Used Winch Buying Guide

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Last Updated on June 24, 2022

Nowadays, you can also buy used winches. If bought from the right dealer, you can get a good quality winch at a very small price. But the problem is that buying a used winch can prove to be a smart decision only if you can buy the right one. With proper research, you will be able to find a used winch that is in perfect working condition.

Buying a used winch and getting the best one depends fully on the inspection process that you will conduct before buying. If you know the difference between a good winch and a bad winch, then you will surely be the gainer in that deal. This article is all about making you that winch detective who can find clues at the very first glance and identify the innocent and the culprit!

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Things To Consider Before Buying Used Winch

Used Winch Buying Guide

1# Decide What You Want

First things first, decide what type of winch you want and what you are going to do with your winch. That will help you to reduce time and afford for this job. Because suppose you want to buy an electric winch, so there is no need to check out hydraulic winches or hand winches. You can only look for that particular type of winch and sort out the best from them.

Some factors to keep in mind during the decision-making process can be the type of winch, the weight capacity, the type of motor, the type of cable, portability, and the condition of the winch.

2# Winch Type

We already told you that there are various types of winches available out there, so you have to gather some information to easily decide which one you want. If you already know what type of winch you want, then half of the job is done. Just start looking for that type of winch and buy one.

But if you are still undecided, then here are some possible winch types that might suit your needs. The most popular options are electrical winch, hydraulic winch, hybrid winch, hand winch. You can use them to recover ATVs, UTVs, trailers, boats, trucks, tree trunks, and industrial loads. It all depends on the weight lifting capability of the winch which is our next topic.

3# Know The Weight Limit

This one is very important as it decides how much load you can move with your winch. First, you have to decide the maximum amount of load you are going to deal with. Then multiply that number by 1.5 and buy a winch that has the same amount of weight-lifting capacity as the result of that multiplication.

Let’s make it clear, suppose you need to deal with 8000 lbs of weight (maximum). So, if we multiply 8000 by 1.5, we get 12,000. Now you should buy a winch that has 12,000 lbs of weight-lifting capacity. That way, you and your winch will be safe during winching. You can consider it as a rule for winching.

4# The Motor Type

Generally, winches come with two types of motor. One is a permanent magnet and the other one is a series wound motor. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you don’t have a favorite, then let me briefly discuss some points about them, and then you can decide.

A series-wound motor is used in the winches that deal with heavy loads when a permanent magnet motor is for light and medium weights. For that reason, a series wound motor will drain your battery faster than a permanent magnet motor. They are also expensive for obvious reasons.

However, a permanent magnet motor drops in performance over time and tends to heat up if you use it for a long time. That performance drop issue is not a feature of the series wound motor. It will provide a constant power no matter how long you use it and it won’t overheat either.

5# Inspection

This part is “The Most” important segment in a used winch buying process. You have to be patient and thorough when checking out the overall condition of the winch. Check each and every part of the winch and make sure there is no major damage or faulty parts in there.

Check the cable, is it the original one? does it look fresh? or do you have to change it right away? The answers to these questions will directly impact the price of that winch so don’t hesitate to ask and inspect. Your motive is to get the best deal, right?

If the owner of the winch took good care of it, then it should perform better. Test the winch by giving it a simple task, that way you will know about the condition of the winch wiring and other mechanical parts. Check if the cooling fans are working perfectly or not. How about the manual brake or the clutch or the remote controller? Don’t leave any stones unturned.

6# Some Other Things You Can Check

There are some other features that make a winch the complete package. Like, the use of expensive gear and not a cheap one will hugely boost the performance of a winch. Then, you can check the mounting options of that winch and see if it has your favorite one or not.

You should also check winch’s waterproofness and remote control feature.

Next, you can see the type of fairlead used in the winch and the line speed to understand how fast and safely it can pull a load. These minor things will surely help you to enjoy a tension-free winching experience.

Wrapping Up

The key focus in buying a used winch should be that the winch will serve your purpose and will provide the best value for money. A winch can prove to be a lifesaver in some situations so you should take this winch buying job very seriously and learn about winches in a way that no one can hand over a faulty winch to you.

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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