Winch comparison, Part III: Economy winches

We’ve looked at high-end  and mid-range winches, which leaves one final category to explore. Each of today’s winches has the quality and features Jeep enthusiasts expect, but come in at a price point under $500.

Ground rules

As with our previous winch reports, these economy models all feature synthetic line for its strength and added safety factor. Three of today’s four models register pull ratings of 9,500 pounds, sufficient for a two-door Jeep JK, while the lightweight of the bunch comes in at 9,000 pounds.

One final note: As the price point comes down, manufacturers must look for ways to boost efficiency while saving production cost. Such corner cutting is often revealed by withholding specifications or data points that are disclosed among higher-end products. As before, specifications that are not commonly available on the manufacturer’s website or via a search of common enthusiast retail sites and web forums are marked with a “***”. The reader can make his or her own determination how vital a missing piece of information is.

Here are the contenders:

barricadeBarricade 9500

The Barricade 9500 boasts a 5.5-horsepower series-wound 12-volt electric motor and durable three-stage planetary gear box with a final 195.4:1 gear ratio. The clutch is a proven sliding-ring gear design, while the automatic brake is housed inside the 8.8-inch-long drum. The 9500 comes with a winch cover and 94 feet of Safety Orange synthetic rope. Barricade Off-Road offers a limited lifetime warranty on mechanical parts and one-year warranty on the 9500’s internal electronics.
.
Cost: $499.99
Rated line pull: 9,500 lbs.
Weight: 44 lbs.
Rope: 94′ of synthetic (unspecified diameter)
IP rating: ***
Controls: Solenoid
Geartrain: 3-stage planetary
Ratio: 195.4:1
Clutch: Sliding ring gear
Brake: Auto (inside the drum)
Drum diameter/length: 2.5″ / 8.8″
Battery leads: ***
Finish: Glossy powder coat
Warranty: Limited lifetime
Dimensions: 21.5L x 6.5D x 8.6H
.

9000sQuadratec 9000s

Quadratec’s Q-Series Winches ship with Dyneema synthetic winch line, an ultra high molecular weight polyethylene fiber developed in the Netherlands more than 20 years ago. The 9000s also includes a 12′ ballistic nylon chafe guard to protect the winch line from abrasions. Other features include a billet aluminum hawse fairlead and hook. The familiar 9000s ensures easy operation, while the 9,000-pound pull capacity ensures you have enough power to get you out of whatever your Jeep gets you into.
..
Cost: $449.99
Rated line pull: 9,000 lbs.
Weight: 63.5 lbs.
Rope: 94′ of 3/8″ Dyneema synthetic
IP rating: ***
Controls: Solenoid
Geartrain: 3-stage planetary
Ratio: 212:1
Clutch: ***
Brake: ***
Drum diameter/length: 2.64″ / 9.0″
Battery leads: ***
Finish: Powder coat
Warranty: Limited lifetime
Dimensions: 22.44L x 6.6D x 11.22H
.

StealthQuadratec 9500 Stealth

Billed as a special 25th anniversary model, the Stealth is a blacked out version of the company’s popular q9500i integrated-solenoid winch. It includes a black powder coated Hawse fairlead, hook and unique decals. Like all Quadratec synthetic winches, the Stealth arrives with 90 feet of Dyneema synthetic rope, which is 15 times stronger than steel by weight, and a rugged 4.8 horsepower motor. The entire package is backed by Quadratec’s limited lifetime warranty.
.
Cost: $499.99
Rated line pull: 9,500 lbs.
Weight: 63.5 lbs.
Rope: 90′ of 3/8″ Dyneema synthetic
IP rating: ***
Controls: Fixed-solenoid
Geartrain: 3-stage planetary
Ratio: 212:1
Clutch: ***
Brake: ***
Drum diameter/length: 2.64″ / 9.0″
Battery leads: ***
Finish: Glossy powder coat
Warranty: Limited lifetime
Dimensions: 22.44L x 6.6D x 11.22H

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Featured Image -- 3102Superwinch Tiger Shark 9500sr

Superwinch’s budget-minded Tiger Shark model offers many features found in more costly winch models, but at a bargain price. And, while the company doesn’t advertise the Tiger Shark as a waterproof winch, the unit’s IP67 ingress rating affords extra peace of mind when taking on mud or deep-water crossings. Additionally, Superwinch wisely placed the automatic brake outside the winch drum, which can dramatically extend the life of the synthetic rope.
.
Cost: $499.99
Rated line pull: 9,500 lbs.
Weight: 54.8 lbs.
Rope: 80′ of 3/8″ synthetic
IP rating: 67
Controls: Solenoid
Geartrain: 3-stage planetary
Ratio: 218:1
Clutch: ***
Brake: Auto-mechanical cone (outside the drum)
Drum diameter/length: 2.5″ / 9.0″
Battery leads: 4 gauge, 72″
Finish: Textured powder coat
Warranty: Limited 2-year
Dimensions: 20.8L x 6.3D x 9.2H
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