If you’ve realized you need an ATV winch and decided now is the time to buy, you might have already noticed that there isn’t an overwhelming amount of ATV winches in the market. However, it can still be a little tricky trying to find which is the best ATV winch for your vehicle so read on below for some helpful pointers.
What Kind of ATV Winch?
For ATV’s there are two types of winch, electric or hydraulic. Electric winches operate by taking power from the battery, while hydraulic winches use power from a power steering pump. In most instances you only need to consider an electric winch.
Electric winches have two types of gear train, worm and planetary. A worm gear train has only two gears, while a planetary gear train has several. The planetary gear train will work faster, but it also generates a considerable amount of heat. By and large, worm gear trains are more powerful.
How Much Should You Spend?
There’s no denying that we all like a bargain and when it comes to ATV winches you might notice there is a fair difference in price to some relatively similar spec’d models.
From reading through many of the ATV winch reviews online it seems that the higher priced winches generally cope with pulling heavier weight loads more efficiently, which we would probably expect.
Some cheaper winches it has been noted seem to struggle or seem sluggish or slow when trying to cope with heavier loads and that can put considerable strain on the winches motor. Just bear in mind why you need an ATV winch and consider that although a cheaper winch might appear be a bargain, if you buy a cheaper winch with a similar spec to a higher priced winch, in the long term it may work out differently.
Having said that, the cheaper winches will have their advantages. For example it may be more cost effective to go cheap if you only occasionally use your ATV and the winch, or your ATV is a relatively light model. And bear in mind that just because something is presumed “cheap” compared to something else it doesn’t mean it isn’t any good, so buying a cheaper winch might be the way to go.
Does The Winch Fit Your ATV?
You also need to consider the design and size of your ATV. You generally have to bolt the ATV winch somewhere to the front or rear of the vehicle, but not all winches are going to fit your particular ATV. Furthermore, most ATV’s don’t come with winch mountings so most likely you will need to buy a winch mounting plate/kit, although there are several types on the market.
You will need one that is compatible with your winch and can also withstand the forces put on it. Additionally, you might need to change your bumper bar, or buy a plate with a bumper bar combined which is offered by some manufacturers.
If you head over to Amazon.com they have a feature that allows you to check for accessories and parts that will fit your vehicle.
Another thing you will be considering is the weight that the winch can pull. Most ATV’s weigh less than 600 lbs but it doesn’t stop there. You have to add in the weight of any accessories – including the ATV winch itself – and the weight of any passengers in order to arrive at the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight).
When you have this worked out, multiply it by 1.5 and you will arrive at the minimum line pull rating you require. (Winches are rated by the amount of weight they can pull). You have to remember that you might be stuck deep in the mud and the suction will add to the strain on the winch.
Electric winches can usually pull anything from 1,500 lbs to around 4,500 lbs, but in general for an ATV you shouldn’t need anything higher than 3,000 lbs.
Cable or Synthetic Rope?
Next, the ATV winch will either use steel cable or synthetic rope. Steel cable is strong, but is more dangerous in the event of it breaking.
Synthetic rope is also strong, but can suffer from heat, such as that generated from a planetary gear train – and even melt. It will also wear faster than steel cable, but it is to be hoped that you won’t need to use it too often.
ATV Winch Reviews
Thanks to sites such as Amazon that allow their customers to leave their feedback and reviews on any product they buy, these help to give potential customers a much clearer idea on what they will get for their money.
There are dozens of ATV winch reviews, if not more that you can find online, and although they are at the end of the day just a persons opinion, you can certainly see patterns emerge of both positive and negative factors about different products.
Top 3 ATV Winches
*In the table below you will find what we consider to currently be the best 3 ATV winches for your money, in no particular order.
|Criteria||Superwinch LT3000||Superwinch Terra 45||WARN XT25|
|Customer Reviews||128 Reviews||72 Reviews||30 Reviews|
|Motor||12v DC, 1.2hp||12v DC, 1.6hp||12v DC, .9hp|
|Rope||Wire - 50'||Wire - 55'||Synthetic - 50'|
|Warranty||Two Year Limited||Limited Lifetime||-|
|Full Review||Superwinch LT3000||Superwinch Terra 45||WARN XT25|
Top 3 ATV Winch Reviews
The LT3000 is one of the most popular ATV winches on the market today and has many positive points that make it so.
Firstly, the price of this winch is very good for a winch with a line pull of 3000lbs. This is one reason that so many people opt for the LT3000 because in most situations you shouldn’t need to pull more than what this winch can handle.
Secondly there are plenty of customers reviews that have been left for this winch and by far the majority of customers have been very pleased with the winch.
With a hand-held remote and various safety features to help ensure your safety when using it, it’s easy to see why the Superwinch LT3000 is so in demand from AVT enthusiasts.
Superwinch Terra 45
Having a line pull rating of 4500lbs, at well under $200 it certainly is a tough task to beat this winch on price.
With a decent 1.6hp motor and 55′ of wire rope it shouldn’t be too challenging to get you and your ATV out of a sticky situation. Just to mention that you can also get an optional wireless remote for this winch if you feel you’d prefer one.
Again there are lots of 5 star reviews of this model which is hardly surprising when you read what people have to say about it. Of course there are the odd few unhappy customers but as we all know, you can’t please everybody all of the time.
This winch also features a free spooling clutch so it makes life easier and safer should you wish to draw out just the right amount of rope necessary for the task in hand.
Please note that this WARN ATV winch is now discontinued. Although the winch is discontinued there are still XT25 winches out there to buy.
What makes this one of the best ATV winches you can buy is that it comes from WARN who are known for making quality winches that are build to the highest standards, and built to last.
This winch doesn’t pull as much weight as the other two as this ATV winch handles up to 2500lbs, which is still enough to handle many situations that you could find yourself in, if you’re unlucky enough. It is also one of the best sealed winches around which helps to protect it against all that nature can throw at it, and this helps to make it reliable and long lasting.
Almost every customer review on this winch that can be found here on Amazon scored it 5 out of 5 with just a few scoring it 4 out of 5. Although this is possibly the best winch you can buy for 2500lbs, the only downside is the cost, which is higher than most, if not all, comparable models. The upside is that if you can afford the extra cost then you know you have bought a winch that is going to get the job done and a winch that is going to last.
*Disclaimer – Although we have done our best to bring you the top 3 ATV winches as shown above, it should be noted that this table is based upon our own independent research and is ultimately just our opinion so it shouldn’t be regarded as fact.