If you are a lucky UTV owner and use your vehicle actively, you definitely need a UTV winch. It will be the right decision to purchase one before you are stuck in mud or some dirty river in the middle of nowhere. Finding the best UTV winches on the market might not be easy, but I will gladly help you make the right choice and find an item of great quality that will meet your expectations.
A UTV winch is a special device to pull your transport facility once it is stuck and unable to ride further. Such an item is usually attached in front of the vehicle and can serve multiple purposes. For example, it can drag not only your UTV but also other vehicles, huge rocks, trees, etc. Whenever you go offroad, make sure you have a winch because you might not realize how necessary it is until you really need one.
Best UTV Winch Reviews
WARN VRX 45-S – best overall
WARN VRX 45-S is a great 4500 lb UTV winch made of highly durable metal, which can work in adverse conditions and pull the heaviest vehicles. The product comes with 50′ x 1/4″ synthetic rope and offers safe use. Moreover, it is rustproof thanks to a powder-coated finish.
One of the main advantages of WARN VRX 45-S that you will enjoy is a corded remote control that allows you to start the winch while being in a safe place away from the vehicle. In addition, owing to the load-holding braking system, you will always have extensive control over UTV. Not all UTV winches come with a corded remote control. For example, SuperATV WN-6000 is equipped with wireless remote control, but as practice shows, corded control proves to be more reliable.
Installation of the synthetic winch rope takes quite a while, and I seriously struggled with it. The instructions coming with the winch do not seem to be as informative as you would expect. And unfortunately, the blue and yellow wires that go from the winch to the contractor are too short, so you might need to ask for longer wiring. But I was pleased with the quiet work of the winch.
Despite some disadvantages, WARN VRX 45-S is the overall best UTV winch thanks to its solid construction, quiet work, and easy handling.
- Capacity, lbs: 4500.
- Cable diameter, inch: 1/4.
- Cable lentgh, ft/m: 50/15.2.
- All-metal construction.
- Comes with wired remote control.
- Load-holding mechanical brake.
- Powder-coated finish for corrosion resistance.
- Installation wires are too short.
SuperATV WN-6000 – most powerful
In case you need the most powerful UTV winch, SuperATV WN-6000 should meet your expectations. Owing to a 6000 lb. pulling capacity and permanent 1.9-horsepower (12-volt) DC motor this tough guy will pull almost any vehicle. I assure you that this is a true Hercules among UTV winches.
The winch comes with a 50′ synthetic rope that is as strong as a metal cable, yet it is safer because you can bend it effortlessly. It does not rust or get frayed like a steel one. In addition, you will get a wireless remote and an automatic braking system for better control. WN-6000 features a water-resistant receiver and waterproof solenoid, so it can be used even in wet conditions.
Having a reliable UTV winch is wonderful, but having a kit with all the necessary stuff alongside the winch is undoubtedly much better. With SuperATV WN-6000, you will get the rocker mount, mounting plate, clevis pin and hook, dash mount rocker switch, etc.
When we compare SuperATV WN-6000 to WARN VRX 45-S, it is obvious that the latter has a lower weight rating. However, even though both winches have similar characteristics, WARN VRX 45-S does not include a mounting plate, so you have to purchase it separately.
When it comes to instructions, you can get them through a QR code. Although the mounting plate comes together with the winch, it is not universal for any UTV. It did not fit the bumper of my vehicle.
All things considered, SuperATV WN-6000 is a great 6000 lb winch that will make you feel safe no matter where your UTV will get stuck next time.
- Capacity, lbs: 6000.
- Cable lentgh, ft/m: 50/15.2.
- 6000 lb. pulling capacity.
- Permanent 1.9-horsepower DC motor.
- Wireless remote and an automatic braking system for better control.
- Comes with a kit of items needed for winching.
- The mounting plate does not fit the bumper.
Champion Power Equipment 14560 – budget
If you are looking for a high-quality winch and your budget is limited, I highly recommend you rivet your attention to Champion Power Equipment 14560. You will get the best UTV winch for the money that will possess all the key features. Owing to the 4500 lb capacity, this product can be used for versatile purposes. Since the winch is equipped with a 1.6-horsepower (12-volt) DC motor and dynamic brake system, it can be described as powerful and safe.
What you will definitely like about Champion Power Equipment 14560 is that it comes with a kit full of appliances that you might need whenever you use a winch. The mounting channel, antenna, contractor, and roller fairlead are just the appliances that come with the product.
Compared to the WARN VRX 45-S, this model proves to be as powerful and sturdy but nevertheless cheaper. While WARN VRX 45-S comes with wired remote control, Champion Power Equipment 14560 features a wireless remote control. Another difference between the two models is that the VRX 45-S comes with a synthetic cable, while the Power Equipment 14560 has a galvanized steel cable.
Even though this winch is really easy to install thanks to very detailed instructions, some things still disappointed me. The wiring can be too short for some UTVs, and you might need additional wires. The winch is not waterproof, so you need to keep it covered to protect it from rust.
In general, Champion Power Equipment 14560 is the really good budget winch that will become your devoted helper whenever your UTV is in trouble.
- Capacity, lbs: 4500.
- Cable diameter, inch: 15/64.
- Cable lentgh, ft/m: 38/11.5.
- Comes with a kit of items for comfortable installation.
- Equipped with a 1.6-horsepower motor.
- Wireless remote control for safe use.
- Short wiring
- The winch is not waterproof.
Superwinch Terra 35- also a great choice
If you are looking for a highly efficient electric UTV winch, I would advise you to check the advantages of Superwinch Terra 35. This 3500 lb item is equipped with a 1.6 horsepower permanent magnet motor with sealed end-to-end bearings and stronger gears. Another key characteristic is a mechanical load holding and dynamic braking system for secure operation.
This model comes in a box with supplementary items like a 4-way roller fairlead, a strong latched hook, a handlebar switch with an 8′ cable, etc. You will be surprised to discover the benefits of a rubberized remote switch with a 10-foot extension cable that you can apply from a safe distance. Moreover, the winch comes with a solenoid that is weather-sealed for advanced protection.
While WARN VRX 45-S comes only with a synthetic 50′ winch rope, Superwinch Terra 35 has both wire and synthetic lines. Although the VRX 45-S has a higher pulling capacity, Terra 35 can compete decently because of its wide gears for better engagement.
Unfortunately, my experience with this unit was not the most successful. Since the winch is open, any mud and sand can easily settle on the cable. You can either leave it dirty or wash it each time after using the winch, but in the end, you will get your cable either rusted out or kinked.
As you can see, Superwinch Terra 35 is quite a good option, which, due to its features, can successfully compete with the recognized leaders and more expensive models.
- Capacity, lbs: 4500.
- Cable lentgh, ft/m: 50/15.2.
- 1.6 horsepower permanent magnet motor.
- Has both wire and synthetic lines.
- Mechanical load holding for secure operation.
- The winch is open for any kind of mud.
- A metal cable becomes rusted out fast.
SuperATV has a line of several winches with different pulling capacities. Even though SuperATV WN-4500 is not the most powerful one, it is still a top-rate product that will fit almost any UTV. Whenever you order this winch, you will get a kit with various items you need for installation and a comfortable operation.
The winch comes with a popular 50 ft range synthetic rope that proves to be extremely durable. WN-4500 features an automatic braking system and wireless remote control . The kit includes a 3.0″ x 6.6″ mounting bolt pattern that is considered to be standard for the majority of vehicles.
Compared to Superwinch Terra 35, this model features a higher pulling capacity of 4500 lb. At the same time, the Terra 35 comes with steel reinforced drums that are ideal both for steel cable and synthetic rope while SuperATV WN-4500 features only the synthetic line.
Although the winch comes with a mounting plate, it may not always fit the size of the bumper of your UTV. Also, the instructions are pretty vague, but there is always an opportunity to find guidance on YouTube.
Because of its ease of operating and quite a high towing capacity, I consider the SuperATV WN-4500 the best 4500 lb winch.
- Capacity, lbs: 3500.
- Cable diameter, inch: 7/32.
- Cable lentgh, ft/m: 32/9.7.
- Comes with a kit of appliances.
- Automatic braking system.
- Wireless remote control.
- Incomplete instructions for installation.
- The mountain plate does not fit the size of the bumper.
The basics of UTV winches
What’s a UTV winch? It’s like a superhero for your side-by-side, designed to rescue you from sticky situations. Whether you’re stuck in mud or need to haul a fallen tree, the UTV winch is your trusty companion. What sets it apart from winches for other vehicles like ATVs or trucks? Well, it is crafted to match the specific demands of side-by-sides, offering the perfect balance of power and size.
Here’s the scoop: UTV winches pack enough punch to tackle tough spots, but they’re compact enough to pull seamlessly into your side-by-side setup. Some even boast cutting-edge features like electric winches for effortless operation and synthetic winch ropes that combine strength with lightness.
UTV winches buying guide
If you want to choose the best winch for UTV, pay attention to the weight of your vehicle in the first place. Each winch has its own pulling capacity, so you need an item that will manage to pull out the weight of your UTV. The standard formula that is used to find the right pulling power is the weight of your vehicle multiplied by 1.5. Nevertheless, it is the minimum capacity you need, and it never hurts to have a more powerful winch to ensure it will cope with its primary task.
Cable type: steel or synthetic
There are two types of lines that you can choose whenever you are looking for a UTV winch. A steel cable has been the most popular and sturdy option for decades. Still, recently synthetic ropes have been introduced by manufacturers and they have immediately won the affection of clients. Even though synthetic ropes are more expensive, they are more flexible and safer to use. At the same time, a steel cable is more durable and less prone to damage as it is more resistant to UV light and various chemicals. So, although a steel cable is considered to be a better pick, you might still prefer a synthetic rope depending on your needs.
Winch remote control
Any high-quality winch should be equipped with a remote control system for safe operation. Currently, you can choose between a wireless and a wired or corded remote control. It goes without saying that wireless remote control allows you to pull out your UTV from a safe distance. Still, many modern winches come with relatively long wires to provide fine application in any condition. Therefore, an ideal option would be a winch that includes both types of remote control.
Whenever you are looking for a first-class UTV winch, pay attention to the braking system of the item. A dynamic or automatic braking system is considered to be the most reliable option for any winch. Each time the UTV is stuck in the mud, you need to be sure that you can safely pull out your vehicle owing to the load-holding braking system.
Specific maintenance tasks to perform before and after off-road trips
Before you hit the rugged trails, there are some important maintenance tasks you should consider to ensure your best winch for side-by-side is ready to handle any challenge. And don’t forget to give it some love after your wild ride, too!
Before off-road trips
- Clean and inspect the winch: Take a close look at your warn UTV winch. Scan the body, motor, and controls for signs of damage, rust, or wear. It’s better to address any issues now than later on the road.
- Check the winch line: Your winch cable should be in tip-top shape. Look for wear, kinks, or damage. Neatly wind the cable around the drum to prevent tangles during operation.
- Inspect electrical connections: A secure connection is vital. Ensure the link between your winch and UTV battery is tight, secure, and free from corrosion.
- Test the winch: Even the best UTV winch rope needs a quick test. You wouldn’t want any surprises out there!.
After off-road trips
- Clean the winch thoroughly: Your winch has been through many off-road adventures – give it a good cleaning to remove dirt and grime.
- Inspect the winch line: Carefully examine the winch cable for any signs of wear or damage it might have endured during your adventure.
- Check the fairlead: Don’t forget to inspect the fairlead for wear and tear, too. Make sure it’s aligned and functioning smoothly.
- Examine controls and wiring: Take a peek at your control switches and wiring. Moisture, wear, or damage could impact their effectiveness.
- Lubricate moving parts: Keep things running smoothly by applying a thin layer of lubricant to moving parts like the winch drum and gears.
- Store properly: If your UTV is resting for a while, disconnect the winch’s electrical connections to prevent accidental activation. Also, store the winch with the clutch disengaged to ease tension on the cable.
Remember, a well-maintained winch is your reliable partner when you need that extra pull on your off-road adventures. So, give it the attention it deserves before and after your escapades, and it’ll be ready to tackle anything the trail throws your way!