If you think having only a winch is the “be-all” and “end-all”, stop right there and think again.
Most of the time only a winch won’t be able to save you from being stuck, you’ll need some winch accessories to get the most out of it. You should consider knowing more about essential winch accessories as well before buying any of them.
It’s your hard-earned money, and who wants to pour money down the drain?
I bet you don’t.
To make your life easy I have listed down almost every essential winch accessories that you may need for winching.
Not to mention, I will try to educate you with the key points of each of the accessories that you should consider. I will share my thoughts and findings too.
So, without any further intro, let’s jump right in.
1. Snatch Block for Winch
Perhaps a set of snatch block is not a must-have accessories, sometimes.
But it can double up the winching power. Consequently, it turns into a lifesaver for a real tough situation.
So basically you will want to use snatch block for three main reasons while winching your vehicle.
- To double the winching power.
- If you want to change the direction of pulling.
- You need angled pulls.
You should not use any of the snatch blocks to pull over more weight than their capacity. It’s highly discouraged otherwise, it may cause you a severe injury.
Here are some of the top snatch blocks available on the market. Pick one that fits your needs.
Smittybilt 2744 snatch block has got the capacity of 17600 lbs and works good with 7/32 – ⅜” rope.
This particular snatch block is one of the best budget snatch blocks on the market in terms of quality and performance.
A lightweight accessory that will work with both steel cable and synthetic rope without any issue. I found a user not recommending this one to use with a synthetic rope. But I don’t think he is right.
Keep in mind, to make it workable for a longer period you should grease it regularly.
Application-wise, I recommend you to use this snatch block to lift any other stuff but your heavy vehicle. Although you can use it for your ATV winch. But better avoid using it for your truck/SUVs.
However, it’s not like you must not use this for your heavy vehicle. Yes, you can if you want. But below, I am going to review a better snatch block for heavy-duty use.
In general, Warn offers the best quality among all the companies for winches and winch accessories.
This 92188 snatch block is no exception.
A strong and heavy-duty snatch block made to handle 12000 lbs capacity and you can use both synthetic rope and steel cable with ease.
The good thing is you have multiple weight capacities (5000 lbs, 18000 lbs ) available for this unit. Of course, the price also varies accordingly.
So is this well enough to use for towing your truck/SUV? Yes of course.
Expensive than the other Smittybilt snatch block that I reviewed earlier. But the quality of this unit justifies the price without any doubt.
2. Winch Shackles
Shackles are considered to be one of the most useful winch accessories among all (you have all the right to disagree with me though).
Here are some of the cases where you will want to use the shackles.
- To implement the closed system winching(with the help of shackle mount or thimble of course).
- To connect the two ends of the tree saver.
- When you want to use the double line pull, you have to hook the snatch block with the shackle that you used to connect the two ends of the tree saver.
- Then the hook needs to be connected with the vehicle. There you can use another shackle to connect with the hook.
- When you want to use the extension rope. (in this case, use shackle only if you really need to use).
So, you have several ways you can use a shackle while winching. Now let me review some of the handy shackles that you can buy without breaking your bank.
Liberrway D ring shackle is one of the best budget pairs of shackles in my opinion.
This particular shackle comes with different colors having a break strength of 57000 lbs. However, the working load limit is 9500 lbs.
The color certainly helps to find it out of the grass easily.
According to some of the users, the coating is not up to the standard. But the coating lasts at least 2 years as per some other real user’s opinion.
Other than that, this one is a strong, heavy-duty, easy to use pair of shackles I must say.
This is one beast of a shackle I should say. Expensive than the previous one from Liberrway, but way ahead of strength and capacity as well.
GearAmerica “Mega” duty shackle has got break strength of 68000 lbs and working load limit of 17000 lbs.
Like the previous one, you will have different colors available for this shackle.
I haven’t found anyone complaining about rusting even after using for a couple of years.
Altogether, this is a nice beefy, heavy-duty shackle that won’t disappoint you for sure.
These are not the steel shackles like the previous two.
Much safer soft shackles, made out of synthetic rope from Astra having 38000 lbs of max breaking strength and 15000 lbs of working load limit.
In terms of application, you can use these to all the similar situations you use the steel shackles.
But in terms of safety, it is the same as you think for the winch line. Meaning a soft shackle is always safer than steel shackle.
In case of any unexpected situations like winch line breaking or tow strap breaking what do you want to see?
If you care about your safety, I am sure you would like to see the soft shackle lose instead of steel shackle flying.
While soft shackles are lightweight and safer to use, don’t forget to check if it’s frayed or not. If it is worn out, make sure to retire it and use a new one.
3. Tree Saver Strap
You should wrap a strap around a tree if you are going to use a tree as a winch point.
It is not only to save the trees but to save you and others who are standing around the winching spot as well.
Looping the winch cable around the winch point is not a smart idea by any means.
It will hurt the tree of course. On top of that, it decreases the stability of the whole system and can cause huge damage if it snaps back for any reason.
Even when you use rock as the winching point, a tree saver strap is a much safer and convenient solution than looping the winch line around.
Make sure to judge the current condition of the strap before using any of them. Don’t ever use the frayed ones for your safety.
Here are some good tree savers that I recommend for you.
I believe this is one of the best quality tree saver straps. You can feel it once you hold it.
This particular strap has a minimum breaking strength of 26500 lbs which is as standard as it requires for a heavy-duty job.
You have two different sizes ( 3”x10’ and 3”x16’) available for this model.
With the built-in friction pad, the overall quality of this strap is too good to be true I should say. In fact, once you use this the other tree savers may seem a bit flimsy to you.
Pricey? Yes, a bit. But considering the quality and longevity, it’s worth spending this much money. It is always what you get is what you pay for.
Way inexpensive than the previous ARB tree saver. However, the quality is not that bad. It is rugged and durable as per the opinion of several real users.
So, If you are looking for a budget strap but don’t want to compromise the quality, you can go for this one.
You can use this one while recovering your truck/SUV without any second thought.
Here you are going to get 3”x8 tree saver winch strap having a break strength of 35000 lbs.
4. Tow/Recovery/Snatch Strap
The core differences between tree strap and tow strap are – tree strap is much wider than the tow strap. On the other hand, tree strap is shorter in length than the tow strap.
Tow strap stretches but the tree saver doesn’t.
Don’t mix tow strap with winch extension. These are not the same either. Like tree strap, the winch extension also doesn’t stretch.
Obviously, the application of a tow strap is also different than the tree saver strap.
I already discussed the tree strap application earlier.
Typically you will use the tow strap to recover one vehicle using another vehicle. Connect one end of the strap to the back of the vehicle that will do the recovery job, and connect the other end to the front of the vehicle that will be recovered.
So, here are some tow straps that I recommend you to use.
This one is a 4”x30’ mega strap having 40,000 lbs of break strength and 14,000 lb working load limit.
The good thing is you can use it as both tree saver strap and tow strap. But to avoid confusion let’s consider this only as the tow strap.
You have another version (3”x20’) of tow strap available from GearAmerica that has got 35000 lbs of break strength and 12,000 working load limit.
This is one of the topmost quality tow straps in my opinion.
You will have to spend a tad more on this than the previous one. Obviously, this strap is finer than the previous one in terms of quality.
This is a nylon made strap whereas the previous one from GearAmerica was Polyester made.
Nylon made straps stretch more than the polyester made ones. Resulting in better performance and more safety during the recovery process.
While you have multiple lengths (3”x20’, 3”x30’, 4”x20’) available, I am talking about the 4”x30’ one. It has got a breaking strength of 42500 lbs.
5. Winch Gear Bag
I don’t think I have to explain it thoroughly what purpose a gear bag serves.
Yes, you got to carry different accessories conveniently. That’s why you need a durable and good quality bag.
Here you go! I am going to list down two gear bags for you.
A high-quality bag with enough space to carry different winch accessories.
ARB501 is a sturdy bag I must say. You can keep the soiled and wet recovery gears without worrying about anything as the pockets are coated for wet and mud.
You have different models (ARB502, ARB503, ARB504) available at different price. They vary in sizes too.
Yes, a handle could have been there and the strap should have been longer. (I am talking about ARB501).
Moreover, you can’t carry more than two tow straps at once if they are too long. Some other users also think the same.
The picture shows you can carry three straps. But one of them needs to be shorter straps like tree saver.
A real inexpensive bag to carry ropes and other rigging accessories. But you don’t have to compromise the quality and portability here.
This particular bag is made out of nylon and mesh-nylon (for breathing).
If you are looking for a budget gear bag you can choose this one. Otherwise, I suggest you, go for the previous bag (ARB501) that I reviewed.
6. Recovery Gloves
You don’t need the definition of a glove. So, let me tell you why you should wear gloves during the recovery process.
The main reason is to protect your hands from possible minor injuries and keep your hands clean.
When you go for any off-roading adventure, you should carry one pair of gloves for each one of you in the group.
Below I am going to list two top quality gloves to help narrowing down the options for you.
What attracts me more about this glove is it protects both knuckle and palm.
Made out of high-quality synthetic material. So, no issue regarding longevity and comfort.
High visibility because of the bright orange color. All in all, a good pair of gloves I should say.
When it is anything about Warn, you always get the top quality but spend more than any other brands most of the time.
This pair of gloves is not any exception.
As per the quality and comfortability are concerned, I haven’t found any issue with this item.
You will get extra protection for knuckle and fingertip here as well.
However, this pair of ‘Warn’ gloves is visibly low as it’s all black.
7. Winch Covers
Nowadays most of the good winches are corrosion free, and waterproof.
Having said that, it is always a good idea to use winch cover for the sake of winch’s longevity particularly if you consider the rope’s longevity.
I suggest you to protect the whole winch from sun, dust, rain, mud, or any unwanted scratch by using a quality cover. That will surely extend your winch lifespan.
Here are some top-notch winch covers for you at different price.
One of the most budget-friendly winch covers I recommend you to use to protect your winch.
As long as it serves the purpose quite well, I don’t think you should spend extra money unnecessarily. That’s why I kept this cover on my top list.
This is waterproof, dust-proof, UV resistant. What else do you need?
This winch cover has elastic at the bottom to tighten things up. So, it won’t come out while you drive.
The good thing is you can use this cover to protect almost any winch regardless of the brand.
This cover is better than the previous cover in terms of quality. Pricier than the previous one as well.
But this time you have the luxury to choose from three different sizes (for 3000-4000 lbs, 8000-10000 lbs, 12000 lbs winches).
Like the previous cover, this one will fit with every winch regardless of the brand.
Warn 91414 M/XD/9.5xp/VR/Tabor Neoprene Winch Cover
Nothing to say about the quality and price of Warn product again.
One important restriction that you got to keep in mind here is that these covers are particularly made for Warn winches.
You have multiple models to fit with different Warn models. If you are using Warn winch these are the best deal for you.
8. Winch Damper
If you are using steel cable instead of a synthetic rope for your winch, it is a must to use a winch damper for you.
The main objective of winch damper is to prevent rope recoiling when the rope breaks under load.
If the rope snaps back it can be a cause of severe injury. So, no wonder why you must use winch damper as a precaution.
This one is a high-quality winch damper from Warn at a relatively less price.
You will get pockets here to keep small accessories.
When it is about winch damper, I don’t want to compromise the quality by any means. That’s why kept this on my top list.
A bit pricier than the Warn damper. This is bigger than the Warn damper though.
Here you will get pouches for keeping small accessories too.
As per as the quality is concerned, I must say, this is a high-quality damper.
It should impress you with its heavyweight feature. Easy to carry and store.
Considering the amount of security it is capable of providing, I think the price is justifiable.
9. Winch Quick Connect Systems
The name of the accessory says it all. These are connectors that help to connect/disconnect your winches to the power source/battery quickly.
These save your recreation time and you don’t need any extra tools to use these connectors.
You will find a lot of quick connects available on the market. To ease your life here are the two quick connectors that I recommend.
This particular quick connect is a well-built product at a reasonable price.
Polycarbonate is used to make this connector with fitted rubber boot covers. The cover protects it from outside materials.
This connector accepts 6-8 gauge wire.
Super easy to install and use. Both the end of the connectors are identical. So, you can use any one end to connect to the power source.
The terminal pins that come with the package are pretty good in quality as well.
As per as usability and price are concerned, this one is pretty identical to the previous quick connect that I reviewed.
However, this one accepts 2-4 gauge wires and the boot cover is a bit flimsier than the previous one.
10. Winch Mounts
A winch mount acts like an intermediary between the winch and the place of the vehicle where you want the winch to be placed (e.g bumper).
Better if you know whether it’s going to be foot-down mounting or foot-forward mounting. Most of the cases you need foot-down mounting though.
Let me introduce you to some of the quality winch mounts of different capacities and use.
This specific winch mount is perfect for 8000 lbs – 13000 lbs winches. Meaning you can use this mount for your truck or SUVs.
Here are some key points of this mount that you should consider before buying –
Size: 36″ L x 6 1/2″ W
Mount pattern: 10″ x 4 1/2″ Standard
Fairlead bolt pattern: 10″ On Center
While this one is a universal winch mount and a ready solution for most of the winches, here is a fair warning for you. Some users had to drill more holes to mount their winch using this mount.
Another solid winch cradle mounting plate; best for 8000 lbs – 13000 lb winches.
This one goes with trucks, SUV, 4×4, ATV, trailers or any 4WD vehicles.
I found this winch mount super easy to install and the price seems ok to me.
Cradle mounting plate always offers extra stability to the whole setup. So, you can consider this one without any hesitation.
This one is particularly made to be used with UTV and ATV winches. No wonder why it is best for only 3600 lbs capacity of winches.
In short, use it only with the small winches. The quality is good. No complaint about the pricing too.
11. Winch Cable Hook Stopper
Cable hook stopper is not any must-have accessory for you. But if you want to take extra care of your winch, you can use a hook stopper.
It simply stays right behind the hook and comes into play particularly when you pull in the rope after finishing winching.
Look. If you over reel then there is a chance that the hook will hit the fairlead or even the rope that already wound on to the drum.
But if you use a hook stopper then it will prevent the hook from touching the fairlead and wounded cable.
If you are using hawse fairlead and synthetic rope then I suggest you must use the hook stopper. Because the hook damages the synthetic rope and hawse fairlead more than the steel cable and roller fairlead.
The good thing is you don’t need to cut the rope or remove the hook to install a stopper. Just place the two parts of the stopper keeping the rope in between and screw up the two parts. Done.
Every time you buy a cable hook stopper, make sure to measure the line/rope diameter against the diameter of the hole of the stopper.
If you want the stopper remains tight with the rope then use it with the UTV/ATV winches as this stopper best fits with those ropes diameter.
You can use it with both steel cable and synthetic rope.
Pricewise, this is cheaper than the KFI winch but in terms of quality not too different. Moreover, this stopper comes with an Allen wrench.
This one is also suitable to use with most of the UTV/ATV winches. Compatible with both steel cable and synthetic rope. Roller fairlead and hawse fairlead.
12. Roller Fairlead
Each winch comes with a fairlead. Either roller fairlead or hawse fairlead depending on the type of the rope.
So you need to buy a fairlead only if your existing one is damaged or you want to change it. Or perhaps you are facing mounting issues with your current one.
Roller fairlead is used if you use steel cable instead of a synthetic rope as your winch line.
You can use this fairlead with UTV/ATV that has got 3500 lbs or less weight capacity as well as some light-duty trailers. No doubt, this goes perfectly with the Champion winches.
This fairlead is super inexpensive but excels in quality and easy to install.
Note: this has got 4-7/8-inch (124mm) bolt pattern which is considered to be a standard pattern.
In terms of quality and sturdiness, this one is way better than the previous Champion roller fairlead. You guessed it right. The price is also way higher (this is very common for a Warn product).
This one is made to use with ATV and side by side winches particularly made by Warn.
13. Hawse Fairlead
Hawse fairlead is used with synthetic rope and they are much lighter than the roller fairlead.
Typically you will find two types of hawse fairlead- aluminum hawse fairlead and steel hawse fairlead.
Aluminum hawse fairlead is lighter than its steel hawse counterpart.
As the name suggests, this very hawse fairlead is made from Aluminum. This is a perfect fairlead to use with winches that have the capacity of 8000 lbs to 15000 lbs.
Comes with the necessary bolts. The distance between the bolt hole is 10”.
What about the price? Well, doesn’t cost too much. Reasonably priced I must say.
Warn 97900 is a high-quality hawse fairlead that can be used for winches having a weight capacity of anything more than 6000 lbs.
10” bolt pattern from center to center.
Pricey, no doubt. But the quality is too high, to be honest.
Nevertheless, if you are on a budget but want the top quality then the previous fairlead from ORCISH is well and good for you.
14. Choker Chains
Choker chain is used for different items. Meaning it is not only limited to vehicle towing. You can use it for pulling out stumps, cargo security binding, even in construction work.
Durability and strength should be the topmost consideration when you are going to choose any choker chain for any of your work.
Let me list two of them that I found most durable and strong out of many.
Here you are going to get 2 pcs of grade 70 tow chains. Each of them has a grade 70 grab hooks on both ends.
The working load limit of this chain is up to 6000 lbs and a minimum break strength of 24,250 lbs.
SUNCOO choker chain is corrosion and waterproof. So in terms of durability and strength, you can rely on this like me.
This is another grade 70 high-quality choker chain having a working load limit of 11,300 lbs and a minimum break strength of 45,200 lbs.
As you can see, this is more strong and durable than the previous one. However, the price is slightly less than the previous chain from SUNCOO. So, yes, this is a good deal for you.
15. Replacement Winch Hook
I am sure you know the purpose of winch hook.
Let me tell you what are the most valuable considerations that you should keep in mind before buying a winch hook.
The hook needs to be strong and it needs to stand up to abrasion.
Here are two of that kind of winch hooks for you.
Another masterpiece production from Warn. This is just beauty and the beast for you. No question about the quality and capability. It excels in aesthetic beauty as well.
Unfortunately, it’s too expensive. But if you are a regular Warn customer, it won’t hurt you.
You have different weight capacity to choose from. 18000 lbs, 12000 lbs, and 5000 lbs.
If budget is not an issue for you and don’t want to compromise with the quality at all, this winch hook is the best bet for you.
This one has got the capacity of 11000 lbs.
Way inexpensive than the previous one that I reviewed from Warn.
No question with quality and strength. So, if you are looking for a budget solution better go for this one.
16. Dashboard Rocker Switch
Now I am going to list down two rocker switches.
These are mainly dashboard rocker switches to winch-in and winch-out.
Dashboard rocker switches meaning you can mount these switches to your vehicle’s dashboard.
Yes, this is a 7 pin rocker switch that you can mount to your dashboard.
As per as the performance is concerned, it works as advertised. Super easy to install as well.
I’m not sure about the durability though. Need to use it for long to comment on its durability.
Pretty inexpensive as well. You can use this for various purposes other than winching only. For instance controlling LED light bar, headlights and similar kind of stuff.
Fits with most UTV/ATV, cars, SUVs, 4X4, boat, etc.
Not too different than the previous rocker switch that I mentioned. Even the price is similar as well.
17. Winch Remote Control
Pretty self-explanatory accessory it is. Typically you have two types of remote controls – wired/cabled and wireless. Most of the good winches if not all come with at least one remote control (either wired or wireless). Some come with both types.
But if you want to buy one separately here are two good remote controls for you.
A fair warning- check before buying if that particular remote will work with your winch or not. The pin connector needs to be matched with the winch as well as other functionalities. So, better call the manufacturer if you are not sure.
A handy wireless remote control that is compatible with so many winches from different brands. Check out the list of brands they provide on the sales page.
This is a waterproof remote and automatically shuts off after three minutes of no-use. It has an indicator light as well.
This one is a wired remote control. A good quality remote. But unfortunately, this doesn’t work with any other winch except Smittybilt XRC winches.
I’ve listed a total of 17 types of accessories here with multiple products for each type.
If you follow the list that I’ve put here, it will be able to meet almost each of your needs related to winch accessories.
Now it’s up to you.
Comment below if you want to know anything more regarding winch accessories.