Warn Winch Review 2018

When I was searching for a good winch, I was surprised to see that most people recommend a Warn winch. I thought it would be great to have a look into that. And here I’m, writing a Warn winch review after doing a long research.

Although there are tons of brands that are manufacturing quality winches, some are always better than others. When I was a newbie, I used to struggle with identifying the most suitable product for me.

After doing a few in-depth research on several products, I found the key to getting the best product every time. In this article, I’ll use that key to find out the right winch produced by Warn. Just bear with me a little!

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 Warn Winch Reviews

1. Warn 97035 VR12-S Winch Review

Key Features:

  • 12,000 lbs Load Capacity.
  • Waterproof Albright Contractor.
  • Automatic Direct Drive Cone Brake.
  • Synthetic Rope.
Apart from the amazing features, what makes Warn stand out of the league is quality and durability. The Warn 97035 VR12-S Winch is probably the most popular among the Warn winches available on the market. Let’s see why!

The three-stage planetary gear system is a common feature, but Warn ensures you durability and smooth use. Besides, safety and perfection are ensured by the automatic direct drive cone brake system. Meaning, you’ll never lose control even with the full load.

On top of that, you’ll be enjoying a great amount of torque with this winch. Thanks to the gear ratio of 216:1. Additionally, the winch comes with standard duty synthetic winch that is capable of handling everything within its range. Synthetic cable removes worries about rusts.

And if you look at the load capacity, you’ll find that this winch will enable you to handle all common scenarios. Yes, it comes with a massive 12000 lbs load capacity, something not very common in the winch industry.

Ease of use is yet another positive side of the Warn 97035 VR12-S Winch. It comes with a clutch lever that is easy to turn and fits perfectly even in a gloved hand. On top of that, no more solenoids – you’ll get a waterproof Albright contractor.


  • The winch features a load capacity of 12000 lbs.
  • It has a gear ratio of 216:1.
  • You’ll get three-stage planetary gear system.
  • It comes with a waterproof Albright contractor.
  • It features automatic direct drive cone brake system.


  • No specific weakness. Few of the customers reported of some sporadic complaints. I would say you’ll get more than you pay for.

2. Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S Winch Review (Synthetic Rope; 10000 lb)

Key Features:

  • 10,000 lbs. Load Capacity.
  • Spydura synthetic rope.
  • Automatic mechanical cone brake.
The Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S Winch is probably the most popular among the ZEON series. Although all the ZEON winches feature 12V DC series wound motor, the ZEON 10-S has a load capacity of 10000 lbs. Meaning, you would be able to handle almost everything.

With a gear ratio of 162:1, this winch features planetary gear system. The torque and gear system is enough to ensure a quiet, reliable and fast pulling power. On top of that, you’ll get Spydura synthetic cable to get your job done perfectly.

Operated by a remote, the Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S is one of the lightest winches within its power range. It weighs just 75 lbs. Apart from that, the multi-mount version option makes it even glamorous.

Additionally, the automatic mechanical cone brake will grant you safety to the highest level. Feel free to handle the highest load within its range. What people love about it are its performance and efficiency.

Last but not least, the winch comes with the ZEON relocation kit. You can now enjoy a wide range of winch mounting options. So, long story short, the Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S has almost everything you need.


  • The winch has a load capacity of 10000 lbs.
  • 162:1 gear ratio ensures sufficient torque.
  • It features Spydura synthetic cable.
  • It weighs only 75 lbs.
  • You’ll get the ZEON relocation kit.


  • Few users complained that their motor died as they kept the winch unused for a long time. I hope that’s not a problem with everybody.

3. Warn VR8000-S Winch with Synthetic Rope Review

Now, if you’re not handling a lot of weight, the Warn 87835 VR8000-s Winch can be a good choice. It has a load capacity of 8000 lbs. but you’ll get the 12V DC series wound motor. That means the quality of the motor is not compromised.

This remote control operated winch features Spydura synthetic rope. And the cable is 100 feet long, a length that many winches lack. Moreover, you’ll get a ballistic nylon sliding sleeve. Meaning, your rope is protected in face of wear and abrasion.

Control and safety are two important things you should look for while choosing a winch. And a quality brake ensures control, leading to user satisfaction. The Warn VR8000-s comes with an automatic direct drive cone brake that will allow you to enjoy full control and safety.

Let me tell you one thing – as far as the gear system is concerned, you’ll not regret buying this winch. The standard three-stage planetary gear system comes with a gear ratio of 216:1. Meaning you’ll enjoy a greater torque for a smooth operation.

And it is a very lightweight product as well. Weighing just 62 lbs, this winch is probably one of the lightest available on the market. Although very light, this winch doesn’t lack in performance. It is well capable of handling everything within its range.


  • The load capacity of the winch is 8000 lbs.
  • Super lightweight with just 62 lbs.
  • It features a gear ratio of 216:1.
  • Automatic direct drive cone brake ensures control.
  • You’ll get 100 feet Spydura synthetic rope.


  • Some customers reported that they found the instruction manual to be very hard to follow. If you feel so, don’t hesitate to call in a professional to install your winch.

Comparison of the Three Warn Winches

Now, let’s compare the features of these three winches to reach a conclusion – which one is the best? But before that, keep in mind that you must consider the feature as per your requirement. One feature might be good for one and bad for another depending on the type of job you’re dealing with.

Load Capacity

The three winches analyzed in this article have different load capacities. The Warn 97035 VR12-S has the highest with 12000 lbs load capacity, the Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S has 10000 lbs load capacity, and the Warn 87835 VR8000-s has 8000 lbs load capacity.

Choose according to your necessity. It’s that simple.


All the three winches feature three-stage planetary gear system. It’s a standard nowadays. But you’ll get a varied gear ratio from these three products. The Warn 97035 VR12-S and the Warn 87835 VR8000-s has a gear ratio of 216:1, while the Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S has 162:1.


Now, if you look at the cable, you’ll see that the Warn 97035 VR12-S comes with standard duty synthetic rope, while the Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S and the Warn 87835 VR8000-s comes with Spydura synthetic rope. They all are capable of performing their job perfectly.

Additional Features

Let’s look at some of the additional features each of the Warn winches has. The Warn 97035 VR12-S features a waterproof Albright contractor. With the Warn 89611 ZEON 10-S, you’ll get the ZEON relocation kit. On the other hand, weighing just 62 lbs, the Warn 87835 VR8000-s is the lightest of all.

Conclusion: Which One to Choose?

We’re almost done! Let’s look at the features again and calculate what you need and what the winches have to offer. After coming to this point of the article, it should not be that hard for you, right?

Every product has their strong and weak side. Meaning, your goal is to find the winch that requires you to compromise the minimum. If you’re still confused, my recommendation would be the Warn 97035 VR12-S Winch. Look again and ponder; it’s a good bargain!

If you’re not satisfied with these three winches,  then you can read our X Bull winch review and Smittybilt winch review.

warn winch review

7 thoughts on “Warn Winch Review 2018

  1. I’m a fan of Warn winches. But I’m on a tight budget now. Warn winches are really very expensive. So I am looking for a winch brand that offers good quality winch at a cheap price. Can you suggest me any trusted winch brand which offers inexpensive winches?

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