Smittybilt XRC vs X20

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Imagine the horror of getting stuck in the middle of a trail with your 4×4 ride, with nothing to do but call the towing company! Quite the horror, I know.

That is why it’s very important to have a winch with you at all times, especially on those off-road trails.

Smittybilt is a company that manufactures amazing accessories for 4 wheelers, including winches.

Amongst these, the XRC and X20 lineups are extremely popular due to their decent quality.

Below is a Smittybilt XRC vs. X20 in-depth comparison, so read on if you would like to know which one is more suitable for you!

These lineups both contain very reasonably priced products with great functionality, so you can’t go wrong.

Smittybilt X20 vs XRC Winch?

Smittybilt X20 Smittybilt XRC
PROS1. IP68 waterproof rating
2. Wireless controller
3. Dynamic braking system
4. Reduced drum temperature
5. Very efficient
6. 6.6 HP Series wound motor
7. Quiet during use
8. Synthetic or steel ropes
1. 6.6 HP Series wound motor
2. Great range of options
3. Quiet to use
4. Fast to use
5. IP67 waterproof rating
6. 3 solenoid mounting positions
7. Small in size
8. Small in size
CONS1. 2 solenoid mounting positions
2. Wireless feature may not work
1. Can heat up quickly
2. Corded controller

The major differences between the two products are as follows:


Since both the XRC and X20 series contain motors with 6.6 HP, they can essentially provide the same power.

However, since the X20 heats up much less, it can provide constant power for longer.


Due to the presence of the dynamic braking system, the X20 operates slowly and smoothly.

This leads to less heating and smoother operation. Hence, the X20 is more efficient than the XRC, which is less smooth during the performance.


The X20 winches come with wireless remote control functions, which make them more convenient to operate.

Add to that the fact that they remain cooler during use, not to mention the fact that they perform smoother, and you’ve got a win.

The XRC winches, on the other hand, are smaller and lighter. This makes them more convenient to carry around.


As the XRC lineup ranges from 9500 to 17500 pounds, it is more versatile than the X20 lineup, which ranges from 10000 to 17500 pounds.

Other than that, the XRC winches allow 3 mounting positions for the solenoids, as opposed to the 2 positions in the X20 ones.

Smittybilt XRC

Smittybilt’s XRC lineup comes in two models – Base and Comp, with the Comp models being made for more enhanced performance.

The pull rate for these winches range from 9500 lbs to 17500 lbs, so you can go get the right one for your needs quite easily.

The XRC winches are provided with a 6.6 HP Series Wound motor, which is powerful enough to handle heavy loads while being quiet.

This makes the experience easier as less noise makes it less annoying to operate the winch. These units contain a 3-stage planetary gear system with revised gear ratios.

So they tend to be very fast during use, something that takes a lot of power, however.

This can lead to the winches getting heated up quite easily, which is something to keep in mind.

You can often find yourself stuck on a trail which is muddy or when it is raining.

That is why it’s important to have a waterproof winch. Luckily, the XRC winches have an IP67 waterproof rating, which means that they can be submerged for 30 minutes under up to 1 meter of water.

A corded controller is provided for the manipulation of the XRC winches, which may be a bit troublesome to carry around for some.

The solenoids in these units can be mounted in 3 different positions, making them very flexible. Either synthetic or steel ropes can be chosen for your winches.

Synthetic ropes are lighter and do not rust, but steel ones are needed for use with extra loads.

Overall, the XRC winches are pretty functional yet small in size, making them convenient products.

Latest Guide: Smittybilt Winch Review

Smittybilt X20

The X20 lineup, just like the XRC one, happens to come in the base and comp models as well.

They have pull rates ranging from 10000 lbs to 17500 lbs. These units contain amphibious 6.6 HP Series wound motors, so they are just as quiet as their XRC counterparts.

Yet unlike the XRC winches, the X20 ones work less fast, meaning that they save more power.

This leads to less heating and increased overall efficiency. The waterproof rating on these units, however, is IP68, meaning that they can be submerged under 1.5 meters of water with no issues.

Another great addition to the X20 lineup happens to be the magnetic wireless remote control system.

This gets rid of the inconvenience of having to tow a cord around, but you can also choose to attach one if you wish.

As the remote is magnetic, it can be stuck on any metal surface quite securely.

And the wireless feature may not always work, however, which is something to note.

Smooth operation is ensured by these products due to the dynamic braking system, which slows the line consistently. This also allows the reduction of drum temperature by a whopping 66%!

As for the solenoids, they can be mounted in two different positions, leading to less flexibility.

Other than that, the X20 series also contains waterproof synthetic ropes or steel ones, according to the requirement.

A 3-stage planetary gear system is provided with these products, which runs very smoothly.

Related Review: X-Bull 4500 Winch Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the XRC and X20:

Are these winches completely waterproof?

Yes, they are.

Where are these products assembled?

They are assembled in China.

What is the difference between IP67 and IP68?

IP67 means that the product can be submerged under 1 meter of water for thirty minutes without any problems.

IP68 means that it can be submerged under 1.5 meters of water for the same duration.

Do they come with fairleads?

Yes, they come with aluminum fairleads.

Can a wireless remote be used for the XRC winches?

No, they have to be controlled using corded remotes. Wireless remotes are available for the X20 models.

Where do I mount the fairlead mount?

It has to be mounted to the winch mounting plate.

Are winch covers provided with these units?

No, they have to be bought separately.

Are the winches hard to carry?

No, they are generally easy to carry.
Some bigger models may be harder to carry around due to the extra weight of the motor, however.


Smittybilt is a very popular name around the world for its great four wheeler accessories.

Their winches are no different, so make sure to carefully choose the right one for your requirements, and you won’t be disappointed.

Hopefully, the Smittybilt XRC vs. X20 comparison above will help you with that!