In our comprehensive guide regarding 4x4 winches, we have highlighted their importance during overlanding and talked about their most important features. Investing in a winch requires research and consideration of the type of activities you participate in and the potential situations you can find yourself in. There are tons of winches on the market today, but it’s important to keep in mind the right winch for your neighbor may not be the right winch for you. Once you got yourself through the process of choosing a winch with the right features, you might find yourself in a situation when you cannot choose between two major players in the market: Superwinch vs. Warn.

Here are a few comparisons between popular winches from these two brands and a good reminder of the features you should look for when you choose the best winch for you.

superwinch vs warn

Features to Look for in a Winch

Drivetrain Types

Spur Gear – Offering fast line speed and reliable winching, a spur gear often lacks the stability to hold loads which need a strong and functional brake system.

Worm Gear – Not normally seen in electric offroad winches, the worm gear is best suited for industrial jobs. It pulls slower than the other types, but it very capable of lowering and holding loads.

Planetary Gear – A hybrid of the two other gears, the planetary gear is lightweight, compact, and more affordable. Its only drawback is that it accumulates heat.

Motor

There are two types of motors to choose from when considering an electric winch, either the permanent magnet or the series-wound. With decent pulling power and a low-amp design, the permanent magnet is great for typical or moderate terrain and recovery situations that aren’t extreme. The series-wound costs more and will require vehicle upgrades to guarantee a lasting performance.

Winch Drum

The part of the winch that the cable winds around is called the winch drum. This is where the pulling power of your winch is rated. The bigger the working diameter of your winch drum, the lower rating your winch will have due to the height of the gear. This is because the pulling power is rated at the cable’s bottom layer as it wraps around the drum instead of the top layer where short pull start.

Remote control

Nowadays, most winches have a remote control. This is a lot more convenient than using a hand crank, plus it is safer since you can operate it from a distance. If your winch does not have a remote control, you can still buy a universal remote that will work with it.

Cable vs. Rope

Of the two, cable lasts longer, is more durable, and is more affordable than synthetic rope that will let heat dissipate from the internal brake drum. However, cable is hard to handle, is heavier, and it can store more kinetic energy. Plus, it can kink, rust, develop barbs, and it is difficult to fix in the field.

Made of altered polypropylene materials, synthetic rope has a stronger breaking strength. It is similar in size to cable, but it is stronger, lighter, and easier to handle than cable. Plus, it floats, won’t rust, is simple to fix in the field, and comes in several different colors. On the downside, it doesn’t dissipate heat, can get scratched, will retain water and freeze, and requires a protection sheath so it isn’t damaged by debris or sunlight. UV rays can also degrade it and it will need to be cleaned as dirt can cut it internally.

Superwinch vs Warn comparison

Badass Subaru equipped with Superwinch

Superwinch vs. Warn Winch Comparisons


I.

Click image to see gallery on Amazon

  • 3,000-pound pull rating
  • Permanent magnet motor
  • Wire rope only
  • Mechanical and dynamic brake
  • Corded remote

Click image to see gallery on Amazon

  • 3,000-pound pull rating
  • Permanent magnet motor
  • Wire rope or lightweight synthetic rope
  • Mechanical spring brake 
  • Corded remote

First up is Warn Vantage versus Superwinch LT3000ATV. These are relatively low power but high quality winches that are suitable for ATVs, not overland rigs, however, we decided to include them in this review as they are very popular in the market right now.

superwinch vs warn

When you need a reliable workhorse, the Warn Vantage uses proven technology to get you out of those tight spots. Not only is it affordable, but it features the best-in-class performance that you will find in high-quality winches. With dependability, power, and the Warn name, this lightweight, but very solid winch has a rugged design and a unique exterior style that makes it look strong, advanced, and capable.

Similar to the Superwinch LT3000ATV, the Warn Vantage features a permanent magnet motor that is truly powerful. Equipped with a corded remote, full sealing, a planetary gear train that is smooth as silk, and either wire rope that is aircraft-grade or a lightweight synthetic rope (with the Vantage-3000-S model). With a 3,000-pound pull rating, this is the perfect winch for a Side x Side Warn or ATV. And, unlike the Superwinch LT3000ATV, it has a finish that is corrosion resistant, plus it comes with a mechanical spring brake that gives you great control while winching.

In comparison, the Superwinch LT3000ATV is also used for ATV applications and has a 3,000-pound pull rating. This is a quiet and compact winch that is perfect for you if you love the outdoors as it will give you the versatility and durability you need for your ATV. The Superwinch LT3000ATV is a large, functional, and reliable winch that includes a permanent magnet motor that has low amps and is protected by a circuit breaker.

Like the Warn Vantage, the Superwinch LT3000ATV has a full-metal and rugged 3-stage planetary gear train and 50 feet of durable 3/16” wire rope. But it differs from the Warn Vantage with its ergonomic clutch that is free-spooling. Both of these winches would work great for a casual ATV snowplow application.


II.

Click image to see gallery on Amazon

  • 8,500-pound pull rating
  • 4.5hp series-wound motor
  • Corded rubber handheld remote with 15-foot lead
  • 94-foot feed wire rope
  • 3-stage planetary gear train

Click image to see gallery on Amazon

  • 8,000-pound pull rating
  • 4.8hp series-wound motor
  • Weather and mud resistant corded remote with 12-foot lead
  • 100-foot feed wire or synthetic rope
  • 3-stage planetary gear train

Next up is the Warn M8000-S Winch which is a great choice for lighter trucks and SUVs. Similar to the Superwinch LP8500, the Warn M8000-S has a little higher motor power with 4.8 hp but a smaller pull rating at 8,000 pounds. It also features a 3-stage planetary gear train that has the capability of getting jobs done faster thanks to its advanced pulling power.

The Warn M8000-S features a 100-foot feed of 5/16 wire rope with a standard roller fairlead, a free-spooling clutch with sliding ring gear, and wired remote with a 12-foot lead. It also comes equipped with a remote mount control box that lets you have a wide range of mounting options, 72-inch color-coated leads that attach to the vehicle’s 12-volt battery, and a pistol-grip remote control handle that features a rubberized ergonomic design that is mud and weather resistant.

In comparison, the Superwinch LP8500 is like the Warn M8000-S in that it can be used on almost any 4x4 vehicle, but it can be used on RV’s, trailers, and vehicles that are a similar size. Because of its ease of use, this is a great utility winch. It has a little higher pull rating at 8,500 pounds than the Warn M8000-S, but it has a shorter wire rope feed at 94 feet as well as a smaller motor at only 4.5 hp.

Like the Warn M8000-S, the Superwinch LP8500 also has a 3-stage planetary gear train and a free-spooling clutch. It also has a 15’ rubber handheld remote so that you can operate the winch from a safe distance. The Superwinch LP8500 differs from the Warn M8000-S with its heavy-duty latched hook with a thimble, a weather-sealed solenoid, and automatic, mechanical load holding brake. Both are great winches to have with you on your next overlanding adventure, but the Warn M8000-S has a few more features to edge out the Superwinch LP8500 if you're not going to miss that 500 pounds pulling power that the latter can do.


III.

Click image to see gallery on Amazon

  • 8,500-pound pull rating
  • Series-wound motor
  • Corded rubber handheld remote with 15-foot lead
  • 94-foot feed wire rope
  • 3-stage planetary gear train
  • Lever-action freespooling clutch

Click image to see gallery on Amazon

  • 8,000-pound pull rating
  • Series-wound motor
  • Weather and mud resistant corded remote with 12-foot lead
  • 94-foot feed wire rope or 100-foot synthetic
  • 3-stage planetary gear train
  • Sliding Ring Gear clutch

Our next comparison puts the Warn VR8000 against the Superwinch LP8500. The Warn VR8000 has a smaller pull rating at 8,000 lb in comparison to the Superwinch LP8500’s 8,500 pull rating, but they are both capable of pulling regular sized 4WD vehicles and light trucks as the prevuous ones we looked at. The Warn VR8000 differs in that is the first model in the new WARN Vehicle Recovery line geared towards first-time winch buyers or someone that would like an affordably priced winch but still wants the Warn name brand.

This is a smooth and reliable winch that features a durable three-stage planetary gear train. Providing different mounting option, the Warn VR8000 has a separate control pack, and it also features an exclusive brake design for great control. With a series-wound motor, you will get plenty of power, fast line speed, and a remote control with a 12-foot lead and 94 feet of 5/16" diameter wire rope. With the warn you have the option to chose a synthetic rope if you go for the VR-8000-S model.

land rover defender best winch

The Superwinch LP8500 is a part of the second generation of the LP8500 product line and is also designed to fit almost any 4x4 vehicle, but it also works well with RV’s, trailers, and vehicles that are a similar size. It has a higher pull rating at 8,500 pounds than the Warn VR8000, but it features the same 94 feet of steel wire rope.

Otherwise, the Superwinch LP8500 has more features including the lever-action free-spooling clutch that lets you disengage the motor quickly and manually pull out as much rope as you need. It also has a heavy-duty latched hook with a thimble, a weather-sealed solenoid and circuit breaker, and a 15-foot rubber handheld remote that lets you operate the winch safely from a distance. In this comparison, the feature-heavy Superwinch LP8500 definitely deals a hefty punch against the more basic Warn VR8000.


​IV.

Click image to see gallery on Amazon

  • 9,500-pound pull rating
  • Series-wound motor
  • Corded rubber handheld remote with 12-foot lead
  • 95-foot feed wire rope or 80-foot synthetic
  • 3-stage planetary gear train

Click image to see gallery on Amazon

  • 10,000-pound pull rating
  • Series-wound motor
  • Weather and mud resistant corded remote with 12-foot lead
  • 80-foot feed wire rope or 100-foot synthetic
  • 3-stage planetary gear train

Now, on to the Warn ZEON and the Superwinch Tiger Shark. These are two tough winches that can tackle pretty much anything you throw at them. Very much suitable for an overland rig based on a Jeep Wrangler or a Toyota 4Runner or similar vehicles as well as midsize trucks.

The Warn ZEON winch is strong, capable, and has advanced features that distinguish it as the next generation of winches. With a satin-black and durable cast-aluminum housing, the Warn ZEON comes equipped with a muck-busting sealing and a convertible control pack that allows you to mount it any way you want.

It also features a durable finish, a powerful new motor, and an efficient new gear train to create a workhouse that you will use for many years to come. It has a 10,000-pound pull capacity and comes with synthetic rope and roller fairlead. The Warn ZEON has a consistent design throughout the winch giving it the same look on each side, plus it has a large, lightweight, aluminum winch drum that reduces rope wear.

In comparison, the Tiger Shark is also making waves in the industry. By redefining an affordable winch, the Superwinch Tiger Shark has features beyond the basics that enthusiast-level consumers will appreciate. Including aluminum hawse, synthetic rope, a sealed solenoid, stainless steel hardware, and an automatic load holding brake design. The Superwinch Tiger Shark has field-proven design that allows effortless switching, but it comes a little under the Warn Zeon pulling capacity at only a 9,500.

Like the Warn ZEON, it also features a 3-stage planetary gearbox and a severe-duty textured finish. It differs from the Zeon with its weather sealed 5.2 HP motor that will lessen any damage from snow, rain, and dust and its ergonomic free-spool lever with an easy grip that prevents debris from starting your winch while you enjoy off-road adventures. It also features a heavy-duty rubber hand-held remote with a 12-foot lead. In this comparison, the Warn Zeon comes out on top with a more feature heavy winch than the more basic and affordable Superwinch Tiger Shark.

superwinch vs warn


Conclusion

If we absolutely have to decide on which brand do we find better, we would say Warn.. but only very slightly. They are both great brands and while in general, Warn's track records are better, Superwinch offers great quality winches at very competitive prices. Their Amazon reviews speak for themselves. Click here to read some of them.