Best Jeep Winch Reviews — JK, Wrangler, Unlimited and TJ

All Jeep owners will tell you that you cannot get the full usage from your Jeep unless you have a winch. A Jeep is designed to be taken to places that other vehicles normally cannot travel. The winch for the Jeep simply helps the vehicle go a little farther, and play a little harder. What happened when your jeep get stuck?

Nooo Man! it's not that easy!

You are needing a Jeep winch! When trying to discern the best Jeep winch to buy you must consider how the winch will be used, the amount of weight you will need to pull or move, and which extra features will benefit you.

The following winches are all perfect for use on a Jeep.

Smittybilt 9500 lb 97495 XRC GEN2 Winch-9500 Pound Load Capacity

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This is a workhorse of a winch. It has a 9500 load capacity and an amphibious motor. The entire winch has an IP67 waterproof rating. It has a corded remote so you can stand further away from any possible dangers while you are using the device. The cord is a full 12’ in length.

This car trailer winch has a 500 Amp solenoid that is not only water proof, it is also a state of the art design that will give you more performance and less trouble. The 6.6 horse power motor will insure that you have the muscle to move what you need to move.

Full video review here:

When you buy the winch all of the wiring that you will need during the installation is provided. The manufacture recommends that you have at least a 650 cc battery to power the winch.

It is designed with a three stage planetary gear and a gear ratio of 161.28.1. It has a sliding ring gear clutch and an automatic in the drum braking system.

This is a durable apparatus that has a black finish that is visually appealing. You will love the abilities to go farther, and move more obstacles using this powerful device.

Smittybilt (98510) X2O Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity

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This SmittyBilt winch has a wireless remote so you can stand farther away from where the work is taking place. The remote control allows you to stay safer and still do the same lifting, hauling, and pulling. The lead to the remote is 12’ in length.

This winch is not only waterproof, it has an amphibious motor. Go ahead and play in the mud, because the water is not going to slow this winch down, or do any damage to your motor. Perfect for your ATV or UTV Vehicle as well.

Watch the full video review: 

You are likely thinking that the motor might be waterproof but the solenoid needs to be protected. The winch design includes a 500 AMO solenoid that is 100% waterproof.

The strength of a winch can be increased or decreased by the strength of the line that is used on the winch. This winch makes use of the powerful synthetic rope that is lighter than chain or cable, and less likely to fray, corrode, or be affected by weather.

The gear ratio is 218:1 and the gear train is a three stage planetary design.

It has a 6.6 horse power motor that is capable of moving as much as 10,000 pounds. 

Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S Winch with Synthetic Rope - 10000 lb. Capacity

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This winch can handle as much as 10,000 pounds. It comes with a pre-installed synthetic rope as well as a roller fairlead.

Your mounting options for this appliance are greatly improved by the convertible control pack. This control pack can be directly attached to the winch or it can be remotely mounted.

The fasteners and clutch of the winch are made out of black powder coated stainless steel. The stainless steel insures no oxidization or weathering on these critical components.

Video Review here:

The winch drum is made from aluminum so there is no corrosion concern, and the aluminum is light. The aluminum also creates less wear on the synthetic winch rope so your rope has an increased lifespan.

The new design of this Zeon series Warn winch allows it to be more visually pleasing and have increased performance. In other words, it is not just a pretty face. This winch has a highly efficient gear train, is exceptionally quiet, and the design incorporated more corrosion resistance as well as greater sealing.

The winch is 24.25” long x 7.15” D x 10.25” tall. If you decide to use the low profile installation the winch measures 24.25” x &.15” D x 7.84” H.

WARN 96800 VR8 Electric Winch with Steel Rope-8,000 lbs. Capacity

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The low profile design of this winch makes it a great choice for use on a wide variety of vehicles. It also arrives with a separate control pack that increases your options for how you mount the device on your vehicle.

The planetary gear is a three stage gear that allows the machine to work smoothly and increases the durability of the device. This planetary gear design allows you to have a reliable device that you can count on.

take a quick look on the upgraded version of this winch:

The line speed of this winch is superior to that of any other winch. As a matter of fact, this winch has the fastest non-loaded line speed of any winch in its class.

This is an 8,000 pound winch that has a series-wound motor. It has an incredible brake system that allows it to hold as much as 8,000 pounds in position while you make adjustments, or tend to other necessities. Your load will stay in place, and be safe.

It has the Albright Contractor instead of the common solenoid. The Albright Contractor is waterproof, and it is a reliable solenoid replacement that will increase the durability and reliability of the winch.

The tie rods have been replaced with a one piece cast iron plate for added strength and performance.

WARN 97035 VR12-S Winch

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Warn is well-known manufacturer of winches and accessories. This winch is part of their VR series of winches and the latest features in that series is going to blow your mind.

The synthetic rope is installed onto the drum at the manufacture. When you open the box the rope is ready to use.

The tie rod configuration that most winches have has been eradicated and replaced with a tie plate. This increases the strength of your winch, and it reduces the possibility of breakage during use. This feature also reduces the amount of noise the winch makes when in use.

The winch is wired and ready for use. All you have to do is take it out of the box, and put it on your vehicle.

The cone brake system is an automatic drive system that gives the device the power to hold the maximum load weight. This increases safety and performance abilities.

The solenoids on this winch have been replaced with an Albright Contractor that is completely waterproof. It makes the device more reliable and increases the lifespan of the device.

The latest clutch lever design allows you to easily operate the clutch. The new design turns easily and can be operated while you are wearing gloves.

Types of Jeep Winches

When it comes to winch types you have two main power sources to consider, the hydraulic winch and the electric winch. Both winches are powerful and durable, but there are pros and cons of each. You can also get a manually powered winch but the manually powered device do not compare well to the power and ease of use the hydraulic and electric devices provide.

Hydraulic winches

Hydraulic winches are connected to the steering system of the jeep. Here's how a Hydraulic winch works:

Pros of Hydraulic winches

  • These winches generally provide more power
  • They have increased durability and longer life-spans
  • They are considered to be safer than the electric winches
  • They do not overheat so you can apply the pulling force for as long as you need to

Cons of hydraulic winches

  • These winches usually cost more and this is in part due to the fact that the installation of a hydraulic winch is more complex than the installation of an electric winch
  • Requires a hydraulic motor and proper pipes and fittings to operate

Electric winches

Electric winches come in many sizes and a wide variety of price ranges.

Pros of electric winches

  • Cheaper to buy
  • Easier to connect to vehicle
  • Quieter
  • Allows loads to be moved vertically and horizontally
  • Durable

Cons of electric winches

  • quicker to overheat
  • cannot sustain the same amount of power for the same amount of time the hydraulic winch can
  • Once it is installed it has a one direction pull. If installed in the front of the vehicle it can pull forward if installed in the rear it can pull backwards

You have to determine what you will use your winch to do and then you can begin to decide whether or even a manual winch will do the work best. Manual winches are great for lifting and lowering loads, but cannot lift as much weight as hydraulic and electric devices can.

How to Choose the Best Winches for Jeep

If you do not have a winch on your Jeep, and are considering having one installed, or buying one, then you should consider the following things prior to purchase.

What will you do with the winch?

Winches are helpful tools when you need to pull something, lift something, or otherwise move something. How you are going to use your winch will help determine what winch you need to buy.

  • Will the winch be used to pull the vehicle out of mud, sand, or other terrain complications
  • Will the winch be used to lift items into the back of the vehicle or until something can be done to an item
  • Will the winch be used to move debris, trees, limbs or other tings

Once you have decided how you will use the winch you can choose what size winch is right for your needs.

Winch Sizes

Warn winch manufacturers says that in order to get the winch that is appropriate for the vehicle you have you need to take the weight of the vehicle and multiply it by 1.5. So a vehicle that weighs 5000 pounds needs a winch that can move 7500 pounds. If you think that there will be times that you need some extra pull muscle from your winch then go ahead and get a 9500 pound winch for security. This video might be helpful t choose the right sized winch:

Choosing the Pull Rope

Basically you have to choose between a synthetic pulling ropes or a pull rope made of wire. Many people call the wire pull ropes cables. This guide will be helpful to choose the pull rope.

Synthetic Pull Ropes

The synthetic pull rope is durable and has a great amount of strength. This type of pull rope is perfect for pulling items out of muddy situations. The rope is light and it is easier to handle than the wired rope is. 

Wired Pull Rope

If you are pulling something across terrain that is abrasive, like rocky areas, then you would be better off to buy the wired pull rope. Abrasive rocks and sharp objects can cut the synthetic rope. One problem with the wired rope is that it is heavier and harder to work with. It can also get burrs on the cable that can cut or otherwise damage your hands.

So! Wired or Synthetic? Let's watch it:

Hydraulic or Electric

You need to determine whether you want to install an electric winch that will be powered by the vehicle battery or if you want the winch to be powered by the steering system of the vehicle. Weigh all of the pros and cons about each winch style before you make a final decision.

FAQ

Q. What size winch do I need for my Jeep Wrangler?

Really!!

A. The best way to make the determination of winch size is to first figure out how much your Jeep Wrangler weighs, then multiply the weight of the vehicle by 1.5. The number you come up with is the minimum size for your vehicle. If your Jeep Wrangler weighs 5000 pounds then you need a winch with a minimum pulling power of 7500 pounds.

Once you have determined the size according to this formula then you start to consider how much extra pulling power you might need. You may want to increase the winch size you buy if you are going to be pulling your friends from mud holes.

Q. What size winch for jeep JK Unlimited?

A. The winch you buy for your JK Unlimited and the one you buy for a Jeep Wrangler are sized in basically the same way. You need to multiply the gross weight of the vehicle the winch will be mounted to by 1.5. The number you come up with is the smallest winch you can use. It will be greater than your vehicle gross weight.

You must then consider whether you will use the winch to pull other vehicles, or to move logs, or huge rocks around your property. You should always consider buying a larger winch than you think you need so you always have power, even in unexpected situations.

Final Note

If you have a Jeep then you need a winch. Jeep owners are usually people who enjoy outside activities, or people who do rugged work around their farms and property. Most Jeep owners buy the winch for their Jeep either on the same day they buy the Jeep or within a week of buying their Jeep.

A winch that is going to be used around mud or water needs to either have an amphibious motor, or have a high waterproof rating. Winches that are going to be used in rocky areas need to have wired cable instead of synthetic rope.

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