A Review and Comparison of The Top ATV Winches On The Market

by John Wren

When you’re working outdoors, an ATV can be a great boon. They’re small, yet tough, and can help move and hoist things that are much too heavy to carry. A great tool to make that job even easier is an ATV winch, which hooks on to things and pulls them in. However, choosing an ATV winch can be difficult sometimes due to the wide array of models. Thus, we decided to write this buyer’s guide on the best ATV winch.

It’s an invaluable thing to have, especially if you get into a tough situation with no recourse. For example, if you get stuck in the mud, you can use a winch to drag yourself out; without the winch, you’d likely be stuck there for a while. As for most useful things, there’s a large ATV winch market online. Because of that, it can sometimes be difficult to find the best winch for you.

An ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) may need a winch for several reasons:

  1. Extraction of the ATV from a difficult terrain or mud
  2. Pulling heavy loads or equipment
  3. Recovery of stuck vehicles or objects
  4. Assisting in various off-road tasks such as logging or construction.

To help you out, we’ve made this list of the best ATV winches on the market today. Like all of our lists, we’ve divided the winches into 3 different budget categories, in order to help you find the one that fits your budget.

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In addition, each winch comes with a list of specs that’ll make it easier to distinguish each winch. Here’s a breakdown of each spec to help you out even more:

Line Pull: One of the most important specs, considering it’s what determines what you can pull out, including the ATV itself. Expect to see the better line pulls on the higher-end winches. However, some of the budget winches are surprisingly tough, so keep your eyes peeled.

Material of the Rope: You really don’t want your rope to snap when you’re using your winch. To prevent that, you should know what type of rope will fit best with what you’re expecting to haul. There are only two types of rope: synthetic and steel. Steel is tougher, but if it snaps, it can also be fatal. That’s why you should never exceed the suggested weight limit when using steel cable. Synthetic is less tough, but cheap to replace if it snaps, as well as far less deadly.

Motor: This is part of what determines the overall line pull. Better motors are usually found on higher end models. In addition, higher-end models will come with extra motor features that the budget ones most likely won’t have.

Budget (under $150)

In this range, expect to see synthetic ropes and motors without any extra features. There are some surprisingly some of the best ATV winches in this range, especially when you factor in price. If you’re looking to get a winch at a steal of a price, this is a great range to look in.

1. Keeper Corporation KT2000 Trakker Winch

KEEPER Electric Winch, 2,000 lb. Single Line Pull, 12V DC, Black
  • 50’ of 5/32” Galvanized Wire Rope with hook and safety latch
  • 2,000 lbs. Single layer line pull, 13.5 FPM line speed (no load)
  • 1.2 HP 12V motor
  • Single stage planetary gear box, 153:1 gear ratio, all metal gear train
  • Full-load holding dynamic brake
  • Line Pull: 2000 lbs
  • Material of Rope: 50′ galvanized wire rope
  • Motor: 1 hp, 12V DC electric motor

This is a barebones winch, but it’s offered at an unbeatable price. It comes with a 1 HP motor and a 50 foot long wire rope, both of which are good enough to give the winch 2000 pounds of pulling power.

It comes equipped with a great braking system that allows you to find the perfect wire length for your task and hold it steady. It also comes with a circuit breaker in case the voltage suddenly changes, or if the whole thing short circuits. It’s also remote-controlled, allowing you stay at a safe distance when operating the winch.

This isn’t the best ATV winch for heavy duty jobs; it’s lacking in safety features and the 2000 pound limit isn’t good enough for many tough winching tasks. However, if you’re not planning on needing a super-strong winch, this one is good enough for most jobs. And most importantly, it’s offered at an absolutely unbeatable price.

2. Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000 12V DC WInch 3,000lb/1361kg Single Line Pull with Roller Fairlead, 3/16in x 50ft Steel Wire Rope, Corded Handheld Remote
  • Rated line pull of 3,000 pounds
  • Roller fairlead and mounting plate
  • Sealed low amperage permanent magnet motor
  • Includes both handle bar mounted rocker switch and handheld remote
  • Mechanical and dynamic brake

Line Pull: 3000 lbs

Material of Rope: 50′ galvanized wire rope

Motor: Sealed 1.2 HP permanent magnet

One of the best winch on the cheaper side, but this one is considerably more powerful than the last; for only 20 dollars more, it might make sense to invest in this one!  This winch comes with a 1.2 HP motor and a 50 foot wire rope, giving this a recommended pull limit of 3000 pounds! It’s pretty amazing how much weight that is for a winch this cheap. The motor itself is a permanent magnet, meaning that it runs off electromagnetic power.

This winch also comes with plenty of great safety features, such as a braking system (mechanical and dynamic), sealed solenoid and circuit breaker protection, and a rubber remote switch that allows for safe operation of the winch from a good distance away. If you’re willing to invest a few dollars more into a higher-end, yet one of the best ATV winch at an affordable price, this could be the one for you!

 

Mid-Range ($150-$400)

In this range, expect to see a dramatic increase in the line pull threshold, as well as more safety features. The differences between winches in this range can be dramatic, since it spans $250. As such, you might have to do some digging in this range to find the best ATV winch for you.

3. Superwinch Terra 45

Superwinch 1145230 Terra 45 4500lbs/2046kg single line pull with hawse, handlebar mnt toggle, handheld remote, and synthetic rope
  • High efficiency, low amp draw, sealed 1.6 hp permanent magnet motor featuring mechanical load holding and dynamic brake
  • 55' of 1/4" synthetic rope, drum designed for use with synthetic rope and ergonomic cam action freespooling clutch
  • All steel planetary gear twice as wide as those used by the competition and utilizing machined-in, oil pocket bronze bearings
  • Circuit breaker protected and weather sealed solenoid contact.Anodized aluminum hawse, heavy duty latched hook with thimble and limited lifetime warranty
  • Synthetic rope is remarkable stuff
  • Line Pull: 4500 lbs
  • Material of Rope: 55′ synthetic rope
  • Motor: 12V DC, 1.6 hp weather-sealed permanent magnet motor

If you’re looking for a supertough winch, look no further. This winch has a staggering line pull of 4500 pounds, which will get you out of any tough situation, guaranteed! The rope is synthetic and pulls out to a full 55 feet, far enough for most jobs.

The motor is incredible, in part because of the 1.6 HP it’s able to produce. It’s powered by an electromagnetic motor that produces all the power inside the winch. It also comes with a 3-stage planetary gear train so you can easily adjust the speed of the winch.

Since it’s a mid-range winch, it has plenty of safety features, including a remote control, a state-of-the-art braking system, and a circuit breaker. In addition, all mechanical parts are protected under a lifetime warranty, ensuring your investment won’t ever go to waste!

High-End (above $400)

The cream of the winch crop are in this range. Expect to see the best of the best here, from rope material to lift pull. Still, all that comes at a (literal) cost; you should be ready to invest when looking to buy from this range.

WARN 75500 XT25 Extreme Terrain<

Warn ProVantage 2500 Winch - 2500 lb. Capacity, 50' of 3/16" Wire Rope, Roller Fairlead, Wired Remote Control, Weather-Sealed, for ATV/UTV
  • 2500 pounds pulling capacity
  • Includes 50 feet of 3/16 inch wire rope
  • Three-stage planetary gear train for smooth, efficient operation
  • Patented roller disc brake for outstanding control while winching
  • Mini-rocker control switch with integrated socket
  • Line Pull: 2500 lbs
  • Material of Rope: 50′ wire rope
  • Motor: 12V DC, 0.9 hp (0.7 kW)

This is one of the best ATV winch on the market. Any problem you run into, this bad boy will have no problem fixing it. That includes everything from snow plowing to lifting other ATV’s out of the mud! With 2500 pounds of lift pull, this winch can handle pretty much everything that’s thrown at it. 

The motor is sealed, allowing for much more protection that you’d usually get on a winch, and making it really easy to use in terrible (or “extreme) weather conditions. It comes with a 3-stage planetary gear train that allows the speed of the winch to be controlled easily, which can also be controlled with a remote control that comes with the winch. The mechanical parts are under a lifetime warranty, while the rest is under a 3-year warranty.

Runner-Ups

Bestseller No. 1
ZESUPER 3000 lb 12V DC Electric Winch for Towing ATV/UTV Off Road with Wireless Remote New Synthetic Rope Mounting Bracket
  • Improved Material: Black frosted spray paint reduces external damage and does not rust. The insulation performance and durability of the winch are greatly improved. The all-steel housing protects the...
  • Convenient Wireless Remotes: High quality wireless remote control allows operation of the winch from anywhere within a 50-foot radius. Besides, wired remote control can also meet your specific...
  • 3-Stage Planetary Gear: 153:1 gear speed ratio and 3-stage planetary gear give the ZESUPER winch a strong traction. When the winch is No load, the line speed is 10.5ft/min. When the winch load is...
  • Powerful sysytem: Winch can effectively reduce the excessive wear on the synthetic rope of the winch, a dynamic permanent magnet motor (it is made of high-quality steel) can drive strong and stable...
  • Reliable Service: Zesuper support includes a 1-year limited warranty and lifetime free professional technical support. If you have any problem, please free contact us.
Bestseller No. 2
X-BULL 12V 3000LBS Steel Wire Electric Winch for Towing ATV/UTV Off Road with Mounting Bracket Wireless Remote
  • With a pull force of more than 3000 pounds, this electric winch delivers a 1.0kw/ 1.3HP 210 amp 12V DC permanent magnet motor with a 153:1 planetary gear system with a fully loaded line speed of 3.3...
  • Waterproof powder coated surface, resistant to corrosion. Durable 3/16" x 32' synthetic winch rope with high tensile properties is sufficient for any outdoor traction operation.
  • Each lead wire is connected to the corresponding position, the connection is very convenient and fast; 12.63-inch (approx. 32.0 cm) blue (-) and yellow (+) wires are connected to the motor; 68.75...
  • The winch will include an 18.5 x 13 cm (L x W) universal mounting plate for mounting on the rear of the machine, which will need to be modified to fit with each particular machine, as well as a...
  • We use the planetary gear system, which can automatically brake, while we want to achieve the highest speed and a certain guarantee to provide safe and reliable power in any situation.
Bestseller No. 3
Warn ProVantage 2500 Winch - 2500 lb. Capacity, 50' of 3/16" Wire Rope, Roller Fairlead, Wired Remote Control, Weather-Sealed, for ATV/UTV
  • 2500 pounds pulling capacity
  • Includes 50 feet of 3/16 inch wire rope
  • Three-stage planetary gear train for smooth, efficient operation
  • Patented roller disc brake for outstanding control while winching
  • Mini-rocker control switch with integrated socket
Bestseller No. 4
Zostera 12v Electric 2000 lb Winch for ATV UTV Trailer Boat Winch Steel Cable Waterproof with Switch Remotes Control and Mounting Bracket,Small Towing Pulling Winches with Automatic Brake
  • [VERSATILE 12V WINCH]: This compact, light-duty trailer winch lets you pull ATVs, UTVs, golf carts, and other small vehicles onto your trailer. You can mount the winch directly to your trailer deck or...
  • [COMPLATE CONTROL SYSTEM]:The hand-held, plastic remote has a relay switch inside that transmits power from your vehicle's battery to the winch. The 4' lead connects the remote to your battery, and...
  • [WIRE ROPE]: The wire rope is made of a high-strength, aircraft-grade galvinized steel that is abrasion resistant and able to withstand harsh UV rays, chemicals, and extreme temperatures.
  • [AUTOMATIC, LOAD-HOLDING MECHANICAL BRAKE]: The automatic mechanical brake securely holds a load and prevents unintentional payout (or creep). A large spring coil contracts when the winch is in gear...
  • [WIRE ROPE]: The wire rope is made of a high-strength, aircraft-grade galvinized steel that is abrasion resistant and able to withstand harsh UV rays, chemicals, and extreme temperatures. These are...
Bestseller No. 5
XPV AUTO 3000 lb 12V DC Electric Winch, Off Road Waterproof Winch for UTV ATV Boat with Both Wireless Handheld Remote and Corded Control Recovery Winch Synthetic Rope
  • Precise 3-stage planetary gear: True 3-Stage Planetary can decelerate (grow), reverse, and more. The combination of multiple planetary wheel systems can achieve a very large speed ratio, which enables...
  • 12V DC 1.0kw/1.3hp Copper Wire Permanent Magnet Motor: Pure copper motor has the characteristics of high magnetic induction melting point, high temperature resistance, strong power, safety and high...
  • Safety guarantee: XPV will offer efficient, timely and friendly customer service. In addition, we will provide return or replacement of accessories within one year.
  • Not afraid of terrain and distance: high-precision mini digital wireless remote control, It will not be restricted by terrain and weather which is very easy to use. The design of the winch is suitable...
  • IP67 can play a dust and waterproof effect, so you don't have to worry about getting it wet or dirty when it rains or when passing through mud. The sealed motor can help you smoothly resist any harsh...

Get Your Winch Today

In conclusion, a winch is an essential tool for an ATV as it provides versatility and usefulness in various off-road situations. It enables the ATV to extract itself from challenging terrains, pull heavy loads, recover stuck vehicles or objects, and assist in various tasks. Hence, having a winch can significantly enhance the capability of an ATV and make it a more reliable and useful vehicle in off-road environments.

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