The winches below are cheap in price and not quality! (And we go into what you should look for when selecting winches after our recommendations.) So . . .
Here are our 4 recommendations for the best cheap winch on the market:
Smittybilt 97495 XRC Winch
- Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch | 9,500 Pound Load Capacity
- Price: $268.52
- Price as of 10/01/2020 05:33 PDT(more info)
You will not find many names in the winch manufacturing industry that are as synonymous with quality as Smittybilt. Their 97495 XRC Winch is a testament to how well even their more affordable winches work. This is a winch that is highly rated by those who have purchased it and believe us there has been a lot of people who have.
Why do so many people choose this Smittybilt winch? Well for one it comes with an outstanding 5-year electrical parts warranty and a lifetime warranty on the rest of the unit; you just don’t see that often on winches in this price range.
It also comes with a completely amphibious motor, a 500-amp rated solenoid and a very useful three stage gearing system to handle even the toughest pulling jobs. It can move a whopping 9500 pounds and that will cover the weight of many medium sized off road vehicles easily. It even has a corded remote control that lets you stand far back from harm’s way in case the winching cable should snap.
Yescom 12000 lb 12V 6.6 Winch
- Yescom 12000lbs 12V 6.6HP Electric Recovery Winch Wireless Remote Control Trailer Truck SUV Compatible for Jeep Off-Road Towing
- Price as of 10/01/2020 03:54 PDT(more info)
If you are looking for up to 12,000 pounds of pulling power at an affordable price than this Yescom built winch is exactly what you want. To put it mildly this nicely priced winch is jam-packed with features.
The package includes such things as 72” battery leads, a three stage “planetary” gear train, precision braking, a four-way roller fairlead for tight cable roll up and a lengthy 12-foot corded remote control for safety. It even includes a detailed user’s guide and installation manual plus a free set of winching safety gloves as a gift. The key motor components on its powerful 6.6 horsepower motor are gasket sealed to protect them from moisture too.
It’s an impressive winching package to say the least and is easily one of the best cheap winches period.
Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 Winch
- Superwinch 1585202 LP8500 Winch Gen II 12 VDC 8500lbs/3856kg, steel hawse, handheld remote
- Price: $411.24
- Price as of 10/01/2020 04:04 PDT(more info)
With a name like Superwinch you better build a superior low-priced winching product and the Superwinch 1585202 is exactly that and more. It’s the ultimate winch in terms of strength and affordability and it has a ton of design features built right into it.
It all starts with its big 8500-pound pulling strength, which is a lot for a unit this size and weight (22” x 7” x 9” and just 73 pounds). It comes with an impressive 94′ of 5/16″ steel wire banded rope and this rope wraps up neatly thanks to the heavy duty fairlead that comes in this package too. It has a moisture sealed 4.5 horsepower motor, lever-action free spooling clutch, a 3-stage ‘planetary’ gearbox and a lengthy 15 foot removable, corded remote control for safety.
Rugged Ridge 15100.01 Winch
- Rugged Ridge 15100.01 8,500Lb Winch with Steel Cable
- Price as of 10/01/2020 03:54 PDT(more info)
The Rugged Ridge 15100.01 is another example of a very strong but inexpensively priced winch. It makes the peace of mind needed for going off road very affordable. It can easily pull vehicles up to 8500 pounds out of any jams you may get into while traveling off road.
How does it get the job done? It starts with a sturdy and long lasting 5.5-horsepower “Series Wound” motor for lots of pulling power. Other features this winch has are a 3 Stage Planetary Gear box, an automatic braking system, a light mount roller fairlead system and a stainless steel hardware package. It also features a lengthy corded remote control that can be removed when the winch is not in use. This Rugged Ridge winch is a great deal as far as powerful little winches go, and anyone should put it on the list of the best cheap winches for the money.
Safety Tip: Make Sure the Winch You Purchase Has a Corded Remote Control
Having a winch attached to your vehicle to get you out of a jam when you are driving off road is great but being able to use a winch safely while doing it is even better. That is why it is so important to purchase a winch with a corded remote control. It will give you peace of mind that you can do any winching task safely.
It does not matter what type of material your winching cable is made of because there is always a chance that it can break and when it does you could get seriously injured or even killed. Even towing cables made out of synthetic fiber or banded metals have been known to snap from time to time when a heavy vehicle is being winched out of a jam.
All of the winches reviewed above come with at least a 12 foot corded remote control. It is one of the requirements for making this review of the best cheap winches. A corded remote control for your winch allows you to maintain a safe distance.
Winch Advice Worth Remembering
Make sure the bumper of your vehicle can handle having a winch installed on it. There are affordable bumpers out there (see a bunch here) that can be purchased that are specially made to handle the weight of winches and the rigors of the tasks these devices do.
So if you own a jeep or other vehicle that you like to take off road then it is best not to take chances. You can be prepared for many hazards and problems by installing one of these mighty but cost effective winches onto the bumper of your vehicle.
Founder of Mechanicalcaveman.com, Beau is an unrepentant tool enthusiast and, sporting deadlift-callused hands and incongruously a beer belly, all-around macho guy. When he doesn’t know re tools, he consults with his handyman and car-repairman buds to give you well-reasoned and cutting-edge info. Email him.