Smittybilt Winches Review – Unbiased Buyers Guide

The outside world is all about competition between brands to lure their customers. That is why you should do enough research before buying anything.

While you already know that Smittybilt is a trustworthy brand, there are several options that they offer too.

Smittybilt Winches Review


You can choose the best after going through our smittybilt winches review. No one wants to be in a tough situation when their automobile buddy decides to get stuck in 'God-knows-where'. Smittybilt winches will do everything to get your vehicle out of the ditch. Here's a clear analysis of the Smittybilt atv winch for the money.

Comparison Table Of Smittybilt Winch

Product Name


Remote Control

Gear Ratio

Cable Type


Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

6.6 hp

Excellent Corded


Wire Rope

Smittybilt X2O COMP Waterproof Winch

Smittybilt X2O Waterproof Winch

6.6 hp

Advanced Wireless


Synthetic Rope

Smittybilt XRC 9.5K GEN3 Winch Steel Series

Smittybilt XRC 9.5K GEN3

7.0 hp



Steel cable

Smittybilt XRC-4 Winch ATV UTV Marine Trailer

Smittybilt XRC-4 Winch ATV UTV

4.1 hp



Steel cable

Smittybilt 97380 X20-8 8,000 lbs Winch

Smittybilt X20-8 8,000 lbs Winch

5.5 hp



Galvanized steel cable

Smittybilt Winches Review

#1. Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC Winch

This product brings power and efficiency under one roof, and that's the biggest plus that we won't miss to mention in the smittybilt 9500 winch review. It has a 6.6 horsepower amphibious motor, automatic in-drum break, and remote control system.

It has sufficient torque to pull out a car or truck from the mud because of its 9500 pounds pulling capability and planetary gear technology. It gets delivered with the entire installation wiring, and it is better to use these and not go for others if you want to get the work done fast. Remarkably, it has a lower gear ratio of 161.28:1, and a high winding speed, so controlling will be hassle-free for you.


  • It has a good load capacity of 9500lbs that makes pulling out a car or truck easier.
  • The 6.6 HP motor will prove to be efficient for heavier vehiclesIt doesn’t take much time to install this XRC with your automobile
  • It doesn’t take much time to install this XRC with your automobile
  • The installation wiring comes along with the package.


  • After our smittybilt xrc 9500 review and analysis, we found that you won’t be getting the mounting plate along with this product.
  • This product doesn't have the synthetic rope and comes with the steel cable

The best way to find yourself the right winch is by calculating the load capacity of your vehicle. Taking the Gross Vehicle Weight rating (GVWR), multiply it with 1.5

#2. Smittybilt X2O COMP Waterproof Winch

Smittybilt 98512 x20 review is worth it because of the splendid features that it has. You don't have to worry about the presence of water at the rescue spot because of the amphibious motor that has 6.6 Horsepower. You can go easy on manual operations because of the quick remote control benefit.

The low gear ratio and efficient pulling strength are a blessing to the ones with heavy automobiles. With a minimum time of installation, it is easy for you to fit it on your vehicle. It also comes with two solenoid mounting options. You cannot ignore the 3-stage planetary gear technology that makes the product very reliable.


  • It is waterproof and lets you pull your vehicle out of a wet and moist region as well.
  • Kudos to the 3- stage planetary gear system
  • The high horsepower proves the mettle of the motor, and the low gear ratio is a direct indication of good winding speed.


  • There are a few customers who are not satisfied with the defective wireless remote control feature in the product.

When using steel cables or winch ropes, try not to place them over a rock since there is a high chance of breakage (courtesy - friction) and human injuries in this scenario.

#3. Smittybilt XRC 9.5K GEN3 Winch Steel Series

The main reason to leave the smittybilt xrc 9.5 winch review here is that this is the newest addition to the Smittybilt winch family. With more advanced features and better attention to detail, this one is the finest in the 9500lbs range. It has a highly efficient steel cable of 94 feet that goes through the roller fair-lead.

It has a spectacular 7.0 Horsepower motor that is better than the models we've discussed so far. This GEN3 model is faster than its GEN2 counterpart. It has the innovative Load indicator warning system that tells you the tolerance limit of your equipment here. Most importantly, because of the flashlight and tie-bar light, you can work conveniently in the dark as well.


  • It comes with an IP67 rating that indicates the remarkable waterproof nature of the winch
  • The Load indicator makes life easy with a quick warning whenever things are getting 'heavy'
  • The in-built flashlight and tie-bar light will reduce your anxiety even if you get stuck during the night hours.
  • The 7.0 HP motor is the best in the off-roading industry.


  • For someone new to winching, the user manual will do no good to guide them in the right way.

#4. Smittybilt XRC-4 Winch ATV UTV Marine Trailer

This product is manufactured to deal with vehicles like UTV, ATV, or marine trailers. It has a load capacity of 4000lbs that is not much when compared to the other products previously mentioned. Well, in that case, you should make sure your vehicle has less gross weight.

It has a low gear ration and 4.1 Horsepower motor. It has a strong steel cable that goes through a four-way roller fairlead. The control is convenient with the 11' remote control. Along with the remote and handlebar rocker, it is easy to guide its action from quite a distance.


  • It has enough load capacity to work with vehicles like ATV/UTV or marine trailers.
  • It is a relief that this one comes with the needed installation tools and mounting plate.
  • It also has an efficient solenoid.
  • The price is affordable and cheap for the good features that it offers.


  • Good that you've read this smittybilt Atv winch review. Most of the customers bought this for their jeeps but unfortunately, it is not equipped to meet their Jeep's necessities.

#5. Smittybilt 97380 X20-8 8,000 lbs Winch

If you are on a budget and you can settle for something that has less horsepower, then you can go for this. But this winch works well for no so heavy vehicles. It has a 3-stage planetary gear system with a 5.5 Horsepower motor.

It has a very long 100ft cable that makes work easy-peasy. On the plus side, the cable is galvanized and light in weight too. The cable goes through the 4-way steel fairlead. It has a 10 feet long protective sleeve. You get the 12' remote control to monitor the work from a distance.


  • The cable is very long, galvanized and also has a good UV protection.
  • It has a decent gear ratio of 180:1. Though not as good as the previous model of smittybilt x20 winch review, it can do an efficient job.
  • You cannot turn a blind eye to the good warranty option that this has


  • It did not draw as many happy responses from clients as the previously reviewed products.

Difference Between The x20 And XRC

If you haven’t made up your mind yet, then this comparative study of smittybilt xrc vs x20 will give a clear perspective.

Wireless Control

The XRC models have a corded control system that is efficient and reliable. However, if you like to keep the wires and ties away, X20 has wireless remote controls

Load Capacity

Based on your vehicle weight, you need to go for the suitable winch. Higher load capacity is meant for heavier vehicles ( XRC GEN2- 9.5k lbs ,Smittybilt X2O COMP - 12k lbs, XRC 9.5K GEN3) while lower load capacity is for lighter automobiles (Smittybilt 97380 X20 -4k lbs, Smittybilt ATV UTV Marine -8k lbs)

Solenoid mounting options

The XRC models (XRC 9.5K GEN3, Smittybilt ATV UTV Marine, XRC GEN2, ) have an upper hand here because they offer 3 different areas for the solenoid mounting unlike the X20 models ( Smittybilt X2O COMP, Smittybilt 97380 X20,)  that only give two. The more solenoid mounting location options, the merrier.

Power and Efficiency

The one that demands less power and has good speed is efficient. XRC models (XRC GEN2, XRC 9.5K GEN3, Smittybilt ATV UTV Marine) have high speed, but require high power that batteries sometimes can’t supply. However, even if the X20 models (Smittybilt 97380 X20, Smittybilt X2O COMP) have less speed, they get the work done with lesser power. This makes them the winners in smittybilt x20 vs xrc debate.

Brief About the Brand Smittybilt

In 1956, ‘Smittybilt’ was a small machine shop named ‘Rock-ett Products’ that eventually evolved to become a leading brand. Basil Smith was a travel enthusiast who has great love for the four wheels. He knew the ups and downs that a Tao Tao 4 wheel traveller would face when he decides to embark on a road journey. This thought has led to his desire to bring 4WD products into the market.

His son, Tom, joined the mechanic garage business. He has been surrounded by the wheels and nuts from a very young age. His father’s vision became his mission.  His determination led to the empowerment of the leading brand in winches. They’ve been in the business for about 5 decades and provided the best 4WD products to their customers.


#1. How do I know which winch to buy?

Load capacity should tally with vehicle weight.

#2. Where can I find the GVWR for calculating load capacity?

You can find it online or the door of your car.

#3. Will you need a battery for your Smittybilt winch?

Yes, a 650 CCA battery will be great.

#4. Should I look for warranty while buying winches?

Yes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The smittybilt winch reviews will help you to pick the right winch model for your car. Before you make any choice, keep in mind all the parameters, weight factors that are important for the good functioning of a winch. Be cautious while working with the winches and take all the safety precautions.

Finding the right winch is crucial because that is the magic equipment capable of making sure that you are not stuck anymore. Be it mud or ditch, your winch should be able to tackle all the hard situations.

Categories ATV

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