Smittybilt and Warn are both producers of high-quality truck and 4x4 accessories. This review will take a look at winches produced by these two brands side-by-side. While Smittybilt and Warn are both reputable winch brands, Warn tends to be seen as the highest standard for winches, and Smittybilt is generally looked at as a top alternative to Warn’s higher priced products. But that does not necessarily mean Smittybilt winches are lower quality – both brands have their own loyal customer base.

For a more in-depth look at how winches from these two brands stack up against each other, read on.

Quick Comparison of Simittybilt X2O 10,000 vs WARN 96810 VR 10
Smittybilt 97510 X 2O Waterproof Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity
WARN 96810 VR 10 Winch
Smittybilt 97510 X 2O Waterproof Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity
WARN 96810 VR 10 Winch
Available with Synthetic Rope as well
Weight
99 pounds with wire cable
89 pounds with wire cable
Price
from $415.00
from $527.13
Quick Comparison of Simittybilt X2O 10,000 vs WARN 96810 VR 10
Smittybilt 97510 X 2O Waterproof Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity
Smittybilt 97510 X 2O Waterproof Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity
Available with Synthetic Rope as well
Weight
99 pounds with wire cable
Price
from $415.00
Quick Comparison of Simittybilt X2O 10,000 vs WARN 96810 VR 10
WARN 96810 VR 10 Winch
WARN 96810 VR 10 Winch
Available with Synthetic Rope as well
Weight
89 pounds with wire cable
Price
from $527.13

Smittybilt vs. Warn: General Comparison

To start off, let's look into the customer ratings of Smittybilt and Warn winches in general. Customer reviews can give us a good idea of the quality, durability and overall customer satisfaction of both products.

Smittybilt Winches in General

Customer Satisfaction

Overall, most Smittybilt customers are satisfied with the product they paid for.

As mentioned earlier, Smittybilt winches are not expected to come with the same high-quality build and durability as Warn winches, so people tend to be impressed with the quality they get.

Some customers have been disappointed with the design of their Smittybilt winches – particularly with the solenoid center mounts.

That does not have any effect on the performance or lasting durability of the winch, though. Smittybilt winches are generally reported to be very easy to install and to perform exactly as advertised for multiple years of use.

When it comes to the brand, Smittybilt’s customers are happy with the customer service and warranty they have received with their winches.

Price

Smittybilt winches are cheaper than most Warn models. The price difference of a Smittybilt winch vs Warn is not necessarily dramatic, but they do qualify as mid-range options compared to other Winch brands on the market.

Features and Accessories 

Smittybilt winches do come with several convenient features – most notably a wireless remote.

The remote is super helpful for self-recoveries and one-person operation.

Some customers have reported durability issues with the wireless remote, but the winch will not need the remote to function.

Waterproofing is another great feature of Smittybilt winches. Amphibious motors and an IP68 waterproof rating guarantee sturdy use in all conditions.


Warn Winches in General

Customer Satisfaction

Warn is considered the last word in winches by a lot of people, so their customers are generally highly satisfied with their products.

That said, Warn winches are also much more expensive than others, so any flaws in the build or performance come as a huge letdown.

Some customers have complained about the difficulty of installing their Warn winch, as well as the quality of the build – cracks in the waterproof casing are not uncommon but can occur.

When it comes to performance, though, Warn works exactly as it should.

Warn winches come with warranties up to seven years and are built to last far longer, with only minor repairs and replacements of the rope.

Overall, the customer satisfaction of Warn winches is comparable with that of Smittybilt, but for a higher price.

Price

Compared to Smittybilt and other brand names, Warn can be considered high-end products.

The price tag is generally much higher, but they are also built to last much longer than others, so you will spend less money on repair and replacement in the long run.

Features and Accessories

Unlike Smittybilt, Warn winches do not come with a wireless remote. That is generally not an issue for use, but it can make it more difficult to use the winch by yourself in a self-recovery.

Their modern VR line of winches do, however, come with a high degree of waterproofing, a unique clutch lever and a cast iron structural brace to support the winch and give it a more rugged look.


But let's see some specifics!


Simittybilt X2O 10,000   vs.   WARN 96810 VR 10

Now that we’ve taken a look at the general quality and customer satisfaction of a Smittybilt vs Warn winch, let’s get a bit more specific.

The Simittybilt X2O 10,000 and WARN 96810 VR 10 are both modern models from the two brands, respectively. We’ve put together a closer look at how these two specific winches compare to each other.


Smittybilt X2O 10,000

Overview

Smittybilt winch reviews

A highly enhanced Smittybilt winch, improved on previous models.

It is outfitted with a completely encased 6.6 horsepower motor, 3-stage planetary gear train system and 500 amp solenoid.

This winch is completely waterproof, with an amphibious motor and certified IP68 rating. It is available with either synthetic or wire rope, according to customer preferences.

This Smittybilt winch is made in China.

It comes with a certified lifetime mechanical warranty and 5-year electrical warranty.

Product Details

  • Gear ratio: 218:1
  • Rated line pull: 10,000 pounds
  • Weight: 99 pounds
  • Brake: Automatic, out-of-drum
  • Remote: wireless remote switch, 12 foot lead included
Smittybilt 97510 X 2O Waterproof Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity
  • Wireless Remote
  • 6.6 HP Amphibious motor
  • 3 Stage Planetary Gear System
  • Lifetime Mechanical Warranty and 5 Year Electrical Warranty
  • Completely Waterproof, state-of-the-art 500AMP Solenoi

Customer Satisfaction

Most customers have been impressed with the long-term performance of the Smittybilt X20. Reviews are mainly positive, emphasizing the speed and reliability of this product for its price.

 The main complaint customers have is with the design of the solenoid mount, which is not intuitive to install and not compatible with all vehicles.

PROS:

  • Lower cost
  • Reliable use
  • Wireless remote
  • IP68 waterproof rating

CONS:

  • Shorter warranty and less trusted brand name
  • Slightly lower quality build

Warn 96810 VR 10

Overview

smittybilt winch vs warn

​​A powerful, sturdy winch from Warn’s VR line, with comes with the most recent improvements and features compared to past models.

This winch Has a 12 volt DC motor, 3-stage planetary gear train system and a cast iron hawes fairlead.

It is compatible with synthetic or wire rope and can be ordered with either.

The Warn VR 10 is also made in China.

Warn's more premium winch ranges like the Zeon are made in the USA, but the VR series is made in China.

It comes with a 7 year warranty.


Product Details

  • Gear ratio: 261:1
  • Rated line pull: 10,000 pounds
  • Weight: 89 pounds
  • Brake: automatic, direct drive cone
  • Remote: handheld remote, 12 foot lead
Smittybilt 97510 X 2O Waterproof Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity
  • Wireless Remote
  • 6.6 HP Amphibious motor
  • 3 Stage Planetary Gear System
  • Lifetime Mechanical Warranty and 5 Year Electrical Warranty
  • Completely Waterproof, state-of-the-art 500AMP Solenoi

Customer Satisfaction

Customer reviews of the VR 10 are more or less in line with reviews of most Warn products – people are generally highly satisfied with the look, performance and durability of this winch, but have had some issues with ease of installation and the build.

The only negative feedback this product receives pertain to its sturdiness upon arrival.

There are very few, if any major complaints about its performance, speed or reliability for recoveries.

PROS:

  • Long warranty, guaranteed reliability
  • Powerful 12V motor
  • Waterproof Albright contractor control
  • Sleek design

CONS:

  • Expensive compared to other brands of similar quality
  • Not entirely waterproof
smittybilt or warn

The Final Verdict

It would be impossible to say that Smittybilt winches are necessarily better than Warn, or vice versa.

When you’re debating over Warn vs. Smittybilt, what it really comes down to is how much you are willing to pay for top quality.

From our perspective, the Warn vs. Smittybilt winches are basically the same in terms of overall performance and reliability.

Considering the two models reviewed above, both have a rated line pull of 10,000 pounds, both operate at around the same speed, and both are reported to have lasting quality and only minor issues at the outset.

Smittybilt 97510 X 2O Waterproof Winch - 10000 lb. Load Capacity
  • Wireless Remote
  • 6.6 HP Amphibious motor
  • 3 Stage Planetary Gear System
  • Lifetime Mechanical Warranty and 5 Year Electrical Warranty
  • Completely Waterproof, state-of-the-art 500AMP Solenoi

So, even though Warn is widely regarded as the better brand, when you consider the prices, buyers are definitely getting more bang for their buck with the Smittybilt.

The takeaway here is that neither a Smittybilt nor a Warn winch will let you down.

If you are interested in a better value for top quality, though, a Smittybilt winch would be the way to go.