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Best Winch For Jeep Wranglers in 2020

Venture Into Off-Road Adventures With The Most Suitable Winch For Your Jeep

Winches have time and again proven they are the most cost-effective option of recovery and self-sufficiency in hauling tasks on your farm, in your garage or out in the wilderness. With plenty of branded and quality oriented winches saturating the winch market, it becomes equally uncertain which model to go for and the basis of choosing a winch becomes more brand oriented due to the plentiful online reviews.

However, through this winch review article, our aim is to aid you in finding the best winch for jeep, and understanding the essentials and prerequisites of buying a winch. Picking out the right winch that is compatible with your jeep is no small matter. Especially when you find yourself stuck in a pit you never meant to be in, relying on a winch that will not, in any way, help you out of the muck.

How to Select Correct Jeep Winch Size?

There are a number of factors that help determine the winch capacity you require, its features and compatibility with your jeep. Simply follow the guidelines given below to pick out the best winch for jeep that suits your specifications.

Winch Capacity

The winch weight or winch capacity is a measure of the maximum weight your winch is capable of handling. It is the most obvious factor to consider among many others.

All you have to do is calculate the general weight of your jeep and multiply it by 1.5, or x2 to be safe. This takes into account any excess weight like accessories and equipment in your jeep as well as the frictional forces experienced during the winching process.

Tensile Strength

This term refers to the breaking point or the highest possible degree that your winch line (cable or rope) can handle loads at before it snaps. A typical tensile value necessity is for the tensile strength to exceed the sum of forces that are exerted on it during the pull.

Generally, manufacturers ensure the ideal line is installed in the winch they supply. However, if you ever require a replacement for your worn down winch line, then certify its tensile strength first before purchase.

Winch Rope or Winch Cable?

The winch line comes in two different yet robust variants – the wire cable/metal cable and the synthetic rope/cable. While synthetic ropes are a less common choice, they have their own set of pros and cons similar to a metal cable.

Winch ropes weigh ridiculously less when compared to a winch cable. They are an ideal choice for recreational or moderately small vehicles like ATV’s since they require less power to be rescued. Winch cables are more durable and are made to handle heavy weights, but both the variants are, in the end, prone to damage.

Winch Power

Winches powered by an electric motor are the most commonly purchased winches, since they offer efficiency and convenience simultaneously coupled with power. These winches depend on a duty-cycle to keep them under check and furnish that immense power to keep the winching in progress. This causes a heat-strain on the winch which in turn drains the electrical system and raises temperatures to a dangerous degree.

Hydraulic winches are another option that operate indefinitely and near full power, but require a jeep powered by a hydraulic system.

Winch Motor

There are two types to choose from – Series wound and Permanent magnet.

The series wound motor is robust but mooches off of excess power in addition to being expensive. The permanent magnet motor is comparatively cheap but less durable and prone to malfunctions in freezing weather.

Winch Drivetrain

The drivetrain or the gearbox in a winch is what transfers power from the motor to the winch line. The three types of gears available are – Worm, Spur and Planetary gears.

Being the slowest of them all, worm gears are nevertheless reliable in the sense that they handle most of the load during the pulling and lowering of loads, thereby reducing the strain on the brakes. Spur gears are an older style but are fast in their winching. Planetary gears are the sum average of the two, but there is the unfortunate drawback of the hub-centered brake getting unbearably hot under difficult work conditions.

Electric Amperage

The amperage can be viewed as excess power or available power stored in your winch, which is determined by the charging system of the Jeep. This figure is provided in the specification of the winch.

While winching it is necessary to take into account all the power needed by any electrical system present in your jeep or if another vehicle is attached to your jeep. The value of your amperage will determine how much load you can afford to winch in general.

Best Winch For Your Jeep

After having gone through the considerations for a suitable winch, the next step is to actually browse through various winch models with your list of specifications. Try not to get ahead of yourself when you come across a feature loaded winch. Most times, you may not require said features depending on your work specs.

Here are a few brief features, pros and cons of selected winch models with a sizable range of winch capacities. While these may be helpful to give a clear idea of the winch and the features it furnishes, ensure to do your own research and check out multiple customer reviews before settling on a final decision of the ideal and best winch for jeep.

JEEP WINCH

Line Pull

Control

Rope

Brake

On Amazon

⭐ Warn 87800 M8000-S Electric Winch

8,000 lbs

Remote Switch with 12’ Lead

Synthetic Rope and Roller Fairlead

Automatic Direct Drive Cone

Warn 88980 Zeon 8 Electric Winch Wire
8,000 lbs
Remote Switch with 12’ Lead
Steel Cable and Roller Fairlead
Automatic Mechanical Cone

Superwinch 1585202 Gen II 8,500 Lb Winch

8,500 lbs

Handheld Remote with 15’ lead

Steel Cable

Automatic Load Holding

Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC 9,500 Pound Winch

9,500 lbs

Remote Switch with 12’ Lead

Steel Cable

Automatic In-Drum

Smittybilt X20 Comp 10,000 Lb Winch

10,000 lbs

Remote Switch with 12’ Lead

Synthetic Rope

Automatic Out-of-Drum

Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum 10,000 Lb Electric Winch

10,000 lbs

Advanced Wireless Remote

Synthetic Rope 

Automatic Out-of-Drum

Superwinch Tiger Shark 11,500 Lb Winch

11,500 lbs

Remote Switch with 12’ Lead

Synthetic Rope

Automatic Load Holding

Warn 88980 Zeon 8 Electric Winch Wire

Product Features:

  • Product Dimensions: 26.25 x 8.5 x 19.75 inches
  • Item Weight: 16 pounds
  • Rated Line Pull: 8,000 lbs
  • Mounting Bolt Pattern: 10” x 4.5”
  • Motor: Series wound with 12V DC
  • Gear train: Planetary gear system with gear ratio of 162:1
  • Control: Remote switch with 12’ lead
  • Drum Dimensions: 3.15”/9” (diameter/length)
  • Winch Line: Steel cable with dimensions of 5/16” x 100’ and Roller Fairlead
  • Brake: Automatic Mechanical Cone
  • Waterproof Rating: IP68

The Warn Zeon series of winches come with a unique and symmetrical exterior with a black powder-coated finish that prevents corrosion. The winch drum with its larger diameter and integrated rope anchor point allows for reduced rope wear and easy spooling.

The control pack can be variously mounted and the IP68 rating keeps the winch safe from the elements. The gear train enables faster speeds with quiet functioning, and the low amperage maximizes the efficiency of your line pulling power, thereby minimizing the general strain on your jeep charging system.

Pros:

  • The materials used for construction of the winch are top-notch with anti-corrosion coating and satin finishing.
  • The multi-mount feature of the control pack enables easier installation of the winch.
  • Performance and durability are coupled with power that let the winch operate at fast speeds and furnish efficient pulls.
  • The automatic braking offers an additional sense of security.
  • IP68 waterproofing warrants better use of the winch in tough conditions.

Cons:

  • The lack of a wireless remote control is a major letdown.
  • It is comparatively high on the price tag when compared to other branded winches in the same winch capacity.

Customer Verdict:

Warn Zeon 8 users have all appreciated the ease of use and installation of the winch. However, many have struggled in the initial few years of utilizing the winch, leading to its eventual breakdown. For those whom the winch has worked fine, other than the usual mechanical issues, the Warn winches have lived up to their name and features. Customer service did receive flak for a few repairs, but in most cases customers seemed satisfied with their purchase.

Superwinch 1585202 Gen II 8,500 Lb Winch

Product Features:

  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 6.3 x 8.58 inches
  • Item Weight: 72.8 pounds
  • Rated Line Pull: 8,500 lbs
  • Mounting Bolt Pattern: 10” x 4.5”
  • Motor: Series Wound with 12V DC, 4.5 HP
  • Gear Train: 3 Stage Planetary with gear ratio of 235:1
  • Control: Handheld remote with 15’ lead
  • Drum Dimensions: 2.5” x 8.8”
  • Winch Line: Steel wire rope with 94’ cable
  • Brake: Automatic load holding
  • Warranty: 2 years Manufacturer warranty and 1 year Electrical warranty

Ideal for medium-sized Jeeps, the Gen II Superwinch is primed for safety, simultaneously ensuring efficient winching experiences. The automatic load holding brakes, the weather-sealed solenoid box and a 15’ handheld remote allow safe operations even in rough conditions.

The lever controlled free-spooling feature enables quick rollout of the steel cable by disengaging the motor. The 4.5 HP motor enables powerful loading and rescue pulls for a winch in its class.

Pros:

  • The winch offers ease of use since it is compact and lightweight.
  • The 3 stage planetary gear system enables consistency in pulling heavy loads.
  • The sealed-motor feature protects the heart of the machine.
  • The free spooling clutch allows faster cable payout speeds.

Cons:

  • The general shelf-life of the machine is comparatively low.
  • The other components are prone to rusting.

Customer Verdict:

The Superwinch LP8,500 lbs Gen II winch is an averagely rated winch by its users. Many customers complained of basic wiring issues within the solenoid as well as the remote wiring giving way in muddy times. The length of the handheld remote has been an inconvenience to some, especially for truck operations.

For an entry level product, many other customers have found the winch to be a great help with daily lugging tasks and the winch pulls through even in demanding conditions. The winch operates well for the gear system and the motor it is equipped with.

Warn 87800 M8000-S Electric Winch

Product Features:

  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 18 x 8 inches
  • Item Weight: 65 pounds
  • Rated Line Pull: 8,000 lbs
  • Mounting Bolt Pattern: 10” x 4.5”
  • Motor: Series wound with 12V DC, 4.8 HP
  • Gear train: 3-Stage Planetary gear system with gear ratio of 216:1
  • Control: Remote switch with 12’ lead
  • Winch Line: Synthetic rope with dimensions of 5/16” x 100’ and Roller Fairlead
  • Brake: Automatic Direct Drive Cone
  • Warranty: Lifetime Mechanical Warranty and Limited Electrical Warranty

The easy to install Warn M8000-S Electric Winch utilizes a series wound motor with an efficient cooling system to aid longer load hours. The planetary gear system ensures the pulls are smooth even with heavy loads.

The Warn winch comes equipped with 100 feet of Spydura synthetic rope encased by a ballistic nylon sliding sleeve, that adds durability to operations with other safety features like the automatic brakes and a weather and mud resistant handheld remote control. The control box has multiple mounting options and the contractor is well protected in a weather resistant and durable housing.

Pros:

  • The lifetime mechanical warranty encourages purchase since the winch is backed effectively by the manufacturer.
  • The synthetic rope is a safe feature and durable to boost.
  • The powerful motor enables hassle-free and successful rescue operations.
  • The waterproof design helps extend the general shelf-life of the equipment.

Cons:

  • The operations may tend to go slowly.

Customer Verdict:

Warn M8000-S users have nothing but well wishes for the winch purchase. From operations to durability, ease of installation and use to everyday rescue operations, the Warn winch has stepped up to its reliability in mucky conditions. The winch is an affordable and productive option within its winch capacity class.

Any issues the customers have faced lies in the damage sustained during delivery. Most of the outer casing is reported as damaged frequently, but the winch still functions well after enduring the external damage.

Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC 9,500 Pound Winch

Product Features:

  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 9.4 x 22.3 inches
  • Item Weight: 78 pounds
  • Rated Line Pull: 9,500 lbs
  • Mounting Bolt Pattern: 10” x 4.5”
  • Motor: Series wound with 12V DC, 6.6 HP
  • Gear train: 3-Stage Planetary gear system with gear ratio of 161.28:1
  • Control: Remote switch with 12’ lead
  • Winch Line: Steel cable with dimensions of 5/16” x 94’
  • Brake: Automatic In-Drum
  • Drum Dimensions: 2.5” x 10”
  • Waterproof Rating: IP67
  • Warranty: Lifetime Mechanical and 3-years Electrical Warranty

The Smittybilt Gen 2 series of winches are upgraded versions built with updated features to enhance performance and durability. This recovery system with its 6.6 HP amphibious motor furnishes powerful pulls to bail any jeep stuck in a muddy rut, keeping the winch dry even in wet conditions.

Pros:

  • The lifetime and part-electrical warranties coupled with the affordable price are an attention grabber.
  • Ease of installation.
  • The sliding ring gear mounting clutch amps the safety by preventing the cable from snapping easily.
  • The reverse gear ratio allows fast and consistent pulling power for quick recovery.

Cons:

  • Though it is an affordable winch, it does not come with the battery or the mounting plate.
  • It does not include the wireless remote.

Customer Verdict: 

With the Smittybilt XRC, most of the issues are related to packaging failures, where most of the equipment arrives, cracked or missing. Mounting may require some effort and adjustment and wiring of many components fails within 2 or 3 uses.

But for those that the winch has worked, the users have found the winch to be sturdy. The only issues were with respect to heating within operational limits but otherwise customers termed their purchase worth the costs.

Smittybilt X20 Comp 10,000 Lb Winch

Product Features:

  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 24 x 11.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 99 lbs
  • Rated Line Pull: 10,000 lbs
  • Mounting Bolt Pattern: 10” x 4.5”
  • Motor: 6.6 HP Amphibious, Series wound motor with 12V DC
  • Gear train: 3-Stage Planetary gear system with gear ratio of 218:1
  • Control: Remote switch with 12’ lead
  • Winch Line: Synthetic rope with dimensions of 3/8” x 98.5’
  • Brake: Automatic Out-of-Drum
  • Drum Dimensions: 2.5” x 10”
  • Waterproof Rating: IP68
  • Warranty: Lifetime Mechanical and 5-years Electrical Warranty

The Smittybilt X20 COMP series comes upgraded with several features including, and not limited to, a 6.6 HP amphibious motor that ensures the winch remains dry in wet conditions; also  providing industry grade torque. The inductive braking system manages the heat production for lasting performance.

With multiple mounting options for the solenoid box, installation is made easier. The COMP series features Competition Aluminum Fairlead with 98.5’ of synthetic rope equipped with a rope sleeve to reduce chances of violent snapping of the rope, if such a situation occurs. There is the option of an integrated wireless remote control if you prefer controlling and overseeing your winching process from a distance.

Pros:

  • The winching process for heavy vehicles rolls off without any lags in the pulling capacity.
  • The wireless remote feature is a much appreciated asset.
  • The product is backed by lifetime mechanical warranty.
  • The braking system maintains the general temperature of the drum and motor to improve performance.
  • Waterproof rating of IP68 allows freedom of exploration in rough and wet conditions.

Cons:

  • The only issue lies in the operating range of the wireless remote.

Customer Verdict:

The availability of multiple and efficient features in the Smittybilt X20 COMP has found immense acceptance from customers. The affordable price is an additional incentive.

The only real issue lies in the wireless remote range. While changing the batteries in the remote sometimes does the trick, some users tweak the reach of the range using various creative means. 

The synthetic line, moderate and controllable speeds as well as the waterproof rating make it an undeniable best winch for jeep option within its class.

Warn Zeon 10-S Platinum 10,000 Lb Electric Winch

Product Features:

  • Product Dimensions: 26.13 x 8.25 x 20 inches
  • Item Weight: 75 lbs
  • Rated Line Pull: 10,000 lbs
  • Mounting Bolt Pattern: 10” x 4.5”
  • Motor: Series wound motor with 12V DC
  • Gear train: 3-Stage Planetary gear system with gear ratio of 162:1
  • Control: Advanced wireless remote
  • Winch Line: Spydura Synthetic rope with dimensions of 3/8” x 100’
  • Brake: Automatic Out-of-Drum
  • Drum Dimensions: 3.15” x 9”
  • Waterproof Rating: IP68
  • Warranty: Limited lifetime Mechanical warranty and 1 year Electrical warranty

The ZEON Platinum series of Warn winches have double the durability, faster line speeds and the IP68 waterproof rating in inclusion with key features like a remote controlled clutch and an advanced wireless remote control.

The remote with its ergonomic LCD screen gives feedback on the winch motor temperature and the battery strength as well as other related accessories. The remote itself is IP67 waterproof resistant, making the winch a top-tier competitor in its class.

Pros:

  • It is backed by a warranty.
  • The key features like advanced remote control and the remote clutch as well as the waterproofing make the winch irresistible.
  • The utilization of the synthetic rope is an added incentive for safety.

Cons:

  • Packed with features, the ZEON winch series are high on the price tag.

Customer Verdict:

Although the major concern was the price, having once purchased the ZEON winch, users are thrilled with the host of features and their convenience. The advanced features have left them with several memorable winching experiences.

The general build of the winch, robust design, ease of use as well as exhilarating versatility of the features themselves have the customers rooting for the product.

Superwinch Tiger Shark 11,500 Lb Winch

Product Features:

  • Product Dimensions: 20.83 x 6.3 x 9.23 inches
  • Item Weight: 63 lbs
  • Rated Line Pull: 11,500 lbs
  • Motor: 6 HP, Series wound motor with 12V DC
  • Gear train: 3-Stage Planetary gear system with gear ratio of 218:1
  • Control: Remote switch with 12’ lead
  • Winch Line: Synthetic rope with dimensions of 3/8” x 80’
  • Brake: Automatic Load Holding

The Superwinch TS 11,500 lb winch includes affordable and standard features like the synthetic line with an aluminum hawse fairlead, weather-sealed motor and solenoid, automatic load holding brake mechanism, the power packed gearbox and an ergonomic free-spooling lever.

Pros:

  • The automatic load holding brake is situated away from the drum center, thereby preventing transfer of heat to the synthetic rope making operations more productive.
  • The sealed contactor solenoid offers reliability and reduced damage from excess/harsh heat and rain.
  • The planetary gearbox handles all the mechanical strain efficiently and supplies torque on demand.
  • The ergonomically designed free-spooling lever prevents accidental activation of the winch during intense off-roading rescue operations.

Cons:

  • The high price tag is the only issue with the winch.

Customer Verdict:

In addition to furnishing durable and reliable features, the Tiger Shark winch also provides a complete kit of accessories and the essentials, making the users all giddy with their purchase. Customer service is not automated, meaning the staff is genuinely concerned for your troubles and are trying their best to give you a meaningful customer service experience.

The winch has held its own even after being used daily under strenuous conditions. The only issue arose with the rest cycle. But after a cooldown period it was as good as new. Customers have openly praised the winch for its efficient and productive performance, terming it worth every penny spent.

Common FAQs

If I run my winch over a pulley, can I use it to pull loads?

The maximum work angle of a winch when pulled over a pulley is 45°. Any more than that and the winch can break down completely. The brake system inside the winch is geared to work with loads at a maximum of that angle and any excess strain over the recommended angle pull will cause overheating and damage to the winch line as well as the winch.

So in short, do not use your winch pulls at an angle of more than 45°.

Does the waterproof rating really matter?

It does. And it differs from vehicle to vehicle and the weather and work conditions the winch is put through. Summers and Winters can be equally harsh on a winch. Whether they have to sit in the dank season or dry in the scorchy season, the waterproof rating is required to keep a winch in working condition even after months of unuse.

For off-roaders who tend to hike through muddy trails and water crossings 1 m deep, a winch of IP67 rating is a must. Although it is always wiser to invest in an IP67 or IP68 rated winch when seeking the best winch for jeep.

The cable never spools back on properly. Why is this happening?

There could be three possible reasons: You may not be applying the proper tension required to spool a cable back effectively.  Without the required tension, the wire will spool loosely and chances are when unspooling, the line will tangle up and damage the winch.

The other reason is debris in the wire when spooling. Ensure to clean the line after every winch session, especially after a muddy rescue. The third reason is there could be abrasive damage on your winch line that is causing the spooling process to go haywire. Check your cable for kinks or bends and have it replaced before there is excess damage to your spool drum and the winch.

When I try to winch a load, my car keeps sliding forward. How do I deal with this?

This issue is probably because your jeep is not grounded well enough and the frictional forces of the load are far greater than what friction is holding your car back. In such situations, try loading your jeep with more weight and chock the wheels with solid blocks to avoid its movement. If this does not work, try tethering your jeep from the back to a tree or any stationary structure.

Conclusion

You are not going to feel satisfied by simply purchasing the best winch for jeep. This contentment can only be felt after you have made comprehensive considerations and checks to determine, in all eagerness, which winch is ideally the most suitable for your jeep.

Consider all the working conditions you are going to put your winch through and then decide on the optimal capacity required. The brief guidelines given above can be helpful when you are ticking points of your checklist, so make an informed decision. It can be tempting to fall prey to the branded products, so ensure you have a grasp of all specifications you require before checking out the brands the winches belong to. Happy trails!

[Total: 3   Average: 5/5]
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