Best Smittybilt Winch Review [Updated 2020]

Are you in a dilemma to choose from the best Smittybilt winches?

You’re not the only one! Thousands of people are looking for the Smittybilt winch review online.

Although this makes it clear that Smittybilt winches are one of the market toppers, a question remains – which one is the best among the available Smittybilt winches?

In this article, I’ve picked up three of the most popular and well-reputed winches from Smittybilt to write this review. After analyzing these three products, I’ll take you through a comparison of those, so that you can easily understand which one will be best for you.

Let’s get going!

Best Smittybilt Winch Comparison Table


Smittybilt 98510 X2O-10
  • 10,000 lbs Capacity
  • 98.5 ft Synthetic Rope
  • Wireless Remote
  • Completely Waterproof
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Smittybilt 97495 XRC
  • 9500 lbs Capacity
  • 94 ft Wire Rope
  • Wired Remote
  • Completely Waterproof
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Smittybilt 97380 X20-8
  • 8000 lbs Capacity
  • 98 ft Steel Cable
  • 12 ft Wired Remote
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Pro Tip: Always pick a winch having at least 1.5 times more load capacity than your vehicle weight. If your vehicle weight is 6,000 lbs then your winch must have minimum 9,000 lbs load capacity. It will help prevent winch overload failure accidents.

Top 3 Smittybilt Winch Reviews

1. Smittybilt X20 Gen 2 10000 lbs Waterproof Winch Review (Top Pick)

Key Features:

  • 10,000 lb. Load Capacity.
  • Completely Waterproof.
  • Wireless Remote.
  • Synthetic cable.
With 6.6 horsepower amphibious motor, the Smittybilt 98510 X20 is undoubtedly one of the market leaders in the winch industry. This means you’ll get a pretty powerful motor to get your works done.

Besides, this winch features a wireless remote control system. No more manual operation needed. You can now use the remote to control your winch and get your work done without getting the hands dirty.

The three-stage planetary gear system features a gear ratio of 218:1. This feature will ensure fast and effective pulling. And this winch is capable of pulling a massive weight of 10,000 lbs or 4,545 kgs. Meaning, you can now handle almost everything effortlessly.

If you look at other features of this winch, you would definitely love this product. It features a sliding ring gear clutch, automatic out of drum brake and synthetic cable rope.

Keep in mind that the mounting bolt pattern featured in this winch is of 10 inches X 4.5 inches. With the dimension of 22.3 inches in length, 5.4 inches in width and 9.4 inches in height, this winch weighs around 67 lbs or 30.4 kgs, pretty decent weight to fit in any average vehicle.


  • The winch features 6.6 HP motor.
  • You get a wireless remote to operate the winch.
  • It has a load capacity of 10,000 lbs.
  • Gear ratio of 218:1 makes work easier.
  • It features 3-stage planetary gear system.


  • Few verified customers reported that some features are not up to the mark. This winch being one of the cheapest products, I would say you’ll get what you pay for.
You’ll need some accessories while winching. Check my suggested winch accessories list, these will surely make winching much safer, faster & easier.

2. Smittybilt 97495 XRC 9500 lb Winch Review

Key Features:

  • 9,500 lb. Load Capacity.
  • Completely Waterproof.
  • Corded Remote.
  • Wire Rope.
The Smittybilt 97495 XRC is yet another amazing product featuring 6.6 horsepower amphibious motor. Combining with the 9500 lbs load capacity, this is one of the top picks by winch users. If you need power and efficiency within an affordable price range, this is probably the thing you should go for.

Although this winch is a bit heavier than the Smittybilt 98510 X 2O, it won’t be a big issue for you. The three-stage planetary gear system along with the gear ratio of 161.28:1 will enable you to do the hardest job within its power.

On top of that, you don’t need to worry about the installation wiring. The kit will come with all the wiring you need to install it. And it is recommended that you use the supplied wiring for hassle-free installation.

Like the Smittybilt 98510 X 2O, this model also features sliding ring gear clutch and remote control system. Meaning, no need of manual labor to operate the winch. However, unlike the Smittybilt 97495 XRC features automatic in-drum brake.

With the dimension of 22.3 inches in length, 5.4 inches in width and 9.4 inches in height, the Smittybilt 97495 XRC is exactly the same size of the Smittybilt 98510 X 2O.


  • You’ll get a powerful motor of 6.6 HP.
  • Its load capacity is 9500 lbs.
  • You can operate the winch with a wireless remote.
  • It comes with required wiring for installation.
  • 28:1 gear ratio is pretty impressive.


  • Like other cheap products, it has some drawbacks as well. However, the number of complaints are really very few. I would say the price is worth taking the risk.
Let’s watch the installing video of this smittybilt 9500 lb winch:

3. Smittybilt 97380 X20-8 8,000 lbs Winch Review

Key Features:

  • 8,000 lb. Load Capacity.
  • Waterproof IP67 rating.
  • Remote Control.
  • Galvanized cable.
Now, if you’re looking for a comparatively less powerful winch, you should go for Smittybilt 97380 X20. This winch features a 5.5 horsepower motor. If you’re certain that you won’t be dealing with heavy duty works, this little buddy would just be a decent choice for you.

Like the other two Smittybilt winches mentioned in this article, this winch also features three-stage planetary gear. You’ll enjoy a gear ratio of 180:1 that is pretty workable. Don’t you think so?

Now, the cable is the strongest feature in this winch. It comes with almost 100 feet long cable. And that too is galvanized. The manufacturer assures that the synthetic cable is stronger and lighter than other traditional steel cables.

On top of that, the cable is designed to be heat treated and UV stable as well. Moreover, the rope will come with a protective sleeve that is 10 feet long. You’ll also find that the thimble is made of stainless steel and there is a safety hook along with the connector link.

Don’t worry, you won’t miss out the remote control feature. Within a range of 12 feet, you’ll be able to operate the winch with the remote. In short, although it’s less powerful than the other two, you’ll get all other necessary features.


  • This winch has a motor of 5.5 horsepower.
  • It features almost 100 feet long galvanized cable.
  • The cable is heat treated and UV stable.
  • It can be operated by a remote.
  • The gear ratio is 180:1.


  • Only one customer complained that the winch is “cheaply built.” Comparing to the money you’re spending, I would say this is a good bargain.

Comparison of these three Smittybilt Winches

I suppose you already know which one to choose. However, I’ll still try to draw a comparative picture of these three top class winches. A feature wise comparison will help you better understand the similarities and dissimilarities, helping you make the ultimate choice.


Now, power should be the first priority. And it solely depends on the type of work you’re expecting to do or regularly do. I would say, owning a winch with higher horsepower is a good thing. It allows you to handle any unexpected situation if necessary.

If you look at the three products, the Smittybilt 98510 X 2O and the Smittybilt 97495 XRC features 6.6 horsepower motor, while the Smittybilt 97380 X20 features 5.5 horsepower motor. So, choose accordingly!

Load Capacity

Now, the load capacity is yet another important factor you might want to consider before buying a winch. Like the horsepower feature, the type of your work will tell you how much load capacity you need.

The Smittybilt 98510 X20 gen2 10k winch has a load capacity of massive 10000 lbs, the Smittybilt 97495 XRC has 9500 lbs load capacity and the last one, Smittybilt 97380 X20 8k has 8000 lbs load capacity. You should be wise enough to know which one you need to buy.


Having a higher horsepower and high load capacity will mean nothing without quality, sturdy and durable cable, right?

The Smittybilt 98510 X 2O comes with synthetic rope, the Smittybilt 97495 XRC with wire rope, and the Smittybilt 97380 X20 features galvanized rope that is heat treated and UV stable.


Last but not least, gear is the feature you must not forget analyzing. All three products feature a three-stage planetary gear system. However, the Smittybilt 98510 X2O features a gear ratio of 218:1, the Smittybilt 97495 XRC features 161.28:1, and the Smittybilt 97380 X20 features 180:1.

It shouldn’t be a tough decision to make now, right? Let’s head to the conclusion.

Conclusion: Which One to Choose?

At the finishing point of this article, I hope you’re now well capable of choosing the best winch for you. If you’re looking for a powerful winch alongside having a greater torque, the Smittybilt 98510 X 2O should be the best pick for you.

And if you think, none of these three has all the features you’re looking for, you can read our Warn winch review, Superwinch review and X-Bull winch review.

About the Brand Smittybilt

Basil Smith, also known as “Smitty” was a four-wheel-drive enthusiast. He wanted to develop 4WD equipment for jeeps and trucks. In 1956, he started a little machine shop which was eventually named “Smittybilt”.

They are producing fantastic 4WD products for more than five decades. Winch is one of their fantastic products that impressed the offroaders. Nowadays, Smittybilt winch is a popular name in the off-road industry.

smittybilt winch review

4 thoughts on “Best Smittybilt Winch Review [Updated 2020]”

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