Regardless of what 4X4 or vehicle you have, purchasing and installing a winch on your drive can be one of the most essential and worthwhile things you do. In fact, if you’re planning an off-road trip, it’s highly recommended that you don’t leave home without one.
There is a huge number of applications that a vehicle winch has. For example, you might break down while you’re traveling somewhere, as might a vehicle in your convoy, and you need a winch to be able to tow it.
Likewise, you might be driving somewhere, and you find your path is blocked by debris, such as a fallen tree which needs moving.
Perhaps you’re carrying out a repair, traversing a hill or moving something from point A to point B, having a reliable winch by your side can be the answer to all these situations. However, as with most jobs you need to carry out in your life, you need to make sure that you having the right tools is essential.
This, of course, means choosing the ideal winch for what you’re looking for. For example, you’re going to need to think about the strength and load capacity that your chosen winch has and the materials it’s made from, and therefore its durability and overall strength. You’ll also want to think about how easy the winch is to install and, most importantly, how much it’s going to cost.
To help you make this all-important decision, we’ve searched far and wide and narrowed down the best of the best to the four most superior winches for the money that are available today. We’ve taken all the considerations into account, meaning you’ll be able to easily find the one that best suits you, all for the best, most competitive prices.
Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch
To start off this list, we’ve chosen the most expensive winch from all the available, affordable winches. However, while this will sit towards the upper end of your budget, this winch does come with all the features and functions a professional winch has, meaning it could be the only one you ever need.
Firstly, we’ll start by stating that this winch provides an absolutely superior 9,500lbs of pulling strength. This is more than enough to hoist your vehicle and any debris that may block your way. In fact, this winch is so successful; it’s rightfully earned its place as one of the most popular winches available today.
Boasting a 6.6HP motor, this winch provides a steady and reliable pull that promises to minimize the risk of damage to whatever you’re towing or pulling. This level of quality continues thanks to the completely waterproof casing and build which is waterproof to an IP67 rating.
Furthermore, this winch kit comes with every piece of equipment and wiring you’ll need to install it onto your vehicle yourself, without having to pay an extra cost of having a professional installation completely.
This particular winch comes with a 5-year or a 100,000-mile warranty (whichever comes first), so you can be sure that you’re investing in a professional winch that’s reliable and will be by your side for many years to come.
- A superior 9,500lbs of pulling power
- 3 and 4-stag planetary gear system for optimal load hauling
- Entirely waterproof build, including solenoid and casing
- Comes with 93-feet of heavy-duty wire rope cable
- Expensive model compared to other more affordable winches
- Does not come with a mounting plate
Superwinch LT2000 12V Utility Winch
If you’re looking for a much more affordable winch that you’ll use from time to time but still has a competitive amount of strength for all your hauling requirements, Superwinch has got the solution for you.
First off, we’ll start by saying that Superwinch is one of the most popular winch development companies in the industry, meaning that you’re sure to be happy with the build quality, features and overall lifespan of this high-quality winch.
With this particular model, you’ll find a 1HP engine that’s incredibly efficient to the battery of your vehicle.
All in all, this provides a reliable and consistent pull up to a maximum load capacity of 2,000lbs. There’s even added circuit breaker protection to make sure that your winch stays functioning, even if you push it to the limits.
What’s more, each winch comes with 49-feet of highly durable, 5/32-inch wire rope that has its own stainless-steel thimble to prevent unwanted fraying. There’s even a latched hook that comes at the tip of your rope, ensuring that any load you’re pulling won’t come loose or free at the worst possible time.
You’ll also find a rubber, heavy-duty, handheld remote control so you can safely operate the winch from a safe distance, or by simply using the freespooling clutch if you want to make things easy. In short, you have full control with this winch, and however, you choose to use it.
However, one of our favorite features of this winch is the fact that it’s easily and fully convertible to transform into an ATV winch. This means you can disconnect it from your vehicle, bolt it onto your ATV, and you can enjoy all the same benefits as you’re driving around, making this one of the most versatile winches on the market.
- 49-feet of durable wire rope included with your winch
- Rubber handheld remote for easy distanced operation
- Can be used on most vehicles or ATVs
- Easy bolt-on installation with instructions and all wires included
- Not as powerful as though other winches
- No mechanical load or load holding capabilities
Champion 4500lb Wireless Winch
Sometimes, it’s good to find a balanced product for what you’re looking for. In this case, we’re talking about high-powered and outstandingly strong winches that come at a truly competitive price tag for the features that you have access to. With the Champion winch, this is one of the best in this category.
This is because the winch sits in one of the most affordable price brackets, yet packs an impressive 4,500lbs of raw pulling strength; more than enough for most vehicles or ATV rides. This power is managed and controlled by a 1.6HP motor that’s capable of producing 4.6-feet per second of line pull on its maximum weight capacity.
Furthermore, this winch kit comes with everything you could possibly need, making this one of the most complete sets available. This is because your purchase includes a mounting channel for easy installation, a roller fairlead to protect and preserve your cables and a wiring kit to attach it to your engine. The latter feature even includes a contactor and mini-rocker handlebar!
This winch also comes with over 37-feet of aircraft-grade super-heavy-duty steel cable for minimal fraying potential and a 50-foot radius wireless remote control for safe operation.
All in all, this is easily one of the most feature-rich winch sets on the market, and it’s sure to tick all the boxes of what you’re looking for.
- Comes with 37-foot of aircraft-grade reliable steel cable
- Powerful 1.6HP motor for outstanding load-pulling times
- Outstanding 4,500lbs of pulling strength
- Comes with everything you need to install and use the winch yourself
- May not consider the included bolt and nuts etc. high quality
- Not particularly weather or waterproof
X-Bull 12V 4500lbs Recovery Winch Kit with Controllers
Finally, to conclude our list of the best winches available today that you can buy without breaking the bank, we’ve chosen this absolute winner of a winch from X-Bull. While available at an incredibly affordable price tag, the X-Bull can provide you with up to 4500lbs of raw pulling strength, all made possible through the 1.7HP, 12V motor, complete with a 3-stage planetary gear system.
This makes moving pretty much anything from your vehicle, ATV/UTV or fallen debris a breeze; meaning nothing can stop you from getting to where you need to be.
Need to work quickly? There’s even a freespooling clutch (like you’d find on the more expensive, professional winches) to help you unwind your wire rope quickly and without friction or hold-ups.
In addition to the 15-meters of aircraft-grade wire rope, complete with latched hook and roller fairlead, you’ll also find two wireless remote control.
This means you can operate the winch from a distance, as well as having two people work together when you’re tackling more complicated loads; or you simply have a spare! There’s even power in and power out controls so you can easily control the load you’re moving!
- Comes with 2 wireless controllers for safe and cooperative control of your winch
- Compatible on most vehicles and ATVs/UTVs
- The 1.7HP engine for consistent and trustworthy load pulling (up to 4,500lbs)
- Freespooling clutch to release cable for quick and easy usage
- May require a bracket for some vehicles or ATVs during installation
- Power wires may be too short for your vehicle, may need inexpensive replacements
When it comes to choosing perfect winch for your vehicle without spending a fortune, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of offer for you to choose from. However, any of the four winches we’ve detailed above are ideal for making sure you don’t break the bank, but still have access to a powerful winch that won’t let you down.