Warn Drill Winch Review

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Pulling a side-by-side onto a truck bed or moving a heavy load onto your vehicle’s cargo area – these are only a couple of jobs that this versatile tool can complete with ease.

If you’re stuck with your UTV, it can even be used as a recovery winch, saving on having to install a permanent one on your sports mobile. This tool will make your life easier and it will go a long way to get you out of emergency situations. 

With other portable winches, you also have a good chance of recovering from being stuck.

If you’re a fan of this brand in general, we have a comprehensive WARN winch buying guide as they are one of the best brands in the market.

How Does Drill Winches Work?

A drill powered winch is a mechanical tool that lets you pull a heavy weight object easily. Generally, a winch is composed of a long metallic or synthetic rope that is wound around a spool. You just have to attach a standard portable drill to use the winch. 

The operation of the winch depends on how powerful the drill is. So a powerful drill lets you operate the winch faster. 

How does WARN drill winches compare with other portable winches?

WARN Industries has been manufacturing vehicle recovery equipment since the 1940s. Their years of experience allow them to continually improve the quality of their products. 

That’s what makes WARN drill powered winches powerful, durable, portable and easy to use.

We’ve also seen how other portable winches fared in the field. Some brands such as Superwinch feature products that have high maximum performance but they are on the expensive side.

On the other hand, if you compare these popular brands with other WARN winches, you can see that the latter wins in most features including construction, and performance.

Let’s see if these qualities are carried over to the drill winch product range:

Review of the WARN Drill Winch 500 lbs Capacity

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You can’t easily find a quality drill powered winch with the features that this product has in the same price range. It’s a great value for your money.

Weighing just 12.63 lbs and measuring 10 x 10 x 10 inches, it is a lightweight and compact winch with a 500 lbs single line pulling capacity. 

It comes with great features such as a load limiter which gives you audible feedback when you reach the capacity limit. It’s a good safety feature to have.

Also, this high quality 500 lbs capacity wire rope winch comes with a 30-foot rope, an integrated hawse fairlead and rigging hooks and a free spool clutch. The free spool clutch makes rigging fast.

When it comes to operation, this one can work with a battery-powered drill. Not only that, the WARN 910500 handheld portable drill is that it lets you control the loads more effectively based on load, speed of the drill, and distance.

Review of the WARN Drill Winch 750 lbs Capacity – Steel Rope

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This lightweight handheld portable drill winch shares many similar features as the 500 lb capacity winch. It also features audible feedback, load limiter, free spool clutch, and variable speed among others. But this winch is for those in search of a higher line-pull capacity using a steel rope.

Moreover, this high-quality gear is also portable, although it is a bit heavier, weighing 13.52 pounds and measuring 5 x 5 x 5 inches. We can understand why it’s big and heavy as it uses a 4-mm steel rope with a line length of 40 feet

This is a bit longer than that of the 500lbs capacity WARN drill winch model with only 30 feet of rope.

Review of the WARN Drill Winch 750lbs Capacity – Synthetic Rope

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If you want to purchase a winch with a synthetic line, then this product is for you. It comes with 40 feet of 4mm rope and it has many features typical of the brand. 

These include the load limiter, audible feedback, free spooling clutch, variable speed and a hawse fairlead. The rigging hooks of this winch is also at the front and rear which makes hooking easier.

Furthermore, while this winch also measures 5 x 5 x 5 inches, it is a bit lighter, weighing just 11.82 pounds. 

As it is lighter in weight, it will make it easier for you to handle this tool. And yes, you can use this drill with a battery drill while still maintaining a smooth operation.

How does WARN drill winch compare to the Superwinch 2 Go SR (1140232) Kit

Comparing the three WARN winch products we have reviewed with the Superwinch 2 Go SR (1140232) Kit, we can tell which brand has more advantages and disadvantages over the other.

The Superwinch 2 Go SR (1140232) model has a 4000 lbs capacity compared with the 500 and 750 capacity of the WARN winches. 

You can make use of this winch to pull very heavy objects. Additionally, it has a quick connect cord for easy access to a battery power source.

The huge difference between the capacities of the two products is obvious. However, if you want to get a winch for various jobs around the house, we think that 750 pounds will suffice. 

But if you want to buy one with a much higher capacity, then go with Superwinch.

Also, the cost can be a very important deciding factor. With the high capacity limit of the Superwinch, it also comes with a more expensive price tag. 

Superwinch has a plus though as it comes with a robust and durable storage box where you can keep everything related to this gear.

The Superwinch 2 Go SR is a clear winner here for several reasons:

  • Higher pulling power
  • Has its own motor
  • More versatile

Of course, it’s not as portable as the Warn product, and as we mentioned, it’s more expensive.

Major Parts of the Drill Powered Winch


Depending on the version, this component can be made of durable steel or can be a synthetic rope

The length and size of the rope vary between 30 or 40 feet.

Rigging Hooks

The product comes with both front and rear rigging hooks. These would firmly grip the object you are pulling. You need an extremely durable rigging hook to ensure flawless operation. 

Pros and Cons of Using a Drill Powered Winch

Using a drill powered winch to lift or pull a heavy object has its pros and cons, and knowing them would give you a good idea whether this product is for you or not.

On the positive side, drill powered winches most particularly WARN drill winches are lightweight and portable. Due to its limited capacity, it can help you with various jobs around your business or house, however, it’s not sufficient to recover a vehicle

There are portable winches on the market that are capable of pulling heavy weight objects including vehicles when needed.


Q: How much weight can a drill winch pull?

Generally, with the least expensive models, you also get lower capacity. With the WARN, they have a mode that can pull up to 750 pounds.

Q: What Can I Expect From a Drill Powered Winch? 

A drill winch is not a great choice if you are into overland adventures. Portable winches can indeed be a great overlanding gear that can save you in bad situations, but the Warn Drill winch wasn’t designed for that. Unless you’re adventuring with an ATV/UTV.

Q: Can the steel wire rope be replaced with a synthetic rope? 

Many users argue to the merits of both ropes. They have clear advantages and disadvantages and we’ve put them together to help you determine which rope is the best for your specific needs.

Steel ropes have the advantage of being strong and durable and they don’t easily fail. They are also a sure winner when it comes to weather resistance. 

Its only nemesis is rust. Generally, winches that use steel ropes are also generally more cost-effective.

On the other hand, synthetic ropes have the advantage of being lightweight, easier to wind, and easier to repair. However, it is more expensive and they easily get brittle with frequent and prolonged exposure to sunlight and mud.

How to Choose the Best Drill Winch

To help you in the selection process, here are the important considerations for picking a drill winch:

Ergonomic Design

The best drill winch is lightweight, portable and easy to use, allowing you to easily bring your winch wherever and whenever your adventurous feet will take you.

Type of Rope

A drill powered winch may come with a steel or synthetic rope, each of which with its own benefits and drawbacks. The former is your best choice if you’re in search of lightweight or easy-to-maintain winch.

On the other hand, if you prefer a winch that is weather resistant or more affordable, generally, you are better off with a steel rope.

Pulling Capacity

The maximum weight that a winch may pull is extremely important because who wants a gear that’s extremely limited in function.

As much as possible, choose the highest pulling capacity with what you can afford. This allows you more flexibility and versatility on what type of object you can pull with your drill winch.

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The 500lbs WARN drill powered winch that comes with a wire rope is your best choice if you are looking for a budget-friendly, lightweight and portable winch.

If you want to buy a higher capacity winch, you could choose between the steel and synthetic rope 750lbs WARN winches. These winches are still quite lightweight and compact. And yes, they both come with a free spooling clutch, a feature that makes rigging fast and easy.

Furthermore, WARN drill winches received many positive reviews, proving their smooth operation, ease of use, and reliability. Many customers also appreciate that they can run on a battery-powered drill. They offer the best bang for your buck.

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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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