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Roller Fairleads vs Hawse Fairleads

A fairlead is a device which is used to guide a line, rope or cable around an object. It is used to stop the cable or rope or line from any lateral movement. Fairleads come with hardware which makes it easy to install on different types of winches. By installing a fairlead on your winch would help your winch operate smoothly. It could reduce lateral strain on your winch whenever you are trying to do an angled-pull with the winch.

In this article, we shall provide you a list of different types of winch fairlead. Furthermore, we shall provide useful information which you could use as a guide in choosing the best fairlead that would best suit your needs.

Types of Winch Fairlead

There are two types of winch fairleads and they are the hawse and roller fairleads and these two types are the ones we shall feature in this article.

Roller Fairlead

A roller fairlead has the ability to save your winch’s cable from getting damaged. They are often used with steel cable winches and they come in two vertical mounted rollers and two horizontal mounted rollers. They guide the steel cable form a different cable.

You will notice that if you purchase a steel cable, it usually would come with a steel roller fairlead and you would rarely find anyone that would sell aluminum fairlead. This means, they are not recommended for four wheeling. Though that is the case, the rollers are standard for winches.

Rollers fairlead rarely fail as they come with pins that are difficult to bend and they do not spin at a high speed. They are heavier and larger compared to a hawse fairlead and they weigh about 11.5 pounds. Moreover, there are four rollers in a roller fairlead. The two rollers are vertically mounted while the other two rollers are horizontally mounted.

The roller fairlead could be used for synthetic lines. Keep in mind, however, if you have used your roller fairlead for a steel wire cable, you will have to clean it first before using it on synthetic lines.

Hawse Fairleads

This type of fairlead is often used for synthetic ropes. It is made from aluminum. It has rounded edges around its center opening. It also does not have any moving parts and they are simple and will not break on typical use.

Hawse fairlead is made up of one part only which makes it lower the risk and possibility of breaking apart. They also have a narrower opening. This fairlead weighs about 2 lbs and they are a bit smaller.

Which one is better?

This depends on what your needs are. If you are on a tight budget, you could get a winch with steel hawse fairlead cheaper. Hawse fairleads come with a narrower opening and they are designed for cable to slide over them. They have a slightly better approach as well.

Roller fairlead on the other hand offers lesser friction on angled pulls. This could make your winch cable glide better. It comes with a lot of parts.

Currently, synthetic winch rope is a more popular choice and safer, we recommend aluminum hawse fairleads with combination of synthetic winch rope.

Other types of winch fairlead – steel and aluminum fairlead

Steel is hard and aluminum is soft and these two materials often creates fairleads. The steel winch cable could chew up a standard aluminum fairlead. Hence, if you are using steel winch cable, then, you would need to have a steel fairlead whereas the aluminum fairleads are the only thing that could be used with synthetic winch ropes.

If you are using aluminum fairlead, we recommend that you use type III anodized coating. This way it could last longer.

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