Best Mini Winches of 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Winch Central is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Imagine you are off-roading in the middle of nowhere, and your vehicle gets stuck. You might not have the necessary hardware tools to rescue yourself! What a nightmare, right?

This situation can be easily remedied by investing in a good winch that can be a true savior for your vehicles. There are several types of models in the market, available within a wide price range and constructed by various manufacturers. Therefore, choosing the best unit can be difficult.

So, we have made a complete buyer's guide along with some incredible product recommendations. To find out more, keep on reading!

Our Top Picks for Mini Winches

  • Mechanical brakes
  • 3000 lbs line pull
  • Permanent magnet motor
View Latest Price →
  • 1.6 horsepower
  • Small, compact size
  • Diff planetary gear train
View Latest Price →
  • Best for the Money
  • Designed durably
  • Steady and strong
View Latest Price →

Comparison of the Best Mini Winches

PRODUCTDETAILS
gm2-table__image

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV

  • Brake system is mechanical and dynamic
  • Has a rated line pull of 3000 lbs
  • Equipped with strong permanent magnet motor
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

WARN 92000

  • Permanent magnet DC motor boasts with 1.6 horsepower
  • Small, compact size allows mounting in tight areas
  • Makes use of differential planetary gear train
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

ZEAK B07Y2QPR7V

  • Best for the Money
  • Designed durable to last many years
  • Steady and strong pull with free-spooling clutch
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Korie Heavy Duty Hand Winch

  • Best Mini Hand Winch
  • Handle offers ergonomic grip for comfort
  • Heavy-duty steel construction enhances durability
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Tungsten4x4 T4000S

  • Best Mini Electric Winch
  • Strong 4000 lbs rated capacity line pull
  • Designed to be efficiently water-resistant
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Hiltex 11302

  • Best Mini Winch 12V
  • Small and portable but efficient winch
  • Remote control can extend up to 10 feet
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Wyeth 3-35-A-SLT

  • Best Mini Come Along Winch
  • Safe and very durable cable puller
  • Synthetic rope is very strong but is light enough to float
View Latest Price

When Would a Mini Winch Come in Handy?

Many people wonder about a winch's use. Is it that necessary? 

Winches are incredibly helpful tools and can come in handy in multiple situations. They can aid in solving and getting out of unfavorable situations and problems.

Motorboating

A lot of electric winches do make a good complementary unit for boat anchors. However, it's important to ensure that the unit has reliable functionality and a weight load capacity that corresponds to the size and length of your boat.

Off-Roading

Often, while off-roading, a vehicle gets stuck in the mud, slippery ground, etc. This situation can get pretty bad if a good winch is not available at hand to take the vehicle out. Thus, these units prove to be a must-have when off-roading.

Clearing Obstacles

If there is a small load in the garage that you need to pull, then a winch can be very helpful. Similarly, if you find a heavy load, such as a rock, hindering a pathway or road, it can be easily cleared by the help of a good unit.

WARN 92000

Characteristics of Our Favorite Mini Winches

There are so many products in the market, but what exactly makes a particular unit one of the best? Well, there are certain key features that can help you decide. These include:

Power

If you plan on investing in an electric model, make sure you buy one that uses less power. If you have limited power, the winch will not be functional. Having a solar energy option can be a great investment too.

Warranty

Invest in a unit that is warranted and is backed by technical support. After-purchase experience is very important. The warranty and assistance a brand has builds your trust as the customer and adds great value to your money.

Weatherproof and Durable

A good-quality product has at least IP65 waterproof certification to be employed in different situations. Plus, many corrosion-resistant models can minimize the effects of wear and tear.

Furthermore, a model with steel construction proves to be a more durable, long-lasting, and a worthy investment.

Quick Take - Best Mini Winches

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

  1. Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV
  2. WARN 92000
  3. ZEAK B07Y2QPR7V

Review of the Best Mini Winches

There are numerous products on the market. However, not all are worthy of your time and money. It can be rather challenging to get the perfect product. Thus, we have compiled and reviewed some of the best ones on the market. Let's take a look at them:

Superwinch 1130220 LT3000ATV 12 VDC winch 3,000lbs/1360kg with roller fairlead, mount plate, handlebar rocker switch, and handheld remote

PROS

  • Compact yet durable design and quiet operation
  • Versatile with electromagnetic power in every weather
  • Mechanical, dynamic braking with 100% automatic load holding
  • Highly reliable as it comes with a two-year manufacturer's warranty
  • Features a 3000-LB pull rating with a 1.2 horsepower low-amp draw engine

CONS

  • Installation instructions are vague
  • Buyers found that the switches were problematic

What Recent Buyers Report

Consumers are very happy with this product. It is incredibly well-engineered and performs well too. It has multiple security features installed to make it safe to use. The design is compact, convenient, and ergonomic. This makes the product a great investment and a consumer favorite.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are multiple aspects of this product that simply call out to us. Firstly, the product design is very smart, given its compact yet heavy-duty construction. Durability and reliability are key benefits of this unit, and the incredible two-year warranty makes it a long-term investment. The ergonomic free-spool clutch makes engaging and disengaging very easy.

Multiple safety features ensure safe and secure usage. It has mechanical and dynamic braking with 100% automatic load-holding, which minimizes the chances of rope slippage. Furthermore, it has a rubberized remote switch with a 12-inch lead, allowing a safe distance between the winch and the user.

Bottom Line

There aren't many products that are as good as this one. Not only is it incredibly well-constructed but also works very well. The performance of this unit is definitely up to the mark; it is worthy of being on the top of our list.

Runner-up:
WARN 92000

WARN 92000 Vehicle Mounted 2000 Series 12V DC Electric Utility Winch with Steel Cable: 1 Ton (2,000 lb) Pulling Capacity

PROS

  • Features remote controlled operation
  • Equipped with a load limiter and LED indicator
  • Small and compact, easily usable in small space
  • 2000lbs pulling capacity and is powered by a 12-volt DC motor
  • Generates high-torque pull as it is capable of free spooling with the clutch

CONS

  • Can only be used for small loads
  • Some buyers find the wire to be of poor quality

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers show lots of positivity and seem impressed with this product and rightfully so, considering the range of safety features. The reports suggest that this unit is highly reliable and well-constructed. The brand has been around for many years and has earned buyer's trust too. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

WARN 9200 is a phenomenal product that stood out to us due to its construction and performance. It has a compact and small design with a limited 2000lbs pulling capacity. This allows it to work tremendously well with small loads and tight spaces.

Furthermore, the model is equipped with features such as load limiters and LED lights that act as indicators of overloads. It is remote controlled for user's convenience and can generate a very high torque pull due to the free spooling.

Bottom Line

Overall, it is an impressive product. It is a lot more than just durable construction and good performance. It is safe and secure to use and is convenient and ergonomic for the consumer. Thus, it is certainly a great investment to make.

Best for the Money:
ZEAK B07Y2QPR7V

ZEAK 2500 lb. Advanced Off-Road 12V DC ATV/UTV Electric Winch, Synthetic Rope with Mini-Rocker Solenoid Kit

PROS

  • Designed to be IP65 waterproof
  • Small and compact with a 2500lbs pulling capacity
  • Operated by corded remote control for user-friendliness
  • Highly reliable, backed by a one-year manufacturer's guarantee
  • Features 1.1 horsepower permanent DC motor that produces a powerful pull

CONS

  • Nylon sleeves are inconvenient
  • Some buyers found it to be noisy

What Recent Buyers Report

Due to the reliability of the brand and the impeccable construction of this product, buyer reports are exceptionally positive. The design is well-engineered and takes into account the user's convenience and comfort. It is small in size. As a result, it is easy to use for most buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We think that the ZEAK B07Y2QPR7V is a great product on the market for several reasons, but most importantly because it is manufactured by a really well-known and reliable brand. Zeak has a reputation of not only delivering top-notch quality machines but also offering them at reasonable prices. The performance of this product is completely uncompromised and is competitive to other higher-end, expensive units.

It comes with a one-year manufacturer's warranty, making it a long-term investment. Furthermore, the product has a 1.1 horsepower permanent DC motor that works with the free-spooling clutch to provide a powerful pull.

Bottom Line

Overall, it is an impressive winch. It works as well as a much higher-end unit and is very intricately designed to be of great quality. The overall unit is convenient to use, too and makes for a great investment.

Best Mini 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

  • 600lbs capacity with a high-strength steel wire rope
  • Small and compact design that allows ease of storage
  • Features high carbon steel gears that last longer and resist corrosion
  • Ergonomic design provides a comfortable grip to reduce hand fatigue
  • Comes with a mooring hook with a safety pawl to allow easy ratcheting

CONS

  • Slightly difficult to lock
  • Cable might not be of sufficient length

What Recent Buyers Report

This Korie product has managed to gather many praises by its buyers and users, who are professionals and beginners in using winches. It is wonderfully designed and carries multiple features that greatly aid its performance. Buyers do wish the product had a longer cable but are satisfied with the overall functionality.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Satisfactory performance and an incredibly intelligent and user-friendly design are two reasons why this unit stood out to us. The Korie Heavy Duty unit is one of the most reliable hand winches on the market. It has a solid carbon steel construction, which enables it to be such a durable and reliable product.

The device is easy to grip, given its comfortable and ergonomic design, so it doesn't cause any hand fatigue. The size is small and compact, so it can be easily stored and used in smaller spaces conveniently.

Carrying this compact unit is also not much of a hassle. Furthermore, it has a 600lbs pulling capacity and features high-strength wire rope which adds to the many reasons it stands out to us.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, this unit is incredibly well-designed and highly functional. The user-friendly design and durable quality construction all make it worth your money. It is also affordable compared to other alternatives in the market.

Best Mini Electric Winch:
Tungsten4x4 T4000S

Tungsten4x4 T4000S 1.9 HP ATV/UTV Electric Winch 4000 lbs Capacity Waterproof with Synthetic Rope, Both Wireless Handlebar Remote and Hawse Fairlead

PROS

  • Comes with a three-stage planetary gear system
  • Mechanical and dynamic brake ensure better control
  • Backed by a lifetime technical support and a three-year warranty
  • Features an automatic braking lock rope which prevents free spooling
  • Smooth and efficient performance due to the powerful 1.9HP DC motor

CONS

  • On the more expensive end of the spectrum

What Recent Buyers Report

Whether it is the impressive braking system of the product or the powerful motor, this unit deserves the praise it gets from buyers. The warranty and technical support are reported to be effective and helpful.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There is very little we don't like about this wonderful product. It is well-designed, known for its top-notch performance, and has an ergonomic build. The unit is entirely waterproof; thus, it can be used in multiple situations without worry.

It is equipped with a three-stage planetary gear system along with a 32.6 ft 6/25-inch rope. It guarantees that the user has a smooth and efficient performance due to the powerful 1.9 HP DC motor. The dynamic and mechanical brake ensures that the winch stays in control while operating. A generous three-year warranty also backs it.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is a good product by Tungsten. Even though it might not fit well within everyone's budget, the performance and the design are splendid. It truly deserves the praises it gets and proves to be a great investment in the long run.

Best Mini Winch 12V:
Hiltex 11302

Hiltex 11302 12V Electric Winch, 1500 lb.

PROS

  • Remote control can extend up to 10 feet
  • Incredibly affordable compared to other units
  • Comes with a free-spooling option to pull the rope
  • Small and portable so that it can fit into tight spaces
  • Features a 12-volt DC motor with a 1500lbs pulling capacity

CONS

  • Very loud while operating
  • Gets hot after some time of use

What Recent Buyers Report

We saw that the buyers of this unit loved the performance and the incredible price point it is available at, which is truly hard to beat. It is well-constructed and can lift to 1500lbs, which isn't a lot for some but can be great if employed for small tasks. It is a consumer-favorite product for sure.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Intriguing is one way to describe this incredible product by Hiltex. The compact size of this unit can be really helpful in several ways, whether for storage purposes or ease of use. The compact design makes it more appropriate for light-weighted loads. The construction is worthy of praise as it is heavy-duty and sturdy.

This unit is very affordable yet highly reliable. It has a remote-controlled operation with a range of up to ten feet, so the user is at a safe distance from the loading and unloading site. It has a free-spooling option as well, which can pull the rope quickly if needed.

Bottom Line

Wrapping it up, this winch model by Hiltex is an incredible investment and perhaps one of the most affordable units. The design is impeccable, and the performance is worthy of praise. This unit is worth checking out for its incredible price-to-performance ratio.

Best Mini Come Along Winch:
Wyeth 3-35-A-SLT

3 Ton Ratchet Puller With 35' Of 5/16' Amsteel Blue

PROS

  • Easy to operate due to its minimalistic design
  • Whiplash-free and is resistant to permanent smashing
  • Works in demanding situations without bending or breaking
  • Equipped with an amazing synthetic rope which is heavy-duty
  • Does not cause hand fatigue as it is not equipped with any wire wickers

CONS

  • Might be more expensive
  • Learning to use the cable seemed to be a problem for some buyers

What Recent Buyers Report

The reports on this product show that this unit completely floors buyers. They find the price of this unit to be justified by the performance and quality. It is slightly expensive, yet the performance is truly unmatched. It has an incredible double and single-line pull capacity, which makes it very easy to use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Simplistic yet well-engineered design, the Wyeth 3-35-A-SLT is a true delight. This unit is constructed in a very simple manner with limited features, but the performance is heavy-duty. It has a double-line pulling capacity of 6000 lbs., and a single-line pulling capacity of 12,000 lbs., which is very impressive.

The machine is equipped with a heavy-duty synthetic rope which is sturdy and durable and performs spectacularly in demanding situations. The machine doesn't bend or show signs of wear and tear after lifting or pulling heavy loads. It's a true masterpiece to look forward to!

Bottom Line

Last but not least, this unit by Wyeth is a gem. Even with its expensive price tag, it has completely captured our attention, thanks to the heavy-duty functionality. It has an incredible design and performance worthy of investment.

Pros and Cons of Mini Winches

If you are still confused about buying a mini winch, then perhaps looking into the pros and cons that they offer will help you make up your mind. Let's have a quick look:

Pros

Having a mini winch in your tool kit has many benefits. Here are a few of them:

Versatility

Winches are great products to invest in as some of them are quite versatile. They can work for a boat anchor, and also be used for a normal vehicle. They can be used to remove obstacles, such as rocks, and therefore have many uses.

Durability and Heavy-Duty Performance

Nowadays, these models are constructed to be incredibly durable and sturdy, so they are a once-in-a-long-time investment. You won't have to keep repurchasing it, because, with proper maintenance, a good product will last you several years.

They are equipped with weatherproofing features that extend their life further.

Convenience

If all your older models of winches caused hand fatigue and were seemingly dangerous to use, then investing in a new quality model is great. Now, these units are advanced, and therefore are remote controlled and can be operated from a safe distance. Some of these also have ergonomic designs to further ensure user-friendliness.

Cons

These units are incredibly important tools, but there is a certain downside to them.

High-Maintenance

One major issue that arises when using winches is how high maintenance they are. They need to be continuously looked after, which is what ensures their long-life.

Can You Really Find a Quality Mini Winch That's Affordable?

One of the most frequently asked questions about mini winches is whether it is possible to buy a good-quality one at an affordable price range. To clear it once and for all, it is possible to get a mini winch that is affordable and of good quality.

It's crucial to keep in mind that the unit might work just as well as a higher-end product, but there will be differences between a pricey and a cheaper unit. These differences can exist in their range of features, construction quality, and warranty as well.

Affordable models might not be completely weatherproof, but one can expect that from a higher-end unit.

Conclusion

Mini winches are one of the most important tools to have in your toolkit. Be it your vehicle getting stuck in the mud or for simply removing obstacles on the road; these units are incredibly reliable and offer great help in resolving troublesome situations.

Keeping this in mind, our buyer's guide and product reviews have tried to make the final decision easier for you. Make sure to check for important features such as construction quality and warranty before buying the best mini winch.

Hopefully, when you reach this section, you will have a good understanding of which unit to buy and how to buy it.