Best Winch for the Money

Even if you want to get the best winch for the money, you might get one of those low-end winches that can’t even lift your car. I’ve done my homework and I found tons of winches that don’t even have a good buildup quality. When it comes to going for off-road adventures, they get thumbs down.

To make sure you don’t end up buying a ‘good-for-nothing’ winch, I’ve organized my short list of some top-rated winches considering the following factors –

  • Weight lifting capacity and applications
  • Is this really a good deal for the money?
  • Overall functionality and buildup quality
  • Whether it’s well-received among the off-roaders

So let’s take a look!

Top 5 Best Winch for the Money

Smittybilt 97512 X2O Winch – Top Pick


  • Modern Gen2 series of X20 that delivers the ultimate performance.
  • IP68 rated construction. That means it can hold out against dust, water, snow, and sand.
  • This winch features amphibious technology, which perfectly seals the wound motor for enhanced pulling strength.
  • Integrated wireless controller allows you to manage the system remotely or manually.
  • 98.5 ft. cable is substantially long and stiff for heavy-duty operations.
  • Powerful motor lets you complete challenging applications.
  • Inductive dynamic braking line eliminates heat for durable performance.
  • You’ll get a movable control pack, allowing you to mount it in different places.
  • Matte black-coated end gives complete protection against UV light.
  • Designed with a vast clutch, so you can control it even after wearing hand gloves.
  • Loaded with aluminum fairlead to reduce the chances of fraying.
  • This unit is good value for the money.


  • Solenoid mounting can be a bit problematic.

This particular winch from the Smittybilt brand is an excellent deal for the money. The high-quality construction is not only water-resistant but also UV resistant. What I like about this model is its exceptional pulling capability.

The 12,000 lbs. winch is a perfect device for safely moving anything during the time you keep the towing object’s weight up to 8,000 lbs. Thanks to patented amphibious technology, which completely seals the wound motor and three-step planetary gear. This is why you’ll get a maximum force in the industry.

Along with excellent load capacity, you’ll get a unique dynamic braking system that alleviates the temperature and ensures the long life of the winch. More than that, it gives you remote control features but still, you can operate it manually.

Another remarkable feature that I want to mention is its advanced gear system. The 265:1 gear ratio will let you get the work done without any hassle. Overall, I must say the Smittybilt X2O is the best value winch if you want a perfect combination of price and quality.

Champion Truck/SUV Winch Kit – Second Choice


  • Comes with a hand-held remote control with a 6 ft. cable to improve your winching experience.
  • It offers hassle-free installation.
  • You’re getting an 85 ft. galvanized cable, which is enough to perform super-duty applications.
  • Powerful DC motor is loaded for better towing performance.
  • You won’t find any difficulty during installation as it’s designed with a speed mount.
  • Free-spooling is included so that you can separate the drum from the gear system with ease.
  • Water-resistant texture allows you to do underwater tasks.
  • Features a snatch block to help you in angled pulling. In this way, it improves the pulling power.
  • Roller fairlead is integrated to maximize the service life of the cables.


  • Winch is winch is slightly loud.
  • Its buttons may require a bit of force to handle. That might be an issue if you operate it with gloved hands.
  • Control buttons might not work until you hit the right angle. 

If you intend to get the best inexpensive winch just for general uses, the Champion Truck/SUV Winch can be a great hit for you. With a 3.6 HP solid wound motor, this tool will help ensure you get the task completed.

Since it’s a 10,000 lbs. winch, you should control the whole weight of your vehicles up to 6666 lbs. So in this way, you’ll get the ultimate performance and long-lasting service life.

What’s more, it features a free-spooling clutch and easy-to-use remote control to give you a better winching experience. However, you won’t find the installation process laborious as it has a speed mount adapter.

Apart from these excellent features, it has a dynamic brake system and a three-level planetary gear-train to rescue your loaded vehicle from extreme situations. In sum, this truck winch is a pretty good choice if you want something practical.

Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch


  • The 12 inches wired remote comes with a kit that’s quite massive to grip and offers an effortless job.
  • IP67 rated. Meaning it has a waterproof texture and is safe from dust, mud, snow, and sand.
  • A powerful 6.6 HP motor can perform all types of heavy tasks.
  • The 94 ft. highly stiff synthetic rope goes through a high-grade four-scheme roller fairlead, perfectly performing the hauling job.
  • It’s available in three solenoid mounting options for convenience.
  • Straightforward installation as it comes with color-coded wires.
  • Robust construction. I find many off-roaders are satisfied with the quality.
  • It includes an automatic brake system for safety.
  • You’ll get planetary gear and ring free-spooling clutch to take your winching to the next level.
  • The black finish texture is entirely corrosion-proof and looks good on any vehicle.


  • The package doesn’t include the wireless controller.

Which one is the best offroad winch for the money? I must say, you should check this option from the Smittybilt GEN 2 series. During my research on winches, I found this is one of the primarily used winches in the industry.

The winch has a 9,500 loading capacity, meaning you should limit the towing load up to 6,333 lbs. for the best output. You’re even getting excellent build quality at this price range.

At the same time, this towing tool offers you a powerful and safe operation since it has a 6.6 HP wound motor and a three-level gear system. What I love about the winch is that it has three mounting points. This feature makes it ideal for 4×4 vehicles, trucks, jeeps, or SUVs.

This winch can act as excellent recovery equipment whether you get stuck in rocky terrain or into a muddy puddle. With 161.28:1 sliding ring gear proportion, you’ll always get a flawless and easy operation. All-inclusive, I highly suggest this winch if you’re an off-road rider.

X-BULL 12V Synthetic Rope Winch


  • It comes with two cordless remote controllers and one hand remote. The wired one is easy to grip and operate even during gloved function.
  • This IP67 rating winch can withstand water, mud, snow, dust, and other materials.
  • You’ll have a weather-sealed control pack that protects the solenoid from outside dust, water, or mud.
  • The control pack is also convertible. That means you can locate it in multiple places based on your needs.
  • The latest remote button reaches approximately 20m or 65 ft. So, you’ll get a broad range of space for your operation.
  • An overload shield is loaded into the equipment to disconnect the power supply in case of overload or a short circuit.
  • It’s a powerful winch for all heavy tasks. And it offers some excellent features at an affordable price.
  • The free spooling clutch is incorporated for quick wire rope drag out.
  • It includes alloy hawse fairlead to resist wear on the synthetic cable. And at the same time, this fairlead protects the winch from unexpected damages.
  • Easy and quick installation.
  • This winch integrates a brake system for ultimate safety.


  • A bit noisy than other models.
  • Some users find the instruction manual a little complicated.

For those expecting a powerful winch packed with lots of advanced features, you can decide on this X-BULL 12V Winch. And when it’s about pulling strength capacity, I want to add that the winch has a remarkable ability to haul heavy loads.

It can drag up to 13,000 lbs load, so it’ll be wise to keep the weight of your vehicles within 8666 lbs. If you want the longevity of your unit, you should follow it. Besides, the construction material of this model is quite superb. So, it won’t be easily affected by outside materials.

You’re getting a state-of-the-art remote control that’s suitable for all X-Bull models. Moreover, the clutch system is easy to rotate and fits accurately in hand. On top of all these features, it has a built-in automatic load holder. When the device encounters an overload or short circuit, it provides instant safety.

So, This is another excellent choice of the best budget winch for off-roaders.

ZESUPER Electric Winch Kit


  • The new reinforced gear system eliminates clogging.
  • Smooth and flexible operation.
  • The ultra-solid control box is for efficient performance.
  • It features two wireless remote controls. The high-sensitive control buttons manage the cable in and out.
  • The well-sealed contactor gives flexibility for high-loaded jobs.
  • Durable buildup ensures lasting service.
  • The high-quality winding motor is designed for improved winching.
  • It’s entirely waterproof and sand proof. So, you don’t need to ever worry about water splashing or outside materials.
  • The price is pretty reasonable.


  • Some users complained about the remote quality. And it tends to damage after a few days of usage.
  • The control pack could be much more stable.

The ZESUPER Electric Winch Kit is the last budget-friendly option on my list. With super motor strength and three-step planetary gear, it provides the best performance that one wants from a reliable winch.

You’ll get two cordless remote controllers as an added advantage. What impressed me is its positive load control for heavy jobs. As it has the capacity of hauling a 9500 lbs. load, it would be better to restrict the weight of your towing stuff up to 6333 lbs.

You won’t confront jamming or clogging of rope as it features a reinforced gearbox. Another fact that I would mention is its solid control box. So whether you need to recover your truck from a ditch or steep hill, it never fails to offer the best result.

If getting something handy yet reasonable is your primary focus, you can try this best affordable winch from the ZESUPER brand.


Our article on the best winch for the money ends here!

Hopefully, this review will help you make a sensible choice. I’ve covered the best affordable options based on my in-depth analysis. So check out the review section to strike the right deal!

The Smittybilt X2O Winch is my top pick on the best winches for money. Not only is it powerful, but it also provides hassle-free operation. To learn about many more features of the Smittybilt 97512, check out our review part.

If the X20 winch doesn’t fit your needs, you can simply go for our second choice. The Champion Winch is another affordable choice for those who prefer something feasible.

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