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MoabJeeper Magazine Article

General Articles - Editorials

Testers Comments

Article written by MOABJEEPER Staff

Date Added: 05/09/2007

Testers comments are exactly that? their comments.

They in no way had any influence on the outcome of the test or the scoring. They are provided to you the reader as just one more point of consideration by the user operators.
Warn - I'm the kind of person that would spend a little more money if I was certain I was getting a quality product. With that said, if I were to purchase a winch, I would probably go with a Warn. It has an awesome reputation and brand recognition. Yeah, it may cost more than some others, but I want the quality that I feel a Warn has.

Superwinch - Line speed seemed to keep up with the Warn and even surpassed it on one obstacle. I liked the integrated look over the Warn 9.5xp. The name Superwinch is well known, but I didn't have any first hand knowledge of this product until the test. It seemed to be as good as the Warn winch, but what goes inside? I don't know.

Chicago Electric - I was really surprised by this winch. I thought for sure it would exit early after the second hill, but it didn't. The line speed was way too slow, but it's like the tortoise ? slow and steady. This winch has a place in the market with those on a budget, and it did complete Winches In Hell; but it was too slow for my liking.

Warn - When (not if) you need a winch, you?re going to want something reliable. The Warn would be an excellent choice. It took all the abuse we gave it and came out shining. The Warn is a rock solid winch, and I would expect nothing less from a company that carries their reputation.
Superwinch - I had the pleasure of operating the Superwinch EPi9.0 for Winches In Hell. I honestly had no prior knowledge or expectations for this winch. This changed rather quickly when I saw others fall to the abuse of Winches In Hell, and the Superwinch kept going. Without hesitation I would recommend this winch.

Chicago Electric - This was the surprise that no one saw coming. If I were a betting man, I would have lost big time. It performed every task we asked of it but at a much much slower pace than the other entries. Most remarkable is that every time I thought this winch was done, it somehow just kept pulling. At the end of the day you could tell the winch was feeling the strain. This winch is not my first choice, but I could recommend it for those on a truly tight budget that need the security a winch provides you on a trail.

Warn - I don?t think I could say anything more than what the article has pointed out. Warn has a great reputation, and it is deserved.
Superwinch - The Superwinch impressed me with its in-cab and wireless controls (Editors note: Wireless and in-cab controls are OPTIONS and not standard). Honestly for the cost difference, and even though Warn has a longer warranty, I'd buy a Superwinch after all is said and done.

Chicago Electric - Starting the day, I really didn?t think this Chicago Electric winch was going to last. Being the project lead, I figured I would be out of the competition early and free to conduct the rest of the test. It didn't work out that way at all. The Chicago Electric kept going strong all day, albeit slower. Picture yourself hanging literally up against a wall looking straight up at the sky hoping that this bargain winch will hold you. I realized there was a safety line connected to my vehicle, but I was still a little unnerved. I'll never forget the winding of the gears as they almost came to a halt at one point in Mickey?s Hot Tub, but it cranked right over and kept chugging to my relief.

The day all in all was a very insightful. I noticed that a winch can really just crap out for any number of reasons. Some were simple issues, and some I would have never figured (software issue). In the end it'll be up to the consumer to decide which winch they'll choose, but I know I've come to a conclusion about which one I want.

Warn - Having driven the Jeep that was equipped by Warn in the winch test, I am very impressed with the quality and operation of their product. Personally, I would absolutely love to ?Go Prepared? with a Warn. Unfortunately, like many of the other off-roaders out there, this is simply out of the question due to the cost (this winch costs more than my Jeep!).

Superwinch - From what I was able to gather during the winch test, the Superwinch is a very well rounded product in terms of operation, capability, and cost. If you would like a few more features than an entry-level model, this is the winch to consider. The Superwinch MOABJEEPER tested, is competitively priced and likely to be a great choice for the majority of wheelers.

Chicago Electric - I love to see people's reactions when they hear that the Chicago Electric winch outlasted many of the 'Big Name' winches. At less than one-third the cost (Editors note: Tester is referring to Harbor Freights sale price) of the Warn, and exhibiting the same basic functionality as a recovery device, this is definitely a product to consider if you don't want to empty every pocket. Just remember, if someone laughs at the Chicago Electric winch sitting on your new Rubicon, remind them it was one of the winch test finalists.

Doc Jones
Warn - As long as I?ve been into off-roading I?ve known the name Warn. Even though I have never owned one myself and only seen them in action a couple times, I knew it would do well. The Warn stepped up and showed that its reputation is earned, not just brilliant marketing. Still, as impressed with it as I was, I don?t think I could personally justify the price point when there are so many other Jeep mods to be done.
Superwinch - Superwinch is another name I have known for a long time, but they don?t seem to have the reputation of Warn. This is the winch that impressed me most during the test. It was fast, reliable, and has a very clean look. It made a little more noise than the Warn, but it didn?t skip a beat all day. This would be my personal pick for a winch purchase. It?s more than some of the budget winches, but it delivers premium performance at a mid-range price.

Chicago Electric - I have the most personal experience with this winch. I expected it to do well from the start. My faith wavered when a couple of the bigger name winches fell during the test, and in the end I too was surprised to see it finish. I would not hesitate to recommend this to someone on a budget needing a winch. Personally I would front the extra money for the Superwinch, but that?s not for everyone.

Andy & Sheila
We had a different view than the others going into this test. With but a few exceptions, I was pulling cable while Sheila was in the driver seat of one the test winch vehicles. We saw some really cool things that we think most winch manufactures should really consider. The one that sticks out most in our minds is the automatic clutch on the Ramsey winch. We also thought that the Mile Marker?s electronic control was also a good idea, but we have no idea how it would stand up to the elements that a winch is subjected to. We also liked how Superwinch painted the red markings on the cable. It really does help to keep your hands clear.

Warn - This winch is the tried and true. It was no surprise to us that this one made it to the end.

Superwinch - As we said before, we really liked the red painted ends of the cable. I also noted that this winch seemed to have a really heavy feel when pulling cable. It felt like the cable was bound against the winch plate even when it wasn?t. At times, it took two of us to pull the cable; one at the fairlead and one hiking the cable around. It did get easier as the day went on to the point that at the end of the day, we could do it with one person easily.

Chicago Electric - This winch was truly the underdog. It just didn?t know when to die. If we had limited funds, this is the winch we would buy. Sure it was slower and a little louder than the rest, but it pulled all day.

Moab Man
Warn - Going in to this test, Warn had everything to lose and nothing to gain. In the end the Warn performed exactly as expected. Anything else would have been like David taking down Goliath. In my opinion Warn walked the walk, talked the talk, and delivered.
Superwinch - The EPi9.0 is the winch that surprised and impressed me. From the start this winch showed it wanted a piece of Warn and came to fight. As the day wore on, it not only proved it could nearly match the Warn?s performance, but also had the staying power to sprint across the finish line.

Chicago Electric - Everyone loves an underdog and this winch was it. If your need for a winch is more of an insurance policy than active use, this winch is for you.

Adventure Bob
While my compatriots talked about the survivors, I was surprised by the DNFs. I?m completely amazed with the carnage in less than 2 hours of total use time on these winches. While some of the failures are being addressed and should never happen again, what must a customer be thinking if the failure, regardless of cause, happened in truly needy situation where his Jeep was on the line? It is my hope that our feedback and continued testing with those DNF manufacturers will help them eliminate these issues once and for all.

Final Thoughts

After little blood, much sweat, and no tears... we accomplished one hell of a task. We hope the above personal comments are valuable to you our readers.

Click here to view Winches In Hell

Click here to view the test numbers.

Our Thank You's!

Thank you to all the people involved in testing these winches.

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