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Are Smittybilt Winches Any Good?


When you’re an off-roading enthusiast, certain piece of equipment are considered standard. Auxillary lighting, grilles and tonneau covers are good things to have, depending on your specific needs. But a winch? That’s absolutely essential. But what type of winch should you get? From the X20 model Smittybilt winch to the XRC Gen2, Smittybilt’s winches are in a class by themselves. This quick guide showcases some of the most popular options from the brand today.

The Smittybilt X20: Durable and Capable

Smittybilt has a reputation for world-class offroading gear, especially its winches. Its latest offering, the X20 10K Gen2 winch, more than proves its worth.┬áThe Smittybilt X20 10K starts with a 10,000 pound line pull capacity plus 98.5 feet of sturdy synthetic rope and a 6.6 HP series wound motor. The X20 sports an IP68 rating, meaning that it’s dustproof and can operate while submerged past one meter deep.

The Smittybilt X20’s integrated wireless remote control function adds even more convenience. Add its gear ratio of 218:1 and you get faster line speeds as well. Weighing in at 67 pounds, it packs all its features into a lighterweight construction. Whether you’re powering over super-rocky ground or just need to dig yourself out, Smittybilt’s model 98510 winch is one of the best winch options on the market.

The XRC Gen2: A Solid Performer

Serious riders want the best gear their money can buy. Yet even weekend warriors need a high-quality winch. Smiitybilt’s XRC Gen2 delivers a lot for its price: remote control operation, a 6.6 HP motor and a line pull rating of 9,500 pounds. The XRC Gen2 is equipped with 93.5 feet of wire rope cabling and sports an IP67 rating: dustproof like the X20 and submergible up to one meter deep.

Smittybilt’s model 97495 winch has even more to offer. Its UV-resistant black matte powder coating withstand tough conditions day in and day out. Standard for Smittybilt’s winches, the XRC Gen2 has a three-stage planetary gear system and a gear ratio of 161.28:1. It weighs 78 pounds, making it it ideal for equipping onto most 4×4 vehicles.

The X20 Gen2 17.5K: More Pulling Power

If you thought the X20 10K winch was impressive, you must check out the 17.5K version. This X20 offers the exact same features as the 10K but with one major difference: a line pull rating of 17,500 pounds. It also has the same three-gear planetary system but has a gear ratio of 430:1, which is helpful with the additional pulling power needed. When you need more pulling capacity on the trails, the Smittybilt model 97517 is a sure bet.

Quick Tire and Wheel Tips

Upgrading your winch is one thing, but you must also pay attention to other vital pieces of equipment. Your truck wheels and tires can also make or break your ride. If you plan on riding in snow or on rough terrain, choose an all-terrain model with a balance of sturdy construction and well-designed tread plus siping to disperse water when you’re riding on ice. Toyo’s Open Country A/T III is one great example, but you can see more plus a wide range of winch options at a reputable off-road parts and accessories retailer.