Top 5 4×4 Winches Compared 2019

by AJ Deysel

Always make sure you are more than one vehicle when wheeling, especially in remote locations. Even then, getting stuck off-roading in snow, sand, or something worse, make sure you have the right 4×4 winch with you. It will make recovery easier to carry on, or possibly be a life saver if you are stuck there alone without food or water.

Looking for the one that meets your 4×4 vehicle and needs isn’t just a simple story, but needn’t be too hard either. With our guide and comparison below, we’ll help you lay out your priorities with vital considerations along the way.


Smittybilt 97510WARN 86260 Champion 12,000-lb. Superwinch S102743 EXP8 WARN 97740
Price:$379.49$907.67$540.00$784.55 $2,185.65
Pulling Capacity:10,000 lbs12,000 lbs12,000 lbs12,500 lbs 16,500 lbs
Integrated or Non-IntegratedIntegratedNon-IntegratedNon-IntegratedIntegrated Non-Integrated
Warranty:Limited Lifetime WarrantyLimited Lifetime WarrantyTwo-Year Limited WarrantyLimited Lifetime Warranty + Three-Year Electrical Warranty Limited Lifetime Warranty
Wireless Remote Included?YesYesYesNo Yes
Wire Cable or Rope?Wire CableRopeWire CableRope Rope

Smittybilt 4×4 Winch

When it comes to affordability and usefulness, the Smittybilt 97510 Gen2 Wireless Winch takes the trophy, especially if you’re using it on a Jeep as it’s one of the most popular choices for Jeep owners.

Believe it or not, this 4×4 winch is waterproof with an IP68 rating. This means it won’t get damaged, even if it’s submerged in water. And because of its pulling capacity of 10,000 lbs, it can get your vehicle out of any tight spot, whether in mud or any similar obstacle.

This 4×4 winch measures an overall length of 22.3 inches. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty in terms of replacements. Since a lifetime warranty grants you the protection against product defect costs that has no time limit and doesn’t refer to the product’s life span, the same principle applies to a limited lifetime warranty. But this time, the product defect costs protection is only valid until a certain period.

For the electrical warranty, it pertains to your protection against product defect costs (like faulty wiring, electrical malfunction, etc.) which entitles you to a free product repair or replacement. .


  • Waterproof
  • Has a strong pulling capacity.
  • Includes the necessary parts for installation.
  • Has a limited lifetime warranty.


  • Needs cable extensions.
  • Mounting bracket has a traditional design that makes it easy to steal.
  • Lacks a protective cover.
  • Needs to be fully wind up to the solenoid.

WARN 4×4 Winch

As far as pulling strength is concern, WARN 86260 VR12000 Winch is one of your leading options that’ll not leave you disappointed at all.

With its pulling capacity of up to 12,000 lbs, this type of winch can easily handle a herculean task, as if it’s nothing but a piece of cake. Plus, its exclusive break design lets you execute proper winch control for safe and sturdy pulling, with a removable pack for your mounting preferences.

You won’t also have to worry about fitment issues because this 4×4 winch is compatible with almost all trucks and SUV models. It comes with a remote control and lead.


  • With an incredible pulling capacity.
  • With rubberized remote for steering in the desired direction.
  • Control pack helps you easily mount it on your area of preference.
  • Spydura synthetic rope has a higher breaking point than your usual wire cable.
  • Very easy to install.


  • Pricey
  • The wire rope easily rusts.
  • Gear lever has a tendency to get stuck.
  • The instruction manual can be confusing.


Highly abusive terrains are a thing of the past, once you started using CHAMPION’s 100299 12,000-lbs Winch Kit.

Aside from its maximum pulling capacity of 12,000 Lbs which is similar to that of WARN’s, its 85-foot aircraft cable is highly resilient against fraying. In other words, it won’t be easily damaged regardless of how many times it comes in contact with rocks or any rough surface. Moreover, it includes a Speed Mount that’s comprised with three-position adjustable handles to secure it in place.

This 4×4 winch comes with a snatch block to improve winching performance when you need to. This is especially helpful when you have to pull your vehicle at an awkward, angular position.


  • Pulling your vehicle at an angular position won’t be difficult.
  • Also has a remarkable pulling capacity at 12,000 Pounds.
  • The included adapter, remote control, and other accessories lets you safely pull your 4×4.
  • No irritating rattle or other sounds some winches are susceptible to


  • Only has a two-year limited warranty.
  • Doesn’t have a very fast line speed.
  • The permanent magnet motor isn’t very durable.


If you want to spare yourself from the dangers of an overheating equipment, then the Superwinch S102743 EXP8 12000 Lb Winch gets the job done.

This 4×4 winch is composed of a heat sink-styled motor cap that keeps temperatures in check. In other words, you don’t have to worry that you’ll accidentally destroy it because of pulling heavy loads. What’s also notable about it is its solenoid prevents snow, mud, and dust from eventually damaging it.

In terms of pulling strength, it boasts of 12,500 lbs that surely gets you out of a tough situation. It includes a roller hawse fairlead and a free-spooling lever action clutch.


  • Doesn’t overheat.
  • Waterproof, mud-proof, dust-proof.
  • With a heavy-duty planetary gear train for a long usage period.


  • Actual product maybe different from what’s stated on the website.
  • Needs battery cable extensions.
  • The synthetic rope needs to be frequently replaced.

WARN Heavyweight Series 4×4 Winch

When it comes to extreme pulling capacity, the WARN 16.5ti-S Heavyweight Series Winch makes it on top of the list.

This 4×4 winch has all the muscles contained in its jaw-dropping 16,500 lbs pulling strength. As a result, it can stand up to heavy loads effortlessly. As a matter of fact, it’s also equipped with a three-stage planetary gear train, for proper and continuous operation.

This 4×4 winch is made from a powder-coated material with an over primer undercoating, for an elegant finish and a long-lasting function. It comes with an aluminum hawse fairlead.


  • Doesn’t get entwined.
  • Easy to control.
  • Anti-chafe sleeve’s easy to put on and remove on the winch line.
  • With thermometric indicator for a clear winching feedback.


  • You might encounter incompatibility issues, if you aren’t keen on the dimensions.
  • Can move only about an inch when using a remote control.
  • Has a tendency to fray.

What to Look For When Buying

Pulling your vehicle in a tight spot can be very difficult, especially when you lack the appropriate 4×4 winch. With this in mind, make sure you get your hands on the right one, through the following considerations.

  • Pulling CapacityPulling capacity depends on your 4×4’s weight. If you’re using jeeps or smaller vehicles like the usual ATVs, choose a 4×4 winch that has a pulling capacity of about 2,500 to 4,500 Pounds. If you’re into pickups or bigger ones, automatically select something that’s around 8,000 to 18,000 Pounds. Obviously, this is because the bigger the vehicle, the heavier it is.
  • Rope Type – Ask the seller if you could have the rope on your 4×4 winch replaced. Do you prefer a wire cable or a synthetic rope? As what was mentioned in a previous article, a wire cable is more resilient to abrasion and elemental factors than a synthetic rope. However, a synthetic rope is known to float on water and has a higher breaking point than a wire cable. While there are many factors to consider in buying either of the two, again, your preferences and winch usage still play a primary part in your rope type selection.
  • Installation Level – When it comes to installation level, of course, pick a 4×4 winch that only takes a few minutes to install. But since not all winches are like this, see to it that your 4×4 winch comes with an installation manual that’s easy enough to understand (re: wiring diagrams). It’ll also help if it has all the important parts that you need to mount it in place. These include; a wireless remote, electrical cables, a winch hook, a mounting plate, a winch rope, and a hawse fairlead. If you find 4×4 winch installation to be a daunting task, despite the provided materials, never hesitate to ask for a professional’s assistance


Although wheeling alone in remote locations is never recommended, if you do, and you get stuck in an bad spot, it can be a hassle or even life-threatening. Stay calm, as panic never helps. If you have the correct 4×4 winch, with enough pulling power, rope type, and correctly installed, you should easily and safely be able to winch yourself out if there is a sufficient anchor point.

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