Best 4×4 Winch Review 2021

Last Updated on July 24, 2021

Best Overall

Smittybilt X20 Truck Winch
Smittybilt XRC

The best 4×4 winch

If you are looking for a 4×4 winch and you don’t have the time to shop around then just go for this one. Overall its performance and build quality is unparalleled. Undoubtedly the most ideal winch for 4×4.

When you take your ATV out there trail to explore around, often you don’t think about situations where there is no way out.

I mean with the ATV.

It might get stuck knee-deep in a muddy ditch from which you can’t get the ride out without any support.

No need for any if you’ve got the best 4×4 winch on the ride.

That’s right!

Using the winch, you can pull the ride out of the ditch without anyone’s help. And not just for getting the ride out of such tricky conditions. To move around logs out of the track or pulling in a heavy prize hunt like a big wild boar with its help.

No matter the reason, the winch can be a useful tool to have in many cases. And probably why you’re contemplating on having one.

In that case, this list here will pique your interest as here I’ve got the 5 best winches for 4×4.

Top 5 Best 4×4 Winch

Are you on the lookout for 4×4 winch? Then let the search come to a halt as I’ve got the best ones lined up here right below.

Just check them out now.

Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC Winch

Not all winches can pull off great weight. It is why you should put your money on Smittybilt.

This heavy-duty built unit can manage to pull weight up to 9500 lbs with great ease. Such a result is due to the powerful 6.6hp motor that is housed inside the machine. The series-wound engine found here produces acceleration torque that is much higher than most winches out there.

Meanwhile, the 3-stage planetary gear turns the winch at a stable speed—not too fast nor too slow.

Then there is the rope used by the winch. This one uses wire rope which manages to bear heavy loads. So, it utilizes the power of the motor the winch has to offer. Not to mention, the lightweight rope makes it much easier to use in scenarios with mud and water as it floats, unlike the steel cables.

While being on the subject of working in water. The Smittybilt Gen 2 winch here is waterproof all the way through. It will work when it is knee-deep in water.

But no need for you to stand in that knee-deep water to operate the winch. That’s because there is a control switch that comes with the unit which will allow you to use it standing on dry ground.


  • Has a powerful motor
  • Rope is quite flexible
  • Stable pulling speed
  • Machine is entirely waterproof
  • Has quality brakes.


  • Rope wears off after time being.

WARN 101045 VRX Powersports Winch

Compared to the earlier Smittybilt, the one here might not have the same pulling capacity. Still, for lightweight duties and some heavy-duty work, the WARN 101045 is more than capable.

The 4500 lbs capacity of the winch is perfect to work alongside with UTVs to get those rides out of the mud traps on the track. Or even pulling big weight logs from the track to clear out the path.

To do those kinds of pulling work, you can use both steel ropes or synthetic ones. You better believe it as the unit is available either with the steel or the synthetic rope based on what you prefer to have.

With the 50’ x ¼” steel rope alongside the roller fairlead and zinc plated hook, you can ensure having a much more durable pulling support system. Though, they might be heavier compared to the synthetic counterpart. Add flexibility to the equation, handing the synthetic rope might be a whole lot easier.

And when you consider the all-metal construction of the powder-coated machine that keeps the water out with its IP68-rated sealing, there aren’t many winches that can offer reliability like this one.


  • Waterproof sealing
  • Can get with steel or synthetic ropes
  • Winch is rustproof
  • Great braking system.
  • Fast speed line


  • Isn’t suitable for pulling heavier objects.

SuperATV Black Ops Winch Kit

If the earlier winch kit doesn’t seem like the right fit, then go for the SuperATV instead. Just like the other one, this offers a 4500 lbs pulling capacity which is more than ever you will ever need to have for the UTV.

When getting stranded with the ride on the trail, this one can get you out of the tricky condition. The powerful 12v DC motor with the 1.3HP manages to pull in great weights with ease. To help with the task, there you got a 50” synthetic rope. Its lightweight nature makes it much easier to handle compared to the steel alternative. And with the sleeve on, the rope can assure less wearing and tearing from surface friction when at use.

Not to mention, being submerged in water with your ride, both the rope and the winch will come out on top to rescue you. That’s because of how they are built. The waterproof solenoid of the winch ensures it doesn’t get wrecked. While the synthetic rope floats above the water to make it easy for you to find it and hook it to something for pulling out the ride.

And by the way, no need to worry about operating the winch while being submerged in water. With the simple two-button operating wireless remote, you can use the winch standing far away from it.


  • Lightweight rope
  • Easy installation
  • Waterproof winch
  • Remote control
  • Rustproof construction


  • Not build for heavy-duty work

SuperWinch 1145220 Terra 45 ATV Utility Winch

For a high-performance winch for the ATV, get the Superwinch. Not just ATVs, any utility vehicle can have the Terra 45 installed to them as it is suitable with almost every four-bolt pattern mounts out there.

When you need to pull in heavy logs, or just to get your utility ride out of muddy dumps, go with this winch. Its hefty line pulling capability of 4500lbs will get you out of any situation. Even if there isn’t something close by to attach the winch rope end, don’t need to panic. The 55 feet long wire rope will cover far reaches distances to help you out.

Once you’ve attached the steel wire to something, let the 1.6HP motor take over and see you out of the tight stop. Unlike others, using the wire ropes on harsh tracks with many pebbles, rocks won’t be any problem here. The steel rope isn’t prone to breaking due to constant friction with things laying on the ground which is most often the case with poor quality synthetic ropes coming with winches.

Also have due regard for the 3-stage planetary gear train of the winch. Unlike others, it offers a smooth movement to ensure the rope doesn’t reel in too fast or slow to cause any kind of trouble.

Can’t forget about its circuit breaker that protects the unit from getting wrecked if there is some internal issue. Overall, with a proper reeling system and braking power, the SuperWinch truly is a superb option that deserves to be on the list.


  • Waterproof housing
  • Powerful motor
  • Smooth moving planetary gear
  • Long ropes
  • Durable rope


  • Steel rope isn’t much flexible

Champion Power Equipment-14560

If you need a winch within a tight budget, but don’t want to compromise on the quality, then the Champion is what you’ve got to be the only option you’re left with.

Though like most of the others, it offers the same kind of pulling capacity. The unit here will give that 4500lb rated line pulling power at a more affordable cost.

That said, the 1.6HP housed winch with its 12-volt DC motor in action is one of the best in business. Within a minute, it can drag the line about 4.6 feet with a full load of 4500 lbs which is super impressive.

And with no load at the end of it to pull, the thing can cover 12.8 feet per minute.

When you’ll be ordering the Champion, everything you require to use it will be provided with the winch. From the wireless remote and antenna to mounting channel, roller fairlead, and even wiring kit with contactor and much more comes with the package.

No worries, it isn’t missing the rope. You can be rest assured the Champion will come with the most dependable 38-foot aircraft cable to use with the winch. Unlike others, the rope got galvanized super-duty material used to build it to ensure when you pull things using it, the abrasive terrains won’t cause it fraying or any such thing that might cause it to break.

All in all, the gear in hand is remarkable in every aspect. Might not pull big weight, but if you’re ready to spend a bit more, the machine comes with higher pulling capacity variants that might meet your needs.


  • Durable build quality
  • Remote control
  • Faster lining speed
  • Solid rope
  • Good weight capacity


  • Mounting hardware is cheap quality

Verdict on 4×4 Winch

You’ve come to the end of the best 4×4 winch list. As you can see, I’ve got all kinds of winches here.

However, if you’re not sure which one to pick for yourself, then hear me out. If all you need is to have the best equipment, then the first one, the Smittybilt is the obvious choice. With its higher weight pulling capacity, it is the most powerful unit on the list.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a tight budget to follow, then Champion should be the go-to option here for you. With its 4500-lbs rated line pulling, it is on par with the rest on the list.

So, don’t think much. Go and pick anyone from the above five ones knowing that whichever you pick, there won’t be anything that would make you regret it.

Best 4x4 Winch

4×4 Winch Buying Guide

The winches are useful to make you out of danger. If you own a vehicle like 4×4, then you are supposed to understand the importance of a winch. While off-roading, you don’t know what is waiting for you ahead. Your vehicle may get stuck anywhere in mud, snow or in rough terrain. In this kind of situation, a winch can benefit you the most.

However, before going to purchase a winch for your 4×4, there are a lot of things you need to consider. Otherwise, you may not be able to find your best one. Without it, the availability of the winches made it tough to select a winch. That’s why I am here to help you out.

In this article, I will be talking about some important factors that you need to set in your mind while purchasing a winch for your 4×4 vehicle.


The function is considered as one of the most important factors you need to pay attention to. Because the function will talk about how your winch will perform.

Firstly, you can bring a winch that holds powerful horsepower so that it can carry your required load to satisfy your purpose. Secondly, you can look at the gear system of a winch. A good gear system will ensure efficient pulling. The planetary gears are considered the best gear type. Take this issue into your account.

Thirdly, the winch size. The winch size is often overlooked. You need to be careful about it. As you know, the longer your winch is, the better it will be.

Lastly, the winch cable materials. The materials of winch cable matters a lot. You will find there are mainly two types of winch cable materials available. The synthetic cable and steel cable. Among them, the synthetic cable is more safer and efficient. They store less amount of kinetic energy. On the other hand, the steel cable is renowned for its strength.


The another important thing where you need to pay attention to while purchasing a winch is its durability. Not for winch actually, for every tool you need to check the durability of this tool first. Basically, durability is the measurement of how long the winch will stay with you.

However, there are several factors for determining whether a winch is durable or not. Among them, the first and important one is the waterproof feature. A winch along with waterproof protection means that you can use this winch even in wet and tricky conditions.

So, make sure that the winch you are bringing holds waterproof features. You will find the winches with different waterproof ratings. The common waterproof rating is the IP67 waterproof ratings. There are much better ratings though. The IP68 waterproof ratings are much better than the IP67 ratings.

Apart from the waterproof rating, you need to give the winch unit build and finish a quick check whether they are corrosion resistant or not. It is highly recommended to bring a winch that holds a power-coated finishing.


Well, you need to bring a winch that is cost-efficient as well. The durability and reliability of a winch are obviously important, but there are some other features you need to pay attention to for your best winch buying experience. It will save your money as well.

The AMP solenoid system is another feature that a winch needs to have. This solenoid actually lessens the amount of energy being used by a winch. As a result, you are offered to save a good amount of money while charging. Without it, make sure that the cable that comes with your winch has no frays or kinks. If your winch cable has kinks or frays, then it may tear off easily and you will need a replacement.

Apart from these issues, you can pay heed to the warranty feature. Because if you find there is any manufacturing failure in your winch, then you will not have to worry about that. Customer service is also part of this warranty. At first, make sure that customer support will not leave you hanging. Basically, all the standard winch are supposed to come with a warranty. So, you need to check whether your winch comes along with a warranty or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which one is better? the steel cable or synthetic rope?

Well, the answer to this question actually depends on several factors. At first, your personal preference is important that which one makes you feel better. Without it, there are some other things you can take into your account.

The synthetic cable is made of polypropylene and they are really strong. This type of cable is very light-weight and convenient to use. The synthetic cable comes in different colors and also does not rust. They have the ability to float in water. The synthetic cable is much easier to fix.

However, there are some cons of synthetic cable. At first, they can freeze with the touch of water and also vulnerable to abrasion. Without it, dissipating the heat from the brake is not possible and as a result, it can make an effect on the brake wire. The synthetic cable can be cut internally by dirt and sand if it gets exposed continuously in the outdoors. So, I hope that you have already understood that the synthetic cable needs proper maintenance.

On the other hand, the steel cable is much durable and less expensive. It has the ability to reduce the heat on the internal brake drum. Hence, it damages less on the winch drum. They are stronger and heavy-weight. That’s why the steel cable is a bit hard to handle.

The downside of steel cable is that it stores a good amount of kinetic energy. So, the steel cable can be dangerous if it tears off while working. The steel cable is susceptible to developing barbs, rust and kinks. Also, they are hard to fix while working in the field.

How can I install an off-road electric winch accurately?

Well, it is really an important thing to know about the correct installation of a winch to receive the most outcome and also to ensure your safety.

Before going to the installation process, you need to know that the winch is being used for towing or pulling your vehicle. So, you need a powerful battery for proper winching. If you can’t provide enough power, then your work may not be effective as your need.

While installation, at first, you will have to place the hitch on your vehicle’s front bumper and then mount the winch securely on your hitch. After that, get a wire connected to the power source and also install the power switch. At last, pre-tension the wire and ensure that they are remaining spooled tightly on the winch drum.

What are the safety tips I can follow while operating a winch?

Well, you need to follow some safety rules even though your winch comes with a few safety features. Otherwise, you may face an accident and you will have to pay a lot. The safety tips are:

Never ever step over the winch cable when it is under tension. The cable can get snapped and get you injured badly.

Before operating the winch, inspect the winch, clamp and cable. Take a look at whether everything is installed correctly or not. After everything, your safety is the number one priority.

It is better to have a mate while winching. One will operate the winch and another will watch over it. Without it, make sure that the winch remote is far from the winch drum.

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