Superwinch vs Warn

superwinch vs warn

If you’ve read our articles on how to use a snatch block or how to get out of the mud. You’ll have read how important a winch can be for going off-roading or into the backcountry. However, when it comes to finding a winch and investing the money you need to make sure you pick a quality one. Two of the leading winch manufactures are Superwinch and Warn. However, the biggest question is how do they stack up head to head. That said, we created our very own Superwinch vs Warn analysis to help give you the tools you need to make a winch purchase for your truck, SUV, or Jeep.

Company History –

In order to get a better picture of what Superwinch and Warn stand for we first need to take a look at their company history.

Superwinch History –

superwinch vs warnSuperwinch holds headquarters in Tualatin, OR, a smaller southwestern suburb to Portland, OR. The company is one of the largest privately held manufactures, designers, and marketers of winch accessories and system in the world. They also hold a facility in Tavistock, UK which helps to manufacture and distribute their products worldwide. When it comes to winches Superwinch is one of the industry leaders. However, they are actually known for multiple accessories such as power drives, hydraulic winches, accessories, hubs, and parts. Superwinch has strived to keep quality and durability as the center of their mission, which they have a great reputation for. As a result, making some of the best off-road and OEM products.

Services –

Due to Superwinches extensive design and manufacturing practices, they have become a global supplier for both consumer and industrial products. They create winches with a capacity of 1,000 to 50,000-pound capacity. While the capacity and product use may vary the standard for high-quality construction and value does not. The idea of owning a winch that not only is built for off-road conditions but for industrial and even military grade applications is why so many consumers suggest Superwinch.

The Details –

The first Superwinch begin long before off-road recovery gear was essential. It actually started with the founder, Frank Tolsdorf and a project granted with the Ford Motor Company. However, it quickly evolved from there on the northeastern edge of Connecticut where winches were needed for the pleasure boating industry. Without even stopping Ian Dodds joined the Superwinch team to be the teams lead innovator for things such as satellite positioning systems.

Superwinch later purchased Mercury Electric Winch and UK based FW Winches Limited to help increase their diversification in products. Which is when Superwinch became an instant contender in hydraulic and worm drive winches. Later expanding as the expert for overdrive gearboxes for Toyota and Land Rover.

By 2015, Superwinch had become such a viable business that it was sold to Kinderhook Industries. A private equity firm that has a stronghold in the automotive sector. After that, the company opened a new facility that serves as their headquarters in Oregon.

Warn History –

superwinch vs warnWhen it comes to off-road gear and a legacy of history, Warn Industries has to be the #1. Since 1948, Warn has been trusted by off-road enthusiast, ATV, and UTV owners. Being a leader in making the electric winches, is not easy, as they have been constantly innovating for the last 70+ years. Over time they have been able to expand and create just about every product that pairs with a winch. For example, bumpers, mounting systems, shackles, 4WD hubs, vehicle specific kits, and powersports accessories.

Services –

Warn Industries didn’t just stop at the off-road industry. They have a full line of electric and hydraulic winches and hoists for the industrial and commercial sector as well. Therefore, if you’re looking for a brand that is trusted on the back of a tow truck or the front of a military vehicle, Warn is a great choice for a winch system.

The Details –

In 1930, Arthur and Sadie Warn begin a Willys dealership in Southpark, Washington. Willy’s is better known for the design and product behind the military jeeps. That said, in 1948, they founded Warn Industries. The idea was to convert thousands of military surplus Jeeps into useful on-road vehicles. Arthur was an innovator and inventor, beginning his sales door-to-door in Seattle. It quickly bloomed into a mail-order business with the help of some ads in popular mechanics.

By 1954, Warn locking hubs where being offered as an option from the factory equipment in numerous automobiles. They quickly became an OEM supplier for companies such as Ford, Chrysler, GM, KIA, and Nissan.

With the hub sales quickly gaining pace, Warn Industries began to revolutionize the off-road market with electric winches. At a time vehicles had a Power-take-off or more commonly PTO, which are found on tractors. This required an engine to run, however, if you’re stalled on a hill it served as useless. Which is why the Warn electric winch was so captivating by 1974.

Warn quickly began to expand into the ATV and UTV markets as the need for high-quality gear was required. This allowed Powersports owners the ability for self-recovery.

Overall –

Warn Industries today has over 180,000 sqft of engineering, manufacturing, and office space located in Clackamas, Oregon with over 350 employees. Warn holds over 100 patents and 600 products, continuing to innovate and design leading off-road products.

Superwinch vs Warn Head To Head –

To better explain and decipher the match up of Superwinch vs Warn. We decided to compare three different models to go head to head on a low capacity, mid-capacity, and high-capacity winch system. This way no matter what type of winch size you’re looking for you can find a Superwinch vs Warn comparison.

Superwinch vs Warn | Low Capacity ATV & UTV –

To get started with the low capacity or our ATV/UTV category we put the most popular models head to head. That said, Superwinch has over eight different models suitable for ATV’s ranging in weight capacities of 2,000 – 4,500 lbs. Whereas Warn has about four different models each with their own classifications providing multiple options under each model, for the line, and weight capacity. Warn ranges between 2,000 – 5,000 lbs, depending on the model. Each manufacturer has the option for steel or synthetic cable it all depends on your budget or performance needs.

Superwinch Terra 35 1135220 –

The Superwinch Terra is one of the best and most sought after winch systems for powersport owners. For ATV and UTV owners this provides them plenty of pulling, tugging, winching, or recovering power needed for the job all at a low-cost price.

  • 1.6 HP Permanent Magnet
  • 3-Stage Planetary Gearing
  • 19 – 190 Amp Draw
superwinch vs warn

Capacities –

  • 3,500 lb weight
  • 20 lbs Overal Weight Installed
  • 19 fpm (no load)
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • 50′ x 3/16″ Wire Cable

Construction –

The Superwinch Terra 35 is constructed with massive copper windings and a sealed bearing from end-to-end. Therefore, providing the motor more power and faster cooling efficiency. The gears inside the drive train are made two times larger providing stronger engagement and a longer life expectancy. Lastly, the drum is constructed to hold the included wire cable, yet it has reinforced steel drums standard to handle both steel and synthetic cable.

Warn VR-X 101035 –

The Warn was built for the trail to the job site with it’s all metal construction. It features the new clutch based on the Warn 4WD hublock design. While providing a fully waterproof seal to take on any outdoor situation.

  • 12v DC Permanent Magnet
  • 3-Stage Planetary Gearing
  • 20 – 192 Amp Draw
superwinch vs warn

Capacities –

  • 3,500 lb weight
  • 28.9 lbs Overall Weight
  • 15.8 fpm (no load)
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • 50′ x 7/32″ Wire Cable

Construction –

The VRX 35 is constructed with an all steel design that is finished in a semi-gloss black powder-coat. Each of the fasteners are made of stainless steel and the complete system is sealed with an IP68 waterproof rating to help go through any condition you encounter. The VRX is made with a smooth three-stage planetary gear train and a load-holding mechanical brake for superior control. Equipped with a handlebar mounted rocker switch this is a very useful winch system for any ATV or UTV.

 Superwinch vs Warn | ATV & UTV Results –

Even though Warn is a legacy company with a great stake in the winch game. Superwinches Terra 35 takes the overall winning pick out of these two models. Construction and feature wise these two models, the VRX and Terra are very similar, but the Terra is a little better priced compared to the VRX 35. If you are looking for a little more aesthetically sleeker look the Warn is a bit more compact and seemed to blend into our bumper better. However, when it comes to usability the Superwinch Terra took the spot.

Superwinch vs Warn | Mid Capacity SUV & Truck –

The second and most readily available option from Superwinch and Warn is their mid capacity winches. Here is where you’ll find a winch for your Jeep, Truck, or SUV, as weight capacities range between 6,000 and 12,000 lbs. Of course, this is when things get a bit more interesting as each manufacturer has their own spin on innovation and design packed into a model that meets the demand of every consumer. Between Warn and Superwinch there are dozens of options to select from based on performance, size, and price points. To showcase each manufacturer and find the best for our Superwinch vs Warn match up we selected the two most recent models added to each others portfolio.

Superwinch EXP Series  –

The EXP Series has a robust 8 different patents to help protect the innovation and design that went into this product. The groundbreaking winch system is manufactured in 8,000, 10,000 and 12,000-pound capacities. Making it a great choice for just about any type of off-road vehicle. For our selection, we compared the 10,000 lb winch in our Warn match up. The EXP is packed with visual indicators and automatic systems that make using a winch simpler and safer than ever before.

  • 100′ Synthetic Rope (also available in steel)
  • 3-Stage Planetary Gearing
  • 72 – 460 Amp Draw
superwinch vs warn

Capacities & Features –

  • 10,000 lb weight
  • IP69K Waterproof Rating
  • 47 fpm (no load)
  • Lifetime Warranty

Construction –

The Superwinch EXP is one of the highest demanded winch systems right now. There are so many reasons why this winch is a fantastic choice for any Jeep, SUV, or truck owner. The series wound motor is a strong durable construction that provides you with a winch built for getting off road. The EXP is built with an auto-engaged clutch meaning you after free spooling you don’t have to take another trip back to the winch. The system is designed to encounter any type of element with an IP69K water rating built for mud, rain, snow, or sand. The fully potted electronics was designed after their lessons learned from making US military winches.

What lets the EXP stand out amongst the Warn ZEON is that it’s built with some state of the art technology. Witch indicator lights and vibration queues, this winch actually will alert you if it senses a high amp draw or temp. The winch doesn’t stop there, it even has an auto-off feature so you never drain crucial battery life. Superwinch went as far as adding auxiliary ports on the winch, (if there’s already power there, might as well use it) allowing you to connect compressors and other accessories. Lastly, the drum was designed to specifical complement the use of synthetic rope, (however, it can be ordered in a cable as well) the design engineers built the winch to perform exceptionally well with a synthetic rope.

Warn ZEON 10 –

The Warn ZEON was built for the Jeep, SUV, or truck owners looking to reach peak performance from a winch will still be affordable. Designed to handle tough situations with a durable and high-quality construction. Made from an aluminum housing that keeps the weight down and the looks top notch. This winch is almost more of a statement, but yet it stands up to its style with heavy pulling power.

  • 12v DC Permanent Magnet
  • 3-Stage Planetary Gearing
  • 62 – 409 Amp Draw
warn zeon vs vr

Capacities & Features –

  • 10,000 lb weight
  • 28.9 lbs Overall Weight
  • 15.8 fpm (no load)
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • 50′ x 7/32″ Wire Cable

Construction –

The ZERO is an all-new design planetary gear train with a series wound motor that is extraordinarily quiet, fast and reliable when you need it. The overall housing is made of high-grade aluminum to protect the system when going over rocks, trees, or rough terrain. This also allows for the winch to be lightweight and keep your overall presence as light as possible for performance. Warn has designed the drum of the ZEON with a large diameter to keep wear down and lightweight. It even has a built-in rope anchor for easy rope installation.

Warn equips the ZEON with a 100′ Warn Spydura and the housing includes a temperature-resistance sleeve and a nylon sliding sleeve, as another option to cable. If that’s not enough to protect the rope it even has a polished aluminum fairlead. The ZERO is a versatile system that allows for the controller pack to be attached to the winch or just as a remote. Therefore, giving you options for securing the winch to your vehicle.

 Superwinch vs Warn | 10,000 Cap Results –

This was a close one when it came to finding the best matchup for the 10,000 lb class. However, we had to give the edge to Superwinch with their new innovative design on the EXP series. Now the Warn ZERO is by far more tired and tested which is why it made it so hard to give the win to Superwinch. Warn is known for its legacy products and high-quality winches which they have here with the ZERO. However, with the added technology innovations that Superwinch has built into the EXP, it takes the edge by just a sliver.

Superwinch vs Warn | High Capacity SUV & Truck –

The next lineup for finding the best winch in the Superwinch vs Warn is finding a high capacity winch. When you get to this class the options get a little more limited as they are in less demand by consumers. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t made just as tough and rugged as the more popular options. If you’re looking for a winch that is in the 16,500 to even 18,000 lb range these are the winch options that are the best suited for you.

Superwinch Talon 18 –

The Superwinch Talon is an exceptional winch for its class. With one of the fastest no-load winch speeds, it screams past the competition at a blistering 25 feet per minute. It boasts a durable and strong motor with an IP-67 waterproof rating to endure most elements. It’s equipped with a safe dual action pull and free spin spool to master any type of job.

  • Sealed 6HP Series Wound
  • 2-Stage Planetary & 2-Stage Spur
  • 75 – 415 Amp Draw
superwinch vs warn

Capacities & Features –

  • 18,000 lb weight
  • Sealed Submerged Solenoid
  • 172 lbs Installed
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Construction –

The Talon 18 is a very heavy duty winch system. It’s best suited for the outdoor enthusiast or even industrial consumer. The winch is built with an external winch to help keep the heat as far as possible from the drum and cable. With a 2-Stage Spur & Planetary gearbox, it’s capable of getting high torque when pulling. Aside from the mechanics, Superwinch has constructed the drum of the Talon to have a durable increased thickness to add strength and integrity for cable torque.

Warn 16.5TI-S Heavyweight –

The Warn 16.5TI-S is the perfect combination of heavy-duty pulling capacity and lightweight performance. Whether you’re on the trail, pavement, or beach the Warn 16.5TI-S is built to pull just about anything when it comes to heavyweight trucks. Built with a performance series wound motor it’s built to be quiet and high performance. Matched with a three-stage planetary gear train this is a brut of a winch for anyone in need of heavy-duty capacity.

  • 80′ Spydura Rope
  • 16,500 lb capacity
  • 68 – 507 Amp Draw
superwinch vs warn

Capacities & Features –

  • 16,000 lb weight
  • Thermometric indicator LED
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Best-in-Class Cone Brake

Construction –

When it comes to finding the best high capacity Warn 16.5TI-S is a leading design. Built with performance in mind, it’s far from bulky and overweight. Instead, it was built to perform for high capacity pulling with a synthetic rope. As a result, it keeps the overall weight significantly lower than the competition. However, if a wire cable is more your preference Warn still offers that as an option.

 Superwinch vs Warn | High Capacity Results –

It was a close one again, but Warn’s 16.5TI-S was a hands-down winner for the high capacity Superwinch vs Warn showdown. The Warn winch is the perfect match of performance, power, and lightweight. Its construction and design were far better than the Superwinch when it comes to high capacity pulling.

Electric Winch Construction & Groundwork –

To better understand electric winches for our Superwinch vs Warn comparison we need to learn the groundwork of a winch. As a result, we have broken down some common terms and components that make up an electric winch system.

Winch Battery –

No matter if you buy a Superwinch or a Warn it typically will not have an attached battery. However, a battery is the blood that drives and powers an electric winch. Without a battery, you stand to have a winch that serves as a hood ornament.

The problem that lies with owning a winch is typically vehicles owners fail to think of their winch system as including a battery. Which means they use a stock battery thinking it will have the performance to withstand working loads and charges and discharges. Typically, you may find winches being used with the engine running which could end in overheating if prolonged winch operation is continued.

That said, you need to equip your winch whether Warn or Superwinch with a high-quality battery. One that can take the abuse of being drained or under load with a winch. Thankfully, there are marine and spiral cell batteries that can do the trick such as an Optima Yellow Top Battery. A battery like this can give you the performance you need for driving and using your winch.

superwinch vs warn

Alternator –

Think of an alternator as the energizing source. It serves to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Mis-matching an alternator and a winch system is going to cause you to have performance issues for winching. Stock alternators are using fine for small winch jobs. However, if you find yourself using a winch for extended periods of time. A higher output alternator with suitable electrical cables is going to be the best case scenario. A premium alternator may set you back a few hundred dollars, but it’s going to be worth it to get the output required for heavy winching jobs.

superwinch vs warn

Drivetrain-

When it comes to the next sequence of a winch system you have to consider the drivetrain. There are three drivetrains that are most commonly used for electric winches. Now each has their own benefits and differences making each more suitable for the job. However, there isn’t one style that serves to trump them all. Instead, you need to select one that suits your winching style, and thankfully there really isn’t a wrong choice.

Spur Gear –

The design of spur gear is quite simple and has been around for years. It exceeds the rest at offering the best solution for fast line speeds. That said, the stability to hold working loads will require a very strong brake.

Worm Gear –

Worm gear drivetrains are most commonly found on industrial and commercial hoists and winches. However, it serves to learn about them as planetary gear drivetrains are a combo of spur and worm. A worm gear drive train system is typically found on commercial tow trucks. Why? They serve to hold loads far better than any other system. However, this means that they will pull slower than some other winch systems. Basically, it’s a give-and-take type of situation, similar to the gears and speed of a bike.

Planetary Gear –

Lastly, is planetary drivetrain which is a combo of worm and spur gear. This is the most common type found on electric winches, as they are lightweight and compact. Overall, they are very inexpensive to make and quite easy to install on just about any vehicle. While still delivering the performance necessary for winching.

superwinch vs warn

Electric Motor –

The last piece to the winch system is the motor that turns the cable. Of course, all pieces are crucial to make the system complete, the motor serves as the backbone. Without a proper motor for the job, you may find yourself lacking performance or efficiency required to winch.

Permanent Magnetic –

For the common off-road enthusiast, or backcountry camper a PM or permanent magnetic motor is going to be ideal. Capable of delivering power and performance with a low amp draw. They are even a more cost-effective solution if you find yourself only needing a winch ever so often. However, if you find yourself needing heavy-duty pulling performance that can tolerate all conditions a series wound may be a better solution.

Series Wound –

A series wound is going to be a bit heavier duty and more suitable for tougher jobs. Again, this may cost more for the motor and it may even require you to upgrade your battery, alternator and electrical to handle the output. However, if you find yourself more then just the typical weekend warrior a series wound may better suit you.

jeep recovery kit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *