How to Choose the Right Winch - A Buying Guide

Red Land Rover winching up a hill

The most important tip when it comes to winching is simply to make sure you get the right one for you! Before clicking buy, you want to ensure you’re selecting your perfect fit, ideal for the job at hand and capable of handling the load you’re working with.

Luckily, you’re in the right place! Putting all the info in one handy blog, keep reading to see our pro tips for ensuring you’re getting the right winch for you.

How to Buy a Winch

As a step ahead of diving in and making a purchase, the process of buying a winch should start long before. Ahead of browsing, you need to pause and do some measurements and research. You need to know the average weight of the load you’ll be moving – this will differ depending on the job and purpose. The bigger the job, the stronger the winch you’ll need.

Choosing the Right Winch for Your Needs

The right winch for you comes down to two major things; load and scenario. Amongst other things to consider like waterproofing, speed and cable length, before making any purchase it’s good to really consider your usage. Are you going to be using your winch for vehicle recovery? Off Roading & Green laningATV? Industrial? Each purpose requires subtle differences in needs and wants, so maybe make a priority list ahead of browsing!

Below, we’ll break down differing things to consider that you might want to look out for.

How powerful does your winch need to be?

The power of your winch totally depends on your needs. If you’re going to use your winch regularly for industrial or construction needs, you’ll require a higher-powered winch. You could also consider a hydraulic winch which doesn’t get as hot so require fewer cool-down breaks, and usually have a high load capacity for bigger jobs.

Simple electric winches are easy and reliable but are better for intermittent usage as they get hot and require breaks.

Most of our winches come in a choice of either 12v or 24v, giving you full control over picking the power rating you need or want.

Speed of Traction

Depending on the job at hand, speed might be important to you. Speed of traction deals with the speed with which the cable is pulled back into the drum to move the load from one place to the other. With some working as fast as 1.2m per minute at full load, you can have the job done in no time.

Take a look at the specs on each product page to see the line pull and speed.

Winch Capacity

Capacity is probably the most important as it's pointless owning a winch that isn’t strong enough to move what you need to move. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a capacity close to double the weight of what you’re looking to move. This is especially important if you’re planning on using your winch for vehicle recovery with heavy loads.


If your winch is going to be sat outside, it’s good to consider waterproofing. With unreliable weather, you don’t want to risk your equipment being damaged and making it impossible to get the job done. For waterproofing, keep an eye on the sealing of the drum, motor and the quality of the solenoids. Double sealing will ensure water is kept out of the mechanics, while strong steel solenoids won’t rust or be damaged by water.

Cable Length

The length of the cable is another thing to consider to make sure you can get your job done easily and smoothly. As well as the length of the cable, it’s important to consider the drum size. The longer the cable, the larger the drum will have to be – so keep that in mind if you need to save on space!

Cable Type

The type of cable is another thing to consider! The most common choice lets you choose between steel rope or synthetic rope – but don’t get mixed up! There’s no compromising at all on strength as the synthetic rope is just as robust and hard-wearing as the steel. Synthetic ropes are however lighter and likely to do less damage in case of failure if you’re looking for an easy-to-transport winch.

Winch Buying Tips

Pulling all our tips into one handy list, these are the main things to consider when looking for your perfect winch:

  • Consider the job at hand.
  • Keep your surroundings in mind – does your winch need waterproofing? Does it need to be easy to transport?
  • What load will you be moving? And how much power/capacity will it take?
  • How long does your cable need to be to get the job done? or do you need to save space?