A winch is primarily a synthetic rope or cable and a motor mounted on the front bumper of your Jeep. It’s used to pull your Jeep out when stuck, to rescue a friend, or to remove huge obstacles from the road among other uses.
They are quite useful when it comes to exploring off-road terrains as you’re bound to get stuck while trying to blaze your way through sandy or muddy places.
A winch can be either hydraulic or electric. The Jeep’s steering pump powers a hydraulic winch while the electrical system powers the electrical winch.
There are several factors to consider when deciding which winch is best suited for your Jeep. These factors include Load capacity, synthetic rope or cable type, winch drivetrains, motor horsepower, gear ratio, and line speed.
In this article, we have compiled a list of the best winch for Jeep based on the above factors and many others that we are going to tackle in this article. Keep reading to know which winch best suits your Jeep.
10 Best Winch for Jeep Reviews
#1. Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV and Utility Winch
Superwinch 1145220 has a load capacity of 4500lbs (2,046Kgs). This load capacity is powered by a 1.6 hp permanent magnet low-amp motor. This electric motor is specially designed for long-term operations under severe conditions.
The low amp motor incorporates a 3-stage planetary gear system which is made of pure steel and has a gear ratio of 191:1. The gear has bronze-based bearings which are super durable.
Apart from that, it has a dynamic brake system with mechanical load holding capabilities. The winch is weather-sealed, and a circuit breaker protects it. This means that you don’t have to worry about your winch getting damaged by water.
The motor powers a 55 foot by ¼” strong steel wire. This steel wire rope is ergonomic with a free spooling clutch. Attached to the cable is a heavy duty latch hook which will not let you down when getting your Jeep out of the mud or moving huge obstacles.
A heavy duty coded remote is used to control the winch. It’s long, allowing you to winch safely.
- Low currency consumption
- High power output
- Compatible with all Jeep models
- Has a free-spool clutch
- Circuit breaker protection
- Permanent magnet motors tend to overheat.
- The wire rope is quite heavy.
- Wire ropes are prone to rust.
#2. Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch
Smittybilt 97495 is an XRC series winch equipped with great features to serve the off-road terrain enthusiasts specifically. It’s powered by a 6.6hP series wound motor which has a 3 stage planetary gear train with a small gear ratio of 161.28:1. The low gear ratio allows the motor to have a fast winding speed.
The winch comes with a 94’ and 5/16” steel wire rope which together with the amphibious motor, enables Smittybilt 97495 to have a load capacity of up to 9,500lbs (4,309kgs).
Another fantastic feature is that it’s waterproof with an IP67 rating and has a UV resistant coating on the top case. This makes it an all-weather winch ensuring that your Jeep always comes out of tight spots.
The winch has an automatic in-drum braking system which enables it to hold the load capacity without drifting.
The Smittybilt is controlled using a coded remote.
- Heavy-duty materials enhance its durability
- Easy to maintain
- It’s weatherproof
- The series wound motors draw a lot of current from your electrical system.
- Wire rope makes it heavy.
#3. Superwinch 1130220 LT3000 ATV
Superwinch 1130220 features a 1.2hp permanent magnet motor with a load capacity of 3000lbs (1,360kgs). The motor is weather sealed which enable usage even when you’re stuck in water. A circuit breaker also protects it just like its counterpart Terra 45.
This winch has a dynamic brake system with an automatic load hold capability. It also features a free spooling clutch which makes it easy to unwind.
The winch has a steel wire rope of 3/16″ in diameter and 50′ in length. The cable has with a heavy-duty latched hook with rope thimble.
The winch is safely and efficiently controlled using a handheld remote and the handlebar.
- Easy to mount on your jeep
- All weather winch
- Has a circuit breaker
- Easy to maintain
- Permanent magnet motors tend to overheat
- The steel wire is prone to rust
#4. Bravex Electric 12V
The Bravex electric single line winch features a 1.5hp permanent magnet motor made for loads of up to 3500lbs (1591kgs). It uses a 3-stage planetary geartrain made of full metal for smooth operations. The motor is waterproof and anti-sediment which makes it perfect for any terrain.
Its wire rope is 5.3mm wide and 40’ long with ergonomic free spool controls.
The winch features both a wireless handheld remote and a corded rocker switch control. The wire is attached to an alloy steel hook with a superior roller fairlead.
- Easy to install on Jeep
- Has a low load capacity
- Not fully waterproof
#5. Smittybilt 97510 x 20 Winch
The Smittybilt 97510 has a powerful 6.6hp amphibious motor with a loading capacity of 10,000lbs (4,535kgs). The winch features a full metal 3-stage planetary geartrain for smooth, quiet operations with a gear ratio of 218:1.
The winch has an IP68 waterproof rating which makes it a great winch to use in any condition and terrain.
Its steel wire rope is 98.5′ long and 3/8″ thick with a heavy-duty forged hook attached to it. It has 4-way roller fairlead which ensures that the steel rope rolls back well on the drum. The winch is controlled via a wireless remote control and has automatic out-of-drum brakes.
- It’s fully waterproof
- Easy to operate and maintain
- High performance
- Has a large loading capacity
- Hefty- 45kg
#6. Arksen 12v Electric Winch
The Arksen 12v winch is perfect for your Jeep as it features a 1.8hp motor which gives it a massive 12,000lbs (5443kgs) load capacity. The 3-stage planetary gear system is responsible for the great horsepower produced by the winch. The gear is made up of durable metal which ensures a long-term service. It has a gear ratio of 235:1.
The winch is sealed up using custom gasket giving it water and dust proof properties which make it an all-weather winch for your Jeep.
The rope is made up of steel which makes it strong and durable. The wire rope is 85’ long and 0.32” thick. The cable is guided by a 4-way roller fairlead which ensures even rolling on the drum. It’s fitted with an automatic braking system which kicks in when you release the control’s in or out button.
It comes with a wireless remote control with an in and out switch offering you reliable winch control.
- High loading capacity
- High performance
- Compact design
- The Arksen 12v electric winch is quite heavy.
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#7. WARN 26502 M8000 winch
The warn M8000 winch is powered by a 12V 4.8hp series wound motor which enables it to have a load capacity of 8,000lbs (3630kgs). Its 3-stage planetary gear train ensures that it does the job fast and quietly. The gear is made of pure metal which makes it durable. It has a gear ratio of 216:1.
It’s fitted with 100′ long and 5/16″ wire rope which rolls through a 4-way fairlead. It has an automatic braking system and a handheld controller equipped with 12′ of cord for safe operations.
It has a free spooling clutch made of high-grade stainless steel which makes it rust proof and highly durable.
The 26502 M8000 is made to be sturdy, durable and to perform as required in any terrain ensuring that it gets your Jeep out of any situation.
- High load capacity
- High performance
- It’s compact
- Its wire is hard to spool
- It’s heavy due to the long steel wire and the steel components (34kgs / 74lbs)
- The cable is vulnerable to crush
#8. Offroad Boar Synthetic Rope Winch
This winch is powered by a powerful series wound motor producing 4.6KW of power. This power can handle a load capacity of up to 13,000lbs (5897kgs). A 3-stage planetary gear train ensures that the winch performs at its best. The motor has power in and power out features to allow for positive load control.
It has an IP67 grade water and sediment proof sealing which makes it an all-weather winch for your Jeep. It can be used even when submerged in 1M deep water.
It’s fitted with a high tensile synthetic rope measuring 86′ long and 3/8″ thick and a free spooling clutch which ensures a fast payout of the synthetic line. The brakes are mechanical with automatic load-holding properties for maximum safety.
The winch can be controlled by a wireless or a wired remote controller which ensure smooth and safe operations.
- It’s light because of the synthetic rope
- High performance
- The synthetic lines are smooth to spool
- The synthetic rope is easy to repair
- Synthetic rope is prone to damage by the UV light, heat and chemicals
- The cable can fray from heavy use
#9. Rugcel LT3500 ATV Winch
This winch has a load capacity of 3,500lbs, and it’s powered by a 1.2hp low amp permanent magnet motor. It has a 3-stage planetary gear system which is made of steel to ensure smooth operations and durability.
The motor is IP68 standard waterproof and it’s protected by a circuit breaker ensuring that the winch works even in the worst terrains.
It has a 50’ long by 4/25” thick synthetic rope. The gear system has an ergonomic, free spooling clutch for an easy payout of the synthetic rope. The brakes are dynamic with an automatic load-holding feature.
It’s easily controlled by either a wireless/ wired handheld remote control for a relaxed process.
- It’s light
- Draws less current
- High performance
- Easy to operate
- The rope is susceptible to damage
#10. X-Bull ATV 12000lb Winch
This X-Bull ATV winch is powered by a 4.5KW series wound motor with a capacity load of to 12,000lbs (5443 kgs). This is a lot of power suitable for heavy Jeep models. It has a three-stage planetary gear system made of heavy duty steel for smooth performance. The motor features a load in and out capability for easy load control. It has a gear ratio of 265:1.
The motor is protected through heavy duty sealing to ensure that it’s waterproof and dustproof. This makes it an all-weather winch for your Jeep.
It has a highly flexible steel cable measuring 85’ long by 0.37” thick. A 4-way roller fairlead ensures that the steel rope rolls back on the drum evenly. The clutch is free spooling for a faster rope rollout.
The braking system has automatic load-hold brakes to ensure safety when using the winch.
- High performance
- Quiet and efficient
- Large load capacity
- It’s pretty heavy (88lbs)
What to Look for When Choosing a Winch
A) Winch Load Capacity
When choosing a winch for your Jeep, the winch capacity is the first thing to put into consideration. The right winch for you to pick should have a load capacity of at least 1.5times the gross weight of your Jeep.
B) Winch drivetrains
There are three types of drivetrains, i.e., spur, worm, and planetary gear. The planetary gear train is common in the market because of its compact size, low weight, and average cost. The only winch currently using a spur gear is the Warn 8274-50. Winch companies avoid spur gears because they are big and expensive. The worm gear train is much slower than either planetary or spur gear; hence their use is limited.
C) Winch Rope
There are two types, i.e., wire rope and synthetic rope. Each of the two has its pros and cons, but they both do the job. Wire ropes are more resistant to heat, UV, and chemicals and are less expensive compared to synthetic lines. Synthetic ropes are light, easy to repair, crush resilient and robust than wire ropes.
D) Electric vs. Hydraulic Winch
An electric winch is powered by the Jeep’s electrical system while the Jeep’s steering pump powers a hydraulic winch. An electric winch produces more energy and can run for about five more minutes when the battery is dead. A hydraulic system runs on as long as the car’s engine is on. Electric Jeep winches are many in the market because they are easy to install and maintain. Hydraulic winches are more preferred for heavy-duty commercial use since they can run for long.
E) Winch motor
There are two types of electric winch motors, i.e., the permanent magnet motors and series wound motors. Permanent magnet motors have a lower current draw, are cheaper, more likely to overheat and lose power in the cold. The series wound motors are expensive, more powerful, have a higher current draw and are more reliable.
F) Rope length
Rope or line length for most winches range between 20′ and 100′. Off-road Jeep drivers often prefer medium or small sized lines of about 50′. This is because long lines are costly and can get jammed easily. They carry extra line just in case they need to extend the small cable on the winch.
Winching Techniques- Beginners to Advanced
Make sure you have all the gear you need. Extension strap, winch blankets, gloves, tree strap, bow shackle, snatch block and radio for communication.
When picking a tree to rig, don’t pick a dead tree. Always take a healthy tree.
After rigging, place a winch blanket on the rope. It holds it down if it snaps.
When doing a double winch pull, use a winch block. Double winch pull is usually necessary when you are stuck, or your winch is not strong enough.
Always stay out of the danger zone when you start winching.
If you don’t have winch blankets, use clothes, towels or your winch recovery kit bag.
Don’t step over the ropes when winching. Anything can go wrong.
If you want to conserve your battery, you can winch for 30 seconds, with 30 seconds intervals.
Have codes for communications, for example, “winch, and winch stop.” You can use simple hand signals if you don’t have access to radios.
Always hook up near the base of the tree -unless your cable is touching the ground.
It’s your responsibility to get the people recording the recovery process or just walking around, out of the danger zone.
Wash your winch after each use to remove mud and other dirt.
If your winch was submerged in water when winching, run it for 10 minutes in and 10 minutes out. It helps to get rid of any water.
Build a winch isolation switch.
Always clean your winch controller box after winching out of wet places to prevent rusting and other damage.
Keep your winch controller inside your vehicle.
Always have your winch ready if you’re going off road.
Only one person should coordinate a recovery to avoid confusion.
Differences Between Synthetic Rope and Steel Cable Winches
I. Synthetic ropes are lighter compared to steel cables
II. Synthetic lines are stronger compared to steel cables of the same length and thickness.
III. Steel cables are inexpensive to produce compared to synthetic ropes.
IV. Steel cables are more resistant to heat, UV light, and chemical damage.
V. Steel cables store a lot of kinetic energy which can cause injuries if it snaps. Synthetic ropes have low kinetic energy.
VI. Synthetic ropes are more comfortable to repair even in the field.
VII. Synthetic cables are crush resistant while steel cables are vulnerable to crush.
VIII. Synthetic cables are easy to spool.
IX. Steel cables are prone to rust.
X. Maintenance of synthetic cables is much easier than steel cables.
Winching Safety Tips
Keep away from the location or the vehicle you’re winching or use a snatch block.
Always place something substantial like a winch blanket on your cable. This holds it down in case it breaks.
Put your Jeep hoot up. It helps stops the rope if it snaps. If you don’t, it may break through the windshield and hurt you.
When operating your winch, always have a way to communicate with your partner who is observing from outside the Jeep.
Wear proper gloves when operating as the cable fray and can cause injuries.
When putting the cable back to the drum, go hand over hand. Don’t allow the cable to slide through your glove as it can pull you into the winch causing severe damage.
Which is the best winch for my Jeep?
The best winch for your Jeep should have a minimum load capacity 1.5times the gross weight of your Jeep. The winch also needs to be compatible with your Jeeps bumper for easier installation.
What is the use of a winch?
A winch is used to pull your Jeep out when it gets stuck in mud or sand. It’s also used to remove huge obstacles and create a route for your Jeep.
Does a winch have to be installed by a pro?
Some winches have to be installed by a pro because they have a complicated installation process. Although you can personally mount some winches, it’s always good to allow a profession to do it to ensure correct installation and to avoid damage to your Jeep.
Which is better, Electric or hydraulic?
Both electric and hydraulic winches carry out operations well. However, electric winches are preferred by many off road drivers as they are easy to maintain and repair. Electrical winches are made explicitly for SUV’s, and therefore they’re better suited for your Jeep.
As seen in this post, an off road jeep should always have a winch. This is because, no matter how good off road driver you are, you get stuck in the worst possible places and the only way out is your winch. They’re your Jeep’s best mate when they get stuck. Always follow safety measures when winching to avoid possible injuries.
Always consider the factors mentioned above when choosing the best winch for your jeep to avoid being stuck with a winch that can’t handle your load capacity. The winches discussed above are the best for your Jeep, and you should always buy the one that’s best suited for its use.