Best Smittybilt Winch Review [Updated 2023]

But since not all vehicles are the same, it requires some knowledge to get your vehicle's perfect winch. And luckily, Smittybilt, being one of the leading companies in the industry, offers some of the best choices.

Plus, our simple guide is also there to clear your doubts and questions and to eventually help you make your choice. So, keep reading to find out.

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5 Best Smittybilt Winch Review

Below we have reviewed the top few winches from the company. Each of them works best in their own way.

1. Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

As the updated version of the series, it has been enhanced with more durability and performance than ever before. This is mainly thanks to its heavy-duty upgrade, which provides a load capacity of almost 18,000 pounds!

The range of the load is roughly between 9500 to 17,500 pounds, to be specific. So, it is the perfect winch for the traveler to rely on to get your car or loaded truck out of any unfortunate situation with assurance.

It has a dimension of 22.3 inches in length, 5.4 inches in width, and 9.4 inches in height. Along with that, it uses a 6.6 horsepower motor, which gives it the power to handle such heavy loads. The machine weighs around 78 pounds or 35 kilograms.

Not only that, but the installation also doesn’t require you to buy any extra material or wiring. All the necessary wirings for installation come with the kit, and the manufacturer recommends using those wiring for the best results.

Plus, with a 500 AMP Solenoid, the machine is completely waterproof with an IP67 rating! This makes it safe for all weather and conditions, adding to its reliability and durability as well. It also comes with a remote switch for your convenience.

Besides that, to get into other details, its cable wire rope is 93.5 inches in diameter. There is also the 4-way roller fairlead, making sure the wire doesn’t get tangled up or ends with damages because of friction.

Winches exist to get your stuck vehicle out without having to use any strength or manpower. So, it is clearly essential when it comes to traveling or going off-road.

2. Smittybilt 98510 X20 COMP

If you are looking for a higher load capacity winch than the previous one, then you can check this one out. It has a load capacity of 10,000 pounds or 4,535 kilograms, and it is in one line pull!

So, this makes it much easier to pull out a stuck jeep, ATV, SUV, etc., vehicle. It comes with a synthetic rope winch, which is waterproof with a rating of IP68. Not only that, the synthetic material is much safer to handle and use than the metal ropes.

You will also be getting a wireless remote controller. But under the circumstances, if you do end up losing it, it breaks or stops working; you can also manually operate the machine.

Its amphibious 6.6 horsepower motor is safe from any water damage, making it easier to cool it down if it ever overheats. The machine has 3-stage planetary gear trains or system and a gear ratio of 218:1.

Along with that, its state-of-the-art 500 AMP Solenoid is also entirely waterproof. Plus, it comes with two mounting options for the Solenoid.

The product measures the same as the previous with a 9.4 inches height, 22.3 inches length, and 5.4 inches width. But it is lighter, weighing 67 pounds or 30 kilograms.

3. Smittybilt 97695 XRC 9.5K GEN3

Among the recovery winches, it is the fastest and also easy to use. But more importantly, it uses the most powerful motor you will find in the industry!

This model from the GEN3 series runs a 7-horsepower motor, which is the highest rated in horsepower among winches in the market. So, you are getting a powerful performance that can get you out of the toughest of situations. 

Moreover, being an improved version of the GEN2, it has 12% more average line speed. This adds even more power and speed to the machine, along with using less AMP draw at load.

Along with that, thanks to the New Load Indicator Warning System, you will always get an alert when the load is too much for your equipment to handle. As a result, there are fewer chances of failure and also probable damage to the machine.

To make things more convenient, it comes with a built-in flashlight on the remote controller. That makes one less thing to worry about and one less thing to carry.

Other than that, it has two built-in magnets on either side of the controller, which makes it easy to place it on any metal surface and also remove it when there is no use for it. The IP67 rating makes it safe from mud, dirt, water, and dust.

4. Smittybilt 97204 XRC-4

If you drive an ATV and looking for a powerful winch for your vehicle, then here is one great option for you. Considerably it is one of the most powerful winches for ATVs on the current market.

Its 4.1 horsepower motor has a permanent magnet, so it is an easy to attach portable winch for your ATV. The implemented 3-stage planetary gear system offers a reduction ratio of 198:1. Along with that, the machine is also very feature-rich.

Besides, there isthe4-way roller fairlead, which makes the steel cable easier to use and manage without any tangling or too much friction. Alongside that, it comes with a handlebar rocker switch and a forged hook.

The remote control included in the kit can work from up to 11 feet, providing you with the flexibility and freedom to control the machine from a safe distance if the situation calls for it.

Other than that, its steel cable is 32 feet long and 15/64 inches in thickness. The maximum load capacity of the winch is 4000 pounds or 1814 kilograms, ideal for UTVs, ATVs, marine trailers, etc.

Moreover, you can also find it in a COMP or competition version, which has a synthetic rope and aluminum fairlead instead of steel. The universal mounting plate makes it easy to mount it on any model.

5. Smittybilt97510 X20

This is the original version of the X20 but shares a lot of the features with the COMP version. To start, it has the same large 10,000 pounds or 4535 kilograms single line pull load capacity.

And along with its 6.6 horsepower series wound motor, it is your reliable winch for truck and a wide variety of cars and vehicles. It uses the revolutionary 3-stage planetary gear train.

To make things easier and more in control, it offers a 4-way roller fairlead for its braided steel wire rope. These ropes are the most difficult to wrap around the drum without overlapping, and the fairlead does an excellent job of making it easier.

Besides that, the winch is waterproof as well, with an IP68 rating. This makes it not only sustainable but also reliable in harsh weather conditions and challenging environments.

The braided wire rope is about 98.5 feet in length and 3/8 inches in diameter, so providing you with a lot of material for winching. It has an automatic out-of-drum brake for safety.

Additionally, it has a remote switch that can reach up to 12 feet or 3.7 meters. The whole unit weighs around 99 pounds or 45 kilograms, which is slightly heavier than the COMP version.

What to Look for Before You Buy?

There are a few little details and things you need to consider before buying. This depends on your requirements and preferences, so read through to assure yourself.

The Size

Understanding what size winch you require for your vehicle is necessary for getting the ideal performance. To determine the appropriate size, you need to know the GVW or the Gross Vehicle Weight first.

Usually, you can find the GVW number on the driver's door. Then, it is up to you to decide, depending on where you use your vehicle and how much it can handle, the size and load capacity of the winch you need.

But if you are unsure, it is safe to go with one that is larger in size, as it delivers more power.

Speed and Power

Following up from before, the power and/or speed heavily depends on the size. The larger the winch is, the more power the motor holds, which equals more power supply.

This not only makes the process of pulling out your vehicle faster but also ensures the winch's longevity. It is because, for a more powerful winch, it will not be using its maximum power every time you use it and thus lower chances of overheating and other mechanical damages.

Permanent vs. Portable

There are two types of winch you can find in the market: permanent and portable. The permanent one requires going through an installation process, and it will remain attached to your vehicle.

On the other hand, portable ones typically have strong magnets inside, like the ones from Badland winch, which help them to attach themselves to the front of the vehicle without any installation. As a result, you can take it out wherever you want. This also makes the portable versions easier to maintain.

Type of Rope

Both the two types, the steel rope, and synthetic rope, have some good and bad points. Steel ropes or cables are very durable and won't break on you no matter how much you use them, whereas synthetics, although they can handle a lot of loads, are not as durable in the long run.

On the other side, using cables require you to wear leather gloves or else it can badly injure your hands while pulling. They also have a tendency to form rusts over time. Not only that, but they are also harder to wrap around the drum.

Drum Size

The drum is the part where the rope or cable wraps itself around. And its size can play a significant role in the performance of the winch.

If the drum has a larger diameter, it will deliver a lower pull power. This is because the rope forms layer as you wrap it around the drum, and starting from the top layer, it delivers the lowest to highest pull power. So, a bigger diameter will slow it down even further.

For the best result, look for a drum that is longer. This will provide a bigger surface area to wrap the material without layering that much, ensuring you don’t lose too much of the power than stated.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where on the vehicle should I mount my winch?

If you are on-road, you can go with a low-mount. This will keep it concealed from view while still being functional. But while going off-road, you need to place it somewhere higher and where there is airflow to keep the engine cool.

How do I use the winch safely?

Here are a few things you should remember to maintain safety while using a winch:

Make sure to wear good leather gloves when handling cables or steel wire ropes.

Watch your footing while wrapping or unwrapping the rope from the drum. It is easy to get tangled in it and get seriously injured.

Don’t touch the fairlead or the drum directly.

If your ropes have tangled up, try to pull them manually while untangling them before turning the power on.

Take your time pulling the rope if the winch’s engine is overheating. If it is waterproof, cool it down with water.

Sit in your vehicle or maintain a safe distance when it is working. Don't stand in front of or behind the vehicle. Here  you will get brief guide on: The Winch Using Guide for Beginners

How many cable wraps can I do?

Three wraps are ideal for most winch drums without losing much power.

How long can you run a winch?

On average, a car can't run it for more than 10 to 15 minutes. But it mainly depends on the battery of the engine.

Can a winch drain your battery?

While winches run on battery, it doesn’t usually drain full battery while pulling your vehicle out, unless the issue is your battery. However, if left on running for long, in most cases unnoticed, it will drain out the battery.

Final Words

Now that you know what the bests are from the company and how they perform, it is entirely up to you to decide which is perfect for your need and your vehicle. No one likes being stranded in the middle of nowhere, so take your time in deciding.


I am Samantha, an automobile engineer and POD business owner. I am also a wife of Jason and a mother of three children, two of whom are twins. I am passionate about making a difference in the world and strive to be a role model for my children. I believe that hard work and dedication can lead to success, no matter what your circumstances may be. I have a passion for cars and enjoy working on them in my spare time. I am excited to be able to share my knowledge and experience with you. Stay connected !

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