Best Hand Winches of 2020 – Ultimate Guide

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Struggling to lift or pull something heavy? Well, a hand winch can come in handy in this case.

It allows you to pull or lift heavy objects with a cable wounded on a drum. Typically, it is operated manually using a hand crank.

In this guide, we will show you some of the best hand winches you can buy for yourself.

Our Top Picks for Hand Winches

  • Comfortable grip handle
  • Zinc-plated finish
  • Easy to use
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  • Installation is easy
  • 1200 lb capacity
  • 20 ft strap with hook
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  • Best Portable Winch
  • 30 ft rope included
  • Heavy-duty build
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Comparison of the Best Hand Winches

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Features comfortable grip handle
  • Zinc-plated finish protects against corrosion
  • Easy to use and durable design
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  • Installation is very easy and simple
  • Has an impressive 1200 lb capacity
  • Features heavy-duty 20 feet strap with hook
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  • Best Portable Hand Winch
  • Comes with 30 feet rope included
  • Heavy-duty construction with corrosion resistance
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  • Best Hand Winch with Brake
  • Offers ergonomically molded grip for comfort
  • Designed to be one-hand operated
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  • Best Boat Hand Winch
  • Sleek and powerful performance
  • Handle can adjust from 6 inches to 9 inches
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  • Best Wall Mounted Hand Winch
  • Handle offers smooth rotating operation
  • Durable, premium steel construction
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  • Best Worm Gear Hand Winch
  • Equipped with heat-treated gears
  • Bronze powder-coated finish for durability
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  • Best Heavy Duty Hand Winch
  • Impressive loading lifting and towing ability
  • Heavy-duty gears are wear-resistant
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  • Best Light Duty Hand Winch
  • Offers secure grip for easier cranking
  • Smooth and rust-proof surface
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What Size of Hand Winch Do I Need? 

Hand winches come in various sizes and capacities. The size you require depends on your needs and requirements. Although all hand winches are designed to pull or lift heavy objects, each has a different capacity. Some are capable of lifting or pulling more weight when compared with others.

The best way to find out the right fit is to acknowledge your requirements. Let’s say you want to lift an object weighing 1000 pounds. In this case, consider buying a hand winch with a capacity of 100 pounds or more. The more weight you need to deal with, the higher should be your winch’s capacity.

What Should I Look For When Buying a Hand Winch

Purchasing the right fit is not easy by any means. It is because there exists a myriad of brands and products that offer similar functionality. You can find a lot of different brands advertising their products. But which one is the right one for you? 

Since you are looking for a hand winch, here are some aspects to consider when buying one.

Price

Obviously, price is one of the major and crucial aspects when buying a product. It is probably the first thing you notice about any product. The price varies based on the quality and features a product offers. The higher the quality, the higher would be the price and vice versa.

If you are on a limited budget, consider buying a product that offers value for your money. Investing too much or too little might cause inconvenience.

Capacity

Hand winches come with different capacities. These determine their ability to lift or pull specific weight. Some offer more weight lifting and pulling capacity than others. The capacity of the winch you need depends on your requirement. Make sure that the unit you are buying is capable of dealing with the weight that you expect it to lift.

Build Quality

Hand winches are designed to lift or pull heavy weights. That means that they should be strong enough to sustain such a weight. Therefore, make sure your chosen unit is durable and has a solid construction.

Quick Take  - Best Hand Winches

Before you get any further, here are our recommendations for the best hand winches:

  1. Reese Towpower 74337
  2. TR Industrial  TW1200B
  3. Korie Heavy Duty Hand Winch

Review of the Best Hand Winches

A hand winch is a great option if you are looking to pull or lift heavy objects. However, to ensure reliable operation, you would like to buy a quality product. In this section, we have listed some of the best hand winches you can buy on the market. They are perfectly designed and equipped to deal with all your modern weight lifting needs.

Reese Towpower 74337 600 Pound Capacity Winch

PROS

  • Quite easy to use
  • Handle offers a comfortable grip while cranking
  • Gears are made of durable carbon steel for longevity
  • Has a zinc-plated finish that provides resistance to corrosion
  • Comes with drum and shaft bushings for minimum maintenance

CONS

  • Not big enough
  • Doesn’t come with a cover

What Recent Buyers Report

A number of users consider this hand winch as a good-quality product. They say that it is one of the best of its kind. It offers a number of features and durable construction, which makes it quite desirable. Users also praised the overall build quality and performance of this unit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are a number of various features that we like about this hand winch. One of these is that it features an ergonomic handle that is very comfortable and user-friendly while cranking. The hand winch itself features quite a simple mechanism and is very easy to operate. The construction is quite durable and is capable of lasting a while.

Moreover, the zinc-plated finish provides excellent resistance to rust or corrosion. As a result, it might last longer than most traditional units. In addition, the gears are quite durable and made of carbon steel. It also comes with drum and shaft bushings that offer minimal maintenance.

Bottom Line

In all, this is a great hand winch to have, considering the various features and the durable construction. If you are looking for the best, here is one that fits this category. It offers all the features of a quality hand winch while being quite effective.

TR Industrial 1200 lb. Trailer Winch with Pre-Installed 20 ft. Strap and Hook

PROS

  • Offers an easy installation as well
  • Has a 1200-pound capacity with 20ft of strap included
  • Ergonomic handle with a 4:1 gear ratio for faster loading
  • Comes with zinc and black plating for weather resistance
  • Features a premium steel construction for protection against wear and tear

CONS

  • Strap is really thin
  • No bolt available for the cable

What Recent Buyers Report

A large number of reviews in favor of this product dictate its great quality and features. Users are very happy with the functionality and various features that it comes with. They believe that this is a great hand winch that offers superb quality and performance. It is highly recommended by most users.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What we like about this hand winch is its all-round quality and performance. It features premium-quality construction that is made out of steel. Everything from the gear to the frame is made of steel, which ensures its longevity. In addition, it has zinc and black plating that offers additional resistance to weather and other elements.

The hand winch itself is pretty easy to install with everything included in the box. It features a 1200-pound capacity and comes with 20ft of strap for instant usage. Moreover, it uses a 4:1 gear ratio, which allows you to load faster with its ergonomic handle.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a great hand winch with a handful of features and great durability. The all-steel construction makes it quite a great purchase, considering its high-quality and strong body. There are also a number of features available, which enhance user experience.

Best Portable Hand Winch:
Korie Heavy Duty Hand Winch

600lbs Capacity Heavy Duty Hand Winch, Hand Crank Strap Gear Winch with 8m Steel Wire, Manual Operated Two-Way Ratchet ATV Boat Trailer Marine (600LBS)

PROS

  • Ergonomic handle for comfortable cranking 
  • Has a 600 pounds of weight pulling capacity
  • Two-way ratchet enables lifting of heavy objects
  • Durable steel construction and gears with a 3.1:1 gear ratio
  • Compact and portable design that accommodates minimum space

CONS

  • Can be a bit risky to use
  • Vertical lifting is not rated

What Recent Buyers Report

Well, a large number of reviews recommend purchasing this hand winch. Recent buyers urge others to invest in this model if they want quality and reliability. They believe it is a great unit that performs way better than conventional units. Also, it offers a number of useful features.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What impresses us about this hand winch is its overall performance and reliability. It offers great quality, durability, and performance thanks to its superb design. It features a sturdy steel construction that enhances its lifespan. It also makes this unit capable of pulling some serious weight. Additionally, the gears are made of steel and feature a 3.1:1 gear ratio for fast loading.

It has a 600-pound weight pulling capacity; however, the two-way ratchet enables lifting heavy objects as well. The design is compact and lightweight, which makes it portable and requires less space for storage. It also comes with an ergonomic handle for comfortable use.

Bottom Line

Overall, it’s an amazing hand winch to have in your vehicle. If you are looking for a solid unit that offers great pulling capability, consider this one. It has all the features of a high-end winch designed to meet your weight pulling needs perfectly.

Best Hand Winch with Brake:
Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson DLB800A

Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson DLB800A Brake Winch 800 lb

PROS

  • Comes with 800 pounds of capacity
  • Offers smooth and one-handed operation
  • Sturdy construction designed for lighter loads
  • Zinc finish provides resistance against corrosion
  • Multipurpose brake winch capable of hauling and lifting operations

CONS

  • Cannot be used as a hoist for lifting
  • Need 50 pounds of load to apply brakes

What Recent Buyers Report

Well, the reviews say it all. An immense number of reviews suggested the exceptional build quality and functional capability of this unit. Users seem to be quite satisfied with the purchase. They believe that this is one of the best hand winches they have used so far. People also urge buyers to invest in this quality product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What stands out about this product is the fine build quality and its various capabilities. It offers durable construction that is perfectly designed to lift lighter loads. It has a zinc finish on its surface that provides resistance against rust and corrosion. Meanwhile, it offers a reliable 800 pounds of weight-bearing capacity as well.

This brake winch is capable of serving multiple purposes, which includes hauling and lifting operations. The usability is quite user-friendly, as it offers a single-handed operation. Also, the handle offers a comfortable and ergonomic grip to further enhance your experience.

Bottom Line

All in all, this is a great hand winch that is perfectly designed for multiple purposes. It can pull as well as lift heavy weights without any hassle. The operation itself is quite comfortable and safe with the brake system. It’s really worth the investment.

Best Boat Hand Winch:
Fulton FW32000101

Fulton FW32000101 F2 Two-Speed Trailer Winch with Strap - 3200 lb. Load Capacity - Silver And Black - one size

PROS

  • Handle is adjustable from 6 to 9 inches
  • Smooth operation with the dual gear drum
  • Aluminum construction which offers resistance to corrosion
  • Comes with a strap guide, winch strap, and mounting hardware
  • Features a 3200-pound capacity with a single-handed operation

CONS

  • Installation might require a professional

What Recent Buyers Report

We saw an overwhelming response from users. They admire the stunning build quality and smooth operation of this hand winch. They believe that this product is one of the best available in the market. It offers multiple features and reliable operation, which makes it a desirable product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit needs no introduction. It is considered as one of the best hand winches available in the market. It is because of its flawless design and operation that makes it far better than any other unit. It features a whopping 3200-pound capacity, which is stunning. You can lift extremely heavy loads using this winch.

In addition, it features a smooth and single-handed operation, which suggests its user-friendly nature. The construction is also pretty solid with an aluminum frame and handle. It also promises resistance against corrosion, and the handle can be adjusted from 6 to 9 inches. It comes with the necessary strap guide, strap, and mounting hardware for convenience.

Bottom Line

In short, this is a reliable hand winch designed to lift extremely heavy loads. The construction is very durable and user-friendly. It also offers a great deal of versatility with its one-hand operation and adjustable handle. 

Best Wall Mounted Hand Winch:
XtremepowerUS X5091

XtremepowerUS Heavy Duty Worm Gear Hand Winch Crank Strap Gear Ratchet ATV Boat Trailer Marine (2000lbs) 1-Ton Capacity 40:1

PROS

  • Easy to mount and effective for mobile use
  • Hook comes with a safety pawl for user safety
  • Durable steel body with zinc and black plating
  • Promises smooth cranking with its ergonomic handle
  • 2000 pounds of capacity makes it great for pulling or lifting

CONS

  • Ball bearings are not being used
  • Doesn’t come with a mounting bolt

What Recent Buyers Report

A majority of users talked about the unmatched quality and reliable performance of this hand winch. Users report flawless and smooth operation while using the product. They believe it is very effective at pulling or lifting extremely heavy objects. The design is also perfect and ensures a reliable user experience.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What pleases us about this hand winch is the high versatility that it offers to its users. Whether it is the performance, quality, or durability, everything is up to the mark. Talking about durability, it features a strong steel construction that is backed by zinc and black finish. This finish negates wear and tear while keeping it resistant against weather and corrosion.

The handle is very ergonomic as it allows smooth cranking during operation. In addition, the hook features a safety pawl for user safety. This 2000-pound capacity hand winch is ideal for lifting and pulling massive objects. With easy mounting and mobile use, it makes a perfect choice.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that it is one of the finest hand winches available. It offers great durability and smooth operation, even when lifting huge loads. The winch itself provides user-friendly operation while ensuring your safety and reliability.

Best Worm Gear Hand Winch:
Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson WG2000

Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson WG2000 Worm Gear Winch 2000 lb

PROS

  • Handle is ergonomic with molded grip
  • Features 2000 pounds of weight capacity
  • Has a metallic bronze powder coating for rust prevention
  • Gears are made of high laminated carbon, which is heat-treated
  • Driveshaft bearings are permanently lubricated for smooth operations

CONS

  • Hand crank is very slow 
  • Doesn’t have an attractive outlook

What Recent Buyers Report

Well, recent buyer reports dictate the fine quality that this hand winch delivers. Users say that it has a decent capacity while being highly durable. They also admire the user-friendly and smooth operation that it offers. Buyers highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a quality hand winch.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The multitude of features that this hand winch delivers is what makes it hit our list. It promises an astonishing 2000 pounds of weight capacity, which is perfect for huge loads. You can easily pull or lift extremely heavy objects without breaking into a sweat! Additionally, it provides great durability thanks to the metallic bronze powder coating that prevents it from rusting or corrosion.

Moreover, the handle is quite ergonomic and provides a reliable grip with its molded nature. On the other hand, the gears are made of high carbon content and are heat-treated for longevity. Also, the driveshaft bearings are lubricated permanently to ensure smooth operations.

Bottom Line

You are looking for the best hand winch, right? Well, here is one to cater to all your weight lifting and pulling needs. With an immense capacity and durable design, it is perfect for most heavy-duty applications. 

Best Heavy Duty Hand Winch:
Camco 50001

Camco Heavy Duty Steel Marine Towing Winch- Corrosion Resistant | 1,2000 lb Capacity| Durable Gears Resist Wear & Tear| Resilient & UV Resistant 20’ Strap - (50001)

PROS

  • Compact design with a heavy-duty steel construction
  • Comes with a durable polyester strap with UV resistance
  • Heavy-duty gears and ergonomic handle for easy cranking
  • 1200-pound capacity for lifting or pulling enormous weight
  • Powder coating and zinc plating provide corrosion resistance

CONS

  • Some users reported reliability issues
  • Reverse mechanism is not very effective

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers believe that if you are looking for a solid all-around winch, consider this one. It has all the necessary features of a top-notch hand winch. In addition, users shared their experiences of using this model. They say that it is a great product that is capable of lifting huge loads without any hassle.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you are looking for a quality hand winch, then this is your best bet. It has all the properties of a high-end unit that is way more expensive than this one. In addition, this model features a compact design. At the same time, it promises a sturdy build with heavy-duty steel construction that is resistant to wear and tear.

The construction is further protected by powder coating and zinc plating to negate the effects of rust and corrosion. This 1200-pound capacity winch is capable of lifting huge and heavy loads without any hassle. Moreover, it comes with durable gears and a strap for longevity.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an all-in-one hand winch, then look no further. This unit is enough to take care of all your weight lifting and pulling needs. With the huge capacity and solid construction, it promises a long-lasting operation.

Best Light Duty Hand Winch:
Mostbest-19100407

Mostbest 600lbs Hand Winch Crank Gear Winch, Boat Trailer Manual Lifting Sling Tool with 6M Polyester Strap, Especially for Home Garages, Small Workshops, Gardening, Farms or Warehouses Lifting

PROS

  • Features a reliable 600-pound capacity
  • Promises reliable customer support services
  • Made of heat-treated A36 steel, which is sturdy
  • Rust-proof surface designed for moist environment
  • Comes with a comfort grip handle for smooth cranking operation

CONS

  • Not available on online stores
  • Some users reported defective product

What Recent Buyers Report

A number of recent buyers purchased the product. They believe that this hand winch is a great product for the price. It offers great value for your money without compromising on quality and performance. Users also shared their various experiences while using this winch. They say that it is very reliable and promises a multipurpose functionality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are a number of features that we like about this hand winch. Talking about durability, it offers solid construction, which consists of heat-treated A36 steel for longevity. It greatly reduces wear and tear and allows it to be operational with minimum maintenance. Furthermore, the surface is rust-proof, which is designed specifically for moist or humid conditions.

In addition, it is capable of lifting 600 pounds worth of load. There is a comfort grip handle also available that makes the cranking operation effortless. Also, a reliable customer support service is promised in case of a refund or return policy.

Bottom Line

In all, this is a superb hand winch that performs way better than most traditional units. It has a quality build and smooth operation, which makes it quite an attraction. It is not only durable but also performs significantly better than other winches.

COLIBYOU 3200lbs Heavy Duty Hand Winch Towing Winch Hand Winch Cable Boat Trailer Marine Trailer Winch Gear Hand Winch Nylon Strap For ATV Boat Trailer Auto

PROS

  • Very easy to use and install
  • Gears are made of steel alongside zinc plating
  • Lightweight design and small size for field operations
  • Can be used effectively on mobile applications with a 3200-pound capacity
  • Made of cold-forged steel with an ergonomic handle and reinforced synthetic rope

CONS

  • Has to be operated manually
  • Several users reported durability issues

What Recent Buyers Report

A high percentage of positive reviews suggest the outstanding quality and performance of this hand winch. Users are overwhelmed by the capability and features that this unit comes with. They believe that this is a great hand winch that offers value for your money. It is highly recommended by recent buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Most of the buyers state that this hand winch is a great value-for-money product. However, we think a bit differently. What strikes us about this product is the wide range of features and the reasonable price that it offers. It has a lightweight design with a compact size that is ideal for field operations. In addition, it promises easy installation and user-friendly operation.

The construction is very solid as it is made of cold-forged steel. On the other hand, the crank handle is ergonomic and comfortable, and the reinforced synthetic rope is quite strong. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is a value-for-money hand winch that comes at an affordable price. It is very durable with high carbon steel gears and zinc plating. Besides, with a 3200-pound capacity, it can be used effectively for mobile applications. We highly urge you to invest in this product.

Types of Hand Winches

There are different types of hand winches that are available in the market. Each of them is designed for a specific purpose. Some of them offer different operational capabilities, unlike other types of hand winches. They also differ from one another on the basis of functionality and mechanism.

Here are some of the most common types.

Capstan Winches

Capstan winches are usually powered manually; however, they also feature electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic capability. They usually come with an extended piece that is used to wrap the rope. They are widely used for horizontal pulling since they have a vertical winch drum. Capstan winches are typically used for maritime operations due to their high line pulls.

XtremepowerUS X5091

Drum Winches

Drum winches are generally used for anchoring purposes, which keeps the rope on the drum. They are designed perfectly to quickly drop or recover heavy loads. In addition, they are quite easy to install and can operate effectively with any rope or chain. Their most common usage is in ships or boats.

Snubbing Winches

Unlike most winches, a snubbing winch doesn’t have a hand crank. Instead, it features a spool that is located at a 90-degree angle. Usually, it uses tail lines to reel or tighten the rope. It is commonly used to control sails on small boats.

Hand Winch vs. Come Along - Comparison Overview

Stuck between whether to buy a hand winch or a come-along? Don’t worry. We are here to help you find the right fit for your needs. A come-along is a type of hand winch that operates almost similar to a hand winch. It also serves the same purpose; however, there are several differences between the two. Let’s find out.

Similarities

Here are some of the aspects that both of them share in common.

Purpose

Both of them are designed for the same purpose, which is dealing with heavy weights. They are perfectly designed to sustain enormous weight and feature durable construction.

Construction

Both units are nearly identical when it comes to construction. They use a nearly identical mechanism to deal with heavy-duty jobs.

Differences

Here are some major differences between the two.

Capability

Unlike a hand winch, a come-along is not rated for overhead lifting. That being said, it is not an ideal option if you are looking to lift heavy weights overhead. On the other hand, a hand winch is capable of both lifting and pulling heavy objects without any hassle.

Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson WG2000

Functionality

When it comes to functionality, there is a slight difference between the two. A hand winch uses a hand crank for pulling or lifting, while a come along uses a ratchet. 

How to Use a Hand Winch

Using a hand winch is not a complex task; however, some guidance would be of help. If you are a first-timer, here are some steps to use it effectively.

  1. In order to operate a hand winch, it needs to be installed on a solid surface. There are mounting holes available on the winch frame that allow you to install the assembly.

  2. Before operating, the reel must be properly spooled with cable. 

  3. For this, first, seize the end of the cable and apply the tape before inserting it through a set screw. 

  4. Now, insert the end of the cable in the catch hole.

  5. You’d also need to insert the set screw in the set screw hole before you tighten it with a hex key.

  6. In order to align the cable with the spool, use the hex key to orient the set screw. 

  7. Orient the set screw in such a way that the cable will flow with the rounded-shape of the spool.

  8. Tighten the set screw while keeping the alignment in the same position.

  9. You can now spool the hand winch by applying tension to the cable while rotating the hand crank. Make sure there is enough tension in the cable while spooling to avoid any inconvenience.

If you are still unsure of the process, refer to the following video for what was just described.

Conclusion

A hand winch is a handy tool that allows you to lift or pull heavy objects. However, finding the right one can pose quite a challenge. In this guide, we have listed some of the best hand winches for your needs. They deliver not only high quality but also ensure a reliable user experience.

People Also Ask

People frequently ask a lot of questions about the products they wish to purchase. These are based on various ambiguities that arise in their minds while choosing a product. Therefore, we have listed some frequently asked questions to ensure your mind is free from such ambiguities.

Here are some of the most common questions people ask about hand winches.

How Do Hand Winches Work?

Hand winches are manually operated winches that require muscle power to operate. A typical hand winch consists of a drum wrapped with cable or wire that is tightened to a surface. There is a hand crank available to release or retrieve the cable. Heavy weights are attached to the end of assembly with a hook. As you rotate the hand crank, the weight is either pulled or lifted.

Are Hand Winches Any Good?

Hand winches are quite reliable when it comes to lifting or pulling heavy weights. Some objects are just too heavy to lift or pull using your bare hands. However, with a hand winch, you can easily pull or lift that object with minimum effort.

Can a Hand Winch Pull as Much as a Normal Winch?

A hand winch is quite effective at lifting or pulling weights. However, its weight-bearing ability is determined by its capacity to lift a specific weight. Various models come with different capacities, but generally, it can lift or pull weight nearly ten times its capacity. However, a normal winch offers more since it is operated electrically.

How Heavy is a Hand Winch?

A hand winch is one of the best options to lift or pull heavy weights. But how heavy is the winch itself? Well, the weight depends on the size and purpose of the unit. Some have a large size and offer more capacity; hence they are heavier and vice versa.

How Much Does a Hand Winch Cost?

A hand winch is quite a common tool that is used to deal with heavy weights. Typically, a good-quality unit can range anything between several hundred and several thousand dollars. However, the size, capacity, features, and purpose dictate its price. Hand winches used for industrial purposes are far more expensive than others.