What is a Winch? Types Of Winches

Last Updated on June 20, 2021

all about winch
An Electric Winch

Winches come in handy in many different ways. Different types of winches are needed for different types of jobs. You have to pick one according to your needs.

Read this article to learn more about winch and their types.

What is A Winch

A winch is a mechanical instrument used for hauling or lifting heavy objects. It’s working method is pretty similar to a pulley mechanism.

When you don’t have enough people to help you to complete the job, you’ll be amazed how this mighty equipment can help you complete the job.

Winches are highly used by ancient Greeks to lift heavy objects. And now this old technology is very useful especially when your vehicle stuck in mud, sand, water or any other trap. Nowadays, people use winches in various types of applications.

Different Types Of Winches

Okay, so now that you know what actually a winch is. Let’s come to the next point: Winch Types.

There are different types of winches. The most common types of winches currently available on the market are:

  • Electric Winch
  • Hydraulic Winch
  • Lever Winch
  • Snubbing Winch
  • Wakeskate winch
  • Glider Winch
  • Air Winch
  • Capstan Winch
  • Mooring Winch

But what type of winch is right for you?

Here is a quick guide to help you find the right winch for your job. Let’s start!

1. Electric Winch

electric winch

Electric winch requires a power supply and uses an electric motor. This is a fast-growing product in the market right now.

If you don’t have to work for a long time and you’re not involved with lifting heavy objects, then it can be a decent choice for you.

This type of winch is lightweight and very easy to use. Some winches offer a remote control system that makes the winching process easier. Plus, you can use this winch even if the engine is dead.

But, the motors of this winch can be affected if it is immersed in water. But there is a solution too, you can go for waterproof electric winches to get rid of this problem. This type of winch are mostly used on truck, jeep, ATV, UTV.

Warn Industries, Smittybilt, X Bull and other companies provides high quality electric winches at a reasonable price.

2. Hydraulic Winch

hydraulic type winch

Hydraulic winches have a great deal of power and they got the power from the vehicles power steering pump. They can run even when fully immersed in water.

If you are involved with pulling heavier objects, then hydraulic winch is a good choice for you. They have a longer lifespan and don’t overheat easily.

But the negative point of this winch is that they can’t run without an engine.

3. Lever Winch

lever winch

Lever winches are particular types of winches that have self-gripping jaws instead of spools. They use Self-gripping jaws to move rope or cable through the winch.

Lever winches are powered by moving a handle forth and back. Thus, they allow one person to move several tons of objects. Brand names of Lever Winch include Griphoist and Tirfor.

4. Snubbing Winch

snubbing winch

This is a winch of a vertical spool that has a ratchet mechanism like a conventional winch. But it has no crank handle or other types of drive.

A tail line is used to reel and tighten the line. Once completely pulled in, the winch takes the load with little tension levels. Snubbing Winch also features a controlled pressure relief.

To control stress, it uses a ratcheted spool. Also, it helps to control tension. This type of winch is often used on dinghies, small sailing boats to control sheets and other forms lines.

5. Wakeskate winch

wakeskate winch

Wakeskate winch is widely used by watersports enthusiasts. It is a favorite hobby for them. It consists of a spool, engine, rope, handles, frame and other forms of simple transmissions.

A person swims or walks away by using this winch. It can pull the person usually between 24 to 40 kilometers per hour (15 to 25 miles/h).

You can mount the winch on the back of the transport, set into the ground by using stakes or tie it to a tree. Wakeskate winches are specially used by snowboarders and skiers in cities.

6. Air Winch

air powered winch

Air winch is also called an air hoist or air tugger. It is basically an air-powered version of a winch. It is commonly used to suspend or lift materials.

Air winches are more versatile, safer and durable than electric, hydraulic and diesel winches. Because of their durability, safety and versatility, this winch is highly recommended by various winch companies.

Those companies which are involved with development work or large-scale construction highly depend on Air winch.

7. Glider Winch

glider winch launch system

Glider winch is used for launching a glider or plane. Generally, this winch is mounted to a heavy vehicle or a trailer. This is a cheaper alternative to aerotowing and highly used at European gliding clubs.

They’re operated by LPG, diesel or petroleum. You’ll also find glider winch with hydraulic or electric engines but they’re not widely used.

This winch is able to pull anywhere from 1000 to 1600-meter cable that is attached to the glider. After a short, steep climb, you can release the cable at a height of 1,300 to 2,200 ft (400 to 700 meters).

8. Capstan Winch

capstan type winch

This winch is also called vertical-axle winch. This is rotating equipment which helps pull weight on vessels. This type of winch is specially designed for use on sailing ships.

Capstan winch is mainly used by sailors in sailing ships to apply force to the ropes and cables. There is much similarity between capstan winch and windlass winch.

I have also reviewed some high-quality gas powered winches. You can read this from the review section..

9. Mooring Winch

moring winch

This type of winch is used to secure a ship in position on the dock without drifting. This is a device with some barrels that pull wires/cables.

The rated loading capacity is relatively less compared with hydraulic or electric mooring winches. So, they’re not often used for large-scale ships mooring.

Final Words

As you’ve read this article, I hope you have now enough ideas about winch and their different types.

If you have any more questions, then don’t hesitate to inform us.

You can also read my reviews of car trailer winches / hitch mounted winches if you ever plan to buy one.

all about winch

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