Smittybilt Winch Reviews – X20 Gen 2, XRC, X20 and Other Models in 2020

The following Smittybilt winch reviews are designed to help you understand the options that Smittybilt winches offer.

Our winch experts tried out the many different Smittybilt winches, and they put those winches through strenuous usage, to determine what the winches were actually capable of doing. The experts tried the different features of the winches and they detailed how each feature helped them out.

If you are currently shopping for a new winch then the following reviews should be able to provide enough information about the Smittybilt line to help you decide what winch will be best for your needs.

Smittybilt X2O Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch

Specifications

  • Finish: Textured Black
  • Brake: Automatic Out-Of-Drum
  • Voltage: 12
  • Motor: 6.6hp Series Wound

The 6.6 hp series wound motor on this ATV winch creates a powerful tool. When you combine that motor with the 3 stage planetary gear system what you get is the ability to move items that weigh as much as 12,000 pounds, with the fastest amount of speed possible.

It is recommended that you use a 650CCA, or larger, battery to power your winching capabilities. It takes a good deal of electrical power to operate a winch that can move such massive amounts of weight in such a short amount of time.

This winch comes in several load capacities. You can choose from the:

10,000 lb. load capacity

This incredible winch is capable of moving 10,000 pounds with a single line pull. It also has:

  • 3 stage planetary gear
  • Remote control winch with a 12’ lead
  • 6.6 HP motor
  • A 218:1 gear ration
  • Sliding ring gear clutch
  • A 2.5” drum diameter
  • An automatic out of drum brake system
  • It weighs 99 pounds
  • A 98.5’ cable that is 3/8” in diameter
  • Dimensions of 22.3” in length x 5.4” in width x 9.4” in height

12,000 lb. load capacity

This winch can move 12,000 pounds during a single line pull. It also has:

  • 6.6 HP motor
  • 3 stage planetary gear
  • A 265:1 gear ratio
  • Remote control with a 12’ lead
  • Sliding ring gear clutch
  • An automatic out of drum brake system
  • A 2.5” drum diameter

15,500 lb. load capacity

This winch can move 15,500 pounds in a single line pull. It also comes with:

  • 6.6 HP motor
  • 3 stage planetary gear
  • Weighs 124 pounds
  • Dimensions of 23.5” in length, 8.4” in width, and 10.7” in height
  • Steel rope that weighs 1/7th of what traditional steel cable weighs and this steel rope will not kink up
  • A 397:1 gear ratio
  • Sliding ring gear clutch
  • A drum with a 3.45” diameter
  • Remote control switch that has a 12’ lead

17,500 lb. load capacity

This winch can move 17,500 pounds in a single line pull. It also comes with:

  • 6.6 HP motor
  • Remote control with a 12’ lead or an integrated wireless remote
  • A 430L1 gear ratio
  • Overall dimensions of 22.3’ in length, 7.5” in width, and 10.7” in height
  • Weighs 150 pounds
  • 3 stage planetary gear
  • Sliding ring gear clutch
  • An automatic out of the drum brake system
  • 98.5’ of 3/8” cable

Pros

  • Comes with synthetic rope
  • There is a wired remote option or a wireless remote option
  • IP68 rated
  • Fast line pull
  • Easy free spool
  • Moderately quiet while in operation
  • Brake is not placed in the winch drum so there is a low chance of melting your line
  • High quality wiring connecting the solenoid to the motor, and then connecting the motor to the battery terminals
  • You get everything you need to install
  • Looks great
  • Customer service is great

Cons

  • The Kit is missing the 2 small bracket pieces that you need to be able to mount the control box into the center location
  • The hardware that comes with the kit is not galvanized and of poor quality
  • The free-spool reduces resistance to such a degree that can allow “birdcaging” when you hand pull the cable without using the drum braking

Smittybilt 98510 XRC Synthetic Rope Winch

Specifications

  • Gear Train: 3-Stage Planetary
  • Clutch: Sliding Ring Gear
  • Brake: Automatic In-Drum
  • Finish: Textured Black

This line of Smittybilt winches has been designed with features that are heavy-duty so they are more durable and they perform better than any of the other winches in this category.

It comes with a synthetic rope that is possibly stronger than some of the cables and is definitely easier on your hands when you are handling it.

It has an amphibious motor so you can rely on this winch to get you out of the tough situations you often encounter when you are doing some off-road playing or some heavy work.

10000 lb. Load Capacity

This winch has a rated line pull of 10,000 pounds. It also has:

  • 6.6 HP motor
  • Remote control switch with a 12’ lead
  • A 218:1 gear ratio
  • A sliding ring gear clutch
  • A 3 stage planetary gear
  • It weighs 67 pounds
  • It measures Overall Dimensions: 22.3" (L) x 5.4" (W) x 9.4" (H)
  • 98.5' Length 3/8" Diameter cable
  • An automatic in-drum braking system

12000 lb. Load Capacity

This winch has a rated line pull of 12000 pounds. It also has:

  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • 6.6 HP motor
  • 3 stage planetary gear train
  • Automatic in-drum braking system
  • 98.5’ of 3/8” cable or can be ordered with synthetic rope in place of cable
  • Remote control switch that has a 12’ lead
  • It weighs 99 pounds
  • It has a gear ratio of 265:1
  • It has a 2.5” drum
  • It measures 22.3” in length, 5.4” in width, and 9.4” in height

15500 lb. Load capacity

This winch has a rated line pull of 15,500 pounds. It also has:

  • A IP67 waterproof rating
  • A 4 way fairlead
  • A remote control with a 12’ lead
  • It weighs 150 pounds
  • It measures 22.3” in length, 7.5” in width and 10.7” in height
  • A 3 stage planetary gear train
  • A gear ratio of 430:1
  • A sliding ring gear mounted clutch
  • An automatic in-drum braking system
  • 98.5 feet 3/8 inch diameter cable

17500 lb. Load Capacity

This winch has a rated line pull of 17,500 pounds. It also has:

  • 6.6 HP amphibious motor
  • 12’ lead on remote control switch
  • 3 stage planetary gear
  • Weighs 150 pounds
  • Overall Dimensions: 22.3" (L) x 7.5" (W) x 10.7" (H)
  • It comes with 93.5’ of 7/16” cable

Pros

  • Comes with a four way roller fairlead
  • Comes with the 3 stage planetary gear
  • Comes with a remote control switch
  • Is fast
  • Reliable
  • Comes with a good hook
  • Magnet in control handle
  • Great customer service
  • Automatic in-drum braking system

Cons

  • The handle designed to switch the winch from free-spooling to the “in” position can sometimes be very difficult to move.
  • It can be difficult to attach the electric cables. You will have to have an open end wrench that is thin so that it can hold the inner nut in place without compromising the outer nut.
  • The screw hole spacing on the bracket designed to allow you to attach it over the motor may have the screw holes in the wrong place. If this does happen some customers have opted to attach this bracket over the spool instead of over the motor.
  • The fasteners and screws may be cheap and low quality. Most owners have opted to replace these fasteners with American made ones
  • The free spool can be difficult to operate

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch – 9500 lb. Load Capacity

Specifications

  • Item Weight: 1.58 ounces
  • Dimensions: 3.6 x 2.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Bulb Type: LED
  • Wattage: 30

This is a workhorse of a winch that will pull you out of the mud, the sand, the loose gravel, or whatever you have managed to get your vehicle mired down in. It has an amazing remote control that allows you to be far enough away from the pulling to stop you from accidentally being injured.

It also has an in the drum braking system that will automatically kick in and hold the load it is pulling in the position it is in if the power is interrupted. These systems protect you from bodily injury and they protect your load from injury as well.

The 9500 pound load capacity is the perfect size winch for most folks, but if you need something with a higher load capacity this series of winches come in 9500 lb., 12000 lb., 15500 lb., and 17500 lb.

9500 lb. Load Capacity

This winch has a pull capacity of 9500 pounds. It also has:

  • 6.6 HP motor
  • 3 stage planetary gear
  • Automatic in-drum braking system
  • Remote switch with 12’ lead
  • Dimensions are 25.8” long x 10” wide x 13.8” high
  • Weighs 78 pounds
  • Gear ratio is 161.28:1

12000 lb. Load Capacity

This winch has a 12000 pull capacity. It also has:

  • 6.6 HP motor
  • 3 stage planetary gear
  • Automatic in-drum braking system
  • Remote switch with 12’ lead or can have a wireless remote option
  • 79’ of 3/8” cable
  • Weighs 83 pounds
  • Dimensions of 22.3” in length, x 6.4” in width, x 9.4” in height
  • IP67 waterproof rating

15500 lb. Load capacity

This winch has a 15,500 weight pull capacity. It also has:

  • 3 stage planetary gear
  • Automatic in-drum braking system
  • 6.6 HP motor
  • Remote switch with 12’ lead
  • Dimensions are 23.5” long x 8.4” wide and 10.7” high
  • Has a gear ratio of 397:1
  • 93.5’ of 25/64 cable
  • Weighs 124 pounds
  • 4 way roller included

17500 lb. Load Capacity

This winch has a 17,500 pound pull capacity. It also has:

  • 3 stage planetary gear
  • Automatic in-drum braking system
  • 6.6 HP motor
  • Remote switch with 12’ lead
  • 4 way roller fairlead
  • Dimensions of 24.4” in length, 8.4” in width, and 10.7” in height
  • 93 feet of 7/16” cable
  • Gear ratio of 330:1
  • Weighs 132 pounds

Pros

  • Remote switch with 12’ lead for safety
  • 3 stage planetary gear for smooth operations and fast line speeds
  • Magnet in control lead
  • Comes with the roller fairlead
  • Automatic in-drum braking system
  • Fast line speeds
  • Durable and waterproof
  • Customer service is fast, courteous, and reliable
  • State of the art 500 AMP solenoid

Cons

  • The hardware is not American stainless steel quality. You want to go ahead and buy you some new hardware before you try to mount this winch.
  • The handle that operates the free-spooling feature can be very difficult to operate.
  • Mounting bracket is poorly designed.
  • The base mounting system has a nut arrangement that would easily allow a thief to reach the nuts and loosen the winch from the backside. A lock nut arrangement can solve this issue for you
  • Hard to attach electric cables

Why Smittybilt?

Smittybilt has been designing and producing quality winches and accessories for more than fifty years now. When a company can stay in business for that long; then you know that they sell quality merchandise backed by great customer service.

Basil Smith, was called “Smitty” by all of his friends. In 1956 Basil started up a machine shop in his home garage.

Smitty wanted to design and develop four wheel drive equipment to be used on trucks and Jeeps. He raised his son Tom around all of the four wheel drive components he designed and Tom helped his dad in the little home business.

Tom’s Influence on the Company

Tom grew up knowing all the things his dad could teach him, and his inquisitive mind and passion for the business caused him to develop, design, and start producing the after-market four wheel drive accessories that Smittybilt is so well-known for today. Tom is the mastermind behind the “Nerf” bar side steps that are so popular. He also engineered the design for the tubular front and rear bumpers that you see on Jeeps.

The business grew as the number of products being made was increased and the family garage simply could not hold the work and workers needed to create the items the family was selling.

Designers and Products

All of the folks who work to design the Smittybilt line of products are off road enthusiasts who know what people need from their winches and off-road accessories. They are a relatively small company with only 50 to 200 employees. That small number of employees design and create a product line that includes more than 2000 items.

Smittybilt products cover a wide range of items. They make truck products, Jeep products, accessories like winches, camping gear, and trail equipment, and they make specialized ATV winches and trail equipment. Smittybilt products are used by thousands of people every day, and the experiences those individuals have had with these products are what make Smittybilt a super-power off-road accessory company.

Reputable Parts and Service

When you go to the various websites that offer Smittybilt products you see reviews of those products, and reviews of the way that the Smittybilt customer service department handles complaints, problems, etc.

It is clear when you are reading these testimonies from actual customers that Smittybilt builds reliable products and they stand behind each product with a customer service team that is outstanding. Customers reviewed the products they have purchased over the years and compare those products to ones that are made by other top name companies and Smittybilt is chosen over and over again as being “the best”.

There are customers who have bought products that did not function in the manner that they should and repeatedly you read how the customer contacted the customer service department of Smittybilt about their problem and the customer service team treated them with respect and quick responses.

Transamerican Auto Parts

Transamerican auto parts are now the owner and operator of Smittybilt products. Transamerican made the choice to not alter the quality of the products or the customer service that has created the great reputation that Smittybilt developed.

Transamerican was started in 1961. They have their own reputation for excellent products and service, and their acquisition of Smittybilt furthered their commitment to excellence.

Final Note

You can say that Smittybilt winches are some of the best winches created for helping people who have a zest for life tp be able to go where they want to go without fear of consequences. The Smittybilt winches provide the freedom of choice that adventure seeking off-road vehicle riding people need and want.

The craftsmanship that is put into the best Smittybilt winches creates products that are durable, reliable, dependable, and frequently recommended by one friend to another.

These winches are a small portion of the Smittybilt line of products, but they are a key element in providing a great reputation for quality and service that this company has come to know.

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