Top Smittybilt Winch Review in 2024 – New Edition

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Off-roading is one of the finer experiences in life. The adrenaline rush and the sense of accomplishment that rises from completing a challenging off-road journey is a feeling second to none.

But no matter how good of a Jeep you possess, sometimes it is impossible to go through an off-road track without the help of a Jeep winch.

That’s because muddy paths and scattered gravel are a guaranteed part of these roads.

And no one makes winches as Smittybilt does! Therefore in this exclusive Smittybilt winch review, I will elaborately describe the virtues of their top two premium winches without leaving any information out

Smittybilt Winch Review in 2023

Established in the year 1953, Smittybilt, over its 50 years of quality provision, has designed an impressive number of 2000+ PWD products.

Their most celebrated engineering is power winches. Let’s take a closer look as to what makes these two specific winches the toppers of the Smittybilt winch fraternity.

Smittybilt X2O COMP [Model: 98510]

Smittybilt X2O COMP [Model: 98510]

In plain terms, the Smittybilt X20 Comp is one of the most structurally enhanced power winches you are ever going to lay your hands on.

Performance-wise, it’s been specially designed to produce the smoothest glitch-free operation.

How exactly? Well, the X20 Comp is built with a powerful combination of an amphibious 6.6 HP motor and the latest 3-Stage Planetary Gear System technology.

Together what these two things do is provide the highest torque output available. Thereby delivering a greater “pulling power” and faster than light “line-speed”.

The 3-Stage Planetary Gear System further reduces the winch’s weight by 50%, therefore, making its design more lightweight and compact.

Also, as this system uses multiple gears to share the load uniformly, therefore it contributes to the overall device’s resilience and extended shelf life.

And the Smittybilt X2O Comp sports a state-of-the-art, completely waterproof 500 Amp solenoid with multiple mount options.

You can practically mount your winch boasting a load capacity of 10,000lbs in any location, no matter where you want it, whether over land or underwater.

With an IP68-waterproof rating, the X20 can withstand up to ½ hour of complete underwater submersion at a time.

And with a matte black UV-resistant textured coat and stainless steel hardware, you don’t have to fear about rusting on this giant!

Moreover, the X20 also features a Dynamic Braking System that reduces heat from escalating over long-term operation.

Thereby increasing the durability of the device. Controlling this device comes easy, too, as it is accompanied by remote control to avail the users with a hands-free mode if desired.

Heavy-duty build, this synthetic rope winch with its aluminum fairlead and the forged hook is a dream come true for any off-roader faced with the trickiest of situations.


  • Compact and lightweight (16 pounds)
  • 10,000 lbs load capacity
  • 6.6 HP amphibious motor
  • 3-Stage Planetary Gear System
  • Gear ratio- 218:1
  • Dynamic Braking System
  • Waterproof 500 Amp solenoid
  • Synthetic rope included
  • Remote control feature


  • Nothing worth mentioning except it’s a bit expensive

Latest Guide: X-Bull 4500 Winch Review

Smittybilt 97495 XRC GEN2

Smittybilt 97495 XRC GEN2

The next winch on this list is the Smittybilt 97495 XRC GEN2. Yet again powered by an amphibious 6.6 HP motor, this model, unlike the previous winch, sports a load capacity of 9500lbs only.

Although the overall difference in load capacity is a mere 500lbs between the two models.

But while facing the toughest calls, a few hundred pounds on the single line pulling option would come as fatefully handy.

However, this doesn’t mean that the XRC Gen2 is any less capable. As with a 9500 lbs load count, it will get the operation executed with the smoothest of efficiency.

Moving on to the gear system, once again, like the previous model, the XRC Gen2 is likewise incorporated with the 3-Stage Planetary Gear System. I have already mentioned above why the gear system is a preferential choice in rope winches.

Therefore, leaving the torque dynamics apart, the main differentiating point of the 3 Stage planetary system between the two models lies in the gear ratio, with XRC Gen2 offering a 161.28:1 against the X20’s 218:1.

This shouldn’t be a worrying factor, provided the slight difference in the load capacity is the result of this engineering calculation.

Apart from the aforementioned changes, the 97495 XRC GEN2 pretty much provides every other feature that the X20 does.

That is, it comes with its own synthetic rope installing wiring, remote control hassle-free wireless operation-option, and a slide ring-gear clutch.

Providing 3-solenoid mounting points, the XRC GEN2 further sports an automated in-drum brake system.

Thus delivering the perfect balance between power and performance efficiency.

As for battery recommendations, both the XRC GEN2 and X20 works well with the 650CCA, which is the minimum requirement for any winching action.


  • 9500 lbs load capacity
  • 6.6 HP amphibious motor
  • 3-Stage Planetary Gear System
  • Gear ratio – 161.28:1
  • In-Drum Braking System
  • 3-solenoid mounting points
  • Includes synthetic rope
  • Remote control feature
  • Waterproof
  • UV resistant textured finish
  • Affordable budget range


  • A bit on the heavier side (78 pounds)

Related Guide: Smittybilt Gen 3 Winch Review

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the Smittybilt winches:

How do I calculate the winch-car load-bearing compatibility?

The calculation is pretty simple. Always purchase a winch that has 1.5× more load-bearing capacity than your car’s actual weight.

This way, you can wisely prevent almost all types of overload related mishaps.

Which winching rope is better: synthetic or steel?

It depends. Steel is considered sturdy and durable. They also tend to be prone to rust, are heavyweight, and at times risky to handle.

Whereas synthetic rope, while similar in strength, is light and easy to maneuver. However, under strain, they will lose their tension much quicker than steel.

What type of fairlead comes with the X20 Comp 98510-model?

Hawse fairlead. A roller type fairlead can tear up the synthetic installation wire lining provided with it.

Is Smittybilt winch manufactured in the US?

The company is based in the US. However, most of their winch series is assembled in China.

Do winches come with their mount plates?

Normally that would be the case if you are buying the whole toolset. However, it’s still wise to check what’s included and not with the manufacturer before purchase.

Final Thoughts

Smittybilt winches are acknowledged and held in high reverence by off-roaders across the globe because of their quality performance.

Hence, in writing this Smittybilt winch review, I have specifically brought forth all the strong points to highlight why these winches are the best at what they do!