Best ATV Winch Reviews

All-Terrain Vehicles have become very popular over the last decade. Most people have opted for them where motorcycles or not enough and bigger cars are more than what is needed especially where off-road applications are concerned. Though small, ATVs are tough and can be an exceptional boon anytime during off-roading. Not being as smooth and easy running like on-road, off-roading entails all the roughness there can ever be. As a result, ATVs will be required to move or hoist things along their way. What more comfortable way to move things using an ATV than using an ATV winch?

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An ATV winch is an invaluable off-road accessory to own. It will get you out of any situation you might find yourself during any off-road driving. For instance, when you are stuck in the mud during an off-road ride, you can quickly pull yourself out of it using a winch. Otherwise, you have to just walk home after long hours of trying to figure out how you will solve the mud issue.

As good as owning a winch may sound, therefore, choosing the one to buy for your ATV can be overwhelming. A large number of winches being sold in the market right now. You should, therefore, be equipped with the needed knowledge to make your search for a winch easier. In this article, therefore, we are going to discuss the best winches in the market and how to choose the one best suited for your ATV. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing an ATV Winch

To get exactly what you are looking for, you will have to work deductively. By this, I mean that you will have to narrow down to the specific winch specifications to get the winch you want. These specs are the number one factors to consider. They include:

Rope material

No ATV driver will want a winch rope that will snap when he is in the course of hauling something.  To prevent such incidences, it is essential to know the rope material that will best handle the weight of whatever you hope to be lifting or hauling. Winch ropes only come in two types that is steel and synthetic. Though steel ropes are tougher, they can be fatal when they snap. It is therefore advisable that the weight limit should never be exceeded when using steel ropes or cables. On the other hand, synthetic ropes not as sturdy as steel but are fatal in cases of snapping. In addition to that, they are cheap to replace.

Line Pull

This factor is one of the most critical winch specifications. Line pull determines what you can pull, move or haul using your winch that is including your ATV itself. Though it goes without saying that some of the best line pulls will be found on higher end winches, it is true to say that some cheap winches are also as tough. You should therefore not shy away from buying a budget winch because you think it will not be tough enough.


The motor is pretty much what runs the winch in general. It is, therefore, part and puzzle of what determines what your winch can pull or haul.  Like the line pull, better motors can only be found in higher end winch models. The motors in higher-end models also come with an additional motor feature that is otherwise absent in budget winches. It is therefore essential that you should go for a motor whose design and specifications suit your needs perfectly. The best way to know how powerful a motor is by looking at its specified horsepower.


The best choice of a winch is one that assures you of safety whenever you are operating it. It has features purposely geared towards ensuring that the winch operator is safe at all costs. It assures that as long as the winch is handling an object that is not past its weight limit, it will not snap. Dynamic braking and weight holding are some of the things you should avoid to make sure that the winch rope does not snap. On that same note, ensure that you buy a winch with a strong and tough rope material.


Price should not stop you from buying a winch or any product for that matter. You, therefore, should not shy away from buying pricey things and in our case a winch if the product has good functionality and premium quality to complement the price. The best options for winches will always be expensive. However, you should always remain within your budget. Though buying expensive and quality winches will be a worthwhile investment in the long run, always buy what you can afford. Cheap winches are also good as long as you stick to the specified uses. Moreover, with extensive research, you can come across amazing deals that will allow you to own a high-end winch at a lower price than usual.


If you are a new ATV owner and therefore you do not know much about winches, or if you want to upgrade to a better one and do not have the information you need to make a decision, you can use other people's experience to narrow down your options. You can do this by searching online for people’s reviews to learn their perspective on certain winch types. In addition to that, you can also interact with them on a personal basis for more information. With all other factors constant, go for a winch that has the most positive reviews and the highest ratings.

Winch capacity

Before purchasing a winch, it is crucial to consider the weight of your best or preferred winch regarding winch capacity. According to most manufacturers, one should calculate the winch rating by multiplying the gross weight of the ATV by 1.5. It is important to note however that this is just a minimum rating and that when exposed to several other factors, the winch capacity will increase. It is therefore essential to consider your ATV’s winch capacity to avoid daunting situations.


One factor that can cause an increase in winch capacity, for example, is terrain. Though ATVs are engineered for off-road applications, it is true to say that trails differ from each other and therefore some trains put the ATV at risk of getting stuck in the mud than others.

Getting stuck in the mud is one factor that causes an increase in winch capacity. Mud is known to have a suction force on vehicles, and therefore, in such a situation, the 1.5 winch capacity rule of the thumb may not work as the gross weight of the ATV will have increased due to gravity.

Frequency of use

It is almost evident that frequency of use is a factor you should consider when buying a winch and more other things. For some people, owning an ATV does not necessary mean enthusiastic off-road applications. Some ATV owners have other responsibilities to take care of, and therefore their ATVs are mostly for winter when snow plowing is needed or on weekends when they do not have too many responsibilities. On the other hand, other people entirely involved or engaged in ATV sports. If these two types of people bought the same winch, it is apparent that one would last longer than the other. It is therefore important to consider how hard and how often you will be working your ATV winch. Available winch types on the market include:

  • Hydraulic winch
  • Series Wound
  • Permanent magnet motors

Whichever of these three you choose to purchase is solely dependent on the purpose you intend for your ATV winch. For example; if you will be engaging more infrequent and heavy lifting, series wound winch would be your best option, for all day winching, a hydraulic winch is a way to go and finally, for light winching, consider purchasing a permanent magnet motor winch.

What terrain do you ride over frequently?


What is the nature of the frequently use? Do you ride on a terrain where vehicle recovery is not necessary? Either because the terrain does not put you at the risk of getting stuck or because you have a stable ATV machine. If that is the case, a winch would not be of much use to you. In addition to that if the terrain you often use is bare and has no place to attach the winch to pull yourself out, then a winch would be useless. It is therefore important to consider the type of terrain you frequently use to ensure that your winch remains relevant.

What else do you intend to haul with your ATV winch

It should be considered after you have worked out your ATV weight curb. It means after you have workout out the weight of your ATV with all fluids and a full fuel tank. You should make sure that your winch's weight limit is more significant than the ATV's weight for it to be efficient. You then need to ask yourself what work you will be subjecting your winch when you are not pulling yourself out of ditches. For example, people who use their ATV and winch for hunting should decide what they will use their winch for before making a purchase. For example, will they use the winch to haul their hunt from the bushes or are they going to use it to string up their game field? It helps in ensuring that you know the weight limit your ATV winch should have at the back of your mind.

Top 5 best ATV Winches Reviews 2020

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1. Super winch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & utility Winch (4500lbs/2046kg Rating) 


  • The material of rope: 55 inches synthetic rope.
  • Line Pull: 4500lbs
  • Motor: 12V DC 1.6hp weather-sealed permanent magnet motor 

If you are looking for an amazingly tough winch, then Super winch Terra 45 is the way to go. It has an unbelievable line pull of 4500lbs. This kind of power will get you out of any situation you may find yourself in. It has a 55 inches thick synthetic rope that is strong enough to be able to handle the winch's weight limit. 

Its 12V DC 1.6 hp electromagnetic motor produces all the power needed by the winch. Super winch Terra 45 comes with a 3 stage planetary gear system to help you adjust the speed of your winch during pulling. Some of the standard features of Super winch Terra 45 include; 

  • Stronger motor
  • Superior steel drums
  • Clickable motors
  • Stronger gear

2. Warn 89030 Vantage 3000 winch-3000lbs capacity


This Vantage PowerSport winch is a workhorse that can get you out of any situation, it will not let you down and fits a very tight budget. This powerful, dependable, lightweight and stable winch features full sealing, a powerful permanent magnet motor, smooth planetary gear train and a lightweight synthetic rope.

Its unique exterior ragged and styling design gives the Warn 89030 an advanced and capable look. In addition to that, it has a corrosion resistant finish that assures you of durability. Its powerful permanent magnet and regular planetary gear train deliver quiet, reliable and fast tough pull that can handle practically anything. It has an efficient brake design and gear train that ensures maximum control during winching. Its powder-coated fairlead hawse reduces the rope's proneness to wear and tear. It has clutch levers to ensure you do not work against the gears hence a smooth winching.

Warn 89030 features; 

  • Corded remote: this safety feature allows you to operate the Warn 89030 from on top of your ATV or from a safe distance when required.
  • Mini-rocker switch: it is mounted on the handlebars to give access to control the winch from a seated position.
  • Dash mounted control switch: this safety feature is also mounted onto the ATV to allow you to control the winch.

These safety features are compatible with several other vantage models


  • High durability and reliability
  • Corrosion resistant finish
  • Synthetic lightweight rope
  • Has a smooth planetary gear train
  • Has a permanent magnetic motor
  • It has a dependable workhorse


  • Does not come with a mounting plate kit

3. Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch – 9500lb load capacity


Smittybilt 97495 features a 3 stage planetary gear in addition to a 6.6 hp Amphibious motor. It comes with a waterproof rating of IP67.  Smittybilt XRC winch also features a state-of-the-art 500 AMP solenoid.

Smittybilt 97495 XRC comes with a winch kit that comes complete with all the required wiring for installation. It is important to note the Smittybilt manufacturer’s advice that one uses the supplied or provided wiring for maximum performance of their winch. The winch comes with a safety feature of a corded remote that allows one to operate the winch from a seat on the ATV or distance for safety. It offers a lifetime warranty that is limited only to original buyers of stainless steel products. 


  • It comes with a kit.
  • Fits well on ATVs
  • Is waterproof
  • It is powerful
  • Comes with a corded remote to allow operating the winch from a safe distance
  • Has a lightweight synthetic rope
  • check-circle
    Lifetime mechanical warranty


  • Can be a bit slow.

4. Champion Power Equipment 14560 Lb. ATV/UTV wireless winch Kit (12V DC)


  • Material of rope: synthetic super-duty aircraft cable
  • Line pull: 14560 lbs.
  • Motor: permanent magnet 1.6hp 12V DC

Being such a legendary brand Champion Power Equipment is made for quality and maximum performance. It has a standard 38-foot super-duty aircraft or lightweight cable that ends in a rugged latched clevis hook. With its 1.6HP (12VDC) motor power, this lightweight cable can pull practically anything. It has a wireless inbuilt system that allows a wireless use of a remote to control the winch whenever need be.

Champion Power Equipment also features a roller fairlead that guides the cable to any angle during winching, prevents wear and tear and facilitates the use of a plow. This roller fairleads are among the many bonus accessories that come with Champion Power that makes it an excellent winch hence it can handle practically any work you through its way.

ATV, UTV and S*S owner who need a high-performance winch that can do practically any job you throw its way should look no further than a Champion Power Equipment.


  • Has a wireless switch
  • Has a wireless remote system
  • The winch has a mounting channel
  • Has a sturdy and strong power contactor
  • Comes with a free spooling clutch and cam action
  • It has a galvanized heavy-duty aircraft cable.
  • check-circle
    It comes with a roller fairlead


  • It comes with a short warranty.

5. Super winch 1140220 Black 12V DC LT4000 ATV Winch – 4000lb. Load capacity


  • Material of rope: steel cable
  • Line pull: 4000 pounds
  • Motor: permanent magnet motor

This two-ton premium winch comes with all the necessary accessories needed for any heavy duty hauling and lifting. As with most Super winch models, Super winch LT4000 has a sealed low-amp permanent magnet motor connected to 50 feet of a 3/16 steel wire cable.

Additional accessories that make this winch an exceptional value one include such things as a wired remote that allows you to operate your winch from your ATV seat or from a safe distance and a rocker switch mounted on the handlebars to allows you operate your winch from inside your ATV.

Super winch 1140220 is the best choice for hunters who use their ATV to drag their catch from bushes or for utility ATV users who more often than not have to drag, haul or lift heavy cargo along a trail or even across or around large properties.


  • It is lightweight hence easy to use
  • Has a sealed permanent magnet motor
  • Works quietly and is reliable
  • Has a maximum pull line of 4000 pounds
  • It has a roller fairlead and a 50 foot of a 3/16inch steel cable.
  • Is a power winch that has the pulling capacity big enough to pull heavy duty trucks?


  • It does not come with mounting kits.

Feature To Look Out For In an ATV Winch 


After factors that should be considered when buying or choosing a winch for your ATV, we are now going to look at some winch specific features that you consider before choosing a winch for your ATV.  This whistles and bells include;


These are mainly in-built guides that ensure that your winch cable or rope sits evenly whenever you spool it in. Fairleads come in two main types namely the hawse and the rollers. These two fairleads greatly help in keeping your winch cable ready for use, neat and tidy.

  • Rollers: protects the cable from wear and abrasion when it is being pulled on and off the spool due to the presence of rollers that carter for every angle. Secondly, it guides the cable on and off the spool evenly and tightly from every angle.
  • Hawse: just like roller fairleads, hawse fairleads also help in guiding the cable on and off the spool evenly and tightly. However, with hawse fairleads, there is less wear and abrasion cable protection due to lack of rollers.

A Free-spooling clutch

A winch that has a free-spooling clutch is a winch that allows you to save gears as with it you can pull the cable from the spool only. For Winch models that do not have the free-spooling clutch, it takes longer to work the cable hence the winch because you are working or pulling against the gears.  The additional force associated with is ads to the wear and tear of your winch cable over time. 

Winch cover

You should choose an ATV winch that has a sturdy cover. Think of it this way; the winch is usually located on the front line of defense of inevitable bumps and knocks in case they happen. Though built with durability in mind, a well-made and hardcover will keep dirt and dust out of the components of the winch.

Rocker switch/ Remote mounted

Remote switch or a rocker depending on your circles is a device that is mounted on the handlebars of your ATV. This switch makes it possible for you to control the winch when you are comfortably seated on your ATV. In addition to that, others come with a long extension cord that allows you to operate your winch from a safe distance whenever need be. For example when your ATV is knee deep in wet mud.

Winching Technique 


There are two methods of pulling whenever you are using a winch. These two pulling methods determine the pulling power potential of your ATV winch. They also allow an option of choosing the method that best suits the situation you are in.

  • Single lined mode: this is by far the most commonly pulling method that is used with a winch. With the single lined method, you attach the cable directly to the object you hope to move or a tree. The winch's pulling capacity does not change because it is a single line. If it has a pulling capacity of 2000lbs, it will still pull 2000lbs in a single line method.
  • Double line method: a double line pulling method efficiently doubles the pulling capacity of your winch. The double line method is achieved by use of a pulley block. When using a double line method, the winch's cable and hook are secured around the pulley and are the tired back to your ATV. To pull the ATV out of a mud pile, the pulley can be secured to a firm object like a tree. Another case scenario is attaching the pulley to the object being pulled out towards the ATV.  In either of these cases, a winch with a pulling capacity of 2500lbs will act like a 5000lbs winch.

Winch Kit


A winch kit is used as a winch is. It puts together all the necessary accessories that can practically get you out of any situation you may find yourself in. And to top it up, it does so at a cheaper cost than it would cost you if you bought the accessories separately. For example, Cabela's kit carries a pulley block, mesh bag for packing wet equipment, steel shackle, tow strap with loops on each end (also doubles as tree strap) and a nylon storage bag with straps to make sure that the kit is well mounted on your ATV rack.

Winch Breaks

ATV winches have two types of brakes that are mechanical brakes and dynamic breaks. Winches that use dynamic brakes use the gear system to ensure that the winch drum does not move. On the other hand, a mechanical brake locks the winch drum. Though mechanical brakes are less prone to slipping when holding a load, both breaks are efficient and sufficient for any winch operation by your ATV.

Winch Line Speed

A winch line speed may not seem like an essential factor to look at when weighing your options for the best ATV winch. However, its importance becomes clear when your ATV is stuck deep in the mud, and the drum just won’t run or turn fast enough to pull your ATV from the mud. It is for this reason that you find varying numbers when you compare leading ATV manufacturers winch line speeds. For example; WARN RT30 can pull a whole load up to 4feet per minute whereas ProMark LD3000 can pull the same capacity up to 2.6 feet per minute.

Power source &efficiency


Most ATV winches are electric. It means that they attach to your ATV's battery for it to serve as their power source. Other winches available are usually hydraulic, but these are generally for heavy lifting that is done on extreme terrain. If your ATV's battery is in good working condition, then an electric winch is sufficient for all your lifting needs.

As much as you should have a good and efficient battery, the motor of your ATV winch should also be efficient, otherwise pulling would be hectic. What I am driving at here is the fact that both the winch motor and ATV battery should be in good working condition for excellent pulling potential. 

ATV winch motors mainly come in two types. Namely, permanent magnet motors and series wound motors. Though permanent magnet motors are more efficient regarding energy, they are more prone to overheating than series wound motors


Whenever you are using an ATV winch, it will always rely on a clutch for efficient and smooth pulling or lifting. Having the right clutch can make a massive difference between wasting your precious time and securing your load almost immediately. The clutch ensures that the winch does not pull against the gears by reducing gear reaction hence making the whole pulling process easy and smoother. A clutch is a part that reels the rope when it is attached to the rope or winch wire.

Benefits of using ATV Winches 

  • Pull objects: winches come in handy whenever pulling is concerned. In addition to a winch pulling your ATV when stuck in the mud, it can pull loads and practically anything else. For example, if you live or work in the farm, you can use an ATV winch to lift heavy loads that can otherwise not be elevated in any other way. Winches make work easier.
  • Towing vehicles: a primary function of ATV winches is pulling vehicles. This function plays helpful in situations when you have a vehicle that is stuck in the mud or when a vehicle has just jammed in the middle of the road and will not start at all.
  • Plowing: thirdly, an ATV winch allows plowing by providing an attachment base where an ATV plow can be attached and hence helps clear deep or thin snow from the ground. It is typically easier than doing it the manual way by shoveling. 
  • From our above in-depth discussion on ATV winches, it is now clear to you what you should consider and how you should go about the whole process of purchasing the right winch for your ATV. As I always emphasize, always go for what will serve your needs and not what you see working for others. Your needs might be so different from other people’s.

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