickest drum stopping in the events of surge or power failures. Reliable and functional, durable and versatile, this winch is a steal for its price.
Editor’s Pick – Best Winches That Won Our Hearts
We’ve read many reviews and went through many descriptions and characteristics; it was almost impossible to choose the best winches. However, we decided to include in this category a winch from a reputable and well-known brand and give a chance to two less popular, but high-quality winches.
11. CHAMPION 4500-LBS. ATV/UTV WIRELESS WINCH
Although it may not be as popular as other winches from our list, Champion 4500-lbs is still plenty powerful. Good for small and middle-sized trucks and Jeeps, it comes in a full kit which includes a mounting channel, wiring kit with a contactor, abrasion and fraying resistant aircraft steel cable and everything you might need for installation and use. Champion 4500 wireless remote has a special antenna that allows controlling the winch operations within a 50-foot radius. Roller fairlead and free spooling clutch contribute to safe and smooth pulling.
12. ZESUPER 12V 13000-LBS
13. BEST 12000 LB WINCH – WARN 103254 VR EVO 12
Warn 103254 VR EVO 12 is one of the best 12K lb winches for Jeeps, this standard-duty hard-working winch wins our hearts with its advanced features and bold tactical look style. It comes in 2 options – with steel cable or synthetic rope. 2-in-1 wired and wireless remote and relocatable control pack add versatility. Powerful motor and enhanced planetary gear are created to deliver ultimate performance. IP68-rated waterproof protection keeps the winch safe from water, rain, and snow.
Also available in lighter versions (8000 lbs and 10000 lbs; we’ve added Warn VR 800 review earlier).
Electric Winches FAQ
What capacity winch do I need?
To determine minimum winch capacity, you have to multiply the maximum weight you’re going to pull by 1.5.
You have Jeep Wrangler Unlimited; your vehicle weight is 4,100 pounds.
4,100 x 1.5 = 6150
It means that the minimum lbs capacity rating for your winch is 61500. Feel free to choose higher capacity but never go beyond.
Electric vs hydraulic winch. What’s the difference between them and which one is better for me?
Electric winches can be described as self-pulling mechanisms driven by electric motors. Comparing to hydraulic winches they are:
- easier to install and operate.
Hydraulic winches use engine power to function. Their key advantages are:
- high power.
They’re bigger and heavier than electric ones. Hydraulic winches are used for commercial cars that require special equipment for professional use.
So if you’re looking for a winch for your private car/truck, an electric one is exactly what you need.
Steel cable or synthetic rope for winch – what should I choose?
Both options have their pros and cons, so choose the one which is the most convenient for you.
Steel cable, also called wire rope, is made from carbon steel, therefore it is sturdy, durable, resistible to abrasions and weatherproof. It is cheaper than synthetic rope, but also much heavier and less safe to use. It requires some precautions and safety measures – always put on the gloves to protect your hands from splinters when you use steel cable.
Synthetic rope is much lighter than steel wire; it’s flexible and strong. It is great for fording and off-roading, as synthetic materials float in water. You can easily repair broken rope by tying it in knots. Compared to steel wire, synthetic one is much safer, as it does not splinter. There are also some cons – synthetic rope is more expensive.
Can I install a winch? Will I need expert help?
Most winches are easy to install, so you will be able to do that by yourself. Just follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Do I have to buy a mounting kit?
It depends on the brand and winch model. Many winches come with a mounting kit, but some don’t. You can buy mounting kits and plates separately if needed.
Can I replace the winch cable?
Yes, you can replace the broken cable if necessary – cables and ropes are sold separately, so you can buy the same one or upgrade it to a new one.
Do I have to maintain my winch? How do you do that?
Yes, your winch requires regular maintenance too, even if you don’t use it very often.
You have to follow these simple steps after each ride:
- Remove the winch from the vehicle and disassemble it.
- If there’s water remaining inside, remove it and dry the winch, especially its electrical part.
- Check all the contacts in the inner and outer parts of the winch (don’t forget the solenoid unit contacts). If you notice corrosion, remove it and clean the contacts thoroughly.
- Check out the gearbox and add some lubricant if required.
- Clean, rinse and dry the rope.
- Assemble the winch.
These procedures might be time-consuming, but regular maintenance is crucial to maintain your winch in good condition for years.
What are winching safety measures?
It’s crucial to follow winching safety measures:
- Read instructions and user guides attentively, learn how to use your winch; do not hesitate to contact the manufacturer if you have any further questions.
- Choose the right winch – do not use lightweight winches for pulling heavy trucks.
- Do not exceed pulling limits – each winch has its specific capacity you shouldn’t exceed, as it could cause winch failure.
- Inspect your recovery equipment before each use.
- Check cables or ropes frequently. It is strongly recommended to check your synthetic rope or steel cable twice between uses – once during after-use maintenance and once before winching. Important: do not use broken or damaged cables, as it may cause serious accidents if winch cable snaps.
- Follow general safety precautions – wear thick protective gloves when handling steel cable.
- Always keep the winching area clean – stay at a safe distance, do not let others (especially children and animals) stay near.
- Stay attentive and focused during the winching procedure, even if it takes plenty of time. Do not allow others to distract you or intervene in the process.
Best Winches Conclusion
When it comes to buying a which there is no shortage of options; however, over choice rarely helps to get the best piece of equipment. No matter if you buy an expensive top-notch performance fancy-looking winch or an affordable hard working one, just remember:
- Choose only trusted brands, listed in this article – Warn, Superwinch, Smittybilt, Orcish, Champion, Zesuper.
- The heavier your vehicle is, the more powerful winch it’ll need (check the capacity).
- Make sure it fits (check the measurements).
- Find out what others think about your preferred models (check user reviews).
3 thoughts on “⭐ 13 BEST WINCHES OF THE YEAR – TEST & HONEST REVIEW”
Do I have to upgrade my alternator if I go with the 17500 lb capacity? I was reading a thread about truck winches from other forums that they have had to deal with a battery going dead right after turning it on. I will be needing at least another power source if I have to.
I have a 1998 TJ, and the act of winching causes major drain on my truck’s battery. I was advised to upgrade my battery and install a high-output alternator. I installed a deep cycle battery, it is made for dual purposes and I also upgraded my alternator to 117 amp. Never had any issues after that.
Just to be on the safe side, I have upgraded to a heavy duty battery and a high output alternator. And I also made sure to upgrade the alternator cable and ground cable, I’ve seen jeeps smoke when the skinny stock wiring can’t handle the draw. Based from what I read, I just do the winching while engine is running and that worked wonders for short pulls.