Best 4×4 Winch For The Money In 2019

Best jeep winch 2019Winches have always had a prominent role in how Jeeps function and are used around the world. A lot of tricky terrains have been mastered because of this ‘safety net’. Winches are a great safety tool to have in hand for any 4×4, Jeep, truck or SUV.

There are countless reasons to take your time when completing research to find quality electric winch reviews. If you go out of your way to do more research on the topic, it will soon become clear to you that there are numerous options available. As such, if you want to make sure that you end up with a high quality electric winch for your vehicle, make sure you complete your homework.

Generally, when looking to go out on a trip, many 4×4 owners will be a little “adventurous”. This can be tough when the 4×4 is not equipped with the right equipment. The electric winch is an essential tool to ensure that drivers can take risks and not get hurt or stuck in a tough position or a mud hole!

To help you, we have reviewed a bunch of them, looked at their features vs price and rated them, so you can find the perfect option for your vehicle.  The Smittybilt 97495 came top of all of our tests and is our recommended 4×4 winch for the money, however, there are some excellent choices and you would not go wrong with any of the below winches.

Best Off Road Winch Quick Reference Table

1. Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch review

The Smittybilt 97495 XRC

The Smittybilt company was created by Basil Smith in 1956. It started as a small machine shop in his garage that specialized in four-wheel drive equipment for SUV’s, ATV’s, Jeeps, and trucks. The company continued to refine and improve it’s offerings over the years eventually expanding to over 2,000 different products. Despite this growth the company has never lost is focus on the off-road aftermarket industry. One of it’s prominent products is the high quality Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch.

Product Features

  • Winch motor is 6.6 horsepower series wound motor
  • 3-stage planetary gear reduction ratio is 161.28:1
  • Completely waterproof
  • 93.5 feet 5/16 inch diameter, length: 10.0 inch (254mm)
  • It has 5/16 inches x 93.5 feet (63.5mm x 28.5 meter) long galvanized cable
  • It includes 12 feet remote control
  • It includes 4 way steel roller fairlead

This 9500 pound winch is very simple to use. It has plenty of power with its little 6.6hp motor which is more than most other winches I have seen. I have used this winch twice to pull my Jeep Cherokee with an 8″ lift and 35″s up steep hills. The winch did not struggle at all.

Stuck in the mud?  Not a problem for this winch!

The only complaint I have about the winch is the steel wire which kinked on my first use of it. It was operator error that caused the winch to kink as I let the wire come a little loose on the drum. I will be replacing the cable with a synthetic winch rope of 10,000 pound capacity. I would recommend buying the winch with synthetic rope to begin with.

How easy is it to replace steel cable with synthetic rope?  Take a look at this video and find out how easy it is.

2. Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 Winch Gen II

Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 Winch Gen II

The Superwinch LP8500 Gen II

Superwinch, LLC is a company that provides a variety of winches all over the planet. You can choose from a great selection of electric or hydraulic winches. These range from machines with a capacity of 1,000 pounds to 50,000 pounds for a variety of personal, commercial, public, and industrial needs. If you are in the market for any type of winch, you might want to view the selection provided by Superwinch!

I don’t think your off road vehicle will know the difference between a $600 winch or a $385 winch on its bumper as long as it’s able to pull you out of the ditch when you need it to. And I don’t think the winch will know if you are an experienced winch buyer (whatever that means!) or not. But what some people say is the Superwinch 8500 is technically considered an entry level winch for first time buyers.

I guess that’s a matter of opinion. You can spend a lot more money on an 8000 lb. winch that won’t be able to pull you out of a jam any better than this one. The only difference is one costs $385 and the other costs over $600. Doesn’t make sense to me.

Want to see it in action?  Can it do the job?

So save your money you were going to spend on that over-built, fancy winch and spend it on gas instead. You’ll have a lot more fun and you’ll still be secure knowing you can get un-stuck when you need to.

3. WARN 86245 VR8000 8,000 lb Winch

WARN 86245 VR8000 8,000 lb Winch Review

The WARN VR8000

This is a very strong , reliable and no hassle winch. The WARN 86245 VR8000 winch is one of the first of the new WARN vehicle recovery winches in its niche. If you are someone who has never bought a winch or doesn’t own a winch, then this WARN 86245 VR8000 winch is the right winch for you.

  • Basic in its philosophy but it also comes packed with super state of the art features.
  • Very easy to use as well , thereby making it a fan favorite among the first timers in the hardware industry.

The WARN 86245 VR8000 winch can pull upto 8000lbs of capacity, with a remote control , how cool is that?

This winch is made to easily pull and tow trucks, trailers and SUVs. The WARN 86245 VR8000 winch is also compatible with all of its other sister Warn products and thus avoids any hassles of compatibility as all Warn products go along with all of their accessories.

Warranty

The folks at Warn are absolutely amazing , they are very confident in their products and therefore they are offering a lifetime warranty on WARN 86245 VR8000 winch and all of its services.

Discount

The discount on the WARN 86245 VR8000 winch is a massive 30% , which saves you about $209 , this all courtesy of our folks at Amazon. If you would like to avail of this discount then do visit here.

Verdict

The WARN 86245 VR8000 winch is ideal for first timers and people who just want a basic winch which is powerful , reliable and effective. This winch also comes with a remote control which makes things super easy on us. Combined with the massive discount and the vast number of facilities offered by this Warn product , there is no reason why you shouldn’t dive in for this WARN 86245 VR8000 winch.

A great feature of this Warn winch, is that it allows you to place the remote control elsewhere in the vehicle, so you can control the winch from outside or inside the cab.

Truck & Jeep Winch Buying Guide

With so many options and winches to consider, it might be helpful to ask yourself a few questions before you go ahead and buy a winch for your Truck or Jeep.

Do You Need a Winch?

So why would you add a winch to your vehicle? If you’re serious about off-road adventuring then the answer is probably “yes”.

When the mud proves too deep, the trail too steep, or the path blocked with a down tree a good winch can save you hours of back breaking labor. It’s also great for helping out folks who get suck on normal roads (off in a ditch for example), moving down trees limbs, and it just plain looks great on the front of your vehicle. Nothing says you’re ready for anything like arriving with a winch bolted to the front of your 4X4. 🙂 From hauling your vehicle out of a crevasse in the jungle to helping a neighbor who didn’t think they needed snow tires it’s an all-around useful tool.

How to Choose a Winch

Smittybilt makes a wide variety of reasonably prices, high quality winches for different needs. When considering purchasing one here are a few things to think about:

How Much Does It Need to Pull?

The amount of weight a winch can pull is called “line pull” and it’s important to get enough to cover your needs. The general rule of thumb is to buy a winch that can pull one and a half times your vehicles total weight. So if your 4X4 or Jeep weighs 3000 lbs. then you’d want a winch with a line pull of at least 4500 lbs.

How Fast Does It Need to Pull?

Auto winches come with one of two types of gear trains: planetary gear train or worm gear train. Planetary are generally faster but generate more heat. Worm is slower and generates less heat. This being said, there are notable difference in winch speed among models and manufacturers. The best bet is to shop around and read the specs on a bunch of winches you’re considering and get an idea of what’s available.

Which Type of Cable Do You Need?

Cables also come in two choices: steel or synthetic. Steel cables are generally more durable but they’re heavier and can be real trouble when they snap under load. Synthetic cables are much lighter and not nearly as dangerous when they break but they’re not as tough and long-lasting as steel.

How Long of a Cable Do You Need?

For most uses the standard length of cable that comes with your winch will be plenty. If you’re going to be in a terrain where anchor points are far and few between (like a desert for example), then you might want to investigate getting a longer cable just to be safe.

Choose the right winch and you’ll be prepared for a surprising number of situation. It’s one of those devices you probably won’t need often but when you do, it can be a life saver.

Winching Tips for Off-Roading

So, you want to go off-roading with your 4×4 pickup truck or Jeep, or you already do a bit now but want to do more.  Below you will find a few tips to make your experience better now and in the future.

The winch: what it is and why you should know

On a very basic level, a winch is a piece of equipment that spools in or unwinds a cable that’s wrapped around a drum. A simple winch might be manually operated with a crank, but winches designed for off-road use are usually powered by electricity or hydraulics. An electric winch, the more common type, attaches to your vehicle’s battery for power.

When your vehicle loses traction, it’s not going to move on its own. This is when a winch, mounted to your truck or Jeep, comes in handy. You can un-spool the cable, attach it to an immovable anchor point, such as a tree, and then turn on the winch. The winch reels in the cable, slowly moving your vehicle as it works.

You can also use your winch to move someone else’s vehicle. In this scenario, your vehicle is used as the anchor point.

Top winching tips

A winch can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Please note that these tips are not intended to be a training course in winch operation. They are intended only to remind you of basic techniques and safety precautions.

  • Select your winch carefully. Make sure the winch is strong enough to pull your vehicle. Experts recommend you load your off-road equipment onto the vehicle and take it to the truck scales to weigh it. Multiply this total weight by 1.5. The resulting number should be the minimum rated line pull of your winch.
  • Choose your anchor point carefully. The anchor point must be nearly immovable. If your vehicle is the anchor point, set the brake and secure the car carefully. Also, the winch has more power when the anchor point is further away. You should, however, keep the cable wrapped around the winch drum several times. If you start winching with the cable completely extended, it could tear away from the drum.
  • Use a snatch block to increase pulling capacity. The snatch block attaches to the anchor point, and the winch cable is run through the snatch block and back to your vehicle. Clip the winch cable to a tow hook on your vehicle.
  • Check your winch cable before every use. Never use a frayed or damaged cable. Even if your cable is in great shape, keep everyone at a distance while the winch is operating. Stand too close and you could get hit with a cable that snaps.
  • Use a nylon sling and shackle. Do not wrap your winch cable around the anchor point and then attach it to itself. This will damage your cable and the anchor point. Instead, wrap a nylon sling around the anchor point and attach your cable to it using a shackle.
  • Wear gloves. Always wear gloves when winching. Without them, the winch cable can tear up your hands.
  • Let your winch motor cool off. You may need to stop the winch at times and let the motor cool down.

Many off-roaders would agree that a winch is the most important piece of equipment you can have while you’re out on the trail. If you don’t end up using it to get your own vehicle out, you’ll probably use your winch to help out someone else.

Winch FAQ’s

What is the best way to anchor while using the winch?

Dead man spare

You can anchor using the spare tire of your Jeep or 4×4 if you are in a pinch!

You should anchor your vehicle to another vehicle or some type of fixed object such as a tree by using your tow strap, tree saver or choke chain. You should attach the anchor strap to your vehicle at the same end as your winch to avoid damaging your vehicle’s frame.

What is the best way to maintain my winch?

Regular maintenance on your winch is necessary to keep it working property. You should keep the winch points lubricated and inspect the mounts, pulleys, straps and clevis pins regularly for any signs of damage, fatigue or rust. Be sure to include an inspection of the remote control lead and electrical system looking for damage and chaffed insulation. Be sure terminals are free of corrosion and fitting tightly. A good idea is to unspool the cable after each outing looking for kinks, frays or any damage. Always lubricate the cable and chain before storing away until the next use.

Receiver mounted winches

While receiver mounted winches can be very useful, the static pull load will be limited by the receiver they fit in. If you are using a class III hitch that would make the load 5,000 pounds. This type of winch is really only good for downsize trucks and jeeps.

Electrical systems and electrical winches

Operating a winch is similar to trying to move a truck with a starter motor. You will need to power up the electrical system in order to install a winch. A heavy duty alternator that is capable fo producing a minimum of 100 amps of power will be required as well as a high capacity battery. You may even want to consider a dual battery system if you are running a lot of high power accessories but be sure to include a separate high power wiring loom if this is the case. You should also consider installing an accessible emergency power cut off switch and re-settable circuit breakers in case of emergency.

Always remember that your winch will draw far more current than your vehicle’s other electrical parts and can drain or overload your alternator in minutes.

What is the best way to maintain my winch?

Regular maintenance on your winch is necessary to keep it working property. You should keep the winch points lubricated and inspect the mounts, pulleys, straps and clevis pins regularly for any signs of damage, fatigue or rust. Be sure to include an inspection of the remote control lead and electrical system looking for damage and chaffed insulation. Be sure terminals are free of corrosion and fitting tightly. A good idea is to unspool the cable after each outing looking for kinks, frays or any damage. Always lubricate the cable and chain before storing away until the next use.

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