Picking the Right Winch

There are many different uses for a winch.  You can use them for pulling a boat out of the water to place on your trailer, for lifting bales of hay in a barn, lifting supplies up onto a roof you’re working on, or for pulling out a stuck 4×4 when you’re offroading.  If you need a winch for work or play, here are some things that you need to look at to make sure that you pick the right one.

While there are a lot of different 12v winches available from a lot of different companies, they can be broken down into just two categories, winches that are used for lifting and those that are used for pulling.  They are similar in that they both have a motorized crank that pulls a wire around a spool to lift or pull a cable.  While they are made similarly, it’s really important when you’re looking for a winch that you don’t confuse these two winches because it isn’t safe to lift with a winch made for pulling or vis-versa.

The line pull rating is another aspect of a 12V power winch that you need to look at to choose the right one.  This is the amount of weight that the winch can pull without the motor failing.  In most cases, the winch will have a safety mechanism that will break and stop the winch from moving any further in the wrong direction.

The last thing to look at is the distance that the winch can pull or lift.  While having more line is useful when you have to pull further, you don’t want to buy a winch with too much more line than you need.  This is because winches are the most powerful when they only have one line of cable on the spool.  Every rotation beyond this decreases the power available by around 12%.  You can get around this by using snatch blocks, but they take time to setup.

Whatever you’re using your winch for make sure that you look at what it’s designed to do, the weight it can pull, and the distance that it can pull it.  By doing this, you’ll make sure that you pick the right winch for your job.

PetePicking the Right Winch