Best Portable Winches Ranked & Reviewed (2020)

Quick Answer: Best Portable Winches

  1. WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 
  2. Master Lock Electric Winch
  3. WARN 910500 Drill Winch
  4. Bravex Electric Winch, Reversible Portable 
  5. Superwinch 1140232 Winch 
  6. Keeper KWSL2000RM
  7. Master Lock 2955AT 
  8. Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson TW9000 
  9. Keeper KW75122RM-1 
  10. TruePower 40-4003

When one goes to purchase a winch, they are faced with a multitude of options. But one thing to be noted is that most of these winches are heavy or made to be mounted onto one’s four-wheel drive.

However, there are also winches available that are compact and portable. These can be easily carried anywhere.
These are useful when one needs to use a winch very occasionally and for simple lightweight tasks.

best overall rating ★★★★★

WARN 885000 Corded Portable PullzAll

WARN 885000 PullzAll Corded 120V AC Portable Electric Winch with Steel Cable: 1/2 Ton (1,000 lb) Lifting/Pulling Capacity
PROS:
  • 500+ Reviews
  • Easy to use the remote control

Check Price

best overall rating ★★★★★

Master Lock Electric Portable Winch

Master Lock Electric Winch, Portable 12-Volt DC Electric Winch, 2953AT
PROS:
  • Extremely light weight
  • Pocket-friendly purchase

Check Price

best overall rating ★★★★★

WARN 910500 Drill Portable Winch

WARN 910500 Handheld Portable Drill Winch with 30 Foot Wire Rope: 1/4 Ton (500 lb) Pulling Capacity
PROS:
  • Sturdy design and build
  • Easy to use

Check Price

Comparison Table: Top Portable Winches in Market

Here is the a quick comparison of top portable winches available in the market today – 

ProductLine Length (Feet)Rated Line Pull (RLP, lbs)Motor (VDC/hp)Price

WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC

WARN 885000 PullzAll Corded 120V AC Portable Electric Winch with Steel Cable: 1/2 Ton (1,000 lb) Lifting/Pulling Capacity

Best Overall, 500+ Reviews

15 1000 24/- Check Price

WARN 910500 Drill Winch

WARN 910500 Handheld Portable Drill Winch with 30 Foot Wire Rope: 1/4 Ton (500 lb) Pulling Capacity

Runner Up

30 500 - Check Price

Master Lock Electric Winch

Master Lock Electric Winch, Portable 12-Volt DC Electric Winch, 2953AT

30 2000 12/- Check Price

Bravex Electric Winch, Reversible Portable 12-Volt DC Electric Winch

Bravex Electric Winch, Reversible Portable 12-Volt DC Electric Winch Boat Trailer Truck Power-in, Power-out (Corded Remote Control & Hand Crank)

30 2000 12/- Check Price

Superwinch 1140232 Winch 2 Go 12V 4000SR

Superwinch 1140232 Winch 2 Go 12V 4000SR Portable Winch System (4000lb with Synthetic Rope, Pulley Block, Gloves, Straps and D-Shackles)

50 4000 12/1.4 Check Price

Keeper KWSL2000RM 12V DC Rapid Mount Portable Winch

KEEPER KWSL2000RM 12V DC Rapid Mount Portable Winch with Handheld Remote - 6000 lbs. Load Capacity

30 2000 12/- Check Price

Master Lock 2955AT 1500lb Portable ATV Winch

Master Lock 2955AT 1500lb Portable ATV Winch

35 1500 12/- Check Price

Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson TW9000 12 Volt Trailer Winch

Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson TW9000 12 Volt Trailer Winch 3000 lb

Best in High Capacity

20 9000 12/- Check Price

Keeper KW75122RM-1 12V DC Rapid Mount Portable Winch

KEEPER KW75122RM-1 KW 7.5, Electric Winch, 7,500 lbs. Single Line Pull, 12V DC with Wireless Remote

Long Line Length

72 7500 12/4.5 Check Price

TruePower 40-4003 12V DC Portable Winch

TruePower 40-4003 12V DC Portable Winch with Wireless Remote Control (2000 lb Line, 5000 lb Boat)

30 2000 12/- Check Price
 

Reviews of the Best Portable Winches

1.best overall rating

WARN 885000 Corded PullzAll 120V AC

WARN 885000 PullzAll Corded 120V AC Portable Electric Winch with Steel Cable: 1/2 Ton (1,000 lb) Lifting/Pulling Capacity

Warn Industries was started by Arthur and Sadie Warn as a dealership in the 1930s and finally converted it into Warn Industries in 1948.

Today, they have over 100 patents and 600 products making them a well-established company in the off-roading industry.

They have over 70 years of experience in the engineering and development of these products coming a long way from their humble beginnings.

Their constant R & D focus has also lead to the development fo a winch solely of power sports, which is a new category in itself.

This UTV winch is fundamentally unique in relation to different variations as in it is portable. This portability can be attributed to its cordless feature.

The pulling capacity of this winch is 1,000 lbs and this is possible due to the powerful 24 V motor that it comes fitted with. It is extremely compact.

One of the notable features of this winch is the multiple spooling speed options that allow the user to reel the wire in or out according to a speed of their liking.

The thickness of the rope is 7/32th of an inch. One end of this rope is attached to an industrial grade front hook. This UTV winch accompanies a PullzAll sling, PullzAll gear pack, PullzAll apparatus link, and a PullzAll vehicle charger.

The winch weighs 18.5 lbs and the components of the equivalent are 19 x 10 x 11 inches.

Watch this winch in action at :

 

Some of the key USPs of the product is listed below :

  • A wire rope of 15 feet is included (very resilient)
  • Equipped with a load indicator as a safety feature
  • Good for field use as it is cordless
PROS:
  • Remote controller function is easy to understand
  • Highly recommended winch
  • Easy to use the remote control
  • Pocket-friendly purchase
  • Customer found it easy to use
  • Multiple options for line speed
CONS:
  • Customers questioned component quality

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon


2.best overall rating

Master Lock Electric Winch

Master Lock Electric Winch, Portable 12-Volt DC Electric Winch, 2953AT

Master Lock is one of the companies whose primary product was not a winch at first. It is a fairly old company that can find its roots way back in the 1920s.

They are primarily known for making products like electric locks, padlocks and other security gear. However, they have branched into some different product lines as well and this includes winches.

This Master Lock winch is a compact unit that is surprisingly capable of supporting loads as heavy as 2,000 lbs despite its small size. It is a very portable unit.

The winch includes a sturdy cable made of galvanized steel which has a length of 30 feet. At one end of this rope is a safety hook for latching onto different kinds of objects.

This winch is powered by a 12 V DC motor. The winch is fairly lightweight at 25.4 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 14 x 12 x 10 inches.

Check out this winch in action at : 

 

Some of the key USPs of the product is listed below :

  • Power cable is long (20 feet)
  • A high quality steel mounting plate included with kit
  • Lightweight, portable winch
PROS:
  • Extremely light weight
  • Pocket-friendly purchase
  • Small size makes it portable
  • Works as both a temporary or permanent winch
  • Easy to use
CONS:
  • Line speeds could be higher

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon


3.best overall rating

WARN 910500 Drill Winch

WARN 910500 Handheld Portable Drill Winch with 30 Foot Wire Rope: 1/4 Ton (500 lb) Pulling Capacity

This winch by Warn offers one of the least RLPs in the market at 500 lbs. It is powered by a standard portable drill which is not included with the winch.

One of the features of this winch is the free spool clutch which makes rigging it fast and easy.

A 30 feet wire rope, an integrated hawse fairlead, and front & rear rigging hooks are included with the winch kit. The winch is extremely lightweight at 12.63 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 10 x 10 x 10 inches.

Check out this winch in action here :

 

Some of the key USPs of the product is listed below :

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Load limiter – Winch begins ratcheting at 500 lbs and disconnects the drive while holding the load
  • Variable speed based on load, speed and distance of the drill
  • Integrated design
PROS:
  • Sturdy design and build
  • Easy to use
  • Good value for money
  • Highly recommended by the customers
  • Very good control on different speeds
CONS:
  • Not designed for vertical lifting
  • Should come with synthetic rope

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon


4.best overall rating

Bravex Electric Winch, Reversible Portable 12-Volt DC Electric Winch

Bravex Electric Winch, Reversible Portable 12-Volt DC Electric Winch Boat Trailer Truck Power-in, Power-out (Corded Remote Control & Hand Crank)

Bravex is a 10-year-old business whose primary products were fuel ignitions systems and a few other automotive accessories.

They branched into the production of winches as an extension to their current line of products and have gained a fair amount of popularity for their quality and reliably performing winches.

This Bravex winch offers a pulling capacity of 2,000 lbs for a stationary load, 6,000 lbs for a rolling load, and 5,000 lbs for a marine load. The motor supports rope operation in both directions – spooling in and out.

One of the notable features is that there is an option to manually operate the winch with a hand crank winching model for emergencies.

The winch is equipped with a stainless steel cable and a hook for additional safety. Another safety feature is the electric automatic braking system. The winch also boasts of a low noise design.

It weighs 24.5 lbs and the dimensions are 16.3 x 12 x 11.5 inches.

Some of the key USPs of the product is listed below :

  • Enhanced motor power (30% more than regular winch motors)
  • Dual operation model – electric and manual
  • 20 feet long power cable and 9 feet 9 inches long remote control cord
  • Line speed of 6 ft/min with a load
PROS:
  • Comes with a five-year warranty
  • Easy to install
  • Good remote control function
  • Budget purchase
  • Works well and reliably
  • Sturdy build
  • Good customer service
CONS:
  • Components could be of better quality

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon


5.best overall rating

Superwinch 1140232 Winch 2 Go 12V 4000SR

Superwinch 1140232 Winch 2 Go 12V 4000SR Portable Winch System (4000lb with Synthetic Rope, Pulley Block, Gloves, Straps and D-Shackles)

Superwinch is one of the oldest manufacturers of winches that do not need any introduction. They have over 50 years of experience in creating winching products that are selling worldwide successfully.

They can boast of the widest range of winch capacities with the lowest being a 1,000 lbs and the highest being 50,000 lbs. These are applicable for a variety of purposes, be it industrial or for off-roading adventures.

Out of the many winches that are manufactured by Superwinch, this is the one that caters to the audience that needs a portable winch. It offers an RLP of 4,000 lbs, extendable up to 8,000 lbs.

It is available with the synthetic or wire cable. The base is built on a 1/4th inch hardened steel plate.

The winch is driven by a 12 V DC 1.4 hp motor. The free spool clutch is of cam action knob type. The winch weighs 41 lbs and the dimensions are 20.1 x 12 x 7.6 inches.

The rope option in this variant is a synthetic rope of length 50 feet and thickness 3/16th of an inch. It includes a hawse fairlead and a 12 feet sealed handheld rocker switch.

Check out this winch in action at https:

 

Some of the key USPs of the product is listed below :

  • Supports double-line with included shackles
  • All In One – comes with straps, shackles, quick connect battery harness and various other components
  • Plug and Play – quick connect electric cabling
  • A gear ratio of 166:1
PROS:
  • Rated high on the portability aspect
  • Great remote controller function
  • Powerful performance
  • Compact and sleek design
  • Weather protected and comes with additional accessories
CONS:
  • Some components made of plastic
  • Battery cables should be longer

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon


6.best overall rating

Keeper KWSL2000RM 12V DC Rapid Mount Portable Winch

KEEPER KWSL2000RM 12V DC Rapid Mount Portable Winch with Handheld Remote - 6000 lbs. Load Capacity

The Keeper brand has been renowned for its broad assortment of high-quality products like truck and trailer accessories, towing gear, tie-downs, bungees, winches and a lot more.

They have been in the industry for 36 years now. Their aim is to be industry leaders in all cargo accessories, personal or commercial.

This winch by Keeper is light and portable and often preferred for marine operations. The handheld remote comes with a 10 feet lead.

One of the notable features is the powerful low amperage draw gearbox. The rated line pull for this winch is 2,000 lbs for a stationary load and an impressive 6,000 lbs for a rolling load.

It comes equipped with 30 feet galvanized wire rope with a looped thimble and a latched clevis hook with safety latch. The freewheel clutch, spur gear train, and mechanical brake are a part of this winch.

The winch weighs 23.9 lbs and the dimensions are 16 x 12 x 11 inches.

Check this winch out at :

 

Some of the key USPs of the product is listed below :

  • Rapid mount
  • Freewheel clutch
  • Emergency hand crank
  • Light and portable with built-in carry handle
  • A gear ratio of 265:1
PROS:
  • Fast service
  • Good value for money
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Extremely versatile
CONS:
  • Line speeds could be better

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon


7.best overall rating

Master Lock 2955AT 1500lb Portable ATV Winch

Master Lock 2955AT 1500lb Portable ATV Winch

Master Lock was established way back in 1920s and enjoyed a loyal customer base owing to their trusted brand name and quality products. They are majorly focused on delivering security products like padlocks and electronic lockers.

They have only recently diversified into creating winches for automobiles.

This winch supports loads up to 1,500 lbs and is supported by a 12 V DC electric motor.

The robust planetary gear train system delivers high torque and all of this comes in a very compact size which allows for installation in tight quarters.

The winch comes with 35 feet of galvanized steel cable that has a thickness of 5/32th of an inch, a hook with safety latch and a hand saver strap. The winch weighs 13.7 lbs and the dimensions of the same are 12 x 6 x 4 inches.

Check out this winch in action at : 

 

Some of the key USPs of the product is listed below :

  • Line speed of 6.4 ft/ min
  • Maximum designed stall load at 1,875 lbs
  • Three-position remote controller with a 42 feet cable
PROS:
  • Great value for money
  • Good for light use
  • Well made
  • Highly recommended by users
CONS:
  • Line speed is slow

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon


8.best overall rating

Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson TW9000 12 Volt Trailer Winch

Goldenrod Dutton-Lainson TW9000 12 Volt Trailer Winch 3000 lb

Dutton-Lainson is one of the oldest names in the industry, established more than a century ago in 1886.

They manufacture a host of products like air cleaners, couplers, fencing tools, fuel tank filters, grease gun and accessories, oilers, tongue jacks, trailer accessories, wheel bearing & protectors and finally, winches.

They are headquartered at Nebraska, USA.

This winch is powered by a StrongArm 12 V DC motor and is a part of the high-quality SA series. It offers a rated line pull of 3,000 lbs for a stationary load and up to 9,000 lbs for marine loads.

The motor is protected by a circuit breaker overload protection system.

Some of the features of this winch are a dynamic brake and a 3-position rotary switch. It includes a polyester strap, wiring harness (positive battery wire and ground wire) and an emergency crank handle.

The winch weighs 30.1 lbs and the dimensions are 13 x 10.8 x 9.1 inches.

Check out how to replace the straps and maintain this winch at :

 

Some of the key USPs of the product is listed below :

  • A gear ratio of 570:1
  • Line speeds of 9 ft/min and 3 ft/min at no load and full load respectively
  • Power-in, Power-out and freewheel operations
PROS:
  • Works as advertised
  • Wiring harness is long enough
  • Long lasting product
  • Well worth the price
CONS:
  • Winch has a maximum run time of 4 minutes

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon


9.best overall rating

Keeper KW75122RM-1 12V DC Rapid Mount Portable Winch

KEEPER KW75122RM-1 KW 7.5, Electric Winch, 7,500 lbs. Single Line Pull, 12V DC with Wireless Remote

This winch is powered by a 12 V DC 4.5 hp series wound motor. It offers a pulling capacity of 7,500 lbs. There is a handheld pendant switch attached to a 15 feet lead with high density LED work light.

The winch also includes a 72 feet, 5/16th of an inch thick galvanized wire rope with a looped thimble.

It includes a three-stage planetary gearbox, a lift and turn free wheel clutch handle and a mechanical automatic brake. The winch weighs 25 lbs and the dimensions are 21.8 x 6.3 x 10.1 inches.

Check out the detailing on this winch here :

 

Some of the key USPs of the product is listed below :

  • Integrated heavy duty sealed switching
  • Circuit breaker protected
  • Case hardened gears
  • A gear ratio of 180:1
PROS:
  • Easy mounting and un-mounting options
  • Good value for money
  • Good quality hitch mount
CONS:
  • Showed signs of strains while winching

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon


10.best overall rating

TruePower 40-4003 12V DC Portable Winch

TruePower 40-4003 12V DC Portable Winch with Wireless Remote Control (2000 lb Line, 5000 lb Boat)

True Power is a California based distributor/ wholesaler specializing in automotive and home improvement products, outdoor gear, recreational gear, home and garden products, as well as electronic, high-tech gadgets, power tools & tool accessories.

This winch offers a pulling capacity of 2,000 lbs for straight pulling and 5,000 lbs for boat pulling. The cable length is 30 feet. The winch can also boast of pulling 6,000 lbs of rolling stock.

A wireless remote on/off switch is included and the winch can be used to recover vehicles, trail boats or pull logs and stumps.

The winch weighs 21 lbs and the dimensions are 15 x 11.2 x 10.2 inches.

PROS:
  • Budget purchase
  • Good performance for lightweight
CONS:
  • Components could be of better quality

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Buying Guide for Portable Winches

Buying Guide for Portable Winches

The following are some of the factors that should be kept in mind when making a purchase of a portable winch.
Capacity

There is a definitive tradeoff between the capacity of the winch and the size. When one is looking at the smaller, portable variants, they will usually find that 90% of the winches offer a maximum load bearing capacity of 2,000 lbs.

There are very few winches that will offer a high rated line pull (RLP).

This factor alone makes it clear that portable winches are best used for occasional, around the house tasks like lawn mowing, towing a small lightweight vehicle, erecting or removing fences, etc. to name a few.

One should be clear about the purpose for which they are using the winch before making the purchase.

The Material of Rope Used

It is common knowledge that steel and synthetic are the two materials used for making winch ropes. They both have their pros and cons, however, when it comes to portability the line’s weight is one of the key considerations.

The synthetic winch rope of the same length and thickness as a steel cable is much lighter. It is also safer to use as it does not hold much kinetic energy. This can have serious repercussions in the event of breakage.

Line Speeds

There is a tradeoff between the desired line speed and the power consumed in achieving those speeds. Any winch will be able to pull faster without a load as opposed to being weighed down by an object.

However, trying to get a faster line speed exerts the vehicle battery and this should be kept in mind so that one does not run the risk of overexerting the battery.

Most portable winches offer comparable line speeds, however, the ones with a powerful motor are slightly faster than average.

Manual vs. Electric

The two broad ways in which the winches can be classified is manual and non-manual based on the mode of operation. A manual winch solely relies on the human operator for its speed and pulling operation.

There is a lever that is to be turned for spooling in or out.

On the other hand, the non-manual variants can be electric or hydraulic. The electrical winches rely on the vehicle battery or an AC power supply to pull objects.

They can drain the battery quickly by putting a strain on it. A hydraulic winch runs on even if the vehicle is turned off as it powered by a hydraulic pump.

It is much more efficient and durable as well as better suited for heavier loads and longer running times as compared to the alternative.

How to use a Portable Winch

How to use a Portable Winch

The portable winches came into the picture to replace come along winches and manual winches. This was to improve the efficiency of pulling jobs and automate the operation instead of relying on human strength to do the same work.

The steps involved in using a portable winch are similar to the winches that are mounted on one’s four-wheel drive.

The winch should be anchored to a sturdy object and it will be able to effortlessly do easy, lightweight jobs in farming and ranching, plant maintenance, construction work, pipe fitting, hunting, home improvement, garages, etc.

These winches can be used for pulling or lifting, depending on the type of anchorage used.

Check out a portable winch in action here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWneUE2F9FU.

Maintenance of a Portable Winch

A big part of winch maintenance is the routine inspection of the various components and storage in a dry, dirt free environment.

All types of winches are sensitive to moisture and sediments so they should be cleaned after every use to remove any residual dirt.

If the winch is not used frequently, it should be checked at least once a couple of months to ensure that all the fittings are proper.

The rope should also be spooled in and out entirely to make sure the gears and levers are not jammed and working smoothly.

Electrical fittings should be tight and the gear greasing should be checked. These are some of the general guidelines to keep in mind.

Every winch also comes with an instruction manual that will elaborate on the intricacies of the winch and highlight a handy checklist of all the standard maintenance rituals to be followed.

Why use a Portable Winch

Why use a Portable Winch

A portable winch makes a pulling or lifting job much easier than a manual or come-along winch. The latter relies on the person to manually turn the lever with their own hands which turns the gear and helps in lifting loads.

A portable electric winch removes this entire complexity and replaces it with the flick of a switch. One needs to simply attach the winch to the load and power it on. The rest of the operation is taken care of by the winch itself.

The winches come with a very good gear reduction ratio and powerful motors. Therefore, better performance with lesser efforts is what drives the purchase decision in favor of portable winches as against the alternatives.

FAQs

Can a Winch Line be Repaired?

Yes, in most cases, there are ways to repair a synthetic line. There are rope repair kits available to aid this task. However, it should be noted that if there are excessive signs of abrasion or any other damage, the rope should be replaced and not repaired. An expert consultation would be preferable to know how to proceed.

How much Weight Difference is there Between Steel and Synthetic Lines?

In general, for a rope with lengths varying from 100 to 150 feet, the difference between the weights of a synthetic rope and a steel cable of the same thickness can be as big as 15 to 23 lbs. This makes for a huge difference when it comes to the portability of the winch.

How much Weight Difference is there Between Aluminum Fairlead and Roller Fairlead?

The standard weights of a roller fairlead and an aluminum fairlead are 13 lbs and 1.5 lbs respectively. These figures might vary by a few pounds but there is still a significant difference between the two, affecting the overall weight of the winch.

Can I use a Portable Winch for Lifting Purposes?

A winch should be used for pulling purposes only unless it is specified that it can be used in any other way. There are some winches that come with certain modifications that allow for the winch to be used for lifting things vertically.

Final Words

There are a wide variety of winches available and these can be mounted onto the vehicle or used as a portable piece of equipment.

One should make sure that they clearly define the purpose for which they need a winch and choose one accordingly.

Most portable winches would not be offering a very high pulling capacity and are more suited to the small household chores or routine plant maintenance.

To avoid overexerting any winch or risking the snapping of a cable, it becomes essential to estimate one’s winching requirements and purchase accordingly.

Check out our best picks for portable wenches again in the list below. Click on the links to check out the specs, reviews, prices and offers on Amazon – 

Last update on 2020-04-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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