How to Make a Winch at Home – DIY Guide

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Last Updated on June 26, 2022

Winches have always been an expensive tool for anyone who needs it. For some, it may even seem to be a luxury to have instead of a necessity. But if one does think of it, you may not necessarily need to purchase a heavy-duty winch to get your job done.

DIY or “Do it yourself” is a concept almost everyone looks for when getting themselves an alternative to some tools. And in our case as well, we can make ourselves a winch which wouldn’t cost a ton but can surely make do for our needed tasks. 

These are very cost effective and one can make them even by using scrap materials.

Ways to make a Winch at Home

How to Make a Winch at Home

There are several ways in which you can make a winch by yourself and some of them are hydraulic, electric drive or mechanical. 

The main concept of operation for any self-made winch is to have a cable wrapped on the drum through some kind of reducer, irrespective of the sort of motor it has. And it can be done either manually or with the help of an engine to power it.

We are going to go through each type of electrical self-made winches as talked about above.

1. Electric Driven Winch

As previously said, our primary idea is to wrap a cable or a strong rope around the drum. We’d have the same for our electrically operated winch tool now. We frequently employ truck starters, converted generators, or any type of electric motor with the essential characteristics for a winch to correctly construct this device. 

However, we propose that you utilize the truck starts because they are the easiest to install and most accessible for our gadget. The considerable torque this electric motor produces, as well as its high power and the fact that it works on a car battery, are also advantages.

2. Hydraulic Driven Winch

Making a hydraulically powered winch mechanism is far more difficult than making an electric one with a starting can. In comparison to its predecessor, it will need to be larger and have a more sophisticated structure. 

Now, these may appear to be disadvantages rather than benefits, and they may be, but this also makes them more effective for the job. 

What we mean is that the self-built hydraulic winch will give you an advantage by giving you a large traction effort at a low expanded energy expense. This is especially true for a car, as the battery gets discharged during the operation of this type of gadget. 

As a result, conserving energy will help you save battery charge in the long run. Otherwise, you’ll end up moving from one trapped scenario to another. An oil pump, an oil tank, and a drive are the most important components of such hydraulic equipment.

3. Mechanical Driven Winch

The most basic of the types of self-made winches we’re talking about is one with a mechanical drive. The fundamental premise here is that this winch would not be driven by an engine, but rather by the movement and physical strength of the person controlling it, making it easier to pull off.

In other words, the more force applied to the winch lever, the greater the power generated by this machine. And you may easily enhance its strength by just utilizing a longer lever than usual. 

However, you must ensure that the lever is not too long that it interferes with your winching action. The best length for such a winching apparatus would be between 80 and 100 cm.

Now that we have learned about the type of winches we can have, let’s see the table of content required to make the ones mentioned above. We will need the winch’s drum, which can be made out from a pipe that’s welded to a thickness of 4-5 mm.

We’ll also need gears, a gearbox, and a strong wire or cable to pull with. For the gearbox, Any brand or model of manual gearbox will suffice. But it’s better if you can get a gearbox with the gear-changing mechanism integrated within the transmission’s cover plate, so there’s no need to fiddle with a shift connection outside the box.

For all the methods, we need a starter which has already been mentioned.  To create the base you are going to need metal sheets to mount the entire structure on and for other supports for your winch, you’ll also need an array of channel, angle, and flat iron.

A welding machine, measuring instruments, and other wires are among the items on the list. 

After you’ve gathered all of the necessary tools, the first step is to construct a platform on which all of the structural components will be installed. 

The chairs must be welded to the drum’s surface and then mounted. You’ll need to connect the drum and the gearbox in the next step. The primary shaft of the gearbox should be pointing upwards. Connect the starter to the gearbox after that. 

To install on top of the gearbox, you’ll need a wheel for the gear. You can acquire a flywheel crown to do that specific task to make things easier. It must be connected to the wire, and once that is completed, your Homemade winch is ready to use.


As you can see, it’s not rocket science to make your own winch. And neither does it require high-end tools as well. All the components of your winch can be found in the old junk of your house or you can get them from your local scrap supplier. 

These may not be the best or most efficient for the job but they can get your winching operation done without having to spend a significant amount for a fully functional sophisticated winch.

You might also like to learn the methods of making a wakeskate 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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