An Effective Buyer’s Guide for Jeep Drivers: How to Pick the Best Winch?

If you have bought a Jeep and you plan off-road adventures, it is high time to start looking for a high-quality winch. Still, not sure that you need it? Experienced off-road fans know that winch is the must-have accessory for any Jeep because you never know when you may get stuck. Want to feel free of worries that you may not come back home safe? Then, you are recommended to check this helpful guide, which contains all the necessary information on how to choose a good winch for your Jeep that will provide you with the maximum protection.

How to Choose the Right Winch: Things You Should Keep in Mind

There are a lot of factors that matter when choosing a winch for your Jeep. Now we are going to check what they are and why they play an important role in picking the right winch. Here is the list of features you should check when buying a winch for your vehicle:

What is the right winch size for your car?

There is a specially designed formula on how to calculate the perfect size of the winch that will fit your Jeep. In case, your car is heavy, take into account that only 1.5 times heavier winch will be able to help you to get out if you face unexpected trouble. Calculate the appropriate size using this formula: GVWR is a sum of the base weight and cargo or passengers. As it has already been mentioned, the ideal variant is when the weight is 1.5 larger. Here you may have a question on how to know the GVWR of your Jeep. It is simple! This information can be found on the body. In most cases, you will find it on the driver side door jamb.

The bigger the winch is, the better it is for the Jeep owner. It is really so! Only winches with the large pulling capacity can help you when you get stuck either in mud or in snow. So you should choose among electric winches that are powerful enough to pull your Jeep out. It is difficult to say for sure what pulling power you should give preference because this depends on your vehicle. However, you are recommended to choose a winch with the capacity that is not less than 7000 lbs.

Jeep Models. Weight and Winch Pull Capacity

Jeep Model Gross Vehicle Weight Minimum Line Pull Capacity
Cherokee (2018 year) 2494 kg / 5498 lbs 3741 kg / 8247 lbs
CJ-5 (1969 year) 1701 kg / 3750 lbs 2551 kg / 5623 lbs
CJ-7 (1984 year) 1882 kg / 4149 lbs 2823 kg / 6223 lbs
CJ-8 (1985 year) 1240 kg / 2733 lbs 1860 kg / 4100 lbs
Comanche (1992 year) 2200 kg / 4850 lbs 3300 kg / 7275 lbs
Commander (2010 year) 2903 kg / 6400 lbs 4354 kg / 9598 lbs
Compass (2008 year) 2075 kg / 4574 lbs 3113 kg / 6862 lbs
Grand Cherokee (2019 year) 2098 kg / 4625 lbs 3148 kg / 6940
Grand Wagoneer (2006 year) 2767 kg / 6100 lbs 4150 kg / 9149 lbs
J-10 Pickup (1978 year) 2358 kg / 5198 lbs 3537 kg / 7797 lbs
Liberty (2011 year) 2540 kg / 5599 lbs 3810 kg / 8399 lbs
New Compass (2018 year) 1995 kg / 4398 lbs 2992 kg / 6596 lbs
Patriot (2008 year) 2012 kg / 4435 lbs 3018 kg / 6653 lbs
Renegade (2018 year) 1940 kg / 4276 lbs 2910 kg / 6415 lbs
Wagoneer (1991 year) 2048 kg / 4515 lbs 3072 kg / 6772 lbs
Willys (1941 year) 1113 kg / 2453 lbs 1669 kg / 3679 lbs
Wrangler (2011 year) 2506 kg / 5524 lbs 3759 kg / 8287 lbs
Wrangler Sport 2-door (2017 year) 1706 kg / 3761 lbs 2559 kg / 5641 lbs
Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon (2017 year) 2630 kg / 5798 lbs 3945 kg / 8697 lbs

Which cable/rope to choose: Synthetic vs Steel? There are two options to choose from: a synthetic rope and a steel cable:

1. Steel Cable: Main Features, Pros and Cons

steel cable
Many Jeep owners would recommend you choose the second option, which is considered the most reliable and durable option. A steel cable has been used for long already and hasn’t lost its popularity yet. It has a lot of advantages. One of the main pros you will enjoy if buying a winch with the steel rope is that it is resistant to any unfavorable conditions. It is not afraid of heat and abrasion being resistant to both.

The cable made of steel is affordable. Does it have any disadvantages? Like almost anything, yes! What are they? First of all, the cable can’t withstand rust. You need to wear gloves when working with it due to the fact that it is unsafe to work with them. If you don’t know the safety rules on how to use it, you can suffer much. The sharp burrs are like knives.
If to compare a cable made of steel and a synthetic rope in terms of weight, it is obvious that the first option weighs much more.

2. Synthetic Rope: Pros and Cons.

synthetic winch rope
As for the synthetic rope, it weighs less and this is one of its pros. Moreover, in terms of safety, it is also a better option to choose. Compared to the steel cable, the synthetic rope doesn’t store tension losing it quickly and that’s why it is less dangerous to use it. One more obvious advantage of this option is that the rope made of synthetic can be repaired somehow, at least to be used when needed in the difficult situation you have faced compared to the cable made of steel. You can do nothing with a steel cable if suddenly it is damaged.

One may think that a synthetic rope isn’t as strong as the steel one because it has a lighter weight. However, it is not so! You will enjoy its durability and strength. Moreover, it is easier to use it and more convenient due to the reason that it is more flexible. Is a synthetic rope the best option to choose or does it have its own cons? Sure, that there are things you should take into account when setting this option. Compared to the steel cable, it isn’t resistant to abrasion, heat, UV, chemicals. One more thing to keep in mind is that synthetic has a property to absorb water and if it becomes wet, it may freeze if being used in winter.

What option to choose? Keep in mind that regardless of the chosen cable for your winch, you need to follow the safety rules when working with it. If the rope/cable is made of the high-quality materials being produced by the famous brand, it will be durable. It is up to you to take care of its maintenance. The main thing to consider is the price because synthetic ropes cost more than steel cables.

What Type of Winch to Choose?

Classification of car winches:

By fastening type

1. Stationary. Mounted in the front, rear, or inside the car. Depending on the design of the car, attached either to the power bumpers, or to the frame, or to the supporting elements of the body.
2. Portable: lightweight and compact devices, but as a rule, low-power. Not suitable for trophy-raids and heavy off-road.

By the type of drive

1. Mechanical. In motion are driven from the car’s engine through a special shaft connected to the transfer box. 2. Electric. Work from the car’s electrical system. Strongly discharge the battery, so it is recommended to use a battery of high capacity. 3. Hydraulic: It is more reliable in comparison with the electric winch. 4. Handheld: Work with the power of the user. There are drum and lever types.

The magnitude of the pulling capacity

The pulling power of the winch indicates with what maximum weight of the car this model of the winch can work.

Most often, electric winches are installed on SUVs. For the use to do fishing and hunting, you can choose winches with a capacity of 6000-8000 lbs. Do not forget that to install the winch on your Jeep, you need a special platform that is attached to the frame or the supporting elements of the body.

Top-5 Winch Producers to Choose From

Check the list with the names of the most popular brands producing winches of the superior quality. They are the following manufacturers:


Warn Winches
This is a well-known American brand that has a large range of winches of different capacity as well as the price range. The producer creates winches of the top quality, each of which looks like a masterpiece. They are stylish and durable with the only disadvantage – the price, which isn’t low. However, it is worth it! Top quality is the main distinctive feature of this brand-the leader on today’s winch marker. Find reviews on Zeon 12, xd9000i, Zeon 10 and other zeon series winches.


Have you ever heard about Superwinch Tiger Shark 11500? It is their popular winch that is both good-looking and powerful. This is another reputable winch producer you should pay attention to when searching for the best option for your Jeep.


Smittybilt winches
This brand produces good quality products, which cost less compared to the first two options. One of the winches you are recommended to consider is Smittybilt 97495 XRC and Smittybilt Gen2 X20 10000. Smittybilt’s has massive product line extends well beyond tubular accessories and includes trail equipment, winches, bumpers, and more. This deep heritage of innovation continues today with over two thousand unique products for Jeeps, trucks, and SUVs.

Mile Marker

Mile Marker winches
This is one more great American producer that offers a full range of winch types, including hydraulic, and electric winches. Each part is made of the high-quality materials because the producer takes care of customers providing them with the quality they deserve. Read review on Mile Marker 77-50141W

Rough Country

Rough Country
This brand costs less than the above-mentioned because winches are produced in China. It doesn’t mean that the winch quality is low. It is decent! Winches of Rough Country will perform their functions the right way. Any model of the winch has a good price-quality ratio. Can’t pay for Warn or Smittybilt? Not a problem! Don’t worry and get the winch of Rough Country, which is also a good option to choose for your money.

If you keep in mind all the above-mentioned pieces of information, you will be able to make the right winch choice! Hope that this guide will be helpful when you search for the best winch option for your Jeep winch.

3 thoughts on “An Effective Buyer’s Guide for Jeep Drivers: How to Pick the Best Winch?”

  1. As for me, the main criterion is the winch pulling power. Experts recommend devices with a capacity that exceeds the mass of the car and it is the right decision. You should understand that if your car is 5 tons, for example, the winch should be heavier than that to pull it out. I always use the formula that is mentioned in this article.

  2. Thanks for sharing a guide for choosing a good quality winch for my new Jeep. I think that I have gained much knowledge and will be able to make the right choice of the winch and its accessories.

  3. I have bought Warn winch because I like their quality much. I agree with the author that this is the leader on the market. Being more expensive, the winch of this producer is worth its money! Don’t have doubts that you should pay the high price for it as the advantages are obvious.

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