Best Hand Winches

Hand winches and boat trailer winches are highly in demand these days and if you would like to get one for yourself, you will have to know the golden rule before purchasing one. The golden rule is:

  • Boat weight is the combined weight of your boat, fuel, motor and gear to winch capacity is 2 to 1.
  • You could increase the ratio up to 3 to 1 through the use of a good roller and winching from a short distance
  • If you use your winch from longer distance with wooden bunks, ratio should be 1 to 1.

Best Hand Winches

Fulton FW32000101 F2 Two Speed Trailer Winch with Strap

Are you planning to get your boat onto a trailer? then, it is highly recommended that you get one of the best hand winches and the Fulton FW32000101 F2 is perfect for you. It comes with rated weight capacity of 3200 lbs. This means you could use this one to winch any boat that weighs 6400 lbs without any troubles. For short distance, your winch could weigh up to 9600 lbs.

This hand winch is user-friendly. It is easy to use. In fact, it comes with 4 position adjustable handle from 6 to 9″. It also has standard three bolt pattern and it comes with aluminum frame which ensures it is corrosion free.


  • Heavy duty
  • Durable
  • Comfortable soft grip handle
  • Maintenance free hand winch
  • Portable
  • Mounting hardware is included
  • You could wind it slower or faster
  • Sifting between low gear and high gear
  • Strap is 20′ long and 2″ wide
  • Customer support is impressive


  • Price is a bit higher and on the more expensive side.

Goldenrod 14825 Hand Winch 2-Speed

This hand winch is made in the US. This means, you could be assured of its quality. It is highly recommended option to help you pull your boat. It comes with rated weight capacity of 2500 lbs. This means, you will be able to pull any boat that weighs about 5000 to 7500 lbs. For long distance, you would be able to pull any boat that weighs about 2500 to 2600 lbs. This one has a two speed operation and comes with perfect gear ratio. If you are looking for a hand winch which could perform and handle heavy duty jobs, then, this option is your best bet.


  • Heavy duty
  • Hassle free
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Switching gear and locking it is easy
  • Handle is easy to attach and remove
  • Length of the handle provides leverage
  • Perfect to be used on larger boats
  • Reasonably priced


  • Does not have a strap with it
  • Does not have a self-locking mechanism
  • Lubrication is often required

Camco 50000 Winch

Camco is one of the most popular brands which offers high quality boat winches. They also offer high quality hand winch for boat trailers as well. The Camco 50000 is 2000lbs rated which means for short distance, you could pull your boat as long as it weighs about 4000 to 6000 lb. For long distance, your boat should not weigh more than 2200 lbs.

This winch comes with comfortable grip handle which is made of rubber grip. Hence, if you have sweaty hands, you will no longer have to worry. Moreover, this hand winch is well-known for being user-friendly as well.


  • Comes with 20′ strap with hook
  • Double gear system
  • Heavy duty hand winch
  • Easy to install
  • Handle is long enough to provide ample leverage
  • Affordable


  • Washers and nuts are sold separately

Camco Heavy Duty Steel Marine Towing Winch

If you are looking for a heavy duty towing hand winch, we highly suggest that you go with this one. It is considered by many as one of the most cost effective hand winches. It is rated as 1200 lb which means it could handle anything that weighs between 2400 to 3600 lbs for short distance and for long distance about 1200 to 1300 lb.

This winch comes with 4:1 gear ratio and mounting bolt size of 3/8″. Keep in mind that this winch has 1200 lb weight capacity and not 12,000 lb.


  • Comes with 20′ strap with hook
  • The hook is very sturdy
  • Compact
  • Easy to transport
  • Handle is straightforward and easy to attach and remove
  • Easy to install
  • Sturdy
  • Powder coating on its steel body


  • Not all required bolts are included in the package

Reese Towpower 74337 Winch

This winch is perfect tool for DIYers. It could be used to lift several objects as long as it is within the weight limit. It could be used to raise lower hinged porch windows or hoist and lower a heavy bag and many more.

This one is also a good option to be used for your boat. However, keep in mind that it only has a weight capacity of 600 lb.


  • Easy to mount
  • Straightforward crank and lock system
  • Comes with high quality commercial grade gears
  • Comfortable to use
  • Corrosion free
  • Assembling is easy
  • Affordable


  • Strap is not included in the kit
  • Perfect for home use only
  • Does not have reverse mechanism

Hand Winch Buying Guide

What is a Hand Winch?

A hand winch is a light tool which helps you move or lift heavy objects. They are portable and it does not need any electricity.

Why You Should Choose A Hand Winch?

  • They are portable
  • They are affordable
  • Does not require any external power supply
  • They are designed to use with cable or strap
  • Comes with extra features such as brakes and covering cases
  • User-friendly
  • Powerful and versatiile
  • Durable

Features you must consider when purchasing a hand winch

  • Construction material
  • Weight and dimension
  • Finish style
  • Gear system
  • Pulling capacity
  • Gear ratio
  • Rope type
  • Drum design and diameter
  • Handle design
  • Safety features

Hand Winch Important Features

Automatic Brake System

This provides maximum possible control of your loading and unloading processes.

Enclosed Gear System

Sophisticated and high quality hand winches usually come with covered and enclosed gear which makes your winches more durable.

Gear Ratio

You will have to have a hand winch that comes with higher gear ratio for pulling and lifting heavy loads. If you plan to lift and pull light loads then you could go for smaller gear ratio.

Wire Anchoring Plate

This one would help you prevent your wire or rope from slipping out.


You will have to ensure that your winch is comfortable to use. Hence, check out the handle if it is comfortable. Is it too huge or too small?


There are some specific rope types – nylon straps or braided cables. Before you purchase one, check this factor first and ensure that the rope is compatible with your winch.

Ease of Use

Of course, you would want to have one that is easy to use and easy to install.


There are a lot of brands in the winch market. Check and research about the brands and what they offer.


Of course, your winch would have to be within budget but of course it also has to have great, amazing and impressive features as well.

How to Use Hand Winches

  • Wrap an anchor strap or steel chain around solid object. Ensure that it does not move.
  • Connect the winch to the strap or chain
  • Pull out the winch cable
  • Attach the cable’s hook to the item that you would like to move
  • Check the attachments from both ends. Ensure that they are secured properly.
  • Push and pull the winch lever
  • Tighten the cable
  • Work on your item to be transferred to your preferred position

Tip: Never exceed maximum load pulling capacity and if possible put your winch, load and anchor in a straight line.


We hope that through this article, you were able to find useful information about hand winches.

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