Best Budget Winch: One You Can Buy

A budget winch is an inexpensive alternative to a standard winch. They are easy to use and require minimal maintenance. This makes them perfect for people who need something that will last for years without costing too much money. This article is about the best budget winch. It discusses the features of budget winches and how they are suitable for different needs.

If you are in need of a new winch, but you don’t want to spend too much money on it, then this article is for you. The best budget winches come with a variety of features that make them perfect for your needs.

Editor’s Choice

Smittybilt X2O Waterproof Wireless Winch
  • Waterproof wireless winch
  • Ultra high gear ratio
  • Powerful amphibious motor
  • Long steel wire cable
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty
Smittybilt XRC Waterproof Winch
  • Remote control Switch
  • High gear ratio
  • Automatic Brake
  • Series Wound Motor
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty
FIERYRED 12V Electric Winch
  • 100% waterproof up to 1 meter
  • Comes with winch mounting plate
  • Wired and Wireless remote control
  • Powerful braking system
  • Long length synthetic rope

Top 10 Best Budget Winch

S. NoWinchCapacityGear RatioIP RatingWeightWarranty
1Smittybilt XRC GEN217500 lbs330:1IP67132.2 lbs5 Years
2Warn 86245 VR80008000 lbs216:1N/A80 lbsLimited Lifetime
3Superwinch Tiger Shark 95009500 lbs218:1N/A90 lbs7 Years
4X-Bull 13000 lbs13000 lbs201.6:1IP6756.9 lbs1 Year
5Smittybilt X20 GEN217500 lbs 430:1IP 68132.2 lbs5 Years
6TYT T1 Series 13000 lbs13000 lbs265:1N/A62 lbs2 Years
7Champion Power Equipment- 1004284500 lbs180:1N/A19 lbs2 Years
8Fieryred 13000 lbs13000 lbs265:1IP6758.1 lbs2 Years
9OpenRoad 9500 lbs9500 lbs265:1IP6780.8 lbs1 Year
10Warn 92000 Utility Winch2000 lbs153:1N/A19.4 lbs1 Year

1. Smittybilt GEN2

The first budget winch in our list undoublity one of the best winches available in the market. This heavy-duty winch is suitable for medium to heavy vehicles.

The price of this winch is very affordable, considering the 6.6 HP series wound powerful motor and the technology it possesses. The heavy build quality of this winch which made it the best budget winch that other brands offer this high-quality build at this price range. 

This is an electric winch with IP67-rated waterproof which has the ability to work in different weather, so you can rely on it anytime anywhere. It has 3 stage planetary gear trains and a sliding ring gear ratio of 161.28:1 which will ensure flawless and easy operation. 

The model is very lightweight being only 83 lbs and comes with both synthetic and steel wire cables. Also compact in overall dimension. 

Though a few people faced problems mounting the winch it is super duper easy to install if you are skilled enough to do winch mounting.


  • Comes with a very good hook
  • Also provides 4-way roller fairlead and mounting bolts
  • The control box has several mounting options
  • Standard bolt pattern
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty


  • No wireless remote control is included.

2. Warn 86245 VR8000

For more than 20 years, Warn has produced off-road equipment and accessories. This budget winch is excellent for jeeps, trucks, and SUVs. It is a recipient of the Warn VR series, therefore it offers special Warn features.

This winch has a capacity of 8000 lbs which makes it the best budget truck winch. It has the addition of a quick line speed feature and durable construction. This winch comes with a separate control pack which is helpful for various mounting options and easy to handle the situation smartly. 

This winch includes a series wound motors for a more potent delivery. Both electricity and line speed are abundantly provided. The optimum gearing possibilities are provided by a three-stage planetary gear train. Larger vehicles and SUVs require a torque of VR10000, which this winch is able to deliver due to its potent motor.

It provides superb handling due to its innovative brake system. The VR series includes this unique braking design. The greatest results are always achieved with the 94 feet diameter, rubberized, and water-resistant control lead. A lifetime guarantee is included with the VR series Warn winch.


  • Full aluminum build hawse ensures durability
  • Simple installation
  • Comes with 100 feet ⅜ inches of synthetic rope.
  • Low-profile design will fit most trucks and SUVs


  • Winding the steel wire on the winch is complicated.

3. Superwinch Tiger Shark 95000

The Tiger Shark is raising the bar in the winch marketplace. With the new Tiger Shark “standard issue” features and benefits created for enthusiast-level consumers, Superwinch is reinventing the market’s entry-level winch. One of the standard features is the “lift and pull” ergonomic free-spool lever, which prevents trail debris from activating your winch during strenuous off-road maneuvers.

Other standard features include stainless steel roller fairleads and hardware, sealed submersible contactor solenoid, severe-duty textured finish that resists harsh outdoor and off-road abuse, and ultra-tough 3-stage planetary gearbox that handles stress and torque on demand.

The motor provides 5.2 HP which is enough for light usage. The motor is made to be completely weatherproof, including resistance to snow, rain, and dust. The motor may be produced much more robust, safe to operate and have a longer lifespan due to this feature.

To make the fairlead waterproof, it is also created with a brushed surface. Since it is composed of sturdy stainless steel, it serves as a great rope guide and guards against rope damage.

The winch runs with a rubber motor that can easily be fit into the pocket. Heavy-duty stainless steel roller fairlead with brushed finish endures weather and wire rope abuse.

Weather sealed solenoid (contactor) reduces damage from rain, snow and blowing dust. 


  • 3-stage and 4-stage gear system
  • The weatherproof motor and fairlead make it more durable
  • Heavy duty 12 feet rubber hand-held remote provides effortless switching
  • Ergonomically shaped free-spool
  • Easy to grip and effortless to operate
  • Installation hardware comes with the winch box


  • Consume heat under load

4. X-Bull 13000lbs

This is a standard working winch with synthetic wire of 10000 lbs pulling capacity which is ideal for two-door jeeps and light SUVs for daily pull. Suitable for all kinds of harsh environments. 

Power input and output are positively controlled by a heavy-duty sealed contactor. Faster linear speed and lower ampere traction under load are provided by a strong motor and three-stage planetary gear arrangement. High-efficiency pulling power with no load, 25.3 feet per minute, and for a full load, 7 feet per minute.

This premium winch-type is not only UV resistant but also waterproof. So, no matter the weather, you can rely on this winch. Its incredible endurance is due to the fact that nearly no chemical can harm it.

This winch will surprise you with its ability for pulling. It has no trouble towing up to 13,000 lbs. This amount of space is ideal for both medium- and heavy-sized vehicles.

The rope of this winch is another incredible feature. A DYNEEMA SYNTHETIC rope is included. One of the world’s strongest fibers, even ten times stronger than steel wire rope! You don’t need to be concerned that the rope may eventually break.

A three-stage planetary gear is also included. In this model, a hawse fairlead is also included. Additionally, you receive three remotes (two wireless and a wired one). This winch is among the best due to all of these features.


  • 3 remotes; two wireless and one wired.
  • Best quality synthetic rope
  • Comes with hawse fairlead for smooth operation
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty


  • No overload protection

5. Smittybilt X20 Waterproof

Smittybilt is a well-known budget-friendly winch manufacturer that is very popular in the winch marketplace. This X20 model comes with a 6.6 hp powerful motor that will definitely do an impressive job of pulling heavy vehicles. 

Another powerful feature of this winch is its gear ratio. It features a 218:1 gear ratio, which will allow you to get the job done with ease. With an astonishing pulling capacity of 17000 lbs, it will really impress you. 

This model of Smittybilt offers both synthetic and steel-wired cables. For the 10,000 lbs to 12,000 lbs version, you may choose synthetic or steel cables. But it is preferable to select steel wired cable for pulling much higher capacity. 

The good news that the Smittybilt winch model includes a wireless control is another advantage. This will enable the remote control operation of the winch. It is also waterproof! This is a truly premium-looking, high-quality wireless remote control.

The size of the winch is very compact overall and a mid-level lightweight winch.

With all these features still maintaining high quality, it is one of the best budget-friendly winches for off-roading. 


  • 4-way roller fairlead with forget the hook
  • Both remote and manual controlling
  • Lifetime mechanical warranty
  • 5 years electrical warranty
  • Dynamic breaking system with 2 solenoid mounting options


  • The solenoid might create some issues but nothing serious

6. TYT T1 Series 13000 lbs

Though lighter-weight cars require a winch with a smaller capacity, but a strong winch is still accessible. Consider the TYT winch, for example. Even though it is not a heavyweight winch, it is nonetheless quite powerful.

The first thing to note is that this winch can lift 13000 lbs. Even though it may not be much, for light automobiles, this will be enough. It is comparable to models with greater capacity in terms of the remaining specifications. It has a free spooling clutch, which makes spooling out winch rope the simplest process possible. As a result, you can do the task more quickly and easily.

With this winch, you have complete control due to the three-stage planetary gearing and mechanical load-holding brake. The other component further enhances the security of utilizing this winch.

It includes a galvanized steel wire cable with a length of 92 feet and a diameter of 3/8 inches. This is a decent length, and it’s great that a synthetic one was used instead of a steel one. This winch also has the benefit of including a silver hawse fairlead. These provide very safe and smooth towing. In order to facilitate installation, it also comes with a mounting plate.

With this winch, you still get a strong circuit breaker at a very low price. Both a wireless and a wired remote are also included.


  • Waterproof and sand proof design
  • High-performance pure copper motor 
  • Special design and warranty service
  • Faster control box than the conventional control box
  • Comes with a mounting plate.
  • The unique exterior design makes it more beautiful and cool.


  • The capacity might only be suitable for a few types of vehicles.

7. Champion Power Equipment- 100428

Cheap is not necessarily a bad thing. And with this greatest winch, Champion Power Equipment is attempting to demonstrate that.

First off, this electric winch has a really strong motor. The motor has a 1.4 horsepower power rating. The strong winch can lift 3500 pounds of weight.

With so much power, it ought to be able to easily lift the majority of big, heavy things. It should be simpler for you to manage to pull duties as a result.

This winch motor is very efficient with a line speed of 3.3 feet per minute when it has a full load. And no load the speed goes up to 9.8 feet per minute. Due to such a level of speed, you would be able to complete the majority of the pulling tasks quickly. 

The operation is pretty simple and straightforward as well. It provides remote control pulling facilities. And the clutch is spool-free which will offer a redefined winching experience. 

It comes with roller fairleads which ensure smooth pulling action and safety. 

High flexibility is present throughout the winch cable that it bundles. Additionally, it is a particularly flexible synthetic rope winch. Over time, it won’t exhibit any symptoms of kinking.

The rope has a minimal level of recoil other than that. It lacks the kickback that the majority of stainless steel ropes do. Therefore, the pulling processes will go rather smoothly.

The hawse fairlead creates a smooth pull with the safe, strong and flexible synthetic rope, which is lightweight, splinter-free, won’t kink, has less recoil than steel and floats. 


  • Highly efficient motor
  • 3-stage planetary gear train
  • Impressive line speed
  • Automatic load holding
  • Comes with remote control and a free spooling clutch.


  • Short cable length
  • Under stress, bodily controls are inadequate.

8. Fieryred 13000 lbs

It is a synthetic rope winch, to begin with. The main characteristic of these ropes is their resistance to corrosion and rust. This implies that even if you do not use it regularly, there is a very small possibility that it will gradually lose performance.

You don’t even need to worry that much if you leave it outside. In addition to the rope, the housing is weatherproof.

The structure as a whole is waterproof. This means you can use it in the rain without having to worry too much. Additionally, the engine is sealed. Therefore, the internals won’t be harmed even if water does manage to seep inside.

The gear reduction ratio of this machine is well-designed other than that. It has a 265:1 ratio, which will boost overall effectiveness. The differential planetary gear also guarantees a smooth pulling motion. The pulls will be powerful and secure as a consequence.

In addition, it comes with a wireless remote. Additionally, you will have the choice to utilize the wired one if you decide against using it. And it has 25 feet long cable which is more than to operate. It also has a very fast line speed. 


  • IP-67 rated waterproof
  • 6 HP series wound motor
  • Both wired and wireless remote
  • Faster line speed
  • The motor has a sealing on it


  • The mounting plate is not standard
  • The wireless remote has some connection issues

9. OpenRoad 9500 lbs

By maintaining a sufficient distance between you and the machine, you can more easily use it if you have a wireless remote control. And with this one, you’ll be able to accomplish just that.

The device has a wireless remote, as we previously mentioned. You may use it even if you are a little bit away from the device because of its decent amount of range.

Additionally, a wired remote will be provided for usage when you don’t have access to the wireless one.

Aside from the remotes, the motor within is capable. It features a 9500 lb load capacity. You should have more than enough pulling power to complete the majority of the pulling missions with that amount. The motor is also effective. It uses considerably less electricity when operating. It also uses a highly sophisticated three-stage planetary gear train. This method will provide a safer and smoother pulling motion.

The gear ratio is 265:1, as well. The line speed you will obtain from this device will be 16 feet per minute when it is not loaded.

Aside from that, the device’s general structure is rather sturdy. The materials used to build this by the maker are of a high caliber. Lastly, it has a very durable hook attached to the cable and utilizes a unique design. 


  • Comes with both wired and wireless remote
  • Easy operation 
  • 5.5 HP motor with 3-stage planetary gear
  • 16 feet per minute impressive line speed


  • The rope might catch rust over time
  • Don’t provide heavy-duty rope

10. Warn 92000 Utility Winch

Warn is the most familiar winch brand that manufactures very sturdy, heavy-duty, durable, long-lasting winches and provides them all over the world. 

You should have more than enough pulling power to complete the majority of the pulling missions with that amount. The motor is also effective. It uses considerably less electricity when operating.

It also uses a highly sophisticated three-stage planetary gear train. This method will provide a safer and smoother pulling motion.

The gear ratio is 198:1, as well. The line speed you will obtain from this device will be 16 feet per minute when it is not loaded.

Aside from that, the device’s general structure is rather sturdy. The materials used to build this by the maker are of a high caliber.

The motor will consequently have an excellent duty cycle. Additionally, the pulling action it will employ will be rather smooth.

A wired remote is the only other item in the box. You can completely operate the gadget while keeping a safe distance from it thanks to the remote’s comprehensive set of controls.

Additionally, you may manually control it by using the knobs on the housing.

Additionally, the cable that it incorporates provides solid performance. Its length of 35 feet should be sufficient for the majority of the pulling operations. It also has a clasp and a hook.

It ranks among the greatest in this budget. So if you don’t want to spend thousands, this could be a good choice for the money. 


  • Very compact in size
  • Easy mounting process
  • Highly capable motor
  • Integrates a differential planetary gear system
  • Comes with a remote controller


  • Does not have any sealing on the housing
  • Bit loud while on full load

How Do I Choose A Winch: Buying Guide

Winches are a vital part of any off-road vehicle. Winches come in two main types: electric and hydraulic and there are a few things like capacity, size, rope type, pulling power, and the gear ratio etc to consider when buying a winch. 

Hydraulic winch vs Electric winch:

Hydraulic winches are driven by an engine or gas-powered pump and are ideal for heavy-duty use. Electric winches use a power source such as solar panels, batteries, or generators to generate electricity and are better suited for light-duty use.


The capacity of a winch is measured in pounds. The higher the number, the more weight it can pull up. This number is also referred to as “pulling power.”

Rope Type:

There are two types of ropes that come with winches: synthetic rope and steel wire cable. Synthetic ropes are generally easier to handle and less expensive than steel wire cables. However, they cannot be used for heavy-duty jobs like lifting vehicles or pulling up large things. Steel wire cables are more durable but more difficult to handle and less flexible than synthetic ropes.


The smaller the winch the less power it needs, but it can’t pull as much weight. If you need to pull heavy loads then you will want to buy a larger winch.

Pulling Power:

Pulls per inch (P/I) is a measurement of how many times the winch can pull up an object in one inch (2.54 cm). It is calculated from the mass of the load to be pulled multiplied by the load’s rolling resistance. 

Vehicle Type:

Winches come in different styles for different types of vehicles and if your vehicle has an unusual design then you will want to make sure that the winch fits before purchasing anything.


Winches can be expensive and there are many different price ranges so make sure that you set a budget before looking at any models.

Lastly, a good rule of thumb is to purchase the heaviest-duty winch that your budget can afford. A lighter-duty winch might be sufficient if you only need it occasionally, but if you plan on using it regularly, then make sure that you get a heavy-duty model.


Is warn a good winch?

Ans: Warn brand winches are top-rated very good winches with a high load capacity, outstanding build quality, astonishing design, easy to install and price as well as consistent customer five-star reviews. 

What are the best brands of winches?

Ans: Warn, Smittybilt, Champion, Superwinch, and X-Bull are the best brands for winches that manufactured high-quality, heavy-build, sturdy winches in a stable budget range. 

What is the best winch for a car trailer?

Ans: Warn 103252 VR EVO 10 Electric 12V DC winch with steel cable is the best car trailer winch due to its load capacity of 10000 lbs and affordable price. Warn is well known for high-quality winches and customer service. With the load capacity to move two Ford F-150s without breaking a sweat, the Warn VR EVO 10 is the best choice for a car trailer.

Final Thoughts

Finally, To choose the best budget winch for your vehicle, we investigated the products that are available to the greatest number of people, and evaluated performance, price and value.

Winches were evaluated based on their price, simplicity of installation, load capacity, weight, size, etc.

Keep in mind to select one that will also match the requirements of your vehicle. I sincerely hope the pros and cons I mentioned helped you select the best winch for the money that meets your demands. Good  Luck!

Ricardo Vaughn
Ricardo Vaughn

Vaughn is a seasoned off-roading expert and professional winch specialist. When he's not out on the trails, he shares his knowledge and experiences through his writing as a blog author in the off-roading and outdoor lifestyle space.

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