Best Hand Winch: Reviews +Buying Guide

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Published By: Aaron Redstone
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Total: 8 min read time

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A hand winch is a simple yet powerful tool that allows you to pull, lift, or secure heavy loads using manual cranking force.

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explore the best hand winches on the market, providing in-depth reviews, a detailed buying guide, and insights into various applications.

Our Top Picks

1. TR Industrial 600 lb Winch

TR Industrial 600 lb Winch

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Key Features

  • Quality Zinc Material
  • 600lb Capacity
  • Premium Steel Construction

2. OPENROAD Hand Winch

OPENROAD 1600lbs Hand Winch

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Key Features

  • 1600 lb. Capacity
  • Two-way Ratchet
  • Heavy duty steel construction

3. Reese Towpower

Reese Towpower 74337 600 Pound Capacity Winch

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Key Features

  • 600 lb. Capacity
  • Easy to Use
  • Zinc-plated finish

4. Linkloos Hand Winch

ZESUPER 3000 lb 12V DC Electric Winch

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Key Features

  • 3500 lb Capacity
  • Two-speed ratios (4:1 and 8:1)
  • Two-way ratchet

5. BIG RED Hand Winch

BIG RED 600lbs Capacity Hand Crank Winch

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Key Features

  • 600 lbs capacity
  • 3.1:1 gear ratio
  • Heavy-duty carbon steel

Top 5 Best Hand Winches in 2024

#1 TR Industrial 600 lb Winch

TR Industrial 600 lb Winch

Quick Summary: The TR Industrial 600 lb. Trailer Winch is a solid investment for those looking for a durable, versatile, and easy-to-use winching solution.

Its design and features are thoughtfully aligned with the needs of users, ensuring not only the longevity of the product but also an enhanced user experience.

Whether for personal or commercial use, this hand winch stands out as a reliable tool for various loading and hauling tasks.

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Key Points

  • Durability: All-steel construction with quality zinc and black plating for weather resistance.
  • Versatility: Compatible with straps, steel cables, or ropes for varied loading needs.
  • Ease of Installation: Ready to mount out of the box, facilitating quick setup.
  • User-Friendly Design: Ergonomic rotating handle for easier cranking.
  • Efficiency: Efficient 3.2:1 gear ratio for faster loading.

The TR Industrial 600 lb. Trailer Winch emerges as a dependable solution for those in need of a robust and versatile winching option.

Designed with durability at its core, this winch boasts an all-steel frame and gears construction, enhanced by a high-quality zinc and black plating.

This protective coating is especially beneficial, offering exceptional resistance to wear, tear, and the harsh elements outdoors.

With a capacity of 600 lbs., it caters to a wide range of loading needs, making it a versatile choice for trailer owners.

One of the standout features of this winch is its drum design, which accommodates various types of load-bearing mediums, including straps, steel cables, or ropes.

This flexibility is particularly useful, allowing users to choose the best option for their specific needs.

However, it’s important to note that the necessary straps, cables, or ropes are not included with the winch, which could be a minor inconvenience for some.

The installation process is streamlined and user-friendly, with the winch being ready to mount straight out of the box. Once installed, attaching the handle and your chosen strap or cable is straightforward, ensuring the winch is operational without delay.

Additionally, the smooth ergonomic rotating handle enhances the user experience by making cranking significantly easier, thereby reducing the effort required for operation.

The winch’s efficient 3.2:1 gear ratio is another highlight, promoting faster loading times and improving overall efficiency.

This feature, coupled with the product’s robust construction and versatility, positions the TR Industrial 600 lb. Trailer Winch as a top contender in its category.


  • Durable construction resistant to wear and elements
  • Versatile use with different load-bearing mediums
  • Easy installation and ready to use out of the box
  • Smooth and ergonomic handle for easier operation
  • Efficient gear ratio for quicker loading


  • Straps, cables, or ropes not included

2. OPENROAD 1600lbs Hand Winch

OPENROAD 1600lbs Hand Winch

Quick Summary: The OPENROAD 1600lbs Hand Winch is a powerful and practical choice for those in need of a reliable winching solution.

Its combination of strength, durability, and user-friendly features makes it an excellent tool for a wide range of applications, from boat handling to lifting heavy equipment.

Despite its compact size, it does not compromise on power or functionality, offering a great balance between performance and portability. Whether for personal or professional use, this winch delivers on both performance and reliability, making it a valuable addition to any toolkit.

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Key Points

  • High Capacity: 1600lbs/725kg pulling capacity, ideal for various towing and lifting tasks.
  • Durable Construction: Heavy-duty steel construction with hardened steel gears for longevity.
  • Two-way Ratchet: Allows for forward and reverse ratcheting with a safety pawl for secure operation.
  • Comfortable Handle: Designed to reduce hand fatigue and ensure a tight grip.
  • Compact and Portable: Small size for easy storage and transport, without compromising on power.

The OPENROAD 1600lbs Hand Winch stands out as a robust and reliable tool designed for various pulling and lifting tasks.

With a 1600lbs/725kg capacity, it is particularly well-suited for handling boats, lawn equipment, and other heavy objects, making it an ideal choice for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals alike.

The winch’s heavy-duty steel construction and hardened steel gears underscore its durability and resilience, ensuring long-term reliability and performance.

A notable feature of this winch is its two-way ratchet mechanism, which supports both forward and reverse ratcheting, enhancing its versatility.

The inclusion of a safety pawl adds a layer of security, ensuring that loads are handled safely.

The comfort of the user has also been considered, with a 21cm/8.2in handle that provides a comfortable grip, reducing hand fatigue during operation.

The compact body size of the OPENROAD winch, measuring 19x11x15cm / 7.5×4.3×5.9in, ensures that it does not occupy much space, making it convenient for both use and storage.

The winch also features a durable and long 10m (32ft) steel cable, which is capable of withstanding significant pressure and wear, further contributing to the winch’s overall robustness and durability.


  • High pulling capacity for versatile applications
  • Durable and sturdy construction
  • Two-way ratchet with safety features
  • Comfortable handle for ease of use
  • Compact and portable design


  • None

3. Reese Towpower 74337 600 Pound Capacity Winch

Reese Towpower 74337 600 Pound Capacity Winch

Quick Summary: The Reese Towpower 74337 600 Pound Capacity Winch offers a compelling combination of durability, ease of use, and maintenance-friendly features.

Its design is well-suited for users seeking a reliable winch for light to medium-duty tasks, with the added benefit of a comfortable grip and superior corrosion resistance.

While its capacity and one-way ratchet functionality may limit its applicability to certain tasks, it remains an excellent choice for those in need of a straightforward, durable winching solution.

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Key Points

  • User-Friendly Design: Comfort grip handle provides a secure hold during use.
  • Durability: Zinc-plated finish and high carbon steel gears for enhanced resistance to corrosion and wear.
  • Low Maintenance: Full-length drum bushing and oil-impregnated shaft bushings minimize the need for upkeep.
  • Simplicity of Use: Easy-to-use one-way ratchet for straightforward operation.
  • Capacity: 600-pound capacity suitable for light to medium-duty pulling tasks.

The Reese Towpower 74337 winch is a robust tool designed for a variety of pulling tasks, featuring a 600-pound capacity that suits many light to medium-duty applications.

This winch stands out for its user-centric design, including a comfort grip handle that ensures a firm and comfortable hold during operation.

Its durability is enhanced by a zinc-plated finish, which offers superior corrosion resistance, ensuring the winch remains in excellent condition even under harsh environmental conditions.

One of the key advantages of the Reese Towpower winch is its low maintenance design. It comes equipped with a full-length drum bushing and oil-impregnated shaft bushings, significantly reducing the need for regular maintenance.

Additionally, the high carbon steel gears are built to resist wear and extend the lifespan of the winch, emphasizing its reliability and durability.

The simplicity of the winch’s operation is another highlight. The easy-to-use one-way ratchet allows for straightforward operation without the need for extensive training or experience, making it accessible to a wide range of users.


  • Comfort grip handle for better control
  • Superior corrosion resistance with zinc plating
  • Low maintenance design
  • Durable high carbon steel gears
  • Easy to operate


  • One-way ratchet may not suit all tasks

4. Linkloos 3500LBs Boat Trailer Hand Winch

Linkloos 3500LBs Boat Trailer Winch

Quick Summary: The 3500LBs Boat Trailer Winch is an outstanding tool for those in need of a reliable, heavy-duty winching solution.

Its combination of strength, durability, and ease of use makes it a valuable asset for a wide array of applications, from towing boats to handling personal watercraft and trailer equipment.

The thoughtful design, including the two-way ratchet and ergonomic handle, ensures both safety and efficiency, making this winch a top choice for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals alike.

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Key Points

  • High Capacity: 3500 lbs capacity with a 33ft long, 2-inch wide orange polyester strap for strong traction.
  • Durability: Galvanized surface treatment and high carbon steel gears for extended service life and resistance to weather and rust.
  • Efficiency: Two-speed ratios (4:1 and 8:1) for high transmission efficiency.
  • Ease of Use: Two-way ratchet for forward and backward operation, along with an ergonomic handle for reduced effort.
  • Versatility: Suitable for towing boats, jet skis, ATVs, and other trailer equipment.

The 3500LBs Boat Trailer Winch stands as a formidable contender in the realm of heavy-duty hand winches, offering an impressive pulling capacity of 3500 lbs.

This winch is specifically designed to handle substantial loads, making it an excellent choice for towing boats, trailers, jet skis, and other recreational vehicles.

Its sturdy base and orange polyester strap, measuring 33ft in length and 2 inches in width, ensure robust traction and reduced physical effort for the user, even facilitating night rescue operations.

Durability is a key strength of this winch, thanks to its professional galvanized surface treatment that offers resistance to adverse weather conditions and prevents rust.

The high carbon steel hardened gears, with a primary speed ratio of 4:1 and a secondary speed ratio of 8:1, promise high efficiency and a prolonged service life of up to 10 years.

The high-strength polyester strap is resistant to acids, alkalis, and UV rays, adding to the winch’s overall durability and making it lightweight and portable.

The winch features a two-way ratchet mechanism that allows for forward and backward ratcheting, enhancing its versatility and ease of use.

The two-speed operation is designed to be fast and labor-saving, positioning it as an ideal tool for outdoor towing and traction tasks.

Furthermore, the ergonomic crank handle, measuring 9.8 inches, coupled with a non-slip grip, significantly reduces hand fatigue and saves up to 75% of the effort, thereby ensuring safety and improving work efficiency.


  • High pulling capacity suitable for various applications
  • Durable and weather-resistant construction
  • Efficient double gear transmission system
  • Labor-saving ergonomic handle
  • Versatile for a wide range of towing and lifting tasks


  • none

#5 BIG RED ATRT1061CR Torin 600lbs Capacity Manual Hand Crank Winch

BIG RED ATRT1061CR Torin 600lbs Capacity Manual Hand Crank Winch

Quick Summary: The BIG RED ATRT1061CR Torin 600lbs Capacity Manual Hand Crank Winch is an excellent choice for those in need of a reliable, portable winching solution.

Its combination of durable construction, ease of use, and versatile design makes it suitable for a wide array of applications, from outdoor sports to boating and trailering.

While its capacity may limit its use to lighter tasks, its overall performance and functionality make it a valuable tool for many users.

Check Price at Amazon

Key Points

  • Portability: Compact size and lightweight design make it easy to transport and use in various applications.
  • Durability: Heavy-duty carbon steel construction with a zinc-plated finish for strength and resistance to rust and weather.
  • Ease of Use: Anti-slip handle and efficient 3.1:1 gear ratio for labor-saving operation.
  • Versatility: Equipped with a 26.3ft steel cable and safety claw on the mooring hook for a wide range of applications.
  • Capacity: 600 lbs capacity suitable for lifting, towing, and various outdoor sports.

The BIG RED ATRT1061CR Torin manual hand crank winch is a compact and efficient solution designed to handle a variety of tasks with a 600 lbs capacity.

Its body dimensions, 8.6 x 8.6 x 4.7 inches (with handle), and lightweight design, weighing just 4.7 lbs, make it highly portable and suited for multiple applications.

This winch is particularly ideal for those requiring a dependable tool for lifting or towing in outdoor sports, boating, trailering, or trucking applications.

Constructed from heavy-duty carbon steel and featuring a zinc-plated finish, the BIG RED winch offers maximum strength while ensuring long-term durability and resistance to rust and adverse weather conditions.

This makes it a reliable choice for both indoor and outdoor use.

The winch is equipped with a 26.3ft steel cable, providing ample length for various lifting and towing tasks.

Ease of use is a notable advantage of this manual winch. It features a 7.3″ anti-slip handle designed to provide a secure and comfortable grip, allowing users to crank the winch with minimal effort.

This labor-saving feature is complemented by the winch’s efficient 3.1:1 gear ratio, which ensures that tasks can be completed efficiently and with ease.

The winch also includes a mooring hook equipped with a safety claw, allowing for safe forward and reverse ratcheting. This feature adds an extra layer of safety and convenience, making the winch versatile for a wide range of lifting and towing operations.


  • High pulling capacity suitable for various applications
  • Durable and weather-resistant construction
  • Efficient double gear transmission system
  • Labor-saving ergonomic handle
  • Versatile for a wide range of towing and lifting tasks


  • none

Buying Guide: Factors to Consider

Capacity and Load Rating:

The capacity or load rating refers to the maximum weight or force that the hand winch can safely pull or lift.

It’s crucial to choose a winch with a capacity that exceeds the expected load to ensure safe operation and avoid overburdening the equipment.

Different winches are designed for different weight ranges, so selecting the appropriate capacity is essential.

Cable or Strap Material and Length:

Hand winches typically use either a steel cable or a synthetic strap to pull the load. The material of the cable or strap affects its strength, durability, and resistance to abrasion or corrosion.

Additionally, the length of the cable or strap determines the winch’s reach and the maximum distance it can pull the load.

Consider the intended application and ensure the cable/strap material and length meet your requirements.

Gear Ratio and Cranking Effort:

The gear ratio of a hand winch determines how much force is required to crank the handle and pull the load. A higher gear ratio means less effort is needed, but it also means more cranking revolutions are required to move the load.

Lower gear ratios provide more pulling power per revolution but require greater cranking effort. Evaluate the trade-off between cranking effort and speed based on your specific needs.

Size and Portability:

Hand winches come in various sizes, ranging from compact and lightweight models to larger, more robust units.

Consider the intended application and whether you need a highly portable winch for easy transportation or if size and weight are less of a concern.

Smaller winches may have lower capacities, while larger ones can handle heavier loads but may be less portable.

Braking System and Safety Features:

A reliable braking system is essential for controlling the load and preventing unintended movement or free-spooling.

Some winches have automatic brakes that engage when cranking stops, while others may have manual brakes or ratcheting mechanisms.

Additionally, safety features like load-holding brakes, overload protection, and ergonomic handles contribute to safe and efficient operation.

Warranty and Customer Support:

Consider the manufacturer’s warranty coverage and customer support when purchasing a hand winch. A good warranty can provide peace of mind and protection against defects or premature failure.

Reputable brands often offer better customer support, including technical assistance, replacement parts, and service options, which can be valuable in case of issues or maintenance needs.

How We Test: Best Hand Winches

My Testing Philosophy for Hand Winches

Here’s how I ensure that each hand winch recommended on Off-Road Pull meets high standards of performance and reliability:

  1. Selection of Winches: I select a variety of hand winches that cater to different needs, ranging from light-duty tasks to more robust applications. Models like the TR Industrial 600 lb Winch and the OPENROAD 1600lbs Hand Winch are chosen for their unique features and capacities.
  2. Testing for Durability and Construction: Each winch is evaluated for its build quality. I pay close attention to the materials used, the protective coatings, and the overall construction to ensure they can withstand the elements and resist wear and tear.
  3. Functionality Checks: I test the functionality of each winch by using them in typical scenarios they are designed for, such as hauling boats or lifting heavy equipment. This includes checking the smoothness of the crank mechanism, the ease of use of the handle, and the effectiveness of the gear ratios.
  4. Load Capacity Verification: It’s crucial that the winches can handle the loads they claim. I test each winch up to its maximum capacity to ensure it can perform under the expected conditions without faltering.
  5. Versatility and Ease of Use: I assess how adaptable each winch is with various load-bearing mediums such as straps, steel cables, or ropes. Additionally, the ease of installation and the user-friendliness of the operation handle are crucial factors in my reviews.
  6. Feature Evaluation: Special features like two-way ratcheting mechanisms, ergonomic handles, and gear efficiency ratios are tested for their real-world utility and how much they enhance the winching experience.
  7. Safety Features: Safety is paramount, especially with manual devices. I examine each winch for safety features such as automatic brakes, security pawls, and the strength of hooks and attachments.

My Commitment to You

Through rigorous testing, I make sure that the hand winches featured on Off-Road Pull are not only durable and reliable but also provide ease of use and versatility for a variety of tasks. Whether you’re pulling a boat onto a trailer or lifting equipment, the winches recommended here are proven to perform safely and effectively.


My reviews of the TR Industrial, OPENROAD, Reese Towpower, 3500LBs Boat Trailer, and BIG RED manual hand crank winches show a variety of options for different needs, from light to heavy-duty tasks.

Each winch has its unique strengths, like high capacity, durability, easy use, and portability. When choosing the best hand winch for your needs, consider the load you’ll be handling, the winch’s material, maintenance, and how easy it is to use.

This guide aims to help you make an informed decision, ensuring you get a reliable tool that fits your specific lifting or towing requirements.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. But all my reviews and guides are genuine and come from my experience.

Aaron Redstone 

Hi, I'm Aaron, the founder of Off-Road Pull. My love for off-roading began in my teenage years while exploring the diverse landscapes of Arizona.

With more than 16 years of experience in off-roading and winching, I bring a blend of practical know-how and a background in mechanical engineering to provide you with detailed and trustworthy advice.

My passion is to share this knowledge with both newcomers to adventure and experienced off-roaders. When I'm not tackling rugged terrain or crafting in-depth articles, you'll find me capturing the scenic beauty of the outdoors through my lens.

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