Tuff Stuff Winch Review [Updated 2019]

I do believe it is very easy to get overwhelmed with the numerous information you see online related to different winches.

Particularly when the number of manufacturers is increasing from time to time, it is hard to keep track of all the updates from each brand.

Having said that, it is also true you just hate pouring money down the drain, don’t you?

It is quite obvious that you like to know the good and bad sides of any winch before spending your hard earned money on it.

So, I’ve decided to help you solve this puzzle.

To make your life easy, I am going to review three winches from “Tuff Stuff” in this Tuff Stuff Winch review article.

No to mention, all they have different load capacity and individual upsides and downsides.

Before I start reviewing, allow me to write a small introduction on “Tuff Stuff” first.

Who makes Tuff Stuff Winch?

Tuff Stuff winches are made by “Tuff Stuff 4×4” company. I found this company offers good quality winches at an affordable price range.

Of course, manufacturing winches is not their only business.

They manufacture some other essential products related to off-roading as well like winch accessories, rooftop tents, camping gear, air compressor, bumpers, etc.

Of course, they have earned a good reputation with their quality products and satisfactory customer support.

So without any further delay, let’s get down to the business.

Tuff Stuff Winch Review

1. Tuff Stuff Overland TS-13000-TH-L 13000 lb Winch Review


  • Easy wiring and installing.
  • Powerful and sturdy.
  • You can operate both the wired and the wireless connection of the remote from the same device.
  • Waterproof winch. So, no need to worry about the elements (muds, water) entering the winch and damaging it.
  • 3 stage planetary gear and free spooling clutch help you to control the winching properly.
  • Automatic in drum brake is something I always look for from any winch for safety.  This winch has got automatic drum brake.
  • Heavy-duty 85’ steel cable performs flawlessly.
  • I didn’t find the cable tangled during the recovery process.
  • Integrated solenoid (covered by a waterproof box).


  • The mounting plate is not included with the package.
  • A receiver cradle with this package would have been a great addition.
  • Make a bit of noise during the operation.
  • The button size of the remote control could have been a bit bigger.

First of all, the overall outlook and the quality of the materials of this winch seem high-quality to me.

This is a powerful winch capable of recovering anything below 13000lb.

But hang on a minute!

You want the best possible performance from the winch right?

To achieve that, I suggest you to use this winch to recover your vehicle if its loaded weight is equal or below 8666lb.


Because your winch should have at least 1.5 times more capacity than the loaded weight of your vehicle.

*Loaded weight = the weight of your vehicle + the weight of the baggage or anything you are carrying on the vehicle during the recovery process.

The remote control works flawlessly. But I believe the size of the button should have been a bit bigger to grip and operate it smoothly.

Not to mention, the steel cable is super strong and goes through the 4-way roller fairlead smoothly.

But remember: always use damper blanket to minimize the chance of severe injuries caused by the rope breaking under load and re-coiling.

Altogether, I think this is a nice sturdy and powerful winch to recover your truck during your enchanting off-roading adventure.

In case you want the synthetic rope version of this very winch, here is the link.

2. Tuff Stuff Overland TS-12500-XT 12500 lb Winch Review


  • Easy to install.
  • Waterproof winch.
  • Gloves and waterproof cover are included with the kit.
  • Both wired and wireless remote control is included with the package.
  • Worth the price.
  • 3 stage planetary gear and sliding ring gear clutch will keep the towing process under control without making your life hard.
  • Automatic in-the-drum braking provides the safety you expect during the recovery process.
  • Integrated (side mounted) waterproof solenoid.
  • High quality 88′ steel cable works perfectly without any tangling during the process.


  • Not coming with a receiver cradle is always a downside for me. This winch doesn’t come with a receiver cradle. You can buy it separately though.
  • A tad noisy.

This time the wired and wireless remote control comes separately. I didn’t find anyone complaining about the performance of these remote controls.

However, the wireless remote works well within the 75’ radius.

This particular Tuff Stuff Xtreme 12500lb winch is well capable of pull over anything weighing less than 12500lb.

Having said that, you probably don’t want the rope breaking under load right?

If so, then I recommend you to use this winch to recovery your vehicle that is weighing equal or less than 8333lb.

Why is this so?

Because to get the best performance, your winch should be at least 1.5 times more capable than the gross weight of your vehicle.

*gross weight = the weight of the vehicle + the weight of any belongings you are carrying on the vehicle during the towing process.

Overall, a handy winch that comes with everything you need to use it properly. It doesn’t cost you a fortune either.

*Update: An upgraded version of this Tuff Stuff Xtreme 12500lb has been released with 88′ synthetic rope. If you prefer synthetic rope to steel cable you can check this link.

3. Tuff Stuff Xtreme 4500 lb UTV/ATV Winch Review


  • Easy wiring and installing process.
  • A lightweight winch, easy to carry.
  • Comes with both wired and wireless remote control, and a hard mounted toggle switch. Hard mounted toggle remote helps you to operate from inside the UTV.
  • 50′ high-quality synthetic rope going through an aluminum fairlead gives enough strength for the towing process.
  • A non-integrated waterproof solenoid is included with the package. So you have the option of relocating the solenoid if required.
  • Comes with a universal mounting plate.


  • The button of the wired remote control could have been a bit bigger.

Tuff Stuff Xtreme 4500lb is a handy lightweight winch for recovering your UTV/ATV.

Remember, as per the golden rule you should use this winch to recover your UTV if the loaded weight of the UTV/ATV is anything less than or equal 3000lb.


Because your winch should have 1.5 times more weight capacity than the loaded weight of the UTV/ATV.

This ensures the best performance from the winch.

Controlling the towing is a cakewalk with the help of the free spooling clutch and a built-in braking system.

I always prefer a synthetic rope to a steel cable. Because I get almost the same performance in terms of strength.

On top of that, I don’t have to worry about severe injuries if the rope breaks under load. Moreover, a synthetic rope reduces the overall weight of the winch.

Anyhoo, all in all, this is a good winch and the price of this winch is competitive as well.

Bottom Line

To sum up I must say Tuff Stuff winches are not staying behind their competitors.

It is worth telling that you need to consider the winch capacity, the gear system, braking system, type and performance of the rope, remote control, etc before buying a winch from any brand.

I pointed out all these factors against each winch that I reviewed here in this Tuff Stuff winch review article.

Now it’s your turn. I’d love to know what decision you have made after reading my review.

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