Smittybilt X20 Winch – 2021 In-Depth Review

| Last Updated: July 8, 2021

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

Ever had your vehicle stuck somewhere in mud or some ditch? Remember that moment when you wanted to get it out by applying force on the accelerator, expecting it to work. But your subconscious already knew it would not, and it worked only after using a winch.

Here we have a detailed review on one of the best winches available on the market, the Smittybilt X20 Winch. 

We hope that it helps to make it easy for you to get out of tight situations, just like the one mentioned above. 

  • Can be operated remotely
  • Made with stainless steel materials
  • Boasts with powerful amphibious motor
View Latest Price →

 Smittybilt X20 Steel Cable Winch

Smittybilt X2O-10K Waterproof Wireless Winch Gen2 97510


  • Controls
  • Warranty
  • Included items
  • Dynamic Braking
  • A Powerful motor


  • Expensive spare parts
  • A slight flaw in the design
  • The short-range of the remote control

Specs and Dimensions

Following are some of the specifications of this product:

  • Dimensions: 22.3" (l) x 5.4" (w) x 9.4" (h)

  • Weight: 99.0 lbs. (45.0Kgs)

  • Cable size: 98.5' length with 3/8" diameter

  • Cable type: braided steel wire rope

  • Rated line pull 10000 pounds (4535kgs)

  • Motor: 6.6 HP series wound

  • Recommended battery: 650CCA minimum for winching

  • Clutch: Sliding ring gear

  • Battery leads: 25mm 2, 72"(1.83m)

Main Features

Smittybilt X20 Winch comes in a textured black color with a powerful amphibious 6.6 HP motor. This motor has the ability to provide one of the highest torques in the entire industry. It has a rated line-pull of about 10,000 pounds (4,535 kilograms) in just a single line, which is huge! This is the most distinguishing factor that definitely makes it stand out among all its competitors on the market. Another great feature is the remote switch that has a reach of 12-feet lead. Also, the advanced remote control technology with LED simplifies working in the dark when no alternative light source is available. 

One main attraction of this product is its revolutionary three-stage planetary gear system for providing maximum strength and quiet operation with a gear ratio of 218:1. It is IP68-rated, which means that it is a piece of water-resistant machinery, which is a relief if a problem occurs in a damp environment. Its drum size can be determined by the fact that its diameter is 2.5 inches. 

Its Automatic Out-of-drum Inductive braking system reduces heat for long-lasting and dependable performance. It also has multiple mounting options available on the control panel. 

Last but not least is the feature that buyers shouldn't skip out when purchasing a winch: the warranty. The product comes with an electrical warranty for a lifetime and a mechanical warranty for five years. Such a warranty option not only promises to repair or replace (if necessary) the machinery in case of breakdown but also suggests that the quality of the product is reliable, and the manufacturers are trustworthy.


Amongst many great features of the Smittybilt X20, some of the best ones are mentioned here:


This unit was developed with both manual and remote-control operational systems to provide ease of control even from a distance. The remote switch has a reach of 12-feet lead, and the advanced remote control technology comes with an in-built LED that makes operation easy even in the dark. 

For manual control, a wide range of options is available on the control panel. Thus, the manufacturers have tried to provide as much ease as possible in the control of this machine.

A Powerful motor

This beast offers a 10000lbs capacity with a 6.6HP mighty motor to make sure that you never again suffer when your jeep gets stuck. 

The three-stage planetary gear system adds to the functioning ability of the Smittybilt X20 Winch. With this strong and powerful unit, you can easily go along, pulling out your friend’s jeeps effortlessly out of sticky situations.

Included items

When you buy this product, your purchase does not lack anything that would prevent you from using the device at once. It includes all the necessary items like Smittybilt X20 Steel Cable Winch, four-way fairlead roller with a forged hook, power cables to hook up to your vehicle, rope sleeve, and a wireless remote. If any of these items are missing, you can contact the customer service. They will solve your query right away.


The manufacturers of Smittybilt X20 Winch offer an off-the-hook warranty proposition. In case your product develops some technical problem, you can have it repaired or even replaced depending on the sort of problem. The electrical warranty is offered for a lifetime while the mechanical warranty lasts for five years.

Dynamic Braking

The X20 is equipped with a dynamic braking system which is designed to slow down the line smoothly. Thus, it provides a speed that is neither painfully slow nor way too fast to control. It works to protect the components of the system as well. This offers smoother performance compared to the more abrupt performance of many other similar winches. 


As with every other product, some features of the Smittybilt X20, too, are not very appealing. These include:

Expensive spare parts

Many customers who lost any of the machine’s parts felt very sorry because the spare parts were way too expensive to buy individually. This issue was especially noticed with the loss of the remote control, which was half the unit's price when bought separately.

The short-range of the remote control

The range of the wireless remote control is short, according to some buyers. Some customers report that even after replacing with a brand new quality battery, the maximum distance from which it can be controlled is only 50 to 60 feet. However, in the manual, it states a maximum of 50 meters. When alone, it would be handy to have a remote control reach the entire length of the line.

A slight flaw in the design

The solenoid mounting is one of the cons that made some buyers upset. It comes with brackets that look great to mount over the spool. However, some people wanted to mount it on the alternate location over the motor. 

They suggested that a redesign was needed there because only two screws held it only on the side of the spool. This means that the other side of the box flops up and down. This was disappointing for people who believed everything else in the model was well-thought-out.

What is the Smittybilt X20 Winch Best For?

Smittybilt X20 Winch can be used for a variety of purposes, a few of which are listed below:

Vehicle Recovery

Imagine you are traveling in your jeep or truck to different parts of your country during your vacation, but your vehicle gets stuck in a creek in the middle of nowhere. Now instead of blaming fate, you must get your Smittybilt X20 Winch functioning. The huge amount of power it offers will save you tons of worries in case of an immobilized vehicle.

Stump Removal

Some people have used this winch for removing stumps. Its pulling capacity is great for this purpose, so no doubt it works well.

Retrieve a Stranded Boat

In case your boat gets flooded by rainfall, or if it sinks by the dock during a storm, you may use the winch to retrieve it. But, do remember to do it slowly and steadily to lessen the risk of damaging the boat.

Move Heavy Objects

While on the road, in case you find a large rock blocking your way, you can use the winch to move it. Tie a rope around the rock and move it aside using your Smittybilt X20 Winch. This can be applied in moving heavy rocks from gardens or playgrounds as well.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Smittybilt X20 Winch?

Before buying a Smittybilt X20 Winch, check out the following points to ensure you buy a product according to your need:

Types of Winches

There are different types of winches available on the market, including electrical, hydraulic, etc. Smittybilt X20 is an electrically powered winch. It uses an electric motor for power generation. Also, its magnetic motor is light, compact, and competent in the production of torque.

Material of the Rope

Keep in mind that the X20 series comes with a steel cable. If you require a synthetic rope, you may want to look for the X20 COMP series. If you think you will be using it a lot, buy the synthetic one. Otherwise, the steel cable will work just fine. 

Items Included With the Product

Remember to check the following items with the machine when you buy it: Smittybilt X20 Steel Cable Winch, four-way roller fairlead with a forged hook, power cables, rope sleeve, and a wireless remote.

These are all included in the package, and none of them should be missing.

Smittybilt X20 vs. XRC - Comparison Overview

X20 and XRC are high-end winches, but they have some similarities and differences:


  • Both of these have a 6.6 HP powerful motor that produces one of the highest torques in the entire industry.
  • They have a rated line pull of 10,000 lbs. (4535kg) in a single line.
  • The two have a revolutionary three-stage planetary gear system.
  • Their cable is made up of steel.
  • Both have a lifetime mechanical warranty.


  • Smittybilt X20 has a wireless remote control system, whereas the XRC has a wired one only.
  • X20 has an automatic Out-of-drum Inductive braking system, which is different from XRC, and hence it offers smoother performance than the latter. 
  • The electrical warranty provided with X20 is of five years, whereas XRC has a three-year electrical warranty.
  • Smittybilt X20 Winch has IP68 waterproof resistance, whereas XRC has IP67 waterproof resistance. These numbers may not sound like a big difference, but the former can go a half meter deeper in water than the latter, which can make a big difference when passing through deep water areas.

X20 vs. XRC (Source)

How to Install a Smittybilt X20 Winch

Following is a guideline to help you install Smittybilt X20 Winch:

  1. The winch is to be mounted into a steel mounting frame on a flat surface so that the motor, cable drum, and gear housing are aligned.

  2. Uncoil the cable, remove kinks, if any, and attach it to the cable drum flange.

  3. To summarize the electrical installation, the short red cable (B’) is connected to the red terminal (B) of the motor. Similarly, other wires are connected as per their markings. 

  4. Install the two included zinc brackets on the bottom of the control box by removing the four nuts on the bottom of the box. Then secure the brackets over the bolts by reinstalling the nuts. Secure the brackets to the winch by placing the front hooks on the brackets around the front tie-rod.

  5. Install the two black motor mount brackets on the bottom of the control box by removing the four nuts on the bottom. Then secure the brackets over the bolts by reinstalling the nut. Install the control box by lining it up with the two holes on the motor side upright.

For a better understanding of the installation process, you can watch the following video.

How Do You Use the Smittybilt X20 Winch?

You can go through the following points to get a better understanding of how to use the Smittybilt X20 Winch:

  1. Secure the vehicle by applying the brakes, pulling out the winch cable of the required length, and connecting it to an anchor point.

  2. To disengage the clutch on the winch, move the clutch shifter tab into the “OUT” position, and to engage the clutch, move the clutch shifter tab into the “IN” position.

  3. Plug in the winch hand control. It is recommended that the winching operation takes place from the driver’s position to ensure safe operation.

  4. To commence winching operation, start the engine of the vehicle. Select neutral in transmission and maintain the engine at idle speed.

  5. Operate the remote control switch to IN or OUT until the vehicle has been retrieved.

  6. The vehicle to be retrieved can have a driver giving it a little bit of gas to assist the winching operation.

  7. Regularly check the winch to ensure the cable is winding onto the drum evenly.

You can refer to the video below for a full practical view of what was just described above.  


Summarizing this review, Smittybilt X20 Winch is a wonderfully durable and efficient piece of machinery. It comes with great features to assist the user. The build quality is excellent. It is very simple to install, and the wireless function is a complete relief. 

People Also Ask

Not entirely convinced to invest in the Smittybilt X20? Here are some questions that can further clear up things for you:

Are Smittybilt X20 Winches Worth it?

For people looking for the best value for the price, Smittybilt products are the most obvious option. They are priced in the mid-range and offer excellent performance for most situations without quickly overheating. Their weak point is that the spare parts can be difficult to import in countries where they are not manufactured. Nevertheless, the extensive Smittybilt warranty helps to eradicate these fears. 

Who Makes the Smittybilt X20 Winch?

Smittybilt X20 Winches are manufactured by Smittybilt Incorporation that was founded by Basil Smith in 1956. This incorporation is a huge supplier of innovative truck and SUV accessories to thousands of active dealers and distributors worldwide. Smittybilt winches are all made in China.

Can a Smittybilt X20 Be Installed on Any Vehicle?

A Smittybilt X20 Winch can be installed only on trucks and small SUVs (jeeps). This is because a winch-capable bumper is a must if you are planning on mounting the winch on your vehicle, and this bumper can be properly fixed on a truck or jeep only.

What Kind of Warranty Does the Smittybilt X20 Come With?

Smittybilt X20 comes with one of the strongest warranties attainable in the off-road market which is the Smittybilt Advantage Warranty. It offers lifetime coverage for different mechanical parts, including bumpers, sides, steps, and armor. Also, a five-year warranty is available on all electrical parts.

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