If you have read a considerable number of articles and blogs on this site, then you should know that we view winches as analogous to a chain. Each part of the winch is a link in the chain, and the entire winch is only as strong as its weakest part. These parts include, but are not limited to, the winch plate, the motor, the rope and the winch hook.
The winch hook is not the most exciting part of the winch. But it is one of the most basic and most foundational parts of a winch recovery system. In this general guide, we will briefly touch on the knowledge that gives you a working understanding of a winch hook.
But first, let us share our recommendation for the BEST WINCH HOOKS in the market at the moment.
Best Winch Hooks
When we’re talking about winches, Warn is hard not to mention. After all, the brand has a highly regarded reputation in the winch business. The brand has a reputation for quality and durability. Thankfully, the reputation does not fail even in the brand’s lesser known products.
This very light winch hook can’t be taken lightly. At a meager weight of 2.86 pounds, it can take as much as 6 tons (12000 lbs) of load. And as can be expected from a high end brand such as Warn, the hook has extraordinary resistance against damage, especially from abrasion and wear. It is also quite safe from corrosion. Just by looking at the product, you can clearly see that its 12 stage coating process gives is a fine look.
The winch hook is very versatile, you can use it with a number of different winch lines. Mainly though, it works best with winch lines manufactured by Warn. There is also an added extra, the hook has a freebie beverage opener. Weird addition, but who can complain.
Its light weight and smooth surface makes this winch hook a top choice for serious off road enthusiasts. Its load capacity can get you out of most troubles. The extreme durability is also a great point.
- Very light yet very strong
- Highly durable against wear and corrosion
- Has a very smooth surface, perfect to prevent winch rope fraying
- As with most Warn products, this hook is pricey.
The next winch hook on our list is from a fairly unrecognizable brand. Don’t let that stop you from considering this option, though, because this hook offers a lot of bang for your bucks.
This Driver Recovery Products winch hook is nothing if not sturdy and heavy duty. That sturdiness and heavy duty-ness extends to all of its parts, including the latch and its pin. Although there is no rated strength, it has shown that it can more than keep up with the demands of vehicle towing.
Aside from its strength, you will also love its durability. It has impressive resistance against corrosion due to its electro-galvanized surface. It is very much protected against water.
Another thing about this winch hook that buyers love is that it has a wider throat than most winch hooks. A wider throat means that you can use this with a lot of different ropes. It measures 5/8 inch.
For its price, you can get a lot of bang from this hook.
- Very affordable
- Electro-galvanized, highly durable moisture related corrosion
- Has a wide throat
- Installation requires tools and can be tricky
The last item on the list is from what I consider to be one of the best winch accessories manufacturers out there. KFI Products has produced noteworthy winch accessories, including winch ropes, fairleads and more.
This winch hook is ideal for ATV winches. It is very light, weighing at only 3.2 oz. It is very affordable. Yet it features one very unique trait: it does not hold a lot of kinetic energy after spooling. It also has a bit of a wear resistance, but nothing too fancy, that will be ridiculous for its price. The hook has a very wide loop, so it can accommodate a number of straps.
This option is for those with very strict budgets. It is not great, but for its price, you are getting a wonderful deal.
- Extremely affordable
- Has a wide loop
- Very light
- Not very heavy duty
Now that you are aware of the best winch hooks for your needs, let's go ahead to find out more about using winch specifically - the best way you can secure a winch line. (Hint: Use a good old winch hooks)
Three Ways to Secure a Winch Line
There are three common ways to secure a winch line. There is the safety thimble, the screw pin shackle and the most commonly used one, the plain old hook.
The hook is the most widely used option because it is the easiest to use. It is also a no-brainer to use, even a child can figure out how to use it (not that that is advisable in winching situations – it really is not). It stands for its own, it does not need any special tools to open and close. It is pretty straightforward.
There are two common types of winch hooks, the clevis hook and the shackle hook. The clevis hook is the one everyone is familiar with. It looks like the hook on pirates’ hands, but with a latch on the side. The shackle hook is U shaped, like a shackle. Its latch is on top.
The safety thimble is, guess what, safer to use. However, it needs a tool for opening and closing. The screw pin shackle is similar to the safety thimble except that it has no sharp edges, which helps preserve your winch line.
What You Need from a Winch Hook
It may be challenging to pick a good winch hook from all the options you have in the market. Here are some points you would have to keep in mind to make your purchase as beneficial as possible.
The main point of a hook is to connect the winch line on an anchor point. And if you got the chain analogy from literally the first sentence of the article, the hook needs to be really strong. It needs to be able to handle the weight of the car plus more. Otherwise, you just wasted time, money and effort buying the thing.
The material and the rated strength should be the very first thing you look for in a winch hook. Most of the time, winch hooks are made from metal. So how can you tell which winch hook is tougher than others? Here’s a little nice tip, look for customer’s reviews.
If a lot of customers who bought the thing are satisfied with it, chances are, you will be too. That is literally one of the best buying guide advice you will receive: check the customer’s review.
Yes, so the hook is the toughest piece of metal on the planet. Great for you! But so what if its latch mechanism is flimsy? This is an aspect you have to be really serious about. You need to make sure that the latch of the hook is truly secure.
It is very unlikely that you will be able to test a winch hook before purchasing it, but make sure that you test it first before trying it out on an actual winching operation. And also make sure that it works well every time you use it to recover your vehicle.
A winch hook with a wide loop is a convenient loop. The hook is used to secure the winch line to most probably straps of fabric. The more straps your winch hook can accommodate, the better.
Optional: Smooth Insides
Buying or upgrading your winch hook opens up a lot of possibilities for you. So why not take full advantage of it? Embrace the possibilities and pursue the best that the world has to offer.
One of the perks of buying a new hook is you can choose one that has a very smooth inside. This will lessen the friction on it. This will limit the amount of fraying on your winch line, which will preserve its life quite nicely.
The Conclusion On Winch Hooks
With this short general guide on winch hooks, we hope that you learned something useful. We covered what a winch hook is, what to look for in a winch hook, as well as our top suggestions for a winch hook.
What do you think should be a feature of a winch hook? Do you agree with our top winch hook suggestion - WARN 92090 Winch Hook? What winch hook will you suggest to be part of the list? Comment your thoughts below!
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