10 Best Electric Winches 2020

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Owning an electric winch can be a lifesaver if you drive an SUV or off-road truck. Off-roading can be a great adventure, but even the most seasoned drivers can find themselves in a pinch if they get stuck in the mud or misjudge the steepness of a hill. An electric winch can get you out of these sticky situations with ease. A winch also allows you to help other drivers who may need a tow, either because they're stuck or just ran out of gas. 

If you're looking to buy an electric winch, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. You want a winch powerful enough to pull you out of a tricky situation, but you don't want it so powerful that it rips your bumper off.

Luckily, we've compiled a list of the best electric winches for most truck and SUV types, and we've included a buyer's guide to get you started.

WARN VR 10

Smittybilt 9500 lb 97495 XRC GEN2 Winch-9500 Pound Load Capacity

Smittybuilt has been in the winch business for over 50 years and has refined their craft to bring you the 97495 XRC. This re-design of the original XRC offers 6.6 horsepower to work with and a three-stage gear system to deliver power right where you need it. Smittybilt released the XRC with heavy-duty features that enhance reliability, durability, and performance. 

This winch is completely waterproof with an IP67 rating, which means that the unit can be immersed in a meter of water for up to half an hour with absolutely no damage. The waterproof cover also provides dust protection, so you don't need to worry about wear and tear from sandy and dusty terrain. 

Smittybilt offers a lifetime warranty on the mechanical parts of the winch and a three-year warranty on the electrics. 

  • Horsepower: 6.6 HP

  • Weight: 78 lbs.

  • Cable material: synthetic Dyneema SK-75

  • Cable length: 94', 5/16" diameter

Pros:

  • Tons of horsepower

  • Waterproof

  • Comes with high-quality accessories such as a winch hook

  • Excellent warranty of mechanical parts

Cons:

  • If you drive in muddy or wet areas often, you may need a winch with a higher waterproof rating than IP67

ORCISH Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch

ORCISH 12V IP67 Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch Electric Jeep Truck winches 13000lb

The ORCISH winch is a great contender for SUVs and other vehicles with high wheelbases. It offers 13,000 pounds of pulling power, which is more than enough to get most trucks out of the mud. The three-stage gear system gives you power and control when you need it, and the copper gears are naturally corrosion-resistant and less prone to wear.

This winch comes with a free-spool feature, which disconnects the drum from the gearbox, allowing you to pull out your cable easily without damaging the motor. It also has a high-quality brake clutch that can lock the load in place if necessary.

The ORCISH winch is rated waterproof IP67 so that it can be fully immersed in one meter of water for half an hour with no ill effects. It comes with several safety features, including an overload protection device, hand remote control, and a pair of heavy-duty gloves. 

  • Horsepower: 6.0 HP

  • Weight: 67.2 lbs.

  • Cable Material: Dyneema Synthetic winch rope

  • Cable Length: 85', 3/8" diameter

Pros:

  • Excellent value for money

  • Plenty of pulling power for heavier trucks

  • Lifetime technical warranty and commercial one-year warranty

  • Heavy-duty materials

Cons:

  • Winch cover sold separately

Sinoking 12VDC

Sinoking 12VDC 9600LB/4354kg Waterproof Electric Winch, Off-Road Winch with 3/8″85′(feet) UHMPE Synthetic Rope, Innovative Wireless Remote Controller

The Sinoking's 12 V motor can pull loads of up to 9,600 pounds with ease. Not only is the 6-horsepower motor strong, but it also works fast and quietly thanks to the steel three-stage planetary gears. This winch has lots of safety features, such as an independent and fully automatic braking system to ensure safe operation. 

You can control the Sinoking winch with either a corded remote or take advantage of the wireless remote control to keep your distance from the winch. Unlike many other electric winches, the Sinoking comes with an IP68 water rating, which means that it can be fully immersed in 1.5 meters of water with no harm. 

While the half meter difference between an IP67 and IP68 rating may seem trivial, it can have a huge impact on the lifespan of your winch, especially during heavy-duty use in rainy and wet conditions. 

  • Horsepower: 6.0 HP

  • Weight: 79.4 lbs.

  • Cable Material: steel aircraft wire rope

  • Cable Length: 65', 5/16" diameter

Pros:

  • IP68 waterproof rating

  • The high-torque motor can handle a lot of weight

  • Automatic braking system

  • Both wired and wireless remote-control options

Cons:

  • Steel cable has a lower minimum breaking strength than synthetic rope

Superwinch 1595200

Superwinch 1595200 Tiger Shark 9.5, 12 VDC winch, 9,500 lb/4,309 kg capacity with roller fairlead

The Superwinch Tiger Shark is an appealing electric winch that offers plenty of power at an affordable price range. It’s Superwinch's best-selling product, and it's easy to see why.

The 5.2 horsepower motor can pull up to 9,500 pounds, which is more than enough for casual and enthusiast use. The weather-sealing ensures that the solenoid is protected from rain, snow, and dust, greatly extending the lifespan of the motor.

If you've ever gotten annoyed at trail debris activating your winch at the worst times possible, you'll love the lift-and-pull ergonomic free-spool control. This lever ensures that you only activate free-spool mode when you want it, and it’s easy to grip and operate. 

  • Horsepower: 5.2 HP

  • Weight: 90 lbs.

  • Cable material: Steel

  • Cable length: 95', 21/64" diameter

Pros:

  • Affordable

  • Heavy-duty, high-quality build

  • Ergonomic free-spool control

  • Automatic load-holding brake

Cons:

  • Steel cable has a lower minimum breaking strength than synthetic rope

  • Not waterproof

Superwinch 1130220

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC winch 3,000lbs/1360kg with roller fairlead, mount plate, handlebar rocker switch, and handheld remote

Superwinch is one of the best-known brands in the winch industry—and with good reason. Their wide range of products ensures that you'll always find something for your needs. 

The Superwinch LT3000ATV winch is a versatile, all-purpose winch for hauling loads of up to 3,000 pounds. The low-amp-draw engine is great for people who don't want to buy a new battery just to run their electric winch as it only pulls 1.2 amps. 

The LT3000ATV comes with all the high-quality features you'd expect from a Superwinch product. The ergonomic free-spool lever gives you control over the free-spool mechanism, while the wired remote gives you control from 12 feet away. 

  • Horsepower: 1.2 HP

  • Weight: 20 lbs.

  • Cable material: steel wire rope

  • Cable length: 50', 3/16" diameter

Pros:

  • Low amperage motor works great for vehicles with less battery power

  • Automatic load holding in the event of a power failure

  • Follows industry-standard mounting bolt patterns for easy installation

  • Versatile and easy to use

Cons:

  • Wired handheld remote

Champion 4500

Champion 4500-lb. ATV/UTV Wireless Winch Kit

The Champion 4500 electric winch has a capacity of 4,500 pounds, delivered by a 1.6-horsepower engine. The four-way roller head mechanism and three-way planetary gear system generate 4.6 feet per minute of spooling speed under heavy load. 

The dynamic braking system ensures that even pressure remains on the cable at all times, which reduces wear and tear on the gear system and the cable itself. 

We especially like the Champion 4500’s auto-shutoff function, which can save battery life because the winch doesn't draw power while not in use. It has a wireless remote that can work up to 50 feet away, giving you a good margin of safety while operating the winch, too. 

  • Horsepower: 1.6 HP permanent magnet motor

  • Weight: 30 lbs.

  • Cable material: galvanized steel

  • Cable length: 38', 15/64" diameter

Pros:

  • The auto-shutoff feature saves battery life

  • Wireless remote keeps you safely away during winching operations

  • Affordable

  • Lightweight and quiet despite the powerful motor

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

WARN 885000 PullzAll

WARN 885000 PullzAll Corded 120V AC Portable Electric Winch with Steel Cable: 1/2 Ton (1,000 lb) Lifting/Pulling Capacity

Unlike many of the other winches we've reviewed, the Warn PullzAll is a portable motorized winch that doesn't attach directly to your vehicle. Instead, it can help with all sorts of other activities, such as logging, stump-pulling, lifting an engine, and tensioning wire fences. 

The PullzAll has a capacity of 1,000 pounds and a range of approximately 14 feet. Its dynamic brake allows it to be used for both pulling or for hoisting and holding the weight still. 

The device is cordless, relying on batteries and a powerful motor to function. It has a handy warning light that tells you when the motor has hit 90% of its weight limit, and it will shut down when it hits 100% to protect the engine from overheating. 

Unfortunately, it also has a time limit of one minute at full capacity before it has to be rested for 30 minutes to preserve the engine. 

  • Horsepower: 24-volt DC 

  • Weight: 18 lbs.

  • Cable material: steel wire rope

  • Cable length: 15', 7/32" diameter

Pros:

  • Portable and easy to use

  • Dynamic brake allows for both pulling and hoisting activities

  • Electronic load indicator to stop motor burnout

  • Rechargeable battery pack

Cons:

  • Can only be used for one minute at full capacity before resting to protect the engine

  • Can't switch the battery when the PullzAll is under load due to poor design

Champion 3000

Champion 3000-lb. ATV/UTV Winch Kit

Despite having less pulling power than its bigger brothers, the Champion 3000 comes with several features only found on higher-end models.

The four-way roller, three-stage planetary gear system delivers fast spooling speeds even under heavy load. It comes with a variety of accessories, including a roller fairlead, mounting channel, and a handlebar-mounted remote control. 

The Champion 3000 is an excellent choice if you're looking for a smaller winch that still delivers on quality and reliability. It won't pull your 5,000-pound truck out of a ditch, but it's a great option for smaller vehicles and other tasks around the yard. 

  • Horsepower: 1.30 HP

  • Weight: 22.3 lbs.

  • Cable material: Galvanized steel

  • Cable length: 45.90', 3/16" diameter

Pros: 

  • Large remote size makes using the winch in gloves much easier

  • Affordable

  • Lots of power for the size of the engine

  • Dynamic brake and free-spooling clutch ensure you have control at all times

  • Durable and designed to last

Cons:

  • Noisier than other winches

Bravex Electric 12V

Bravex Electric 12V 3500lb/1591kg Single Line Waterproof Winch for UTV ATV Boat with Both Wireless Handheld Remote and Corded Control Recovery Winch

The Bravex Electric winch has the power to provide a strong and steady pull when you need it the most. It has a capacity of 3,500 pounds and comes with a roller fairlead to prevent tangled cables during use. 

You can use the Bravex winch on a variety of vehicles – 4x4s, RVs, trailers, and other UTVs, as well as on your ATV – if you have the right mounting plate. 

The winch has a waterproof cover that protects the motor from sediment and water damage. All the gears are made from robust metal to prevent unnecessary wear and tear, and the five-year warranty means you get a reliable, high-quality product.

  • Horsepower: 1.5 HP

  • Weight: 18.74 lbs.

  • Cable material: aviation-grade steel wire rope

  • Cable length: 40', 5.3mm diameter

Pros:

  • Excellent warranty

  • Waterproof and anti-sediment protection

  • Can be used on a wide variety of vehicles

  • Roller fairlead helps avoid tangled cables

Cons:

  • Steel cable has a lower minimum breaking strength than synthetic rope

Superwinch 1331200 UT3000

Superwinch 1331200 UT3000, 12 VDC winch, 3,000lb/1360 kg with mount plate, Roller Fairlead & 12' remote

The Superwinch 1331200 UT3000 is a 3,000-pound winch that is versatile and easy to use. The 1.2-horsepower motor has a full metal differential planetary gear train and a gear ratio of 153:1 to ensure that the power goes where it needs to. 

The solenoid has a weatherproof cover and circuit-breaker protection to prevent overheating. As with most Superwinch products, you get a wired remote that allows you to control the winch from a safe distance.

Superwinch recommends that the UT3000 be used as either a portable tool or mounted onto your ATV. It has several safety features such as bi-directional dynamic braking and weather-sealed solenoid that allow you to use the winch in any weather condition safely. 

  • Horsepower: 1.2 HP

  • Weight: 19.5 lbs.

  • Cable material: Steel wire rope

  • Cable length: 40', 3/16" diameter

Pros:

  • A wide array of safety features 

  • Ideal for light and medium use

  • Can be attached to your vehicle, or you can use it as a portable winch

  • Comes with a removable clevis-pinned latched hook with rope thimble

  • Weatherproof

Cons:

  • One-year limited warranty

What to Look for in an Electric Winch

Size and Capacity

The most important factor in choosing a winch is that it should be able to pull the weight of your car. The winch's capacity is the maximum amount it can safely pull. A good rule of thumb is to choose a winch that can handle the weight of your vehicle plus 30%. So, if your truck weighs 5,000 pounds, you'll want a winch that can pull at least 6,500 pounds. 

You should also consider the power usage of your winch. Electric winches get their power from the car battery, which typically holds around 48 amps of power. They can pull between 20 and 30 amps of power, and more powerful ones will draw even more. It's a good idea to check your battery and, if necessary, upgrade it to meet your winching needs.

Cable Material 

Winch cables are usually made from either steel cable or synthetic rope. The most important factor when choosing your cable material is the minimum breaking strength, which is the weight at which the cable will break. 

Synthetic ropes are durable and have a higher minimum breaking strength than steel cable. Steel cables get woven from wires woven into strands that are then braided around a core. They are heavy-duty, robust, and affordable. If you decide to stick with steel rope, be sure to buy galvanized steel for corrosion resistance and stay away from stainless steel as it has a lower minimum breaking strength. 

Overall, we'd recommend using synthetic winch ropes whenever possible. They don't corrode, are easier to work with, and have a higher minimum breaking strength than steel cables. The main drawback of synthetic cables is that they are more sensitive to abrasion and can pick up small tears easily that will build up over time and cause the cable to fray. 

Cable Length

The cable length you choose will depend on how you're planning to use your winch. Manufacturers rate winch power from the first wrap of the drum. Lines that are on the second or third wrap will have less power. The shorter your length, the more power your winch will produce, and the less likely it will be to overload or spool incorrectly. 

A 32-foot line is good enough for most users as it's a compromise between flexibility and power. If you're pulling your vehicle long-distance, then a longer line will give you a better tow experience. However, if you're using your winch to get you out of tricky situations, the shorter the cable, the better. You can always get a winch line extension to give you versatility when you need it. 

Warranty

Manufacturers who offer a good warranty on their products tend to be more confident in their quality. Most winches will have a warranty between two and five years, depending on the brand. A winch with a longer warranty may cost slightly more, but it could save you money in the long run. 

Wrapping It Up

When you shop around for a winch, you need to keep several factors in mind. You need a winch that’s powerful enough to handle the weight of your vehicle, but you have to balance that with the power draw on your battery. 

You should also consider if you want a more versatile winch with a slightly lower capacity, or if you want something powerful enough to haul you out of a tricky situation. No matter what your needs, our list of electric winch reviews has something that will work for you.