Best Winch Pulleys of 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

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If you are looking for the best winch pulley, you are certainly not alone. Knowing which pulley will work best for your winch is important. It comes down to choosing one based on certain features or characteristics that will stand out and work to your advantage.

Yes, so many winch pulleys are available on the market. But there are five we have tracked down since they are considered the best in the business. We put them together on a list so you can learn more about them (and you can be able to choose one of them for yourself).

Before we get to the list itself, let’s talk about what a winch pulley can be used for and how you can choose one for your own personal use.

Comparison Chart of the Best Winch Pulleys

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best overall winch pulley
  • Constructed from high-strength steel
  • Handles weights of up to 20,000 pounds
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  • Handles up to 22,000 pounds
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Runner-up for best overall winch pulley
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  • Best winch pulley for the money
  • Constructed from high-quality steel
  • Handles up to about 17,000 pounds
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  • Handles up to 13.5 tons
  • Made from superior aerospace polymer
  • Designed to work with trees as anchors (without damaging them)
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  • Swivels open for ease
  • Handles up to 20,000 pounds
  • Large opening for attaching to an anchor point
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What is a Winch Pulley Used For?

A winch pulley is used to help anchor and support the cables of a winch while the rope itself is able to tow or lift any heavy loads. These loads include but are not limited to: crates, vehicles, RVs, campers, and trailers. A winch pulley will support the pulley rope (depending on the overall length). Some pulleys will support shorter rope lengths while others can support longer lengths. 

How to Choose a Winch Pulley

Knowing the characteristics and features of a winch pulley is key. This way, it will allow you to make the distinction between a great model and one that isn’t so great in terms of quality and reliability. Also, knowing some of the little details of each winch pulley might be a good idea. Here are some things to look for while choosing a winch pulley:

Price

Of course, the price tag isn’t a feature or characteristic per se. But it certainly should be something to look at if you are on a budget. The reason for this is to help you find the best quality and performance you can afford. And that alone can trump price altogether. Don’t look for the lowest price point possible (since you’ll end up with cheap and flimsy). If the price fits your budget range (and the quality and performance match your standards), get it. 

Weight Limit

Knowing what you are going to be lifting or towing on a regular basis is certainly a must. And you should know this because it will allow you to make a more informed choice on a winch pulley. Find one that will support the weight of your loads (even if the weight limit itself is on a higher scale). Some small vehicle winches can have a weight limit of right around 4,000 to 6,000 pounds at best. 

What Kind of Winch Can it Handle?

Keep in mind that not all winches are created equal and neither are the pulleys that support it. You should consider your winch (if you have one) as a good starting point of which pulley will be able to support it. At the same time, you should also look at how long the rope can get at its maximum. Some pulleys can handle short lengths while others can handle longer lengths. Choose wisely when considering this so you won’t have to deal with any extra slack or worse - a rope coming up short. 

Quick Take  - Best Winch Pulleys

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

  1. ARB Snatch Block
  2. ORCISH 10T Recovery Winch Snatch Pulley Block
  3. Premium 8-Ton Snatch Block by Xtreme-Unlimited

Review of the Best Winch Pulleys

Below is a list of the five best winch pulleys currently on the market. While going through each one, you should make some quick notes on the characteristics and features so you can find one that stands out the best. One of these five pulleys can surely be yours for the long term so be sure to look through each one carefully before making a decision. Now, let’s begin this list by taking a look at the best overall choice:

Best Overall:
ARB Snatch Block

ARB Products 10100020 20000 lbs Snatch Block

PROS

CONS

  • Storage is not really compact
  • May damage trees if anchored to them
  • May be a little thick and heavy for some users

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new buyers were quite happy with the pulley. They said it was easy to use for most winches, especially those that were able to handle all the heavy lifting duties (anything up to 20,000 pounds). The construction was solid and sturdy even though the materials were not as thick as some negative reviews claim. One user said this pulley was smooth in operation and handled the heavy-duty lifting without any struggle. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the really impressive things about this pulley is that it’s made from fewer materials, but still holds up quite nicely. So it isn’t cheap and flimsy in the slightest. And it fits a lot of cables and ropes pretty well and won’t cause any snagging. It’s durable, reliable, and is built to handle the rough and tough tasks as any good pulley should. If you want something that will make every lifting or towing task easier than ever before, this might be the pulley you’ll want to go with. 

Who Will Use This Most

This will be an excellent pulley for those who are looking to tow heavy loads like vehicles, boats, or even large trailers. If you are also looking for heavy-duty toughness without the heavy equipment, this pulley might stand out as the best possible option. You can attach this to most pulleys and still be able to get any job done, no matter how heavy the load gets. 

Bottom Line

The ARB Products Winch Pulley might be the go-to choice for you. It can handle so much weight, so many tasks, and won’t break easily. Low density does not always have to equal cheap and flimsy. Put this to good use just about anywhere and you have a lifting and towing tool that will certainly hold itself up for a long time.

ORCISH 10T Recovery Winch Snatch Pulley Block 22000lb Capacity

PROS

  • Super-sturdy and reliable
  • Works with most winches
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Can deal with the heavy-duty lifting and towing
  • Compatible with many kinds of straps and ropes

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new users were able to put this pulley to good use for the purpose of heavy lifting and towing (which included large vehicles, boats, trailers, etc.). The pulley was accepting of many straps and handles and a lot of people were really happy with that. One user even said that for the price it was going for, he couldn’t believe how tough it was for almost any use. He further added that he was able to anchor this without any problems including trees and steel posts. He used the pulley without further damage to either of his makeshift anchors.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pulley has a weight capacity of up to 22,000 pounds. Obviously, it’s going to be a great winch pulley if you are using the winch itself for all your pulling and lifting needs. If you want superior durability and reliability without struggling to figure out which rope or strap is best for you, then you might find this pulley, in particular, a worthy choice. Find any rope or pulley that can handle these winches and you’ll be in business for quite some time. This will also work with larger objects that you can use as anchors. You won’t cause any damage to trees or any scratches to steel post anchors or the like. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are looking to do some towing of heavy vehicles, boats, or even RVs, this might be the best winch pulley available to you. This thing doesn’t mess around (and the quality and construction prove that). This just might be what you are looking for if reliability and durability are two things that are “make or break” for your ideal winch pulley.

Bottom Line

The ORCISH 10T Recovery Winch Snatch Pulley is definitely one of the best options for a winch pulley that can handle even some of the heaviest weights out there. It won’t break in half, nor will it malfunction. This sucker is built for the long haul and for just about any towing or hoisting task you need to get done. And best of all, it’s at a pretty good price too. Cheap and flimsy this is not.

Premium 8-Ton Snatch Block by Xtreme-Unlimited | Pulley Block W//Greasable Fitting | Winch Accessories | Heavy Duty Rope Pulley | Universal Snatch Blocks for Winches | Max Cable 15/32” (12 mm)

PROS

  • Really sturdy and durable
  • Beefy, rugged construction
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Easy to install with most winches
  • Superior lifting and towing ability

CONS

  • A bit larger than expected for some users
  • Some were not happy with the fact that it was not made in the U.S.A.
  • Attachment to some trailers and vehicles might be a challenge at first

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new users were impressed with the overall ability of this winch pulley. They said the quality and construction were solid and rugged and allowed for easy, heavy lifting in most tasks. A good number of users were using this to move around heavier loads like large vehicles and RVs (to name a few). The pulley also allowed them to use their favorite straps or rope of choice for long bouts and it was durable enough to handle the task (which was exactly what a lot of the new buyers were looking for). 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Even if it’s considered a budget pulley, its construction, quality, and overall operation make it look like it should cost more. And that’s probably what you expect from a winch pulley that is considered best for the money. It’s high in quality and performance while it’s affordable for most budgets. That’s a bullseye hit for budget shoppers everywhere. If you want something that will handle all your heavy lifting and towing without sucking the life out of your bank account, this might be it. 

Who Will Use This Most

This winch will be used for many tasks, not just towing or lifting. It can even get people out of some serious jams. If someone is stuck in the mud, you can use this pulley to pull them out safely. Yes, it’s tough but it’s super affordable. No cheap quality will be found with this kind of winch pulley.

Bottom Line

The Premium 8-Ton Snatch Block by Xtreme-Unlimited might be one of the most affordable options on the market but it can certainly deliver quality performance that will give you more than you pay for. This is the kind of winch pulley that won’t fall apart and fail miserably. Don’t be surprised if you pay a reasonable price for it, only to wind up having it last you for years or decades down the road. 

Rhino USA Snatch Block for Winch Recovery - Heavy Duty 13.5 Ton Break Strength - Compact Offroad Accessory for Jeep, Truck, UTV, ATV - Use with Tree Saver Tow Strap & Rhino USA Recovery Accessories

PROS

  • Fitting for most winches
  • Superior quality and durability
  • Easy to use and fits most ropes and straps
  • Anchors well to trees without damaging them
  • Works with Jeeps, trucks, and RVs (among others)

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were super-happy with this winch pulley for a few good reasons. One, the overall construction was pretty solid and durable. It was impervious to scratches and other types of damage. Speaking of damage, this also had the ability to allow them safe and easy anchoring to trees without ruining the tree itself. One user said his previous winch pulley left a huge scratch on one of the trees in his backyard and he wanted to find one that was better in handling heavy tasks without further damage to the tree itself. Sure enough, he found it using this specific winch pulley.

Why it Stands Out to Us

To this point, this winch pulley can handle up to 13.5 tons in weight. That’s well over 25,000 pounds. So if you are serious about finding a winch pulley that will make sure your heaviest of lifting tasks are performed with ease, a pulley like this might be warranted. On top of that, it can protect your trees from getting chewed up and damaged while you are using them for anchors. Yes, lifting heavy objects is tough but it shouldn’t leave lasting damage to a tree of all things. 

Who Will Use This Most

This will certainly be the go-to choice for you if you want a winch pulley that won’t waver or weaken when you need some heavy lifting done. If you want to pull any heavy vehicles like trucks or RVs, this pulley is good enough to support that. It’s rugged, durable, and reliable. That’s all you need in a winch pulley no matter what you are towing or lifting. 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the best in heavy lifting, the Rhino USA Snatch Block is the real deal. You can do all kinds of heavy lifting and towing, all while keeping your trees from getting scuffed up. The design is quite interesting, but it’s lightweight and tough at the same time. Don’t expect this to snap apart and fail. Just because it’s lightweight, doesn’t mean it can easily break apart. 

RUGCEL WINCH 4.8T Heavy Duty Recovery Winch Snatch Block,10500lb Capacity (red)

PROS

  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Excellent stability and sturdiness
  • Easy to anchor with most trees and steel posts
  • Great for winching and towing small and even large vehicles
  • Works well with many ropes and cables that you use for lifting and pulling

CONS

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

Most new users were using this not just for towing and lifting purposes, but it was quite useful for rescue situations like pulling people out of ditches or when stuck in the middle of the road due to mud, thick dirt, and so on. One user said he was quite happy with it being a handy dandy rescue pulley in those situations. But he was able to use it for the purpose of hauling vehicles even on long-distance routes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This winch pulley has a double pulling feature that can handle twice the rope and straps. So you won’t have to worry about leaving a lot of slack. So if you have a good deal of cables or straps that might seem a bit long for other pulleys, this might be the best possible choice for you. It can handle so much weight (up to 20,000 pounds) and certainly won’t do damage to the solid structures you rely on for anchoring. In short, it’s a winch pulley that has double the power pulling and towing and will come in handy for when you need to get someone out of a dangerous situation safely. 

Who Will Use This Most

This will make a great winch pulley for all the usual uses (lifting and towing). But it will excel in rescue situations. No matter how you use it, this winch pull is guaranteed to stay solid and be continuously reliable without a hint of failure or breaking off. This is the only pulling winch that has double the power (and probably the only one on the market that we can find). 

Bottom Line

The RUGCEL Winch Pulley might be the best one you can find if you want the best in lifting or towing up to 20,000 pounds. And with the double pulling ability, you’re probably already wondering if your current winch pulley is doing enough. If double pulling power and superior reliability are what you are searching for, search no longer with this winch pulley. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Aside from the characteristics and features, there are some additional things you must consider. You need to choose a winch pulley as a more informed buyer. So it’s important to mull over the following aspects before making a decision. Here’s what you need to consider:

Which Pull Weight is Best for Me? 

The weight limit is one of the most important aspects of choosing a winch pulley. You need to find out which weight limit will fit you best so you can do all your lifting tasks without breaking or wearing down the winch. Plus, it needs to be able to handle the heavy weight on a consistent basis. 

What Should I Use for an Anchor?

A lot of winch pulleys will need something to anchor them to ensure the winch does the proper tasks. So it’s important to find something solid and sturdy like large trees or steel posts. Remember, some of these winch pulleys might damage trees or scratch posts. So find a winch pulley that will do little or no damage ideally.

What Will I Use it For?

Knowing your exact intent and purpose is key. Most people use winches for frequently lifting or towing while others have used it in only emergency rescue situations. While many of the winch pulleys will handle frequent or occasional use, it’s important to find one that will excel at your intended purpose.

Conclusion

The best winch pulley is out there. And you’ll come across one that will certainly support your winch and the tasks it’s able to handle. Find one that can handle the heavy-duty lifting and be sure that it will last you for the long haul, no matter how many times you have to use it. There is no doubting a winch pulley's abilities, especially when it comes to towing or lifting. 

People Also Ask

The following is a list of frequently asked questions you can use as a guide for the sake of making yourself more informed on winch pulleys. This will also help you make an easy decision on which winch is best for you. Here are the following questions:

How Are Moving Pulleys Different From Fixed-Position Pulleys?

In a comparison of ease of use, the moving pulleys are much easier to use as opposed to their fixed position pulleys. One other difference is that moving pulleys utilize the object in question and move with it. Fixed position pullies can move just about anywhere while relying on a fixed point or anchor.

What are the Two Types of Pulleys?

The following are the types of pulleys available: moving and fixed position pulleys. A prime example of a fixed pulley is the one on a flag pole while a moving pulley is attached to a ceiling or a wall. 

How Do Pulleys Reduce Work?

*Technically* speaking, pulleys don’t reduce work. BUT, they reduce the amount of force needed to produce movement vs. pulling on the object directly. The amount of work is actually the same since the rope over the pulley will move twice as far as the object it’s pulling or towing. That’s what we need them for, we can’t directly produce enough force to move the object - so we use pulleys to reduce the amount of force required to produce movement.