Best Winch Controllers of 2019 – Ultimate Round-up

A winch controller is a device designed to pull or let out the tension of a rope and is mainly used for hauling or lifting heavy items.

If you’re in the hauling profession and need a good controller to haul cars, trucks, or other heavy items, then this article is for you. 

We will provide information on how to choose a winch controller along with listed the six best models on the market today. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Winch Controllers

PRODUCT DETAILS
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WARN 83665 Truck Winch Control

  • Ergonomic and easy-to-use handle
  • Best overall and best WARN winch controller
  • Weather-resistant handle for tough conditions
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Smittybilt 97495-50 Remote Control

  • Can hold up to 10,000 pounds
  • Simple and elegant design, making it the runner-up and best Smittybilt winch controller
  • Replacement for Gen 2 XRC Winches, making it the runner-up and best Smittybilt winch controller
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Qook 2pcs 12V Recovery Wireless Winch Remote Control Handset Switch

  • Comes with a built-in antenna
  • Contains a wireless remote-control kit
  • Pulls up to a whopping 17,000 pounds, making it the best for the money
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WARN 90287 Wireless Remote for Truck

  • Sealed for weather protection
  • Shock-resistant transmitter embedded
  • Can be controlled within 50-ft range without wires, making it the best wireless winch controller
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Badland wireless Winch Remote Control

  • Design is weather-resistant
  • Works at a whopping 50 ft. range
  • Comes with a power in and out control system, making it the best Badland winch controller
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Mile Marker (76-50100-20) Winch Hand Control Assembly

  • Heavy-duty structure and build
  • Compatibility with most of the 12Vwinch applications
  • Designed as a replacement for the PE2000 Mile Marker winch, making it the best Mile Marker winch controller
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Are Winch Controllers Universal?

A good, quality winch controller may be universal, depending on the features that it has. Whether you’re hauling a huge tree branch blocking the road or helping a friend out in moving their vehicle, a winch controller can help you ease the task immensely. If you are on a road trip or going somewhere without a trail, it is a good idea to keep a winch controller handy with you.

Qook 2pcs 12V Recovery Wireless Winch Remote Control Handset Switch

This will allow you to be prepared for any harm that may come in your way or any accidents that can occur. If you get a good quality winch controller with various features and durability, it can be considered universal. 

What Makes a Great Winch Controller?

Now that you know what a winch controller is used for, let’s look at the features that make up a good quality one. 

Material of the Cable

A good winch controller has a tight, durable cable. Most of the cables in a winch controller are either synthetic or made of steel. A strong cable will allow you to hold a lot of weight and pull it without the cable damaging or breaking loose. 

Capacity

This shows how much weight a winch controller can actually pull. A heavy-duty or strong winch controller can pull at least 1,500 pounds. For truck winch controllers, the capacity can go up to a whopping 10,000 pounds or more. This will let you pull the heavy weight without breaking the rope or cable

Remote Quality

If you’re using a winch controller, you need to make sure that the remote control can resist the weight and will not break off easily or get damaged. If this happens, the manufacturer must have a long warranty or an easy fix for a broken remote controller. The controller must also be easy to hold and maneuver for the user. 

Quick Take - Best Winch Controllers

Skip the review - here are the best winch controllers:

  1. WARN 83665
  2. Smittybilt 97495-50 Remote Control
  3. Qook 2pcs 12V Wireless Winch Remote

Review of the Best Winch Controllers

Now that you know what to look for in a winch controller, let’s dive into the best winch controllers in the marker available. 

Best Overall and Best Warn Winch Controller:
WARN 83665

WARN 83665 Truck Winch Control

PROS

  • Lead material makes this cable quite strong and durable
  • Ergonomic handle makes the winch controller easy to hold for longer times
  • Cable itself is weather-resistant, which means it can perform in harsh conditions
  • Does not slip through the hands, which means it can be used while wearing gloves
  • Length of the cable is 12 feet, which means it can haul items from longer distances

CONS

  • Does not work for the M8000
  • Wire may pull out from both ends
  • Switch is made of plastic, which can break easily

What Recent Buyers Report

Most customers loved this product and had no complaints. It works with three-pin and five-pin wire setups, and functions perfectly. The cable's build is quite sturdy and durable, which makes this winch controller last for a longer period of time. The cable is also super-flexible.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This winch controller can hold up to 12,000 pounds, which is a huge weight. It is made up of lead, which means the quality of this winch controller is quite high. It is packed with amazing features such as weather resistance and an ergonomic handle so it is easy to pull heavy objects. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is perfect for heavier hauling items such as trucks and other vehicles which need a stronger cable. If you’re a loyal customer of Warn products, you will love this winch controller. It is a very useful device if you’re road-tripping or pulling a huge shipment in your truck and need a safe back-up in case of accidents. 

Bottom Line

Looking for the best winch controller which works on different types of vehicles or for multipurpose use? Then look no further, because this is the best one you can find in the market. With its high-quality materials and impressive features, this is the best thing out there. 

Runner-up and Best Smittybilt Winch Controller:
Smittybilt 97495-50 Remote Control

Smittybilt 97495-50 Remote Control

PROS

  • Has a 4-way rolling lead
  • Can pull a whopping 10,000 pounds of weight
  • Compact and lightweight, but also durable and strong
  • Waterproof cable, which makes it harder to get damaged
  • Remote-controlled winch controller makes it easier to use

CONS

  • Instructions are not clear
  • Controller tends to break or come apart easily
  • Motor of the remote controller tends to heat up

What Recent Buyers Report

The design of the winch controller is pretty simple and easy to use, which makes it a great product. The magnet that attaches itself to the bumper of the car makes this controller very convenient for using it to haul heavy items and loads. It is an overall amazing product. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This waterproof winch controller offers stellar performance and functionality. The three-stage planetary gearing system allows for more speed and pulling power for heavier objects or vehicles. It also comes with a magnetic remote control that attaches itself to metal objects in order to make the pulling process easier. 

Who Will Use This Most

This is an amazing controller if you need to pull your truck or small SUV out of trouble. It is a very powerful device that allows you to do more with less equipment. The materials used is of top-notch quality and is highly reliable for any kind of vehicle that weighs around 10,000 pounds. 

Bottom Line

With a lifetime warranty for replacement and a complete kit with instructions given, this winch controller is one of the best ones you can find on the market today. It is versatile and is packed with many impressive features that will allow you to pull or haul heavy loads with ease. 

Qook 2pcs 12V Recovery Wireless Winch Remote Control Handset Switch

PROS

  • Design is unique and highly durable
  • Comes with a power in and out function
  • Equipped with an indicator light in case of issues
  • Designed for heavy-duty usage and can carry 17,000 pounds in weight
  • Buttons are made of rubber, and the side switch is quite huge, so it is easy to use

CONS

  • Specifications are not given clearly
  • Remote buttons can be a bit finicky to use
  • Wires inside are tiny, which makes it difficult for them to handle the amperage in the winch

What Recent Buyers Report

Users loved this winch controller and even claimed that once you buy this one, you will regret getting anything else. With its unique design and highly durable build, it can perform heavy-duty tasks for you, no matter how heavy the weight of the load is. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The unique features and design of this winch controller make this stand out. The weight capacity that this controller holds is also super-impressive, and for the price, it definitely provides a bang for the buck. The remote control’s range is also very long, and overall, this product is a winner. 

Who Will Use This Most

This winch controller has such a heavy load capacity that makes it extremely versatile for any kind of heavy-duty item. It can be used on trucks, cars, SUVs, and even boats! If you feel like you’re involved in quite a bit of heavy-duty hauling, and need a serious durable winch controller for that, then this is the best one for you. 

Bottom Line

This winch controller is designed for heavy-duty purposes and with its unique features and impressive remote control, you will not regret buying it. So, if you’re on the hunt for the best value you can get for your money, then definitely check out this winch controller!

Best Wireless Winch Controller:
WARN 90287 Wireless Remote for Truck

WARN 90287 Wireless Remote for Truck

PROS

  • Performs amazingly, is super-easy, and convenient to use
  • Fits all of the WARN trucks and SUVs with a 5-wire control pack
  • Comes with activated sequence that helps guard against any mistaken power-ups
  • Can be controlled from anywhere within the range of 50 ft. without the help of wires
  • Equipped with a highly durable and sturdy key fob that allows you to store conveniently

CONS

  • Drinks up the battery very quickly
  • Remote is too small and so are the buttons
  • You have to activate the winch controller before every use, which wastes a lot of time

What Recent Buyers Report

This winch controller works great and is highly convenient to use. The remote control’s long-range is also an amazing addition and makes this product far more versatile and flexible for usage. It is also sealed for protection, which means it stays sturdy and new for longer and doesn’t wear out easily. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason why this winch controller makes this list is because of the highly advanced technological features that it is equipped with. With a shock-resistant transmitter and durable key fob, this winch controller is safe to use and packed with high performance and versatility. 

Who Will Use This Most

If you are a racer or a frequent road-traveler who travels by using a heavy truck or a huge SUV, then this winch controller is perfect for you. It is safe to use, highly convenient, and does not get damaged easily. Its heavy-duty performance is also stellar, and it can work at long ranges, as well. 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a winch controller with fewer hassles and no wires, then this is the one for you. Get ready to be amazed at this advanced piece of technology that lets you get more done in less time. You will find yourself at ease while carrying this safety weapon in your vehicle at all times for emergencies. 

Best Badland Winch Controller:
Badland Wireless Winch Remote Control

Badland wireless winch remote control by Badland Winches

PROS

  • Functions to a range of 50 feet
  • Very user-friendly and easy to maneuver
  • Quality and design are premium and impressive
  • Powerful mechanism and high performance of the controller
  • Size is small and the weight is very light, but it is also highly durable

CONS

  • Not suitable for all kinds of vehicles
  • Might face issues with the wireless device
  • Does not function for longer periods of time

What Recent Buyers Report

This winch controller operates super-well and makes life so much easier. It does everything it says it can, and is also very durable, since it is weather-resistant. Moreover, it works fantastically on WARN M8000 and has amazing features and quality. Overall, the quality and performance of this product are superb. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Most customers found this device to be super-easy to use and highly valuable for the price charged. Its quality and build are also great and it has many of the features you will find in expensive winch controllers. If you’re looking for an impressive winch controller to haul your heavy car, this is the way to go. 

Who Will Use This Most

This winch controller can be used for harbor freight and vehicles such as cars. It can also be used to haul dead cars, as the wireless remote control allows the user to see if the car is being hauled or towed safely or not. The range of this device is also great, which adds to its versatility factor. 

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for a reasonable winch controller that performs amazingly, then this is one device you should consider. It can hold a huge amount of weight and can even pick up a car trailer! It is also weather-resistant and will not disappoint you in terms of performance. 

Best Mile Marker Winch Controller:
 Mile Marker (76-50100-20) Winch Control

Mile Marker (76-50100-20) Winch Hand Control Assembly, Yellow

PROS

  • Can lift up to 12,000 pounds in weight
  • Has amazing performance and smooth operation
  • Easy-breezy installation that does not take a lot of time
  • Controls are made for ease of use and user-friendliness
  • Heavy-duty design ensures that it is durable and can lift heavy weights

CONS

  • Performance is not consistent
  • Does not come equipped with a plug or connectors
  • No instructions available to show how it can be hooked up

What Recent Buyers Report

Users seemed to be quite pleased with the results of this powerful winch controller. It can lift heavy weights, is designed for heavy-duty purposes, and is quite easy to install and use. Moreover, it works just as advertised and is highly durable and weather-resistant. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Every component in the Mile Marker Winch Controller can be serviced if it stops operating. It is also compatible with most of the OEM/12V applications and is created to lift really heavy weights. It operates well and is a great contender for winch controllers because of its good quality design at a low price and high functionality. 

Who Will Use This Most

This winch controller was designed in such a way that it is a distributor for the U.S. military. It is packed with powerful features that are good for lifting vehicles, such as a go-kart car, cars, and vans. It can also be used on a 12V hose reel and is super-easy to install if you’re a beginner. 

Bottom Line

A popular brand name in the U.S. military, Mile Marker is a reputable manufacturer that specializes in winch controllers. This device is able to change the polarity of the DC current that is transferred from the battery to the winch and is also packed with many other features that make it the best Mile Marker Winch Controller. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Now that you’ve gone over the reviews of all the best winch controllers in the market, let’s take a look at some of the key factors you should consider before buying one. Listed below are some of the main ones you should be mindful of before making a purchase:

Weight

The weight of the controller itself is extremely important when buying a winch controller. Depending on where the winch is attached on the vehicle or item, it can create off-balance issues if the weight of the controller itself is too heavy. You need to look for a lightweight and portable winch that heaves the item easily and creates better balance and ergonomic control. 

Cable of the Winch

The cable that pulls the weight is the most crucial component of the winch controller. A planetary gear control system is considered to be the most common cable used. This system delivers speed and can also create heat. Steel and synthetic cables are considered to be the stronger ones. Steel cables may be the strongest but can be really dangerous if they are not handled well and break. For more information regarding which cable is right for you, ask your manufacturer to help you out, or go over some towing magazines. 

Mounting System

You need to make sure the winch has a mounting base with holes, so it is easier to bolt into your truck or car. Moreover, ensure that the mounting base is sturdy and strong and does not break or snap off easily, as this could be really dangerous. 

Conclusion

Buying a winch controller is a tricky task and should be done carefully, as getting the wrong one can be dangerous if it does not match the type of operation you need it for. Hopefully, this article has guided in the main aspects of a winch controller and its features, and helped you in making an informed decision. Happy Pulling!