How To Choose A Winch? Features & Details Guide For Atv in 2023

Winches are of great use, and having one is necessary.

Especially if you are driving on rough tracks or working in other heavy-pulling work fields.

If you have never worked with a winch before, then the procedure to choose one can be overwhelming.

And if you don’t choose right winch , then it will prove costly and un-needed to get another one later.

The buying of a winch depends on various factors.

It also depends on how powerful the winch is and its durability.

Most of the time, people will opt for cheap winches, but that’s what makes them bad quality winches.

When looking for a winch, there are two options available: New or Used.

New winches have their good points as they are made using the latest technology,

But at the same time, they cost more money than used winches.

So here we’ll go through some factors that need to be considered when buying a winch, especially for ATV.

Features To Chossing Winch:

1. Design:


The design of a winch plays a major role in choosing one, as different winches will perform differently on different applications.

For example:

if you are looking for a winch that can pull big loads or load fast,

you should go for one with a high gear ratio as this will give it more power and force than those with a low gear ratio.

On the other hand, if you want a winch that can handle rough tracks,

Then go for one with stronger wheels or treads to work well in tough terrains.

Also, it would be wise to look for one that can easily attach to your ATVs hitch system as most of the time, ATVs come with such systems.

2. Safety Features:

Some winches come with important safety features, especially if you have kids around, as accidents are bound to happen at any time.

Hence, safety is an important factor.

When looking for a winch, ensure that it has Automatic anti-load disconnection when overloaded.

  1. Stable frame construction,
  2. Capable of performing under harsh conditions
  3. Suitable for different kinds of terrain and use
  4. Can be mounted to any vehicle without modification
  5. Has many mounting options like rope clamps,
  6. Recognized & accepted industry-standard standards, etc.

3. Gear Ratios:


Most of the time, people confuse gear ratio with torque which is not the case.

The gear ratio is the amount of speed change between the shaft and drum compared to the rotational speed of the drum.

This ratio determines the number of turns required to raise or lower a certain weight by a given distance.

4. Size & Weight:

Winches come in different sizes and weights depending on the person’s need to use them.

For instance, some may be too big and heavy for smaller jobs, while others may be small and lightweight for greater works.

It is advisable to know what kind of job you need it for to choose a winch that suits your needs.

Also, remember that bigger size will always mean greater weight, so don’t get confused when looking for one.

5. Drum Type:


The type of drum plays a major role in determining the efficiency of a winch.

In general, drum types are made of fiber or wire ropes.

Which means they have higher tensile strength than a synthetic ropes, making them better suited for large tasks.

These two types of drums can handle loads up to 12,000 kg (15 tons) but can only pull up to 5,000 kg (7 tons).

What Size Winch For ATV:

Atvs are really powerful vehicles compared to normal bikes but can also get bogged down easily because of their huge size.

They are capable of hauling heavier loads than cars, but if they aren’t powered well, they will blow off steam because of the added weight.

So when you want to have an ATVs winch installed in your vehicle.

You should consider how big it needs to be so that it can take up any task at hand.

If you want a winch that is compact enough to fit into a very small car or van.

Then it is recommended that you use synthetic rope instead of steel cable.

Because it can resist bigger forces and handle higher load levels than its counterparts.

Exact Size Thumb Rule:

The best way to know the exact size of winch you should buy for ATV is to calculate the weight of your ATV.

And then buy one that can pull 2 times above weight than your ATV.

This rule applies to pulling capacity only for getting a perfect fit size for you, and you should look into the factors guide below.

Here Are A Few Factors To Get Perfect Size Winch For ATVs:

1. Bumper Capacity:

Source:warn industries

A bumper capacity refers to the maximum load a winch can carry without slipping off the bumper.

The number given in this factor depends on the model and weight of the vehicle and its bumpers.

So before buying any winch, make sure that it has a proper bumper capacity to safely lift any load without breaking or tearing off the bumper.

2. Horsepower:

As already mentioned earlier, ATVs are pretty powerful vehicles but still need some help in pulling heavy loads.

When you buy a winch for an ATV, make sure that it has enough horsepower so that it can pull heavy loads without burning up too much gasoline.

If your ATVs don’t have much horsepower, then you will be better off choosing a more compact model which won’t consume much fuel while in use.

3. Load Rating:

Another factor that should be considered while buying a winch for ATVs is the load rating.

It means how much load the winch can safely handle before slipping or straining out of control.

A good quality winch will have a higher load rating to handle heavier loads with less risk of failure.

However, if you are considering buying a cheaper one, make sure that it has a lower load rating than its more expensive counterparts.

Other Things You Should Know:

1. Proper Installation:

Once you are done buying a winch for ATVs, you need to find out how to install it properly.

Installation is not something you can ignore and must be done properly as otherwise, you may face many problems while using it.

Before installing any winch for ATVs, ensure that you know how to install it properly and take all the precautions needed for proper installation.

2. Warranty:

Several things come with the purchase of a winch for ATVs, including warranties and repair services.

All these warranties should be included in the price so that if something goes wrong with the winch during its warranty period.

Then you can avail repair services without paying extra money.


Buying a winch for ATVs is not an easy task, but once you are done with your research and homework, you can get your hands on the right product that will suit your needs and requirements perfectly.

By following the tips mentioned above, you can easily buy a good quality winch for ATVs.

Hence, get yourself ready to go out there and look for the best products available in the market suited for your vehicle and requirement.

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