Tuff Stuff Winch Reviews – 2021 Guide

| Last Updated: January 4, 2022

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For off-road travels, whether for work or for recreation, a winch is a must-have. More often than not, you will find yourself dealing with muddy patches that would just give way under the weight of your vehicle or swampy areas where your vehicle would need some extra help to get out of. There are a ton of winches available in the market; however, Tuff Stuff provides some of the best options that we have reviewed below.

  • 4-way Roller Fairlead included
  • 10-ton snatch-block enables double line pull
  • Comes with wired and wireless remote
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  • Able to survive any harsh elements
  • Offers waterproof seals and wireless controls
  • Features heavy internal components
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  • Best for the Money
  • Fully waterproof design for durability
  • Strong synthetic rope
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  • Best Tuff Stuff 12500 Winch
  • Comes with wireless remote included
  • Rubber seals to keep this motor watertight
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  • Features unique and rugged design
  • 13 000 lbs of single line pulling power
  • Built with sealed waterproof case
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Who is Tuff Stuff?

Tuff Stuff is a leading brand in making customized accessories for your cars. The family-owned business has been serving a broad base of customers since 1979. Frank Hurst, the president, and the CEO makes it clear that the company’s topmost priority is to satisfy the customers so that they choose Tuff Stuff every time.

They offer numerous products from Torque Starters to Jeep Wranglers and Alternator with customized finishes, including chrome, polished aluminum, and a range of powder coating colors. They offer tough, durable, and long-lasting products to enhance the efficiency of your vehicles, allowing you to push your vehicle's performance to the maximum.

How Does Tuff Stuff Compare to the Competition?

The market is saturated with car accessories and products ranging between different prices, depending upon the seller brand. It is quite difficult to choose one brand that dominates others in terms of quality in both the product and service. Tuff Stuff is one of the leading brands in car accessories production that has been serving for over the past thirty years. Below, we have mentioned a few characteristic features that led the company to where it is today.

Customization of Products

For car enthusiasts, matching their accessories to the build of the car holds a great deal of importance. Tuff Stuff not only takes care of your car’s needs but also provides a wide range of customization to match the texture and color of the rest of the build. Powder coating, plating, and polishing produce a range of contrast that would match your car while setting it apart from everybody else’s.

Tuff Stuff Xtreme Winch 17500 Lbs

Continuous Improvement in Products

Tuff Stuff keeps on producing newer products based on the shortcomings of the previous ones. They have a highly updated and very powerful product line. With each new product, their commitment to customer satisfaction intensifies, resulting in dependable and durable products. 


If a revised and renewed product line full of high-performance products wasn’t enough, Tuff Stuff provides a one-year complete warranty for all its parts and products. The durable and sturdy products perform well under all circumstances and, in addition, are backed up by a one-year warranty to make sure the customers are fully convinced and get the value they paid for.

Review of the Best Tuff Stuff Winches

Tuff Stuff deals in various accessories and products for your traveling adventures, and winches are one of its strongest product lines. The machines are built to endure the roughest and toughest of land and pull the heaviest of your vehicles. Below we have reviewed some of the best winches offered by the company:

Best Overall:
Tuff Stuff Xtreme Winch 17500 Lbs

Tuff Stuff Xtreme Winch 17,500 Lbs, Waterproof, Wireless, Snatchblock


  • Easy to set up, wire and install
  • 10-ton snatch block is included for double line pull
  • Winch is reported to support loads as heavy as 22,500lbs
  • 4 way Roller Fairlead allows user to direct and guide the wire in the winch easily
  • In addition to the wired operation, wireless operation is made possible through the remotes
  • Waterproof, reducing the risk of damage by rust, corrosion or mud particles to hinder the operation


  • Produces noise during operation, especially on inclines
  • Run time with 10,000-15,000lbs. is limited to 1-minute intervals
  • A receiver cradle is not included however it could’ve been a great addition

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent off-roaders who have used this winch have found it to be extremely compatible with a variety of 4x4s used. It turned out to be powerful with active components that give optimal performance. Its endurance when it comes to supporting weight is sufficient to pull a jeep out of the mud smoothly and quickly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What adds to the usability of an electric winch to make it more user-friendly is waterproofing. The Xtreme 1700 winch is not only waterproof but also comes with a cover. Now, off-roaders don’t have to worry about their winches becoming non-functional due to use around watery, muddy areas or during rain, leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Who Will Use This Most

Off-road adventurers who frequent places surrounded by water bodies and who have to deal with watery tire entrapments or those who travel off-road, especially during the rainy season, would find this winch extremely useful. Not only is the winch powerful enough to pull out the jeep and has waterproofing to work against rain and water, but it is also remote control operable, making it easier for the owner to use from a safe distance.

Bottom Line

Anyone looking for a heavy-duty winch that would serve long and serve well would find this model quite up to the mark. It is powerful yet intelligent in design, catering to the needs of all sorts of off-road travelers and giving extreme performance under all weather and circumstances.

Tuff Stuff Xtreme 12500 Lbs Winch Synthetic Rope

Tuff Stuff Xtreme 12,500 Lbs Winch, Synthetic Rope, Wireless, Waterproof, Snatchblock


  • Long cable size of 88’ 3/8” can extend to longer distances
  • A reliable Automatic-in-the-Drum braking action for durable brakes
  • Supports a single line pull of 12500lbs. and can support heavy loads
  • Powered by a sturdy motor that provides 6.6HP for smooth and reliable operation
  • Waterproofing saves against damages by rust, corrosion, mud particles or short-circuiting


  • The winch produces noise during operation
  • Package does not come with a cradle receiver and needs to be bought separately
  • Winch itself weighs 69 pounds which might be a problem for already heavy packers

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are pretty well satisfied with their recent purchase. The winch is strong and delivers fast, bolting your vehicle right out of the engulfing mud and onto solid ground. The waterproofing made it even more useful by eliminating the dangers of damaging the electronics. And the motor provides enough power to deal with the harshest of conditions.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The winch comes with a synthetic steel rope that can extend up to more than 88’. The ease that such an arrangement will provide is extremely useful. With the 88’ extendibility, the driver can move up to a certain distance and use the wireless remote control, which has already been synced with the winch to control the working of the machine. This saves them from getting all muddy from the mud flying off everywhere as a result of the grilling of tires against the sinking earth.

Who Will Use This Most

The winch is useful for all sorts of off-roaders. Whether you own a jeep or a truck, the winch is a reliable companion that’s bound to get you out of sinking holes in no time and without having to put much effort. It is waterproof, which means it is weather resistant and would provide the same usability in rainy conditions as well.

Bottom Line

Overall, this winch lives up to its name when it provides extreme performance. It would pull your heavily loaded jeeps and trucks out of the wet, muddy marshes that are otherwise too difficult to deal with. Plus, it comes with a 3-year warranty and a 1-year electronics warranty so that you can replace any damaged parts.

Best for the Money:
Tuff Stuff Xtreme 4500lb UTV Winch

Tuff Stuff Xtreme 4500lb UTV Winch- Fully Waterproof, Synthetic Rope Wireless Remote & Universal Mount


  • A universal mount is included so that it could be used for all vehicles
  • Lightweight and weighs only 18 pounds which makes it easier to carry around
  • Waterproofing provides weather resistance and protection against damage by water and mud
  • Non-integrated solenoid is also included which could be relocated, and a synthetic rope is also included
  • Wired and wireless remote controlling is supported by the winch which makes operability extremely easy


  • The winch produces noise during operation
  • Wired remote could’ve been bigger with bigger buttons

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have put the winch under extreme testing conditions, and it has delivered every time. Apart from producing some noise during pulling, the winch can reliably recover loaded 4x4s and trucks. The built-in brake systems give controlled command over the towing process, making it easy to move the vehicle to the ground.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This winch is lightweight and weighs only 19 pounds, which makes it very portable even if you are heavily packed for your trip. Moreover, it comes with a mount that makes it compatible with almost every vehicle. The small size, however, by no means compromises on the deliverance and allows you to recover heavy loads of up to 4500lbs.

Who Will Use This Most

The mount makes it useful for almost all vehicle owners going for an off-road trip. But since it is small and lightweight, it takes up lesser space. So, for off-roaders who are carrying a large amount of load or luggage, this would prove to be a valuable asset as it would not only fit without taking up a lot of space but would also recover the loaded vehicle with ease thanks to its 4500lbs. endurance.

Bottom Line

This winch is performance-packed in a small package. It does not lag behind in strength and durability and provides great add-ons like a synthetic wire and a universal mount as well as guarantees a performance like no other. It can tow up to 4500lbs. of weight out of the slippery earth and onto the solid ground without an effort.

Best Tuff Stuff 12500 Winch:
Tuff Stuff Xtreme 12500 lb. Winch Steel Cable

Tuff Stuff Overland 12,500 LB Winch W/ 88 fT Wire Waterproof Xtreme


  • Can survive a tension of up to 12500lbs. on the rope
  • The 3 stage planetary gear gives control over towing and recovery process
  • Synthetic steel cable is 92’ long which could be extended to long distances
  • Wire and wireless operation supported so you can operate from within the vehicle
  • Package includes a steel cable, waterproof cover, and gloves to provide the buyers with the maximum return for their money


  • Package does not contain a mount either
  • A cradle receiver is not included in the package
  • The solenoid is integrated and cannot be moved

What Recent Buyers Report

The winch has been tested to its limit by recent buyers and has not disappointed in doing so. It is made to work against the toughest of conditions. Users have not only towed fully loaded trucks with the winch without straining the cable but have also pulled heavy objects like 80-90’ trees without any problem. The winch has served well under all conditions, be it rain, snow, mud, or sand.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We find this to be a great option in the line of 1200lbs. winches. It would move anything it is hooked to without tensing the wire beyond measure or without breaking it. Moreover, the overall kit has additions that provide great value for the money. The snatch block, constructed with quality steel and sealed ball bearings for the pulley along with the Roller Fairlead, gives incredible usability and saves you the time, money, and effort of buying them separately.

Who Will Use This Most

This is suitable for use by all under all situations. The winch is not only perfect for towing or recovering your heavy vehicles but also other loads such as trees and loaded crates. It is easy to install and won’t pose problems for people who are buying their first model. The easy installation is further supported by the ease of use it offers.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this would be popular among beginners and frequent off-roaders. It does not shy away from performing, nor does it lag behind in durability no matter what you throw its way. From drylands and sands to rainy terrains and muddy slopes, the winch will deliver without costing you a fortune and demanding tons of effort.

Editor's Pick:
Tuff Stuff Overland TS-13000-TH-L-SYN 13000 LB Winch

Tuff Stuff Overland 13,000 LB Winch W/ 85 FT Synthetic Rope Trailhead


  • The winch could be operated by wired and wireless remotes
  • Automatic drum brake provides incredible safety during towing
  • Waterproofing of all parts makes it resistant to harsh weather and land conditions
  • 85’ long strong, tough steel cable is capable of dealing with heavy loads without tangling
  • Capable of pulling 13000lbs. of weight effortlessly makes it useful for the heaviest of the vehicles


  • Cradle receiver is not included and needs to be bought separately
  • Produces churning noises when pulling vehicles or other heavy weighted objects
  • The winch is universal; however, the kit does not include a universal mount to make it useful for all cars

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have found it to be particularly useful in recovering vehicles in hilly areas. The strength of up to 13000lbs. was tested by many off-roaders and was always reported to have lived up to the expectations. The 3 gear system makes maneuvering the vehicle during recovery easy, giving full control in the hands of the user.

Why it Stands Out to Us

13000lbs. is a lot to endure. However, with this winch, it does not seem to be the case. The winch is structured with incredible gear and brake systems. While the gear systems put the entire control in the hands of the retriever, the automatic built-in brake system ensures safety throughout the process, eliminating the chances of major accidents. The winch is a beast when it comes to recovering the vehicle and pulling other objects and even stronger in durability.

Who Will Use This Most

With such a high weight endurance, the winch is suitable for users who off-road in fully packed and loaded vehicles for either recreation or business. It is also suitable for pulling extremely large and heavy objects. Moreover, with a brake and gear system such as this one topped with waterproofing, the winch would deliver under the extremist of lands and most difficult of situations.

Bottom Line

All in all, this winch is a great bargain for the money. Top of the shelf mechanisms and great durability make it a forerunner amongst the choices for the best winch for your off-road adventures. It has all the necessary components that make for a durable, dependable, and strong machine.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

Off-road traveling extends to all sorts of lands, be it sandy desserts or slippery hills or muddy forests. Hence, the choice of a winch could prove to be life-saving when you are involved in off-road adventures. Selecting the best-suited winch would depend on a lot of things, a few of which are described here:

Winch Capacity

The first thing you need to observe is the weight of your vehicle; the capacity of the winch is decided based on this. To obtain the best pulling value for your particular vehicle, the allowed weight of the winch should be around 25% greater than your vehicles’ gross weight. The gross weight should include the weight of the supplies you will carry along with the weight of your vehicle.

Integrated vs. non-integrated winch

In an integrated winch, the solenoid box would be a part of the whole system. This usually makes the winch too bulky and too large to fit on a bumper mount. A non-integrated winch is, therefore, a better option both in terms of functionality and compatibility, for it can fit into almost any mount, increasing its versatility and usability across many vehicles.

Steel vs. Synthetic Cable

A steel cable offers more strength and more durability against the cruelest of terrains characterized by sand, dust, and stones. However, it is susceptible to rusting, and once it rust, it becomes very sharp and causes injuries when dealt with bare hands. For a steel cable, a cover is a must to protect it from corrosive damages. Also, steel cables might be too heavy for your bumper mount. A synthetic wire is more lightweight and less prone to damage. Unlike the steel cable, the chances of it inflicting damage upon breaking are negligible. The synthetic cable is but extremely prone to damage by heat and UV exposure and chemicals. Moreover, in colder climates, the synthetic cable retains water and freezes, making it useless. The choice of the cable, hence, needs to be well researched based on the climate and land type of the area you plan on using it for.


Keeping in mind your requirements, Tuff Stuff provides a wide variety of winches to choose from. They are all sturdy, well-performing, and capable of tolerating heavy loads, making them perfect for your off-road travels. They are equipped with the latest mechanisms and protective measures to make your experience worth the while and the money. Moreover, they are backed up by warranties to ensure the customer’s maximum satisfaction.

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.