I used the kind that has the red removible switch handle. No handle no power. Same type used on thetrack. Two reasons I do, call me paraniod; If any thing goes bad goes bad on the winch, the winch has remote control, if someone else has the same or perhaps a random signal that is the same. Might not be possible who knows, better to have if off and off.
You could also use a heavy duty plug. Yes it will arc if you disconnect it under load. I would have more peace of mind ripping a big plug apart to kill the winch than I would flipping a switch. I know a winch is unlikely to fail and the switch is even less likely to fail, but nothing beats just ripping wires apart.
You could wire a set of booster cables to said plug. Plug in your booster cables and use on whatever.
-A hoist will not have a free spool option.
-A hoist has a positively locking brake system compared to a dynamic brake system. Think of the winch as having a hand brake and the hoist as having a P (auto tranny).
-Hoists typically have a narrow spool which wont bind up, winches typically have a wide spool which can bind up when side winching. Wide spools fit on bumpers, narrow spools do not.
-Hoists have to adhere to a ****load of safety standards.
I'm not sure how winches are rated. To me an 8000lb pound winch should be able to apply 8000lb of tension in the winch cable, meaning it would stall when trying to lift 8000 lbs. Should be able to lift 7999.99 pounds. Not sure if thats actually hows its done or not. In the movie "the gods must be crazy" the winch served very well as a hoist.
I will research this 2 night but For guys with two batteries I think you can make a dedicated two wire circuit with the batteries in series and increase your no load line speed. This can be for no load only but I think I can draw the circuit 2 nite and make it for no load increased line speed both in and out. After Hurricane Ivan we had a lot of power problems and I made a similar circuit to switch a 110 volt AC refrigerator to run on 12volt DC batteries.
My input is kind of off subject a little here but still important. I've installed winches on F550 4wd fire dept brush trucks. I never liked having raw unswitched unfused hi current battery power running to the front (and rear in 1 case). What if you hit a tree stump, rock, or anything that could pinch this hi current cable to chassis ground. 300-400 raw unfused amps of power being shorted to ground in not a pretty site.
Having a main switch in the red cable like the link above, mounted close to the battery is, in my opinion, a must.