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Best Smittybilt Winch Review 2019

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There are many winches available out there, and the perfect winch suitable for you purely depends on the need. Sometimes you need a powerful winch which has a high tolerance, pulling strength and control.

While other times, you are forced to select a winch according to your budget.

Smittybilt winches are powerful electric winches which are cost-effective compared to other premium winches. Whilst there is no hard-fast rule in selecting winches, the selection of winches can be done by experimenting with different models too. Read on this Smittybilt winch review to know if they are worth buying.

Top 4 Smittybilt Winch Review

Smittybilt winches are tough and powerful winches. They have high pulling strength and great tolerance. Most of the Smittybilt winches have amphibious motor (can be used in completely submerged water) with planetary gear system.

If you are looking to pull your 4 x 4, a jeep, ATV or UTV, smittybilt is for you.

1. Smittybilt 97417 XRC 17.5 17500 lbs Winch Review [Most Powerful]

Key Features:

  • 17,500 lb.Load Capacity.
  • 4 Way Roller Fairlead.
  • Waterproof IP67 rating.
  • Steel cable.
Smittybilt 97417 XRC winch is our top pick among all Smittybilt electric winches. It’s a heavy-duty winch with a pulling force of 17,500 lbs. It can get you out of any situation while you are exploring with your jeep or SUV out there.

This super winch has a massive 6.6 horsepower amphibious motor. It has a 3-stage planetary gear system with excellent gear ratios. The planetary gear system increases the line speed and pulling force.

It has a solenoid box that can handle the power load. This box also makes it suitable to mount it in three different positions according to your choice.

The model comprises the 4-way fairlead mechanism to ensure smooth operation. Its automatic braking system makes it safer while handling heavy vehicles. Both motor and the gear system are IP67 certified meaning they are water, dust and UV resistant. For free spooling, the motor has power-in and power-out mechanism.

Smittybilt 97417 XRC winch comes with a forged steel hook attached to the rope. The rope is very long measuring around 93 foot, and it is a steel cable. But you can install a synthetic rope if you wish and rewind it.

You need to buy the mounting plate to fix it to your vehicle. Batteries are not included. The minimum battery capacity required is 650 cold-cranking amps (CCA) to avoid heating issues. Winch cover has to be bought separately as well.

It has 12-foot lead remote control for better and safer operation. There are no additional wireless remotes meaning you cannot unplug and operate the wired remote control.


  • Durable and highly tolerant
  • High pulling force
  • Super high powerful motor (6.6hp)
  • IP67 resistant
  • Remote control
  • 4-way fairlead roller
  • Mounting bolts included
  • Easy installation


  • No winch cover
  • Weighs Heavy (132.2 lbs. or 62 kg)
  • No batteries included

2. Smittybilt X20 98510 10.0 10000 lb Waterproof GEN 2 Winch Review [Best Value]

Key Features:

  • 10,000 lbs load capacity.
  • Waterproof IP68 rating.
  • Wireless Remote.
  • Synthetic Rope.
If you are looking for a winch that is suitable for your Jeep Wrangler (1987 and up), then Smittybilt X20 98510 10k lb waterproof synthetic rope winch is for you. It fits the most Jeep Wrangler models such as JK, JL, TJ, and YJ.

The Smittybilt X20 is an improved version with a waterproof synthetic rope. It has a powerful 6.6 horsepower motor with a 3-stage planetary gear system. The motor is amphibious and has a 500 Amp IP68 certified solenoid pack. All parts are sealed fairly to protect them from different weather conditions.

The engine is powerful yet quiet which makes it more comfortable to work with. It has a 3-stage planetary gear model for maximum efficiency. The best feature of Smittybilt X20 is its optimized gear ratios which enhance better line speeds.

This entire unit is also lightweight (64.4 lbs.) compared to other winches with similar pulling power. Smittybilt X20 has a synthetic rope which makes it easier to use in all weather conditions. The planetary gear system and the aluminum hawse fairlead mechanism aids in smooth operation.

Dynamic braking system ensures maximum safety while working with heavy loads. The winch will not be activated until the gears are engaged in enhancing maximum safety.

The braking system also helps in reducing the load and temperature of the drum. It has 12-foot lead remote control which can be unplugged and used wirelessly. The minimum battery capacity required is 650 cold cranking amps (CCA), and you may also require a 200-amp alternator so that the load on the battery is minimized.

You can replace the synthetic rope with steel rope according to your requirements.


  • IP68 water resistant unit
  • Synthetic rope
  • Wireless and lead remote operation
  • Planetary gear system
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful and quiet motor


  • A little bit difficult to mount the solenoid
  • No winch cover

3. Smittybilt 97495 XRC 9.5 9500 lbs Winch Review

Key Features:

  • 9500 lbs load capacity.
  • Waterproof IP67 rating.
  • 4 Way Roller Fairlead.
  • Steel Rope.
Another winch suitable for most Jeep Wranglers is the Smittybilt 97495 XRC winch. With a pulling force of 9500 lb., it can pull most of the Jeep Wranglers with ease. This winch can pull 1987 and up wrangler models.

Smittybilt 97495 XRC winch has 6.6 horsepower amphibious motor. The rope used in the unit is made of steel with rugged aluminum crossbars which can last for a lifetime. It has a 3-stage planetary gear system to hold the maximum load and quick recovery.

The winch has a 4-way roller fairlead mechanism to ensure smooth handling. This winch is IP67 waterproof and also has a black matte coating to protect against UV. It has a steel rope of length 93 feet. The end of the rope has permanently attached hook which is durable and can pull off heavy loads.

For free spooling, the motor has power-in and a power-out mechanism like most of the winches.

The automatic braking system provides safer handling of the winch. The winch can be operated with a 12-foot lead remote control. Herein, the remote control cannot be unplugged, and there is no additional wireless remote control.

A battery of a minimum 650 CCA is recommended. It would be wise to use an alternator with a minimum 200-amp to reduce the load on the battery and avoid heating issues.

Mounting plate and winch cover are not supplied along with the product, and you have to buy an appropriate plate suitable for your vehicle. But the solenoid design makes it easy to mount the winch in three different positions. It also has mounting bolts for easy installation.


  • Powerful and quiet motor
  • IP67 resistance
  • 4-way roller fairlead mechanism
  • Power-in and power-out motor mechanism
  • Lightweight (84 lbs.)
  • Powerful steel cable
  • Easy installation
  • Mounting bolts included


  • No wireless remote
  • The spooling can be difficult at lower temperatures
  • No winch cover

4. Smittybilt 97203 XRC 3.0 3000 lbs ATV Winch Review

Key Features:

  • 3000 lbs Load Capacity.
  • 4 Way Roller Fairlead.
  • Waterproof IP67 rating
  • Galvanized Aircraft Cable.
Not all winches are made only for SUV’s, Jeeps or Trucks. If your all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or utility terrain vehicle (UTV) is in need of assistance, then Smittybilt 97203 XRC – 3 is just for you. It is a perfect rescue system for your ATV’s and UTV’s.

Smittybilt 97203 XRC-3 has 3000 lbs. pulling capacity with which it can pull most of the terrain vehicles. It has a 3.9 horsepower motor with 2-stage or differential stage planetary gear system. One of the best things about this winch is that you can also mount this on your boat trailer.

Power-in and power-out system of the motor controls the weight load and ensures maximum safety. The rope is 38-foot long and made of steel which is powerful to easily get your ATV or UTV out of the muddy terrain.

It has 4-way roller fairlead for smooth operation. The automatic braking system makes it safer.

The minimum battery capacity required for this winch to operate is 175 CCA.  It is IP67 water-resistant and can be used in most of the weather conditions. Mounting requires 4 bolts. It has wired remote control, and it cannot be unplugged.

Smittybilt 97203 XRC-3 unit has all parts required for the installation. It has a universal mounting plate, bolts and winch cover. But if the mounting plate does not fit on to your terrain vehicle, you need to buy it separately depending on your requirement.


  • Ultra-lightweight (1.63 lbs.)
  • Powerful motor for any ATV or UTV
  • IP67 water resistant
  • Universal mounting plate
  • Mounting bolts included
  • Can also be mounted on boat trailers


  • No wireless remote
  • The universal mounting plate may not be suitable for all-terrain vehicles.

Conclusion: Which One Should You Buy?

smittybilt winch review

Smiitybilt winches are very popular winches suitable for jeeps, wranglers and terrain vehicles. They come in different variants with different pulling capacities. All you need to do is select an appropriate winch that is suitable for your needs.

If you want a high-performance winch with a heavy pulling force, you can opt for Smittybilt 97417 XRC Winch. It has a maximum pulling force of 17,500 lbs.

For jeeps and jeep wranglers, you can select smittybilt X20 or Smittybilt 97495 XRC. And Smittybilt 97203 XRC-3 is best suited for ATV’s and UTV’s.

About Smittybilt

Smittybilt is a leading name in the offroad industry. They got a rapid reputation by producing highly reliable winches alongside reliable accessories.

That’s the end of this Smittybilt winch review. If you want to read review of winches from different brands, then read this article.

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