Best ATV Winch Reviews: Value For Money Brands

What is an ATV winch, and do you need one? You may think having an ATV is just about fun, but it can be used for practical purposes as well. The winch allows for additional force to be exerted so you can pull an object with a rope or cable. It helps you to lift objects you otherwise couldn't. When you want to find the best ATV winch, you need to evaluate several factors. We will examine the brands, prices, and features of the top choices.


Preview

Model

Rated Line Pull

Rope/Cable

Check Price

Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35 3500lbs/1591kg...

Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35

3,500 pounds

50’ steel wire rope

SuperATV 3500 lb. Black Ops

SuperATV Black Ops

3,500 pounds

50’ synthetic rope

Champion 3000-lb. ATV/UTV Winch Kit

Champion

3,000 pounds

49’ aircraft cable

WARN 89020 Vantage 2000 Winch - 2000 lb....

WARN 89021 Vantage

2,000 pounds

50’ synthetic rope

Bravex Electric 12V 3500lb/1591kg Single Line...

Bravex Electric

3,500 pounds

50’ steel

Extreme Max 5600.3072 Bear Claw ATV/UTV...

Extreme Max 5600.3072

3,100 pounds

45’ steel


Why are ATV Winches Necessary?

The ATV is a very different vehicle when compared to a UTV. Because of this, you need a specialized ATV winch to pull heavy objects. You will need a particular size to work with your ATV model. Plus, it's necessary equipment if your ATV ever gets stuck. The winch helps you get free in most situations. Furthermore, the ATV winch is multipurpose, powerful, and there are semi-permanent choices for easy removal.


Features to Look for in an ATV Winch

ATV Specs

You can't merely pick a winch and expect it to fit your model. As you evaluate the options, you must first make sure it works with your ATV. Look at the specs and weight to ensure it is the right fit for your equipment. If you ride a small ATV, you will require something completely different than another person riding a large vehicle.

Line Speed & Length

How fast do you want the line to extend, and how far do you want it to go? These are both questions you must ask yourself as you evaluate the choices. Of course, the faster the line speed and the longer the rope or cord, the more you can also expect to pay.

Materials

You want an ATV winch made with reliable and durable materials. The construction is vital if you want it to last after the first use. Quality craftsmanship allows you to get the most value from your winch but also ensures a safe operation. Read the specifications carefully to find out what all the parts in your ATV winch kit are made from.

Motor

There’s a delicate balance when you look at motor options, so you don’t want to just purchase the one with the most power. Sure, a powerful motor will help get your ATV out of the mud, but if it’s too powerful, it might just blow the engine. Compare your motor’s specs with the rating of the winch to ensure compatibility.

Pulling Power

In addition, you want to see what your winch can handle as far as pulling power. Look at the maximum weight and load for your model. The winch should be able to handle this and a little more. This ensures that you can get out of a precarious situation with ease.

Mounting

How often will you be using the winch? This helps you determine if you would rather have a permanent fixture or something that you can remove. Both removable and permanent options exist, but the removable ones often lose additional power while under pressure. You will have to decide what's more relevant to you.

Rope vs. Cable

There are benefits and disadvantages to both options, so this comes down to personal preference. If you want a sturdy choice, you will go with cable, but expect to pay more. If you prefer something lightweight, low-cost, and flexible, opt instead for the rope. It's wise to evaluate both the rope and the cable with various situations you might be in to see what will work best. 

Brand

It’s difficult to determine who makes the best ATV winch. Still, there are some brands you can surely count on. We often recommend Superwinch, SuperATV, Champion, WARN, Bravex, and Extreme Max. Among these brands, you should be able to find the winch that works perfectly with your ATV. Sure, you might save money choosing a no-name brand, but will the savings be worth it when you need the winch to get out of a sticky situation?

Safety

When you use any power equipment, safety must be a top consideration. High-end winches come with safety features that allow you to pull from a safe distance and prevent overload. If you want these safety features, you will need to budget accordingly, as they tend to increase the price significantly.

Extra Features

You may be fine with a basic ATV winch and don’t require extra features, but they are available if you want them. Look for additional options, such as a free spooling clutch, winch cover, fairleads, and a remote mounted/rocker switch. As with the safety features, any time that you add one of these to the must-have list, you can also expect a larger price.

Price & Warranty

It’s wise to look for the best ATV winch for the money, but you also need to consider the durability and functionality. After all, buying the cheapest winch might not do you any good when you get your vehicle stuck. Instead, you want to balance the features with the price to find a decent value. It’s also wise to look at the warranty to ensure you receive the coverage you desire.


6 Best ATV Winches Reviewed

1. Superwinch 1135220 Terra 35

Best ATV Winch (Top Pick)

Rated Line Pull

3,500 pounds

Rope/Cable

50’ steel wire rope

Fairlead

Roller

Weight

20.1 pounds

Mounting Bolt Pattern

4 bolt

Warranty

Yes, limited lifetime

This 3500 lb. ATV winch features a highly efficient, low amp draw. The sealed 1.6 horsepower permanent magnet motor comes complete with a dynamic brake and mechanical load holding for a superior package. It comes with fifty feet of 13/64” steel wire rope that works with the free spooling clutch.

Because it features an all-steel planetary gear that's twice as wide as other models, you can count on the pulling power. In addition, this model utilizes oil-pocket, machined-in bronze bearings for maximum durability. Furthermore, the circuit breaker is protected, and the solenoid contact is weather-sealed. This model includes a four-way roller fairlead and heavy-duty latched hook with a thimble.

The price of this model means it is not one of the cheapest on the market. Still, it’s hard to find an option with so much capability. Plus, there are other options if you don’t need as much power. With the 2500 lb ATV winch from this company instead, you could bring down the price slightly. There are also options for additional power if money is not a consideration. All of the models feature a limited lifetime warranty, so you know you are making a good investment, no matter which one you choose.

Pros

  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Several options available
  • All-steel planetary gear

Cons

  • Expensive

2. SuperATV Black Ops

Best ATV Winch With Synthetic Rope

Rated Line Pull

3,500 pounds

Rope/Cable

50’ synthetic rope

Fairlead

Hawse

Weight

30.2 pounds

Mounting Bolt Pattern

3.0" x 4.87" (76 x 124mm)

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

This synthetic winch rope ATV comes with a 100% fitment guarantee and machine-specific mounting plate, which sets it apart from several other brands. Of course, SuperATV is known as one of the best ATV winch brands, so this comes as no surprise. This winch has a 3,500-pound rated line pull with the help of the 50-foot synthetic rope with heavy-gauge wiring. This setup adds extra durability, so you spend your money wisely.

If your winch mount or bumper uses a 3.0" x 4.87" (76 x 124mm) mounting bolt pattern, you won’t have any trouble with the installation. Furthermore, this unit comes with a wireless remote control and auto-shutoff. The remote receiver is water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about what the winch is exposed to.

Among the other important features, you will want to know about the 166:1 gear ratio, permanent magnet DC 12v, 1.2 horsepower motor, and aluminum hawse fairlead. Sadly, there aren't other capabilities to choose from with this model. If the 3,500-lb unit isn't right for you, it's best to look at one of the other brands instead. On the bright side, the price is reasonable, and it comes with a one-year warranty for additional peace of mind.

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Lots of capability
  • Heavy-gauge wiring
  • Durable motor

Cons

  • Only a one-year warranty

3. Champion

Best ATV Winch For The Money

Rated Line Pull

3,000 pounds

Rope/Cable

49’ aircraft cable

Fairlead

Roller

Weight

22.3 pounds

Mounting Bolt Pattern

4.9 in. x 3 in. (12.4 cm x 7.6 cm)

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

When you need a cheap ATV winch, you don't want to sacrifice quality, and with the Champion model, you don't have to. This unit features a 1 HP permanent magnet motor and 3,000-pound max rated line pull. The 49-foot super-duty aircraft cable also comes with a rugged, latched clevis hook for additional capability. This durable cable is perfectly guided with the help of a 1.5 by 3.2-inch drum that runs the roller fairlead.

This system comes with a lot of perks, despite the lower price. You will also receive the mounting channel, a handle-bar mounted remote control, dynamic braking systems, and an efficient planetary gear. In addition, the specs of this winch reveal a gear reduction ratio of 171:1, a line speed of 4.3-feet per minute, and 8.9-feet line speed with no load. Nothing is stopping this unit from getting the job done.

Not only do you save money with the Champion model, but you also receive a two-year limited warranty. If that’s not enough, you will be happy to know that the company provides free lifetime technical support. If you get into a jam or can’t figure out how to do something, Champion is there to back you up.

Pros

  • Capable
  • Plenty of power
  • Strong cable
  • Includes remote

Cons

  • Not as efficient as higher-priced models

4. WARN 89021 Vantage 2000-S

Best Small ATV Winch For Snow Plowing

Rated Line Pull

2,000 pounds

Rope/Cable

50’ synthetic rope

Fairlead

Hawse

Weight

19.5 pounds

Mounting Bolt Pattern

3.0” x 6.59” (76.2mm x 167.4mm)

Warranty

Yes, 5-year

If you need a small ATV winch, it makes sense to look at the WARN brand. After all, the company has earned its reputation as one of the best winch brands. If you are looking for an ATV snow plow winch, this small but mighty option should do the trick. To promote durability, this WARN model contains a fully-sealed drivetrain and motor that keeps the elements out. Also, it features a differential planetary gear train, permanent magnet motor, and dynamic brake.

This model also includes a mini-rocker switch. You can mount the switch to the handlebars for easy control over the winch. If you find that the 2000-S doesn’t provide the capability you need, you could always upgrade to one of the larger models. There is also a Vantage 3000 or 4000-S for sale. Of course, both of these will increase the price, which is already on the high side.

Still, the WARN ATV winch parts are built to last. The company backs up that promise with a five-year mechanical warranty and a one-year electrical guarantee. You won’t find many other WARN ATV winch options that are better than this one, especially if you are hoping to set up a plow for winter.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install
  • Strong cable
  • Durable construction
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive

5. Bravex Electric

Best Electric ATV Winch

Rated Line Pull

3,500 pounds

Rope/Cable

50’ steel

Fairlead

Roller

Weight

18.74 pounds

Mounting Bolt Pattern

3.13'' (79.5mm)

Warranty

Yes, 5-year

Are you looking for a powerful electric ATV winch? This 3,500-pound rated winch is great for ATVs, plows, and so much more. It features a high-powered motor that slowly and steadily pulls. Plus, it features all-metal gearing to provide the dependability you can rely on. With a three-stage planetary gear train, you won’t have to worry about anything breaking any time soon.

With the remote control, you can safely operate your winch from a distance. Plus, it features an anti-sediment, waterproof design so you won’t be concerned about the elements. With the exclusive brake construction, you also gain the superior control you desire. This winch features a four-way roller fairlead that helps to guide the rope evenly onto the drum.

Despite the maximum capability, this unit is relatively lightweight. It’s also simple to install and doesn’t require any expertise. With a 153:1 gear ratio, you won’t have trouble completing the toughest jobs. Not only does it have an aviation-grade steel wire rope, but it also includes an alloy steel hook. Furthermore, the price is unbeatable for the capability. You would think that the company would skimp on the warranty, but they didn’t hold back. In fact, it is protected for five years, so go ahead and use your winch for any application it is rated for.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable cable
  • Plenty of power
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Not as reliable as some other brands

6. Extreme Max 5600.3072

Best Affordable ATV Winch Kit

Rated Line Pull

3,100 pounds

Rope/Cable

45’ steel

Fairlead

Roller

Weight

21.8 pounds

Mounting Bolt Pattern

4 bolt

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

If you want a powerful winch, you can get this model with the 3,100- or 3,600-pound capability for around the same price. Both come complete with a 45-foot steel cable and roller fairlead. With the included ATV winch mount hardware, snatch block, motor cable, connectors, and battery cable, you have everything you need to get started. 

This machine boasts of a low amp draw, less noise, and high-efficiency power. Plus, it features dynamic braking and a triple planetary gearbox that is sealed for maximum water resistance. The four-bolt mounting allows for a universal fit. You can easily install this on most ATV brands and won't need special skills to get the job done.

While this unit doesn't feature the same level of exceptional reviews as some of the other options, you can't really beat the price. It's challenging to find something with this much capability at such a low cost. To further ease your mind about the purchase, you might want to take note of the two-year replacement warranty. If something goes wrong, the company will repair or replace your model at no charge to you. No one can argue about that, especially since it appears that the brand has exceptional customer service.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Cheap
  • Lots of power
  • Sealed planetary gear box
  • 2-year replacement warranty

Cons

  • Not as reliable as some other brands

Steel Winch Cable vs. Synthetic Winch Rope

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the age-old debate between synthetic vs. steel winch lines. Each option has clear benefits for users. For example, the ATV winch cable is the industry standard. While this is more durable than synthetic rope, you will have more weight. On the bright side, the steel cable is great for highly abrasive terrains and is less susceptible to fraying. It also requires far less maintenance.

On the other hand, the ATV winch rope has been around since the 1990s. This is a safer alternative and now mandatory in major off-road events. It's the lighter option and doesn't pose as much of a projectile risk if it breaks. It's also extremely flexible and easier to handle. The drawbacks to synthetic rope include the susceptibility to UV exposure, abrasion, heat, and chemicals. Over time, these reduce the strength of the rope. Another downside is how the rope holds water. This not only adds weight but can cause it to freeze when the temperatures drop. 


Installing an ATV Winch

Installation of an ATV winch isn’t as complicated as you would assume. Of course, it’s always best to consult the directions that come with your winch, as varying models might be different. Otherwise, general practices include these steps.

  1. 1
    Start with the mounting plate.
  2. 2
    Remove any wires and hoses from the area.
  3. 3
    Secure your bolts with adhesive.
  4. 4
    Before you secure the winch on the mounting plate, make sure it is correctly seated.
  5. 5
    Watch for any obstructions to the winch line. You can pull the line after disengaging the gear train. Just make sure you re-engage it, or your winch won't work.
  6. 6
    When you wire the winch, use a relay box.
  7. 7
    Connect the winch wires from your ATV battery to the contactor, then to the winch.

As you learn how to install a winch on an ATV, you will find yourself in need of these tools.

  • Ratchet
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Voltage meter
  • File

Here is a helpful video if you need further guidance.


How to Use an ATV Winch

Using the ATV winch is also simple, but you must be careful. What’s most exceptional about winching is that there is no limit to the ways it can be used. Each requires its own set of directions, so you will want to research each method more in detail, but are a few ATV winching ideas to consider.

  • Control ascents and descents
  • Build a bridge
  • Operate a snowplow
  • Hoist a deer
  • Straighten bent farming equipment
  • Retrieve a flooded boat

For the practical way to use your ATV winch, make sure you watch this video.


Winching Techniques & Tips

When you plan to use your winch safely, you want to follow these simple tips.

  • Always inspect the winch before use.
  • Don’t hook the line to itself.
  • Ensure the hook is facing up.
  • If you have a difficult pull, use a snatch block.
  • Stay far from the winch line during operation.
  • Winch slow and steady for the best results. Don’t jerk the line.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do I determine which size ATV winch I need?

In most applications, to find the appropriate winch size needed, you would take the gross weight of your ATV and multiply it by 1.5. This should enable you to perform most winching applications.

Can I use an ATV winch on a truck?

It would depend on the capability of the winch. Check the specifications to see what it can be used for.

What does gross vehicle weight mean?

Gross vehicle weight is the total poundage of the ATV. This includes the operator's weight, all of the fluids, accessories, and cargo. You should be able to find this in the owner's manual or do a quick search for the data online.

What is fairlead on a winch?

The winch fairlead guides and protects the line as it gets pulled into the unit. You will find both the roller and hawse styles of fairleads available. The roller fairlead is used with steel cable machines, while the hawse fairlead is meant to be used with a rope.

What is an ATV winch solenoid?

The ATV winch solenoid is an electromagnetic switch. It is used to activate the motor in the winch and supplies the current without damaging any of the components.

What size ATV winch is best for snow plowing?

If you are looking for the best winch cable for ATV plow, you want to make sure the unit has about 2,500 pounds of pulling power. This is the ideal size, but most 1,500 to 3,500-pound options should work. Any ATV plow winch less than that might be too weak for operation.

Can a winch be used as a hoist?

It’s not safe to use your winch to lift loads up off of the ground. There is a lot of risks if you drop that load, plus the two systems use differing braking systems.

Do winches need maintenance and repairs?

Winch maintenance is vital to the safe operation of your machine. You must properly care for the battery, connections, cable, and rope if you want the winch to last.

What other accessories do I need to use together with ATV winches?

There is an endless supply of ATV winch accessories you can purchase. Look for options such as an ATV winch switch and remote control. Most units also require the use of an ATV winch mounting plate for proper installation.

Where can I buy ATV winch replacement parts?

It’s always best to check Amazon first as the company provides a vast selection of ATV parts at the lowest prices. If you can’t find what you need there, you could check with the manufacturer instead.


Conclusion

After reading through the best ATV winch reviews, it’s probably obvious which choice is best for you. For many people, the Superwinch will supply all of the needs you can think of. It’s a great value and provides plenty of power. With the available options, there’s no reason to delay buying your ATV winch today. Imagine the possibilities once you finish your ATV winch install.