4×4 winches are an essential bit of kit for off-road 4wding. Especially if you are travelling solo, and one of the must-have 4×4 accessories if you are towing a caravan. It’s peace of mind that you can fully recover your 4wd no matter what track you travel down.
A 4×4 winch is like having car insurance. You don’t want to use it, however, when (and if) you do it’s a must-have. No one wants to be featured on a “Look who got bogged and destroyed their car” Facebook page!
If you travel with other 4wder’s and one gets bogged, you might want the extra safety net from an additional winch as well.
4wd winches come in many brands, shapes and sizes, but which 4×4 winch for sale is the best for your needs?
To help answer your question of which is the best of the 4×4 winches for sale? We’ve put together this guide to help with your decision.
The winches featured in this guide are all synthetic rope winches. This is because weight is always a factor for serious 4wders and those of us touring Oz with a caravan or camper trailer. Synthetic rope winches are known to be at least 10-15kgs lighter than steel cable winches. There are other considerations with synthetic cables too which we will discuss further down in this buying guide.
There are a number of factors this winch is our top pick, including considerations to weight, design, capacity, price and quality. Plus the added bonus of being an Australian made winch for harsh Aussie conditions.
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Best 4wd Winches Comparison Chart
|Brand||Capacity||Motor HP||Weight | Dimensions||Check Price|
|Carbon Winch 12K 12000lb||12000lb | 5443kg||12V DC 6.2HP||19.5kg |
552 x 160 x 172mm
|Dobinsons 12000lbs||12000lb | 5443kg||4.8kw 6.5HP||26kg|
160 x 210 x 545
|Mean Mother Edge 12000lbs||12000lb | 5443kg||3.6 Kw 4.8HP||43kg|
570mm x 168mm x 175mm
|Bushranger® Revo 12,000lb||12000lb | 5443kg||12V 4.6kw 6.2HP||36kg|
602 x 165 x 216
|Runva EWL12000lbs||12000lb | 5443kg||12V 4.6kw 6.1HP||31.5kg|
542 x 160 x 199
|Drivetech 12,000LB Dual Speed||12000lb | 5443kg||12V 6.0HP||32.8kg|
557 x 244 x 164
|Warn Winch EVO 12-S 12,000lb||12000lb | 5443kg||12V series wound||24.98kg|
|Sherpa The Colt 12000lb||12500lb | 5660kg||12V 6.6hp series wound||23kg|
54 x 114.3
|Ridge Ryder 12V 12000lb Electric Winch||12000lb | 5443kg||12V 4.8w 6.6HP||24.5kg|
254 x 114.3
|Kings Domin8r Xtreme||12000lb | 5443kg||12V 7.2HP||27kg|
525 x 190 x 160
Top 10 4×4 Winches Australia 2022
- Carbon 12K 12,000 lb Electric 4wd winch with synthetic rope
- Dobinsons 12,000 lb synthetic rope winch
- Mean Mother Edge 12,000 lbs synthetic rope winch
- Bushranger® Revo 12,000 lb synthetic rope winch
- Runva EWL 12,000 lb synthetic rope winch
- Drivetech 12,000 lb Dual Speed synthetic rope winch
- Warn Winch EVO 12-S 12,000 lb synthetic rope winch
- Sherpa The Colt 12,000 lb synthetic rope winch
- Ridge Ryder 12V 12000lb Electric Winch synthetic rope
- Kings Domin8r Xtreme synthetic rope winch
How To Choose the Best 4wd Winch Australia 2022
Types of Winches
4×4 winches are designed and manufactured in different ways. The two most common 4wd winch types available in Australia are:
1. Electric 4×4 Winches
These winches come with a 12v battery which allows the motor to spin the spool. This simultaneously pulls out wire rope or cable from the 4wd winch. The 4×4 winches are usually attached to 4wds with a suitable front bull bar.
2. Hydraulic Winch 4×4
These winches utilise hydraulic fluid to power the spool. A small amount of force turns a large amount of torque required due to the size and weight of 4wd winches.
It is also worth noting that there are two types of wire rope/wire cable 4×4 winches.
Steel Wire 4×4 Winches
As the name suggests, steel winches use steel 4wd wire rope or as we know them cable winches Australia. They are more affordable than their counterpart Dyneema 4wd winches, but they can be heavy and damage 4×4 vehicles due to their weight.
Dyneema 4×4 Winches
These 4wds winches have wire synthetic rope/cable made from Dyneema. It is lighter than steel, but it can be just as strong with the benefit of being able to handle higher load ratings.
Size of Winches
4×4 Winches come in many different sizes (capacity).
One of the differences between the various 4×4 Winches available in Australia is capacity. 4×4 winches come in a range of capacities, from 5000kg to 18000kg.
4WD winch capacity is very important they need to be powerful enough to recover the vehicle safely. The industry standard in Australia is 1.5 to 2 times more than the weight of your 4WD.
There are also small winches for sale or mini winches. These types of winches are best suited to small boats rather than used recovering a 4×4. Likewise if you are looking for a portable winch 4×4, they are best suited for lighter trailers.
Weight of Winches
For most owners of 4wd’s weight is always a consideration. 4×4 winches are usually mounted on the bullbar or rear bar of 4wd vehicles. When considering a winch the weight of the winch also has a direct impact on the capacity and weight ratings of the front or back end of your 4wd.
Vehicle weights can always be found in your owners manual. Never consider going over the manufacturers recommended weighs as an insurance claim could be rejected by your insurance company if you are over the recommended weight.
A 4×4 winch weight can vary from just under 20kg to over 50kgs. It is essential to properly mount your 4×4 winch to the 4bullbar or rear bar in order to effectively use it for its main purpose, rescuing 4wd vehicles.
Make sure that the winch you choose will fit your 4wd’s bullbar or rear bar and clear the weight recommendations by the manufacturer. Also, that your battery is capable of running your chosen 4×4 winch.
Quality of Winches
There is a large range of 4WD winches available on the market today, ranging from cheap low-quality ones to high-end professional winches.
The 4WD winches that are available in Australia can be separated into 4 categories:
1. Cheap 4×4 Winch
These 4×4 winches can easily break down with most having only a 12-month warranty. If you are touring or a serious off-roader then it’s worth spending a little more on a quality 4WD winch to ensure your safety when off-road for peace of mind.
If you want good pulling power and reliability stick with a winch that has a minimum of 9000lb capacity and comes with a 4-speed gearbox. It’s also worth looking at 4wd winches that can be manually operated. The manual option is good to have so it can be quickly operated by hand in case your 4WD gets bogged and you need to recover your rig onto solid ground in a hurry.
2. 4WD Winch With Remote Control
These 4wd winches are great for 4wd owners who like to explore all types of terrain. A 4×4 winch with remote control allows you to pull yourself out of mud, sand or water easily. Plus, it will save you time when compared to manually operating a 4×4 winch. Always opt for 4wd winches with wireless remotes as they are much more convenient to use and make recovery easier.
3. 4×4 Winch With Wireless Remote
These types of 4wd winches allow you to control the 4wd winch from a distance. Up to several meters away, without having to deal with any ropes or wires that restrict your movement. 4×4 winches with remote are the perfect 4wd accessory because they allow you to pull your rig out of mud, water or sand without having to get into your rig.
4. Hand Winch 4×4
There are manual winches for sale. They are generally known as a hand winch 4wd. It’s a 4×4 winch that has a synthetic rope or wire and is often used in 4WD recovery because these hand winches Australia require less electricity. They can run off a battery meaning they can be used when there is no power going to your 4WD.
Or you can choose one that uses brute force with no electricity to help. Great as a backup but we wouldn’t recommend this to rely on as your first line of recovery.
Best 4wd Winch Reviews Australia 2022
Carbon Winches Review
The Carbon Winch is designed, engineered and tested in Australia by KPD Industries, located in Queensland. It took KPD from 2012 – 2016 to design and test the winch and did so as they found that no reputable brands stood up to the harsh Aussie conditions.
After a 5 year success with thousands of customers using the Carbon Winch and a fast-growing following, KPD went back to the drawing board undertaking a complete 6-month redesign and overhaul. The Carbon Winch version 2 launched in July 2021.
Carbon 12K Electric Winch is a 12,000 lb (5443 kg) capacity winch with an electric motor. The Carbon 12K is designed to be the most powerful and reliable winch in its class available today. It is smooth and very quiet it has been designed for harsh Australian conditions.
Fully sealed to resist water, dirt and dust ingress into motor, drum and gearbox mechanisms.
Ver 2 Series was upgraded with IP68 protection for an excellent level of durability against harsh conditions like mud or sand; this means you can use the winch in any environment.
It features 12000 pounds pulling power too–enough that even tough jobs will be completed quickly. While providing high efficiency using its triple planetary gearset allowing 216:1 line pull ratio which makes fast work possible.
6 HP series wound electric motors powering 24 volts option are available too.
This remote control unit is fully sealed, making it easy to activate by holding both buttons down for 3 seconds.
It also has an inactivity detection so that the controller will turn off after 90 more of these pauses between presses on your part. You won’t have any problem getting this winch free spooled up because its rotating ring gear clutch design makes low drag and works with no resistance or backlash. The electroplated planetary gearsets mean long life.
The Carbon Winch features a 3 layer membrane breather unit pre-fitted to the electric motor, which allows condensation to evaporate and equalize pressure during heat cycles.
The Multi-Fit Fairlead will save you time as there is no need to worry about finding out what size your bullbar takes since they offer different mounting options!
All other internals are fully zinc electroplated for corrosion protection with high-performance brushless motors that operate smoothly thanks to copper impregnated contacts; so you know they’re durable enough in any situation.
The carbon winch’s hoist-style brake unit allows it to stop applying force on the drum with no risk of heating up the synthetic rope.
Note* There is a Battery Isolator Switch supplied with the kit. The Isolator must be installed. This is to ensure safety as you wouldn’t have a non-isolated or fused battery cable running to the back of your vehicle for towing or other Auxiliary uses. It is the same for the Carbon Winch power feed. It must be isolated to guard against shorting out in a collision or other unforeseen circumstances.
The Carbon 12000 lb Winch has impressive warranties
- Lifetime Mechanical Warranty
- 5 Year Electrical Warranty
- 5 Year Water Ingress Protection Warranty
Dobinsons 12V Electric Winch Review
More Powerful – Improved 12V series wound motor provides increased power for pulling heavy loadings with ease.
Housing Breather & Filter: Each winching application has been designed to be water protected so you can easily operate your equipment on any terrain without the worry of damage or rust due to corrosion caused by moisture seeping into metal parts over time if left unchecked.
The casing itself was also given an upgrade which includes 304-grade stainless steel cross rods. The rods are much sturdier than the earlier model. At the same time being more compact when assembled together allowing a deeper fit within most mounting cavities.
The redesigned clutch handle is a much easier and quicker operation. The new quick-flip style allows for simple one-handed use, reducing the winch’s overall height in return.
Also improved is the single solenoid durability by housing it within a fully-sealed heavy-duty control box.
Dobinsons offer a 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects on their 12,000 lb winch.
Mean Mother Winch Review – Edge 12000Lb with Synthetic Rope
Built from quality parts at a reasonable price point, these winches are created for those who want excellent value without any futher costs.
The three-stage planetary gearbox ensures smooth operation under most conditions. While an easy release slip ring clutch helps when you’re trying to get free quickly when bogged.
The three-stage planetary gearbox with sintered steel bushings pressed and stamped (no pop rivets) provides maximum strength in winching operations. The sliding ring gear clutch allows for easy free spooling.
A reinforced steel drum provides the strength and durability to withstand a pulling force. The automatic load-holding in-drum brake system ensures maximum safety during recovery operations.
Each gearbox is assembled and lubricated using synthetic grease to provide strength in overcoming pulling forces.
Delivering power to the winch is a sleek and stylish solenoid that uses Ag-Cd alloy contacts (Silver cadmium). The technology and quality of these contactors resist arching when switching currents, preventing them from fusing together creating an open circuit that can potentially damage your vehicle or serious injury for operators. The solenoid is encased in a control box with a waterproof plug.
The heavy-duty hand control offers a high degree of flexibility and performance. The 5-metre power cord with an optional wireless remote to make operating the winch easier will allow you to put your 4×4 through its paces without getting too close. This ensures the safety of both you and others around while making sure that all recoveries are successful.
Mean Mother state there is a 5-year warranty.
Bushranger ® REVO 12,000 lb Winch Review
The Bushranger winch is packed with features, including high-quality construction for lasting power. Plus a low current draw to maintain battery life without reducing performance when you need it most.
This Bushranger also has 4 stage oversized gears that provide fast line speeds together with an advanced proportional friction braking system which means it will hold 100% securely.
With the zero drag braking system, you can unspool your rope without worrying about slowing down or creating unnecessary wear and heat build-up. The fast reel speeds are made possible by this innovative design that has no need for traditional winch brakes since it doesn’t create any friction under pressure.
The fully sealed motor and gearbox (IP67 rated) gives you the ultimate protection from water, dust or debris, giving you the peace of mind that your winch is ready for anything.
The winch has a Gearbox mounted braking system and 100% load holding. The proportional friction braking system is away from the drum – eliminating heat transfer to synthetic rope.
The Zero Drag Brakes also allow this winch to work tirelessly without becoming overly hot as you unspool it while preserving battery life.
The 4-stage oversized gearbox design of this winch ensures maximum strength and durability. Extra-wide gears improve load distribution, resulting in less wear for increased long term reliability. The externally adjustable 16 position ring enables a quick fitment while 3 position motor clocking provides versatility during installation to suit your needs.
The ergonomic hand controller with long-range is fully sealed and IP67 rated. The sealed 433MHz wireless receiver can be mounted internally to the control box.
This Bushranger winch comes with an impressive limited lifetime Mechanical warranty and a 7-year electrical warranty.
Runva 12000 lb Winch Review
It also comes equipped with cables as well as a control box power cable.
For added safety there are 3 different styles of mounts available: offset mount + standard Hawse Fairlead combination (standard).
A power isolator switch mounting bracket is included.
This Runva winch comes with a limited 5 years mechanical and lifetime electrical warranty.
Drivetech Winch Review – 12000lb Dual Speed
This winch can be adjusted to suit any condition and task at hand from heavy vehicles or serious bogs. It handles full 12k lb capacity with a lower speed setting, all the way down to lighter recoveries driving forward with a faster speed setting.
The amazingly low 1152:1 Ratio normally only found within performance 9500lb models makes this possible.
With the new compact design of this winch, you can mount it behind your grill or bar. The short lead means that most bullbars will accommodate the Drivetech winch.
The Drivetech 12000lb winch has a 3-year warranty.
Warn Winch Review – 12000lb Evo 12-S
It features IP68 rated waterproof construction with an ultra-reliable Albright® contactor inside the relocatable control pack. Together with a state of the art two in one remote that makes using it easy.
With fast line speed at lower amp draw you’ll find this winch tough and hard working.
This Warn winch, a powerful series-wound motor and planetary gear train deliver faster line speed under load, with lower amp draw.
IP68 waterproof construction keeps the elements out of your winching experience while keeping you connected to your vehicle.
The high-performance Albright contactor delivers maximum reliability.
Control packs can be relocated for low-profile installations and a durable one-piece cast aluminium tie plate adds strength and durability where it counts most.
Two in one remote with wired AND wireless options for ease of use and versatility.
Limited lifetime warranty for mechanical parts and 7 years on electrical parts.
Sherpa Winch Review – The Colt
This innovative design results in a trouble and heat-free winch and braking combination. The Sherpa Colt Winch features an all-new sealed, watertight, heavy-duty genuine Albright solenoid. It also comes standard with 16 stainless steel fitting this winch will stand up to all environments.
The Sherpa 4×4 winch is a powerful, fully engineered winch that provides reliable performance in the toughest of conditions. The enormous series wound motor provides huge amounts of copper in the windings. This results in a more durable and powerful motor that can withstand the extreme conditions that come with off-roading.
The specially designed gearbox delivers incredible pulling power from start to finish, whilst also being extremely quiet and compact.
Sherpa offers a 5 Year warranty on the Colt winches.
The Ridge Ryder winch is a 4×4 recovery and towing winch that can pull up to 12,000 lbs. It features a rope size of 10mm x 28m, made from synthetic material for durability.
This winch is the perfect accessory for any 4WD. It can pull in or let out your line quickly and easily. This 12000-pound model has an SK75 Dyneema 10mm x 28m lightweight rope which makes using it effortlessly as well.
The Winch is a powerful and reliable 12 volt, 6.6 HP motor that can get you out of any predicament with its automatic braking system for controlled winching. As well as the remote switch setup which allows for cabin use or wireless operation at safe distances.
This winch has an operating line speed of 8.5 feet per minute (2.6 m/s) with a pulling capacity of 12,000 lb (5443 kg). It comes with a remote control box that allows you to control the unit from the comfort of your vehicle.
The Ridge Ryder Winch is designed for use in extreme conditions including mud, snow, ice and water – it’s waterproof. The unit has an automatic load-holding brake system that prevents overloading.
Kings 4×4 Winch Review – Domin8r Xtreme 12,000lb
The Domin8r Xtreme features an all-new drum design that delivers less wear on rope or cable for maximum performance when you need it most.
The 4×4 Supercentre winch is a heavy-duty winch that is designed to look after itself. The new, specially-designed patent-pending larger brake setup relocates the brake away from the winch drum and into the motor. This prevents the winch drum from excessively heating up and damage to the winch rope under heavy use.
The new brake setup is even better at stopping the winch under shock-load conditions.
With 7hp, 12000 lb motor & an ultra-low 218:1 gear reduction ratio it has enough pulling power of V8. Plus you get 26 meters long synthetic rope with all parts needed to be mounted onto any standard bull bar to make sure your ride is safe.
What are winches used for?
4×4 winches are used for 4wd vehicles in Australia to rescue 4wd vehicles stuck in the mud, sand, water or snow and driving up steep inclines. 4×4 winches can be fitted to all 4wd vehicles in Australia that need them with the right 4WD accessories.
What is the best winch for the money Australia?
Our Top Pick for the best value for money winch is the Carbon Winch. We believe the weight, dimensions, price and pulling power makes it a TOP PICK! Plus it’s an Australian made 4×4 winch.
4×4 Winch Accessories
Some of the most popular winch accessories include
- 4×4 winch hook
- 4wd winch rope
- 4×4 winch ring
- Soft shackles
- Snack block
- Extension strap
- Recovery dampener
Considering you have probably spent upwards of 50K on your rig, we believe buying a 4×4 winch is a small investment for peace of mind. Especially if you are touring Australia with an off-road caravan or a serious off-road.
We hope this review of the top 10 4×4 winches covered in this buying guide has helped you reach a decision about which 4×4 winch to buy that suits your needs and lifestyle.