Front Range 4x4 Upcoming Trail Runs - Add a New Trail Run

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27

Thread: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Member
    #2917
    Last Online
    2 Weeks Ago
    Location
    Severance, CO
    4x4
    2022 JLUR
    Posts
    25
    User Name
    hiimmike
    Real Name
    Mike
    Thanks Given
    4
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    You guys seem like you really know what you're doing as far as off-roading goes. Here's my dilemma...


    I bought this:

    https://imgur.com/a/DolLVBs

    (I don't know why I can't post pictures here)




    Smittybilt X20 Gen3 12k winch and it came with other things I'd buy anyway, win-win! Should I have skipped the other things and went with the Warn VR Evo 12s (or 10s)? The warn would be about $110 more but I wouldn't get all the free crap and then have to spend another $100+ for those items.


    I could go X20 10k but the gearing is 185:1 and that just makes the motor work harder potentially causing a breakdown. The difference between the 10k and 12k is only the gearing, 12k is 218:1, effectively increasing its pulling power. I went with the 12k because of the gearing, I am pretty sure I could get away with 10k on a JLUR, even if I had some armor, 35s, bumpers, lift, rack, and other goodies. Maybe the choice is just go with the Warn 10k for $110 more and not get the free crap and go buy it separate? I don't know.


    I think I made the right decision going with this but I keep going back and forth. Both have a lifetime mechanical warranty (so if the motor does break, it's covered), Smitty is 5 year electrical and Warn is 7 year electrical. The new Gen3 has forged steel gears which should be stronger, improving the reliability.


    I don't care what people will think of me, "oh you bought a crappy Smittybilt, shoulda bought a Warn loser" that doesn't bother me, nothing really offends me.


    Thoughts? I think I got a good deal, feel free to talk me out of it or confirm my decision.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Member
    #2099
    Last Online
    8 Hours Ago
    Location
    Castle Rock, CO
    Age
    39
    4x4
    '06 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Posts
    509
    User Name
    TDash
    Real Name
    Scott
    Thanks Given
    244
    Thanked 215 Times in 144 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    i have a warn, it's cool..

    smitty built is great and should work absolutely fine for you. don't let anyone tell you otherwise and don't overthink it P.S. people in our club have experienced problems with the most expensive warn winches too, anything can have problems. I had to have my zeon platinum serviced (cleaned) because my clutch wasn't working as intended.

    it's good to have a tow strap but you should do some research on kinetic ropes there are a ton of different brands some extremely expensive and some budget ones some people say the price differences can align with quality build but i'll leave that up to you. Oh and having a d-ring is a must too but you can also check out "soft shackles" they can offer a safer solution for some recovery situations.

    https://www.gearamerica.com/blogs/ti...-you-need-both

    https://www.whichcar.com.au/gear/rec...ropes-benefits


    This is a really good resource people often use when trying to figure out what size kinetic rope you should have

    https://www.asroffroad.com/kinetic-r...rope-info-use/



    Here are a few videos that have Matt from Matt's off-road recovery talking and demonstrating the difference between using a kinetic rope vs a tow strap for recovery purposes. Typically a rule you hear is if you are "stuck" like in the mud, sand or snow it's safer all around to use the kinetic energy assistance from a kinetic rope vs a static strap. If you have a "disabled vehicle" and need to tow it, use the strap.




  3. The Following Member Says Thanks to TDash For This Post:

    hiimmike (May 18th, 2022)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Member
    #921
    Last Online
    2 Hours Ago
    Location
    Fort Collins
    4x4
    1990 Jeep Wrangler (YJ)
    Posts
    9,269
    User Name
    Jim
    Real Name
    Jim Williamson
    Thanks Given
    2,050
    Thanked 2,672 Times in 1,766 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    Your call.

    As you're are soliciting opinions - I have a bias towards companies that are "more American" vs. companies that are more worldwide / non-American. I prefer to keep my dollars circulating within the borders of the U.S.A. It's my opinion that Warn keeps dollars within our borders more than Smittybuilt - but I could be wrong.

    Now, it's nice that I see Warn as producing a quality product. If they had an inferior product and Smittybuilt was higher quality - I'd have more dilemma when purchasing.

    As for 10K vs. 12K - I agree with your thinking - stronger is often "better", though realize, you can always snatch block to multiply (double, triple) effective pulling force.


    TDash previously posted:
    "anything can have problems."

    Fact of life!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Member
    #2917
    Last Online
    2 Weeks Ago
    Location
    Severance, CO
    4x4
    2022 JLUR
    Posts
    25
    User Name
    hiimmike
    Real Name
    Mike
    Thanks Given
    4
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    TDash previously posted:
    "i have a warn, it's cool..

    smitty built is great and should work absolutely fine for you. don't let anyone tell you otherwise and don't overthink it P.S. people in our club have experienced problems with the most expensive warn winches too, anything can have problems. I had to have my zeon platinum serviced (cleaned) because my clutch wasn't working as intended.

    it's good to have a tow strap but you should do some research on kinetic ropes there are a ton of different brands some extremely expensive and some budget ones some people say the price differences can align with quality build but i'll leave that up to you. Oh and having a d-ring is a must too but you can also check out "soft shackles" they can offer a safer solution for some recovery situations."


    Way ahead of you! I bought myself a 7/8" kinetic from ASR in February. Shane actually used it to pull 5-6 of us out on Switzerland trail! I love it, it's great! I also bought with it, a D-ring and two soft shackles.

    Thank you for sharing some input!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Member
    #2917
    Last Online
    2 Weeks Ago
    Location
    Severance, CO
    4x4
    2022 JLUR
    Posts
    25
    User Name
    hiimmike
    Real Name
    Mike
    Thanks Given
    4
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    Jim previously posted:
    "Your call.

    As you're are soliciting opinions - I have a bias towards companies that are "more American" vs. companies that are more worldwide / non-American. I prefer to keep my dollars circulating within the borders of the U.S.A. It's my opinion that Warn keeps dollars within our borders more than Smittybuilt - but I could be wrong.

    Now, it's nice that I see Warn as producing a quality product. If they had an inferior product and Smittybuilt was higher quality - I'd have more dilemma when purchasing.

    As for 10K vs. 12K - I agree with your thinking - stronger is often "better", though realize, you can always snatch block to multiply (double, triple) effective pulling force."


    I'm on board with you there, I try to support the country I live in because I do not hate it. I really prefer to support local too but I am also value conscious when I spend my hard earned money. For example, there's a board game store up North here in Windsor. They had a board game for $60 but Amazon had it for $35 as regular price. The store wouldn't match so I bought from Amazon. I'm willing to pay an extra 10% to support a local business but not almost DOUBLE. I'd go broke.

    Anyway, the value I'm getting from the Smittybilt just seems like a lot for the price I'm paying. If it was winch for winch and a $110 difference, I'd probably be buying the Warn as a US company and a 7 year electrical warranty. We're talking $250+ difference though including all the extra items I'm getting.

    Thanks! I appreciate your input

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Member
    #1546
    Last Online
    3 Hours Ago
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    44
    4x4
    1970CJ5-1958WillysWagon-2010Tacoma
    Posts
    3,432
    User Name
    FINOCJ
    Real Name
    James Orofino
    Thanks Given
    1,154
    Thanked 1,404 Times in 848 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    I am not a huge fan of smittybilt winches, but that comes possibly from a bad run of winches quite few years ago...their quality may have improved with newer generation. I do like the made in the USA warn products, but the VR line was/is a less expensive second tier line with more offshore parts and assembly to compete with the pricing of stuff like smittybilt and badlands etc. I'd say there isn't much difference between the VR line and smitty. Maybe the VR line has changed, it's been a few years since I looked into winches. If it were me, I'd run a top of the line, made in the USA warn product....and I am not all that made in the USA focused. Just watched too many winches burn up or die. The m-series line was the next step up at one time, and now the zeon. It's one of the few pieces I'd splurge on....but then again I am running a 40 year old Ramsey permanent magnet motor so I am probably breaking my own suggestion. I can't see needing a 12k winch on JLUR...10k would be plenty. The only concern with stepping up to the 12k would be the overall additional weight if there is any, and the current draw. I have old jeeps with weaker electrical systems, so I am cognizant of amp draw (thus the permanent magnet instead of series wound). For some line speed is important, and it can be noticeable when winding in 80' of cable.... amazing how impatient people behind you get when you could use a little patience and help.
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Member
    #2917
    Last Online
    2 Weeks Ago
    Location
    Severance, CO
    4x4
    2022 JLUR
    Posts
    25
    User Name
    hiimmike
    Real Name
    Mike
    Thanks Given
    4
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "made in the USA warn products"

    I'd love to be able to get one of the Zeon winches. I thought about buying the Smittybilt, saving up and then selling the Smittybilt and buying a Zeon in a year. I do want something right now though, especially since I'm planning on going to SMORR to get two Jeep badges and I hear Guard Rail there is a good chance you need one for the last climb due to mud.



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "The only concern with stepping up to the 12k would be the overall additional weight if there is any, and the current draw."

    The 10k and 12k winches are almost identical. Everything inside them is the same except for the gearing. The gearing is what gives it the additional torque to be rated to 12k. I definitely check that out and we think alike!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Member
    #2036
    Last Online
    9 Hours Ago
    Location
    Broomfield
    4x4
    2005 Wrangler Unlimited (LJ)
    Posts
    1,844
    User Name
    open_circuit
    Real Name
    Trent
    Thanks Given
    586
    Thanked 811 Times in 483 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    hiimmike previously posted:
    "The 10k and 12k winches are almost identical. Everything inside them is the same except for the gearing. The gearing is what gives it the additional torque to be rated to 12k. I definitely check that out and we think alike! "

    Get what you are comfortable with, but carry a snatch block (pulley wheel) also. Pulleys are magic force multipliers. I think 9-10k winch and a pulley is more than plenty regardless of gearing.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Member
    #2917
    Last Online
    2 Weeks Ago
    Location
    Severance, CO
    4x4
    2022 JLUR
    Posts
    25
    User Name
    hiimmike
    Real Name
    Mike
    Thanks Given
    4
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    Someone needs to host a "how the heck do you do things" weekend where I learn everything from the experts...

    Sure there are lots of videos around and reading material but nothing beats hands on.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Member
    #1546
    Last Online
    3 Hours Ago
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    44
    4x4
    1970CJ5-1958WillysWagon-2010Tacoma
    Posts
    3,432
    User Name
    FINOCJ
    Real Name
    James Orofino
    Thanks Given
    1,154
    Thanked 1,404 Times in 848 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    So I would guess then that the main trade off will be line speed.... in theory, the gearing will pull less current, which typically is a good thing, but will require the longer run time to pull line the same distance....line speed is a pretty easy thing to give up IME. Mine is slow, and I like to pull extra line doubling back on a pulley so the winch is pulling on a lower wrap closer to the drum, so it seems I often have a lot of cable to wind in. Winches are kind of a frustrating expense as you very rarely use them. Often a quick tug from a tow strap is easier and faster. That assumes another vehicle of course....at the same time, when you NEED one, they are invaluable.
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

  12. The Following Member Says Thanks to FINOCJ For This Post:

    hiimmike (May 19th, 2022)

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    Member
    #2917
    Last Online
    2 Weeks Ago
    Location
    Severance, CO
    4x4
    2022 JLUR
    Posts
    25
    User Name
    hiimmike
    Real Name
    Mike
    Thanks Given
    4
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "Often a quick tug from a tow strap is easier and faster. That assumes another vehicle of course...."

    I hear you there. For me, I want to be able to get out and explore whenever I want instead of having to try to find someone else who wants to go out. My kinetic rope has been used several times and it works really well. This past weekend we were in an area where a winch could have gotten us through a big area of deep snow and ice but we ended up turning back after three attempts and getting stuck. My little 2.0 pulled out a 392, that was fun.

    When I have my winch, I'll be more comfortable going out whenever and wherever because I can do self recovery. I will kind of want to just go out and get stuck to try it out. hah My rear bumper comes Saturday, my front bumper comes Monday and hopefully this winch will come by Tuesday so I can install it Wednesday before I leave for my road trip Thursday.

  14. The Following Member Says Thanks to hiimmike For This Post:

    FINOCJ (May 19th, 2022)

  15. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Member
    #2036
    Last Online
    9 Hours Ago
    Location
    Broomfield
    4x4
    2005 Wrangler Unlimited (LJ)
    Posts
    1,844
    User Name
    open_circuit
    Real Name
    Trent
    Thanks Given
    586
    Thanked 811 Times in 483 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    FWIW, my winch would rarely be useful in the Moab desert area for lack of things to anchor to. I've used it on other trucks out there, but I'm not sure it would help me if I was alone. Around the front range it is pretty handy for solo wheeling

  16. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Member
    #1420
    Last Online
    1 Day Ago
    Location
    Nederland
    4x4
    05 4Runner
    Posts
    1,080
    User Name
    jayson44
    Real Name
    Jay
    Thanks Given
    71
    Thanked 176 Times in 135 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    ran Smittybilt winch on my TJ for 4 years without fail. I had a really old Warn m6000 before that and the only issue I had was the solenoids going out. I have a gen2 Smittybilt that came on my wife's Jeep, but haven't used it yet.

    I think the Warn stuff is cool, but you gotta think about how much you'll ACTUALLY use it. if you're using it every weekend doing recoveries, then go for the Warn stuff. if you wheel a couple times a month (and never alone) a Smitty will be just fine.

    J.
    ___________
    05 4Runner Sport - 3" lift, 35s & v8 POWA!

  17. The Following Member Says Thanks to jayson44 For This Post:

    Tom (May 19th, 2022)

  18. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Member
    #921
    Last Online
    2 Hours Ago
    Location
    Fort Collins
    4x4
    1990 Jeep Wrangler (YJ)
    Posts
    9,269
    User Name
    Jim
    Real Name
    Jim Williamson
    Thanks Given
    2,050
    Thanked 2,672 Times in 1,766 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    hiimmike previously posted:
    "Someone needs to host a "how the heck do you do things" weekend where I learn everything from the experts..."

    This has been discussed, recently. 1) having a "newbie" trail run and having a 2) winching / recovery event. I should stir the waters on getting both formed...

    FWIW - as to winch purchase - consider used. I purchased my Warn used. It was purchased new and placed onto a trailer for a guy who looked to get into hauling cars and needed a winch to pull cars onto the trailer. He didn't get moving in the business and it sat mostly unused (but in the sun) for about five years.

  19. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Member
    #1028
    Last Online
    11 Hours Ago
    Location
    Longmont
    Age
    70
    4x4
    '12 Jeep Wrangler Sport 2.5" lift, 33s, winch
    Posts
    4,659
    User Name
    Tom
    Real Name
    Tom
    Thanks Given
    2,105
    Thanked 1,060 Times in 789 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    Jim previously posted:
    "This has been discussed, recently. 1) having a "newbie" trail run and having a 2) winching / recovery event. I should stir the waters on getting both formed..."

    You might want to start with a poll.

    Do we have enough newbies interested in a special run?



    I have a smittybuilt on my 2012 and have never used it except to spool the line in and out occasionally to keep the gears lubed.
    ___________
    Tom
    -.- . - . - -.-

  20. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Member
    #2099
    Last Online
    8 Hours Ago
    Location
    Castle Rock, CO
    Age
    39
    4x4
    '06 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Posts
    509
    User Name
    TDash
    Real Name
    Scott
    Thanks Given
    244
    Thanked 215 Times in 144 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    Jim previously posted:
    "This has been discussed, recently. 1) having a "newbie" trail run and having a 2) winching / recovery event. I should stir the waters on getting both formed..."

    I would be interested in going on this run, I have made sure I do a lot of research on my own, but I agree with hiimmike, that nothing beats hands on experience. I am far from anything of an expert and could always use more experience/knowledge.

    For as many times as my winch and hi-jack have been used... which honestly seems like a ton compared to how many people I hear from that have both and have almost never used theirs, I wouldn't say I am confident in either. I know how to operate my winch but if I was the "most experienced" person out there trying to do a recovery I don't know that I would have the most confidence in knowing the absolute best way to hook up anchor points, when or when not to use my retention pulley, or any of the many different variables that come into play for a recovery. There has always been someone with us that knows way more than I do that kind of leads the way even if my equipment was being used in previous scenarios.

  21. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Member
    #2099
    Last Online
    8 Hours Ago
    Location
    Castle Rock, CO
    Age
    39
    4x4
    '06 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
    Posts
    509
    User Name
    TDash
    Real Name
    Scott
    Thanks Given
    244
    Thanked 215 Times in 144 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    TDash previously posted:
    "smitty built is great and should work absolutely fine for you"

    just touching on this again hiimmike, i just know a lot of people in our group that we've gone out with have smittys and been fine. I do obviously agree with Jim and James seeing as I went with the 12k Zeon but that was personally, for me.. I wanted to give advice more for the masses. I know many people are price conscious especially right now with how crazy inflation is.. we have an expensive hobby and every dollar saved is valuable and it's up to each person to evaluate if they want to spurge for the next step up and if it's will be worth it or not

  22. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Member
    #2929
    Last Online
    6 Hours Ago
    Location
    Frederick
    4x4
    1981 Toyota Pickup, 1986 Toyota 4runner
    Posts
    47
    User Name
    a1gemmel
    Real Name
    Andrew
    Thanks Given
    15
    Thanked 31 Times in 17 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    I've run the harbor freight 12k, 5k, and 3.5k and I'm pretty happy with how they all operate. It's a lot of bang for the buck for a "tool" you may only use a few times a year.

    As an aside, regardless of the winch it's a good habit to bump the controller before each run to make sure your wiring install is still good

  23. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Member
    #867
    Last Online
    21 Hours Ago
    Location
    Englewood
    4x4
    Jeep Cherokee XJ
    Posts
    3,522
    User Name
    xaza
    Real Name
    Cliff
    Thanks Given
    166
    Thanked 579 Times in 433 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    I have a 9 year old smittybilt X20 1st gen. Has been used a lot. Seemed like every weekend for a while. Has held up well, has plenty of power and a much better line speed than brother's Ramsey. I have been happy with all my Smittybilt stuff.
    ___________
    We do not remember days, we remember moments.

    Cesare Pavese

  24. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Member
    #2900
    Last Online
    1 Week Ago
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    38
    4x4
    96 Jeep XJ
    Posts
    51
    User Name
    Gearwhine
    Real Name
    Nick
    Thanks Given
    18
    Thanked 27 Times in 18 Posts

    Default Re: Winch discussion - Smittybilt vs Warn, did I choose wisely?



    I went with Smittybilt XR20 this year....haven't used it yet, but have zero question of it's quality at this point.|

    I have been burned by US made goods more often than overseas to be totally honest. I used to be hardcore with spending extra for US, but experience has smacked me in the face to tell me to "stop it." I have come across too much bravado from those companies (mostly in the bicycling/MTB world) when issues occurred. US does not mean quality....good companies mean quality. If it's not a company that's transparent...I'm not spending more money regardless of their location.
    ___________
    96 Jeep XJ; 31s, locked, & fully skidded
    93 Toyota pickup; 31s, generally stock, and quite beat.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Warn Winch - 18k lbs and 24v for $550
    By Patrolman in forum Cool Finds
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: March 25th, 2016, 07:39 PM
  2. smittybilt winch on Amazon
    By foxtrot in forum Cool Finds
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: November 27th, 2015, 07:02 PM
  3. Smittybilt Winch
    By Shane in forum For Sale, Wanted, Trade, Free
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: September 12th, 2014, 09:31 AM
  4. Warn 12,000 winch $400
    By Patrolman in forum Cool Finds
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: April 2nd, 2014, 09:33 PM
  5. Winch Pulley Physics Discussion
    By Brody in forum General 4x4 Tech Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: February 13th, 2010, 09:53 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
BACK TO TOP