It’s probably not every day that you encounter the opportunity to make use of a winch. That means you’re probably not an expert on this subject.

What happens the day when you do need one? It’s vital to be well informed on the types of winches available to you as well as their many uses and benefits. You don’t want to cause an injury or damage.

Below we’ll help you understand this topic better.

Winches have been used throughout history (in more simplistic forms, of course). They’re excellent solutions to most lifting problems.

Here is everything you need to know about winches, so that the next time you’re caught in a lifting crisis you know exactly what to do!

What Are They Used For

A winch is a device used to lift heavy objects.

They’re usually maneuvered in a wind up or wind down fashion. A rope or chord is connected to a range of wheel based mechanisms that turn to lift the suspension upward or downwards.

Think of a spool of yarn slowly unraveling and then being wound back up again. This is a great analogy for understanding how a winch works; Slowly up and slowly down, with the heaviest of objects on the end.

Winches are found on most construction sites and in factory situations. They’re often seen in more personal spaces such as garages or garden sheds where heavy objects need to be lifted by a single individual.

Winches are also great for lifting car parts out from under the hood of a vehicle so that work can be done deeper inside.

When you face one of these situations, which one will you use?

Types of Winches Available Today

There are two main types of winches on the market, electric and hydraulic. Depending on your needs you’ll find either one particularly useful.

Electric Winch—How it Works

An electric winch is attached to a motor and uses an external power source to work. This source of power is most commonly a vehicle battery. Because of the high voltage the winch motor requires, these batteries can get drained quite quickly.

Electric winches are dynamic because they require little physical effort from the user.

Where to Use

They’re best used during quick jobs and lighter loads, so as not to overload the motor’s abilities.

Hydraulic Winches in Detail

A hydraulic winch works through applied force from the user. In a pump-like fashion, the user would have to apply force to a hydraulic lever system in order to crank the winch into action.

Where to Use

These winches can withstand much heavier loads & are ideal for long periods of use as there’s no risk of running out of a power source.

Benefits of Winches

Making use of an electric winch comes with a wide array of benefits depending on the job in question. We took a look at some of the most notable benefits, also comparing an electric winch to a hydraulic one.

Load Bearing

A typical electric winch has a load bearing capacity of between 100 and 200 pounds. For private or commercial use this is a significant amount of weight lifting ability.

Range in lifting ability is also great because it gives the user variety of uses. You’ll be able to use this winch to lift both light and heavy objects with the same amount of ease. With hydraulic winches the applied force would have to change in order to change the weights.

Cost Efficient

In theory an electrical winch is more expensive that a hydraulic one. However, when you consider the man power that the electronic one replaces and the hours of labor it cuts out, then it becomes the more cost effective option.

Enjoy hours of easy lifting at a fraction of the cost of what human labor would have added up to!


This is an area where the electric winch outperforms every time.

Due to the less invasive action required to power this type of winch, they tend to last much longer than hydraulic ones.

With frequent maintenance you can greatly extend the lifespan of your electric winch. They are designed to withstand heavy loads as is, so the upkeep on them isn’t so demanding.

Less Noise

Both electric and hydraulic winches make noise; This is a given. However, in comparison the electric winch is notably softer than the latter.

When in a high pressure work space you might think that the sound of a winch would largely go unnoticed. This is true in some instances, but in others the repetitive sound of the winch in motion can become endlessly stressful. To prevent this problem, you may need to issue protective gear to everyone.


While some winches only allow for vertical movement, an electric winch can move both vertically and horizontally.

Regulation—Need to Know Information

Winches are used to lift and move incredibly heavy objects. Any neglect when it comes to safety standards is highly dangerous to both the device and the people in its immediate vicinity.

Winch regulation falls under the Australian standard for cranes and hoists. These devices are closely monitored to ensure safety for all who own or operate them.

When looking to invest in a winch, be sure that the device meets the criteria and quality of the basic safety standards. You’ll want to use the device in full confidence and leave as little to chance as possible.


An electric winch is a handy and versatile device that has much to offer in more scenarios than you think. No doubt you’ve identified a few areas of daily life which could be managed much easier now.

Have tips for others on how to use them? Please share in the comments!