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Get Spooled Up: Mountain or Molehill, Here Are 31 Winches to Get You Over It

Posted in Features on November 7, 2018
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Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers

Sometimes the tool that saves the day isn’t sitting in your toolbag—it’s mounted on your rig. The winch. This mighty tool can be the difference between un-stucking yourself and waiting helplessly for a recovery strap. We’ve seen winches help fix trail-altered 4x4 parts that would otherwise leave the vehicle stranded, and with the throw of a switch, a winch can move toys and trucks onto trailers with ease. If a winch is on your want list (and we argue it should be), then look no further than the next few pages where we have 31 winches for your perusal.

Tuff Stuff

Hook: The Trailhead winch from Tuff Stuff not only packs 13,000 pounds of pulling power, but also a three-stage planetary gear drivetrain, a 6.6hp series-wound motor, and a gear reduction of 216:1. Also included are 85 feet of steel or synthetic rope, respective roller or aluminum hawse fairleads, and a wired or wireless remote to control the pull.
Also hot: 3,000- to 17,500-pound winches, recovery gear, and off-road essentials
How to get yours: Tuff Stuff 4x4, 866/220-0171,


Hook: The company promises affordable toughness in this 13,000-pound winch, packed with 85 feet of synthetic rope, two wireless controllers, an automatic load-holding brake, and more. Hawse fairlead and hook are also included.
Also hot: 3,000- to 13,000-pound electric winches, recovery tools, and 4x4 accessories
How to get yours: X-Bull 4WD,


Hook: Control winching operations, freespooling, two accessories, and the clutch from the wireless remote with the 12,000-pound Warn Zeon 12-S Platinum. The winch features a series-wound motor, 162:1 reduction ratio, 80 feet of synthetic rope, and more.
Also hot: New 3,500- to 5,500-pound AXON powersports winches
How to get yours: Warn Industries, 800/543-9276,

Mile Marker

Hook: It can pull 15,000 pounds of stuck truck from the muck and only weighs in at 85 pounds. Mile Marker’s SEC15(ES) comes with a 6.8hp series-wound motor, a 296:1 reduction ratio, an IP68 rating, and a 12-foot remote controller cord. The winch is offered with synthetic rope and comes with a 15-foot recovery strap.
Also hot: 2,500- to 18,000-pound winches, recovery gear, and a selection of premium locking hubs
How to get yours: Mile Marker, 800/886-8647,

ComeUp USA

Hook: ComeUp USA tells us the Seal Gen2 9.5rs is waterproof, like its sea-dwelling namesake, to IP68 standards. Other features include a 100-foot synthetic rope, a waterproof remote control, and a “brake outside the drum” Cone Brake System—which is said to protect the synthetic rope and reduce heat-related brake fade.
Also hot: 2,500- to 20,000-pound winches for UTVs and larger 4x4s
How to get yours: ComeUp USA, 503/783-6142,


Hook: This 12,000-pound-capacity winch from Dobinsons is re-engineered and redesigned, featuring a sealed solenoid, 2-meter housing breather tube, and a quick-flip–style clutch handle. The winch comes with a 216:1 reduction ratio, a 6.5hp series-wound motor, and 95 feet of synthetic rope.
Also hot: 9,500-pound winches, suspension components, and recovery equipment
How to get yours: Dobinsons Spring and Suspension, 786/508-4962,


Hook: The Q-Performance Stealth Winch might be cloaked in black, but it also lights up the night with an LED spool light. The winch comes with an IP67 rating, 4.9hp series-wound motor, and has a removable clutch handle to deter pranksters.
Also hot: 9,000- to 11,500-pound electric winches, recovery gear, and one famously hefty catalog of Jeep parts
How to get yours: Quadratec, 800/743-4927,


Hook: The Big K stocks the Globe House Products 10,000-pound winch, featuring a 148.2:1 reduction ratio, 5.5hp motor, sliding ring gear, and 92 feet of steel cable. Comes with a roller fairlead, remote controller with 12-foot cable, a heavy-duty hook, and more.
Also hot: Outdoor gear, tools, and even groceries
How to get yours: Kmart, 888/881-7534,

Rough Country

Hook: Water, mud, dirt, and sand are no match for Rough Country’s 9,500-pound Pro Series electric winch. Its 5.5hp motor and three-stage planetary gear train combine to give a 265:1 reduction ratio. The 85 feet of synthetic rope are fed through an included hawse fairlead and topped off with a replaceable clevis hook.
Also hot: 9,500- to 12,000-pound electric winches, recovery accessories, and lift kits
How to get yours: Rough Country, 800/222-7023,


Hook: The Gen2 X20 Comp winch (part 98510) can tug 10,000 pounds thanks to the amphibious 6.6hp motor and the three-stage planetary gearbox. The Dynamic Braking System keeps the winch drum from overheating, while the integrated wireless remote allows winching from afar. This winch comes spooled with synthetic rope, carries an IP68 rating, and includes a competition aluminum fairlead.
Also hot: 2,000- to 17,500-pound electric winches and a full line of truck and SUV accessories
How to get yours: Smittybilt, 888/717-5797,


Hook: T-Max fortified the 12,500-pound EW series winch from the elements with a sealed gearbox and solenoid. The winch also boasts a blazing-fast line speed of 6.2 feet per minute while under load. This winch comes standard with a three-stage planetary geartrain, 6.6hp motor, and is spooled with 89 feet of Dyneema synthetic rope.
Also hot: 2,000- to 18,000-pound winches for industrial, 4x4, and ATV needs
How to get yours: T-Max Australia,

Warrior Winches

Hook: The 9500 Samurai short drum features a double-sealed 5hp series-wound motor, made entirely of brass to fight corrosion. A 230:1 gear ratio, automatic load-holding brake, both a cable and wireless remote, and a three-stage planetary gearbox come standard.
Also hot: 2,500- to 20,000-pound electric winches, hydraulic winches, and hoists
How to get yours: Warrior Winches, 888/277-6960,


Hook: With a balance of speed and power, the XR10S has a 5.6hp series-wound motor, three-stage planetary gearbox, and an automatic load-holding brake. The winch has good looks too, with polished stainless steel fasteners and aluminum hawse fairlead, along with the proper black finish.
Also hot: 2,000- to 16,000-pound electric winches, LED lighting, and custom 4x4 bumpers
How to get yours: Engo USA, 360/573-0882,


Hook: Kodiak’s Polar EXT is the newest member of the company’s winch family. This new bear can pull 8,000 pounds with its 4.8hp motor, 152:1 reduction ratio, and 100 feet of synthetic rope. Also in the package is a remote control with a 15-foot cord and the “Bear Essentials” kit—a pair of shackles, a guide roller, gloves, and a tree-saver strap, all rolled into a Kodiak winch bag.
Also hot: 2,500- to 12,000-pound winches and essential recovery gear
How to get yours: Kodiak, 780/443-1758,

Harbor Freight

Hook: The Badland ZXR 12000 winch is what you need to recover a stuck vehicle or yank a load onto a trailer. The three-stage planetary gearbox has a 265:1 reduction ratio and pulls in the 65 feet of aircraft-grade wire rope at the push of a button. The winch weighs 83.5 pounds and comes with both a roller fairlead and an ergonomic controller with a 12-foot cord.
Also hot: 1,500- to 18,000-pound winches, recovery accessories, and every tool imaginable
How to get yours: Harbor Freight, 800/423-2567,

Pierce Sales

Hook: Pierce is pulling for you with the PS20000 and its 420:1 reduction ratio, 6.8hp motor, and 72 feet of wire rope. Also comes with a snatch block, roller fairlead, controller, and more.
Also hot: 4,000- to 20,000-pound electric winches, hoists, and outdoor equipment
How to get yours: Pierce Sales, 800/658-6301,

Rugged Ridge

Hook: Rugged as the company’s name suggests, the Nautic 12,500-pound winch is ready for action with 100 feet of synthetic rope, a 6.6hp series-wound motor, 265:1 reduction ratio, an automatic load holding brake system, and an all-weather remote controller with a 12-foot cable. The winch is sealed to IP68 standards and is also available in 9,500-pound and steel-cable varieties.
Also hot: 2,500- to 12,500-pound electric winches, recovery gear, and more Jeep accessories than you can shake an axleshaft at
How to get yours: Rugged Ridge, 770/614-6101,


Hook: Be the top dog in the fight against getting stuck! Alpha winches come in 9,300-, 12,500-, and 15,000-pound breeds and include series-wound motors, overheating protection, and greyhound-fast line speeds. Choose from synthetic or steel rope, and the respective hawse or roller fairlead.
Also hot: 2,000- to 15,000-pound winches, winch accessories, and assorted off-road goodies
How to get yours: Bulldog Winch, 855/327-1835,


Hook: The TG10000 is powered by a 6.6hp series-wound motor and has a three-stage planetary gearbox, which creates a 265:1 reduction ratio. Heavy loads will be no trouble here thanks to the automatic load-holding brake, and feel free to winch from the driver seat, using the remote control and 10-foot cord.
Also hot: Recovery gear, winch accessories, and anything else that can be bolted or welded to a 4x4
How to get yours: Trail-Gear, 877/494-8697,

Tractor Supply Company

Hook: You can’t buy a tractor at Tractor Supply Company, but you can certainly bring home the Traveller 12,000-pound winch with a 12V 3hp motor, automatic load-holding brake, and 83.7 feet of steel rope. Also included is a roller fairlead, a rubberized controller, and more.
Also hot: 2,500- to 9,000-pound electric winches, winch add-ons, and rural retail items
How to get yours: Tractor Supply Company, 877/718-6750,


Hook: Whether pulling a race car onto the trailer or extracting a rig from the muck, the 8,000-pound electric winch from JEGS is ready for the job. Weighing in at 66 pounds, the winch comes with 92 feet of wire rope, a 5.5hp motor, and a reduction ratio of 218:1. You bring the bumper and mounting plate, JEGS supplies the corded remote controller and roller fairlead.
Also hot: 3,000- to 9,500-pound electric winches and a dizzying selection of mail-order automotive equipment
How to get yours: JEGS High Performance, 800/345-4545,


Hook: It comes wound with 87 feet of striking red synthetic rope, boasts a reduction ratio of 228:1, and weighs in at just under 70 pounds. This is the 13XP Premium electric winch from Runva, and it is rated to pull 13,000 pounds of stuck 4x4 with its 12V 7.6hp motor and three-stage planetary gearbox. The winch is sealed to IP67 standards and comes with a wireless/handheld remote control.
Also hot: 2,000- to 20,000-pound winches for industrial, competition, and recreational use
How to get yours: Runva,


Hook: With Champion’s 12,000-pound winch, you can expect the 6hp series-wound motor and 216:1 reduction ratio to pull you out of any tricky situation. The winch comes with 85 feet of synthetic rope, a snatch block, 2-inch receiver adapter, and more.
Also hot: 2,000- to 12,000-pound winches, generators, and log splitters
How to get yours: Champion Power Equipment, 877/338-0999,


Hook: KingOne’s Bull-9.5 is strong like, you guessed it, a bull. Features include a series-wound motor, double-cone brake, IP68 rating, and a 156:1 reduction ratio. The winch comes with a hawse fairlead, remote control, 88 feet of synthetic rope, and more.
Also hot: 2,000- to 12,000-pound electric winches, hydraulic winches, and recovery gear
How to get yours: Ningbo Kingone Industrial Company,


Hook: Pull 9,500 pounds with the KX9500E. The winch has a 218:1 reduction ratio, 5.5hp motor, 100 feet of steel rope, and an LED light to help illuminate winching operations. It comes with two wireless remotes and a 15-foot corded remote.
Also hot: 1,500- to 17,500-pound electric winches, tie-downs, and cargo-control necessities
How to get yours: Keeper Products, 800/533-7372,


Hook: Spooled with 91 feet of yellow synthetic rope, the TJM Torq 12,000-pound winch is sealed to IP67 standards, has a high-output, series-wound motor, 210:1 reduction ratio, and comes with a wireless remote control.
Also hot: 4,000- to 15,000-pound electric winches, expedition gear, and complete snorkel kits
How to get yours: TJM USA, 888/909-4856,

The Home Depot

Hook: Stop by The Home Depot for the 12,000-pound Max Load winch and its 6hp motor, fully sealed 265:1 gearbox, and 79 feet of steel cable.
Also hot: Home improvement accessories and multipurpose winches
How to get yours: The Home Depot, 800/466-3337,


Hook: The Ramsey QM9000 features a three-stage planetary gearbox, cam-action clutch, and 4.4hp series-wound motor—all pulling 100 feet of steel cable, and your stuck rear, out of trouble.
Also hot: 2,500- to 130,000-pound industrial, electric, and hydraulic winches; oil field equipment; and more
How to get yours: Ramsey Winch, 918/438-2760,


Hook: Offered with steel or synthetic rope, the Off-Road Series 9,500-pound waterproof winch also packs a 6.6hp motor, IP67 rating, and a snazzy black finish. Comes with a corded controller.
Also hot: 3,500- to 12,500-pound winches, bumpers, and 4x4 accessories
How to get yours: Westin Automotive, 800/345-8476,


Hook: LED task lighting, IP69K sealing, and auxiliary power outlets are only some of the goodies on the Superwinch EXP Series 12SI. Also included are 100 feet of synthetic rope, a three-stage planetary gearset, 154:1 reduction ratio, a hawse fairlead, and more.
Also hot: 1,000- to 18,000-pound electric winches, winching equipment, and locking hubs
How to get yours: Superwinch, 800/323-2031,

Red Winches

Hook: It isn’t only shiny, the competition-style Cobra winch can pull cable at nearly 80 feet per minute, hold loads in place with a patented air brake, and still keep mud and water out of its vital parts.
Also hot: 6,000- to 10,000-pound electric winches and a dual-motor kit for the Warn 8274 winch
How to get yours: Red Winches USA, 801/298-1008,

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