Best 12,000 Lb Winches – 2021 Ultimate Guide

| Last Updated: January 5, 2022

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Winches are highly underrated and multifunctional objects. 

Firstly, they can make your jeep or truck look decidedly a lot cooler. Secondly, they can help you to pull large weight objects in a significantly easier manner. Lastly, if you have a jeep or a huge truck, you are probably fond of off-road adventures; winches will help you get them out of muddy tracks and stuck places. 

So, read on to find out everything you need to know about them.

  • Sealed design makes it waterproof
  • High pulling capacity for efficiency even with heavy vehicles
  • Synthetic cable does not recoil if it snaps
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  • Powerful motor for handling intense pulling pressure
  • Compact design that keeps out dust and makes it waterproof
  • Features a warranty lasting 3 years
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  • Best for the Money
  • Comes with a 3 gear system and a free spooling clutch
  • Has a dynamic and mechanical brake options for control when winching
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  • Best 12000 lb Electric Winch
  • New VR line and clutch lever makes it easy to use
  • Low profile design is compatible with most trucks, jeeps and SUVs
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  • Best Warn 12000 lb Winch
  • Two-in-one remote wired and wireless options
  • Completely waterproof keeping all elements out for durability
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  • Best Smittybilt 12000 lb Winch
  • Features an automatic out-of-drum braking system
  • Has an integrated wireless remote for enhanced performance
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What Can a 12,000 Lb Winch Pull?

Despite what popular discourse might have you believing, winches can actually be used for a number of reasons. Hence, you might not think you need one, but having one is like having insurance. Besides, if you are ever stuck, you will celebrate the day you decided to invest in a quality winch. Their top uses have been discussed below:


The most obvious and the most widely known use of a winch is to pull out vehicles when they are stuck. It doesn’t matter if it’s a jeep, truck, SUV, or even a boat, a well-constructed winch will be able to pull out your vehicle in a rather swift manner. Now, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from carrying out all those off-road adventures into the wild. 


Whether you are trying to uproot a tree to clear some land or trying to bring up some firewood along a slope, a winch will allow you to pull it with a lot more ease and get the job done more quickly and efficiently.


A great use for winches is to pull some heavy materials on a construction site without having a plethora of labor and tools. You could also raise poles or stretch cables and fence wires tightly in any manner you want. 

Can You Really Find a Quality 12,000 Lb Winch That’s Affordable?

When you are shopping under a price bracket, that too for electronics, you can’t help but be a little skeptical. You don’t expect to find a company that will make a quality product with the ability to run for years and not require you to break the bank. However, that’s not true.

To find a good winch, you need a good eye, and you need to know what you are looking for. We have plenty of options on our list that are super affordable, and the only difference between them and a high-end winch is the name on the front and some unnecessary pizzazz. Their motors are strong and powerful, resilient cables and massive pulling ability. Moreover, they are equipped with all the latest features to help you get the job done.

Review of the Best 12,000 Lb Winches

Now that we have covered the essentials, it is time to move on to the most awaited section of the article: our exclusive list of the Best 12000 lbs Winches. These products have been chosen after much scrutiny and an exhaustive filtering process. Therefore, rest assured, you cannot go wrong with choosing from them and are reading an honest review.

Best Overall:
WARN 97720 M12-S

WARN 97720 M12-S Electric 12V Heavyweight Winch with Spydura Synthetic Cable Rope: 3/8' Diameter x 100' Length, 6 Ton (12,000 lb) Pulling Capacity


  • Features a best-in-class cone brake
  • Features a powerful motor that is series-wound
  • Has a huge frame design that mounts feet forward
  • Contractor control is waterproof, making it reliable
  • Smooth three-stage planetary gear train makes it durable


  • Typical bottom receiver mount won’t work for this due to its great pulling capacity
  • In case your winch mount is missing a faceplate, you would have to weld one on designed for this pattern

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers have loved this product and gave it very high ratings on various platforms. In fact, not only the product but the company has received a lot of praise as well, especially its customer service department. Not many customers ran into any problems, but if they did or had an issue, the customer service department was happy to help.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The sheer quality and excellent performance of this thing are what made it stand out from the overabundant bunch. Everything that you see in the ad, you can expect to see that in your product.

It mounts easily and has a massive tonnage range of 16-1/2 tons. Moreover, it comes with wired remote control, which will extend to the driver seat of the vehicle. The pulling ability of this unit is also commendable. In fact, it is so strong that you need a receiver mount that can withstand that force. 

Lastly, the rope and the steel cable have different uses but complement the overall purpose amazingly. 

Bottom Line

To say that the WARN 97720 M12-S is a beastly product that can get your beast out of the hustles and back and ready for you to use it again would not be an exaggeration. The performance and the concern from the manufacturers make this a rare find.

Tungsten4x4 T12000S

Tungsten4x4 T12000S Offroad 12000 lbs Load Capacity 12V Electric Winch with Synthetic Rope, Hawse Fairlead and Wireless Remote


  • Comes with a 3-year limited warranty
  • Keeps dust and water out with its IP68 rating
  • Features a wireless remote with a range of 28m
  • Has a massive magnetic motor with 6.5 HP and 12V DC
  • Equipped with an extremely durable and reliable synthetic rope


  • Some found the installation of the control box difficult 
  • While the installation itself is simple, the instructions are a bit complicated 

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers have had a great time using this winch and recommend it to more and people. Most of them found the installation very easy, along with the operationalization. They specifically enjoyed the remote, which allowed them to work easily from a safer distance. Many even applauded the looks of this unit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We loved this product because of its amazing pulling capacity and that it will never let you be stuck, which is the whole point of buying a winch. The internal parts and the overall construction are also pretty impressive. We also believe that it has all the prerequisites to be considered a worthwhile purchase. 

It has succeeded in pulling out vehicles from situations that made it seem like a lost cause. For example, one customer reported that he managed to pull out a 15-passenger van that was sunk deep to its frame rails using this unit. The best part, he didn’t even have to struggle with it. Hence, its experiences like these that made us cognizant of its awesome capabilities. 

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, this is a winch that has been designed very professionally and can get your jeep or vehicle out of the most impossible of situations. Its construction quality is commendable, and the warranty helps the customer in gaining trust.

Best for the Money:


  • Entirely waterproof
  • Comes with a 3-year limited warranty
  • Has been designed to fit a variety of vehicles
  • Features free spooling clutch, 48-feet wire rope, and a steel guidance cable
  • Fitted with a strong 1.0hp series-wound 12V motor with a load capacity of 2000 lbs


  • Some models featured a faulty rope
  • Instruction manual isn’t well documented

What Recent Buyers Report

Quite a few customers reported that they did not expect extraordinary results with this winch due to its price but were pleasantly surprised. It managed to take on a huge variety of vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, jeeps, and more, and yet emerged victorious. Furthermore, they were grateful for the easy and quick installation.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Buying any product in a budget can be tough and intimidating, yet that holds extra true for electronics. However, its products like the RUGCEL Electric Winch that reinstate your trust and confidence in manufacturers that can not only introduce quality products but do so at a reasonable price. 

It offers great versatility as you could have almost any kind of vehicle within the load capacity range, and it will get you out of the mud efficiently and quickly. Furthermore, to make the consumer more satisfied, they added a warranty, which is a great bonus in electronics. 

Bottom Line

The RUGCEL Electric 12V Winch is an exceptional product that gives you professional features but at a relatively much lower cost. It is compatible with many vehicles and will give you a smooth winching experience. 

Best 12,000 Lb Electric Winch:
WARN 96820

WARN 96820 VR12 12V Electric Winch with Steel Cable Rope: 3/8' Diameter x 80' Length, 6 Ton (12,000 lb) Capacity


  • Features a waterproof design
  • Precise and sensitive movements of the winch
  • Has a strong and powerful series-wound motor
  • Known to have a particularly durable construction
  • One-piece tie plate replaces tie rods for added strength and rigidity


  • Connector cables are hard to hide
  • Some customers found the bolts to be of low quality

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers have given this product high ratings and left great reviews, meaning that they are sufficiently satisfied with it. They appreciated the easy installation and the abundant cable that came with it. Some were concerned about the heat exposure and the damage it could bring to the exposed cables, but no one actually reported any damage.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is a powerful and strong winch that has a massive pulling capacity, and the secret lies in its Albright contractor. This makes the power regulation of the machine more pronounced. This means that the user can be more accurate with the controls and movements and is even a safer and more reliable bet as an internal component. 

Moreover, the cast iron brace strengthens the winch and allows for even more enhanced control on the machine. You can choose between a steel cable and a synthetic rope, both of which work exceptionally well.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a remarkable winch that works exactly as advertised. It can easily take on vehicles of up to 12000 lbs, and the cable, whether synthetic rope or steel cable, works just fine and retracts back into the drum with no difficulty.

Best Warn 12,000 Lb Winch:
WARN 103255 VR EVO 12-S

WARN 103255 VR EVO 12-S Electric 12V DC Winch with Synthetic Rope: 3/8' Diameter x 90' Length, 6 Ton (12,000 lb) Pulling Capacity , Black


  • Has wired and wireless remote
  • Enhanced control over the device
  • Ideal for all kinds of large frame rigs
  • Seven years warranty on electrical parts
  • Limited lifetime warranty for mechanical parts


  • Wireless remote doesn’t work sometimes
  • Some models faced in issue in LEDs lighting up

What Recent Buyers Report

This winch was used in a variety of settings and on a variety of vehicles, and it seemed to work on them all. Users have reported that this unit gives an excellent performance. Their customer service department cordially solved any issue that they did run into, like problems in shipping or missing or faulty parts.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A lot of people are more hesitant to buy electronics due to the huge risks involved. Warn tries to mitigate these fears by producing top-quality products, generous and reliable warranties, and an ever humble and cordial customer service department. A little extra concern and effort from the manufacturer go a long way. 

The pulling capacity and the strength in its cable are nothing short of splendid. You can expect it to behave just like you see in the advertisements and be delightfully surprised by its superior craftsmanship. Moreover, the Albright contractor and the remotes, both wireless and wired, offer a greater degree of control.

Bottom Line

Warn has a reputation for delivering quality and reliable products, and the WARN 103255 VR EVO 12-S is no exception. It’s strong and durable, has trustworthy producers, and gets the job efficiently done. 

Best Smittybilt 12,000 Lb Winch:
Smittybilt 98512 X20

Smittybilt X2O COMP - Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch - 12,000 lb. Load Capacity


  • 5-Year Electrical Warranty
  • Has a powerful motor of 6.6 HP
  • Wireless remote works very well
  • Features a dynamic braking system
  • Comes with a Lifetime Mechanical Warranty


  • Center mounts of the solenoid didn’t fit for everyone
  • Few customers found it not to be entirely waterproof

What Recent Buyers Report

The ratings and reviews of this product are a testament to how much customers have loved using it. Along with the outstanding construction and exceptional performance, they have also taken a liking to its appearance. Generally, users are pretty happy with it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The construction quality of the product and that of its complementary parts is what drew us towards it. Moreover, all these fantastic features come at an exceptionally reasonable price and fit most people's budget.

The synthetic line has great strength and tension and can withstand the high pulling capacity of the powerful motor and the weight of the vehicle it is pulling. Furthermore, the wireless remote is a great addition and adds convenience without increasing the price. Lastly, rope installation and wiring are easy to handle, so the unit can be used by beginners as well.

Bottom Line

This is one of our most favorite products. It works exactly how it should without adding unnecessary glitz and bling. You pay for the features and quality and not the brand name at the front. 

Best Badlands 12000 Lb Winch:
Badland ZXR 63770

Badland ZXR 12000 lb. IP 66 Weather Resistant Off-Road Vehicle Electric Winch with Automatic Load-Holding Brake


  • Has an IP66 weather-resistant rating
  • Comes with an aircraft-grade wire rope
  • Has an improved and better frame durability
  • Automatic load-holding brake for maximum safety
  • Motor has the ability to stay cool even during long pulls


  • Faster models are available 
  • Many options have a longer cable than this

What Recent Buyers Report

This winch has been used to pull out several f350s, a Chevy 5500 water truck, and jeeps, and it managed to pull through each and every time, literally. Apart from its superior performance, many customers have specifically lauded its automatic load-holding brake that greatly enhanced its safety.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The ability of its powerful motor to stay cool even after long sessions of pulling a heavy object or vehicle is what made us fall in love with it. Many winches feature a powerful motor, but they can run into overheating problems, not this one. 

Another outstanding feature of this winch is that once you have mounted it to your vehicle, you can expect it to stick to that for a long time. The frame is well-constructed and protects all the internal components. You could use it for chores or for off-road adventures, and it will not disappoint. 

Bottom Line

Badlands is not the most famous brand in the market, but what it lacks in reputation, it makes up in quality, and that is what is needed. It has a very practical and straight-forward design and gets the job done strikingly well. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Since winches have to take care of heavy objects and your prized vehicles, you want to make sure that you buy one that can withstand the pressures of the job. For that, you need to be absolutely sure what constitutes a quality winch and what it is that you need to look for. Read on and find out.

Power System of the Winch

Not many people pay attention to this, but this is a very crucial factor. The electrical system, battery, and alternator are responsible for the power and running of your winch. The battery of your car is only designed to start the vehicle, and the rest is taken care of by the alternator. If your winch relies on this battery, then it would most likely crash, and hence the whole system will crash. An easy fix to this could be to invest in a deep cycle battery or marine battery.

Load and Pulling Capacity

Although the ones mentioned on our list have high capacities, it is imperative to pay good attention to this feature. As mentioned earlier, you use a winch to pull heavy objects and many times your vehicles out of impossible situations. 

Therefore, you need force not only to handle the weight of the vehicle but also to pull it out. So, as a general rule of thumb, invest in a winch with at least 40% more load capacity than required. 

WARN 96820

Synthetic Rope or Steel Cable

This factor is more related to your budget as the functionality isn’t poles apart. However, if you can afford it, we suggest going for synthetic rope. It is more convenient to work with and can be spooled back more easily. Moreover, in the case that it snaps, you can tie it back together. This can’t be done with the steel cable.

Water Resistance

Since your winch could be rescuing your vehicles from stuck up places and adventures, it could be exposed to some harsh conditions. In such an instance, you want to make sure that it is waterproof or at least water-resistant to a good degree so as not to malfunction. 


The right winches can seem like a godsend miracle when you are stuck. However, for that, it is important that you do your due diligence and conduct thorough research. This article combined all the necessary information in one place and is meant to educate you so that you can make an informed decision. We hope it helped.

I used to work in construction and landscaping, so I've seen my fair share of ratchet straps, winches, and similar rigging gear. I started Winch Central because I've seen some nasty accidents due to crappy rigging or poor practice. I wanted to be able to recommend good equipment that's SAFE and also provide resources for how its used. I handle the research side of things here as well as product selection for gear reviews.