Driving an ATV or UTV off the road requires a winch. So what is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about a tool like this? Questions such as what is the best UTV winch? And how to choose it? So if you demand correct answers, you’re in the right place.
But buying a UTV winch, especially a good one, is easier said than done. You have to take certain factors into consideration during the selection process. Some winches offer excellent features. But the ones related to safety are the most important.
Fortunately enough, I have tracked down all the top picks for you. So let’s find out what they are!
Best UTV Winch: Top 10 Choices 2018
Photo credit: rockymountainatvmc.com
You can start by viewing this quick comparison chart. And below that, there’s the reviews section. After reading about each model, you’ll gain a better understanding. As a result of which you can buy the best UTV winch with confidence.
UTV Winch Name
Superwinch 1145230 Terra 45 4500lbs/2046kg Single Line Pull (Editor's Choice)
1. Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV – The Best Low-Amp UTV Winch
Let’s start off with a high-quality, low-amperage model by Superwinch. The Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC Winch is also an affordable option. The line pull capacity you’re dealing with here is 3,000 pounds. And that makes the unit powerful enough to handle all terrain tasks. (Beginner’s guide to using a winch)
What’s more is that this best UTV winch features both wired and wireless remote controls. The wired version comes with a 12-feet extension cable. Plus, the remarkable winch spool contains 50 feet of cable wire. The durable kind!
But here’s something you might find more useful than the rest. It’s the combination of low amp and circuit breaker motor protection. This guarantees reliable performance. And that’s exactly what Superwinch is well-known for!
Now let’s talk about the safety features. These include the dynamic and mechanical braking system. Along with the automatic hauling capacity! Such components are responsible for preventing the chances of rope slippage. Especially during a power surge or failure!
What else is a part of the machine? A well-constructed, metal gear train.An excellent 4-way, heavy-duty roller fairlead.And an ergonomic, free-spooling clutch.
In all, the Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC Winch is a large, durable pick. One that offers exceptional functionality and reliability!
When using the best UTV winch, it’s only logical to expect high performance. In this case, it presents itself due to the addition of two notable features. The first being the mechanical and dynamic locking mechanism. And the second is the universal gear drive functionality. These are the kind of features that allow you to utilize the complete potential of such a tool.
Every product has its own set of negative issues. With that in mind, here’s the drawback of the Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC Winch. It’s related to the design of the unit’s circuit breakers. They are bulky without any protective boot. And this might cause them to rub against surrounding wire.
- The Superwinch winch is solidly constructed.
- It comes with all necessary equipment for installation and operation.
- The addition of metal gears favors durability.
- Poor wiring instructions.
- Unprotected, bulky circuit breakers.
Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC winch
2. Warn 89040 Vantage – The Best UTV Winch for All Types of Tasks
When a UTV winch offers 4000-pound line pull, you know it’s powerful enough to complete a wide range of tasks. And with maximum ease! So that’s what you should expect from the Warn 89040 Vantage 4000 Winch.
Allow me to discuss the three most important features here. The first is the fully covered motor and drivetrain. For nothing but complete weather protection! The second praiseworthy characteristic is the smooth, efficient operation. All thanks to the 3-stage universal gear train. And the third impressive component is the handlebar controls. That means easy usability, doesn’t it?
Furthermore, there’s the permanent, powerful magnet motor to look forward to as well. And you get the opportunity to choose from a synthetic rope and wire rope. The former is lightweight while the latter has an aircraft-grade quality.
You might also go for the rugged design and phenomenal exterior of the Warn winch. They all combine to make it more capable and advanced. The finishing offers corrosion-resistant properties to bring strength and durability into action.
And let’s not forget about the powder-coated, redesigned fairlead. What the remarkable feature does is reduce rope wear. On top of that, the efficient brake and gear train design provide outstanding control. At the time you need it most, i.e. for winching.
So the Warn 89040 Vantage 4000 Winch pulls faster than its competitors. While also consuming minimal power! That makes it the best UTV winch available on the current market.
This tool by Warn offers large weight capacity as well as two remotes. The latter comes in the form of a corded controller and handlebar controls. And both add more convenience to the whole experience. While the 4000-pound line pull makes it suitable for various types of applications! So whatever your task, the winch has got it covered!
The one consistent problem you might encounter here is the winch stacking up. So to eliminate this completely, you have to spool it carefully. Apart from that, the unit works well enough.
- Installing the Warn winch is pretty straightforward.
- The wires included are long enough for easy reaching.
- Operation is quiet and smooth.
- Installation instructions are poor and misleading.
- It tends to stack up often.
Installing a WARN Winch Mount on a 2016 Honda Pioneer 1000
3. Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch – The Best UTV Winch for Heavy-Duty Applications
The Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch consists of heavy-duty characteristics. The kind intended for maximum durability and high performance! By far, it’s the strongest recovery system that can bail you out of any situation.
This best UTV winch has a waterproof design. And the unit is powerful enough to offer fast winding speed. Then comes the corded remote control with 12-feet extension. This makes the experience way more convenient than you can imagine.
On a personal note, I found the control handle magnet to be a very useful addition. The excellent roller fairlead is another remarkable inclusion. So you know that the model is equipped with both basic and advanced features.
Performance-wise, the amphibious motor works exceptionally well. And so does the 3-stage universal gear system. On top of that, the kit includes all wiring equipment essential for installation. So it’s not only the impressive operation that makes a huge impact. Other little yet important details matter too.
So what’s the best way to describe the Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch? It’s a heavy-duty machine that’s also easy to assemble. The working mechanism is smooth and fairly quiet. But the most compelling feature is the control magnet. So you won’t be anything but extremely relieved to use a winch like this.
What’s the problem with the Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch? Well, there is a particular issue that might surface during application. Since the pins of the useful control box are very thin, the chances of them breaking are quite likely. So be prepared to experience such a loss.
- The Smittybilt winch is a high-quality, waterproof unit.
- Detailed installation instructions for quick set up.
- Control box prongs are susceptible to snapping.
- Overall durability is also weak.
Smittybilt Gen2 XRC Waterproof Winch
4. Champion 3000-lb ATV-UTV Winch Kit – The Best UTV Winch for Budget-Friendly Users
You don’t expect an affordable UTV winch to offer 3000-pound line pull, do you? But that is true of the Champion 3000-lb ATV-UTV Winch. The small unit is packed with 45 feet of super-duty, galvanized aircraft cable. It runs on a powerful motor large enough for saving you from sticky situations.
You can control the machine with the help of an invaluable handlebar switch. The length is over 12 inches, so it doesn’t crowd the UTV. Plus, the weight of the equipment is under 19 pounds. So it’s a lightweight winch, which makes it easy and convenient to work with. Unlike the heavier models on the list!
What’s next is the universal mounting system of the Champion 3000-lb ATV-UTV Winch. Such a feature allows you to mount the tool on any UTV or ATV.
You’ll also be relieved to know that the cable doesn’t fray easily. Even when used on abrasive terrain! The strong cable guides into the drum by passing through the solid roller fairlead. And this helps in maximizing the cable life.
As for the universal 3-stage gear mechanism, it combines with the handlebar remote and free-spool clutch. To offer nothing but excellent control over every winching application! And to make the operation safe, there’s the dynamic braking system. This gives you the much-needed stopping power for every job.
So it’s safe for me to state that the Champion 3000-lb ATV-UTV Winch is an essential tool. Something that gets you out of any situation that you might come across!
There’s a lot more than only a reel of rope and motor in this case. The Champion 3000-lb ATV-UTV Winch is well equipped with tons of features. All of which work towards pulling like a little beast! Plus, for a low-priced unit, it offers tons of power.
Unfortunately, the useful control switch might not fit your vehicle’s handlebars. This is because of its large size. The component is well-constructed but is no good if it doesn’t fit properly.
- The Champion winch provides optimal full-load line speed.
- The aircraft-grade cable is plenty durable.
- Controlling it during winching is easy and convenient.
- Control switch feature is too big.
ATV/UTV Wireless Winch Kit by Champion Power Equipment
5. Superwinch 1145230 Terra 45 4500lbs/2046kg Single Line Pull – The Best Universal UTV Winch
Allow me to introduce the best 4500 lb UTV winch with a universal working mechanism. It’s the Superwinch 1145230 Terra 45 4500lbs/2046kg Single Line Pull. The unit is built to tackle all kinds of situations you might get yourself into. That’s the most appealing aspect, isn’t it?
It features a traditional 4-bolt plate pattern. And it’s this particular component that makes the winch universal in nature. In the form of mounting capabilities!
The 4,500-lb pull rating tugs on a synthetic rope that’s 1/4 inches thick and 55 feet long. This means you get more than what you demand to save you from tricky situations. It even does an excellent job at pulling heavier objects like logs and fall trees.
You should also know that there’s an exceptional rubberized 10 feet cable. Now, this performs two primary functions. The first is to keep you safe while the second is to provide precision control.
Even though the model offers low amperage, the efficiency of the machine is quite high. Safety features are also in place. Such as the dynamic and mechanical weight holding brake! Then there’s all-steel universal gear with a wider design. And it uses oil pocket, machined-in bronze bearings.
And I can’t leave out the excellent weather sealed, circuit breaker protection. It ensures safe, reliable electromagnetic power. And that too in all types of weather conditions! With so much to offer, there’s no room left for any disappointment.
Here’s the best part of the Superwinch 1145230 Terra 45 4500lbs/2046kg Single Line Pull. That it’s crafted to deliver compatibility with all commonly used 4-bolt patterns of UTVs and ATVs. So the tool fits on most utility vehicles you wish to ride. And once it fits, you’ll know how well it performs.
Let me tell you that the product you’re dealing with here works exceptionally well. There’s nothing to complain about in that department. But the letdown is associated with the wire. It tends to fray and gets tangled up a bit too often. As a result of which you end up losing half of it.
- The Superwinch winch is an extremely powerful unit.
- Installation instructions are quite helpful.
- The motor reels in cable quickly.
- It is too heavy to work with.
- The wire is prone to fraying.
Superwinch 1145230 Terra 45 4500lbs/2046kg single line pull
6. Extreme Max 5600.3072 – The Best Durable UTV Winch
To get hands on all features that the best UTV winch is packed with, look no further. The Extreme Max 5600.3072 Bear Claw ATV/UTV Deluxe Winch is the ultimate pick. And do you know why? It’s because the unit is both low-priced and highly efficient.
Now it’s time to talk about why I chose to review this particular product. Apart from providing high-efficient power consumption, it offers a quiet operation. All the parts of this best UTV winch are covered for the much-needed weather resistance.
As for safety and convenience, you can rely on the dynamic braking mechanism. Plus, the mounting system is universally compatible.
This 3,100-pound winch is the same size as any 3000-pound model. But with extra features and strength! I would also like to rave about the triple universal gearbox. What the feature does is add more pull without causing too much noise.
The Extreme Max 5600.3072 Bear Claw is well-engineered for easy installation as well. Unlike some of the other complicated options on the list. So expect nothing but convenience at every step of the way.
When I say that it includes every feature, what does that mean? It implies that the Extreme Max Deluxe Winch contains both basic and advanced characteristics. The dynamic brake system.Weather-sealed motor and gearbox.Universal four-bolt mounting mechanism.Combination of low noise and high efficiency. In short, it’s the kind of power you can’t ignore.
Sadly, the equipment doesn’t provide fast line speed. It gets the job done, no matter how tough. But the time taken to complete each task is quite the opposite of impressive.
- The Extreme Max winch is plenty powerful and smooth.
- The mounting plates are universal.
- Heavy-duty parts add durability to the mix.
- The operation is not quick enough.
7. VIPER Midnight 3500lb ATV/UTV Winch Kit – The Best Weatherproof UTV Winch
When compared to other models, the VIPER UTV winch consists of many more features. All the different parts of the machine are entirely sealed. And what does that provide? Lifetime protection against extreme weather conditions!
What’s more is the steel hardware along with the universal gears. These deliver just the kind of performance and rigidity the task demands. As a user, you might also admire the terminal boots, wiring, and handlebar controls. Such parts are included for nothing but maximum convenience.
This durable winch is perfect for mudding and snowplowing with both UTVs and ATVs. The powerful motor and automatic brake are also very useful additions. The former enhances speed while the latter does the same in terms of safety.
The waterproof switch as well as synthetic rope appear as standard features. But as far as results are concerned, they surpass expectations like no other. So for competitive UTV winching, you should take this pick into consideration.
The VIPER Midnight 3500lb ATV/UTV Winch includes the best safety features for every application. The braking system, in particular, is quite exceptional. It holds 100 percent of the tool capacity. While also reducing the risk of potential rope creep during operation! In that context, the sealed solenoid is also another remarkable inclusion.
The only major problem to discuss here is the poor durability. Upon close examination, I found certain parts of the gear to be cheaply designed. So this might invite some trouble in the near or far future.
- Installing the VIPER UTV winch is easy.
- It can overcome strong traction/braking force.
- The free-spooling knob is too round and small.
- Overall quality is not that high.
8. Smittybilt98510 X20 – The Best UTV Winch With the Heaviest Load Capacity
For superpower functionality, nothing beats the Smittybilt 98510 X20 Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch. There’s only one reason why this particular model attracts more attention. That it offers a load capacity of 10,000 pounds.
Upon testing, I found the super, high-quality features to be incredibly useful. The manufacturer also offers several mounting options. They’re right there in the control pack.
As for the design, it has an excellent UV-resistant textured finish. But the most compelling design feature is the large tie rod struts. These are created to bring maximum strength into play.
This best UTV winch comes with built-in wireless remote connectivity. This adds more convenience and safety to the winching experience. In that context, there’s the large clutch to provide easy control. Even with gloved hands!
Plus, the inductive nature of the remarkable braking system makes a huge impact. It does an excellent job of reducing heat. As a result of which long-lasting workability and performance don’t sound like a pipe dream.
The most important positive takeaway here is the powerful motor’s ability to deliver top-notch torque. In fact, the highest in the current industry!
There are many things that I liked about the Smittybilt 98510 X20 Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch. For one, the X20 (wireless remote) offers super convenience. Then comes the durable, strong synthetic line. The speed of the tool is also more than satisfactory. Not so slow that it takes hours to complete one job. And not too fast so you’re unable to control it. In all, the equipment looks good and performs even better.
Now it’s great news that the Smittybilt 98510 X20 Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch comes with wireless connectivity. The kind that enhances user experience! But it’s no good if the remote dies on you only after a few uses.
- The Smittybilt winch offers optimal line speed.
- Wireless remote makes operation super convenient.
- The fairlead feature is simple yet well-built.
- The electrical terminals are very weak.
- Wireless functionality doesn’t last for too long.
Smittybilt Gen2 X2O Waterproof Winch
9. WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC Winch – The Best Corded UTV Winch
This corded version completes the job in minimum time without having to apply maximum effort. The WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC Winch is perfect for UTV winching, construction, ironwork, piece fitting, and more. So you know that it’s a versatile and highly functional unit. Capable of working with heavy objects!
The whole device is crafted to move bulky machinery. While also being able to hoist engine blocks and precisely lift loads into place. It is a portable winch that offers easy usability. And if you want a cordless option, the manufacturer has made that available too.
The control trigger provides variable speed settings. Both the reverse and forward control buttons make room for accurate movements. The wire rope is 15 feet long, which means long enough. And it comes with a remarkable anchor hook to lend a secure, stable hold.
On top of that, there’s the LED indicator to present user feedback while the pulling/lifting action. You also get access to the electronic limiter that prevents overloading. So with the WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll Winch, there are tons of excellent features in store for you.
The machine has the ability to pull just about anything. And that too in a smooth manner! When the weight goes overboard, the red light comes on. And shuts off the operation! After which you can adjust the load to give it another try. So there’s no reason why I shouldn’t recommend this product to you. Or you to anyone else!
Now it’s time to make room for some negative feedback. The inner components of the WARN 885000 Corded PullzAllWinch are built using the cheap plastic material. So don’t expect them to perform like their metal counterparts. And that reduces the lifespan of this tool.
- The WARN winch is handy and portable.
- It is suitable for heavy-duty chores.
- The inner parts have a cheap plastic design.
WARN Winching Techniques
10. Superwinch 1140230 Black 12 VDC – The Best Compact UTV Winch
It might be a small unit but its line pull capacity is 4,000 lbs. That’s what you’re dealing with as far as the Superwinch 1140230 LT4000ATV SR Winch goes. Mounting it is an easy task given the compact size of the equipment.
The lightweight yet strong synthetic rope is 50 feet long. It’s an excellent alternative to older steel cables that don’t provide much safety. So no more worrying about the rope breaking fibers or creating cutting hazards!
Furthermore, the Superwinch winch has a powerful motor that you can control with a remote cord. It has an extension of 12 feet, which keeps you far from the powerful, heavy-duty action. As for free-spooling, the working mechanism helps in positioning the rope with minimal effort.
You’ll also find relief in knowing that the weight of this winch is not that high. So that eliminates having to deal with the unwanted load during the winching application. With all this in the frame, you won’t experience any major setbacks in terms of performance.
What’s the one common characteristic present in Superwinch products? All the three Superwinch options discussed in the article offer various switch options. These different settings only bring more flexibility into the picture. So for mounting locations, you have the convenience you demand. And that’s exactly what gives Superwinch an edge over the competition.
When using a UTV winch, it’s important to know how to set it up. Am I right? In that aspect, Superwinch does disappoint. They fail to provide you with detailed, useful instructions.
- The Superwinch winch is lightweight yet well-constructed.
- The operation is smooth on a consistent basis.
- It lifts and pulls just about anything.
- Installation instructions are poor.
An Overview of the Best UTV Winch
Photo credit: atvillustrated.com
How did the winch get so far? Having access to this knowledge gives you a better understanding of the gear. Wouldn’t you agree?
A winch tool is something that helps in pulling heavy objects to a particular spot. The method involves pulling and letting out line. It came into existence exactly when we started using the rope-like equipment. In that case, our bodies served as the winch responsible for pulling things in.
It was the Greeks who came up with the idea of using a winch for daily or common tasks. At that time, the tool had a wooden construction. And it was used for tightening pontoon boat cables so they could cross rivers.
Since then, we have refined and updated the device to a great extent. Over time, wood has been replaced with all types of metals. To add more strength to the winch!
Another significant improvement comes in the form of various power options. Earlier, it was the human-powered, simple crank that did the job. But now, there are different pulling mechanisms to look forward to.
What Is A Winch? And How Does It Work?
Photo credit: garagechief.com
Since now you know where the winch comes from, it’s time to find out how it works. The tool is nothing but a very useful and simple mechanical device. It performs only a single function. We use it for pulling cables and ropes or letting them back out. Is that correct?
To demonstrate the working mechanism, allow me to elaborate. Consider that your arms are mechanical devices. When you pull a rope in your direction, your hand is acting like a winch. But the downside here is that you have to keep holding that cable if you wish to maintain a certain tension. Or if you want to store it!
Now imagine wrapping the rope around a big or small tube. This helps in keeping it in a stored position. However, such tubes are difficult to grip. In that case, a handle goes a long way. Another useful addition is the invaluable ratchet system. What it does is maintain the desired tension of the cable.
This way, you don’t need to hold the rope anymore. All you have to do is use the crank till the cable becomes tight enough for your undertaking. The tool also offers space for extra rope storage. Plus, you can maintain the tension while also performing other tasks.
Best UTV Winch Anatomy
Photo credit: garagechief.com
So here are the different parts that combine to make up the best UTV winch.
It’s this particular component that the rope/cable wraps around. Every winch is equipped with an element that keeps the rope from slipping off the edge. More often than not, the element is a cage-shaped structure present around the tool’s drum.
Modern winches don’t consist of normal ropes anymore. These traditional ropes have been interchanged with metal cables. But you can always switch back to the simple rope. However, for motorsport applications, using the metal cable is an ideal choice.
As a safety measure, find out the amount of load this cable can handle. Also, don’t forget to invest some time in maintenance too. The thing about ill-maintained metal cables is that they tend to suddenly release. And you don’t want that to happen when it’s pulling a heavy object. There’s nothing more dangerous than that!
The feature responsible for the proper movement of the cable is known as fairlead. It takes the form of either a hook or ring. But in a few units, the fairlead is a slot found inside the cage. This is usually located in mounted winches.
The component ensures that the cable wraps around and reels in as it should. And this eliminates potential problems. Such as the cable accidentally getting wrapped around other winch parts!
- Gear Train
There’s no difference between your vehicle’s transmission and the winch’s gear train. The latter is responsible for energy conversion. Most UTV winches provide a gear train ratio of either 300:1 or 150:1. The first value is the motor energy. And the second is the power this gear train converts it to. That spins the drum!
So if you want more power, you should opt for a higher ratio. The only trade-off here is speed. But the best UTV winch offers the perfect balance between power and speed.
- Braking System
The part that takes care of slowing down the drum is the invaluable braking system. When you cut the motor, it enables inertia-driven spinning of the drum. At such times, the braking mechanism stops the drum. And that, in turn, halts the cable pull. This is very useful when you want to stop abruptly during a winching operation.
To engage the motor and gear train to that drum, what do you require? A clutch, right? By disengaging this clutch, the drum tends to spin freely. The best scenario to use this particular feature is when you wish to pull out the line. When hooking up heavy objects for winching!
All you have to do is engage that clutch before starting the motor. Soon after, the drum of the tool begins to turn automatically.
- Control Box
Every winch receives its direction from its control box. The operator adds all input in here for the equipment to perform primary functions. Such as to begin pulling, disengaging the clutch, and stopping the system! As per your requirements!
- Remote Control
Modern UTV winch with wireless remote allows you to control the tool without being anywhere near it. Then comes the wired connection, which requires you to be seated in the vehicle. Only when compared, it’s the former that offers more safety. As you can use the winch while remaining in a protected area!
My Choice: Superwinch 1145230 Terra 45 Single Line Pull
Don’t think twice before taking important factors into consideration when buying the best UTV winch. The tool should be up to the task if you want it to perform flawlessly. One great pick is the Superwinch 1145230 Terra 45 4500lbs/2046kg Single Line Pull.
Irrespective of the situation you’re in, this unit has the ability to get you out. The best part about it is that it comes with the 4-bolt plate pattern. So mounting the universal winch is not a worry.
The pull rating is 4,500 pounds with a 55-feet long synthetic rope. There’s the 10-feet rubberized cable as well. It keeps you away from harm. While also providing precision control! It doesn’t get any better or safer than this!