Man a lot of misinformation in here.
OP, how many times do you wheel? How many times do you find you getting stuck or friends getting stuck? What type of terrain do you wheel? Whats your budget?
I've been around several winches and have had two myself, so here is from what I've seen.
I was given a cheap Chicago (Harbor Frieght) 10,000lb winch. It was slow and loud. I mean slow. But it worked every time and pulled whatever I needed.
I bought a used Warn (model number in my Sig) from a friend. I love the line speed, it's dependable, works like it should and given that I've used slow line speed winches, I'd prefer a faster winch. The Warn also doesn't heat up as much as the Chicago did.
I've seen the Smittybilt Winch in action numerous times on two different vehicles. They work like they should and I saw one failure while winching. However I also saw a Warn 8274 failure on a cold snowy night before. Solenoid went out in it.
All mechanical things will break eventually. I'd buy a used Warn again in a heart beat. I'd also look into a SuperWinch as the one I saw in person, I liked the line speed as well.
Pick a winch to fit your budget, goals and use. Also remember you'll need other recovery gear, snatch blocks, tree saver, d-rings, chains, etc etc.
I use a steel cable right now but much rather prefer a synthetic line. The whole safety thing is big for me. With my steel cable I have a ARB blanket I put over top to dampen any breakage force and I make others stand away. I'll switch lines eventually.
I also prefer a Integrated Solenoid type winch.
I wouldn't cheap out on a winch though, I wouldn't by Warns cheaper line, I wouldn't buy SuperWinch cheaper line. Smittybilt I'm so so on them, they work but the one failure I saw and from hearing others on the trail report failures I wouldn't run one. But a winch is better than no winch. Look for a nice used Warn before buying a cheaper one if you can help it.
Yellow Jeep Member #42
01 TJ Sport
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