Best Truck Winches of 2021 – Complete Review

| Last Updated: January 5, 2022

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Being a truck driver can be quite challenging. There are many times when your vehicle might stop working, and you'd want to get yourself to a safe place. In this case, a truck winch is one of the most important upgrades you should get.

A winch is a great tool that is specifically designed to pull out vehicles and other heavy loads. However, deciding which unit is best for your truck can be a difficult choice. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to make that decision.

Keep reading to find out more.

  • Comes with strong synthetic rope
  • Offers different mounting options
  • Large but lightweight aluminum winch drum
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  • Equipped with a overload protection system
  • Designed to be water-resistant
  • Comes with 26 meter steel cable and a pair of gloves
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  • Best Truck Winch for the Money
  • Makes use of a wireless remote control
  • Heavy-duty design and manufacture
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  • Best Tow Truck Winch
  • Impressive 15000 lbs of pulling power
  • Made ideally for trucks and SUVs
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  • Best Warn Truck Winch
  • Strong 3 stage planetary gear train
  • Powerful and efficient motor
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  • Best Electric Truck Winch
  • Made to be completely waterproof
  • Comes with the wiring required for installation
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  • Best Hydraulic Winch for Truck
  • Can be used in underwater situations
  • Treated to be corrosion-resistant
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What Size Winch Do I Need For My Truck?

The most important consideration for buying the perfect winch is the size of the unit. You first have to understand the strength of the winch, and whether it will work out for you. Some of the best truck winches have enough capacity and strength to pull your vehicle out of difficult situations.

With so many various pulling capacities and weights, it can be challenging to know precisely what you require. A general formula is to select a unit with a capacity to at least pull 1.5 times the gross weight rating, also known as GVWR. With this formula, you cannot go wrong and will surely end up with a winch that is suitable for your truck.

What Makes a Great Truck Winch?

With so many different winches available in the market, choosing one best can be quite confusing. Here are a few factors that you need to consider before choosing a suitable product and some essential facts to consider which make a unit worth every penny.

Electric or Hydraulic

Winches are mostly divided into two types. You can either go for an electric one or a hydraulic one. The latter is comparatively more expensive than the former. However, hydraulic models are more reliable and dependable.

Pulling Capacity

After deciding the type of winch, you need to look out for the capacity details. Usually, all trucks are heavy-weight. As mentioned earlier, you need to choose a winch with a pulling capacity at least 1.5 times than the overall weight of the truck. 

For example, if your vehicle weighs about 10000lbs, then you should go for a unit with a minimum weight capacity of 15000 lbs. This formula will always ensure you end up with a reliable product.

Gear System

The gear system is solely responsible for determining the pulling-in speed of the unit. These gears can also be divided into two main choices, a Worm gear or planetary gear. Both types have the same functionality but with some benefits and disadvantages. For example, the planetary gear is way faster, but it generates more heat, while the worm gear is slow but is much more suitable for longer pulls.

Type of Cable

Similarly, like the gear, you can opt for either a steel cable or a synthetic one. A synthetic rope has become very popular recently due to its lightweight quality, but steel cables are suitable for muddy and tough situations.

Both types vary a bit in price so you can decide which one you want based on your budget. You can also select the cable's length according to your need and usage.


With such a versatile range of products out there, you need one made by a well-known manufacturer to ensure product quality and good customer support. Many manufacturers have a wireless remote control, which can be quite helpful for you when using your winch. Besides, brands also come with a variety of warranties and customer services, which can help those new to use winches.

Review of the Best Truck Winches

To help you get a good understanding of some quality products, we have prepared a detailed list of best truck winches after thorough research of many models and brands.

Best Overall:
WARN 89611 ZEON 10-S

Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S Winch with Synthetic Rope - 10000 lb. Capacity


  • Corrosion-free construction
  • Well balanced 10000-pounds winch
  • Convertible control pack can be added
  • Comes with synthetic rope and roller fairlead
  • Consistent design with the same motor and gear look
  • Has a black powder-coated finish and stainless steel clutch


  • Bit overpriced compared to other winches

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers love it due to its weight capacity and easy installation. They are particularly satisfied with the build quality and the fact that it looks great mounted on their heavy vehicles. The motor is mighty and very sturdy. The company also provides excellent customer service. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The new Warn Zeon winch is one of the best products out on the market. It has a tough construction and allows you to tackle almost anything. It includes durable satin-black cast aluminum housing, a control pack, and muck busing sealing.

Apart from its stylish look, it comes with world-class sealing and corrosion resistance. It has an asymmetrical design, and the black powder-coated finish gives it a stylish look. It also has a giant diameter drum, which allows you to reduce rope wear and includes an integrated rope anchor point.

Bottom Line

This Zeon model is a top-rated product for towing your trucks no matter what the circumstances. It is a well-built, good-looking unit that is durable and sturdy. If the price of the unit is not an issue, then this is perfect for you and your vehicle.


ORCISH Waterproof Electric Winch (3500LBS-A Synthetic Rope)


  • Relocatable control box
  • Easy installation and assembly
  • Has two wireless remote controls
  • Comes with an overload protector
  • Features a heavy-duty stainless steel cable
  • Kit includes a pair of gloves, leads, washers, nuts bolts, etc.


  • Wireless controller might not last long

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent users of this winch love the fact that it gets the job done. Their reports suggest that it looks good, and the installation is effortless and less time-consuming. The cable sometimes clicks and tangles, but with proper usage, that isn't much of a problem. Mostly, only professional users enjoyed this unit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Orish has set a high benchmark with this unit. It is a perfect pick for heavy-duty jobs. The unit is capable of recovering almost any vehicle weighing up to 13000 lbs. As far as safety is concerned, this model is built with an automatic holding brake system that ensures maximum safety.

Furthermore, it has a three-stage planetary gear system that helps control winching smoothly. The wireless remote controller works great from a long distance. The Orcish IP67 is a waterproof model that allows users in almost any weather. The model also comes with an overload protector and covers, supported by an easy user manual that ensures great efficiency.

Bottom Line

The Orcish winch with a 13000lbs weight capacity is a top-notch product at an affordable price. It performs wonderfully and is safe and easy to use. If you are unsure about what you want, this is the safest option to go for, which is both affordable and works great.

Best Truck Winch for the Money:
Driver Recovery Products LD12-ELITE

Driver Recovery Products Electric Recovery Winch - Heavy Duty 12,000 Pound Capacity - Wireless Remote Control - LD12-ELITE


  • Has a wireless remote controller
  • Abrasion-resistant rope with a long drum
  • Comes in a reasonable size and is extremely lightweight
  • Automatic brake locking to prevent slacking and free spooling
  • Has an integrated reverse motor with a power rating of 6.0 hp 4300 watts


  • Lacks manual and directions

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love the high powered winch. It has minimum installation and is very easy to use. It is very well-built and looks quite good mounted on the vehicle. It has a good weight capacity, although you have to make sure your battery is well charged as it can drain out the battery quite fast. Despite that, users were glad they invested in this unit. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The LD12 ELITE is an electrical heavy-duty recovery winch that is quite capable of pulling heavy-duty trucks and vehicles from mud, rescuing SUVs from being stuck. The winch features a wire rope that is quite durable and abrasion-resistant.

It comes with a series-wound motor that delivers consistent power and torque. It tends to work for long hours without having to cool down and pause. It also includes an automatic brake, which helps prevent the rope from sliding when not in use.

Furthermore, the wireless remote offers a wide 75-inch range and is an excellent beginner winch and is quite affordable.

Bottom Line

To conclude, this unit has a weight capacity of 1300lbs. It is easy to use and quite affordable. It has excellent customer service and comes with a wireless remote, which makes it all so much easier. In all, it is one of the best upgrades for those who like to be prepared for tough situations.

Best Tow Truck Winch:
WARN 47801 M15000 Series

WARN 47801 M15000 Series Electric 12V Heavyweight Winch with Steel Cable Wire Rope: 7/16' Diameter x 90' Length, 7.5 Ton (15,000 lb) Pulling Capacity


  • Designed for easy usage
  • Suitable for heavy trucks and SUVs
  • Has a pulling power of 15000 pounds
  • Features a wide wire diameter and drum
  • Sturdy and easy mounting and installation
  • Remote control with a 12 feet lead distance


  • Engage knob is a bit tricky to use

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers have stated that it is marvelous and looks great mounted on their vehicles. It has a powerful motor that ensures durable and safe functionality. Beginners also report that the unit is very easy to use. It has enough power to pull out most vehicles from a jam.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Warn M15 47801 winch is a great model with high strength carrier plates designed to easily handle extremely heavy-gear situations. It has a high-speed motor that provides fast and strong pulls, and its built-in brake provides additional control. It also has a remote mount control box, which allows for multiple mounting options.

The unit provides a durable three-stage planetary gear train for smooth operation all the while being chip and corrosion-resistant. It comes with a powder-coated finish and a 12V 4.6 hp series motor.

  • Bottom Line

The Warn winch is a high-grade, heavy-duty unit that has a 15000lbs capacity and a 4.6 hp series motor. It has a unique direct-drive braking system, which features a good design for more clearance and ease of access. It is a must-have upgrade.

Best Warn Truck Winch:
WARN 97730 M15-S

WARN 97730 M15-S Electric 12V Heavyweight Winch with Spydura Synthetic Cable Rope: 3/8' Diameter x 80' Length, 7.5 Ton (15,000 lb) Pulling Capacity


  • Exterior is waterproof and sturdy
  • A three-stage planetary gear train
  • Integrated with a cone brake system
  • Has a large frame architectural mount
  • Contractor control for an easy experience
  • Powered by an efficient series-wound motor


  • Heavier than other winches

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of buyers love their purchase of the Warn 97730 M15-S 12v winch. It is reported to be extremely powerful yet easy to use. It is well-suited to pull heavy vehicles and SUVs out of difficult situations. It is a tad bit expensive compared to other products, but that does not bother many buyers due to its high powered motor and easy installation process.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Due to exceptional construction quality, this is one of the most powerful units on the market with a 15000lbs capacity that can pull large, heavy-duty trucks and SUVs without the user breaking a sweat.

The M15 comes with a great synthetic rope that goes through the hawse fairlead. The firmness leads to minimizing the damage and helps in expanding the lifespan of the cable. It also uses a cone brake system, which helps slow down the action while the winch is loading.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, we think that this model is worth every penny due to many reasons. The most outstanding reason for buying this unit is the easy installation that makes it ideal even for beginners. The strong motor and exceptional rope quality are other important factors.

Best Electric Truck Winch:
Smittybilt (98512) X2O

Smittybilt XRC GEN2 9.5K Waterproof Winch with Steel Cable - 97495


  • Has a 6.6 horsepower motor
  • Well-suited for use with ATVs
  • Synthetic rope and fully waterproof
  • Withstands every weather conditions
  • Wireless functionality for user-friendliness


  • Controller doesn't recharge when plugged in

What Recent Buyers Report

Nearly all users love this winch due to its easy installation and weatherproof body. It is extremely powerful and provides trouble-free operations. Recent buyers are extremely happy, and it is one of the best upgrades they have made on their vehicles.

Why it Stands Out to Us

There are several reasons for liking the Smittybilt x20. This unit is one of the most reliable ones for your truck. It has a weight capacity of 10000 lbs, which is quite impressive, and it is quite affordable compared to other options you have.

The Smittybilt x20 model has impressed us in terms of its improved and enhanced performance. It has a 6.6 HP series motor, which is extremely powerful. It also has a three-stage planetary gear system and waterproof AMP pack that allows you to mount it on two different locations.

The kit also includes controllers that can be both wired and unplugged for hassle-free wireless operations. It provides great versatility and is very solid to last longer than you can expect.

Bottom Line

Smittybilt has a good reputation in the market and has made quite a name in the industry due to its uncompromised quality and assurance. Unlike many other alternatives, this unit comes with an IP68 waterproof rating, making it an ideal pick for all buyers.

Best Hydraulic Winch for Truck:
Mile Marker HI-Series

Mile Marker HI-Series Hydraulic 12 Volt DC Powered Electric Truck Winch - 12,000-lb. Capacity, Galvanized Aircraft Cable, Model Number HI12000


  • Has a corrosion-resistant body
  • Includes a flawlessly working handheld remote
  • Independent of the main solenoid control valve
  • Helps saving battery during the recovering process
  • Can be mounted on both back and front as a detachable or permanent system


  • Requires a 34 series adapter kit specific to your vehicle

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of the buyers have reported that this product is extremely powerful and well-built, and even after a few heavy uses, it still seems to be working fine. It can pull quite some weight and requires no maintenance. They also complimented the brand for making the exterior waterproof and allowing it to be used in rainy areas.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you're a professional or an off-road enthusiast, Mile Marker HI-series is a product you want. It is an excellent unit for those who own trucks. The model is powered by a power steering pump, which allows you to perform smooth and undisturbed pulls for hours. It can work in all weather, and you don't have to worry about it overheating as long as your engine is running.

It has an integrated solenoid control valve, which makes the unit stay in its place. The unit was intended to be permanently mounted on the rear or front and includes necessary hoses, winch cables, roller fasteners, and much more.

It is a great product overall. 

Bottom Line

Mile Maker, being an official supplier for the US military, makes the best hydraulic winches. If you want a hydraulic unit that looks best and provides unmatched performance, this one is the best.

Best Portable Truck Winch:
Braves Reversible 12-Volt Electric Winch

Bravex Trailer Winch 6000LBS, Reversible Portable 12-Volt DC Electric Winch Boat Trailer Truck Power-in, Power-Out (Corded Remote Control & Hand Crank)


  • Backed by a two-year warranty
  • Has a pulling capacity of 6000 lbs
  • Features a dual directional electric winching system
  • Equipped with an electrical automatic brake system
  • Comes with galvanized steel cable and hook for added safety


  • Clutch can be quite hard

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers love their purchase; it is a great winch with a powerful motor that can pull almost any weight. They love the customer service and easy installation process. The winch also looks very stylish when mounted on the vehicles.

Why it Stands Out to Us

After looking at multiple winches in the market, this product by Braves Reversible truly stood out to us. This is a 12-volt unit with an enhanced, powerful motor. It also has a dual directional operation mode with a hand crank, just in case of an emergency. It also has an automatic brake system with a low-noise design.

The unit is well-suited for cars, trailers, trucks, and boats. It has a galvanized steel cable and an added hook for extra safety that can withstand a pulling force of 2000 pounds. Moreover, it comes with a two-year-long warranty with great customer services.

Bottom Line

If you want a product that is simple to use and lightweight yet powerful, then this is just the perfect pick for you. It comes with great functionality and mounting features that allow ease of use for the buyer.

Types of Truck Winches

When choosing a winch, you can easily get confused due to so many types of units available in the market. Here are some types you can get for your vehicle;

Electrical Winch

These models are powered by both the vehicle battery and attached to an individual battery to operate. These electrical units work quite well and do not affect any vehicle system in its process.

Mechanical Drum Winch

This type gets all its power through a running engine. These units are more powerful than electrical one and have a simple assembly. They are also relatively more popular compared to other units.

Capstan Winch

A Capstan winch draws all its power from the vehicle's engine through the crankshaft. You connect a dog clutch to the crankshaft pulley, and it then draws power. These models are quite similar to mechanical drums and have an extended piece of rope wrapped around a spool like a drum.

Hydraulic Drum Winch

Hydraulic drum units are connected to the vehicle's engine through a hydraulic pump that, in turn, powers the hydraulic motor. These models have a great deal of power and can run whenever the engine is running. These units can also operate underwater.

Hand-Operated Winch

These types of winches consist of a wire that is caught and released by a series of clamps. It is a single-person operated and requires no engine power or battery.

How to Mount and Install a Winch on a Truck

A winch can be of great use when it comes to recovering a friend's vehicle, helping to take fallen trees off the road, or even extracting bushes from your land. Here is how to mount a winch, in this case, Ridge Ryder, on your truck for any such events;

Examine your bull bar and get familiar with it. 

Check if there is a mounting cradle present with the unit. Some vehicles have a horizontal cradle, while this model features a vertical cradle, which requires the winch gearbox to rotate at 90 degrees. This allows access to the clutch handle. You need to remove the tie bars. The third bar does not need removal, as it will be used during the transit process.

  1. Now, the gearbox will pull away from the drum. This will allow the two parts to be entirely separated.

  2. Next, remove the hex head screws, and easily make rotations to the mount according to your requirements. 

  3. After this, your winch is ready to be installed. You can use grease or double-sided tape to install the square nuts with the canopy securely.

  4. Now, you have to lift up the winch and thread the bolts through the bull-bar. We recommend using a friend's help with this step. 

  5. Repeat the same step with the bolts given for the bottom side. Now since the winch is installed, you can install the control box as well.

  6. It is rather easy to connect the control box to the motor of the winch. Each wire features a uniquely colored rubber boot, which corresponds to the terminal.

  7. Connect the remaining two wires. The large black cable and the small ones have to be attached to the bolt given on the other side of the motor.

If these steps appeared to be too confusing, here’s a visual guide to help you out:


We hope this article helped you understand all there is you need to know about winches and their features. Before you go ahead and get yourself any one product, you need to make sure you do thorough research and invest in a suitable model for your desired usage.

People Also Ask

Despite the information mentioned above, many people still might have a few more questions about winches. We have answered some common queries below to help clear out confusion. 

How Much Does a Truck Winch Cost? 

Truck winch prices vary depending on the amount of weight they can hold. The prices can range from $300 to over $1200 based on the type, style, and motor specifications.

Should I Put a Winch on my Truck?

If you travel on muddy and dirt roads and have long journeys to make, then it is probably a good choice to get yourself a reliable winch.

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.