How To Choose The Best UTV Winch and Using It Safely

what is the best utv winch

When it comes to off-road adventures in your UTV, a winch is an essential piece of equipment. A winch can help you get out of sticky situations, such as when you get stuck in mud, on a steep incline or even in a rollover or potential rollover (as pictured above).

What a great day that was… our winches were used more times than I can count. LOL

With so many different types of winches on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is the best choice for your UTV. In this guide, we’ll take a look at how to choose the right winch for your UTV and then we’ll look at some tips on how to use it safely.

Choosing the Right Winch for Your UTV

When it comes to choosing a winch for your UTV, there are a few key factors to consider. The first thing to think about is the weight capacity of the winch. This will determine how much weight the winch can handle, it’s important to choose a winch that can handle the weight of your UTV.

How To Choose The Right Weight Capacity of Winch

The weight capacity of a winch for a UTV will depend on the specific model of UTV and the intended use of the winch.

As a general rule, it’s recommended to choose a winch with a weight capacity that is at least 1.5 times the weight of your UTV. For example, if your UTV weighs 1,500 pounds, then you should choose a winch with a weight capacity of at least 2,250 pounds.

However, it’s also important to consider the weight of any additional equipment or cargo that may be loaded on your UTV. If you plan to use your UTV for work or hunting, and you may carry heavy loads like tools, equipment or game, you should choose a winch with a weight capacity that can handle this additional weight.

I cannot stress enough that your winch should have a weight capacity of at least 1.5 times the weight of your machine and gear combined. Failure to follow this rule may result in your winch failing. If you don’t know how much your side by side weighs I have included the weights of over 200 side by sides here.

How To Choose The Right Winch Cable For Your UTV

Another important factor to consider is the type of winch cable that is going to work best for your riding style and most common terrain you ride in.

When it comes to winch cables, there are a couple different types to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of winch cables are:

  1. Steel Cable: Steel cable is the most common type of winch cable and it is known for its strength and durability. It’s also relatively inexpensive and can be easily replaced if it becomes damaged. However, steel cable is also heavy and can rust over time. It can also be dangerous if it snaps or breaks under load.
  2. Synthetic Rope: Synthetic rope is becoming more popular in recent years. Synthetic ropes are made of materials such as nylon, kevlar, or Dyneema. They are lighter than steel cable, they don’t rust and they float. They also have a lower breaking strength than steel cable, but they are safer if they do break because they don’t “whiplash” like steel cable can.

When choosing a winch cable, it’s important to consider the weight capacity of the winch and the intended use of the winch. Steel cable is best for heavy-duty use, while synthetic rope is better for lighter loads and is safer if they break.

For most people a synthetic winch cable will do the trick. However if you’re someone who’s riding style is more geared toward rock crawling then you’ll find that a steel winch cable will work best for you.

How To Choose The Right Brand Of UTV Winch

Lastly, think about the features and the brand of the winch. Some winches come with additional features such as wireless remote control, automatic load-holding brakes and more. And when it comes to the brand, always look for a well-established brand with a good reputation.

There are many well-known and reputable brands that produce winches for UTVs. Some of the best brands that you cannot really go wrong with include:

  1. Warn: Warn is one of the most well-known and respected brands in the winch industry for everything from small ATV winches to big Full-size truck winches. They offer a great selection of winches for UTVs, in all different weight capacities. Their winches are time tested for their quality and durability. If you want the best then Warn is the way to go, Id recommend this winch on Amazon.
  2. SuperATV: SuperATV is a well-known brand that specializes in UTV winches and other accessories. SuperATV winches are designed specifically for UTVs and they have the weight capacity, size, and mounting requirements of UTVs in mind.
  3. KFI: KFI winches are built with durable materials that can withstand harsh weather and off-road conditions. KFI winches are known to be more affordable than some other brands, while still providing good quality.
  4. Quadboss: Quadboss is a well-known brand that offers a wide range of winches for UTVs. Their winches are known for their quality and durability, and they offer a wide range of weight capacities and features.
  5. Champion: Champion Power Equipment is a well-known brand that offers a variety of winches for UTVs at a great price. Their UTV winches are designed to handle heavy loads and are perfect for off-road and work applications. If you’re looking for quality on the cheap end, this is my choice

It’s important to note that these brands are just a few examples of the many brands that produce winches for UTVs, and there are many other reputable brands in the market. It’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s specifications for the weight capacity and to consult with a professional or an expert in the field if you have any doubts. It’s also a good idea to read reviews and check ratings for the product before making a final decision.

Using Your UTV Winch Safely

Once you’ve chosen the right winch for your UTV, it’s important to use it safely. The first step is to make sure that the winch is properly installed, and that the winch line is properly secured.

If you’re new to installing winches, are mechanically inclined and want to try your hand at it, there are plenty of great videos on youtube. However if you are not mechanically inclined at all, then it might be best to hire a professional to install your winch.

Using a winch safely is crucial to ensure that you and others around you are not at risk. Here are some tips on how to use a winch safely:

  1. Read the manual: Before using the winch, it is important to read the manual and become familiar with the winch’s features, controls, and safety guidelines.
  2. Check the equipment: Before using the winch, check the equipment for any signs of damage or wear. Make sure that the winch, cable, hook, and all other parts are in good condition.
  3. Wear protective gear: Always wear gloves and safety glasses when using the winch to protect yourself from the winch cable.
  4. Choose a safe location: Make sure that you’re using the winch in a safe location, and that there’s nothing in the area that could get caught in the winch cable.
  5. Use a winch damper blanket: Always use a winch damper blanket or even a couple sweaters or jackets to prevent the cable from snapping, recoiling and causing injury.
  6. Use a spotter: Always have a spotter to help you when using the winch, they can help you keep an eye on the cable and the load, and can help you communicate with others around you.
  7. Stay back: Always ensure that everyone is at a safe distance in case the winch cable breaks. And never touch the winch cable when it is under load.
  8. Take your time: Never rush when using a winch. Take your time and work slowly and carefully to ensure that the winch is being used correctly and safely.
  9. Use the right equipment: Always use the appropriate equipment, such as a winch line damper, tree saver strap and snatch blocks to help you use the winch safely.
  10. Regular maintenance: Keep the winch clean, and make sure that the cable is properly cleaned and lubricated. Perform regular maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure the winch and cable are in good working condition.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that you’re using your utv winch safely and correctly, and that you’re prepared for any situation that may arise while using it.

In conclusion, a winch is an essential piece of equipment for any UTV, but it’s important to choose the right winch for your UTV and use it safely. By considering the weight capacity, type, features, brand and safety guidelines, you can ensure that your winch is ready for any off-road adventure in your side by side.


Chris has always had a love for 4X4ing whether it be mudding, hill climbing, trail riding or accessing remote fishing locations that can't be accessed any other way... So, when Chris drove his first side by side he knew that he had found the perfect vehicle for such an occasion! In Chris' spare time, if he is not out riding with his family and friends you will usually find him immersed in further educating himself with side by sides and writing or brainstorming a new post or video for UTV Junky readers.

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