How Many Amps Does A Winch Draw

Last Updated on September 22, 2022 by Automobile Note

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It seems like a simple question.

How many amps does a winch draw?

But the answer is a little bit more complicated than you might think.

For starters, it's essential to know that not all winches are created equal. We have several types of winches, and they all have different capacities and performance capabilities.

But no matter what kind of winch you have, if you're going to use it safely, you need to know how much power it draws. Running your vehicle's battery dead in the middle of nowhere isn't going to do anyone any good. So let's break down the winch amps while it runs.

If you ever need to use a winch, you’ll probably want to know how many amps it draws. You can decide what kind of power source—battery or other—you should use.

We can't tell you the actual amps that your winch will draw. We know that's not what you wanted to hear—but hear us out.

There are a lot of factors that affect the number of amps a winch draws. And it's challenging to give an exact answer without knowing more about your specific winch, vehicle, and the kind of loads you'll be pulling. This isn't something we can give you a hard number on.

But what we can do is tell you all about the factors that go into figuring out the current draws of your winch. They include:

  • The length of line: The more the line out, the greater the load and the greater the consumption.
  • The weight of the load: The heavier the load your winch pulls, the greater the amperage.
  • Layers of wrap: The layers of wrap used in a winch have the most significant impact on its current draw. For example, if you use too many wrap layers (say, 4), your winch will draw more amps than if you only had three layers of wrap. Each extra layer leads to 10% inefficiency.
  • Motor size and its power output: Motors are rated in horsepower, but that is not what we want to know. We want to know the number of amps it will draw at a given voltage. If you know the horsepower of your winch, you can theoretically predict its maximum current draw. One horsepower is equal to 746 watts.

Other factors include terrain, weather conditions, lubrication, and cable tension — just to name a few!

How Many Amps Does A 12000 Lb Winch Draw

Most 12000 lbs winches come with a power rating of 2 amps. For every rotation, they consume two amps. However, depending on the load, some can draw over 3 amps and others less than 1 amp.

There are many factors affecting how much amps a winch draws.

We recommend using the manufacturer chart to identify it. For instance, here are the 9.5xp Warn winch amp draw estimates for different loads for a single line wrap:

  • 0lbs - 71 amps
  • 2000 lbs - 169 amps
  • 4000 lbs - 248 amps
  • 8000 lbs - 413 amps
  • 9500 lbs - 482 amps

You can theoretically calculate the value if the winch duty cycle chart is missing.

First, you would need to convert your Winch horsepower (HP) to watts by multiplying it by 746W. Once you have the wattage, multiply it with Winch efficiency and its voltage.

For example, if you have a 0.1 HP motor that draws 100 volts at 90% efficiency, your amperage will be (0.11 x 746) x 0.9 x 100 volts.

How Many Amps Does A 12v Winch Draw

The answer to the question is a little complicated: it depends on the size of your winch.
Winches come in different sizes, and the larger they are, the more amps they draw. In addition, they draw different amounts of amps depending on whether they are being used or at rest.

For instance, let’s say you have a 1HP 12v DC electric Winch. You will first need to convert the horsepower to watts by multiplying them with 746.

Once you have the watts, use the formula amps = watts/volts. In our case, this is 746/12 = 62.17 amperes.


So, here's the thing: we can't exactly tell you how many amps your winch will draw. There are a lot of factors involved—it depends on what you're doing with it, what kind of accessories you might be running off the same power source, etc.

What we can tell you is that if you want to get an estimation of Winch Amperage, consult the chart from your winch manufacturers or calculate the values theoretically. 

Just know that this is only an estimate and that your winch could pull more or less depending on the actual circumstances under which it's being used.

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