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How To Choose A Winch (Winch Buying Factors)

There are a lot of factors that you will need to consider when choosing a winch for yourself. Many ignore these and end up buying a winch that doesn’t go with their needs and ultimately ends up on the corner of their garage.

That’s why knowing how to choose a winch is important. And in this winch selection guide, we will go through every detail on how to pick them and introduce you to everything is to know.

We are confident that at the end of this guide, you will know exactly what you are looking for in a winch and will be able to select the best winch for the job.

So, let’s get straight into the winch buying factors, shall we?

Here are the factors that you should keep in mind when deciding on a winch to purchase:

Factor – 1: The Type of the Winch

The first thing you need to decide when picking a winch for yourself is the type. There are two types of winches out there electrical and manual.

  • Electrical Winch

An electrical winch is the most common. And as the name suggests, it is powered through electricity. This allows you to power it through your vehicle’s battery.

The installation process is fairly easy, and they do offer more speed and power compared to their counterparts. And as they come with remote-controlled features, you don’t even need to get your hands dirty to do your task.

That being said, they draw a significant amount of power from your vehicle’s battery and can end up draining the battery out completely. This can also cause overheating and short-circuiting issues, which can later render your vehicle completely useless.

So, if you are not planning on using your winch for a longer period, then and only then go for the electrical winches.

  • Manual Winch

On the other hand, manual winches require you to put physical labor to function. They come off as quite cheap compared to their electrical counterparts. But that being said, you can’t maintain constant power and will tire out when lifting heavy loads consequently.

So, in short, if you are doing the heavy lifting and want an efficient winch that will give constant output, then electrical is the way to go. Just don’t use it for an extended period.

But if you are going to use the winch on a daily basis then we recommend that you go with the manual winch option.

Factor – 2: Capacity of the Winch

Next, you need to decide on the pulling capacity of your winch. Every winch comes with a pull rating, and if that rating matches your need, only then should you buy it.

To figure out the perfect winch capacity rating for yourself, you just need to multiply the overall weight that you are planning to pull by 1.5.

Now if you are unaware of the amount of weight, getting the one with the highest rating is the best option, as the higher the capacity, the better the pulling will be.

Factor – 3: Winch Cable or Rope

You have to pick either winch cable or synthetic winch rope for your winch.

Winch cables or steel cables are well known for their durability and easy maintenance. For abrasive terrains, they are arguably the best option out there.

But they tend to fray quite easily, and when they snap, they can have an elastic alike effect and can cause injury to anyone close to their reach. These cables are also a bit difficult to install.

Also, the weight is quite a lot. Thus, making them a drag if you have to use them for an extended time.

On the other side, synthetic winch ropes are highly flexible, strong, and very light compared to steel cables. They are also very simple and easy to install.

What’s more, when they snap, they don’t have any counter effects, they just lie on the ground instantly. So, there is no chance of unfortunate accidents with this option. You can easily fix them with regularly used tools.

A drawback of synthetic rope is that they are starting to wear down quite fast when exposed to sunlight, chemicals, and wet terrains. Also, from a financial point of view, synthetic ropes are costlier than steel cables.

Factor – 4: Length of the Rope or Cable

Going with short cables or ropes is never recommended when it comes to winches. Normally, a winch will come with eighty to a hundred feet of cables. It is always better to go with long cables rather than the short ones.

Factor – 5: Gear Options

There are three types of gear options for you to choose from when it comes to winches. These are:

  • Planetary Gear
  • Spun Gear
  • Worm Gear

The planetary gear is the most common and beloved due to its lightweight, small form factor, and budget-friendly price. Its performance is not the best but not the worst by any means.

However, the only drawback of this is that it can overheat quite easily when it’s working with a heavy load.

Moreover, the perfect harmony between power and budget comes with the spun gear. It offers a power transfer efficiency of around 70 to 80 percent, and it can take heavy loads without any trouble. 

When you think of the perfect gear for your winch, worm gear won’t be your first pick. It is slower than the planetary & spun but it cost very less and that’s why many people still use it.

But we advise that you avoid picking this as the gear train for your winch.

Factor – 6: Waterproof

Unless you are using the winch in a desert or an area where there is no chance of it getting wet, you should always ensure that your winch is waterproof.

Because it will go through a lot of harsh environments and waterproofing will come in handy in ways that you can’t even imagine.

Factor – 7: Mounting Options

While there are quite a few mounting options out there. There are only three that you should consider for your vehicle:

  • Bumper Mount
  • Winch Bumper
  • Multi-Mount

The bumper mount is the most simple and easy option out there. You just place it on your bumper, and that’s it. This way, you will get a lot of versatility without going through much trouble.

For the winch bumper mounting option, you should grab a vehicle that comes with a winch mounting option. Just place your winch there, and your job is done.

In the case of multi-mount, you can mount two or more winches at the same time but you will lose important durability. Just make sure you place your vehicle in a manner so that the mounting doesn’t come off.

Now, if you are planning to use your winch in a factory or warehouse, then you can go with two options:

  • Wall Mount
  • Floor Mount

Both of these options are self-explanatory, and both provide a strong base for you to work with. But if you want to preserve a bit more space, then we suggest you go with the wall mounting option.

Factor – 8: Remote Controller

This is only for electric winches; you can have two types of remote controllers. Wired ones and wireless ones. While both work just fine. We have found that the wireless ones provide with most comfort as the wires can sometimes get tangled with the winch rope or cable.

The EndNote

There you have it. These are all the factors that you will need to know for choosing the best winch for yourself.

We are confident that if you go through all the details mentioned in this guide, then you know exactly how to choose a winch for the best performance and quality. 

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