best budget winch

Best Winch for The Money

Many do not see the value of best winch to use not until they suffer from their car’s damage or get stuck on a trail due to the harsh weather. Most look for the best winch for the money without considering the right features in the first place. They think that moving obstacles out of your direction is the only purpose of the tool.

However, have you ever thought of the possibility that selecting winch with poor quality can lead to accident-causing lift? Remember, there is more to selecting a winch based on brand. You also have to take regard of mounting style, line speed, the strength of engine, and rate of line pulling among others.

Best Winch for The Money

Similar to any product selection, you should never compromise quality over price. Besides, investment for a long-term winch is worth the strenuous decision-making though not realizable at present.

1. Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch

This winch has a capacity of 9,500 pounds load. The product measuring 22.3 inches by 5.4 inches by 9.4 inches is powered by a motor with 6.6 horsepower (HP). Moreover, it has a planetary gear system with three stages.

Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch is a newer version of Smittybit’s winches. It obtained a waterproof rating of IP67. Furthermore, it has a four-way roller of fairlead.

Included in the package is a remote control for the tugging of your vehicle. The battery leads for the winch measure at 72 inches. Furthermore, the drivetrain’s ratio is 161.28 is to 1.

The updated Smittybilt 97495 XRC has heavier duty features than its predecessors, making it more trustworthy when it comes to durability. Although it is indicated to handle 9,500 lbs of load, it can work up to 17,500 lbs. It is also designed to assist you in any situation that you are in.

The pulling power of the winch is highly perfected with a faster line speed. The winch has a superior finish with a matte black coating. The exterior construction of the winch is resistant to ultraviolet (UV) rats, making it aesthetically appealing for any type of vehicle.

It has an upgraded solenoid box, which you could mount in three different positions for utmost flexibility.

The product is offered with three-year electrical warranty and lifetime mechanical warranty. The warranty is claimed to be offered as an indication of Smittybilt’s confidence in its products.


  • Waterproof construction
  • Large weight capacity up to 17,500 lbs
  • Control handle has magnet
  • Faster installation proper
  • Corded remote control


  • No front mounting available

3. Superwinch 1135220

This winch is designed for extra durability, reliability, and power all at the same time. It is built to handle up to 3,500 lbs weight using the single line pull method. The product measures 13.4 inches by 4.5 inches by 4.8 inches and has a cumulative weight of 20.1 pounds.

The Superwinch 1135220 is designed for all-terrain vehicles. In every package, you will find the device, mounting plate, roller fairlead, handheld remote, and handlebar mount toggle. You may also use its steel drum with synthetic or cable rope.

The magnet motor featured in the winch has a low amperage draw but is highly efficient with 1.6 HP. It has a dynamic brake attached to the load holding component. Compared to other winches available, it has a planetary gear made of steel that is two times wider than its counterparts.

The bearings of the winch are also perfected with bronze material processed via patented machines. Its solenoid box is resistant to weather. Furthermore, its circuit breaker is safeguarded.

Superwinch 1135220 is highly acclaimed for its safety features. The probability of cable slippage during a power surge or breakdown is eliminated with this product. Drum’s quick close-down will also be carried out by the machine automatically when necessary.

The remote comes with a cable of 10 feet length. This will you position better and farther from the winch while freeing your vehicle.


  • In and out power load
  • Comes with safety features
  • Allows switching between operations
  • Steel wire rope
  • Suited for work and recreational applications


  • Rope wears out quickly

3. Master Lock 2953AT

This portable winch works at 12 volts and comes with a hand crank. Similar to the products mentioned above, it has a remote control for convenient management of the winch’s operations. It also has a feature of being attached to a flat surface or ball mount.

Master Lock 2953AT is available in different capacities. Primarily, it can roll up to 6,000 lbs. For the marine fleet, it can accommodate 5,000 lbs. Lastly, it can pull cars up to 2,000 lbs with a line speed of 6 feet per 60 seconds and load capacity of 20 amperages.

Included in the package of the winch are the backup hand crank, battery wires, and safety hook. The construction of the winch is perfected with a carrying handle. Its cable is made of steel and attached to a safety hook.

The plate included for easier mounting is made with steel for durability. The power cable has a length of 20 feet. Master Lock 2953AT’s aesthetics are also commended for having a rack and pinion tool construction.

You no longer have to purchase a separate mounting supported by DC adapter. You could either install it permanently or temporarily on your vehicle. Compared to other winches available, it is incredibly lightweight.

You can store it anywhere as you prefer. It only measures 7.8 inches by 9.6 inches by 9.9 inches.


  • Strong for a compact winch
  • Cable comes with a safety hook
  • Straightforward installation and operation
  • Works for both land and marine vehicles
  • Comes with a remote control


  • No mechanism for locking and unlocking

4. WARN 86255 VR10000

This winch has a capacity of 10,000 lbs and constructed with a planetary gear train of three stages. It guarantees reliable, durable and seamless operation. The product boasts its low-profile design that measures 25.5 inches by 25.5 inches by 14 pounds and weighs 87 pounds.

WARN 86255 VR10000 is one of the newest releases from the manufacturer under the VR series. The product is designed for weekend travellers. This is marketed as a winch that says it all when it comes to the budget.

The inexpensive product guarantees the WARN performance with robust construction and fast line speed. It also has extended torque and power. For safety assurance, it also has a specialized brake design, remote control, and wire rope.

Though WARN 86255 VR10000 is extremely powerful, its family is among the entry level winches of the manufacturer. Nonetheless, it does not mean that it is short of superior performance, especially now that it is less pricey.

Regardless of the vehicle, you will free, this winch will work perfectly. It is constructed for car, heavy truck, and any piece of machinery. You have different mounting options, making its installation perfect for beginners.

The remote control packaged with the winch is also resistant to weather. This keeps you in control of the gear regardless of the harsh environment. Furthermore, you can be at a considerable distance of up to 12 feet as your car is being tugged.


  • Handle has improved grip
  • Easier and more manageable operation
  • Weather-protected components
  • Removable control pack
  • Designed with Spydura rope


  • Reports of quick breakage

Best Winch for The Money Buying Guide

Types of Winch

Winch reviews based on the brand are not the only information you need to select the right product. Remember, the more you learn about the tool, the better you can get the hang of it. You cannot also ask “Who makes Badland winches?” and expect the best item to come your way.

car winch

Before you jump into a decision, you must know how to narrow down your choices. To provide you help in this matter, here are categories that will segregate your selection based on their appropriate use.

  • Electrical Winch – You will find Badland winches that are powered by the vehicle’s battery. In order to utilize the tool, attachment to your car is being done. An alternative solution is connecting the winch to another battery, which is considered safer since it will not influence any other components in your vehicle while running.
  • Mechanical Portable Winch – This is a hand-made type of winch that comprises drum winch attached to a motor of a chainsaw. The link is made to generate motive force. It is a good winch option since it operates separately from the vehicle where it is connected to.
  • Mechanical Capstan Winch – It gets power via crankshaft from the engine it is attached to. A dog clutch is being used to connect the winch to the pulley. The winch works when the vehicle is operating.
  • Mechanical Drum Winch – Similar to the previous winch type, it works when the vehicle is running. A turning shaft is being used to obtain power by gearbox gears’ movement. Compared to the first type of winch, it is more powerful.
  • Hybrid Winch – From the name itself, this is a type of winch that is developed out of spare components. For instance, you have an old winch. You may use it by attaching it to a vehicle.

Getting power will be done by hydraulic motor and pump. Many tries to assemble hybrid winches for these are more cost-effective and highly valuable.

What to Look for When Buying the Best Winch for The Money

Choosing the right product for your vehicle can be a strenuous task. It is not as easy as finding Badland winches reviews and selecting a product to purchase. Instead of concentrating on the electric winch reviews obtained from professionals and real-life consumers, consider the following things to look for when buying.

1) Weight Capacity – You have to find a winch that can to handle your vehicle without strain. Generally, you are advised to find a winch that can accommodate 1.5 times the weight of your car. For instance, you should purchase a winch with a 3,600-kilogram capacity for a 2,200 kg fleet.

dirty car with a winch

2) Frequency of Use – It is vital to determine how many times you will probably use the tool. For instance, if you will only require the winch seldom times or when an unexpected event happens, you may consider permanent magnet motor. Otherwise, you may need series wound, which may be more useful for heavier lifting.

Note: If your day is filled with winching, you may need to take regard of a hydraulic winch. This is intended for frequent lifting of vehicles.

3) Line Length – You must remember the rule that a longer line means lower pulling capacity. This is why experts often recommend that you attach the cable close to your vehicle. However, it is still helpful to keep an extra distance of line for emergencies.

4) Drivetrains – These are crucial for transferring power to the winch. There are three types of gear you can select from. Primarily, you have the worm gear, which is the conventional category that is suitable for holding loads.

You also have planetary gear, which is the most popular. Compared to all types of drivetrains, this is the smallest, but can be problematic when it causes the drum’s center to overheat. Lastly, you have spur gear, which is another old drivetrain with the lowest amperage or power to accumulate.

Safety Tips When Using the Best Winch

Once you have purchased the most suitable winch for you, you also have to learn its proper utilization. Like any products, you that will encounter, the quality and lifespan of a winch depends on how appropriately you use it. To provide you heads up, particularly if it is your first time using the product, here are tips that will help.

1) Always Wear Gloves First – Before you use any type of winch, protect your hands. Gloves that are thick enough, such as leather, are best choices. This will keep your hands from failure hazards, such as overloading, snaps, and extreme temperature among others.

wearing leather glove thumbs up

2) Invest on a Battery – If you have a winch for your car, ensure that you can invest for the largest battery available. You need a higher power to guarantee better operations of a winch. Evaluation of battery is properly done by checking the cold cranking amps (CCA) and minute reserve capacity (MRC).

You can calculate the robustness of your chosen battery by determining the pull’s time duration. You can simply divide amperage rating by the pull’s winch amp draw. Afterward, you multiply the result with reserve capacity time of your power source, preferably in minutes.

Note: It is better to end up with a higher time duration, particularly for emergencies.

3) Select the Best Anchor Point – The most suitable anchor point must be selected so you will find it easier to lift your car. Best options available are stump, tree, or a large stone. In case these are not available, you may use another car as an anchor point, but do not forget to put loads on the tires of the fleet.

4) Prepare for Accidents – You will not know if the rope you are using will break in the middle of the pull. The best thing you could do is cover the rope with a heavy blanket. Keep your family or friends away while tugging the rope.


Getting stuck on a trail is very difficult, especially if you are alone in an unknown place. Do not put yourself in a dangerous situation by finding the best winch. Free your vehicle from any loads without the need to ask for help.

Among the products featured above, your best option is apparently Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch. Given the fact it is the updated version of its predecessors is already an implication of better features. This could be proven by its extremely large capacity of up to 17,500 lbs.

Also, it has superior flexibility and convenient use features. Even the components making it up are obviously chosen with quality in mind. One good example is its synthetic rope tested for heavy-duty use.

In case you prefer another product, simply remember that it is more important to prioritize safety than your budget. If you can spare money for the best winch that could provide all the features you need, then you should do so for your own benefit.

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