Smittybilt XRC VS X20 [Complete Comparison & Walkthrough]

Imagine being stuck with your 4WD during an off-road journey with the only thing left in your hand is to call the nearby towing service. A horror experience indeed, right?

Here comes the importance of a winch to get rid of this kind of situation. In this article, we will compare two of the prominent winches which are dominating the market for a while- Smittybilt- XRC VS x20. We aim to help you select the suitable winch for your needs.

Stay with us till the end. You will get to know which one is perfect for you.

Smittybilt Brand Overview

Smittybilt is an American automotive company established in 1956. The company develops equipment for four-wheelers like trucks and jeeps. As of today, Smittybilt supplies trucks and small SUV accessories in various parts of the world.

Their manufacturing catalog includes tow hitches, jeep tops, grilles, winches and winch accessories, tires, air compressors, bumpers, and many more. Smittybilt winches are manufactured both in the United States and China. Whatever volume they manufacture in a foreign country, they always maintain the USA standards.

Smittybilt winches are very popular for their performance and affordability.

Smittybilt XRC VS X20

There are different winch series of Smittybilt like XRC and x20 models. They again split up into base and comp models. The XRC Series has a modular design for which they are more flexible. They also get easily fit in most of the locations. On the other hand, the x20 series offers more advanced features in their package.

The comp models of both ensure strong durability and top-class performance. Now, the question is- which one should you pick?

Well, the answer is depending on your needs and requirements. We have chosen two of the most popular Smittybilt winches taking one from XRC and x20 each.

Now, we will discuss their key features, descriptions followed by pros and cons, key differences, and frequently asked questions about them. These will give a clear idea about their specifications at the end. You will get to choose the suitable one from this comparative analysis.

Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC Review

Check Price on Amazon

Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC Winch is very popular for towing a 4WD or any off-road vehicle. It is less than 80 pounds which is easy to carry. It can carry loads up to 9500 pounds.

This best truck winch has a 6.6 HP Series Wound motor, which helps to deliver quiet function and bear bulky loads. The control switch is lead-made. The gear train system is a 3-stage planetary.

It gets dynamic pulling power due to the revised gear ratio. The line speed also becomes faster because of this and helps you release the 4WD from oozy conditions. However, this causes the winch to heat up fast.

The corded controller controls the manipulation. In some cases, this might be troublesome. You may end up getting your hands and clothes dirty based on the rod’s condition. The drum has a diameter of 2.5 inches. The high-quality fairlead is mostly aluminum-made with a 4-way roller system.

However, you can mount the solenoids in three different locations. It is one of the most flexible winches of Smittybilt in terms of mounting options.

This winch has a waterproof rating of IP67. It offers military-grade synthetic ropes. For this, it is light and never rusts.

This XRC Gen 2 winch has a lifetime mechanical warranty with a 3-year electrical warranty. If any breakdown happens, you don’t need to worry. The manufacturer will solve the problem for you with a quick response. However, due to its strong durability, you may not need the warranty at all.

Overall, it is a winch to buy for your off-road adventure.

  • High load capacity up to 9500 pounds
  • Fast and quiet
  • Varieties of options
  • Flexible mounting positions
  • Synthetic rope and easily bearable
  • Strong durability
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty
  • Customer satisfaction
  • It is not a wireless winch
  • Heat up quickly
  • The instructions given are a bit blunt

Smittybilt X20 COMP Review

Check Price on Amazon

Smittybilt x20 COMP is another popular winch model of this brand. It is less than 100 pounds and requires less hustle to carry. The load capacity is up to 12000 pounds which is sufficient for any mid-range vehicle.

It has a 6.6 HP Series Wound motor which is separated externally. For this, the motor is more durable and highly protected. Another advantage of it is, it serves quietly and ensures smooth performance.

Though compared to the XRC Gen 2, it works a bit slow. It also means the motor saves more power than the XRC model. The gear ratios are also optimized. The gear system of this model is also a 3-stage planetary like the XRC model. Thus, it gets heated less quickly and ensures delicate performance.

Another striking feature of the x20 COMP model is the magnetic wireless remote control. This wireless system ensures high effectiveness. It also reduces the inconvenience of cord control. You can use it on any metal plate without any hustle. However, this wireless feature may get interrupted sometimes. It might be a point to note.

The waterproof rating of this model is also advanced. IP68 rating will ensure that you can drown the winch around 1.5 meters without any problem. The waterproof solenoid pack has the power of 500 AMP.

Moreover, this model has a dynamic braking system with aluminum fairlead. It ensures smooth performance by slowing the line gradually. It reduces the drum temperature up to 66%. Thus, any kind of synthetic rope is perfect for it. The synthetic ropes are lighter and waterproof like the XRC Gen 2 model and very suitable to use.

This model is less flexible in terms of mounting options of the solenoids. It also offers multiple but only two options. It means the solenoids can be mounted only in two different locations.

Like the XRC model, x20 COMP also has a lifetime mechanical warranty with a lucrative electrical warranty of 5 years. You don’t have to worry about any malfunction of the winch soon.

By comparing all the features, you can simply assume that Smittybilt x20 is an effective winch in any given circumstances.

  • Comparatively higher load capacity
  • Durable wire rope
  • Easy to install and use
  • Magnetic wireless controller
  • Strong and quiet motor
  • Higher waterproof rating of IP68
  • Reduces drum temperature
  • Smooth performance
  • Fewer options of mounting of solenoids
  • The wireless feature might stop sometimes
  • The budget is a bit higher

Head To Head Comparison

We can say from the descriptions that the products are pretty much similar. Being manufactured by the same brand Smittybilt, it was evident.

However, there are some notable differences between XRC Gen 2 and x20 COMP models. We described them below to help you get a better idea of their effectiveness.

Water Resistance

Smittybilt designed the XRC models with an IP67 rating. On the other hand, the x20 models have an IP68 rating. They might sound similar. However, as per the interpretation of the International Electronical Commission, XRC models can be submerged up to one meter. X20 models, on the other hand, can be submerged up to a half-meter more than the former.

It can make a huge difference when you drive through deep water. However, these ratings are only for freshwater. Things will be different on a beach.


Both XRC and x20 models have the same 6 HP motors. Therefore, they provide the same power. However, the advantage of the x20 model is, it heats up comparatively less. It can generate smooth power for a much longer time.


The manipulation system of XRC winches works through a corded controller. x20 models, on the other hand, offer a wireless remote control which is very much convenient for operation.

They also remain cooler than XRC models and operate more smoothly. However, XRC winches are easier to carry since they are smaller and lighter.

Braking System

There is a dynamic braking system for the x20 COMP models. It allows to slow the line and thereby gives safeguards to the components, thus produces less heating.

For these, x20 winches perform smoothly compared to the XRC models. The performance of XRC models is more casual in this regard.

Solenoid Mounting Options

Both models have multiple solenoid options. However, XRC models are more flexible in this parameter. They have more versatility since they support three different mounting locations.

On the other hand, x20 models offer solenoid mounting in two different places.


There are differences in inline speed figures between the two. XRC models have a comparatively higher line speed and better power use.

Thus, they heat up quickly. It also affects their performance and makes it abrupt. x20 winches are relatively slower since they consume less power. For this, they are also more efficient than the XRC models.

Price And Warranty

Prices of XRC Gen 2 and x20 COMP are not much different. The cost of x20 COMP is a bit higher than the XRC. Both products have a lifetime mechanical warranty.

However, the electrical warranty of x20 COMP is again fascinating- 5 years. On the other hand, the XRC model has a 3-year electrical warranty. It is probably for a lower waterproof rating.

If you are looking for a product with durability protection, you must consider this factor.

Comparison Chart

Now let’s have a quick look into the comparison between Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC Winch and Smittybilt x20 COMP in the table below.

Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC
Smittybilt x20 COMP
Product Dimensions20.88" (L) x 6.3" (W) x 7.4" (H)22.3" (L) x 5.4" (W) x 9.4” (H)
Product Weight78 Pounds (35 kg)99 Pounds (45 kg)
Voltage12 Volts12 Volts
Load Capacity9500 Pounds12000 Pounds
Battery Leads22mm2, 72" (1.83m)25mm2, 72" (1.83m)
Cable Size94’ Length 5/16” Diameter98.5’ Length 3/8” Diameter
Gear Ratio161.28:1265:1
Mechanical WarrantyLifetimeLifetime
Electrical Warranty3 Years5 Years

Frequently Asked Questions

People have a lot of queries when they compare Smittybilt XRC VS x20. We have gathered some of the most common questions regarding these two winches. Here are the questions along with the answers to them.

Where Are They Manufactured?

Mostly in China. No matter what the manufacturing place is, Smittybilt always maintains the US standard.

Is There any Difference Between IP67 And IP68?

IP67 denotes that the winch can be drowned comfortably up to one meter underwater for half an hour. On the other side, IP68 means, you can submerge the winch up to 1.5 meters underwater for the same period.

Is It Possible To Use A Wireless Remote For The XRC Gen 2 Model?

You can use the XRC Gen 2 model only by the corded controller. However, some cheap controllers like the Badlands wireless controller might work with this model. On the other hand, the x20 models always offer wireless remotes.

Do They Include Fairleads?

If you buy any of these winches, you will get a steel roller or aluminum hawse fairlead with it.

What About The Cover And Mounting Plate? Where Do I Mount The Fairlead?

You will not get any winch cover or a mounting plate. You need to buy these separately. The fairlead should mount to the winch mounting plate.

Do They Need To Be Checked Often?

Smittybilt has goodwill to maintain high quality for their products. However, it is safe to check your winch regularly.

It will rescue you from having a horror experience during your off-road journey.


We tried to draw the Smittybilt XRC VS x20 comparison to help you find the right winch for your needs. x20 COMP is suitable for the frequent and prepense off-roading journey.

Elsewhere XRC Gen 2 will work perfectly if your need is less frequent and more for insurance security.

You must consider the type of vehicle you have and the kind of use you expect from a winch before buying it.

Besides, don’t forget to check out another comparison article on Smittybilt vs Warm winch. Hopefully, this article will help you pick a suitable winch.