Mounting an off-road electric winch can be a lifeline for your 4 × 4 and, why not, your reputation when things go wrong! 😉
This device can be used for different purposes, the main one is certainly off-road use but in any case, it can also be mounted on trolleys for unloading/loading cars or boats as an alternative to a manual winch or used for moving heavy objects in other sectors.
There are also portable electric winches, recommended for those who want to use them sporadically for towing very light vehicles or to be used on normal roads in case of emergencies.
the goal of this article is to recommend the best 12V electric winch on the market with the best quality/price ratio.
Each electric winch you will find on this page is powered by 12v, it is, therefore, possible to connect it to the very common car batteries. Also note that many include wi-fi remotes, which allow the driver to lift the vehicle without the need for a second person.
They have all been personally tested so as to really put them to the test and give truthful advice to those who have my and our same passion!
Best 12000 lb Winch 2021
Below I bring you a list of the best electric winches for each draw power, initially, you will find small models from 3000 lbs up to models with a power of 12000 lbs. All of these offer high tensile strength and a sturdy structure capable of guaranteeing long-lasting use over time.
Some of them are available with both steel and synthetic cables, if you do not know what the difference between these two types is, continuing with the article you will find what are the main characteristics of these two types of cable.
Best 12000 lb Winch | Comparison Table 2021
|X-BULL 12V Steel Cable Electric Winch 12000 lb Load Capacity||X-BULL||Check Price|
|RUGCEL 12000lb Waterproof Electric Synthetic Rope Winch with Hawse Fairlead, Wired Handle and 2 Wireless Remote||RUGCEL WINCH||Check Price|
|Rough Country 12,000 LB PRO Series Electric Winch | 85 FT Synthetic Rope Fairlead | Clevis Hook | 12FT Remote |PRO12000S||Rough Country||Check Price|
|ZEAK 12000 lb Electric Truck Winch DC Synthetic Rope, Waterproof Off Road, for Truck SUV, with Wireless Remote||ZEAK||Check Price|
|TRIBLE SIX 12000 lb Electric Winch 12V with Remote Truck SUV ATV Boat Trailer Winch Waterproof||TRIBLE SIX||Check Price|
|XPV 12000 lb. Electric Winch Truck Winch Waterproof IP67 Steel Cable Kit with Wireless Handheld Remotes and Wired Handle for 4WD 4x4 Off Road Vehicle Boat Truck||XPV AUTO||Check Price|
|X-BULL 12V Synthetic Rope Winch-13000 lb. Load Capacity||X-BULL||Check Price|
|FieryRed Electric Winch - 13000 lb. Load Capacity Synthetic Rope winchesFit for Jeep, Truck, SUV, Trailer with Wirless Remote & Corded Control||FIERYRED||Check Price|
|STEGODON New 13000 lb. Load Capacity Electric Winch T2,12V Synthetic Rope Electric Winch with Hawse Fairlead,Waterproof IP67 Winch with Wireless Handheld Remotes and Wired Handle(All Black)||STEGODON||Check Price|
Best 12000 lb Winch | 2021 Products Overview
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Things to Consider While Choosing an electric winch that can pull 12000 Ibs
This is the most important part of an electric winch and affects both the efficiency and the lifespan of the latter. The power of an engine can reach (taking a 12000 Lb model as a reference) 5 kW / 7 Hp and can be of two different types:
- Wrapped in series
- With permanent magnets
without going into too much detail regarding their operation, I would like to point out that, in principle, the former is the most efficient but also the most expensive one. The latter is cheaper but also more subject to overheating.
As for the mechanical part, in most cases, it is composed of planetary or planetary gears with 1,2, or 3 stages. This parameter allows increasing the driving force, the traction power, and the relative traction power.
The quality of the structure and its dimensions are obviously two fundamental aspects to evaluate to understand if a winch is suitable or not for the use you want to make of it. All the products that I have reported to you in this guide are equipped with a solid, resistant, and waterproof structure. Keep in mind that a 12000-pound winch has a considerable size and can weigh more than 40 kg. I tell you this because, if you intend to mount it on an off-road vehicle, it is of fundamental importance to check the space available both to apply for the plate and to place the winch.
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3. Power and speed of traction
Obviously, the size of the winch goes hand in hand with its power. This value is measured in Pounds or Kilograms and, as you saw at the beginning of the guide, it is possible to find models with a traction force ranging from 3000 Pounds up to 12000 Pounds.
Also, in this case, to know which winch is best suited to your needs, you must consider the characteristics of the vehicle on which you are going to mount it, in particular the traction weight. The minimum that an electric winch must be able to tow is 1.5 times the weight of your vehicle, however, if you intend to use it for more demanding purposes such as dragging your car out of a ditch, I recommend that you multiply the weight of your machine X 2 and you will have the towing power (in Kg) that your ideal winch will have to deliver.
Another detail to be evaluated (although from my point of view it is less important) concerns the speed of traction. This value is measured in meters per minute (m / min) and indicates precisely the speed of recovery when empty and on flat ground and, in the most performing models, can even reach 10 m / min. However, keep in mind that this is an indicative value as the latter can vary according to different conditions of use, such as the slope and the weight of the load to be recovered.
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4. Cable type
When it comes to steel cable or synthetic rope, there seems to be a clear divide among off-road enthusiasts. You often hear the pros of both types, making it difficult to choose the right one for you.
Synthetic has gained a high percentage of popularity in recent years and is now widespread. Keep in mind that, for both types, the maximum length of the cable is around 35-40 meters even if most of the models, especially those of medium-low power (3000 - 4000 Lb), provide a 15 rope -20 meters.
As for the diameter, it goes without saying that the latter increases with the increase in the power of the winch so that the rope holds the maximum weight supported. Now let's see what are the two most common types of cables:
Since the birth of the electric winch, aircraft steel wire rope has been the standard for this type of accessory. It is stronger than synthetic rope and is less prone to abrasion and fraying, but on the flip side, there is weight and discomfort when rewinding because it tends to bend, which can make drum spooling difficult.
The steel cable is ideal when used in highly abrasive soils such as sand, rocks, and mud.
I know people who keep the cable greased with chain oil or WD-40 on their electric winch to protect the steel and disperse moisture, preventing rust.
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Synthetic cable (Dyneema)
The popularity of synthetic wrench rope has become more and more and is now readily available. Generally speaking, it is relatively safer than steel cable (strange to believe but its use originates from commercial fishing!).
Synthetic was introduced as an alternative to a steel cable in the mid-1990s and is great for both lift and recovery winches are made from high-tech polyethylene and is proven to be 15 times stronger than steel cable.
Other positive features are safety and lightness, it is generally about 4 times lighter than the steel cable and also does not bend like the latter but maintains its shape. Its flexibility and lightness make it safer and easier to handle.
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Keep in mind that careless use could potentially cause knots in the rope and therefore damage it much more easily. Synthetic doesn't conduct electricity or heat so your hands won't burn in the heat or freeze in the cold, and it won't fray or develop burrs like steel cable. The synthetic cable is much easier to join, is immune to rust, and also has the advantage of buoyancy, which is interesting if you find yourself near mud holes, inlets, etc.
Let's recap, the synthetic rope has a large number of advantages. But are there any drawbacks? The answer is yes. You have to keep in mind that all synthetic ropes are not the same, they can be weakened by heat, UV exposure, chemicals, and abrasion, but good quality rope comes with a special protective coating to prevent this damage.
When using synthetic, a Hawse grommet is recommended because the rope could get caught in the corners of a roller grommet. This type of rope can also hold water which would add extra weight and could freeze in cold temperatures which would render the winch unusable. As a final consideration, I inform you that synthetic rope requires more care and maintenance than steel cable.
It is very important to wash it after using it in sandy or muddy conditions.
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Best 12000 lb Electric Winch 2021 | Video Explanation
How does an electric winch work?
Now that we have seen only the fundamental characteristics to evaluate before buying a 12 Volt electric winch, let's quickly see how this device works and what are its most common fields of use.
An electric winch is typically used to attach the car to an object or vehicle. It is supplied with a steel or synthetic material cable, with a breaking load proportional to the traction power it is capable of delivering. The winch can operate with the help of an external motor or it can depend solely on the power supply of the vehicle on which it is mounted.
There are two types of use for which you can decide to mount an electric winch on an off-road vehicle.
- It can be used to help the car it is mounted on to get back on track after it is stuck or bogged down. This is done by attaching one end of the cable to a strong stationary object that helps support it while working the winch.
- Or it could be used the other way around, i.e. it can be used to anchor an object to your vehicle to drag it.
All winches consist of a drum in the center, on which the cable is wound. the drum is “connected” to a crank, which may require the operation of a manual force, or it can be powered by an electric motor.
They usually have a brake that only works in one direction. They consist of a solenoid brake which is used instead of or in conjunction with a mechanical brake. When I am using the winch to tow something, when we are not winding the cable, the brake will not allow the winch to unwind and therefore the drum to unwind.
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Some considerations before buying an electric winch
Before buying an electric winch there are several factors to consider, I list them below:
The first consideration I want to make you, given the importance, is that to operate at maximum speed, they use a lot of currents. As mentioned before, it's fine to use a very common car-mounted battery but if you want optimal performance, I recommend a high-power battery.
Make sure that the bumper on which it will be mounted is “prepared” to house it. An off-road electric winch, if of medium to large size, can be quite heavy and therefore could cause damage to the bumper if the latter is not solid enough. The best front bumpers to mount a heavy winch on are usually reinforced and have special mounting locations. You can find a range of bumpers of this type with different price ranges, of course, make sure it fits your vehicle before you buy it.
Take into account the towing speed of the winch! Usually, the cable recovery speed is two meters per minute but, if you want to use it for competitive purposes, you could consider buying a faster one even if the prices rise significantly.
Calculate how much cable we could go to use. the length of the cable is usually about 30 meters which in my humble opinion is sufficient for all situations. If you know that you will usually use it in small undergrowth you may prefer a shorter line. Personally, I prefer to have a "spare" cable, it can always be useful.
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How to mount an off-road electric winch
Are you worried about the assembly? Quiet, nothing complicated.
Let's see together the steps to follow in order to clarify your ideas a little.
- Secure the mounting plate firmly
- Mount the electric winch on the plate
- Secure the roller conveyor
- Connect the cable to the power source (in our case the vehicle battery)
- Optional: you can install a power switch so as to cut power to the winch at will
- Tension the winch cable
The last step is often skipped, but it is important to make sure the cable is wrapped tightly on the winch drum.
In case the cable does not wrap well the drum, I suggest you unroll it and rewind it by pulling a fairly heavy object (which allows the cable to remain under tension).
If you have any doubts about how to connect the winch to the battery, know that all the winches that I have reported to you in this guide contain the instruction booklet where it is explained in detail how to move!
Searching online you can find several videos showing from A to Z on how to do the editing.
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Do 12v electric winches require maintenance?
The answer is: practically not!
The only precautions I can advise you to follow are the following:
Try to keep the electric winch dry and clean once you have finished using it and, if possible, protect it from environmental factors such as rain and snow in order to prevent corrosion. However, keep in mind that almost all winches are waterproofed.
Check, before and after each use, if the cable has any damage or particular signs. Try to dry and clean it before rewinding it.
Every three months check the connections of the connections if they contain dirt or some type of corrosion, in case you proceed to clean them.
If your electric winch is permanently outdoors and exposed to any adverse weather conditions, I recommend that you give it a general clean and maybe lubricated a couple of times a year.
If your winch emits particular noises from the motor during use, do not ignore them, it means that it must be checked to prevent more serious damage.
Keep in mind that all the items I have recommended are still protected by a guarantee!
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Other types of winches
Before going for a complete overview of the world of electric winches, I wanted to make you aware of the types of winches that you can find on the market. Below I will briefly list what they are:
Electric winch: Known as a car winch, it is certainly the most widespread and most used type. It is mainly used in the off-road sector but can be used in many sectors where there is the need to tow loads that can weigh up to 7000 kg. To tow more important weights it is advisable to use a hydraulic winch.
Hydraulic winch: Used mainly in professional fields. It is characterized by a very high towing force capable of moving very important weights. The most interesting feature of this type is that it is not subject to overheating. The assembly of this device is very complicated and in most cases requires the intervention of specialized personnel, especially as regards the connection of the hydraulic system.
Manual Winch: Perfect for occasional use and for towing lightweights. It is a good alternative to the electric one if you need to tow small weights a few times during the year and you don't mind making efforts during the operation. You can find it often mounted on trolleys for transporting very light cars and boats.
Petrol winch: Also called forestry winch, this is an excellent alternative if you need a device to use during logging operations. Their portable structure and internal combustion engine, which does not require an electrical power source, make them perfect for towing large logs or other objects in awkward situations.
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Difference between a winch, and hoist
The winch is a device designed and built to move both light and heavy loads horizontally to the ground . It is a perfect accessory to be used in emergency situations in the automotive field or if you want to use it more continuously to load and unload vehicles or boats on trolleys used for transport.
A hoist works in the opposite direction to a winch. The structure is designed to carry out lifting operations instead of towing and is perfect for use on construction sites or even in your home garage to move any object that requires lifting.
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Hi, I am David Bailey a dedicated writer from Linden Bridge School with a degree in mechanical engineering and a degree in marketing. I strive to simplify complex subjects and like to explain complex and technical matters in an easy-to-understand manner. Read More Here