Best KFI Winch Review [Updated 2019]

It’s like swimming in the ocean when you have a lot of information hovering around your corner.

I believe it’s very easy to get confused if you’ve got so many brands producing winches and you need to pick one out of them all.

But things can get a lot easier if you have the correct resource to research different winches from different brands.

Hold on to your hat, you are just about to read through that exact resource here.

In this KFI winch review, I am going to review six quality winches manufactured by KFI. Of course, I will mention both the up and downsides of each of the winch.

Before I begin, let’s get some info on the brand KFI itself.

About KFI

KFI stands for Kappers Fabricating Inc.

Like some other popular winch brands, this one is also a family-owned company and they have been in the business since 1986.

In 2002 they started producing ATV winch mount, and now they have several winch series under their belt.

Some of their quality winch series include KFI Assault, KFI Stealth, KFI ATV and UTV series, KFI Polaris ATV plug, and play.

Besides winches, they are producing different winch replacement parts, snowplows, bumpers, hitches, etc.

So, you see they know quite well how the winch industry works. Their customer support is terrific as well.

Let’s move onto the product review part straight away.

KFI Winch Review 2019

1. KFI Assault AS-50 5000lb Winch Review

Pros

  • A low draw winch and doesn’t take too much of the battery power to run it.
  • Easy to install.
  • A powerful but quiet winch that performs smoothly.
  • Fairly priced.
  • This winch can be used for mud riding.
  • Comes with both wired remote control and dash rocker switch and both works perfectly.
  • It is super easy to pull out the rope using the free spooling clutch.
  • Easy to follow installation guide.
  • This winch comes with non-integrated heavy-duty solenoid, that helps you to relocate it if required anytime.
  • A cable hook stopper is included with the package that prevents the cable from becoming lose by keeping the tension of the hook.

Cons

  • Although the installation is easy, it is a bit time-consuming.
  • The quality of the remote control button is good but it could have been better and bigger.
  • The length of the synthetic rope could have been a bit longer.

KFI Assault As-50 5000lb winch is well capable of pull over your UTV/ATV if the loaded weight of the vehicle is anything under 5000 lb, ideally 3333 lb.

Wondering why 3333 lb?

Because your winch got to have 1.5 times more capacity than the gross/loaded weight of your vehicle to get the best performance.

Gross/loaded weight = the weight of the vehicle + the weight of anything it is carrying including you during the towing process.

The remote control that you will get here has got 14’ wire that allows you to control the winch keeping a safe distance from the vehicle.

The dash rocker switch has got led light inside, which I found comes handy at night.

I believe, you won’t find it hard to store the cabled remote control when not in use, as it comes with a socket plug and play system.

The size of the remote control is convenient too for storing it with ease.

Controlling the recovery process becomes easy as well because of the dynamic braking and all-metal planetary gear system.

Not to mention, the 38’ smoke color synthetic winch excels in quality. I liked the impression and performance that this rope provides.

This is a kind of rope that you can use without worrying about severe injuries if it breaks under load. The synthetic rope is flexible and makes the winch lighter than its steel cable counterpart.

Any synthetic rope requires more maintenance than steel cables though.

While 38’ rope may prove to be a tad short for you, a wider version of this model AS-50w is waiting for you having 50’ synthetic rope (Find the AS-50w here).

Both the AS-50 and AS-50w works similar having almost the same features except the winch dimension, and of course the rope length.

Having said that, I must say, this is a sturdy and smooth winch that should withstand its job during your off-roading adventure.

You’ll need some accessories while winching. Check my suggested winch accessories list, these will surely make winching much safer, faster & easier.

2. KFI SE45 ATV Stealth 4500 lb Winch Review

Pros

  • Durable and strong.
  • It doesn’t make too much noise.
  • Pretty straight forward installation process.
  • This winch is suitable for mud riding.
  • Non-integrated solenoid comes with this winch. So, you got the option to relocate it if required.
  • SE45 winch offers wired cable (14′) and a handlebar-mounted mini rocker control. Both of them work perfectly.
  • The cables are long enough to give the proper connection.
  • Can’t beat the price.
  • The wiring diagrams are easy to follow. You don’t have to be an electrician to follow those.
  • A cable hook stopper is included with the winch.
  • The free spooling clutch, all-metal planetary gear system and automatic brake help to control the recovery process smoothly.

Cons

  • It takes a bit of time for the installation process.
  • A circuit breaker to protect the vehicle could have been a handy addition to the kit.

This particular KFI winch is well capable of pulling anything weighing below 4500 lb, ideally equal or below 3000 lb.

You already know this model comes with a cabled remote control and a handlebar rocker switch. But the good thing is you can use a dash rocker switch (find it here) with this model along with them as well.  

This very model comes with 38’ synthetic rope. I feel it a tad short for my requirements in most cases.

However, the wider version of this model is KFI SE45w R2 and it has got 52’ synthetic rope. You can go for this wider version of the winch to get the longer rope.

SE45w R2 works similar to the SE45 model. Both of them have got almost similar features except few. For instance, the dimension and the drum size of SE45w are bigger than the SE45, which is quite obvious.

Keep in mind, you got to buy bracket kits separately specific to your UTV/ATV model. By the way, this winch comes with the necessary hardware to mount the winch to the bracket.

Let’s watch the unboxing video of this KFI 4500 lb Stealth winch:

3. KFI Stealth SE35 3500 lb ATV Winch Review

Pros

  • Overall clear instruction manual and easy installation process.
  • This is a powerful winch but a quiet one.
  • Ok for mud riding as well.
  • The wires are super long. I don’t know whether I should mention this as a good side or bad side.
  • Comes with everything you need for the installation process. However, you need to buy your vehicle specific bracket kit.
  • You don’t have to be an electrical engineer to understand the wiring diagram as well.
  • Worth the money.
  • This winch comes with a heavy-duty non-integrated solenoid.
  • Both the 14’ wired remote control and handlebar-mounted mini rocker switch works flawlessly. They can be stored easily as well when not in use.
  • Easy to manage free spooling clutch.

Cons

  • Although the installation process is simple and the manual is easy to understand, it may take up to 2 hours or so to complete the process.

KFI SE35 is another handy winch in KFI Stealth series capable of towing anything weighing under 3500 lb.

But perfect if you use it to pull over anything equal or below 2333 lb to get the best performance.

Like other models that I reviewed so far, this one has got the cable hook stopper included with the package as well.

Not to mention, the towing process becomes easy as pie because of the dynamic braking and all-metal planetary gear system.

I found the quality of the synthetic rope high, and I must say having a rope of 50’ length will serve the purpose quite well.

Please note, you may want to get assistance from your buddy during the installation process. I feel like that.

Unlike the previous two winches, this model doesn’t have any wider version of it. But this is not something that bothers me by any means.

Altogether, I believe this should prove to be a perfect option to recover your UTV/ATVs.

Particularly if you are looking to buy a quality winch without spending too much of your money.

4. KFI A3000  3000 lb UTV/ATV Winch Review

Pros

  • Compact.
  • High-quality winch.
  • Easy to install.
  • Clear instruction.
  • Comes with both cabled remote (14’) and handlebar rocker switch and both works fine.
  • Heavy-duty non-integrated solenoid comes with the kit.
  • Wiring is easy and comes with long wires that serve the purpose quite well.
  • Reasonable price.

Cons

  • Although is a water-resistant winch, you better keep it away from water. Because some real users think this is not a submersible winch.

KFI A3000 is the UTV and ATV series winch by KFI. This one is well capable of pulling over 3000 lb.

Having said that, to get the optimum performance you should keep the weight of the vehicle or any other object below or equal 2000 lb.

This version comes with a 45.9’ steel cable going through a roller fairlead.

Steel cable is strong but you got to accept some downside of steel cables as well. For example, recoiling.

If it breaks under load and snaps back then it can be a cause of severe injury as well.

That’s why I recommend you to use a damper blanket for any winch that offers steel cable.

Similar to the other models this one also offers planetary gear, dynamic brake, and free spooling clutch that help to control the towing process smoothly.

5. KFI SE25 ATV Winch 2500 lbs Review

This is another KFI Stealth series winch.

I haven’t found too many differences with this winch and the ones that I reviewed earlier from Stealth series.

Of course, this one has got the capacity of pulling up to 2500 lbs, best if 1666 lb.

The motor HP is not the same as SE45 and SE35 which is quite normal as well.

One important point to be noted here, this version of the KFI Stealth SE25 winch doesn’t come with handheld wired remote control but only the handlebar rocker switch.

No worries. You can buy a handheld wired remote control from here.

6. KFI A2500 ATV Winch 2500 lbs Review

Pros

  • Less expensive than most of its top competitors like warn winch.
  • Strong winch to serve its purpose perfectly.
  • Comes with a non-integrated solenoid.
  • Simple wiring system.
  • Comes with a complete hardware kit.
  • The handlebar rocker switch works great.
  • Pulling out the rope is super easy because of the free spooling clutch.
  • Easy to understand instruction manual and the overall installation process is not hard either.

Cons

  • Non-submersible.
  • Should have been a bit lighter.
  • The kit includes only the handlebar rocker switch (no wired remote control with the package).

This very KFI A2500 winch is particularly built for four-wheelers.

It’s quite capable of towing your UTV/ATV if the weight is anything less than 2500 lb (as per the basic principle 1666 lb to get the best performance).

Like the other models the all-metal planetary gear, and dynamic braking of this model will help you to control the recovery process smoothly.

KFI A2500 comes with a 45.9’ steel cable going through a quality 4-way roller fairlead.

I haven’t found any issue regarding the quality and capability of the steel cable that is used for this winch.

If you are going to go for a lot of mudding, perhaps you don’t want to go with this winch. You will find some better options for pulling 2500 lbs in terms of submersible support from other brands.

Although this model does not come with the wired hand remote, you can buy a good wired remote control from here. This should work with this winch.

You can also buy the cable hook stopper here as it is also not included with the package.

All in all, this is a good winch only if you don’t want to swim with this one. Otherwise, a handy one to recover your UTV/ATV from a difficult situation.

Final Words

Let’s sum up.

Overall KFI is a reputed brand and they manufacture high-quality winches. No doubt about that.

But I found some hiccup in general as well.

Like KFI uses roller fairlead for synthetic rope, whereas its competitors use hawse fairlead in case of a synthetic rope.

Undoubtedly hawse fairlead is the perfect match for synthetic rope. Roller fairlead  still works though but it would be better if KFI used hawse fairlead. Another issue I must mention, most of the KFI winches are not submersible.

Apart from those, I must say, KFI winches are amongst the very few winches that provide quality at a competitive price.

I will stop now before I start sounding boring.

It’s up to you now. Comment below if you’ve got anything to ask.

 

Related Guides:

Leave a Comment