Smittybilt Winches Review: Smittybilt X20 or Smittybilt XRC20

The pain you feel when your car is stuck in the middle of off-road mud is something unpleasant that can happen ever. That’s why Smittybilt winch is here to sort out and make you less toiled. Of course, no winch is perfect to meet all the requirements. Every winch has its specialty in a specific field.

The Smittybilt Lineup -The Smittybilt winches are split up into the X20 and XRC models.

  • The Smittybilt X20 winch –the base model X20 COMP features Smittybilt’s Dynamic Braking System. And this decrease drum temperatures by 66%. And in the long run, it perfectly works and mostly operates with all types of synthetic ropes.
  • The Smittybilt XRC20 winch – with higher performance ratings and enhanced durability.

Smittybilt winch X20

The smittybilt X20 winch is basically the base model and further specifications, upgradations are installed in the comp models.

Smittybilt Winches Review-smittybilt x20

The 6.6HP amphibious motor offers the highest torque & is connected to a 3-stage Planetary Gear System for increased pulling power and line speed.

Features of Smittybilt X20 (98510)  Winch

Weight capacity : This smittybilt winch has capability of weighing 99 lbs.

Dimension : The length of the winch is 22.3’’ and length is 5.4’’ whereas the height is 9.4’’
Motor Power: the motor belongs to series wound type with the power of 6.6 HP
Cable type: The cable is ten inch length with synthetic cable
Gear train : The gear train is planetary gear.
Accessories: kits are available with the winch.
Warranty : 5 years of warranty is available.
Waterproof : Yes the winch comes with the waterproofing ability.


● The full winch is steel body that gives you ensurance af long durability.
● It can be controlled by remote or manually.
● The best part of smittybilt winch is its lifetime mechanical warranty.

The kits may not meet the best quality.

Smittybilt XRC20 winch

On the other hand, the XRC models, as well as the its comp versions, are designed with more flexibility and fitting quality in different locations.

  • Completely Waterproof, state-of-the-art 500AMP Solenoid
  • Kit comes complete with all wiring required for installation.

Features of Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC (97495) Winch

  • Weight capacity : Smittybilt XRC 97495 winch is capable of lifting heavy weight. This winchch’s weight capacity is 9500 lbs
  • Dimension : The length of this smittybilt tool is 22. 3” and the width 5.4”; with a height of 9.4”.
  • Motor Power: It comes with a powerful motor with 6.6 HP.
  • Cable type: The cable is wire rope of 93.5’’ diameter.
  • Gear train :
  • Accessories : Yes,available. Kits are with the winch for complete installation.
  • Warranty : 5 years of warranty is available.
  • The 5000 AMP solenoid makes your lifting capacity more sturdy.
  • Warranty policy comes with the best impression it could be.
  • Accessories are free for the installation.
  • Hard to attach electric wires.

Here we are with the Smittybilt winches to assist you to choose your desired one, The Smittybilt winches reviews are ornamented to make your pick easy.

The Smittybilt X20 Winch Reviews:

There are following three models of x20 models and their specific differences are given below

Best Smittybilt X2O Winch Reviews

Smittybilt X2O - Model 97512
  • Weight Capacity: 15500 lbs
  • Battery Leads: 25mm(sq) lead with 72''
  • Motor Power: 6.6 hp
  • Fairlead: 4-way roller fairlead
Check Price
Smittybilt X2O - 97515 Model
  • Motor Power: 6.6 HP
  • Rope: Synthetic rope
  • Control System: Both labor manuals and remote systems
  • Battery Recommendation: 650 CCA.
Check Price
Smittybilt X2O- 98512 Model
  • Motor Power: 6.6 HP
  • Rope: Synthetic rope
  • Recommended Battery: 650 CCA
  • Brake: 2.5 inches drum
Check Price
Smittybilt X2O- 98510 Model
  • Motor Power: 6.6 HP
  • Battery Leads: 25mm 2, 72"(1.83m)
  • Finish: Textured Black
  • Weight: 99.0 lbs (45.0Kgs)
Check Price

1. Smittybilt-X2O – Model 97512 Weight Capacity(15500 lbs)

Key Features:

Weight’s Capacity:  X20 model is waterproofed winching , weight capacity is 132.2 pounds and carries 15500 weight very perfectly.

Battery Leads: Battery of 25mm(square) lead with 72 inches in size.

Motor Power: Giant motor power enriches with 6.6 hp that enables work faster, efficient in nature.

Fair lead: It’s a 4 way roller fair lead, also provides all the power cables which are required for hooking perfectly of your vehicle.

Gear System: having gear system which is planetary with 430:1 ratio of gearing .

  • It’s equipped with stronger synthetic rope which is suitable on working.
  • Remote system including wireless does convenient and suitable work in any situation.
  • It enables with dynamic brake system.
  • Finishing texture with black color and stainless steel for providing better performance and classic outlook.
  • It can not decrease more than 66% of drum temperature.

2. Smittybilt-X2O – Model 97515 Weight Capacity(12000 lb)

Key Features:

Motor Power: This amazing kit serves an amphibious motor power of 6.6 hp which is a higher torque of entire industries comparatively.

Dimension Details: It’s in length of 22.3″ 5.4″ wide with 9.4″ in height with it’s a patterned mounting bolt of 10″ long as well as 4.5″ wide.

Rope Details: Smitty bilt- X20 Comp is specially included a rope which is synthetic and has hawse fair lead.

Control System: This kit with an amphibious motor provides both labor manual with remote systems. So, it’s reliable and optional in which method where you are interested in.

Battery Recommendation: It’s a suitable kit for heavy winching, need minimum battery is 650 CCA.

  • It’s a three-staged planetary gearing which is innovative also a revolutionary and gear ratio of 265:1, that’s a key of good performance.
  • Dynamic brake can reduce 66% of drum-temperature.
  • It’s nicely suited for operating with all the types of synthetic rope.
  • Inductive braking system decreases heat for how it performs good and keeps long-lasted.
  • It has only textured color of black which is also UV-resistant.

3. Smittybilt-X2O – Model 98512 Weight Capacity(10000 lb)

Key Features:

Motor Power: This amazing kit serves with it’s strong motor power enriching 6.6 hp with a dynamic brake system that has 2 solenoidal options in mounting.

Rope Details: this comp is specially a winch with synthetic rope and has the hawse fair lead with hook forge.

Control System: This kit with an amphibious motor provides both labor manual and remote control systems. So, it’s reliable and optional in which method you want to use.

Recommended Battery: It requires a minimum battery of 650 CCA for the winching.

Brake: It is automatic Out-of-Drum and 2.5 inches of diameter in drum size which is unique from the other similar products.

Warranty: It can serve you 5 years of electrical warranty and also mechanical warranty of lifetime.

  • It has a manual and also an automated remote controlled system which offers you a good option to choose. It’s a vital point to become a better selling products of Smittybilt.
  • This has a remote control switch with 12 inches lead which makes anyone comfortable in work.
  • Gear train is revolutionary with having three stage planetary system.
  • It is available on black texture only

Smittybilt XRC Winch Reviews

Best 3 Smittybilt XRC Winch Reviews

Smitty bilt- GEN 2 XRC Winch -Model 97495
  • Dual input power phases.
  • Fit for both novice and pros.
  • Digital display function.
Check Price
Smitty bilt- GEN 2 XRC Winch - Model 97415
  • Dual input power phases.
  • Fit for both novice and pros.
  • Digital display function.
Check Price
Smitty bilt- GEN 2 XRC Winch - Model 97417
  • Dual input power phases.
  • Fit for both novice and pros.
  • Digital display function.
Check Price

4. Smitty bilt- GEN 2 XRC Winch -Model 97495 (9,500 lb. Load Capacity)

Key Features:

  • Dimension : It’s an amazing kit with the length of 22.3″, 5.4″ in width and 9.4″ high.
  • Brake System: It’s automatic system in drum with the diametre, 2.5 inches in size.
  • Finishing Color: Pretty good look which appears  with black texture.
  • Recommended Battery: This kit holds 650-CCA battery is required minimum to enable.
  • Clutch: This kit has a slide ring gear and four-way roller fair lead.
  • Minimum on the range of 9500-17500 pounds,convenient and reliable for helping you out.
  • Strong recovery system with it’s light weight but strong muscles.
  • Having comparatively less warranty of 36 months than other similar products

5. Smitty bilt- GEN 2 XRC Winch – Model 97415 (15,500 lbs. load capacity)

Key Features:

  • Dimension: Smitty bilt-GEN 2 XRC Winch is 23.5″ long and width of 8.4″ with 10.7″ by height.
  • Control System: It provides an automated control method. So, less hassle to labor it manually.
  • Gear’s System: It serves three stages of gear systems of planetary that’s why you can easily do the tough work with it which provides a four-way roller system of lead.
  • Load Capacity: The kit can lift 15500 lbs with enhanced power and efficient features that appear with an attractive price range.
  • Wiring System: You don’t need to be upset regarding wire materials for installment. For providing all kinds of wiring which are required, anyone gets hassle-free installment.
  • It enriches of massive duty features.
  • It is very reliable for getting better performance, also better durability.
  • This nice kit furnishes with a rope that is synthetic and makes it capable to provide an incredible pulling power.
  • High-grade fairlead made of aluminum materials that protect a synthetic rope from intemperate wears.
  • Electrical warranty is not more than 5 years.

6. Smitty bilt- GEN 2 XRC Winch – Model 97417 (17,500 lbs. load capacity)

Key Features:

  • Motor Power: Smittybilt-Gen 2 XRC is efficient for ensuring better strength and motor-speed, enables 6.6 hp on a modest price range.
  • Cable Type: It’s diameter is 93.5″ with strong wiring rope.
  • Wire’s Type: This amazing kit provides the requiring wire for the installment. So less inconvenience for installing that makes a pretty complete kit.
  • Dimensions: This winch’s length is 24.4 inches with a width of 8.4 inches, a height of 10.7 inches.
  • Technology: This amazing winch is completely the next generation’s winch in technology.
  • Control System: This amazing kit is based on a remote control system that decreases manual laboring to operate the work.
  • It is fully waterproof with 500AMP solenoid that makes it ahead from other brands.
  • Smittybilt GEN 2 XRC provides a 100,000 mile warranty.
  • It can be handled with nicer automated remote control, which is easier.
  • It provides a long and comparatively better warranty policy.
  • Smittybilt recommends to use their provided wiring rather than other purchasing of wire.

Differences between XRC and X20 models

FeaturesXRC modelsX20 models
Power6.6 hp6.6 hp
ConsistencyLess constantMore constant
EfficiencyLess Smooth and rapidly operating.More smooth and slowly operating
Waterproof ratingIP 67IP 68
Mounting position3 mounting positions2 mounting positions
Cable typeSynthetic ropeSynthetic or steel rope

Comparing The XRC and X20

To the off-road industry, Smittybilt is no stranger. Smittybilt is well known for its durable equipment within a fair price range. Smittybilt XRC and x20 are two of their highly appreciable ones. Both the XRC and x20 comes in comp series with more pulling power and are durable at the same time.

The Smittybilt XRC is a waterproof winch with an IP67-rating providing 6.6 horsepower with a 3stage planetary gear system presented by Smittybilt for the off-roaders within 300 USD price range. This comes with a solenoid pack that can be mounted horizontally or vertically or it can be used with the included heavy-duty magnetic remote control.

It is a standard model and is simple to install. It comes with a synthetic rope that has a variety of line pull capacities starting from 9,500 pounds to 17,500 pounds. It comes with a UV resistant matte black coating with stainless steel hardware.

The Smittybilt x20 can be described as an upgraded version of the Smittybilt XRC. It comes with a solenoid pack that can be mounted horizontally or vertically or it can be used with the included integrated wireless remote.

It is a waterproof winch with an IP68-rating providing 6.6 horsepower. Comes in a more compact design with a three-stage planetary gear system that can be installed in smaller spaces.

It comes with an extraordinary dynamic braking system that decreases the drum temperature by 66%. It comes with a synthetic rope with a variety of line pull capacities starting from 10,000 pounds to 17,500 pounds. It comes with a UV-resistant matte black coating with stainless steel hardware.

Smittybilt gen 3 winch review:

The gen 3 is equipped with a 7 horsepower motor utilizing the ford steel gears. It gives an increased spindle rotation which provides a line speed 12% faster. It comes with customizable body armor. It’s available from 9,500 pounds to 12,000 pounds line up power.

About Smittybilt Winch 9,500:

The gen 2 is an IP67-rating waterproof winch that can go through 30 minutes under 3 feet of water. It includes the extra speed controller and control pack. Its line pull rating is 9,500 pounds and provides 37% more power than the previous ones.

Smittybilt xrc 9,500 review:

This steel cabled IP67-rated waterproof winch can go through 30 minutes underwater without any damage. Is has a 6.6 horsepower series wound motor and a three-stage planetary gearbox. This 9,500-pound winch can easily cope up with a light two-door jeep under diverse conditions. The solenoid box can be attached in three places and can be fixed horizontally or vertically. It can also be used with a magnetic remote. It comes with stainless steel attached parts with an eye-catching UV resistant matte black color. It only needs a winch holder plate or winches attachable bumper to install. It gives an extraordinary experience for the off-roaders with 300 USD.

Smittybilt x20 vs warn zeon:

The x20 is a standardized winch with 6.6 horsepower and with an IP68-rating which is easy to install, where’s the warn zeon is an old school winch with a 100feet synthetic rope winch is hard to install. The x20 has a 218:1 gear rotation and line pull starting from10,000lbs where warn zeon as 162:1 gear rotation with a line pull of 8,000lbs

Smittybilt winch warranty:

The Smittybilt is a highly durable winch production company in the off-road market. The gen2, gen3, and all its other winches more or less provide a lifetime mechanical warranty and 3 to 5 years of electrical warranty.

Let us have a look at the types of Winches out there for the Off-roaders

To an off-roader enthusiast choosing a winch is a highly important thing. Choosing any winch you find in the market could ruin the experience of your trip without a doubt. That’s why winch is a really important and sensitive part.

Buying guide for Smittybilt Winches 

1. The capacity of the winch

Capacity factor leaves its importance in every step while you are pulling your vehicle by a winch. Basically the larger the capacity the more beneficial the winch will be. There is a formula to ensure your decision is correct or not. The formula is multiplying your vehicle weight by 1.5. Suppose your vehicle weight is 800 lbs then you should go for the winch whose minimum capacity is (800×1.5) 1200 lbs.

2. Motor type and power

It’s fundamental that  the winch motors run by DC motors. There are two types of motor per the  requirements . When the use is light and weather is ambient,people go for tg series wound motors. Actually  these motors are less expensive and much good for the light issues. Weather and capacity should be in concern to ensure its capability  to function

Next,the series wound motors are very expensive and powerful.  Series wound motor is the most applicable  in industrial sectors because of its power and functional experience to any kind of weather such as extreme cold or extreme hot.

3. Classification of gear

The another phenomenon you need to check before buying a winch is the gear type. Different gear types  provide various function and stability. So let’s move   on the gears.

The first one i’m going to talk about is Spungear. Spun gear is the expensive and useful one with high working efficiency  of about 75℅.

Next one is the worm gear.It is the the less expensive and can be used not for the heavy weighing task.

Last but not the least, the palanteray  gears which is on the middle of spun and worm. Generally it is used as most frequently for the benefits of size and affordable cost.

4. The controller system

Obviously you need a controller to give direction to your winch. The remote controller system is both useful and popular. Well,between  corded and cordless remote control you should go for the cordless remote.

5. Mount you are using

Mounting in a winch  is a crucial fact. There are three ways to mount your winch. The first way to mount is bumper mount with an easy installation  process. Then it comes to the multi mount and winch bumper. Winch bumper is the latest popular among the users.

 6. Cable size

Choose the length  keeping in mind that it is not too short or too long. Excessive long or short wire will cause you troubles in work. The requirement should always your needs. Ask the shopkeeper in case of any confusions

7. Weatherproof

Of course, you are not gonna use your winch in a smooth environment. The winch is used at  the worst environment as we all know.Hence, it needs to be weatherproof like waterproof,sturdy enough to handle pressure etc.

9. Safety issues

As winching is a risky task,safety should be handled. That’s why one should control winch from a safe distance.

Smittybilt winch problems

Types of Winch

There are two types of winches in the market:

  • Electric Winch
  • Hydraulic Winch
Smittybilt X2O Winches

1. Electronic Winch: 

A conventional electric winch uses an electric motor to power itself. It is an available option for the off-roaders in the market. It is equipped with a permanent magnet motor that is compact, efficient in torque generation and light.

The disadvantage is an easy guess which is it gets overheated quickly where more current is consumed by a series-wound motor.

It is not suitable for being used for a day-long trip. If so done, facing serious problems with the electrical system of the automobile is a must.

Other than that it is a perfect travel partner for light-duty trips for the off-roaders.

2. Hydraulic Winch: 

A hydraulic winch is a perfect companion for a heavy-duty off-road experience. It is reliable and much durable and the first choice of every heavy-duty off-roader.

Hydraulic winches are the masters for rescue operations. As it uses its hydraulic motor the vehicle is less damaged. But it sure has its drawbacks too.

Not many companies out there in the market makes then and as it operated with a steering pump, the engine of the vehicle need to run the whole time it is used, thus putting an unwanted presser on the engine.

However, it is the priority of any company specialized in rescue operations and has a good reputation for it.

Where are Smittybilt Winches made?

Smittybilt is a winch manufacturing firm based in China. Like most other manufacturing products, winches have a common manufacturing industry which makes the internal parts of every winch out there in the market.

Both China and US-made winches use the same manufacturing units product. If you open up the winches, finding the same internal gadgets among all of them is not a surprise.

Synthetic Rope Vs. Steel Cable: Which Way for Off-road enthusiasts.

Synthetic rope versus steel cable is a nonstop ongoing debate among the off-roaders. Here I would like to give out any delay

Steel Cable: Steel cables are long-lasting, durable cable which allows it to dissipate heat from the internal brake drum. It’s cheap and easy maintenance. But the disadvantage is that it gets rust and also stores up kinetic energy.

Synthetic Cable: the synthetic rope is light, durable, easy to handle as it is an altered polypropylene material. It is costly than a steel cable, but doesn’t dissipate heat and is stainless.

There is an additional cost of buying a sheath to protect your synthetic cable form sunlight.

Gross Vehicle Weight: A vehicle’s gross weight includes the weight of the vehicle and the small or big accessories it might carry. Having a winch with a 50% added pulling compared to the vehicle owned would be the best choice.

The Right Suspension: If the vehicle’s suspension is not good enough then one should avoid heavy weight winch such as; synthetic cable winch.

Even 55 to 56 pounds will become a heavy burden. So maintaining a balance is a must or the vehicle might end up being damaged.

Frequently Asked Questions About Smittybilt Winches review

Are Smittybilt winches any good?

Smittybilt winches provides the best value for money winches in the market. Its performance, design, and manufacturing quality, durability is highly appreciated among the off-roaders.

Where are Smittybilt Winches made?

Smittybilt winches are made in China. Even though it is an American company their main parts for the winch comes from china

What is the best winch on the market?

Almost all Smittybilt products can be considered as a top-quality product. Still, here we have selected some of there bests.
1. Smittybilt X20 Waterproof Winch 10,000lb (97510)
2. Smittybilt XRC Synthetic Rope Winch 9,500lb (98495)
3. Smittybilt XRC Winch 9,500lb (97495)
4. Smittybilt XRC Winch 12,000lb (97412)
5. Smittybilt XRC Winch 15,500lb (97415)

Is Rough Country any good?

Rough Country might be a well-established winch production company in the off-road industry, but they are still no match against big industries in comparison to their durability, performance, and value for money equipment.

Does Rough Country have a warranty?

Rough Country will provide a warranty on various options. Such as; until the warranty of manufacturers ends or for 5 years or the first 100 miles used by the machine.

Will Rough Country leveling kit void warranty?

If the main cause of failure of the truck frame is the aftermarket part, then the manufacturers can void the provided warranty.

Who does Rough Country ship through?

Rough country ships through USP ground. It is shipped only if it weighs less than 350lbs. These are shipped directly to the commercial address as provided.


In a nutshell, smittybilt winches have been trusted for more than 50 years as a brand to its customers. In this smittybilt winches review the summary of all the best products is put on the light. However, before buying, ensure that your justification is right and worth your money.

Image source: 1

Visit Official website:

Leave a Comment

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