There's nothing better than off-roading with your Jeep, but you face a lot of risk of getting stuck. What is a Jeep winch, and how will it help you while off-road? A good winch for jeep helps to pull you out of stuck situations and gets you back on the path with ease. We will evaluate the best winch for Jeep JK, along with other models so that you can be prepared.


Preview

Product

Rated Line Pull

Gear Ratio

Check Price

Superwinch 1511200 Tiger Shark 11.5, 12 VDC...

Superwinch 1511200

Tiger Shark

19 FPM

218:1

Smittybilt 9500 lb 98495 XRC GEN2 Synthetic...

Smittybilt 97495

34 FPM

161.28:1

WARN 97035 VR12-S Electric 12V Winch with...

WARN 97035

VR12-S

28.4 FPM

216.1

Smittybilt (98510) X2O Waterproof Synthetic...

Smittybilt (98510)

X2O

31.1 FPM

218:1

WARN 74125 Series 18 Hydraulic Winch

WARN 74125

Series 18

14.9 FPM

36:1

ORCISH 13000lb Waterproof Synthetic Rope...

ORCISH IP67

7.8 FPM

N/A


Why Jeep Winches Are Worth Investing In

A Jeep winch pulls heavy objects, which is beneficial if you come across a downed tree on the trail. It’s also possible to pull yourself out of water or sand. With a Jeep winch, you also receive increased maneuverability while reducing vehicle damage. It only makes sense to have a front bumper and winch for your Jeep Wrangler.


Features to Look for in a Quality Winch

Rated Pulling Power - Winch Power Capacity vs. Jeep Weight

The most important criteria to consider is how much weight you need to pull. Each Jeep winch is rated to tow a specific amount of weight. If you attempt to pull something too heavy, you can damage your vehicle. That's why you want to factor in the weight of your Jeep when choosing which winch to buy.

Power Source & Winch Motor Type - Hydraulic vs. Electric

You can choose between an electric or hydraulic winch. With an electric winch, you need enough battery power to run the winch and your vehicle. With a hydraulic winch, you get maximum power, but you can only use it while the vehicle is running. To determine which is best for you, it’s helpful to evaluate when you will be using it.

Cabling & Line Length

You have two cable options to pick from, either steel or synthetic rope. Steel is considered to be durable and strong, but it is also heavier and poses some safety concerns. Furthermore, it can rust over time. With a synthetic rope, you have a lightweight option, but it loses tension more often than steel. Still, it is easier to handle.

Winch Drivetrains - Spur Gear, Worm Gear, Planetary Gear

There are three main drivetrains with Jeep winches. Each one supplies its own benefits, but you also need to think about the line speed and gear ratio associated with the drivetrain. If you don’t want to wait for operation, you need a faster line speed, but this will add to the cost.

Durability, Safety & Control

Not only do you want the Jeep winch to last as long as possible, but you also want maximum safety during operation. Look at the available safety features and determine how easy it will be to control. When you use your winch, likely, you will already be in precarious situations, so don't take more risk by cutting corners with your equipment.

Mounting System

How often will you be using the winch? This is something you want to know before getting started. Powerful winches can be attached directly to the Jeep for permanent durability. You can put it right on the front bumper. If you want a portable winch, you will sacrifice power but will achieve mobility.

Extra Features

If you want to operate the winch from a distance, opt for a model with a remote control. There are other accessories to consider, such as winch hooks for Jeep. You can also find additional fairleads, a free spooling clutch, and winch cover. Each feature and accessory you add will increase the price, but also makes it more versatile.

Price & Warranty

What is the best winch for a Jeep? It depends on your budget and your needs. Choose a reputable brand instead of a no-name company that won’t offer support. You can choose the best cheap winch for Jeep, but make sure it has a warranty that will protect you if something is defective.


6 Best Jeep Winches Reviewed

1. Superwinch 1511200 Tiger Shark

Our Top Pick

Rated Line Pull

19 FPM

Motor

Sealed 6.0 HP Series Wound  

Fairlead

Stainless steel 4-way roller

Rope or Cable

Cable

Gear Ratio

218:1

Warranty

Yes, 2-year

If you plan on spending a lot of time off-road, you want a winch that’s going to hold up to the elements. Our top pick Superwinch option comes complete with a weather-sealed 6.0-horsepower motor that prevents damage from blowing dust, snow, and rain. If you get trapped in the mud, you will have a lot less to worry about with this model on your side. It also contains a weather-sealed solenoid that won't be easily damaged.

With the heavy-duty 12-foot remote, you can operate the Jeep winch from a distance, thereby promoting your safety. Plus, this unit comes with a heavy-duty stainless steel roller fairlead with a brushed finish for maximum durability. You won’t have to worry about this winch wearing out anytime soon. Enjoy the operation of the ergonomically-shaped free-spool control that is simple to grip and completely effortless to operate.

This 11,500-pound winch can be purchased with a steel cable or synthetic rope. You can also opt for the 9.500-pound model if you don’t need as much capability. This model is on the heavier side, so you must keep that in mind. On the bright side, Superwinch does provide a two-year warranty, so you won’t have to worry about the abuse that your equipment endures.

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Weather-sealed
  • 12-foot remote
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Heavy

2. Smittybilt 97495

Best Jeep Winch for the Money

Rated Line Pull

34 FPM

Motor

6.6 HP Amphibious

Fairlead

Stainless steel 4-way roller

Rope or Cable

Cable

Gear Ratio

161.28:1

Warranty

Yes, Limited lifetime

You don’t have to spend a lot to find the best winch for Jeep TJ. This model from Smittybilt features a powerful 6.6-horsepower Amphibious motor combined with a 3-Stage Planetary Gear System. It’s completely waterproof so that you can travel anywhere without fear. It also comes with a 500 amp solenoid. With the corded remote, you can operate your Jeep winch from a distance and stay safe.

This 9,500-pound capacity winch doesn’t sacrifice capability to provide a lower price. One look at the Smittybilt winch reviews proves this is a top choice. However, you can spend a little more to get the 12,000, 15,500, or 17,500-pound winch instead. This model comes with a steel cable, but you could opt for one of the others with a synthetic cable.

This might be the cheapest winch on our list, but the company still provides a three-year electrical warranty. With the winch itself, you are protected by an industry-leading limited lifetime warranty. You will be hard-pressed to find many other winches with this type of guarantee. You can head off-road with your Jeep winch and have some fun on the trails with buddies. Who knows, you might even save them from a sticky situation down the road.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Durable construction
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Customer service concerns

3. WARN 97035 VR12-S

Best Winch for Jeep JL

Rated Line Pull

28.4 FPM

Motor

12V DC, Series Wound

Fairlead

Cast iron hawse

Rope or Cable

Synthetic rope

Gear Ratio

216.1

Warranty

Yes, Limited lifetime

Do you want to take your Jeep JL off-road? Protect yourself with this best WARN winch for Jeep. Anyone that has used a WARN winch in the past understands the difference this brand makes. Yes, you will pay a little more, but the durability and low-profile design make it worth the expense. This model features 12,000-pounds of pulling power, thanks to the powerful and efficient series-wound motor.

What sets this winch apart is the best-in-class load-holding cone brake. With this equipment in place, you are guaranteed superior control. In addition, the one-piece tie plate takes the place of standard tie-rods to add more rigidity and strength. Of all of the VR winches, this model has the fastest no-load line speed and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty, with seven-year electrical protection.

If you feel that the 12,000-pound capacity isn’t what you need, this series comes in a few other options. You can also choose the 8,000- or 10,000-pound winch instead. Plus, all three of these provide the option between a steel or synthetic rope for pulling. The only problem you will have is figuring out where to go with your winch next. There are very few limitations before you, so get that bucket list out.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fast line speed
  • Low-profile
  • Load-holding cone brake

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Smittybilt (98510) X2O

Best Synthetic Rope Winch for Jeep

Rated Line Pull

31.1 FPM

Motor

6.6 HP Amphibious

Fairlead

Aluminum hawse

Rope or Cable

Synthetic rope

Gear Ratio

218:1

Warranty

Yes, Limited lifetime

We have another Smittybilt, which is ideal if you are considering a new winch for Jeep Gladiator. This powerful machine is equipped with a 6.6-horsepower Amphibious motor and 3-Stage Planetary Gear System. With this design, you know you will have the pulling power you need when it’s time to get out of a sticky situation. Furthermore, this model comes with a completely waterproof 500 amp solenoid, so you don’t need to worry about where you travel.

This particular model features a synthetic line and can pull 10,000 pounds, but you can choose the steel cable if you prefer. There are also options for 12,000, 15,500, and 17,500-pound winches as well. Choose the one that best fits your needs, but keep in mind that the price rises with more capability. This winch comes complete with a wireless remote so that you won’t be in danger during operation.

Overall this winch is priced just right. There’s not much discouraging to say about this unit, especially when you look at the reviews. Plus, this model features a limited lifetime warranty, with a five-year electrical warranty to top it off. The next time you get your Jeep stuck in the mud, you will be happy to have this on your bumper.

Pros

  • Superior line speed
  • Includes wireless remote
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Durable synthetic rope

Cons

  • Costly replacement parts

5. WARN 74125 Series 18

Best Hydraulic Winch for Jeep

Rated Line Pull

14.9 FPM

Motor

7.3 cubic-inch hydraulic

Fairlead

None included

Rope or Cable

None included

Gear Ratio

36:1

Warranty

Yes, Limited lifetime

If you want a hydraulic winch, this WARN model is one of our top choices. It features a mighty 7.3 cubic-inch hydraulic motor for maximum pulling power. In fact, it’s rated for up to 18,000 pounds. Few Jeep winches can boast of capability this high. There’s very little that this model would struggle to pull, thanks to the hardened steel two-stage planetary geartrain.

With a 36:1 gear ratio, you can also expect exceptional line speeds, with or without a load. The heavy-duty disc brake makes it safe to use and allows the operation to run smoothly. As with most WARN winches, you will receive a limited lifetime warranty with this product. That’s good considering the price you have to pay to get this on your bumper.

The upfront sticker shock might be enough to scare you off, but you need to factor in several other aspects into that cost. This machine doesn't come with the tensioner, roller fairlead, or wire rope. You must purchase all of these accessories separately. Still, if this doesn't bother you, the WARN winch reviews suggest you won't regret the purchase. It's likely you will never need a new Jeep winch after investing in this model, so what have you got to lose?

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Hydraulic operation
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Pulls up to 18,000 pounds

Cons

  • Expensive

6. ORCISH IP67

Cheap/Budget Winch for Jeep

Rated Line Pull

7.8 FPM

Motor

4.6KW

Fairlead

Alloy hawse

Rope or Cable

Rope

Gear Ratio

N/A

Warranty

Yes, 1-year

You might not have heard of ORCISH winches before, but that doesn't mean you should overlook the brand for your Jeep. This waterproof-grade winch is ideal for use in the rain or if you end up in the river. The copper gears contain a high density and offer better wear that some other materials. It also features a superior braking clutch to keep you safe during operation.

This electric winch for your Jeep will pull up to 13,000 pounds. Plus, it comes with a bonus winch cover, an overload protector, and gloves. Considering the low prices, this machine is quite the value. So far, the reviews seem favorable, and people surely enjoy saving money. Expect an 85-foot synthetic winch rope with this unit, which is more than enough in most situations.

The trouble with this winch is the one-year warranty. Considering the budget price, this is to be expected. However, considering it comes from a lesser-known company, it might cause some uneasiness. While the company does offer lifetime technical support, it’s unclear right now how the customer service team is. Still, it’s an ideal option for someone that needs to pull a lot with their Jeep but can’t afford a top brand.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Strong rope
  • Pulls 13,000 pounds
  • Includes bonus accessories

Cons

  • Minimal warranty term

How to Use a Jeep Winch

Before you use the winch, you have to mount it accurately. It's often best to see the instructions visually, which is precisely what this video offers.

Once the winch is installed, you are ready to use it. Anchoring it is your top priority. On the trail, you probably have a sturdy tree you can anchor to. Otherwise, you will need to create a ground anchor. Consider using your spare tire in an emergency situation.

As far as the operation goes, this video is helpful to learn winching basics.


Winching Techniques, Tips & Accessories

As you advance, you will learn new winching techniques that make operation easier than before. You will learn how to operate a single, double, and triple line. Here's a video with some advanced techniques to consider.

In addition, several accessories will make winching simple. Consider adding a choker chain, tree protector strap, snatch block, gloves, controllers, a fairlead, or D-rings to your purchase to maximize your potential. Some of the best winch for Jeep Wrangler options will come with a few accessories included.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do I determine which size winch do I need for my Jeep?

The heavier your Jeep vehicle is, the more pulling power you will need. To figure the winch size for Jeep, you want to take the weight of your vehicle and multiply it by 1.5 times to figure out the minimum pulling power you should opt for.

How much does a winch cost?

You can find the best budget winch for Jeep for under $300, but it won’t have a lot of power and will be less durable. If you increase the budget slightly, you will find a larger selection with more options. If you spend a lot of time off-road and want the best winch for Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, you may need to spend $900 or more.

Who makes the best winch for Jeep?

Of the top winch companies, we highly recommend WARN, Smittybilt, and Superwinch. All three of these companies make high-quality products at a reasonable price.

Do winches need maintenance and repairs?

You do need to perform winch maintenance if you want your machine to last. This maintenance includes checking the battery and connections often. You also need to examine the rope or cable regularly to look for any wear. Replace the cable at the first sign of damage to ensure your safety.

How is winch capacity calculated?

Many people ask, what pound winch for Jeep? To figure this out, simply multiply the gross vehicle weight by 1.5 times. This is the minimum rating you should look for.

Do winches come with their own mounting plate?

In most cases, the mounting plate and hardware are included with the winch. Still, you should read the descriptions carefully to ensure you don’t need to purchase additional equipment.

What is the best battery for Jeep Wrangler with winch?

The best Jeep battery for winching depends on the model you drive and what you use it for. In many cases, we recommend the XS Power D6500 XS Series.


Conclusion

There’s no reason to get stuck off-roading ever again in your Jeep. With the Superwinch 1511200 Tiger Shark to pull you out, just imagine the fun you can have. With an 11,500-pound capacity, this is the best winch for Jeep XJ, along with several other models. Get out there and create a new adventure.

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