Best Winch Controllers of 2020 – Complete Review

Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere while traveling off-road is no less than a nightmare. Having a great winch onboard can save the day. An exceptional winch controller would make the whole process a lot easier.

Finding the right winch controller can get quite overwhelming. We can understand the struggle.

To save you some time, we have drawn an in-depth review of the best winch controllers that promise to precisely cater to your winch. Check them out!

Our Top Picks for Winch Controllers

  • Shock resistant transmitter
  • Sealed for protection
  • Guarded against power-ups
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  • Resistant to elements
  • Easy usage
  • Offers simple operation
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  • Best for the Money
  • Metal plastic build
  • High quality, durable
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Comparison Chart of the Best Winch Controllers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Comes with a shock resistant transmitter
  • Sealed for protection from dust and other corrosive elements
  • Guarded against power-ups by the activation sequence
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  • Resistant to all the weather elements
  • Easy usage even when wearing gloves
  • Offers intuitive and simple operation with indicator lights
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  • Best for the Money
  • Metal plastic build for increased durability
  • High quality remote control surpasses other wireless designs
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  • Best Wireless Winch Controller
  • Works with all Tuff Stuff and Recon Recovery power winches
  • 12V power connection and has indicator light
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  • Best Ramsey Winch Controller
  • Flexible 12 ft cable length ensures a wide range of utilities
  • Remote control fits with most electric winches in the market
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  • Best Badland Winch Controller
  • Up to 50 feet working range
  • Features an effective power-in and power-out control
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  • Best Mile Marker Winch Controller
  • All parts in this marker are replaceable
  • Heavy duty design with simple installation
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  • Best RC Winch Controller
  • Cast aluminium casing with stamped steel for increased durability
  • Synthetic winch rope comes pre-installed and is easily rebuildable
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  • Best Warn Winch Controller
  • Features an ergonomic handle that's easy to use
  • Efficient 12 foot cable for longer distances
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  • Best Smittybilt Winch Controller
  • Compatible with all models of the Smittybilt winches
  • Lightweight and flexible for control
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What is a Winch Controller?

A winch controller can prove to be an incredible tool while rescuing your vehicle from mud or broken ground. It is a user-operable control device that allows you to control the motor of the winch. Using this device, you can make the winch switch between an on and an off state utilizing control signals. It uses a minimum amount of voltage ranging from 10 to 12V for its operation.

Nowadays, winch controllers are available in both wired and wireless models. You can choose one, depending on your preference and needs. It is ideally designed to let you control your winch from a distance while maintaining your comfort level. 

Why Did These Winch Controllers Make Our List?

If comfort is your priority, a winch controller has your back. The market is currently flooding with products from various brands. However, not all of them are good enough to meet your demands. 

This article has summarized our top recommendations. Before we get to the review, let's have a look at the features that make these winch controllers the best of the bunch. You are recommended to look for these characteristics before investing in a winch controller for a good investment.

Quality Construction

The type of materials used in the construction of the product determines its durability. A quality winch controller is developed by a reputed brand and incorporates fine materials, which makes it likely to last in the long run. 

Weather-Resistant

No matter how big the tires are, there are always chances of getting stuck in the mud. Bad weather could make the situation even worse. Therefore, it is better to opt for a winch controller that is impact-resistant and weather-proof to easily tackle harsh conditions.

Fits the Bill

It is never good to spend tons of money on an expensive winch controller, especially when you are tight on the budget. Make sure to get a model that has all the essential characteristics and falls within your range.

User-Friendly

Having a stuck vehicle is frustrating enough. You don’t want to be struggling with a winch controller at that time. Therefore, it is advised to choose a unit that offers easy handling and takes less time in installation. 

Quick Take  - Best Winch Controllers

Before you get any further, here are our recommendations for the best winch controllers:

  1. WARN 90287
  2. WARN 83658
  3. Torkettle YHGFDSW0058

Review of the Best Winch Controllers

Getting a superior winch can save you from frustrating situations during your travel. Pairing it with the right controller could be the cherry on top. Let’s take you through a detailed review of some of the finest winch controllers currently available on the market. 

Best Overall:
WARN 90287

WARN 90287 Winch Component Accessory: Wireless Remote Control System for Truck and SUV Winches with 5 Wire Electrical System

PROS

  • Works well with a range of heavy-duty winches
  • User-friendly plus very takes less space for storage
  • Suitable for controlling your winch from a great distance
  • Comes with an impact-resistant transmitter for perfection
  • Manufactured from high-end materials to ensure reliability

CONS

  • Buttons might be too small for some people
  • Might be expensive for those on a tight budget

What Recent Buyers Report

Users are extremely happy with the top-notch performance of this winch controller. According to them, it has a sturdy build with an easy-to-use design, making it a great option for beginners. It is good at its job, and the plug-and-play functionality has tremendously increased its popularity among customers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A great winch controller from WARN, this model is developed using fine materials, so its durability can’t be questioned at all. The body is user-friendly and, therefore, works pretty well even for beginners. It can be operated with a plug-and-play system, and the installation is a breeze. 

To add on, it incorporates a shock-resistant transmitter. This means you can use it in extreme situations without any tension. It effortlessly controls the winch within a 50-feet range. To add on, it is ideally designed to be compatible with a number of SUV winches. 

Bottom Line

Versatile in its performance, this winch controller is built to last in the long run. It has a great range with a user-friendly design that can be stored quite easily. The proper seal guarantees its reliability. All in all, with this unit, you know what you are paying for. 

Runner-up:
WARN 83658

WARN 83658 Plug-In Winch Remote Hand Held Controller with 12' Connector Cable for 9.5ti Winches

PROS

  • Storage does not require huge space
  • User-friendly design is great for beginners
  • Comes with an indicator light for a better experience
  • Weather-resistant body can endure extreme conditions
  • Composed of high-quality materials to make it a durable choice

CONS

  • Works with a limited type of winches
  • Falls on the expensive side of the spectrum

What Recent Buyers Report

The WARN winch controller received quite a lot of appreciation from its customers for its brilliant functionality. They admire the user-friendly design as well as quality construction that can easily tackle almost everything you throw at it. It wonderfully controls the winch from a great distance and, therefore, maximizes your comfort level.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Warn is known for offering superior products and has been around for a long time. This winch controller is no less. Manufacturers have used quality materials in its construction to ensure its durability. You won’t require much space for its storage once you are done with the task. 

It is weather-resistant, so you can continue using the controller even if it’s drizzling outside. This means it is capable of working in extreme conditions without compromising on the performance. Talking about the design, the ergonomic body is easy to work with, offering a comfortable experience. You merely have to spend some seconds in its installation. 

Bottom Line

An extraordinary winch controller, this model is perfect for all-around usage. The incorporation of innovative features has made it the second-best option on our list. With this sturdy build and great design, this model won’t disappoint you in the hour of need. 

Best for the Money:
Torkettle YHGFDSW0058

Torkettle 12V Winch Corded Manual Hand Remote Control Kits for ATV UTV Winch

PROS

  • Sturdy build enhances its longevity
  • Easy to install, making it user-friendly
  • Surely the most economical winch controller on this list
  • Shows great compatibility with a range of UTV winches
  • Water-resistant body can handle tough situations like a pro

CONS

  • Relatively shorter cord length
  • Does not offer wireless functionality

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers are raving about the reasonable price tag of this winch controller. The best thing is it incorporates all essential features and that too, at a very budget-friendly price. Quality build and easy installation are two major compliments received by this unit. Moreover, the one-year warranty has added to perfection. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you are looking for a reliable winch controller but can’t afford to spend tons of bucks, this model is just the one for you. It has tons of efficient features to make the experience wonderful for you.

First of all, the controller is made from high-quality materials, so it tends to last in the long run. It features a user-friendly body, making it a perfect controller for everyday use. You don't have to put much effort into its installation. Finally, the ten-feet cable is quite stable, plus the plug-and-play system helps you achieve comfort goals. 

Bottom Line

Available at a pocket-friendly price, this winch controller does not put holes in your savings. The powder coating enhances its shock-resistance to a great extent. With its safe operation and amazing versatility, it has a lot to provide. What else would you want?

Best Wireless Winch Controller:
LIEBMAYA Wireless Winch Remote Control Kit

LIEBMAYA Wireless Winch Remote Control Kit for Truck Jeep ATV SUV 12V Switch Handset

PROS

  • Package includes batteries for remote 
  • Compatible with a number of great winches
  • Allows wireless control for a comfortable experience
  • Incorporates an indicator light to make it user-friendly 
  • Fine construction ensures the durability of the controller

CONS

  • Some concerns on its quality
  • Customer service could use some improvement 

What Recent Buyers Report

The winch controller has satisfied most of its users with its brilliant wireless performance. Whether you talk about the quality build or the user-friendly design, it assures perfection in each aspect. Moreover, its compatibility with several winches saves the user from purchasing new winch controllers all the time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is the most efficient wireless winch controller on the list. Manufacturers have designed it with user comfort in mind. It incorporates a great build that is complemented by a user-friendly design. The body does not wear down over time and ensures a great performance every time you use it.

The winch controller works flawlessly without requiring significant effort from the user, thanks to its easy installation. Since it uses only 12V to operate, you can use it in the middle of nowhere to get the vehicle out of the mud. Moreover, its amazing compatibility with winches from various brands adds on to its value. 

Bottom Line

A powerhouse of features, this winch controller is certainly an all-rounder. Its durable construction and easy-to-use body can help you in tough conditions like a pro. The wireless functionality with tremendous compatibility is meant to improve your overall experience.

Best Ramsey Winch Controller:
Ramsey 251110

Ramsey Winch Remote Control Switch for Winches, Model Number 251110

PROS

  • Comes from a reputed brand
  • User-friendly and takes less time in installation
  • Flawless construction makes it a reliable choice
  • A long cord that tends to last in the years to come
  • Controls your winch efficiently for a good experience

CONS

  • Quality feels a bit cheap
  • No information about any warranty 

What Recent Buyers Report

Here is a well-reviewed winch controller. Users really like the stable cord that continues to deliver the ultimate performance for a long time. The best thing is its easy plug-&-play system that allows easy installation in no time. Moreover, you don't have to pay much to grab this unit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Ramsey winch controller incorporates an exceptional set of innovative features. Talking about the design first, the ergonomic body makes it easy to work with. The installation is just a breeze and, therefore, saves you from any frustration. Just plug the cord, and you are all set to go.

Next, the construction is just amazing and can endure tough conditions without any damage. Moreover, the cord is long enough to control the winch from a distance, enhancing your comfort level. Honestly, it is one of the finest deals you would ever come across on the market. 

Bottom Line

Equipped with numerous brilliant features, this winch controller has everything you are looking for. From a durable build to user-friendly design, this model covers everything for you. It is extremely versatile and gives you full control of your winch.

Best Badland Winch Controller:
Badland Wireless Winch Remote Control

Badland wireless winch remote control by Badland Winches

PROS

  • User-friendly and easy to store 
  • Allows you to control your winch wirelessly
  • Offers a control when it comes to winching 
  • Quality build makes it a controller to go for
  • Weather-resistant design makes it highly durable

CONS

  • No supported by any warranty 
  • A few concerns over the quality of the controller

What Recent Buyers Report

Users have given great ratings to this winch controller. They appreciate the fine construction and high-end design, which makes the handling quite easy. The best thing is that you can control your winch from a great distance, and there would be no hassle of plugging a cord for its operation. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Badland winch controller mainly stands out to us for its wireless function. It is manufactured from some durable materials, so this controller is not going to break down anytime soon. Coming to its design, it embodies a very user-friendly body that makes the whole process very easy.

You don’t have to struggle much with its installation as well. It works pretty well at controlling winches from a great distance of about 50 feet. Additionally, it is developed completely weather-proof, so there would be no compromise on performance even if you get caught in the rain. 

Bottom Line

A highly recommended model, this unit has everything you could want in a controller. Whether it is about superior wireless function or the remarkable build, this product has incorporated the best of the best. Just go for it!

Best Mile Marker Winch Controller:
Mile Marker (76-50100-20)

Mile Marker (76-50100-20) Winch Hand Control Assembly, Yellow

PROS

  • Installation does not take much time
  • Easy to use, it is perfect for beginners
  • Superior build that tends to last in the long run
  • Comes from a certified brand to guarantee reliability
  • Available in a bright yellow color to ensure a pleasing appearance

CONS

  • Package does not include the plug
  • Does not offer wireless functionality

What Recent Buyers Report

Quite popular among customers, this winch controller is known for its sleek and appealing presentation. One of the best things about the model is its easy installation. According to users, you don't have to struggle much with the operation, plus it delivers everything that manufacturers say it could.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Are you thinking of getting a new winch controller? Well, look no further. This product from Mile Marker is meant to deliver an unforgettable experience. Manufacturers have used fine materials in its construction to make it one of the most durable models out there.

It has a nice yellow body to suit your taste. The design is super easy to work with, and the installation is just a breeze. You just have to plug the cord and leave the rest to this controller. It ensures full control and makes the whole winching process quite easy for you.

Bottom Line

A spectacular controller, this product is surely perfect for your everyday needs. It works well with almost all winches, and there is no question about its durability. Honestly, you can rely on this unit to save you in a difficult situation. 

Best RC Winch Controller:
RC4WD Z-S1079

RC4WD Z-S1079 1/10 Warn 9.5cti Winch

PROS

  • Installation can be done in no time
  • Aluminum rope to enhance longevity
  • User-friendly and easy to store in the vehicle
  • Durable build to tackle extreme situations like a pro
  • Backed by a great warranty to guarantee its reliability   

CONS

  • Not a direct fit as advertised 
  • Package does not include the controller unit

What Recent Buyers Report

An all-rounder, this winch controller got lots of appreciation from the users. They are pleased with the heavy-duty construction that can handle tough weather situations as well. The best thing is that it does not require too much space for its storage. Plus, a reliable warranty has impressed a lot of new customers. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Nothing can be more annoying than a vehicle stuck in the mud. Well, this winch controller has your back. It is manufactured from high-end materials and incorporates an aluminum rope to tackle heavyweights. The low profile design is easy to store. This means you can easily take it in your vehicle whenever you head for an off-road trip.

It uses a minimum amount of voltage to start its magic. Coming to the installation, you don't have to be a pro to work with this model. Versatile in its functions, this winch is a must-have.

Bottom Line

Overall, this winch speaks for its durability, versatility, and quality. The superior build with the easy installation adds great value to your bucks. It has an amazing strength to pull or hold heavy objects without breaking down. This can't get any better!

Best Warn Winch Controller:
WARN 83665

WARN 83665 Hand Held Plug-In Truck Winch Remote Controller with Ergonomic Grip and 12' Connector Cable

PROS

  • Highly recommended for beginners
  • Manufactured from quality materials to mark durability
  • Weather-resistant body to go through extreme situations
  • Long cable to help you complete the task with maximum ease
  • Incorporates an ergonomically designed handle for easy handling

CONS

  • Is not supported by any warranty 
  • Price is relatively higher than other winch controllers on the list

What Recent Buyers Report

Users just love the robust build of this winch controller. They are impressed by the user-friendly design that makes the whole task very easy for them. Its ergonomic body and easy installation have surely raised the bar. Moreover, there is no compromise on the cord quality, so you can use it even in tough weather conditions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This winch controller has caught our attention for exhibiting top-notch construction. Manufacturers have used high-grade materials in its construction to guarantee its durability. It features a user-friendly body with an ergonomic handle, so you can continue the task without any inconvenience. 

It has a 12-feet long cable that allows you to control your winch from a distance. This means you can sit comfortably while the controller does its work. Additionally, it is weather-resistant, so it can deliver the best performance even in the hardest environmental situations. The plug is D-shaped to make it work with both old and new sockets very well. 

Bottom Line

A remarkable winch controller so far, this model has set the bar with its convenient handling and durable construction. You can use it in all weather conditions without any tension of damage. With this unit, you will get what you pay for. 

Best Smittybilt Winch Controller:
Smittybilt 97495-50

Smittybilt 97495-50 Remote Control

PROS

  • High-quality cord to serve you in the long run
  • Gorgeous design to add on to your style game
  • Works exceptionally well with a range of winches
  • User-friendly body that requires less effort in installation
  • Supported by a manufacturer's warranty to add on to perfection

CONS

  • Lacks wireless operation
  • Customer service cause some improvement

What Recent Buyers Report

Similar to our winch controllers reviewed above, this model has succeeded in winning the trust of users. They have grown fond of its low-profile and user-friendly design. The handling is super easy, plus the durability can't be challenged. Moreover, the manufacturer's warranty has enhanced the confidence of customers in this unit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is the last winch controller of the bunch, but it’s no less than the others. It stands out from its rivals for its well-built design. The body is compact and, therefore, can be easily stored in your vehicle. There is no doubt about the durable construction. The installation is also super easy, thanks to the plug-and-play system.

It has a long cord that is stable enough to serve you for years to come. This winch controller shows exceptional compatibility with almost all Smittybilt’s winches and a couple of others from different brands. To put in a nutshell, you can't go wrong with this unit! 

Bottom Line

The Smittybilt winch controller made its way to our list for its great operation and reliable construction. It is compatible with a number of winches and delivers an unforgettable performance every time you use it. All in all, it is worth the consideration for sure. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Like any other product, you need to consider a couple of factors before picking a winch controller. The availability of a plethora of options on the market may confuse you, and you may end up having the wrong product for your needs.

To save you from any regret in the future, we have listed a couple of factors that you must pay key attention to. 

Cable Material

In the case of a wired controller, one of the foremost factors to consider is the type of material used in the cable construction. Since these are made with different thickness and diameter, you need to pick the right one to suit your everyday needs.

Cable Length

You should always look into the length of the winch controller. Never go for too long or too short. Just pick the right length that is easy to pack and store in the vehicle as well. 

Range

A great wireless winch controller must be capable of controlling the winch from a large distance. What is the point of having a wireless controller that can’t work over a large distance? 

Compatibility

You can’t overlook this factor at all. Don’t rush into picking a controller that is not even compatible with your winch. It is always recommended to buy a unit from the same brand as your winch to avoid compatibility issues. 

Conclusion

Buying a new winch controller requires you to think with an open mind. Always pick a model that will serve you for a long time in your future to bring value to your bucks. With this, we conclude our detailed review of some of the great winch controllers out there. Hopefully, by now, you are capable of making the right decision to suit your needs.

People Also Ask

Whenever you are in the market to pick a new winch controller, chances are you might get your hands on the wrong model. Or, you might have various queries in your mind. In this section, we have tried to answer some of the frequently asked questions by people to help them make a valued purchase.

Are Winch Remotes Universal?

No, most winch controllers are manufactured by certain brands to work with their respective winches. They have made various modifications to suit the changing styles of the electrical system. However, there are also some universal remotes available that are compatible with almost every type of winch, preventing any hassle.

How Do You Wire a Winch Controller?

Wiring the winch controller might seem a bit daunting. Well, it is not very difficult. Just attach the positive and negative terminal of your control box to the respective positive and negative terminal on the winch. Then, attach the controller's central positive to the positive terminal of the battery by means of a fused wire. Make sure to attach the central negative terminal of the control box to a clean ground.