Best Portable Electric Winches: Types, Choosing Facts & Recommendations

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

Off-road lovers, quite have a craze for hunting. Winches are most common in these cases, even if you have multi-purpose hauling jobs to do in regular terms. More options are available while shopping for electric winches, in terms of winch types and sizes. People often get confused that these may not come with desired portability offers. Even the winching becomes a daunting task for them. However, this is a big lie. 

A portable electric winch is only a helping medium. That makes your pulling job quite easier than before, by switching its integrated gear system with powerful torque. Like, as towing boats, boat uplifting, vehicle pulling, and similar heavy-duty lifting jobs. 

portable electric winches types, choosing facts & recommendations

We have mentioned that the overwhelming option can overwhelm you more while picking the right one. To drive your rock crawler, truck, or other vehicles on rough terrains, we have listed 9 portable electric winches with a complete buyer’s guide. Not only to have a pleasant experience like us but for typical safer distance winching jobs too.

Type of Winch

These are basically divided into two categories.

  • The first is a manual procedure And 
  • The second requires a non-manual procedure.

The movement and pulling activity of a manual winch is entirely dependent on human utilization. Here, spooling activity is achieved by turning a switch.

Not at all like manual winches, the models with a non-manual arrangement of activity can be either gas or electric. To pull things, electrical winches utilize a battery from a vehicle or any AC power source, while gas winches utilize gas.

After all, electric winches are the most suggested kind of which. These are more than hand-worked winches and undeniably less exorbitant than gas ones.

Factors to Consider for Portable Electric Winches

Pulling Capacity

What is the pulling capacity? How much is good enough for you? Well, these are some pretty questions while buying any portable electric winches. The highest 12000 pounds are pulling capacity we have measured for Warn 103254. It is a real beast-graded winch with access to DC power. As well as withstands all huge frame rigs or vehicles. 

A compact designed winch, for instance, WARN 885000 with 1000 pounds pulling capacity. This electric winch you can choose for heavy rock crawler installations. 

Line Speeds

Power-consuming speeds split from the desired line speeds. However, sometimes you need to give the effort to achieve those speeds. Once the winch is possible to pull cable or rope at a decent speed. But it varies, whether object loaded times extractions trade-off the unload time fastest jobs.  

If you aim for a constant increasing or fastest line speed, that somehow exerts the vehicle battery. Anyways, you’ve to keep in mind the safest methods in that case. So, the battery does not face any overexerting risk issues.

Mounting System

In most winches, mounting options indicate the mounting system. Once you have ensured that your purchase has a large mounting base, especially at the bottom with holes. The longer the possibilities will grow to bolt your electric winch to your larger or smaller vehicle at ease.

One more thing you should have been sure of is whether the base is heavy-duty material constructed or not. This factor prevents winch cracks or rope and cable damage. 

Performance and Longevity

Two additional basic variables are usefulness and strength.

You should consider the general presentation and viability of these winches. Ensure they give the best outcomes, and are not difficult to utilize, the choices that we’ve referenced here offer magnificent execution and adequacy.

Whatever it is, longevity is equally a key element, especially assuming you expect to be involved in it for quite some time. Along this line, be sure to pay special attention to that.

Topic Relevant Solutions-

Do Electric Winches Come With Real Portability?

We have a big yes to such a question. All types of the winch at first accept power from a motor through a drum. From the factory, the wire gets spooled by the drum as well as an electric winch gets charged by electricity, for instance, a drill motor of Warn 910500. Then, a magnet transfers the electrical power to your winch, and it is working.

Most electric winches work with both wireless and wired systems, either one of these. But this does not mean not delivering portability.  

Do You Need a Strong Winch?

As well as the winch installation being easy, a reliable winch per your big pulling projects becomes a real need. Well, we have one recommended portable electric winch, as in Warn 103254. It is a premium high-powered one with 12000 pounds of extraction power. It is not a big deal. 

Read more: Automotive HVLP Spray Guns for the Money

As if, you have options to multiply your small or large winches’ pulling power, for instance, Smittybilt XRC series electric winches. Use a snatch block if you determine for converting the line speed twice. With the nursing stock, your load capacity has increased and allows you to spool out high-range cables. 

How to Choose the Right Electric Winch Size?

Quite a critical question. It depends on your regular or occasional winch capacity. Through some rules of thumb, you should remember to step forward. One is before choosing an ideal winch size, calculate your vehicle’s beefy weight. Now multiply it by 1.5. You can consider it as the lowest loading capacity. Either the standard rule, that’s how a winch size can support. But the weight may differ from the certain or declared capacity. 

For example, weighing a 1.8 metric ton pickup will accept at least a 2.7 metric ton winch. But for safer operations, pick a more loading capacity. 

Editor’s Speech

Do you love off-road adventures a lot? Have your car or jeep got stuck in the mud? The adventure gets spoiled! To solve such a worst problem, you need a portable electric winch. As long as possible, it becomes a perfect mismatch for your SUV and any ATVs tasks. 

In the guide, portable winches are of high quality. Give one a try with your valued bucks and happy winching jobs. 

View Top 9 Portable Electric Winches, Below

1. WARN 885030 AC/DC Portable Electric Winch

  • Weight: 15 lbs. (6.8 kg);
  • Pulling capacity: 1000 pounds;
  • Load Indicator: Electronic, with LED;
  • Use for moving large sports, loading ATVs, pulling fences, and moving heavy loads.

Starting our portable electric winch experience journey with the most fab, AC/DC continuing to WARN series 885030 winch. Why have we started with this?

Like small RC winches, it holds only 1000 pounds of lifting power, but a perfect alternative for AC models at your job site with power. But the DC power can limit your off-road adventure. Regarding quality, nothing can beat it. Not only the durable construction but also the compatibility can replace any old-fashioned cables with its 15ft. included rope.

Similar to other Red PullzAll models, this unit features an LED overloading warning. In particular, we have fallen in love with it, as it makes the unit much unique, except for its weak pulling capacity. 

However, both forward and reverse-triggered remotes let operate from a safer distance, including pulling up an i-beam, fences, and different heavy machinery.  

What we liked 

  • Brake for placing objects;
  • Lightweight, yet powerful for on-road adventures;
  • 2-speed control trigger;
  • Durable and waterproof wire rope;
  • Overload LED indicator.


  • Nothing noticeable.

2. Dutton-Lainson SA12015 Electric Winch

  • Weight: 33.6 pounds;
  • Pulling capacity: 2700 pounds;
  • Cable length: 10feet;
  • Misc: D-L strong arm, 120 volt AC, 12V DC.

Next from Dutton-Lainson SA12015, is for different purposes winching jobs. Especially for pulling pickups, mid-sized frame rigs, and off-road hauling. However, you can apply this portable electric winch as a hoist for similar winching jobs, like transporting, lifting, and supporting.

Whether users recommend it for indoor applications, we are also semi-regular users. We found nothing much complicated while off-road winching. Yes, you cannot convert the 12VDC outlet to a 120VDC power access with an adapter. But with pulley blocks, a second hook, and a high-powered generator, you can double load line capacity, ranging from 3000-4000 pounds. This is the most supportive part you will get out of the factory, unlike other models.

10 feet cord is used to attach at the same place where the remote control should have control movements. However, it can mount on a davit arm, and all thanks to the D-L strong arm. 

What we liked

  • Good pre-fastened cables;
  • Mounting capability on davit arms;
  • D-L strong arm;
  • Perfect for both indoor and outdoor applications.


  • Expensive.

3. Smittybilt XRC Portable Electric Winch

  • Weight: 78 pounds;
  • Pulling capacity: 9750 pounds;
  • Cable length: 7ft. Cord, 
  • Misc: 4-way roller fairlead, 3-stage planetary gear train, 12″ leads, 6.6 HP motor.

The portable electric winch has a beast-level pulling capacity of up to 9750 pounds. This amount with a large mounting base is good enough for extracting pickups, heavy jeeps, and average frame rigs, as long as you use it. 

Drawn 500 AMP solenoid 6.6HP motor enables heavy pulling from mud with less physical effort. Its metal body construction with full IP67-rated waterproof steel cable allows it to release half of the weight at loading times. 30ft. of the attached steel cable is a breeze then. Instead of alternating branded ropes, we recommend using the in-built for better usage. 

A 3-stage planetary gear train raises loading speed within a short moment. A sliding rear gear enables natural rope rolling by the remote. Hoover, the XRC series winch, provides an automatic in-drum integrated brake, avoiding damage to the motors of new-generation vehicles. 

What we liked 

  • 12″ leads;
  • Draw high solenoid motor;
  • IP67-rated waterproof parts;
  • Blocks compatibility for enhancing pulling power.


  • Nothing noticeable.

4. Superwinch 1130220 DC Portable Electric Winch

  • Weight: 19.8 pounds;
  • Pulling capacity: 3000 pounds;
  • Cable length: 50 feet;
  • Misc: 4-way roller fairlead, 3-stage planetary gear train, free spool, handheld remote, 1.2HP, ergonomic clutch.

Does winch use become a threat for you, especially, casual ATV snow plow applications? Need not fret. Speaking of the quality of the VDC portable electric winch from Superwinch 1130220, quite reliable in that case, and for 3000 pounds objects pulled with a clevis pin latch.

Equipped with heavy material, in particular, stainless steel. Measuring 50ft. (48ft working length) steel cable gets attached at ease with different vehicles. As well, it made our day for outdoor adventures. Its 12 HP motor, constructed with no load lower AMP integrated permanent magnets, is always in protection by the circuit breaker. Though the winch mounts measurement, you should know for proper adjustments with ATV/UTV. 

Well-known as the versatile LT3000 ATV winch, the compact design with a 4-way roller fairlead is capable of transferring ft/minute as per machine weight. Whether the L-shaped flat plate has in total pre-drilled 8 bolt holes for mounting.  

What we liked 

  • Reasonable; 
  • Spacious mounting base;
  • Simple setup;
  • 3-stage planetary gear train;
  • Steel cable lasts long.


  • None describe.

5. Warn 103254 Electric DC Winch

  • Weight: 90.6 pounds:
  • Pulling capacity: 12000 pounds;
  • Misc: powerful wound motor, planetary gear train, cast-aluminum tie-plate.

At this time, we would love to enclose a powerful engineered realistic beast from the fab brand Warn. Supporting a heavy-weighted pulling capacity, so why spend your worth bucks on other brands, right? That is why we choose this electric DC winch; however, the power source can limit your portability. 

Drawing with a lower AMP is its first consideration for appreciation in this class. The second counterpart is its planetary gear train. Effective for an under-pressure faster-pulling speed. For instant relocating lower profile installation, auto-control is possible by including control packs. As well as 2-in-1 options, the remote control allows both wired and wireless movements.  

All the counterparts are IP68-rated waterproof, which is beyond imagination at such a tagged price. Though a large cast-aluminum tie plate under the bottom holds higher base mounting.

What we liked 

  • Spacious for mounting;
  • Best extracting power;
  • Powerful wound motor;
  • Reliable most in off-road adventures;
  • Waterproof construction.


  • Nothing noticeable. 

6. Keeper KTSL2000RM Portable Electric Winch

  • Weight: 23.8 pounds;
  • Pulling capacity: 2000 pounds;
  • Misc: 5000pounds rolling load, water sealed plug, circuit breaker, mount bracket. Free-spool clutch, 4.5 FPM, 12V DC battery.

Another lightweight, yet powerful electric winch with higher portability in our listing, manufactured by Keeper. The original multi-purpose winch you can call it for its human maneuver abilities empowerment. 

How about the waterproof feature of each winch part, for instance, the plug and circuit breaker? With this feature, not only does the winch protect itself, but removes sparking possibilities while pulling out a 4000 pounds boat also. In case of an emergency, a manual hand crank is ready. Else, two attached LED lights with remote control, are convenient for nighttime winching. 

Anyways, it features a free spool clutch. Either you have to do rolling in old-fashioned ways. Handheld toggle switch for stop, reverse, and forward winch by the case-hardened gears. What else? Features a common rapid mount bracket. Either for trailing hitch balls or safer distance operations from the hillside.  

What we liked 

  • Waterproof parts for long services;
  • Emergency hand crank;
  • 72″ galvanized wire rope.


  • Small battery leads;
  • Sometimes a single line pull becomes weaker. 

7. WARN 99963 5000 DC Electric Winch with Portability

  • Weight: 50 pounds;
  • Pulling capacity: 5000 pounds;
  • Strong 1. 9 Horsepower permanent magnet DC motor;
  • Misc: 12V, 30 ft. steel cable, rolling 5,000 pounds, marine 2,000 pounds.

The next one is from the WARN 99963 5000 DC Series, which is a multi-purpose electric winch with portability. It has high compatibility with big boats, trucks, and trailers, and more about 18 ft. long. It suits towing boats, with around 5000 pounds marine extracting capacity. Unlike previous winches, in general, WARN offers more than 5000 pounds rolling. 

As well, in-built parallel shift gear helps to mount either on flat surfaces or ball-mount hitches. 

It’s a particular 30 ft. steel cable that delivers a safer distance maintaining operation from 20 feet (19ft. working.), simple remote control, and 2 specified hand cranks for manual pulling. 

Right in your box, a manual will help further if you cannot understand the proper installation.

What we liked 

  • Durable design;
  • Long galvanized steel cable;
  • Suits towing boats;
  • Battery remote controller.


  • No cons.

8. Warn 910500 Portable Drill Winch

  • Weight: 12.63 pounds;
  • Pulling capacity: 500 pounds;
  • Cable length: 30ft.;
  • Misc: single-line pulling capacity, hawse fairlead, rigging hooks.

Aiming for both front and rear rigging hooks integrated portable drill-powered winch? Nothing can beat this one from Warn 910500. As long as you continue with this winch, you will need a drill power. 

It has both facing rigging hooks for extracting and placing objects at their perfect place, for instance, pulling an i-beam and placing it for further welding. You can even enjoy it in a wide range, from lifting a rolling machine onto a trailer to moving nursing stocks by making double-pulling power. Like us, connect your drill winch to a 1300 pounds weighing power generator. 

However, it might have led us to hard-to-handle winching jobs. But it’s a free spool clutch let’s not, even assist for an easy hookup. Else, an automatic load limiter for having convenient performances. 

What we liked 

  • Lightweight and portable;
  • Super handy;
  • Convenient for heavy-duty winching jobs;
  • Both front and rear rigging hooks;
  • Load limiter;
  • 30ft. Top-notch wire rope.  


  • Expensive.

9. Goldenrod SA9015AC Electric Winch

  • Weight: 30.1 pounds;
  • Pulling capacity: 2700 pounds;
  • Cable length: 10ft;
  • Misc: 18FPM with a full reel, 10ft. Remote controlling cord.

The last, however, is a less decent portable electric winch in our listing, manufactured by Goldenrod. While listing up the SA9015AC at the end of the day, there are some valid reasons. First is its pulling power, about 2700 pounds. Not as much as decent compared to similar service offering models. 

The core applications you can consider, especially for potential users to handle mid-sized and smaller jobs. However, it suits best for indoor jobs and moving i-beams and fences within 2500 pounds weighing machinery from here to there. 

We have mentioned that potential users will have greater benefits in outdoor applications. Including boat davits, boat lifting, and so on. How lovely to have these certain indoor applications’ winches! And all that is possible by its strong D-L arm, with access to a great power outlet, about 120V AC, including a 10ft cord.   

What we liked 

  • Cover up fixed indoor winching jobs;
  • Winch ceiling mountable;
  • Portability.


  • Leads are not big enough; 
  • Expensive. 

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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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