Best Winch for Jeep

The Best Winch for Jeep in 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

The best winch for Jeep is more like an insurance cover. You may not need it often but you can’t tell when it might come in handy. If you’re an enthusiast off-roader, having a piece of the winch on board is very important as it helps you to recover your vehicle in case you get stuck in a deep hole, mud, or in a ditch.

Although most Jeep and truck owners are well aware of this, the main problem comes in when choosing the best winch from a long list of options. You see, winches come in different variations such as those that use steel cables and those that use synthetic ropes. They also come in either manual or electric options.

Lastly, winches come in different weight limits meaning you have to calculate the weight of your Jeep to determine how much weight a particular winch can manage. Since all these factors take a lot of time to clear, this guide has done all the hard work for you by putting together 14 high-quality winches that will meet your Jeep’s overall specifications.

 

Best Winch for Jeep: Editor’s Top Picks

 

Top 14 Best Winch for Jeep Reviews:

 

1. Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch

 

Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch...

Product Specifications

  • Weight Load: 4,500lbs
  • Rope Type: Steel
  • Rope Size: 55’ x ¼ “
  • Vehicle Type: UTV
  • Motor Power: 1.6 HP

Claiming the pole position in our discussion today is the Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45. One reason why the Terra 45 has topped this list is due to its high compatibility with most four-bolt winch mount kits that have been in production lately. It also has a high 4,500 lbs worth of pulling power, which is quite immense if you own an ATV or any utility UTV.

Now, what’s the secret to such power? Well, the secret lies in the rugged all-steel planetary gears that are two times wider than most contemporary gears. These gears utilize the latest machined-in bronze oil pocket bearings that make them twice as effective compared to those of their competitors.

Other than the gears, the smooth bearing system and the ergonomic cam action free-spooling clutch have offered an effective way of drawing out the winch manually without facing any resistance. About the rope, the Terra 45 utilizes a long 55 feet steel wire rope that has a thickness of ¼ inches. It’s also equipped with an efficient low amp to draw a 1.6 Hp motor that’s weather-sealed to prevent water from seeping in in case it’s exposed to inclement weather.

Highlighted Features

  • The low amp draw motor ensures that your battery is not depleted during recovery
  • The steel rope is long enough to suit any recovery situation
  • The motor has weather-sealed solenoids to prevent damage
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • Has circuit breaker protection that guarantees safety

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2. Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC Winch

 

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC Winch...

Product Specifications

  • Weight Load: 3,000 lbs
  • Rope Type: Steel cable
  • Rope Size: 50’ x 3/16”
  • Vehicle Type: UTV
  • Motor Power: 1.2 HP

In case you’re looking for the best winch for a Jeep that will suit your low budget, then perhaps you can consider the Superwinch 1130220 Winch. One factor that makes this winch the best is its low price range. Secondly, most of its features are quite similar to its sister, the Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45. The only slight difference is its pull capacity of 3,000 lbs, which is slightly lower than Terra 45’s 4,500 lbs.

But, other than that, this winch is more like a bird in hand which is worth two in the bush. What I mean is that having it on board is much better as you’ll only draw it in case of a sticky situation. Now, what makes this winch a worthy contender? Well, first, the Superwinch 1130220 has a low amp draw 1.2 Hp motor that doesn’t deplete your battery during recoveries.

Secondly, it has a 3-stage planetary gear system that makes recoveries quite easy. Its long 50 feet steel rope has a diameter of 3/16 inches, which makes it great for recovering mid-range vehicles. To make recoveries much safer, the Superwinch 1130220 is equipped with a wired handheld remote that offers hands-free operation up to a distance of 12 feet.

Highlighted Features

  • The solenoid and the circuit breaker are weather-sealed for maximum protection
  • The motor is protected by a circuit breaker to guarantee safety
  • The handheld remote control allows you to operate the winch from a safe distance of 12 feet
  • The low amperage motor is energy efficient as it doesn’t deplete your battery
  • Weighing just 20 pounds, this winch is very light to deal with

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3. Smittybilt X2O COMP – Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch

 

Smittybilt X2O COMP - Waterproof Synthetic Rope...

Product Specifications

  • Weight Load: 10,000 lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Rope Size: 98.5’ x 3/8”
  • Vehicle Type: Heavy Trucks
  • Motor Power: 6.6 HP

If power is what you’re truly looking for, then the Smittybilt X20 COMP is an incredible choice that promises staggering power to recover large-sized vehicles. In fact, by just looking at the front label, you can easily see that this goliath can manage up to 10,000 lbs of pulling power. With such a high load capacity, this winch can pull oversized utility trucks and move heavy equipment without struggling.

But, to accomplish all these, the Smittybilt X20 COMP will need a very powerful motor. For that reason, Smittybilt has equipped this winch with a 6.6 HP Amphibious motor that’s insanely powerful. To add icing to the cake, they’ve added a 3-stage planetary gear system, an inductive braking system, and a large clutch, all in a bid to improve efficiency.

The cable itself is synthetic and has a length of 98.5 feet and a diameter of 3/8 inches. There’s also an integrated remote control that lets you operate the winch at a safe distance of up to 12 feet. The Smittybilt X20 COMP has a matte black textured finish that’s UV and water-resistant. With a net weight of 94 pounds, the Smittybilt X20 COMP is a must-have if you own a heavy-duty utility truck.

Highlighted Features

  • It has an IP rating of 68 that makes it waterproof
  • The matte black textured finish makes the winch UV resistant
  • The automatic out-of-drum braking system produced less heat making it long-lasting
  • The powerful 6.6 HP Amphibious motor is useful for tough recoveries
  • Easy to mount by bolting

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4. Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

 

Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch | 9,500 Pound Load...

Product Specifications

  • Weight Load: 9,500 lbs
  • Rope Type: Steel
  • Rope Size: 94’ x 5/16”
  • Vehicle Type: Heavy Trucks
  • Motor Power: 6.6 HP
  • Waterproof: IP67

The Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch is among the newest 2nd Gen winches that lead the XRC series category. This winch comes with a combination of both old and new features. In fact, this model has topped in every Smittybilt winch review making it a must-have in any off-road endeavor.

Now, one of the factors that make this winch such a success is its easy installation process. To make it secure, Smittybilt has used color corded wires and a detailed wiring diagram to help with the installation. Other than that, they’ve designed this winch with a decent load capacity of 9,500 lbs, which is enough to pull medium-sized vehicles.

When it comes to the motor, the Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch boasts of having a powerful 6.6 HP motor that’s responsible for its immense pulling power. The solenoids are weather-sealed to protect the delicate parts from damage caused by dust and water. This winch is equipped with a 3-stage planetary gear system, a convenient remote control, and a long steel rope that has a length of 94 feet and a diameter of 5/16 inches.

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with color-coded wires and a wiring diagram for safe and easy installation
  • It has an IP rating of 67 that makes it waterproof and resistant to dust, snow, and sand
  • The steel cable has a length of 94 feet and a diameter of 5/16 inches
  • The dedicated remote control has a long 12 feet lead for safe operation
  • Comes with an exclusive 5-year mechanical warranty

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5. Warn 89120 ZEON 12 Winch with Wire Rope

 

Warn 89120 ZEON 12 Winch with Wire Rope - 12000...

Product Specifications

  • Weight Load: 12,000 lbs
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Coating: Black powder coating

To those of you that are keen on quality and performance, the Warn 89120 Zeon 12 Winch is a masterpiece that’s designed to meet all your recovery endeavors. Although the Smittybilt had a lot to offer, the Warn 89120 Zeon 12 is packed with tremendous power and efficiency that make it a reliable choice for heavy-duty recoveries.

As one of the recent members of the Zeon series, the Warn 89120 uses a steel cable that has a load capacity of 10,000 lbs. The rope, which is around 100 feet, is caged inside a stainless steel roller fairlead that guides the line to wind neatly on the drum when performing angled recoveries. Although some people have complained about the price range, most of the money you’ll spend here goes to the high-quality motor and gear system that has been at the heart of this winch’s outstanding performance.

Other than the performance, the Zeon 12 has a stunning beauty that consists of exceptional styling and attention to detail. The outer casing consists of a black powder-coated finish that makes it both stylish and highly resistant to corrosion.

Highlighted Features

  • Has a maximum load capacity of 12,000 lbs
  • Has a roller fairlead that reduces lateral strains when doing angled recoveries
  • Convertible control pack allows different mounting options
  • The winch is balanced on both the gear and motor sides
  • Best for recovering large trucks and SUVs

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6. X-BULL 12V Synthetic Rope Winch

 

X-BULL 12V Synthetic Rope Winch-13000 lb. Load...

Product Specifications

  • Load Capacity: 13,000 lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Rope Size: 85’ x 3/8”
  • Motor Power: 6.0HP
  • Size: 8″X 6.5″ X 10.24″

If power is what you’re truly focused on, then the X-BULL 12V Synthetic Rope Winch is exactly what you need. Regarded as one of the rarest winches in the market, the X-BULL is the appropriate fit for truck owners as it has enough power to pull an elephant: or simply put, a heavy utility truck or an SUV.

While most winches utilize the wire cable, this one relies on a synthetic rope, which in most cases is considered more efficient. About its might, the X-BULL has enough muscles to pull a maximum load of a whopping 13,000 lbs. As if it’s not enough, this winch is equipped with a long high tensile 85 feet cable that has a diameter of 3/8 inches.

The package comes with three remote controls two of which are wireless and one wired. Safety is also enhanced when using this winch thanks to advanced features such as the braker, the automatic load-holding brake system, and the 3-stage planetary gear system. Equipped with a 6.0HP motor, the X-BULL is one of the best synthetic rope winches for Jeep that’s available in the market.

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with three remote controls, two of which are wireless and one wired
  • Its size and weight capacity suits most 2-door and 4-door Jeeps/SUVs
  • It has a waterproof rating of IP67
  • Its orange color is quite vibrant making it visible in low light
  • Loaded with immense safety features such as a braker and automatic load-holding brakes

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7. MotoAlliance VIPER Max ATV/UTV Winch

 

MotoAlliance VIPER Max ATV/UTV Winch 5000lb with...

Product Specifications

  • Load Capacity: 5,000 lbs
  • Rope Size: 50 feet
  • Rope Type: Steel
  • Motor Power: 1.95HP
  • Warranty: 6 Months

When looking for a winch, load capacity is one of the factors that demand adequate consideration. The MotoAlliance VIPER Max is among those winches that have managed to tick this checkbox. Although it only manages a maximum pull capacity of 5,000 lbs, its overall performance cannot be underestimated. In fact, most people have hailed this winch for its massive compatibility with major vehicle brands and models.

One of the major selling points of the MotoAlliance VIPER Max is the 1.95HP permanent magnet motor. Combining this motor with the dynamic brakes and the steel planetary gears means that this winch can handle tough recovery assignments without getting overwhelmed.

Other than its massive power, the MotoAlliance VIPER Max has an excellent waterproof rating of IP67, which again is essential when performing recovery jobs in wet, muddy, sandy, or other tough conditions. The cable itself is a strong 50 feet steel cable that’s highly resistant to normal wear and tear. This winch is equipped with a roller fairlead that keeps the cable on track during tricky recoveries.

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with smart safety features such as dynamic brakes and mechanical load holding
  • The 50 feet steel cable is long and strong enough to conduct tough recoveries
  • Compatible with major vehicle brands and models
  • The 1.95HP motor is strong yet energy efficient
  • The IP rating of 67 makes this winch the best for all-weather use

Buy on Amazon

 

8. OFF ROAD BOAR 13000-lb. Electric Winch Kit for Jeep Truck

 

OFF ROAD BOAR 13000-lb. Electric Winch Kit for...

Product Specifications

  • Load Capacity: 13,000 lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Rope Size: 85’ x 3/8”
  • Motor Power: 6.0HP
  • Waterproof Rating: IP67

The OFF ROAD BOAR is one of the most powerful winches that play in the big boys’ league. This winch is not only powerful but also equipped with sophisticated features that boost its overall efficiency. First and foremost, this beast is powered by a high-performance copper motor that has a power rating of 6.0HP.

With such stamina, this winch is capable of pulling loads with a maximum weight of 13,000 lbs. To guarantee the best results, OFF-ROAD BOAR uses a synthetic rope that’s 85 feet long and 3/8 inches thick. It also comes with two remote controls, one of which is wireless and the other wired. When it comes to safety, this best winch for Jeep JL features a weather-sealed solenoid and a 3-stage planetary gear system.

This winch is also equipped with a load holding braking system that utilizes both automatic and mechanical setups for added safety. It has a waterproof rating of IP67, which protects the winch against rainwater, dust, sand, and snow. Designed for extreme off-road excursions, the OFF-ROAD BOAR is a must-have if you’re an enthusiast off-roader.

Highlighted Features

  • Has weather-sealed solenoid to improve the longevity
  • Has color-coated wires that make installation fast, easy, and secure
  • With a waterproof rating of IP67, this winch can be used in extreme weather conditions
  • The synthetic rope used is light and very flexible
  • Comes with two remote controls for improved safety

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9. Smittybilt X2O – Waterproof Steel Cable Winch

 

Smittybilt X2O - Waterproof Steel Cable Winch -...

Product Specifications

  • Load Capacity: 10,000 lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Rope Size: 98.5’ x 3/8”
  • Motor Power: 6.6HP
  • Waterproof: IP68

With over 50 years of experience in the off-road industry, Smittybilt knows exactly where the shoe pinches most. For that reason, they’ve managed to engineer an exceptional winch that contains a mix of brilliant updates to improve its performance. One of these features that have made the Smittybilt X20 a surprisingly impressive bargain is the massive 6.6HP Amphibious motor.

With such high stamina, this winch can pull a weight of up to 10,000 lbs, which is equivalent to a Jeep, SUV, or utility truck. To keep the competition on their toes, Smittybilt has added a host of other supportive features that include a 4-way roller fairlead, a 3-stage planetary gear system, and a dynamic braking system.

Besides, they’ve used synthetic rope over a steel wire to improve the cable’s performance and longevity. About its ease of usage, the Smittybilt X20 is equipped with a wireless remote control that gives you a hands-free operation of the winch. To complement it for its massive work, Smittybilt has used stainless steel hardware to house this winch to make it resistant to UV radiation, water, snow, and dust.

Highlighted Features

  • Backed with a lifetime mechanical warranty and a 5-years electrical warranty
  • Equipped with a massive 6.6HP Amphibious motor
  • Covered with a stainless steel housing to protect it against corrosion and UV radiation
  • The weather-sealed solenoid has two mounting options
  • Powerful enough to manage a whopping weight limit of 10,000 lbs

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10. LD12-ELITE Electric Heavy Duty Recovery Winch

 

LD12-ELITE Electric Heavy Duty Recovery Winch -...

Product Specifications

  • Load Limit: 12,000 lbs
  • Rope Type: Steel cable
  • Rope Size: 87’ x 3/8”
  • Motor Power: 6.0 HP

The LD 12-ELITE Electric Heavy Duty Winch is another powerful winch that fits the class of the “elite boys”. Manufactured by Driver Recovery Products, this winch is a worthy contender when it comes to recovering oversized vehicles such as trucks, Jeeps, SUVs, and other off-road vehicles. Just like some of the big boys we’ve discussed here, the LD 12-ELITE is powered by an upgraded 12V DC 6.0 HP motor that has a decent load limit of 12,000 lbs.

Unlike the former magnet motor, the upgraded motor utilizes the latest series-wound technology that allows it to offer consistent power without overheating. This motor is further equipped with a reversible advantage that allows it to push the cable out and pull it back in depending on the situation.

To boost its performance, the LD 12-ELITE is equipped with a sliding ring gear clutch and an automatic braking system to maintain safety during recoveries. The rope used is an abrasion-resistant steel cable that has a length of 87 feet and a diameter of 3/8 inches. Available with a wireless remote controller, the LD 12-ELITE is a must-have if you’re looking to perform tough recovery endeavors from time to time.

Highlighted Features

  • Has a powerful 6.0HP motor that delivers high torque
  • The motor is surprisingly reversible meaning it can pull and push the cable
  • The 3-stage gear system offers smooth operation without causing wear and tear
  • Has a wireless controller that provides a safe hands-free operation
  • The automatic brake locks prevent free spooling in case there’s no power

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11. Rough Country 9,500 LB PRO Series Electric Winch

 

Rough Country 9,500 LB PRO Series Electric Winch |...

Product Specifications

  • Load Capacity: 9,500 lbs
  • Rope Type: Synthetic
  • Rope Size: 85 feet
  • Waterproof: IP67
  • Motor Power: 5.5HP

If you’re a frequent off-roader and you’re looking for an electric winch that will offer impressive power output, then the Rough Country 9,500 LB PRO Series Electric Winch is exactly what you need. Although its load capacity is not at the very top, the number of upgrades they’ve made have really made this winch propel high above its competitors.

To begin, the Rough Country 9,500 LB PRO Series is equipped with a high torque 5.5HP motor that manages to pull heavyweights of up to 9,500 lbs. It uses a long 85 feet synthetic rope that is light and flexible for effective performance. The 3-stage planetary gear system is quite enormous and it’s responsible for the high torque offered by this winch.

To provide a contemporary solution during off-road excursions, Rough Country has housed this winch under a waterproof shell that has a waterproof/dustproof rating of IP67. What this means is that the Rough Country 9,500 LB PRO Series can be used in any weather condition without jamming or overheating. So, if you’re searching for a winch that will offer consistent pull strength, then the Rough Country PRO Series is the best winch for Jeep JK that you can count on.

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with a handy remote control that has a long 12 feet cable
  • The solenoid is weather-sealed to protect it against water, dust, and snow
  • The 5.5 HP motor is very powerful especially when paired with the 265:1 gear ratio
  • The roller fairlead allows the cable to wind neatly during angled recoveries
  • The synthetic rope is flexible and offers more years of use

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12. Champion 3000-lb. ATV/UTV Winch Kit

 

Champion 3000-lb. ATV/UTV Winch Kit

Product Specifications

  • Load Capacity: 3,000 lbs
  • Rope Type: Galvanized Steel
  • Rope Size: 46’ x 3/16”
  • Motor Power: 1.3HP

The Champion 3000-lb. ATV/UTV Winch might not fit the league of the big boys. But, despite being quite weak, this winch is the best alternative for ATV/UTV owners as it offers an effortless means of recovering light off-road vehicles. So, with this winch, you don’t have to mind about the weight and the bulkiness as it’s one of the lightest in the business.

So, what exactly has made the Champion 3000-lb Winch to muscle its way in our list? Well, first and foremost, this winch is powered by a 1.3HP permanent magnet motor that has a gear ratio of 171:1. Secondly, this winch can pull massive loads rated at 3,000 lbs. To amp up its performance, this winch is further equipped with a 3-stage gear system and a dynamic braking system.

There’s also a free-spooling clutch and a handlebar-mounted remote to make the operating fluid and excellent. To improve safety, Champion has opted to use a 46 ft. x 3/16-inches galvanized aircraft cable that’s less prone to fraying and abrasion. Available at an affordable price, the Champion 3000-lb Winch is one of the best winches you can count on for light recovery duties.

Highlighted Features

  • The 3,000 lbs pulling capacity is perfect for recovering light vehicles
  • The roller fairlead helps to guide the cable into the drum when winding
  • The 171:1 gear ratio provides additional torque for tough recoveries
  • The 1.3HP magnet motor is energy efficient
  • Galvanized steel cable is strong enough to avoid fraying and abrasion

Buy on Amazon

 

13. ORCISH 12V 13000-lb Load Capacity Electric Truck Winch Kit

 

ORCISH 12V 13000-lb Load Capacity Electric Truck...

Product Specifications

  • Load Capacity: 13,000lbs
  • Rope Type: Steel
  • Rope Size: 85’ x 3/8”
  • Motor Power: 6HP

The ORCISH 12V Electrical Truck Winch is among those winches that have surpassed professional vetting. This winch is affordable yet powerful enough to accomplish tough recovery endeavors. Although it appeared late in our discussion, this best budget winch for Jeep cannot be underestimated, especially if you’re an off-road enthusiast.

Now, one of the factors that have allowed the ORCISH to maintain its respect is the high torque 6.0HP 12V series winding motor. Combining this powerful motor with the 3-stage planetary gear system means that this winch has enough power to pull weights of up to 13,000 lbs. This impressive power means that the ORCISH can recover any Jeep, SUV, or truck model without any disappointment.

Other than the power, the ORCISH comes with other upgraded features such as an excellent clutch brake system, a 500Amps weather-sealed solenoid, and a free winding clutch. It also comes with three remote controls two of which are wireless and one wired. It’s also equipped with an 85 feet steel cable that’s highly resistant to fraying and abrasion.

Highlighted Features

  • A waterproof rating of IP67 makes the ORCISH perfect for all-weather use
  • The winch is packed alongside 3 remote controls and a pair of gloves
  • Its massive pulling power of 13,000 lbs is best for recovering Jeeps, SUVs, and trucks
  • The dedicated steel cable is strong enough to avoid abrasion
  • The free spooling clutch and the unique brake system offer excellent control

Buy on Amazon

 

14. AC-DK 13000 lb. Electric Winch kit

 

AC-DK 13000 lb. Electric Winch kit, 12V Waterproof...

Product Specifications

  • Load Capacity: 13,000 lbs
  • Rope Type: Steel
  • Rope Size: 85’ x 3/8”
  • Gear Ratio: 265:1

Claiming the remaining position in our discussion is the AC-DK 13000 lb Electric Winch. Just like our previous ORCISH, the AC-DK has a massive pull capacity of 13,000 lbs, which makes it the best for recovering heavy utility trucks, Jeeps, and SUVs. Its steady structure, which consists of stainless steel housing, has been quite essential in its performance as it allows the winch to resist corrosion and rapid wear.

The AC-DK further features a weather-sealed solenoid that has a waterproof rating of IP67. In case you need to operate the winch, there’s the option of using a wireless or a wired remote making things a little easier.

To those of you that are keen on aesthetics, the AC-DK comes in a vibrant orange color that’s both stylish and visible enough in low light. This winch also offers excellent control thanks to the free spooling clutch and the unique clutch brake system. It’s also backed by a 2-year limited warranty making it one of the top-rated winches in its category.

Highlighted Features

  • The winch is packed alongside a pair of gloves, 3 remotes, and an overload protector
  • Has a 3-stage gear train that has a gear ratio of 265:1
  • Has a high pulling power that’s rated at 13,000 lbs
  • The solenoid is weather sealed against water, snow, and dust
  • The winch is housed under a stainless steel casing to protect it against corrosion

Buy on Amazon

 

 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Winch for Jeep

 

After reading all these reviews, I believe you must be feeling overwhelmed wondering where to begin and where to end. In fact, it becomes more complicated if you’re a beginner. Thankfully, we’ve added a detailed buyer’s guide section that includes key parameters that will guide you when making your decision. So, without wasting any time, let’s look at some of these factors.

 

1. Type of Winch:

 

The first factor you need to consider when choosing a winch is the exact type. In most cases, winches come in two major categories that are electric and hydraulic. To help you understand, let’s elaborate on each type in detail.

  • Electric Winches:

These types of winches are powered by your Jeep’s battery and are designed to operate even when the engine is off. Although they’re prone to overheating, these types of winches are more powerful and convenient.

Electric winches are powered by either series wound or permanent magnet motors. The former deploys field coils while the latter uses strong magnets and copper coils. Between the two, the series wound motor is considered the most powerful than the permanent magnet motor.

  • Hydraulic Winches:

Hydraulic winches, on the other hand, are considered more powerful than their electric counterparts. Instead of connecting them to the battery, these winches are connected to the power steering wheel pump to take advantage of the hydraulic fluid.

The best thing about these winches is that they can function for an entire day without overheating or depleting your battery. The downside is that the vehicle’s engine must run for hydraulic fluid to circulate.

 

2. Type of Cable:

 

When buying the best winch for Jeep Wrangler, you’ll expect to find a cable, which will offer great assistance when pulling. Now, here, you’ll be forced to decide between two cables which are steel and synthetic. Although both cables perform the same job, they have a few favorable circumstances and drawbacks.

  • Steel Ropes:

Steel ropes, for instance, have been around for the longest time. They’re strong and abrasion-resistant making them the best for tough recoveries. The only drawback with steel cables is that they’re heavy and they have an abrasive texture that can injure your hands if you don’t wear gloves.

  • Synthetic Ropes:

Synthetic ropes, on the other hand, are the newest additions in the winch business. They’re light, flexible, and very easy to handle. They also don’t store energy making it hard for them to break. Synthetic ropes are also safe in case of breakage and are easy to repair as compared to steel cables. The only downside with these cables is that they demand UV protection to stay in good health.

 

3. Rope Length:

 

The length of the rope you’ll be using is another factor you’ll have to think of when choosing a winch. Now, a long rope is better than a short one as it offers more convenience when recovering your vehicle in regions with fewer anchor points. However, an extremely long cable can get jammed making the recovery process more complex.

 

4. Motor Type:

 

Although we discussed this at the beginning, the type of motor you’re using can have a huge significance on the overall performance of the winch. First, you need to check the power rating of the motor, which is rated in horsepower (HP). The more the HP, the higher the power the winch will deliver.

On the other hand, you’ll need to consider the type of motor the winch is using. Here, you’ll be choosing between series wound (SW) and permanent magnet (PM) motor. In most cases, SW motors are considered 10-15% more powerful than PM motors making them the best for heavy-duty use.

 

5. Pulling Power:

 

Also known as Rated Line Pull, the pulling power of a winch is another key parameter that demands serious consideration. You see, all winches come with a maximum load rating, which is a measure of the amount of load they can handle.

In most cases, this weight limit is measured in pounds or kilograms for easy understanding. The pulling power of any winch is calculated using two factors—the mechanical capacity and the tensile strength of the rope. Since this measurement is well indicated on the winch’s manual, always make sure that you get the best winch for Jeep TJ that resembles your vehicle’s weight capacity.

 

6. Line Speed:

 

One of the silent factors that most people neglect when choosing a winch is the line speed. Line speed is a measure of how fast a winch can pull a cable when under load. In most cases, the best winches manage to pull 2-5 feet of a rope in a minute. The quicker the winch is, the better it is. Unfortunately, quicker winches consume a lot of electrical power.

 

7. Waterproof Rating:

 

Since a winch is just like any other power tool, you need to get a model that’s weather-sealed to protect it against the harsh effects of the elements. This way, your winch will work efficiently without experiencing frequent breakdowns.

 

8. Winch Drivetrain:

 

Lastly, you need to consider the type of gear system that’s used by a particular winch. In most cases, winches use three types of gear systems. These are the Spur Gear, Worm Gear, and the latest Planetary Gear types.

Both Spur and Worm gears are considered older versions and are therefore used by very few winches. These gear systems are fast but have a very low amperage draw. They also require a strong brake system to hold the load during recoveries.

On the other hand, planetary gears are the newest additions and the most sort-after type of gears by most winches today. They’re light, compact, and very affordable. The only drawback with these types of gears is that they’re prone to overheating.

 

How to Install a Jeep Winch

 

Now that we’ve discussed everything you need to know regarding the best winch for Jeep, our next step is to discuss how to install a winch in your Jeep. When you hear of installing a winch, most people tend to panic. However, by following these steps very closely, you’ll be surprised to find out how simple it is to install a winch by yourself. So, here are a few steps you can consider.

  • Step One: So, first things first. Always start by disconnecting the battery to avoid any short-circuiting or electric accidents.
  • Step Two: Next, inspect the stock bumper of your Jeep to see whether it’s capable of holding the winch securely. In case it’s plastic made, you’ll have to modify it by replacing it with a more robust bumper.
  • Step Three: Once the new bumper is mounted, place a winch plate on top of the bumper before placing the winch on top of it.
  • Step Four: With the winch on top of the bumper, use the available screws and bolts to attach the winch to the bumper. When you’re done, install the fairlead and screw it tightly on the winch.
  • Step Five: It’s now time to power the winch. To do that, you’ll have to run the red and black cables (from the winch) through the Jeep’s grill and past the radiator. Since the Jeep’s hood is open, you’ll be able to locate the cables from underneath. Simply pull them and connect them tightly to the battery.
  • Step Six: Finalize the project by reconnecting the positive and negative terminals of the battery. From there, wrap everything up by testing your new accessory.

 

Differences Between a Synthetic Line and Steel Cable Winches

 

Deciding on whether to take the synthetic or the steel cable route can be quite overwhelming especially if you’re a beginner in this department. What makes it even tougher is the heated debate and ever-expanding rift among Jeep enthusiasts when it comes to this topic.

So, to shade some light, we’re going to discuss some major differences between synthetic and steel cables to help you decide on which route to take.

 

Synthetic Ropes

 

Synthetic ropes came into the market in the 90s as an alternative to steel cables. These ropes were popularly constructed from high-tech polyethylene that was considered stronger and safer than steel.

Synthetic ropes are lighter and more flexible than steel cables. They’re less abrasive thus making them safe when used with bare hands.

Since synthetic ropes are lighter than steel cables, they don’t store kinetic energy as steel cables do. So, in case you’re using the best 12,000 lb winch, you won’t worry much when the rope breaks as it will be less likely to cause an accident.

But, despite being the best, synthetic ropes have their fine share of setbacks. One of those is their high susceptibility to UV exposure. When exposed to the sun, chemicals, and heat, synthetic ropes can get substantially weaker.

For that reason, these ropes require special UV treatment as well as protective anti-abrasion sleeves to keep them safe during recoveries.

Another drawback is the high maintenance level. To keep them safe, synthetic ropes need to be cleaned each time recovery is done to get rid of mud and grit.

 

Steel Cables

 

Steel cables are the longest-serving winch ropes that came ahead of synthetic ropes. They’re made from aircraft-grade steel that’s both heavy and very durable.

The best thing about steel cables is that they’re highly resistant to abrasion, especially when used in wet, muddy, rocky, or snowy conditions. Unlike synthetic ropes, steel cables are less prone to fraying and abrasion.

Steel cables are less costly and demand less maintenance as compared to synthetic ropes. So, with these cables, you don’t have to clean them after every recovery as synthetic ropes do. The only maintenance you can do to steel cables is to oil the line frequently to prevent corrosion.

On the downside, steel cables are very abrasive meaning you have to wear gloves when handling them. They can also cause serious accidents when they break, as they tend to snap like a whip.

In fact, their tendency to hold a lot of kinetic energy is one factor that forces most off-road enthusiasts to avoid steel cables as they can tear through flesh in case they break.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about a Winch for Jeep

 

  1. What Type of Winch Should I pick For My Jeep?

When choosing the perfect winch for your Jeep, there are several factors you have to consider. First, you need to consider the brand. Secondly, you need to pick a winch that’s less bulky. Thirdly, the winch’s pulling capacity should correspond with the weight of your Jeep. Lastly, you need to pick the best off-road winch for the money.

 

  1. Does the Package Include a Mounting Plate?

Well, in most cases Yes. But, when shopping for a winch, you need to confirm with the manufacturer to ensure that it comes with a mounting plate. Besides, the package should include some mounting hardware such as screws and bolts as well as a manual and a pair of gloves.

 

  1. Is a Winch Better Than a Towing Strap?

Of course, Yes. A winch is much better than a towing strap due to one key factor. A towing strap will demand an extra vehicle to help in the recovery process while a winch will accomplish the task all by itself.

 

  1. How Should I Protect My Winch?

First, you need to get a winch that has a weather-sealed solenoid. This way, your winch will stay protected against the elements. Secondly, you need to ensure that the rope is well protected against abrasion. In the case of steel cables, you need to oil them often while synthetic ropes will demand protective sleeves and UV treatments.

 

  1. Can I Install a Winch By Myself?

Yes, you can. A winch is very easy to install all by yourself. All you have to do is to follow our simple step-by-step procedure which we’ve outlined just above. Also, you need to have the right tools during the installation to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

 

Final Verdict

After a lengthy discussion, we’ve now come to the end of our insightful buyer’s guide. As you can see, there was a lot to talk about regarding the best winch for Jeep. To those of you that are new to this topic, this guide has filtered the very best winches that have ticked all the necessary checkboxes.

All the fourteen winches we’ve discussed are affordable yet capable of providing reasonable pulling power to suit all your off-road demands. So, in case a winch is what has been preventing you from enjoying some off-road adventure, then we believe that this guide has offered you all the information you might have probably needed.

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