Warn Wins Comprehensive FourWheeler.com Winch Shootout

Written by Tim Esterdahl | 1 Comment »

Anybody who has been off-roading knows the importance of a good winch. There are simply just times when you will get stuck no matter how careful you drive. Which one is the best winch? Fourwheeler.com recently completed a detailed testing and analysis of eight different winches. There was one winner: Warn Winch.

Warn Wins FourWheeler.com Shootout

The Warn 9.5xp winch won an eight winch shootout performed by FourWheeler.com.


A comprehensive test was created for all the models that focused on real world applications of the winches. The test included 10 different sections. They were:

  1. Packaging (Was unit adequately protected for shipping?)
  2. Exterior labeling (Are visual warnings easy to comprehend?)
  3. Instructions (Content, clarity, pictures, and detail)
  4. Power-to-weight ratio (Actual stall weight vs. weight as tested)
  5. Ease of use (Clutch engagement, plug quality, remote control feel and function)
  6. Noise during operation (decibel level @ no load)
  7. Submersion (How does water effect operation?)
  8. Power wire quality (Strand count, size, coloring, insulation)
  9. Speed and efficiency (How fast and how far?)
  10. Stall test (Where do they stop pulling?)

All the tests were developed with the consumer in mind and real-world conditions that four-wheelers would face such as water, ease of use, noise and stalling. 

The Competitors

Fourwheeler.com compared eight different challengers for their top winch award. They chose electric winches since they are extremely popular and narrowed the range to between 8,000 to 9,500 pounds – a popular size for off-road vehicles like pickups, Jeeps and Blazers. The competitors were:

  • Bulldog Alpha 9300 (9,300-lb electric)
  • Engo E9000 (9,000-lb electric)
  • Harbor Freight Badland 9000 (9,000-lb electric)
  • Kodiak Bruin (9,500-lb electric)
  • Summit Racing SUM-930002 (9,000-lb electric)
  • Superwinch EP9.0 (9,500-lb electric)
  • T-Max EWI9500 (9,500-lb electric)
  • Warn 9.5xp (9,500-lb electric)

The Winner – Warn Winches

It was clear at the end of the competition that the Warn 9.5 XP winch was the best. The model details were:

  • Price as tested: $999.99
  • Pull rating (lb): 9,500
  • Remote: 12-ft hand-held remote switch
  • Drive gear: 3-stage planetary
  • Gear reduction: 156:1
  • Motor (hp): 4.6
  • Cable diameter (in): 21⁄64
  • Cable length (ft): 100
  • Shipping weight (lb): 108
  • Battery cables (AWG): 2
  • No-load line speed (ft/min): 44

It was fast, quiet and came securely boxed to avoid damage. The instructions were very clear and it was easy to use. It also had the best power-to-weight ratio of all the models and performed well under water.  During the speed and efficiency test, it was faster than the other competitors and also produced the least amount of heat. It also matched the 16,000-pound maximum pull rating of the top other competitor.

At the end of the competition it was clear that the Warn Winch was the best overall winch available.

One Comment

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    Ease of Install/Use

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