LAST UPDATED: December 23, 2019
Best Come-Along Winches: Hoisting Power When You Need It
Whether pulling an engine, dent, or stump, these come-along winches will get the job done
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PUBLISHED ON December 23, 2019
Come-along winches can be used for many jobs around your property and shop. They can be used to pull dents out of car panels and straighten bent frame extensions. People love them because come-along winches can be used to pull heavy objects such as stumps and help erect framing and roofs on structures small and large. Come along with us and check out our choices for the best come-along winches, all of which have at least 2 tons of pulling power.
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Benefits of Come-Along Winches
- They lift heavy objects. Come-along winches use a ratcheting gear pulley system to help you lift, pull, and drag items that you wouldn't be able to move without assistance, such as a tree stump.
- They're very versatile. A come-along winch can be used for a variety of tasks. People typically use them to lift vehicles or pull them out of a ditch, as well as on construction sites and for landscaping.
- They save time and prevent stress. It can be nerve-wracking when you're stuck in a ditch or don't have the right equipment to move an unwieldy object on your property. If you invest in a come-along winch, you have it at the ready during emergencies, which reduces stress and saves you time.
Types of Come-Along Winches
Hand Cable Pullers
The come-along winch was invented in 1919 by Abraham Maasdam of Deep Creek, Colo. Traditional come-along winches are also known as hand cable pullers or power pullers. They are hand-operated and use a ratchet to pull an object. They usually feature wire rope that wraps around a drum. The best come-along winches are sturdy with good-quality cables and ropes. They feature solid, galvanized anchor hooks that are corrosion-resistant.
Electric units make it quick and simple to pull objects. They require less manual labor than traditional come-along winches or chain fall hoists. Electric come-along winches either feature an AC power cord or they're cordless. Some devices, such as models by PullzAll tools, can change from forward to reverse motion with the push of a button. The downside is, unless you have a cordless model, you must be near a power source to use one.
Warn Industries, headquartered in Oregon, was founded in 1948 by Arthur Warn, who invented a locking hub system for Jeeps in World War II. The company manufactures off-road equipment and accessories for ATVs, utility vehicles, and four-wheel drive vehicles, including winches such as the Warn 88500 PullzAll.
Maasdam is a subsidiary of Pull'R Holding Company, which is based in Illinois.The Maasdam Pow’R-Pull line is renowned in the industry and has been manufacturing cable strap and rope pullers since 1946. One of its top products is the Maasdam Pow’R Pull 144SB-6.
This family-owned business is based in Michigan. It produces a variety of tools, including hand-drive sockets and ratchets, impact sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, and pliers. It also makes winches, including the highly-rated TEKTON 5541 2-Ton Power Puller.
Come-Along Winch Pricing
- Under $50: You can find several well-known brands of winches at an affordable price. These units may have a lower weight capacity and shorter maximum pull lengths than their pricier counterparts. They are usually designed for pulling lighter loads.
- $100 and up: The best come-along winches can cost a few hundred dollars. If you want a 4-ton come-along winch (or one that's even larger), expect to pay a bit more money. These devices are usually made of high-grade steel and are designed to be very durable.
Before buying a hand or electric come-along hand winch, check its lifting capacity or how much weight it is able to pull, lift, and drag. If you're only moving lightweight objects, then an average come-along winch should work just fine. However, if you need to move large, heavy loads, then look for something with a greater weight capacity. In order to prevent the device from breaking, choose one with a weight capacity that is much larger than the weight of the item you plan on moving.
Not all come-along puller winches are built to the same standards. Some are made with stronger metals and materials that are higher in quality. The best come-along winches are designed with high-grade steel, which is able to tolerate heavy loads. Avoid brands that are made of cheap materials because they are more likely to fail.
A heavy-duty come-along winch should come with a metal cable. These cables can vary in length and diameter, but they are typically braided or reinforced straps or ropes that are largely made of steel. Come-along cable winches with metal cables are generally more affordable than other types of cables.
- Single-Piece Construction: If you plan on working on large projects, consider purchasing a come-along winch that is constructed out of a single piece. These types of devices are less likely to break because single-piece come-along winches don't have as many breakpoints. This is important if you want to prevent failure.
Best Come-Along Winch Reviews & Recommendations 2020
This American-made winch has a weight capacity of 4 tons. It's designed for construction, automotive, landscaping, boating, camping, and vehicle recovery and rescue. It's a heavy-duty, manually-operated winch with 6 feet of 5/16-inch galvanized cable. It comes with steel alloy pawls and a safety spacer sleeve for consistent alignment.
The non-slip plastic grip is comfortable. Also, the ratchet guard keeps your hands and clothing clear. The steel cable is aircraft-grade for added strength and has a notch-at-a-time let-down feature so the load doesn’t spring back or fall. It meets ANSI/ASME specifications and has OSHA-approved safety latches on the hooks so it won’t accidentally break free at the wrong moment.
One problem with this winch is that the 6-feet cable length puts you rather close to the work area, and many smaller winches have longer cable lengths. Also, some users report the winches bind under heavy loads, and the notch-at-a-time feature does not work properly under lighter loads.
This 2-ton capacity winch includes features that are typically found on heavier-duty winches. It includes a 3/16-inch diameter cable with a 6-foot maximum lift and is suited for a variety of jobs around the house, property, and shop. It works great as a dent puller, and the galvanized, aircraft-quality cable is rugged and strong.
The non-slip plastic ratchet handle grips are very comfortable and prevent your hands from slipping even when they're hot and sweaty. Its precision fit, all load-bearing parts are made of high-quality steel and aluminum alloy. The one-piece alloy ratchet wheel is wear-resistant and provides years of trouble-free use and safety. The product also includes a reinforced ratchet guard and durable heat-treated bolts.
One issue with this come-along winch is that the cable isn’t plastic coated. As a result, special care must be taken to ensure it doesn’t fray. Some users also report that the winch fails under lighter loads. Others have complained that the winch arrived broken and the warranty was not honored.
Warn is a respected manufacturer of off-road equipment and accessories. This heavy-duty winch has an easy push-button operation. Its no-load line speed of 13.8 feet per second enables it to rewind onto the spool quickly. It's designed for use in auto shops, garages, construction, ironwork, equipment maintenance, machine shops, and more.
Warn winches are so durable they're often handed down at least one time. This one's 1-ton capacity makes lifting walls and roofs and pulling dents simple. The variable speed trigger allows users to precisely place the load where desired, and the device features an electronic load limiter with an LED indicator.
One downside with this product is the company is American, but the winch is manufactured in China. Also, this winch requires 120 volts AC. If you’re in the woods, that means an extra-long extension cable or a generator may be required. In addition, some users report poor quality control and unit failure under light loads.
- Make sure you firmly secure the winch hooks to your polling location and your load. Incorrectly securing the hooks can cause them to slip.
- Keep the area between the winch, pulling location, and the load clear of all obstacles, especially you. Failure to do so can result in injury.
- Make sure your pulling or winching location is strong enough to pull from. Don’t try and pull a bent frame out using a wall stud if you don’t want to be standing in debris in your shop.
- Look for a ratchet puller with a steel frame. Aluminum makes for a lighter power puller but can bend more easily.
Q: What sort of placement accuracy can I expect with a come-along winch?
A: That largely depends on the winch and the load. With a powered winch, you can get an accuracy of less than an inch. With a manual winch, accuracy depends on the distance of the locking pawls.
Q: Can I use a come-along winch to pull stumps on my property?
A: Yes. As long as you don’t exceed the capacity of the winch and pay attention to safety procedures, stump removal is easy with come-along winches.
Q: Can I pull my car or truck out of a ditch with a come-along winch?
A: Yes, with provisions. As long as you don’t have the wheels buried up to the fender in sticky mud or clay and/or the vehicle doesn’t exceed the winch capacity, pulling a car out of a ditch should also be easy.
Q: I know shouldn’t anchor to a stud to straighten a frame. What should I anchor to?
A: You should anchor to the floor of your shop. You need to measure the height of the piece being pulled and the angle at which it needs to be pulled and use concrete anchors to secure your pulling point to the floor of your shop and get it at the required height.
Our top pick for best come-along winch overall is the Maasdam Pow’R Pull 8000SB. This winch has enough capacity for most jobs big and small. The Maasdam Pow’R Pull 144SB-6, our pick for the best value come-along winch, is strong enough to pull stumps and get your car out of the ditch.