Here on WinchMania, we advise our readers to choose a winch that has a lot of power, at least as much as they can afford. However, there may be occasional times when you need to coax a little more power from your winch. These times are the emergencies that even your emergency tool, the winch, can’t get you out of without a little more thinking and work.
Thankfully, you need not perform a miracle or sacrifice goats to a deity to effectively increase the power of your winch. All you need is science, a bit of an investment in a tool called snatch block, and to read this article all the way through!
Let’s get to it!
At a Glance
The Straight Pull
When the manufacturer of your winch tested the winch for its rated line pull, the winch was in the perfect winching conditions. One of those conditions is making sure that the line was perfectly straight during the pull. If you have been stuck in an off road rip before, chances are you know that it is not always possible to find an anchor point directly in front of your winch.
One of the wonders of a snatch block is that it allows you to navigate tricky winching scenarios. Even if the only viable anchor point for your vehicle is at an impossible angle, you can use a snatch block to rig a “straight” pull.
Aside from rigging a straight pull, you can also use a snatch block to get more draw from your winch by using more winch line.
Single Line Wrap
One of the other conditions winches are put in when their rated line pulls are being tested is they have only a single wrap of cable around the winch drum. In fact, each more than one wrap of cable around the winch drum makes the winch less efficient by around 10%. So if you have a 10000 lb winch, and you are using it with 5 wraps of cable around the drum, you are only utilizing 60% of its power. You can only pull 6000 lbs of weight with that setup.
Through the creative use of a snatch block, or perhaps more than one snatch block, you can rig your winch in such a way that more line is spooled out. This is yet another way to maximize the power of your winch through the use of a snatch block.
Double Your Winch Pulling Power
So far, what we have discussed only pertains to maximizing the power of your winch with the use of a snatch block. However, a snatch block is capable of so much more than maximizing the power of your winch. It can actually double it.
Before we get into the juicy part, we first have to emphasize that rigging a winch to get more than its rated line pull is tricky business. Actually, it can even prove dangerous. If you have little to no winch pulling experience, it is not advisable that you rig your winch in complicated maneuvers. You have to make sure that you have enough winching experience to have developed a winching “common sense” for lack of a better term.
If the rig does not look safe in your experienced perspective, do not attempt to pull with it.
Also, make sure that your winch accessories are strong enough to handle the weight you are attempting to pull. “doubling” the pulling power of your winch does not magically double the breaking strength of your winch rope, hook and other accessories. If the weight of the load is well within the capacity of your winch accessories, the endeavor might just be successful.
The Math and Science
When I first encountered the idea of doubling the pulling power of a winch by doubling back the winch line on itself, I can’t quite believe how that could be possible. But the actual seeing and doing of the thing actually is a pretty strong evidence that it can be done.
Essentially, what happens is that the weight of an item is distributed to all of the winch line as it is doubled back on itself. This sort of “tricks” the winch into pulling only half the weight of the load, but is effectively pulling the entirety of the load.
Using the snatch block to hook the line back to the vehicle splits the weight across the “two” lines – which is a single line just doubled back on itself. Alternatively, you can use three snatch blocks and theoretically triple the power of your winch. You can use more and more snatch blocks as your need increases. However, keep in mind the ramifications of a complicated rigging to safety.
If you need to make a complex rigging and need a long rope, see our guide for synthetic rope replacements. These ropes are strong and long, so you can use them for a lot of winching applications.
Here is a simple diagram that displays how a winch cable can be doubled on itself to multiply the winch pulling power.
The Best Snatch Blocks – Out Top Five Recommendations
Here are our best recommendations for the best snatch blocks in the market.
- Rhino USA Ultimate Snatch Block (BO7R3CYZ7Q)
- Smittybilt 2744 Universal Snatch Block (B003CG9PIC)
- KFI Products ATV-SB Snatch Block (B0027URE9G)
- TGL 38DRSBCOM (B07C1CKKFY)
- Orcish AY1-AT34 (B07V4D8BZZ)
To fully understand the specs of these snatch blocks, and why we consider them the best snatch blocks, read this buying guide.
Double the Smartness
As was mentioned above, when trying to multiply the pulling power of your winch, be smart about it. If you are attempting to pull a load way above the capacity of your equipment, you are merely creating a ticking accident. Make sure that you have enough winching sense and experience to know when you are putting too much on your winch.
What do you think of this article? Do you have questions about the use of snatch blocks and doubling the pulling power of your winch? What do you think of our top recommendations for snatch blocks? Comment your thoughts below, we love hearing from our readers.