10 Best Small Winch Reviews [The Ultimate Buying Guide]

  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:July 26, 2021

Winches are one of the versatile tools that are kind of a must-have if you are into farming, off-roading, and deal with other utilities.

Because of how versatile it is, you will find this in almost all of the workshops and garages. Nevertheless, most of these tools are generally large in size.

If you are mainly dealing with small to medium trucks, logs, boats, and other small utilities, there would be no need to get those large and heavy-duty truck winches.

Instead, you should get yourself the best small winch. Even though these versions are miniature in size, they should pack the power to get your job done.

Also, they would be highly portable because of the small form factor, and storing them would be more manageable.

Top 10 Small Winch at a Glance

Benefits of Small Winch

small winch

There are a couple of obvious benefits of having winches. But we are not really focusing on them particularly.

We are here to talk about the small versions that are available in the market.

They also have plenty of advantages. However, the ones that make them worth looking into are as follows:

Easy to Store

As we have mentioned earlier, because of the small form factor these have, storing them would be an easy task for you.

There will be no need to sacrifice too much storage space when you are trying to store these away.

You should also have the ability to packing these directly into the trunk of your vehicle.

Portability

The weight of these is pretty minimal as well. And the lightweight nature makes them highly portable.

You can even carry one of these in the back of your trunk. And you will not have to worry about putting too much load on your suspension.

Power

Even though these have a compact form factor, the power that most of these packs is quite enough for most of the tasks.

You will not feel like the device does not have enough power to finish the job that you are doing if you have one of the well-performing ones.

10 Best Small Winch Reviews

The market is full of options when it comes to these tools. But finding the one that would be worth the money you are spending can be a bit challenging.

Well, as we are here, you can stay entirely worry-free. And to make things easier for you, we have huddled a list of the well-performing ones.

The list goes something like this:

#1. Champion Power Equipment 12003

Check Price on Amazon

A powerful motor is something that most of these devices will pack. However, an efficient one is something that most of them will lack. But that is not the case with this one that is from Champion Power Equipment.

To start with, the motor that it comes boasting with is exceptionally efficient. The line speed of the unit is 3.3 feet per sixty seconds. And that rate is in the full load.

Without any load, the speed jumps to 10.5 feet in one minute. That amount of efficiency is something that not all of the devices can offer in the market.

Other than being efficient, the motor is reasonably powerful as well. The line pull power has a rating of 2000 pounds. And the engine has a power rating of 1 horsepower.

With that much amount of energy, you should be able to finish off most of your pulling tasks in a couple of seconds.

Aside from the power, the operational procedure of the unit is pretty much hassle-free. The cable that it ships with is heavy-duty.

It is one of the galvanized cables that utilize aircraft-grade materials. The line is capable of withstanding the stress that the abrasive terrains exert at ease. Also, it is 49 feet long.

Alongside that, the fairlead of the roller creates a smooth pulling action. And because of how smooth the mechanism is, worrying about your safety is not something you would have to do for this. Also, the cable is exceptionally durable.

Apart from that, the package includes a mounting channel. Also, you are going to find a remote control.

It would be possible for you to keep a safe distance when you are operating it for that remote control.

Pros
  • Motor has a 1 horsepower rating
  • Has a 2000 pounds line rating
  • Includes a remote control
  • Motor is exceptionally efficient
  • Boasts a galvanized 49 feet cable
Cons
  • In and out control mechanism is a bit poor
  • Cable of the controller is relatively short

#2. WARN 92000 2000 Series

Check Price on Amazon

Dealing with devices that has a hard installation process can be a bit of a pain. Well, you are not going to face that issue if you get this one from WARN.

First of all, the overall form factor of the unit is pretty compact. It is so small, and you would not face any trouble when you are trying to mount this one in tight spots.

Also, the installation process of the unit is pretty simple and straightforward. There will be no need to go through any intricate processes for that.

Other than the installation process, the motor that it packs is quite powerful as well. It has a 1.6 horsepower rating, which is higher than some of the other units out there.

Because of packing such a power, you should be able to do most of the tasks at ease. Aside from the power of the motor, the unit is reasonably lightweight.

It is lighter than most of the devices that are out there. For that reason, you will not find it that difficult to carry this in the trunk of your truck. Also, it should be easy to store as well for the small form factor that it has.

Alongside that, the rope that it comes packed with is 35 feet long. The length should be more than enough to pull most of the utilities in your garage and other storage spaces. And the rope is of durable materials as well.

Apart from the rope, the motor is one of the magnetic types. It has an outstanding duty cycle.

Also, it includes a remote control mechanism, which will enable you to control the machine while keeping a safe distance.

Pros
  • Small in size
  • Easy to mount
  • Can be stored pretty easily
  • Motor has a 1.6 horsepower rating
  • Comes with a durable 36 feet rope
Cons
  • Wire on the remote feels a bit cheap
  • Operational noise is a bit loud

#3. RUGCEL 2000 lb

Check Price on Amazon

Having a higher weight capacity is one of the essential factors of a winch. Thankfully, RUGCEL had acknowledged that and brought out this unit into the market.

To begin with, it has a 2000 pounds rating for the pulling capacity. For having such a pulling rate, you should face no trouble at all in the case of pulling objects using it.

Also, the motor that it packs is quite powerful. It has a 1 HP rating and should be able to pull most of the heavy objects at ease.

Alongside that, the motor utilizes a low-amp magnetic pulling action. The gear ratio is 153:1, which means the pulling action will be pretty smooth.

And because of how smooth the pulling motion is, the chances of accidents occurring would be pretty low. Safety would not be something that you would have to worry about.

Aside from the motor, the cable that it packs is a good performer as well. It is 50 feet in length, which is more than enough to carry out most of the pulling task.

Also, the construction is of aircraft-grade materials. For that reason, it achieves a high level of durability. It will last for a long amount of time.

Other than that, the galvanized cable is capable of withstanding harsh environments pretty easily. It can resist abrasives at ease.

So the chances of it wearing down is pretty low. It will also not show any signs of fraying that quickly.

Apart from that, the hook that it comes with has a clevis slip design.

There is a safety mechanism in the hook, which will ensure that the connection you are going to make with the objects is secure.

Pros
  • Small in size
  • Easy to mount
  • Can be stored pretty easily
  • Motor has a 1.6 horsepower rating
  • Comes with a durable 36 feet rope
Cons
  • Wire on the remote feels a bit cheap
  • Operational noise is a bit loud

#4. WARN 101570 Handheld

Check Price on Amazon

One of the main reasons to get one of these devices is portability. And even though most of the units are small, not all of them are that portable. But the case is not the same for this one that is from WARN.

First of all, the unit is exceptionally lightweight. The weight of the item is just 13.4 pounds, making it lighter than most of the other devices that are available at the moment.

And because of how light it is, it should be pretty easy for you to carry it in the back of your vehicle’s trunk.

Aside from the weight, the unit has a small and compact form factor. For such a form factor, there will be no need to allocate too much space when you are storing it.

It can be easily crammed into the tight corners, and storing it in the back of the vehicle’s trunk will be pretty easy as well.

Other than that, it includes a 40 feet long cable. That length of the cable should be quite enough for most of the pulling tasks.

Also, the wire is of durable material as well. The material that it is of is sturdy steel. It would be able to withstand a good amount of load.

Even though the device is small and lightweight, it is not that far behind in the case of load capacity. With the sturdy cable that it includes, it is capable of pulling up to 750 pounds.

And for the rigging hooks that it has on the front and back, you will be able to make a secure connection with different objects.

Lastly, the free-spool clutch that it integrates will make it easier for you to do rigging tasks.

Pros
  • Exceptionally lightweight
  • Highly portable
  • Includes a 40 feet rope
  • Comes with a free-spool clutch
  • Rope is extremely durable
Cons
  • Does not include a remote control
  • Requires a drill to work

#5. WARN 885000 PullzAll

Check Price on Amazon

The manufacturer WARN seems to have an extensive lineup of reliable and highly powerful winches. And this winch that we will talk about is not an exception in those regards.

To start with, it comes with a 15 feet cable. The cable features a construction of durable and sturdy materials.

Because of how durable the cable is, the chances of it wearing down and tearing will be pretty low.

Also, there is a durable hook on the front, which will make it easier for you to make a secure connection with objects.

Aside from the cable that it comes with, the motor that it packs is exceptionally efficient. It has a load speed of 13.8 feet per minute. You can finish off most of the pulling tasks in a small amount of time.

As it has a variable speed mechanism, you should have full control over the pulling speed and motion.

For that reason, even if the object that you are planning to pull an object that is large in size and heavier in weight, you should not face any difficulties in pulling it.

Other than that, there is a load limiter. That will blink when the tasks that you are carrying out exceeds the weight limit of the device.

As a result, the chances of you damaging the motor will be pretty slim. Also, there is a safety mechanism in both the front and the back. Those will lower the possibility of accidents occurring.

Apart from that, the housing of the device is of sturdy materials as well. It would be able to withstand the pressure that heavy workloads are going to exert.

Also, withstanding heavy-duty work environments will be pretty easy for the device.

Pros
  • Comes with a durable cable
  • Has hooks on the front and the back
  • Integrates proper safety mechanism
  • Features a load limiter LED light
  • Housing is pretty durable
Cons
  • Power cord is a bit short in comparison
  • Motor tends to overheat from time to time

#6. ORCISH 4500lb 12V

Check Price on Amazon

The materials utilized for the construction of the device play an important part in the overall lifespan.

Well, ORCISH knew that exactly well, and that is why they have put proper emphasis on the materials for this unit that they are offering.

Unlike some of the other available devices, this one features a construction of high-quality materials.

The materials make this one achieve a reasonably high level of durability. As a result, it should be able to withstand the harsh nature of heavy-duty work environments.

Alongside the construction materials, the housing a proper sealing on the exterior. That sealing makes this one highly resistant to water and moisture.

So even if you are working in an environment with too many water bodies around it, there would be nothing to worry about.

Other than that, the motor that it packs is quite efficient. It utilizes a three-stage planetary gear train, which will provide you smooth pulling action.

And for the smoothness of the pulling action, safety would not be something that you need to worry about for this one.

Aside from that, the motor is highly capable of as well. It has a 1.3 HP rating, and the load capacity is 4500 pounds.

Because of having a high load capacity, it would be able to pull large and reasonably heavy objects at ease.

The operation process is simple as well. There are two different modes that you can easily switch between.

You will also find a wireless remote included in the box. The remote has a 50 feet range.

That means operating it while you are a bit far from the device would be possible. And there are proper safety mechanisms as well.

Pros
  • Features a durable overall construction
  • Housing is waterproof
  • Packs a highly efficient motor
  • Integrates a couple of safety mechanisms
  • Includes a wireless remote
Cons
  • Comes with a short power cable
  • Remote requires a reasonably high-capacity battery

#7. STEGODON 2500 lb

Check Price on Amazon

Even though there are a plethora of high-power devices out there, there are only a few that will have a braking mechanism to ensure the safety of the user and the object. And this one that is from STEGODON is one of those few.

First of all, the motor that it packs is highly efficient. It is also reasonably powerful as well. The power rating that it has is 1.2 HP.

With that amount of power, it will have no trouble in pulling up to 2500 pounds. That means you should be able to pull large and heavy objects at ease.

Alongside that, it integrates a dynamic braking mechanism. That mechanism will lower the chances of the rope sliding when you are pulling heavy objects.

The braking mechanism is highly reliable too. As a result, the possibility of serious accidents occurring will be reasonably low as well.

Other than that, you are going to have complete control over the operation process. It bundles with two wireless remotes. One of them is for the speed, which is variable.

And the other one is for the unique clutch system. The sensitivity of the remotes is reasonably high too. So you can control each of the operations at ease.

Aside from the remote controls, the motor features a three-stage planetary gear train. And the solenoid of the motor is weather sealed as well.

For that reason, even if you do forget to bring it inside when it is raining, it will not get damaged. Also, there is a circuit breaker that will stop the operation during a power failure.

Besides that, the clutch utilizes a free-spooling design. Because of such a design, the pulling action is going to be exceptionally smooth.

Pros
  • Boasts a highly efficient motor
  • Capable of pulling 2500 pounds
  • Speed is variable
  • Comes with two remotes
  • Solenoid is weather sealed
Cons
  • Mounting holes are not standard
  • Rope is not that durable

#8. Ayleid 12V 4500lb

Check Price on Amazon

While you are in the market for one of these, you might want something with a reasonably high loading capacity.

Well, in that case, you should take a look at what Ayleid has to offer here.

To begin with, it packs a reasonably powerful motor. The motor is that powerful that it makes the unit achieve a 4500 pounds load capacity.

That amount of load capacity is higher than what most of the other brands are offering with their unit. For that reason, you can pull heavy and large objects easily with this.

Aside from the motor that it packs, you are going to receive two wireless remotes with the package. Each of the remotes has a designated function.

One is for the speed, while the other is for the clutch. And the range of each of the remotes is quite long too. You should be able to control it while being reasonably far.

Alongside that, the package also contains a hand remote controller. You can use that when you are near the device. Also, the rope that it bundles with is 10 meters.

Even though the cable is short in length, considering the other ones are over 35 feet, it is reasonably durable and will not wear out easily.

Other than that, the housing is considerably durable as well. It has the construction of high-quality materials. And there is a sealing that makes it resistant to water.

So catching rust and getting corroded will not be the case for this one. Also, it should be able to easily withstand heavy-duty work environments.

Lastly, the three-stage planetary gear system that it sports will make sure that the pulling motion is smooth.

Pros
  • Load capacity is up to 4500 pounds
  • Bundles with two wireless remote
  • Wired hand controller
  • Utilizes a three-stage planetary gear system
  • Housing can resist rust and corrosion
Cons
  • Included cable is a bit short
  • Hooks are not that durable

#9. ShoppingOnBed Heavy Duty Hand Winch

Check Price on Amazon

If you are not a fan of the automatic winches that are available in the market, then what you are probably looking for is a hand-operated one.

And this one is the one that you should check out in that case. Unlike some of the other units that are out there, this one has a crank mechanism.

It does not rely on any motor, nor does it rely on a portable drill.

Instead of those, you will have to rotate it manually and pull the object you are planning to move. The gear ratio is 3:1, which means cranking it will be pretty easy as well.

Other than that, the load capacity is 600 pounds. That amount of capacity is quite enough, considering that it is hand-operated. And as it features a flexible design, you can crank it in both directions.

Also, you can different types of adjustments depending on the operation that you are carrying out.

Alongside that, the hook equips a safety pawl. It is going to ensure that the connection that you are going to make with the object is secure.

And as the rope is of high-quality steel, you should be able to work with heavy and large objects without any issues at all.

Besides that, the housing of the unit is reasonably sturdy as well. It is also constructed of heavy-duty materials.

There is a unique coating on the exterior, which will make it capable of resisting rust and corrosion.

Apart from the housing, the form factor of the device is small and compact. It will enable you to easily carry it with you.

And the crank has a rubber grip, which is going to make it comfortable for you to hold it and operate it.

Pros
  • Does not require any motor or drill to operate
  • Small and compact in size
  • Crank has a comfortable handle
  • Made of durable materials
  • Hook features a safety pawl
Cons
  • Comes with a relatively short cable
  • Some of the units ship with missing parts

#10. 8MILELAKE 600lbs Hand Winch

Check Price on Amazon

Another hand-operated device that you can consider if you were looking for such a device is this one. Like the previous one, it does not require any motor or drills to operate.

First of all, the construction of the unit is of heavy-duty materials. The overall device is of sturdy steel. And the gears that it packs are of hardened steel.

For such a combination of heavy-duty materials, it achieves a reasonably high level of durability. It should last for a long time.

The load capacity of the device is 600 pounds. And as it is hand-operated, that amount of load capacity is more than enough for moving large and heavy objects.

Also, the strap that it comes with is polyester. It can withstand heavy-duty workloads pretty easily. And it can resist wear and tears as well.

Aside from the strap, the gear ratio of the device is 3:1. For having such a ratio, you should not face that much amount of difficulty when you are rotating the crank.

Also, the handle has a rubber grip, which will make it comfortable for you to operate it.

Other than that, the hook that it comes with has a safety pawl. It is going to make sure that the connection that you make with the objects are secure.

They will have a low chance of getting disconnected. Also, the cranking mechanism can be operated in both forward and backward motion.

Besides that, the housing has a weather-resistant coating on it. It can resist rust and corrosion reasonably well.

That means even if you do leave it outside when the weather is bad, there will be nothing that you would have to worry about.

Pros
  • Capable of pulling 600 pounds
  • Can be operated in both forward and reverse direction
  • Features a durable overall build quality
  • Sports a weather-resistant coating on the body
  • Hook has a safety pawl
Cons
  • Nylon strap is a bit flimsy compared to the steel ones
  • Some of the packages ship with a missing hand crank

What to Look for Before You Buy?

what to look in a winch

We know how excited you are to get your hands on one of these devices to carry out all of the pulling tasks in your warehouse.

But before you do make a purchase decision, there are a couple of things that you need to factor in. Those will help you get a well-performing unit.

That being said, the factors are as stated:

Load Capacity

First and foremost, you should factor in the load capacity of the device. Not all of them are going to have the same capacity.

Some will have 600 pounds, while some will have more than 4500 pounds of load capacity. Before you make a purchase decision, you should consider the type of objects you plan to pull.

If the objects are large in size and heavier in weight, you should opt for the ones with a high load capacity. The ones that are around 5000 should do the trick for this case.

However, if you plan to move small objects, you should be good with something with around 600 pounds of capacity.

Build Quality

Aside from the load capacity, you need to factor in the build quality of the housing. And the build quality is going to depend on the quality of the materials that are utilized for the construction.

The higher the quality of the materials, the better the build quality is going to be.

On that note, the ones that have a good build quality should be able to withstand heavy-duty work environments at ease.

They will not show any performance issues even when you are making them go through a heavy-duty workload.

The Rope

One of the essential components of the winches is the rope that is going to come with them. And the first thing that you need to factor in when you are purchasing one of these is the rope’s length.

Each of these will come with ropes of different lengths. Alongside the length of the rope, you should consider the durability of it.

And the durability will highly depend on the materials that they are of. If they are of sturdy material, they should have a high level of durability.

And the ones that have a high level of durability should be able to withstand heavy workloads at ease.

Motor

Most of these devices that you will find in the market will utilize a motor for the operation. And as the motor is the powerhouse of those, you should put proper emphasis on this factor.

For this case, the higher the power rating, the better they are going to perform in pulling heavier objects.

Alongside that, you need to factor in the efficiency of the motor as well. The efficiency will dictate how much power the unit is going to utilize for pulling a certain object.

Also, the efficient ones tend to have a higher line speed. And the higher the line speed, the faster you can pull objects.

Remote Control

Some of these devices will bundle with a wireless remote. For those, the thing that you need to consider is whether they have the essential controls or not.

Also, do consider the range of the remote. We would recommend opting for the ones with a higher range. With those, you can operate the machine from a farther distance.

On the other hand, the other ones will include a wired controller. For the wired controller, the length of the wire is something that you need to consider.

Some will have comparatively shorter cable, which can make it hard for you to operate the machine. You would want to avoid those.

Safety Mechanisms

Another important factor for these is the safety mechanism. As you are going to pull a reasonably heavy load using these, you would want to opt for the ones that have a high number of safety mechanisms built-in.

The first one you should consider is the safety pawl that is on the hook. That is going to make sure that the connection that you are going to make with the object is secure.

Also, make sure that there is a braking mechanism. That mechanism is going to lower the chances of accidents occurring.

Alongside that, do consider if there is a circuit breaker chip inside or not. If you happen to get one that does not have this, the motor’s chances of getting damaged during power failure would be pretty high.

Handle

For the hand-operated ones, you should ensure that the handle has an ergonomic shape. Do make sure that it has a rubber coating on the exterior.

Without that, it would be quite tough for you to operate the tool.

Waterproof Coating

Last but not least, you must check if the housing has a water-resistant coating on it or not.

If it does not have such kind of coating, the parts on the inside will get damaged if you happen to leave it exposed during rain.

Also, the chances of the chips getting damaged when the housing is in contact with water will be high.

Different Types of Winches

Just like any of the other tools, there are plenty of variations in the case of winches.

However, these can be categorized into two main types. And they are as stated:

Operational Mode

By considering the operational mode, there are two different types. And a brief description of them are as stated below:

  • Motor-Based

Just like the name suggests, these are going to utilize a motor to operate. The motor is going to provide the pulling power, which will make these capable of pulling weights.

And for making these operate, you need to connect them to a power source.

  • Hand-Operated

Unlike the motor-operated ones, these do not require any sort of electricity to operate. Instead of that, you will have to use your muscle power to operate these.

These will have a crank and a handle, which you will have to hold and rotate to pull the object.

Size

Depending on the size, there are two different types of winches. One of them is the small-sized ones.

These are going to be comparatively compact and small in size. Also, you will not face any trouble in the case of transporting them around.

On the other hand, the other versions are the regular-sized ones. Those are going to be considerably large in size.

And the load capacity of these is going to be pretty high as well.

Top-Rated Brands on the Market

  • Champion Power Equipment

When it comes to rating, the brand that is on the top is Champion Power Equipment. They are leading the charge in the case of winches.

The number of options they have to offer is quite high, and each of the options they are offering is quite reliable.

Each of the models that the Champion Power Equipment has to offer comes in different versions. And each of the versions has a different load capacity.

Also, aside from the small-sized ones, you will find the regular versions.

  • WARN

On the other hand, the manufacturer WARN is not that far behind when it comes to rating. They also have a large number of devices to offer to the market.

And most of them are highly reliable. We have even covered a couple of the reliable ones in our recommendation list.

When it comes to the hand-operated ones, the brand with the highest amount of rating is the ShoppingOnBed.

The model that we have covered in our review section offers high performance and should be good enough if you are planning to pull something that is small in size and light in weight.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Are synthetic ropes better for winch?

It depends. If you do not use your winch that often, you should opt for the ones with synthetic ropes. These will not catch rust, nor will they corrode over time.

So even if you leave them for a long time, the ropes’ integrity is not going to degrade over time. As a result, the performance will remain consistent.

Can I pull something that is 6000 pounds with a 5000 pounds rated winch?

If you are pulling a 6000 pounds object, you are going to need something that has at least 8500 pounds pulling capacity.

However, if you try to pull it using something that has a lower capacity than the object you are going to pull, you will risk damaging the tool’s motor.

Is it possible to replace the rope of a winch?

Yes, it is possible to change the rope of the winch. However, you need to make sure the rope you are getting has the same dimensions as the one that the tool came with.

If you happen to get something wider, the rope might not fit in the compartment properly.

Are all of the winches small in size?

Not really. Most of these are going to be large in size. Alongside that, they are going to be heavy in weight as well.

However, there are many that are reasonably small in size. But if you were planning to get something with a high load capacity, you should opt for the ones that large in size.

What is the maximum weight that a small-sized winch can pull?

Different winches are going to have a different weight capacity. In general, the highest load capacity that a small-sized winch is going to have will be around 5000 pounds.

With those, you can pull objects that are around 4000 pounds at ease.

But if the weight capacity is one of your primary concerns, you should check out the regular versions.

Those have a higher load capacity than the small-sized ones. Many even have a load rating of 1000 pounds plus.

Are all of the winches weather-resistant?

The weather-resistant capability will mainly depend on the coating and the build quality of the device.

For this, the ones that have a good build quality would be able to withstand harsh and tough weather conditions at ease.

Also, with a proper coating, they should be able to resist water and environmental debris as well.

Final Words

If you do a lot of pulling and do not have that much storage space to store something large in size, you really do not have any option other than getting the small-sized winches.

And all of the ones that we have covered in our review section the best small winch models that the brands have to offer at the moment.