Complete Guide To The Best 4×4 Winch

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Last Updated on July 1, 2022

Off-roaders can’t think of their toolbox without a winch. Whether you’re stuck in the mud, loose sand, or snow, nothing can save you except winches. A quality winch is useful even for people who don’t drive off-road.

The vehicle doesn’t wait for the right place to be dead, does it? If you keep a winch in your toolkit, you will eliminate the need to call a tow truck, and you’ll be able to get out of a sticky situation faster.

If you want to rescue your 4×4 vehicle from any awkward situation without breaking your bank, you should get the best 4×4 Winch.

Top 5 Best 4×4 Winches Review

1.Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch (Top Pick)


  • With Gen2, XRC can offer better performance.
  • Wireless remote controls are available for operating the Winch.
  • There are 6.6 HP motors, 500 amp solenoids present.
  • Featuring an IP67 waterproof rating
  • It comes with all the necessary wiring to install, so installation is simple.
  • This 93.5′ heavy-duty wire rope performs well and is free of tangles.
  • The solenoid can be mounted at three distinct positions.
  • Compared to its competitors, it is relatively quiet.
  • The kit includes a sufficiently big and functional wired remote (12′).


  • A heavier clutch lever would be ideal.

There is no confusion that the Smittybilt 97495 GEN 2 XRC is the best 4×4 Winch on the market right now for those who are looking for a premium quality winch with a competitive range.

This robust unit is powered by a 6.6 horsepower(hp) motor, which is almost the highest winch motor you can get, And the gear ratio is 161.28:1.

The maximum load capacity range of the Winch is 9500 pounds, it is strongly recommended to keep the automobile gross weight under 6333 pounds.

With this sturdy unit, you get a heavy-duty steel cable long enough to fulfill the job.

The steel cables provide excellent brake performance as they reduce the heat on the internal brake drum. The wire passes through a top-notch 4-way roller fairlead.

Fortunately, the synthetic rope version of this Winch is also available in 94 ft length. Purchasing it will cost you a bit more.

Consequently, if you want a unit with the best functionality, a long-lasting and durable winch yet within a reasonable budget, this is the best choice.

2. WARN 101045 VRX 45 Powersports Winch (most reliable)


  • The three-stage planetary gear train can handle higher loads
  • With an IP68 rating, this winch is completely waterproof and fully sealed against all environmental elements
  • The unit has a rocker switch installed on the dash
  • It has a remote control with a cord
  • A zinc-plated hook is included
  • Huge 4,500 lbs capacity is ideal for UTVs
  • Its clutch is designed according to WARN 4WD hub lock
  • Providing excellent control with load-holding brakes


  • There may be problems with the rope size since it is relatively small

Whenever a heavy-pulling job is required, Warn 101045 is a perfect choice. In the winch industry, Warn has an excellent reputation for its reliability.

The load capacity of this winch is 4500 pounds, so it will perform better if your vehicle’s weight doesn’t exceed 3000 pounds.

You can choose between two rope versions. One is made from synthetic rope with a hauling fairlead and the second one is made from a heavy-gauge steel cable that comes with a roller fairlead.

The length of the wire cable is 50′, which is sufficient but small compared to its competitor.

Since they work best when their fairleads and winch cables match, it’s also nice to see it.

For higher pulling power, it has a 3-stage planetary gear system. Rather than using a spring brake to control hauling operation, they used a mechanical load-retention brake.

You can operate the unit with both a wired remote and a dashboard switch.

With an IP68 waterproof rating, this unit is completely protected from any kind of dust, so it will stay in good condition for a long time.

3.SuperATV 4500 lb. UTV/ATV Black Ops Winch Kit


  • The ease of installation is impressive.
  • It is waterproof, so it’s safe to use even amidst the rain.
  • Comes with all the accessories required to install.
  • The wireless remote allows you to operate it easily.
  • Cover 50′ of range efficiently & the synthetic makes it flexible as well.
  • Dash-mount and handlebar mount made easy with the rocker switch.
  • When the motor is stopped, the automatic braking system also goes into effect.
  • Superexcellent after-service support.


  • The manual instructions may not be understandable by everyone.

If you prefer a 4-wheeled vehicle as your adventure companion, then the SuperATV 4500 lb. UTV/ATV Black Ops Winch Kit is going to be your friend in the clutch.

It is a 4500 lbs winch that can be mounted on both the front and backside of the car. Typically it fits all the bumpers.

For a small-sized vehicle, this Winch is more than a preferable choice. Just having it in one of your cars can save you a lot of time in case you get stuck in the mud.

With the powerful 1.3 hp motor, along with a 50′ synthetic rope, the pulling task gets way smoother.

Why synthetic rope, you ask? Synthetic ropes are flexible, don’t get rusty, and are safe to use.

There’s also a remote through which you can initiate the pulling process.

The braking mechanism of the Winch is also very smart. As soon as the motor stops working, the automatic braking system also gets initiated as well.

Other than that, it also comes with a rocker switch, waterproof solenoid, hooks kit, pulls strap, and various other accessories.

4.Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch


  • ¼-inch steel wire rope makes it durable.
  • a 1.6 hp magnetic motor can carry heavyweight.
  • Dynamic brakes are very effective.
  • The bronze bearing, along with planetary gear, helps it to outlast the competition.
  • A free spooling clutch can be used to disengage the motor.
  • With the winch rope, you can draw out the rope.


  • The cable may kink, which is one of the downsides of the item.

The Superwinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV & Utility Winch is a fantastic choice that deserves your attention with highly positive user reviews and ratings.

Compatible with all types of four-bolt pattern ATV winch kits, it is suitable for most of the vehicles.

It comes with a rating of 4500 lbs which is sufficient to pull small to mid-sized vehicles.

Helping it to withstand that weight, it utilizes ¼-inch steel rope along with a 1.6 hp weatherproof magnet-powered motor.

The length of the rope is 55′. Thanks to the 3-stage planetary gear train, you will achieve unparalleled service for generations.

Regardless of how the weather condition is, the rope can handle it all too well. The bearing of the Winch is made of bronze that ensures it remains in good shape more than the competitors.

As an additional feature, it includes a handlebar switch and ergonomic clutch, enabling you to disengage the motor or manually draw out the rope.

There’s also a four-way fair lead and a heavy-duty hook included as a package.

All in all, this high-quality winch is nothing less than mesmerizing, so make sure you have it mounted on your vehicle before leaving for a journey.

5.Champion Power Equipment-14560 4500-lb. ATV/UTV Wireless Winch Kit (budget pick)


  • 1.6 hp motor has a rating of 4500 lbs
  • The 38′ rope is made of galvanized aircraft material.
  • Has a ratio of 180:1 gear reduction.
  • Boasts with a 4.6′ line speed per minute when fully loaded and 12.8′ per minute without any load.
  • Comes with a wireless remote and antenna that has a 50′ range.
  • The rope won’t fray and can ensure rough treatment.


  • Durability is questionable.

If you want a durable winch in the market within budget, you should go for the Champion Power Equipment-14560 4500-lb. ATV/UTV Wireless Winch Kit.

The whole installation process of the Winch is like a piece of cake, thanks to its convenient design.

Moreover, the instruction is so easily understandable that the installation won’t take any time at all.

Equipped with a 1.6-horsepower motor, it is capable of carrying 4500 lbs of weight. With a full load, the motor can pull 4.6′ per minute.

For your convenience, it includes a wireless remote & antenna that can be easily operated from 50′ away. Awesome, isn’t it?

The rope is made of a 15/64″-galvanized aircraft cable that doesn’t fray as easily. Featuring the dynamic brake mechanism, it is very safe to use.

As far as the accessories go, it includes a roller fairlead, mounting channel, rocker handlebar switch, and wiring kit. All these things make you confident that you can face any adversary with confidence in your next road adventure.

Last but not least, no matter what type of situation you face, Champion Power Equipment can help you to tackle it. You will get a sweet 2-years of guarantee as well.

Verdict On Best 4×4 Winch

I am now wrapping up this article on the best 4×4 Winch. In this in-depth review, I tried to summarize all the positives and negatives of knowing before buying the perfect winch.

Considering my own opinion, I would recommend the Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch, which meets all user expectations.

Alternatively, you can select any of these five; I believe you won’t be disappointed. Nevertheless, always pick a model that fits your needs.

Best 4×4 winch Buying guide + FAQ

Best 4x4 Winch

Well, no doubt that a winch is one of the most important equipment for any vehicle owner. No exception for 4X4 owner. If you own a vehicle, especially a 4X4, then you should have a winch always with you. Because you may face a lot of odd situations while driving your vehicle. Your 4X4 may get stuck on different terrains like snowy, muddy and so on. A winch can make you out of the danger at that time.

Here, I talked about the essential things that you need to take into consideration while purchasing a winch for your 4X4. So, without wasting time, let’s get started.

Winch Type

Well, first, you should know about the winch-type available in the market and find out the appropriate winch for your 4X4.. In general, there is two types of winches available in the market. Electric winch and hydraulic winch.

The electric winch is the most common type of winch. A lot of people use this type of winch. The electric winch is powered by your vehicle’s battery. This type of winch does not have a massive capacity and can not be used for a long time as it has overheating issues. However, if you want to get this winch for your personal use, then you can pick this option. Your 4X4 weight is important here.

On the other hand, the hydraulic winch is the most popular type of winch. They come with tremendous pulling capacity. This type of winch is a bit expensive and you will not face any problems while using it for a long time.


The capacity of a winch depends on the weight of 4X4, to be honest. In order to get the best outcome from your winch, you should bring a winch that holds 1.5 times higher capacity than your 4X4. Let me explain it to you. if your vehicle’s weight is 10000 lbs, then you should bring a winch with a minimum capacity of 10000 x 1.5 = 15000 lbs. The higher the better.


Obviously durability matters for your winch. There is no meaning in bringing a winch if it can’t stay with your 4X4 for a long time. So, make sure that the winch you are bringing is durable. 

You can look for some features that make your winch durable. You can give your winch a quick check whether it is water-resistant or not. There are many winches that hold IP67 and IP68 waterproof ratings. As you can guess that the IP68 ratings will be better than the IP67 ratings.

Moreover, you can check the material and build quality of your winch. Your winch is supposed to be durable if it is made of high-quality materials. You can also think about corrosion-resistant and power-coated finishing.


This is also an important part where you need to pay heed to. There are some features that will prove your winch cost-efficient.

It is recommended to have a winch for your 4X4 that has an AMP solenoid system. As a result of having this system, your winch will experience a lower amount of energy. Thus, you can save a good amount of money spent on charging. 

Apart from that, do not forget to check your winch cable. The cable should not be frayed or knicked. If you find your cable has this problem, then there is a possibility of tearing off the cable.

Without it, you can check whether the winch holds an official warranty or not. There are many manufacturers that produce winch and provides a warranty. In case if you face any hurdles with your winch, be sure that you will get a replacement.


No doubt that your winch function plays an important role in its performance. In order to ensure your winch function, make sure that it has the powerful horsepower that is needed for your 4X4. Otherwise, it may not be able to satisfy your purpose. 

Then, you can give the gear system a quick check. If your winch holds a good gear system, then you will experience a smooth and hassle-free winching experience while dealing with your 4X4.

Mounting Option

Don’t forget to consider the mounting options your 4×4 has. Basically, a winch can be mounted in several areas of your vehicle. So, make sure that the winch you are bringing can be mounted on your 4X4 where you want actually.

Steel cable or Synthetic rope

Winch rope comes in two types: steel & synthetic.

The steel cable is the heavy-duty one and comes with massive capacity. This type of cable is durable and does not need much care. However, there are a few drawbacks of using steel cables. You need to be very careful while dealing with steel cable. Besides, this type of cable is not convenient for spooling.

Again, the most popular type of winch cable is synthetic rope. This type of winch rope is very lightweight and convenient to use. Usually, the synthetic cable is expensive and you need to provide proper maintenance for the best outcome.

Winch Recommendation For Popular 4×4 Models:

Frequently Asked Questions

Which winch-type I should Choose for my 4X4?

Well, it is up to you. Basically, an electric winch comes with a lower pulling capacity and can’t be used for a longer period. It’s better for personal use. If you find that an electric winch is enough for your 4X4 and you want it for personal use, then you can pick an electric winch.

What are the working criteria of a winch?

The working criteria of a winch are self-explanatory. The cable remains attached to the winch drum. When your vehicle gets stuck, this cable will be spooled with the help of a winch motor. This way, you will be able to recover your vehicle.

Steel cable or synthetic cable for 4×4?

I have talked about both cable types in this guide. If you can make sure that you can provide maintenance of your winch cable, then the synthetic cable will be the better option. However, if you pick the steel cable, then do not forget to wear hand gloves while using it.

Which one is better to use? longer cable or shorter cable?

Basically, the shorter cable has more pulling power. The longer cable you have, the less power you will experience. So, it’s a good idea to use a short cable. However, you can take an extra piece of cable with you so that you can add it anytime with the main cable according to your need.

Best 4x4 Winch

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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