The 8 Best Portable Winches of 2023
For every task, there is a winch, and not always can you use a mounted one. Whether it’s about pulling a car into a trailer, lifting heavy objects, or for an off-road vehicle to get unstuck. In the latter case, you ideally have a strong main winch and a portable one at your disposal as a backup.
Our team goes off-road all the time and we have reviewed the best portable winches available on the market this year. So let’s dive in!
Our Top List
WARN PullzAll Portable Electric Winch (1000 lbs)
Portable Winch - Gas-Powered Capstan Winch with Honda Engine (2200 lbs)
WARN 101575 Handheld Portable Drill Winch (750 lbs)
Superwinch "Winch 2 Go" 12V Portable System (4000 lbs)
Bravex Electric Portable 12V Winch (2000 lbs pulling or 6000 lbs rolling)
SKeeper KW75122RM-1 12V Rapid Mount Winch (7500 lbs)
Superwinch 1331200 UT3000, 12V Winch (3000 lbs pull)
Megaflint Reversible 6000 lbs 12V Electric Winch (6000 lbs)
1. WARN 885005 PullzAll Cordless 24V Portable Electric Winch
WARN does it again with the PullzAll. It has an industrial-grade hook, and the wire rope is very durable. One of its selling points is the LED limit indicator, which ensures you don’t overload the winch and cause damages. The PullzAll has a compact design and is easy to move around despite its 1000 lbs pull or lift strength.
With the push of a button, you can change the motion from forward to reverse. The winch has a trigger for variable speed control that allows you to change motion depending on your work. It has heavy-duty features; it’s suitable for tough jobs. Since it is an electric winch, so you can only work with it if you can plug it in.
- It weighs 18.5 pounds.
- It can pull 1,000 pounds
- It comes with two batteries
- It has a LED limit indicator
- Variable speed trigger
- 15 durable wire rope
- The winch has countless uses; it will be handy for all your hard pulling and lifting jobs.
- The LED limit indicator ensures safety around the working area.
- It’s easy to move and use.
- The 15 wire rope is long enough and durable.
- You can change the speed and your movements easily with the variable speed trigger.
- The only thing separating this winch from perfection is the missing remote.
2. PortableWinch – Gas-Powered Capstan Winch with Honda Engine
This is a versatile and easily movable winch that is gas-powered. It weighs only 35 pounds, and it’s made of steel. It can pull up to 2200 lbs on a single line. The high weight capacity makes it very efficient.
The gas operation means you can take the winch anywhere. It’s not limiting like most electric winches that need to be a plugin. It comes with a sling to help you anchor the winch before you start using it.
The industrial-grade Honda engine on this winch will give an excellent and efficient performance for long hours. You can also lift the weight with an unlimited length of rope. You can choose between two-speed options to suit your current task.
- Weighs 35 pounds
- It can pull 2200 lbs
- It uses a Honda GXH50 gas engine
- Solid and compact design
- Double braided polyester rope
- It has speed options
- You can change the speed thanks to the interchangeable capstan drums
- The tool offers the best durability and quality
- It has a pulling force of 2,200 lbs on one line
- If you add a pulley system, you can pull weight five times the initial capacity.
- You are limited only by the length of your rope.
- It offers durable power output without compromise, and it’s easy to use
- You can take it anywhere
- The rope doesn’t work well in the rain
3. WARN 101575 Handheld Portable Drill Winch
This is another WARN drill winch but for lighter weights up to 750 lbs. This handheld power tool with either steel or synthetic rope is great for loading trailers, dragging logs, stretching fences, and many other things.
The winch is easy to carry and has unlimited applications. You can use a cordless drill with this winch because of the ergonomic handle. It has rear and front rigging hooks. It gives precise winch control with the variable speed. You can adjust it depending on the speed of the drill and the distance of the load. Like the other WARN product, this winch also has a load limiter. You can only pull weight within the specified capacity to avoid accidents and damages.
- It weighs 11.82 pounds
- It has a total capacity of 750 lbs
- 40 steel rope
- Integrated load limiter
- Free-spool clutch for easy and quick hook up
- Variable speed control
- The winch is easy to carry.
- It’s a handheld winch that is used with any type of drill
- The free-spool clutch makes handling the rope very easy
- It will warn you when you reach the highest possible weight
- You have to love the 40- rope and the integrated hawse fairlead
- The shaft may undergo metal fatigue over time
4. Superwinch “Winch 2 Go” 12V Portable System
This is an all-in-one winch with 4000 lbs of pull force. By all in one, the manufacturers mean it contains everything you need for pulling in an easy-to-carry compact toolbox. The brand is one of the most reputable globally, and its products live up to the name.
You will receive free accessories with the product, like straps and gloves. You may or may not mount it permanently on your car, depending on what works for you. It’s got shackles for securing the pull. The winch comes with a 16,000 lbs pulley block that allows it to pull more weight. It has a very detailed owner’s manual for first-time users.
- It weighs 43 pounds
- It pulls the weight of up to 4,000 lbs
- It includes three D-shackles
- 10 power cord
- It has an easy to store and carry toolbox
- 50- synthetic working rope
- 1.4 hp motor
- The toolbox is easy to carry, repack and store
- Comes with a 16,000 lbs pulley block
- The winch has holes in the plate for those who want to mount it permanently.
- The protective casing ensures everything you need for pulling is kept safely
- It has a remote that ensures easy control
- The storage box could have higher quality
5. Bravex Electric Portable 12V Winch
This winch weighs 24.4 pounds, which means it weighs less and can easily be carried anywhere. Its best suited for boats, trucks, and car trailers. It’s a best seller from Bravex in terms of performance.
However, electric winches will dictate where you can use them. If there is no power, it won’t work. But this winch is both electric and manual. The low noise design is one of the selling points because most users like the minimized noise.
You will have a two years limited warranty when you purchase it. Using it is hassle-free, even for a newbie; you can be up and running in a few minutes. The 20- electric cable that comes with the unit ensures you can connect easily to the power source.
- Weighs 24.4 pounds
- Pulling capacity is 2,000 lbs, rolling capacity is 6,000 lbs, and boat capacity is 5,000 lbs
- 30 steel cable length
- Low noise design
- It’s both manual and electric
- Dual direction pulling
- It runs quietly compared to most winches
- It’s both electric and manual, which comes in handy in an emergency
- You can reverse and forward
- It has a high-quality steel cable and hook
- It is affordable compared to other winches
- The compact design makes it easy to carry around
- It’s quite slow
6. Keeper KW75122RM-1 12V Rapid Mount Portable Winch
This winch from Keeper has a lot of desirable features. With the powerful motor and a 7,500 lbs capacity, it’s easy to purchase this tool as your off-road best friend. You can easily control a large load because of the automatic holding brake and the 4-way roller fairlead.
There is warning paint at the end and the beginning of the rope to improve safety. There are many accessories you can add to the winch to increase performance, like recovery straps and pulley blocks.
There are LED working lights to help with the after-dark tasks. Another great function of the tool is wireless control. The winch only weighs 25 pounds.
- 7,500 lbs pulling capacity
- Power in and out
- 12 Volt DC motor
- 75- galvanized wire rope
- Red warning area
- Latched clevis hook
- LED work light and wireless control
- It has an automatic full-load holding brake
- The working lights are very useful
- The warning paint at the beginning and end of the rope ensures safety while using the winch.
- It’s an easy-to-carry and heavy-duty tool
- It has a 4.5 horsepower
- The wireless winch control is very convenient
- The total capacity is very high, which makes it suitable for all hard jobs
- Sometimes, when you run a lot of the cable out to pull an object, it spools in a single spot.
7. Superwinch 1331200 UT3000, 12V Winch
You should check out this other stellar, easily movable winch from Superwinch. The winch powers heavy loads in and out to ensure efficiency. The full metal gear train is easy to use.
The other feature that is worth noting is the turn and pull free-spooling clutch. This winch has a circuit breaker protector to help you avoid damaging it during use. The braking makes this a worthy purchase because it boosts safety while working.
When you want long-lasting equipment, you must consider this winch with a one-year warranty. It has a roller fairlead and a mounting plate. The toll weighs 19.58 pounds total, and it’s built with durable materials.
It’s a worthy choice, especially if you are looking for an all-around durable winch.
- Power in and out
- It can pull 3,000 lbs
- Dynamic braking
- Free-spooling clutch
- Weather-sealed solenoids
- 40- wire rope
- It has a one-year limited warranty
- Rubber handheld remote
- The winch can be permanently mounted or be carried around like a portable tool
- Features like the circuit breaker, remote, and brakes make this a very safe equipment
- The line pull rating is high for a tool its size
- The winch ensures efficiency in all weather conditions
- The 12- extension cable allows you a safe distance from the winch
- Somestimes the cable may get stuck if you don’t use it properly.
8. Megaflint Reversible 6000 lbs 12V Electric Winch
This multipurpose reversible winch is used for any hauling task. You can pull weight up to 6,000 pounds with the steel rope. It’s specifically designed for pulling boats, but you can use it on your truck or car trail.
Unlike most winches, this one has both manual and dynamic braking, making it more safe and easy to operate. The 10- extension cable and remote allow you to operate the winch while keeping your distance.
The winch weighs 27 pounds; carrying it will be a breeze. I always go for the easy-to-use and install features in any winch because they take less time to set up when stuck.
- Dual-mode operation
- Power in and out
- Maximum boat weight: 5,000 lbs, rolling capacity – 6,000 lbs, and pulling capacity – 2,000 lbs
- Low noise design
- Galvanized steel cable
- 16.5- power cable
- 30- working cable
- Mechanical friction and dynamic braking
- It has forward and reverse functions
- There is very little noise when using the winch
- The power cable is long enough to keep you safe
- The braking improves performance and safety
- It’s a multipurpose pulling equipment
- Installation is easy and fast
- You can operate it with electricity or manually
- It takes time to reel the rope in
Verdict & Review
The WARN PullzAll is our favorite of all the portable winches on the market today. We’ve used two of them in different situations to lift objects, load vehicles into trailers, pull stuck vehicles out of mud, and for other uses and different conditions. We have only had good experiences with this product. The winch has a load limiter, is easy to carry and versatile. Its variable speed feature allows you to adjust the movements and motion. Being an electric winch, the only limitation is the need for a power supply.
Stick To Your Budget
Determining the size you want should be the first step. Once you have your desired size, you have to look for winch brands that fall within your budget.
The difference in prices can also be an indicator of performance and features. Ensure you do thorough research and find the best products that your funds can buy.
Consider Electronics and Construction
If you have used a winch before, then you know how important electric accessories are. It’s hard to alter the original construction of the winch after purchase. Ensure the construction is strong, reliable, and durable.
The product should be able to last you for a very long time. The cable should be made with durable material and should be long enough to handle the hard tasks. The installation is also supposed to be easy.
Even if you buy the most expensive winch, it will fail during the task if it’s not installed properly. To make it easy for you, look at the construction electronics and installation features before you buy.
To Mount or Not To Mount
Another thing you should be keen on is if the winch is mountable or not. If you don’t need to permanently mount it, you are free to choose any type of winch you want. But if you need the tool mounted, then your options are limited to mountable winches only.
Vehicle winches are straightforward and are mostly mountable; you will not have a hard time selecting or mounting them. But if you are planning on using the winches for all pulling and lifting jobs, you have to be careful with your selection.
The power source is also a major consideration. Electric winches are easy to install and use. They use your car’s battery, and there are available in different sizes, models, and brands for every need. The only disadvantage is they strain the car’s electrical system, which sometimes it’s already maxed out.
You can also consider a winch with the dual operation so that you can switch to manual if the need arises. There are gas-powered winches that are very convenient and can be taken anywhere without worrying about the power source.
What Maintenance Is Required For A Winch?
Preventative maintenance is a must to elongate the lifespan of your winch. Ensure the grease parts and bolts are always lubricated. Follow the specifications provided by the manufacturer in the manual.
Some will tell you the products to use and other related things. The lubrication will wear out when it’s not in use, so always ensure the parts are lubricated before installation.
What Type Of Winch Should I Buy?
The type of winch you need depends on the application. Most winches are multipurpose and versatile, but finding the right one for the job is better. Find out the features of each winch and what they are best known for before you buy. Some are best for lifting boats, while others are meant for off-road trips.
What Does Gear Ratio Mean?
The gear ratio indicates the number of handle revolutions the winch will make to turn the spool once. For example, if the winch has a 4:1 gear ratio, it means it takes four handle revolutions for the spool to make a 360degrees turn.
What Do I Do To The Wheels While Winching My Truck?
You should find blocks and place them under the car’s wheels while winching. You have to use the winch correctly; otherwise, the performance will not be great, especially during self-recovery.
What Puling Capacity Do I Need?
The capacity depends on the weight you want the object. Sometimes your car needs to overcome obstacles like mud, sand, snow, or moving water. You have to think about the weight of the car before you decide the maximum capacity you will need.
To be on the safe side, you should always go higher than the car weight. When you go for the exact capacity, it may not pull the car over hard obstacles.
How Long Do Electric Winches Need To Cool Off After Use?
It takes around five minutes to cool off, depending on how long you use the winch. If you use it for a long time to pull a large truck or any other load, you will have to wait longer than five minutes. Sometimes the time you have to wait is written on the manual, so be sure to check first.