10 Best Winches of 2021

Jerry Wilson
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Have you ever used a winch to help you take your kayak or inflatable boat off the roof of your car? Did you ever need to hoist a few pallets of lumber or machinery into your truck? Did you experience getting stuck in the mud with your 4×4 and you needed to pull yourself free? If you’ve ever used a winch for any of these situations then you’ve probably realised that a winch can come in really handy! This guide will help you learn about the advantages of using a winch for your next project.

NameCategoryProduct
Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC WinchBest OverallSmittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch
Reese Towpower 74329 Trailer Winch,SilverBudget PickReese Towpower 74329 Trailer Winch,Silver
Smittybilt X2OUpgrade PickSmittybilt X2O

1. Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

Our rating: 9 / 10

Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

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Pros:

  • Great price
  • Reliable and durable

This option from Smittybilt certainly looks like your standard winch from the outside. With that said, once you give it a closer look, it becomes immediately clear that there are some differences that separate this option from other 4-Wheeler winches.

Starting with the housing of the Smittybilt GEN 2, it’s rigid and solid. In fact, its exterior is made up of an aluminum construction that is wrap in a high-quality powder paint for added durability and longevity. The wire that comes with it is also pretty thick – and it comes equipped with a roller-type end that is partly to reduce the noise that can come with some winches.

Just how quiet is this option? Well, based on what we’ve gathered from online reviews, it’s one of the quieter winches on the market – and it’s definitely worth taking note of. On top of its noise reduction function, the roller end ensures that you’re able to get a smoother functionality out of the winch.

2. Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC winch 3,000lbs/1360kg

Our rating: 9 / 10

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC winch 3,000lbs/1360kg

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Pros:

  • Powered by 12-volt battery
  • 2300 lb. breaking strength
  • Fitted with a remote power control handle
  • Sturdy, rugged, and reliable
  • Comes in multiple power configurations

Cons:

  • Difficult installation
  • Loading can be challenging

This winch is one of the most popular winches on the market today. It ships with a set of quick release, front and rear mounts in order to fit the most popular winch mounting kits on the market.

The Superwinch can also work with a variety of accessories, including control boxes, extensions, and forestay mounts.

Superwinch includes a free, 5-year unlimited winch warranty as well as a free winch recovery DVD with every package. It also offers a full range of replacement parts in addition to providing a 2-year parts and labor warranty.

3. Smittybilt X2O

Our rating: 8 / 10

Smittybilt X2O

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Pros:

  • Quality Materials From America
  • Tough and Durable
  • Easy to Assemble and Use
  • Great customer support
  • Offers protection from the elements
  • Easy to use hand control
  • Has a strong ratcheting system
  • Works well in different terrains

Cons:

  • Cable only available in one length
  • Not suitable for a vehicle that doesn’t hit the rocks
  • Lacks an oil housing, which means less protection
  • Has a sticky price tag that tends to overshadow the unit’s potential

The Smittybilt X2O rope winch is rugged and built to last. It comes equipped with a strong steel cable. It has a max capacity of 17,500 lbs. which is quite impressive.

The body is composed of high-quality powder coated steel. The winch has a durable aluminum roller fairlead to help secure wire easily. The fairlead can also be rotated to make it easier to secure a winch line.

4. X-BULL 12V Steel Cable Electric Winch 12000 lb Load Capacity

Our rating: 8 / 10

X-BULL 12V Steel Cable Electric Winch 12000 lb Load Capacity

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Pros:

  • Powerful 12000 lb duty cycle
  • High cables inspection lamp
  • Solid steel rotation drum
  • Waterproof and dust-proof
  • Powerful 12000 lb

Cons:

  • Made from plastic
  • Poor reviews

X-Bull is yet another high-quality winch pickup truck or ATVs. It comes with smooth ball waterproof and dustproof design, along with high design of cables to ensure high-quality performance during use.

5. Champion 2000-lb. ATV/UTV Winch Kit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Champion 2000-lb. ATV/UTV Winch Kit

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Pros:

  • Rugged and Sturdy
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy To Install

If you’re looking for a winch that will serve you well in any terrain and you’re not interested in breaking the bank in the process, this ATV winch from Hillman is the obvious choice for 2020.

The winch features a robust construction with a 12,000-lb. capacity, and a durable and waterproof drum. With a powerful electric motor and 3000-in. steel cable, this is a winch that can save the day when you’re stuck on a steep hill or have a tree stump embedded in a hidden creek bed.

This Hillman winch is designed to fit with almost any ATV and UTV. It has a winch plate, mounting bolts, and easy integrated solenoid to power the winch, and a control box. You also get a nylon winch rope, a manual winching handle, a remote control box, and a matching cover to store your winch when it isn’t in use.

6. Reese Towpower 74329 Trailer Winch,Silver

Our rating: 7 / 10

Reese Towpower 74329 Trailer Winch,Silver

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Pros:

  • Good for a variety of uses
  • Affordable
  • Has a remote control
  • Smooth functioning
  • Corded and wireless options available
  • Safety mechanism

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • Doesn’t have a winch protector

The Reese Towpower 74329 trailer winch is a fantastic option for an affordable and reliable winch. It can be used for heavy hauling, so have no fear of any car hacking or unplanned towing. This winch is a great choice for a variety of applications, so if you plan to use it for multiple occasions then this is the product for you.

Made for hauling and towing, having a safety mechanism is crucial. It provides a safety stop, which is a rope or cable that will run through the winch to enable winching in a controlled manner. Even if you’re not an experienced and risk-taking camper, this product has a low-speed safety function. It ensures that if your vehicle doesn’t get stuck and needs to back away, the safety will slow things down until you get under control.

7. X-BULL 4500LBS Winch

Our rating: 7 / 10

X-BULL 4500LBS Winch

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The X-bull winch is a professional grade winch that can be used for everyday purposes. This model is designed to grab up to a 4500lbs load. The winch works using a steel cable attached to a drum and spool, which is powered by a 12V DC. It has a manual release mechanism for safety and has a comfortable handle that can be used in the horizontal or vertical position.

The winch comes in a black color and is made up of a strong steel frame and has a manual release handle for easy and safe operation. It is backed by a 3-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty. The X-bull comes with a 12-foot long cable that has a Wt. of 300 lbs on the other end of its cable. The cable is resistant to rust, abrasion and impacts that make it a durable and long-lasting cable.

The X-bull 4500LBS winch has a steel drum that can carry a weight of about 2200 pounds and can be used in residential applications, much like a mid-range winch. It also has a front roller, which is used for extra grip for the cable to go through. You can choose either to be powered on batteries or electrical power. It has an adjustable drum brake for tension control.

8. Powersports Winch

Our rating: 6 / 10

Powersports Winch

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The Powersports Winch for Jeep is a great winch if you’re looking to get that off road rig off the trail or out of a sticky situation. It’s priced affordably and is compatible with many ATVs and UTVs.

The synthetic rope that comes with this winch is fairly thick, so it’s ideal for heavier loads. In addition, the winch itself is fairly lightweight and has the dimensions of 23 x 6.25 x 5.25 inches when folded. This means it’s not too bulky and won’t take up too much of your storage space in the event that you need to keep it in storage.

Overall this is a fantastic winch option for the price and size for those looking to add some extra class to their off road vehicles.

9. WARN 86245 VR8000 8,000 lb Winch

Our rating: 5 / 10

WARN 86245 VR8000 8,000 lb Winch

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Pros:

  • Rugged Construction
  • Excellent price for the value
  • Tons of safety features

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Relatively noisy
  • Relatively few mounting options

Our top pick goes to the WARN VR8000. We just can’t beat the price for the amount of features and functionality included.

When it comes to the construction, we weren’t surprised to see that WARN had basically matched their legendary winches when it came to designing the VR8000. The VR features plenty of cast and forged components that work together seamlessly to ensure durability.

It is also important to note that the WARN VR8000 is compatible with the WARN Rock Crawler Hawse Fairlead. This attaches to a cable and mounts to a clevis pin that has already been welded onto your vehicle.

10. WARN 90451 'ProVantage 4500-S' Winch

Our rating: 5 / 10

WARN 90451 'ProVantage 4500-S' Winch

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Pros:

  • Lightweight, which saves on battery life
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Instructions are vague and don’t list all the needed items in the package
  • Remote will not work unless you buy a separate upgrade

Widely considered one of the safest winches for recreational use, the WARN ProVantage 4500-S incorporates a wireless remote that is exceptionally easy to use and has a surprisingly satisfying, click-less feel.

It can be tricky to get the remote to sync with the winch, and the instructions that came with it were borderline vague. Despite this inconvenience, the WARN ProVantage 4500-S is a recurve winch that most people absolutely adore.

This is a product that I’d wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who wants to spend a lot of time off-road.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best 12000 lb winch?

If you’re using a winch for recovery efforts, then the best winch should have features like: a manual override function since you’ll be controlling the winch by hand, a low-load safety system since you want the safety mechanism to kick in well before the cable snaps, and a rating that increases as you increase your pull weight.

If you’re using the winch in an industrial setting, then the best winch should prioritize features like: memory free spooling since you don’t want the winch to keep pulling when the weight is removed, a power or functionality control feature so that the winch can be operated with a remote to avoid damaging the machine, and a quality housing that can withstand continuous use.

How do I choose a winch size?

There are several different factors to consider when choosing a winch. First off, you need to determine how far you expect to use the winch to continually move cargo from one place to another. Then you need to consider how big of a load that the winch will be able to carry.

One of the most important factors in choosing the proper winch is determining the right line speed. Most winches specify a maximum line speed for the winch. To remember the maximum safe line speed, it’s usually the next number larger than your winch rating. For instance, if your winch is rated at 6000 lbs, then the maximum safe line speed is 6 miles per hour.

Are Badland winches any good?

If you're scrabbling around the internet for reviews (like we were!), you've probably heard of Badlands winches before. They are a reliable and reputable company, and are frequently recommended in various forums and websites.

One thing we did not like were the high shipping prices on the site, which we believe are not representative of the company, and do not reflect the purpose of this guide. We prefer sites where you can find free shipping offers, and if they're offering affordable shipping, it makes the product more attractive.

The final thing we didn't like about the site was that the most attractive deal was the highest one they were offering, which creates a perception that it is the best product they offer, without us being able to judge the quality. We always prefer if there is a range of options in terms of price, where we can make our own decision about what feels right and what we can realistically spend.

Conclusion

Welcome to this motorized machine review! We hope you are ready for an exhaustive review of the ten best winches you can buy in the year 2021. So, for the average marine user seeking the best performance from a winning machine, but not willing to pay the price for it, this little piece will help you buy the best winch.

Remember you should always keep a lookout for the winches with a sturdy and reliable motor. A good motor will serve you in good stead for years to come. Another point to consider is the tooth configuration. A good winch with good design will have the motor power distributed evenly throughout the mast.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC WinchBest OverallSmittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch
Reese Towpower 74329 Trailer Winch,SilverBudget PickReese Towpower 74329 Trailer Winch,Silver
Smittybilt X2OUpgrade PickSmittybilt X2O