Winches are a vital part of any truck owner's arsenal that frequently goes off-roading. That being said, winches are also great to have for many other things as well such as pulling out stubborn tree stumps, loading your ATV or UTV onto a trailer, or getting your truck out of a ditch if you get stuck.
Due to the fact that the winch you choose can often times save your life, it's very important that it's top quality. Think about what you’ll be using your new winch for. Will you be crawling on rocks in a forest somewhere? Take a look at our best winch list. Maybe you’ll just be using your winch to help load your jet ski onto a trailer to take to the lake every other weekend. Check out our best budget winch list. No matter what you need a winch for, one of our lists will have you covered.
Best Winch Overall:
If you're someone looking to get into off-roading - or already have some experience with the activity - a winch is an invaluable tool to have. A winch increases the off road capabilities of your vehicle tremendously by getting you out of spots you might get be stuck in as well as reaching normally inaccessible locations.
Each best overall winch included on this list has a line pull rating of at least 8000 pounds, ensuring they can be used with most vehicles. These winches also have a roller fairlead, the mechanism guiding the direction of the line; I actually prefer roller fairleads because they perform better than Hawse fairleads which work via a sort of sliding action. Each winch on this list also features a three-stage planetary gear system for smoother, reliable operation and finally they also come with a handheld remote for operation to ensure user safety.
The Warn ZEON 12 Platinum is the best winch available because it has a 12,000-pound line pull capacity. In addition to being corrosion-resistant and waterproof, it also comes with a wireless remote and a lifetime warranty. Read Full Review
The LP10000-10,000 lbs/12V by Superwinch comes with a weather-sealed motor to help combat rust and corrosion. It also comes with a thick rope for added strength and safety. Read Full Review
The Mile Marker HI9000 Hydraulic Winch, 9000 Pounds is on this list because it’s waterproof and corrosion resistant. It also comes with 100 feet of strong, durable aircraft cable. Read Full Review
The 264100BFW 17,500LB BRUTE FORCE Series Winch by Recon is definitely one of the best winches I’ve ever come across. It has a very high single line pull rating, a fast line speed and an excellent lifetime warranty. Read Full Review
Best Budget Winch:
So you just bought an all terrain vehicle and you want something to help get out of binds if you ever get stuck. Or, how about you just bought a trailer and you want something which will allow you to haul your UTV or boat onto it easily. Perhaps you have a stubborn tree stump in your yard that needs to come out. Well, what do you reach for? The best item to use, hands down, would be a winch. What kind of winch to select is a different story.
With such a large variety of different winches on the market, probably the best criteria to consider when looking to purchase a winch is your budget but what if you don't have a lot of money? The best winches that mount to the front of your truck can cost upwards of $1,000.
Lucky for you, if the type of task you want to buy a winch for is similar to what I mentioned above, you don't need an expensive, heavy-duty truck winch. A more budget-minded starter winch will serve your needs just fine. Each of the best budget winches on this list have a single line pull rating of at least 1500 pounds to give you a decent amount of strength for pulling items. These winches are also electric making them perfectly suited for light duty pulling. Plus, they all come protected by a manufacturer’s warranty in case anything goes wrong.
The Smittybilt XRC 4.0 Winch is the best winch on this list because of its overall light unit weight at only 17 pounds. It also features a 3-stage planetary gear system as well as a four way roller fairlead. Read Full Review
The WARN 1700 DC Light-Duty Trailer and Utility Winch is a great winch and definitely worth consideration because it comes from a reputable brand name, it has a tie down rod and a quick feet per minute speed. Read Full Review
The Master Lock 2953AT 12-Volt DC Portable Winch makes this list because of its range of pulling capabilities. It comes with both a remote and a hand crank, as well as featuring an auto shutoff feature in the event of an overload. Read Full Review
The Superwinch LT2000 - 2,000 lbs/12V winch is worth a buy because it’s very light at only 17 pounds. It’s also circuit breaker protected and comes with a one year warranty. Read Full Review