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What is a Fairlead on a Winch

A winch comes with different parts and each and every part has their own function. One of the parts that most off road enthusiasts would argue about it being a necessity for a winch to function well is the fairlead. In fact, there are some users that think and feel that the fairlead would make your winch’s performance better.

What are Fairleads?

Though you would always hear and associate fairleads with winches, the reality is that they are not used only on winches. In fact, they are used in a lot of machineries and industrial equipment. The reason behind this is because fairleads are used as a guide of a rope or a line. Hence, winches use them, however, they often require a fairlead that is more exquisite since winches are more sensitive and expensive type of machinery.

As mentioned earlier, off-road enthusiasts think and feel that fairleads are necessary part of winch for it to function well as the reason to this is that they passively guide the rope or cable. Moreover, they also protect the rope from abrasion and eliminates sharp angles that could poke the rope.

Aluminum Fairlead Ha

There are many different types of fairlead and to determine this, you will have to identify what type of materials that your fairlead is made of. One of the fairleads is called aluminum fairlead. This type of fairlead are often used with synthetic ropes and is not recommended to be used with a steel cable as the cable could eat the aluminum. Moreover, they are hawse fairleads.

Steel Fairlead

Steel fairleads are perfect to be used for both steel cable and synthetic ropes. They could be hawse or roller type of fairleads.

What is a Hawse Fairlead?

Hawse and roller fairlead differ from one another. Hawse fairlead is simpler. In fact, it comes from a piece of aluminum or steel machined. They have no moving parts. It comes with chamfer on its center which would allow your winch line to glide and slide smoothly. With hawse fairlead, the bigger the chamfer the wider your fairlead, then, the better it is. Moreover, Hawse fairleads are lighter and they are also simpler compared to roller fairleads. Though that is the case, they are durable and would not break easily unless you use steel cable on aluminum hawse.

If you wish to make your winch have a lighter setup, then this fairlead is perfect for you. It is smaller and sleeker.

Roller Fairlead

A roller fairlead on the other hand comes with moving parts. In fact, they have two vertical rollers and two horizontal rollers. By using a roller fairlead, you will be able to prevent your winch line from getting too much abrasion. They get lesser friction. They are also very sturdy and does not get damaged easily.

Which One Is Better? Hawse or Roller?

The answer to this question would actually depend on your preference. For example, if you would want to have a lighter setup and use a synthetic rope, then, we highly recommend that you go for the aluminum hawse fairlead combo. However, if you are looking for a more durable setup and you are planning to use a steel cable, then, it is best for you to go with the steel roller fairlead.

Nowadays, it is more common trend for winch users to go with hawse fairlead and synthetic rope combo. The reason behind this is because synthetic ropes are lighter and stronger compared to steel cables. They are safer as well.

Roller fairleads on the other hand would be used with steel cables as often times, they come with burrs which could lead to damaging your synthetic rope. This is the reason why roller fairleads would often be partnered with steel cables.

Hawse fairleads also are often used on most winches due to manufacturers’ decision and preference. Though this is the case, it would still be your preference and decision on which type of fairlead you would like to use on your winch.

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