The first thing I'd do is price out an off road recovery. They aint cheap and THEY'RE your comparison.
Figure out what kind of winch capacity you need. If you mud, you're going to need a heavier duty winch; MUCH heavier rated. Generally speaking, a safe sized winch is about 3 times your vehicle weight. Remember too that the winch rating is for the BOTTOM WRAP of your cable. Each wrap on the drum of your winch lessens its ability.
Don't count on being able to run your engine while winching. Vehicle angles, water, etc. can make running the engine impossible at worst, not desired at best.
Winching is more than owning a winch. It also means understanding basic concepts such as leverage. You also want to own a "recovery kit" with snatch blocks, slings, straps, etc. How many snatch blocks? I take four along with me, but some consider this overkill. They also don't believe you can pull yourself out backwards with enough snatch blocks.
I believe synthetic cable is nice, but not necessary. It certainly has its advantages such as being lighter and not storing energy so that if it snaps, it drops instead of flying through the air. I also think that it has disadvantages. It is more fragile and more suseptible to being damaged by rocks and logs. In my prior career, I did lot's of winch work working for a telecommunications company. All we ever used was steel cable except for pulling cable underground. We'd use a sandline there so that we didn't damage ductwork. Steel winch lines work just fine.
If you're buying a winch to look cool, buy what you want. If you're buying the winch to get yourself or your buddies out of a jam, save your money and buy the best you can. There are reasons why Ramsey and Warn are expensive, and they're good reasons like series wound so that they stay ccoler, higher ratings with heavier gearing, etc.
I'd rather be lost on the trails than found at home!
Phoenix Rising- A Flame Off Restoration?
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