Tuff Stuff Winch Review

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Tuff Stuff are making some high quality overlanding products, the brand needs no introduction.

Here, we will be reviewing some of their top-rated winches. They are known for offering high-end products yet for a very reasonable price. So we hope after reading this post, you will be able to decide whether Tuff Stuff winches are worth it or not.

Tuff Stuff Winch Review

Tuff Stuff Winch Reviews

Review of Tuff Stuff Xtreme 4500lb UTV Winch

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The first winch on our review is the Tuff Stuff Xtreme 4500 lb winch. This may be a small winch but it packs a lot of features. The rated line pull of this winch is 4500 lbs. So, it will be the perfect choice as a UTV or side by side winch.

This Tuff Stuff winch comes with a gray synthetic line. That means it also features an aluminum hawse fairlead. Interestingly, this particular Tuff Stuff Xtreme winch also has another version with 49 feet steel cable.

That version features a 4-way roller fairlead. For the record, the prices of these two versions will vary a bit.

Now, you can control this winch in 3 ways such as by hand, wirelessly, and using a handheld rocker switch. Yes, it comes with both wired and wireless remote control systems.

Plus, the wired remote control has a long cord so that you can use it to control the winch from afar. The IP68 waterproof solenoid makes it suitable to work in any harsh conditions.

It comes with a 12V 1.3 HP permanent magnet motor. In addition, it is also equipped with a 3 stage planetary gear system with a gear ratio of 136:1.

You will also like that this winch comes with a universal mounting plate. So, installing this winch would be pretty simple. You will also get a stainless steel drop-forged winch hook with it. 

On the other side, the steel cable version of the Tuff Stuff Xtreme 4500 lb winch has a few different specifications.

First of all, it has a 1.5 HP permanent magnet motor and a cam activated clutch. That winch comes with a gear reduction ratio of 166:1 on a 3-stage planetary gear train.

The drum size of this winch is 2 inches in diameter and 4.7 inches in length. For safety reasons, this winch also comes with an automatic braking system.

On top of that, the 4500 lb. winch from Tuff Stuff Xtreme is IP 68 waterproof certified. The weight of the winch is about 18 lbs. and it has a net dimension of 14.5 x 6 x 5.5 inches. So, if you want a top-notch UTV winch for a very reasonable price, then you will like this one.

What Previous Buyers Said?

Many previous customers have said good things about this UTV winch. Some of them even stated that this Tuff Stuff Xtreme winch has surprised them with its reliable performance. They have also added that it works perfectly regardless of the working and weather conditions. 

A lot of customers also praised that it comes with a synthetic rope for such a low price tag. Some users also talked positively about the wireless remote control. Overall, they are recommending it to others.


  • Comes with the automatic braking system
  • It has IP 68 waterproof certification
  • Comes with synthetic rope
  • Wired and Wireless remote control included


  • Nothing major to mention

Review of Tuff Stuff Xtreme 12, 500 Lb Winch

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Next, we have the Tuff Stuff Xtreme 12 500 lb. winch. That means it has a single line rated pull of 12 500 lbs.

This winch also has 2 versions depending on the type of cable. One comes with a synthetic cable and another comes with a wire rope. As usual, the price of both versions will vary.

Also, the steel cable version comes with a 4-way roller fairlead. Whereas the synthetic cable version has an aluminum hawse fairlead mechanism.

The winch is integrated with a 6.65 HP/5 Kw series wound motor. Both winches come with the 3-stage planetary gear train with a gear ratio of 265:2:1.

For safety reasons, the winches come with an automatic in-drum locking brake system. The length of the rope in these winches would be 88 feet and the diameter would be ⅜ inches.

The Classic winch comes with a sliding ring gear clutch system. Whereas the other version comes with a piston design clutch.

The drum size of the winch is 2.52 inches in diameter and 8.82 inches in length. They also have wired and wireless remote control. 

The wired remote control comes with a 12 feet cord so that you can control the winch from a safe distance.

In addition, the wireless remote control has a range of up to 50 feet. Another good thing about these Tuff Stuff Xtreme 12, 500 lb winches is that they have both powers in and out feature.

The weight of the synthetic cable version is about 69 lbs. Whereas the steel cable version weighs about 92 lbs.

Tuff Stuff recommends using a 650 CCA battery with this winch. Both of these winches are compatible with the 10 x 4.5-inch mounting bolt pattern. 

So, it will be fairly easy to mount. Interestingly, the winches come with a waterproof cover and an 8-ton snatch block for free. In that sense, it will be long-lasting and durable.

Overall, if you are looking for a powerful yet cheap winch, this Tuff Stuff Xtreme 12, 500 lbs winch could be a good option,

What Previous Buyers Said?

This is another favorite winch from Tuff Stuff to the previous buyers. They have mentioned that it was very easy to install. Also, the cost to performance ratio of this winch is great. 

Other users also said that it can be used in various severe weather conditions without any problem. When it comes to durability and reliable performance, it has all the necessary features.


  • Available with both synthetic and steel cable
  • Fully waterproof winch
  • Supports both wired and wireless remote control
  • Heavy-duty yet budget-friendly


  • May be a bit noisy

Review of Tuff Stuff 13,000LB Trailhead Winch

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The last winch from the Tuff Stuff 4×4 brand to review is their Trailhead winch. It has a single line rated pull of up to 13000 lb. So you can see that this winch is suitable for heavier jobs.

This is also available with both synthetic and wired cable options. These winches use a 3-stage planetary gear train with a gear reduction ratio of 218:1.

They have used a 6.65 HP/5.0 Kw series wound motor in this powerful winch. This Tuff Stuff winch is integrated with a sliding ring gear clutch system.

As a safety measure, they have provided an automatic in-drum braking system. Whether you are getting the synthetic or steel cable version, it will come with 85 feet in length and ⅜ inch in diameter cable.

Also, the diameter of the drum is 2.5 inch and the length of this is 9 inches. The synthetic cable version comes with an aluminum hawse fairlead.

On the contrary, the steel rope version is equipped with a 4-way roller fairlead. Like the previous ones, it also has both a wired and wireless remote control system. Similarly, the wired remote control comes with a 12 feet long cord.

This winch is compatible with the 10 x 4.5-inch mounting bolt pattern. As per Tuff Stuff, you should use a 12V 650 CCA battery, at least. You will be glad to know that all of the electronics are safe and protected in a separate waterproof control box.

So, you may use the winch in various harsh conditions like water, mud, extreme temperature, and so on without any problems. Overall, you can definitely check this out for your truck or Jeep.

What Previous Buyers Said?

As per many previous customers, this is a heavy-duty truck winch. They have loved that it is available with both synthetic and steel cable.

In addition, some customers also praised the inclusion of both wired and wireless remote control. 

Another fan-favorite feature of this 13,000 lb winch is that it is fully waterproof. All in all, for the price, this is a very high-end winch.


  • Supports both powers in and out
  • Available with both synthetic and steel cable
  • Has both wired and wireless remote control
  • Waterproof winch 
  • Durable and high-quality


  • No mounting plate is included

Buying Guide – Tuff Stuff Winch Review

About The Manufacturer

For your information, the Tuff Stuff winches are made by a company named ‘Tuff Stuff 4×4’. They’re a USA based company. Even though we are reviewing their winches here, they have various types of other products regarding overlanding and camping gear.

For instance, they have rooftop tents, awning, truck bed racks, Jeep accessories, safety gear, storage, recovery gear, and so on. All of their products are of high-quality. But they beat most other popular companies when it comes to the price. 

Tuff Stuff is known for offering very competitive pricing. As a result, if you are looking for a top-quality product yet for a very low price, then you can definitely go with Tuff Stuff winches and any other products from them.

Availability Of Parts And Accessories

By this time, you already know that Tuff Stuff 4×4 doesn’t only manufacture winches. They also manufacture many other overlanding and recovery gear as well. In addition, they also offer all types of winch parts and accessories.

For instance, you can get the winch hook, remote control, winch cables, mounting plates, etc. from Tuff Stuff.

So if you are in need of any winch accessories for your Tuff Stuff winches, you can be worry-free as they have got your back. Plus, the best part is that they provide all of these parts and accessories at a very affordable price range.

Final Words – Tuff Stuff Winch Review

If you are on a tight budget, choosing a winch for your overlanding rig is not easy. But, if you have read the reviews of these Tuff Stuff winches above, then you know that it is possible to get good quality winches without breaking the bank. 

They have several types of winches in terms of price, capacity, and features. So it will be very easy for everybody with different requirements and preferences to pick the perfect one for them.

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Ferenc Elekes has been a devout Overlanding enthusiast for many years. During that time, Ferenc has explored 75 countries on six continents, with overland travel involved in 40 countries on three continents. From his trusty 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado with a roof-top tent, he’s blogged about experiences that can only be found in the remotest regions on Earth. Along the way, he's gained in-depth knowledge of the novel challenges overlanders encounter and practical ways to meet them. On his website, he shares informed opinions about everything from the best overland gear to how to get a vehicle unstuck. Ferenc has also written for Ih8mud, the Expedition Portal, the Overland Journal, and he is often invited as a guest to outdoors-related podcasts.
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