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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Smittybilt Winch Review: Which is the Best Winch Option for You?

Smittybilt offers a wide range of products and accessories for your overlanding and off-roading rig. This includes a nice selection of winches that you can use for rescue and recovery efforts when your adventures get a little too adventurous.

While a large selection of winches is nice, it can be overwhelming trying to determine which one is best for your needs. That’s where this Smittybilt winch review comes in!

Below, I’ve identified three Smittybilt winch options that offer different features and capabilities. All three are at a slightly different price point, too, so you can determine which one offers the most bang for your buck.

Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

Budget Option: XRC GEN2 9.5K Waterproof Smittybilt Winch

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This Gen2 series Smittybilt winch includes enhanced performance and durability that makes it an excellent option for your off-road rig without busting your budget.

This particular option provides a 9,500-pound load capacity with a 94-foot, 5/16-inch diameter wire rope, a 6.6-horsepower motor, and a three-stage planetary gear train. Likewise, there’s a 12-inch remote control lead, a four-way roller fairlead, and a completely waterproof, state-of-the-art 500-amp solenoid.

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Other features include:

  • Sliding ring gear clutch
  • Automatic in-drum brake
  • 161.28:1 gear ratio
  • IP67 waterproof rating
  • 2.5-inch drum
  • Textured black finish
  • Dimensions: 20.88″ x 6.3″ x 7.4″
  • Weight: 78 pounds
  • Bolt mounting pattern: 10.0″ x 4.5″

This kit also comes with all the wiring needed for installation on your vehicle.

This Smittybilt winch comes with a lifetime mechanical warranty and a three-year electrical warranty for peace of mind!

Get a long-term review of this winch in the video above by Stark’s Expeditions. You can also read the Amazon reviews of this winch, which currently stand at 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Mid-Range Option: XRC GEN3 9.5K Comp Series Smittybilt Winch

smittybilt winch xrc gen 3


The updated XRC Gen3 series Smittybilt winch was completely redesigned from top to bottom to enhance performance. Not only is this winch stronger, but it’s also faster to operate and easier to use than ever before.

For example, the XRC Gen3 features a 7-horsepower motor with new forced steel gearing (rather than stamped steel, which is what was used in earlier models) that gives you 12 percent more power over the Gen2 model. The spool speed is also faster – to the tune of 17 percent better performance with zero load. This winch also has a lower amp draw thanks to specialized silicon steel that provides more efficient electrical throughput.

Moreover, the 9,500-pound-capacity winch offers a synthetic rope, an aluminum hawse fairlead, and an IP67 waterproof rating so you can get into deep mud and water without worry of damage to the unit.

smittybilt winch xrc gen 3 2

You even get a remote control with a built-in flashlight so it’s easier to see what you’re doing when you’re out for a nighttime off-road adventure.

Other features of this Smittybilt winch include:

  • A high-visibility clutch lever (so you can see from a distance if the winch is engaged or free-spooled)
  • Detachable body armor (which can be customized to your vehicle)
  • Built-in 12-volt power post inside the control box (for powering additional lighting)
  • Large ergonomic remote control (with a Load Indicator Warning System)
  • Dimensions: 27″ x 14″ x 10″
  • Weight: 73 pounds
  • Bolt mounting pattern: 10.0″ x 4.5″

Of course, the same lifetime mechanical warranty and five-year electrical warranty are part of the package, too!

Check out a field review of this Smittybilt winch in the video above by Jeepin’ Bubba. You can also read the Amazon reviews for this winch, which is currently rated 4.7 out of 5 stars.

High-End Option: X2O GEN2 17.5K Waterproof Wireless Smittybilt Winch

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If you’re looking for a high-end, do-it-all winch, the X20 Gen2 17.5K waterproof wireless winch is a great option.

Not only does the X20 Gen2 feature a 17,500-pound load rating, but it also has a 6.6-horsepower amphibious motor, a three-stage planetary gear system with updated gear ratios, and a completely waterproof, state-of-the-art 500-amp solenoid.

Since this is a top-of-the-line option, this Smittybilt winch has a wireless remote that can also be plugged directly into the winch. The winch utilizes stainless steel hardware for durability, a dynamic braking system for reliability, and the four-way roller fairlead with a forged hook gives you strong performance when performing recoveries.

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Other features include:

  • IP68 waterproof rating
  • 430:1 gear ratio
  • Sliding ring gear clutch
  • Automatic out-of-drum brake
  • 3.45″ drum
  • Dimensions: 22.3″ x 7.5″ x 10.7″
  • Weight: 150 pounds
  • Bolt mounting pattern: 10.0″ x 4.50″

You get a Smittybilt lifetime mechanical warranty and a five-year electrical warranty as well.

Watch how to install this winch in the video above by ZacksJerryRig. You can also read Amazon reviews for this Smittybilt winch, which is currently rated 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Smittybilt Winch Accessories

If you want to extend the life, durability, and usability of your Smittybilt winch, you might consider adding one of the following accessories.

Smittybilt XRC Logo Winch Cover

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This black vinyl cover works with Smittybilt XRC 8,000-12,000-pound winches. The cover keeps rain, snow, mud, and other elements from caking onto the winch when not in use.

Smittybilt 17,600 lb. Snatch Block

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Smittybilt’s 17,600-pound snatch block doubles the pulling power of your Smittybilt winch. It works with 7/32-3/8-inch cables and assists with angled pulls. The black powder-coated finish offers extreme durability while the grazable fitting ensures continuous smooth operation.

Smittybilt Premium Winch Accessory Bag

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This kit for your Smittybilt winch includes an array of useful accessories, including:

  • (1) 3″ x 30′ 30,000 lb. Recovery strap
  • (1) 4″ x 8′ 40,000 lb. Tree trunk protector
  • (1) Premium work gloves
  • (1) 17.6k lb. Snatch block
  • (2) 3/4″ D-Rings
  • (1) 5′ of 5/16″ choker chain with hooks
  • (1) Heavy-duty 600-denier bag with strap

With accessories like this and the quality and durability of Smittybilt winches, you’ll have the right setup to get yourself and your trail buddies out of tenuous situations – and you can do so on a budget, too!

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