Best Off Road Winches: Purpose, Types, And Selections

Published on: February 23, 2022
Written by Liam Jaxon / Fact-checked by David Rowan

A winch is the best needle tool for any serious off-roader. So investing in a quality winch will also be far easier to use. Its desirable features include remote controls, multiple stages planetary gear trains, lightweight design, and free spooling. Many different types of off-road winches on the market cause customers to get confused while buying one item for their needs. 

off road winches purpose, types, and selections

How can this process become easier for you? Our article will help the readers to have a winch. If you are thinking about the various brands that make a winch, follow the details we mentioned. If you are searching for a specific type of winch, you can see our product reviews.

Why Use a Winch?

A winch has many uses and applications, so using the advantages of an off-road winch depends on your task. It is used in different situations, from construction and sports to truck driving. An off-road winch can be hauled up to a hundred or a thousand pounds. Winches are portable, more durable, and safe to use. You can purchase it at an affordable price.

Types of Off-Road Winches

There are two types of off-road winches available on the market. Each one has its own Pros and Cons, a more good winch that will depend on your needs. 

Read more: How to Select the Best Car Trailer Winches

Electric Off-Road Winch

Electric winches are used for hauling and dragging jobs. An electric winch helps to rely on a vehicle’s battery to run its motor. It’s best used for pulling up an ATV. Make sure it’s a powerful unit capacity if it’ll be for heavy-duty work. It will work well at a low speed. More expensive winch than hydraulic one.

Hydraulic Off-Road Winches

This type of winch works using hydraulic systems. All of them come with different functions. But they all need a hydraulic pump. It is durable, versatile, and powerful. This off-road winch can be used for large tasks. It is ideal for towing trucks. However, hydraulic winches are not as easy as electric winches to use.

Easy Installation and Off-Road Winch

An off-road winch installation is critical; otherwise, the winch will not work correctly and could potentially damage the vehicle. So after choosing one of the off-road winches, you should know how to install a winch.

First, locate the hitch on the front line bumper and mount the hitch. Then connect a cable to the power source. Install a power switch and pretension the cable inside the winch. Finally, tightly spooled on the winch drum. If those instructions are supplied correctly with your off-road winch, you should not face any problems.

Things To Consider Before Select a Winch

We’ve detailed the features and specifications in this review to look for when you purchase an off-road winch. But there are a few affairs to take into consideration when choosing a winch for your task. Here are a number of helpful tips for you to discover the perfect winch for your job.

Read more: Finding the Best Portable Electric Winches

Winch Capacity and Durability

To get the minimum capacity first, you should calculate your vehicle’s weight. If you want to get a more powerful winch, then your vehicle would through rough terrain. You’ll need a heavy-duty winch for steep mud, hills, and dirt that puts a lot of stress on your off-road winch. All models of winches do not have the same motors, absolutely they are different, like winch capacity. For your heavy-duty work, you need a powerful motor.

Cable Length

The cable length is also an important part that you need to consider. It will depend on how to use the winch. Longer cable length is needed if you will be pulling a vehicle at long distances and being for durability. Then you need to go with a heavy-duty model.


If you need to winch in the rain, your winch feature must include a waterproof system. It is ensured that you have a long-lasting winch that will not rust from performance issues because of water damage. Read more: Top 6 Engo Winches Review

Steel Wire vs. Synthetic Rope

Glad to see the advancements in synthetic technology, maximum off-road users purchase synthetic instead of steel wire. The main fact with steel wire is the issue that they store energy. This means it can whip back uncontrollably and cause severe damage. The synthetic rope will harmlessly fall to the ground.

Safety Tips for Using Winches

Sometimes, winches can be very dangerous, and many people have suffered serious cable-snapping injuries. So, using a winch is a little crucial, you should take several precautions for your and others’ safety. When you use an off-road winch, a few common tips that you should always keep safe from any injury. 

Every time inspect the winch cable and clamps before use. Make sure its remote is not near the drum of the winch. Not allowing anyone to stand near the working area. The most important thing is never to climb a cable under pressure. 

Relevant Solutions by Editor-

How Long Does an Off-Road Winch Last?

Its utmost time will depend on how well you maintain your winch. Good ones can last for long years. Also depends on how you apply your winch and use it in what conditions. When you finish using your winch, then re-spool the rope properly. If you use it rakishly, it can damage and make it less reliable for the next time you need it.

How Fast Working is a Winch?

Its working capacity varies per product. The information will be included in the product feature. There you can see a short and informative guideline that will give you the necessary information on how to purchase and use it properly. You also get the user manual with the proper direction to use a winch. It is easily described there. The installation process is not easy but also critical. So keep yourself and others when winching. 

Do Winches Have any Lock?

Self-locking brakes are built-in features of the winch. It is only used when it could slip under the load, though. For holding your rope on the drum, it is proven and a very reliable system. It is easy to use. They are a great simple solution to ensure you, at all-time, have on your winch drum the minimum amount of line wraps.

Editor’s Speech

Rereading this article will help you to clear out any kind of confusion. Our product analysis is the market’s reality, so don’t forget to take a look at it. An off-road winch will save you time and money, both getting out of the area wherever you are. Now, you pick the perfect winch for your job and install it right away. It will make your off-road journey easier, safer, and just more fun.

View Our Selected Top 10 Off-Road Winches, Below

1. Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35 Single Line Pull

  • Item Weight 9.10kg;
  • 13/64 inch steel wire rope;
  • Per-minute line speed 8.75 feet;
  • Planetary gearing 3-stage; 
  • 4-way roller fairlead;
  • Line pull rating 3,500-LB.

This 1591kg off-road winch features a highly efficient low amp draw. The sealed 1.6 horsepower permanent magnet motor has mechanical load holding for a superior package. It has 50 feet of steel wire rope. Also works with the free spooling clutch. This model utilizes machined-in bronze and oil-pocket bearings for maximum durability.

The circuit breaker is protected from weather sealed. This model included a heavy-duty latched hook with a thimble. It is not one of the inexpensive models on the market. So you know that you are making a good investment, no matter which one you choose. 


  • Easy to use;
  • Best for plowing;
  • All-Steel planetary gear;
  • More reliable & durable;
  • Handlebar-mounted toggle.


  • The maximum weight could be higher.

2. Superwinch 1130220 LT3000 Off-Road Winch

  • 3,000 lbs rated line pull;
  • Wire rope 3/16″ x 50;
  • 12-inch handheld remote;
  • 4-way roller.

Superwinch makes another top-rated winch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC. This model installation is straightforward. It has enough power to pull ATVs. Also comes with a solid brake and a nice roller fair-head. The clutch is designed ergonomically. It does not use only ATVs but other applications too. It has a 1.2 HP motor, which is on par with other winches. 

The lightweight 20-pound winch is excellent for small ATVs.The handlebar remote can be most easily mounted, where you need it at your fingertips. There are more affordable options that come at fifty percent less than the price. It is the most user-friendly and serves users well in the long run.


  • Easy to install;
  • Free-spooling;
  • Ergonomic control;
  • Dynamic brake;
  • Includes handlebar;
  • Can be used for ATVs and other vehicles.


  • Circuit breakers are a little bit larger than others.

3. X2O COMP Smittybilt Waterproof Winch

  • Load capacity 10,000 lb;
  • 6.6 HP motor;
  • Net weight 67 lbs;
  • Planetary gear system 3 stages.

The Smittybilt X20 is one of the most compact and powerful road winches in this review. This model has one of the best electric road winches on the market for its excellent size-to-performance ratio. You can choose this winch in different sizes and styles. It comes with a powerful motor of 6.6 HP and with a full capacity of 17,500 lbs. 

It is also fully waterproof and also ideal winch for heavy-duty in a wide range of ATV applications. It can safely be installed on your truck outside and not corrode. However, make sure that it is compatible with your jeep. Because of its small size, this isn’t ideal for every jeep out there.


  • Fully waterproof;
  • Stainless steel cable;
  • Wireless remote system;
  • Very durable and long-lasting;
  • Build a heavy-duty construction.


  • Small-size road winch.

4. Portable X-BULL Lock Winch (4500LBS)

  • 12-volt DC winch;
  • Pulling 4500 Ib;
  • 6,000 lbs rolling capacity;
  • 50 ft. steel cable included;
  • Wire lead length 20 feet.

If you’re looking for a waterproof portable electric winch, then Master Lock offers a 12-volt DC off-road winch with 4500 pounds pulling capacity. This winch comes with a remote control system and has a galvanized steel cable with a safety hook. Also included a 50-foot power cable and a hand crank. This winch can be used with trailers, cars, and even boats, and trucks.

 It has a built-in carrying cable. The X-BULL 500A transfer is really protected, strong and stable, keeping away from winch harm because of lacking hand-off power. Most people are satisfied with its performance, especially given its reasonable price, but it operates a little bit slowly and is noisy. This winch is ideal for a light-duty unit that is portable.


  • Easy to install;
  • Portable and electrical winch;
  • Galvanized steel cable;
  • Remote control system;
  • Highest satisfaction, timely and friendly;
  • Built-in carry handle.


  • It is noisier than other off-road winches.

5. Hi-Lift (ORK) Off-Road Kit

  • Quick-release pin;
  • Bolt and nut 3/8 inch;
  • Nylon tree strap 2 inches;
  • 3/8 inch G40 chain.

Hi-Lift made this off-road kit with the highest quality stamped steel and also included an anti-corrosion zinc coating. It has a simple gear and lever system. Which allows the users to winch up vehicles no matter the plat. The jack is a reliable two-piece handle. A socket system is a great option and also includes its features. Hi-Lift is always safety-conscious.

This model comes up with a 3/8-inch bolt and nut. Nylon tree straps 2-inch and 3/8-inch G40 chains are also included. An inbuilt weight limit helps to overcome injury and misuse. This off-road kit is too heavy. Additionally, this kit is powerful, operates smoothly, and also easy to use.


  • Designed to deliver trouble-free;
  • Ultimate durability;
  • High-quality materials;
  • Reliable and straightforward mechanism.


  • It is not recommended for changing tires.

6. Superwinch 12-inch Handheld Remote Winch

  • 10,000lb rated line pull;
  • 3/8 inch steel wire rope;
  • 12 feet rubber hand-held remote;
  • 4-way roller fairlead;
  • Gear Ratio 235:1.

Superwinches New 1510200 LP10000 10,000lb winch provides reliable and strong, powerful performance for intermediate level off-road. Superwinch brand includes standard features weather-resistant motor, power in and out, and a solenoid with circuit breaker protection. Automatic load holding and mechanical braking are other good things about it.

 This winch has a heavy-duty latched hook with rope thimble, 12 feet long rubber handheld remote, and a powder-coated roller fairlead. It added a stronger 5.1 HP weather-sealed motor, replaced the steel hose with a heavy-duty 4-way roller fairlead, and a bigger 3/8 inch wire rope.


  • Automatic load holding;
  • Lever shift free-spooling clutch;
  • Weather-resistant motor;
  • 1 hp weather-sealed;
  • 3-stage planetary gearing;
  • Mechanical brake.


  • Max’s weight could be higher.

7. WARN VR EVO 8 Electric Winch

  • 90ft. wire rope;
  • 12-volt DC winch;
  • Gear Ratio 218:1;
  • 8,000-lb. pulling capacity;
  • two-in-one remote 11.5ft.

The WARN VR EVO 8 is done standard duty with a steel cable and has an 8, 000 lb. It was pulling capacity. It is ideal for lighter SUVs and 2-door jeeps to do everyday pulls and get yourself out of any trouble. The high performance gives maximum reliability. It also comes with a control pack that can be transferred for low-profile installations. This winch is easy to use and versatile for its 2 in 1 remote with wireless and wired options.

An IP68-rated waterproof construction keeps it durable. A planetary gear and a powerful series-wound motor deliver faster line speed with the lower amp. These winches are designed, engineered, and examined in the USA. The great look-up winch is available at a price that does not pull out of your budget.


  • High-quality fairleads;
  • Winch hook included;
  • Mounting hardware kit;
  • Delivers maximum reliability;
  • IP68-rated waterproof construction;
  • Imported from the USA.


  • No one found it.

8. 12-volt WARN 4000 DC Series

  • 4000 lb capacity;
  • 12-volt power in and out;
  • 43 ft. of 7/32 inch wire rope;
  • Included 12 ft. corded remote;
  • 1.5m Battery Cables;
  • 1.9 hp DC motor.

The WARN 94000 12-volt winch has enough pulling power system to pull heavy loads with effortless and satisfying speed successfully. The Warn 4000 DC winches are very well made and also easy to install, also making your job easy. It gives you better performance if you can keep the weight equal to or lower than 2666 lbs. 12-foot lead can perfectly work the wired remote. 

This winch also included a dynamic brake, easy clutch lever, and three-stage planetary gear, creating a cakewalk to control the towing procedure.

It has 43 feet of high-quality steep cable going through a roller fairlead. 1.9 HP permanent magnet DC motor runs on a 12-volt battery. Heavy duty is easy to hook up. All the features are available just what you would expect from a winch. So we recommended this winch to purchase for easily doing your job.


  • Free spooling clutch;
  • Excellent control and holding power;
  • 3-stage planetary gear train;
  • Included instruction manual;
  • Take heavy loads quickly and effortlessly;
  • Roller fairlead and easy-lift clutch lever.


  • Its drum is made of aluminum.

9. GA GEARAMERICA Recovery Strap Kit

  • Tow Strap 3″x20′ | 35,000 LBS;
  • Orange D-Ring Shackles;
  • Snatch block pulley 9-ton;
  • Need to recover a stuck 4×4, Truck, ATV, UTV, or SUV.

When safety and strength are both on the line, you need to know about the off-road recovery kit made by Offroading Gear. It comes with a 2 piece complete package. You find everything there as you need to fulfill your job. This 4×4 recovery kit has a kinetic snatch strap that is 10,000 lbs which is enough to pull huge off-road vehicles and save lives when you expect it.

This kit is ideal for steel winch lines and is also a complete accessory kit for anyone. You can also use it as an off-road winch extension that’s also extremely helpful. In the storage bag that goes with them, here you can put small items you need like bug spray, keys, and other camping tools.


  • Easy to access;
  • Heavy-duty recovery bag;
  • Functional and very affordable.
  • Tire deflator and gauge;
  • Winch line dampener and recovery gloves.


  • No issue was found.

10. ZEAK ATV/UTV 3500 lbs Electric Winch

  • Pulling capacity 3,500lbs;
  • 1.1 HP motor;
  • Fit it into ATV/UTV quite easily.;
  • 50 ft of 3/16 inch synthetic rope.

This Offroading Gear 3,500 lbs pulling capacity winch comes with lots of features at a reasonable price. The 1.1 HP powerful permanent magnet motor, can pull loads up to the 3,500 lbs limit. It is ideal for ATV/UTV and smaller vehicles. This off-road winch gives dynamic braking systems with high-quality features and efficient planetary gear.

Another feature everyone likes is its relatively quiet winching system. It doesn’t come with extra batteries for its remote, so you’ll have to purchase that separately. The winch is for easy operation without any effort. Its fabulous features attract people, that’s why they took this.


  • It’s lightweight;
  • Stainless steel;
  • Ideal for smaller vehicles;
  • Line speed Up to 13.3 ft;
  • Wireless remote control;
  • Offers an unbeatable price.


  • Need to take an extra battery for its wireless remote.

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About This Writer

liam jaxon author pic

Hi, I am responsible for the 'Homeowners Power Solutions' category. My name is Liam Jaxon and a licensed technician with 7 years of experience in vehicle batteries, electrical gadgets, and home appliances. My working experience in different residential & light commercial electrical sectors and the automobile industry helped to acquire vast knowledge in this industry.

Hi, I am responsible for the 'Homeowners Power Solutions' category. My name is Liam Jaxon and a licensed technician with 7 years of experience in vehicle batteries, electrical gadgets, and home appliances. My working experience in different residential & light commercial electrical sectors and the automobile industry helped to acquire vast knowledge in this industry.

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