Driving off-road doesn’t have to be scary, all you need is a winch to help you get out of dangerous situations. A reliable winch will save you a lot of money and time that you may be charged during relocation and towing. Whether you are driving an SUV or truck, it is important that you have the ability to get your vehicle off any situation. A good winch should be able to work in any weather conditions and terrain.
Table of Contents
- 12 Best Winches of 2018
- 1. WARN 98820 ZEON Platinum 12 12000lb Winch
- 2. WARN 86260 VR12000 12000 lbs Winch
- 3. WARN 26502 M8000 8000lb Winch
- 4. Smittybilt (98510) X20 Waterproof Synthetic Rope 10000 lbs Winch
- 5. MileMarker SEC95 (es) Element Sealed Electric Winch
- 6. KFI Products SE45 ATV Stealth Winch Kit 4500lb
- 7. SuperWinch 1595200 Tiger Shark 9.5 9500lb Winch
- 8. WARN 90250 ProVantage 2500 Winch 2500lb
- 9. VIPER Max ATV/ UTV Winch Kit with Black AmSteeel Blue Synthetic Rope 4000lb
- 10. WARN 89020 Vantage 2000 Winch 2000lb
- 11. Champion Power Equipment 14560 ATV / UTV Wireless Winch Kit 4500lb
- 12. SuperWinch 1130220 LT300 ATV 12 VDC 3000lb
- Where to Buy a Winch
- Parts and Accessories
- The Bottom-line
12 Best Winches of 2018
In this review, we will look at each winch carrying different capacities, from various manufacturing brands. Our primary aim is to highlight winches that have the most positive reviews in the market today. We also hope that after going through the review you will be able to make a choice that is the best value for your money.
1. WARN 98820 ZEON Platinum 12 12000lb Winch
The ZEON Platinum 12 has a power rating of 12000 pounds and is believed to be the most powerful and advanced winch in the market today. There are no manual clutches; it has an advanced wireless remote control that virtually controls every aspect of this winch. With the remote, you will be able to control the winch and the clutch. You can use the ZEON Platinum 12 to check the motor temperature, battery condition and you can enjoy the USB charging capability in case your phone runs out of power.
- The winch can be used to control other vehicle accessories such as light and air compressor
- An external USB charging port suitable for mobile charging while on the move
- A fully automated clutch and gear system make pulling easier and faster than any other winch in the market.
- It is heavy and makes it a challenge to move it from one point to the next
2. WARN 86260 VR12000 12000 lbs Winch
The VR12000 Winch from WARN is a heavy-duty winch that has been built for anyone looking to use a winch for the first time and is on a budget. For an affordable price, you will be able to get a winch that is rated at 12000 pounds and offer more in performance. It has an independent control block with various mounting positions. The power of this winch comes from a series of motors that also plays a significant role in its pulling speed. The braking control is superior to other winches of the same pulling capacity that gives more control to the user during a winch operation. The unique low-profile design is meant to fit in most SUVs and light trucks.
- Has a durable structure with a reliable three-stage planetary gear system
- An ergonomic remote control
- Easy to install
- High power
- WARN offers a lifetime warranty on their product
- Unique braking system for better winching control
- Manual is not comprehensive
- Does not come with a winch plate
3. WARN 26502 M8000 8000lb Winch
The WARN 26502 M8000 is designed for a real off-road experience. With a rated power of 8000 pounds, its low-profile design makes it possible to fit various mounting positions. This winch can be used in a Jeep, SUV, and a truck. The 3 stage planetary gear system is powered by a series wound motor. The roller fairlead has a 100-foot wire that is chip resistant and with a powdered coated finish. The free spooling clutch works alongside a sliding gear for efficient service.
- Good design with different mount points
- The 3 stage planetary gear system has a direct drive cone braking system
- Has an electric control box with hand-held remote attached a 12 feet lead
- May get damaged if used in a flooded terrain
4. Smittybilt (98510) X20 Waterproof Synthetic Rope 10000 lbs Winch
Smittybilt 98510 X20 waterproof winch has a rating of IP68 which means it can be used in terrain with mud, snow, and water. It has pulling rate of 10000 pounds. The gear train uses a 3 stage planetary system with a ratio of about 218:1. The clutch utilizes a sliding gear mechanism with an automatic drum braking system. This winch uses a synthetic rope that is about 100 feet long.
- The option of a wireless remote allows for greater movement when operating the winch
- The IP68 rating means the solenoid can work under harsh weather conditions.
- Uses a standard mount bolting pattern that ensures compatibility with different vehicles
- The control box mounting may need some tweaking for a proper fit
5. MileMarker SEC95 (es) Element Sealed Electric Winch
The Mile Marker SEC95 is a reliable winch when used in the toughest terrain and off-road experience. It has a power rating of about 9500 pounds. Its solenoid is properly sealed to keep water away from its electrical components. Very reliable in mud and snow filled terrain. It has the most number of seals in its assembly to keep off any weather elements from damaging the unit. The exterior design is a no chrome construction that features stainless steel, black zinc for the handlebars, and the aluminum ties. The roller fairlead is coated in Dacromet.
- The entire construction is corrosion resistant
- Has a lockable gear housing
- The submersible solenoid has different mount points
- Poor product packaging
6. KFI Products SE45 ATV Stealth Winch Kit 4500lb
The SE 45 ATV Stealth Winch has all its motors connected to the planetary gear system. It gets its power from 12 Volt battery source to churn up to 4500 pounds. You can choose to control the operation of this winch using the mounted handlebars or a corded 14 feet remote controller. The line is a 38 feet synthetic rope. The construction features a cast aluminum and durable steel component. The winch uses a pull clutch mechanism.
- The gear system is all metallic making more durable
- The handlebar mount has a mini-rocker control switch to handle winch operations
- One has to buy a mounting plate separately for some vehicle models
- The winch wears out quickly when used in a busy environment
7. SuperWinch 1595200 Tiger Shark 9.5 9500lb Winch
The Tiger Shark is another affordable winch that has all the standard features of a winch. This winch may be desirable for anyone who wants to buy a winch for the first time. Its housing has stainless steel roller fairleads, a sealed submersible solenoid, and a beautiful finish that make it more durable even in the harshest of conditions. The 3 stage planetary gearbox is made from sturdy materials which make it able to handle more stress and torque. The free spool lever has an ergonomic design that can stop debris that gets attached to the pulling line.
- Weather sealed motor and solenoid reduces damage from water, snow, and dust
- The handheld remote is made of rubber making handling comfortable
- The roller fairlead is made of heavy-duty stainless steel to withstand harsh conditions
- The free spooling gear has an ergonomic design to allow for easy operation
- Fuse blows when the winch is under a load
8. WARN 90250 ProVantage 2500 Winch 2500lb
WARN tells us that another one of their best ATV/UTV winch. It has a sturdy build and a fully sealed electric motor that is supposed to work in all-weather conditions. It has a mini rocker handle that’s included for easier control and maneuver. The roller disk brake can be used to control the winch the moment something goes wrong during an operation. The roller fairlead is well-designed to keep off the rope during a winch operation.
- The major components of this winch are corrosion resistant
- The planetary gear system offers a smooth and efficient operation due to its ergonomic design
- The electrical components are fully sealed to keep weather elements at bay
- Fairlead lead plate is well designed to guide the rope without holding onto it
- Some users report that the cable may not be durable when exposed to high tension
9. VIPER Max ATV/ UTV Winch Kit with Black AmSteeel Blue Synthetic Rope 4000lb
The VIPER Max 4000 is said to be durable when used in harsh terrain. It has a permanent magnetic motor and steel gear system the rated pulling capacity is 4000 pounds. The winch manufacturers say that the winch can be adequate for snow plowing. It has a 3 stage planetary gear system with a 1.6 horsepower magnet. Some of its important features include a mechanical and a dynamic braking system that is supposed to reduce creep during operation. The solenoid is sealed to keep weather elements from it. The remote is tethered using a 9 feet inch lead cable.
- The full seal is covered under a lifetime warranty
- The planetary gears are also sealed from weather elements
- The winch can be controlled by the use of a rocker switch or a remote control
- Some cars need a mounting kit to be bought separately
10. WARN 89020 Vantage 2000 Winch 2000lb
This winch is rated by the manufacture WARN as a power sports winch that offers the best performance in its category at an affordable price. The planetary gear system has a smooth construction that works together with its permanent motors to give a maximum power rating of 2000 pounds. The cable is a 50 feet air grade lightweight synthetic rope that can withstand a lot of tension. The motor and the drive train have been sealed to keep off weather elements. What it gets is power and speed from a favorable gear ratio of 155: 1.
- Fully sealed motor and drivetrain keeps weather elements away
- The planetary system is based on a differential system with dynamic brakes
- Has a handlebar-mounted mini rocker control unit
- The fairlead has an accompanying plate
- The electrical components get frozen when not running
- Mounting has to be adjusted to fit in well
11. Champion Power Equipment 14560 ATV / UTV Wireless Winch Kit 4500lb
The Champion Power Equipment 14560 Wireless Winch is said to be reliable for both ATV and UTV rescue. A maximum power rate of 4500 pounds that comes from its efficient planetary gear and dynamic braking systems adds to its credibility. The device has a permeant motor with a convenient and ergonomic handlebar remote control that can be used to power both the in and outline. It has a free spooling clutch and rugged clevis hook latch that controls the super duty galvanized aircraft grade cable. This model of a winch comes with cables and mounting channel that enables a smooth winch operation.
- Has an efficient planetary and dynamic braking system
- The product has a two-year limited warranty with a free technical lifetime support from the manufacturer
- Has a protective weather resistant Neoprene protective cover
- You may need to buy a mounting plate that fit your kind of car
- The bolt that attaches the cable to the drum needs constant tightening after use
12. SuperWinch 1130220 LT300 ATV 12 VDC 3000lb
The winch from SuperWinch was purposely built for an ATV. It has a rating of 3000 pounds pulling power. Makes no noise during operation and is mounted on a rocker switch and controlled by a handheld remote that is tethered at 12 feet for good winch operations. Its standard features include a rugged metallic 3 stage planetary gear train, a heavy-duty roller fairlead and a free spooling ergonomically designed clutch for easier operations.
- It has a roller fairlead and a mounting plate
- The handlebar is smooth with a rocker switch
- Has both the dynamic and mechanical braking system
- Some vehicles require that you purchase a different mounting kit
- The cable drum shifts sideways during operation
Where to Buy a Winch
The most convenient place to get a winch would be Amazon because you will be able to sample all types of winches without having to visit different shops that only stock a particular brand. Amazon also gives you the opportunity to look at what other buyers think a particular winch that may be of interest to you. Buying winches from an online store give many shipping options that will fit within your budget.
Parts and Accessories
The primary item may be a winch, but you may also need to have other accessories that may prove to be important when using a winch. A pair of gloves may turn out to be handy especially when handling a steel cable. Owning a snatch box make using a winch quite easy as it helps you change the angle of pulling without worrying about the position of the winch. It is a vital accessory especially when you need two connection points.
Getting the best winch depends on what your personal needs are. If you look at our review, you will realize that different brands offer winches in almost every weight category. You need to fully understand your exact needs and probably consult your trusted mechanic who should help you get the best winch that is right for you. From this review, it is evident that the ZEON Platinum from WARN carries the day.
Read more Winch Reviews:
- SuperWinch Reviews
- Champion Winch Reviews
- Smittybilt Winch Reviews
- Mile Marker Winch Reviews
- Viper Winch Reviews
- Top 5 WARN Winches
- Best Winches