Winch Cables

Selecting Winch Rope: The Upside and Downside of Steel Winch Cable
First, wire rope or cable is cheap and it is less subject to abrasion than is its newer synthetic cousin. It's also heat resistant. The heat generated by the braking system in planetary gear driven winches can pose a problem for synthetic winch rope.

1x Hand Winch Crank Gear w/ Cable 1500 KG 10 Meter Fit Heavy Duty ATV Trailer
1x Hand Winch Crank Gear w/ Cable 1500 KG 10 Meter Fit Heavy Duty ATV Trailer $36.33
Time Remaining: 17d 16h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $36.33
3/PK Steel Wire Winch Rope Cable 10mm x 28m w 3/4" D-Ring &3/8" Clevis Slip Hook
3/PK Steel Wire Winch Rope Cable 10mm x 28m w 3/4 $71.55
Time Remaining: 26d 12h 28m
Buy It Now for only: $71.55
Galvanised Steel Wire Winch Rope Cable,10mm x 28m,12000lb Rope Wire Replacemen
Galvanised Steel Wire Winch Rope Cable,10mm x 28m,12000lb Rope Wire Replacemen $71.55
Time Remaining: 18d 9h 26m
Buy It Now for only: $71.55
EIP WINCH CABLE 5/16" X 150' BRAND NEW OFF ROAD OVERLAND 4X4
EIP WINCH CABLE 5/16 $99.00
Time Remaining: 20d 3h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $99.00
Winch Rope Synthetic Dyneema 10mm x 30m Car Tow Recovery Offroad 4WD Cable-45931
Winch Rope Synthetic Dyneema 10mm x 30m Car Tow Recovery Offroad 4WD Cable-45931 $67.97
Time Remaining: 2d 18h 51m
Buy It Now for only: $67.97
Blue Dyneema Winch Rope,Synthetic Cable 9mm x 30m 4WD Recovery Offroad-45958
Blue Dyneema Winch Rope,Synthetic Cable 9mm x 30m 4WD Recovery Offroad-45958 $67.97
Time Remaining: 3d 21h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $67.97
Winch Rope Synthetic Dyneema 10mm x 30m Car Tow Recovery Offroad 4WD Cable-45938
Winch Rope Synthetic Dyneema 10mm x 30m Car Tow Recovery Offroad 4WD Cable-45938 $67.97
Time Remaining: 3d 21h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $67.97
Winch Rope Synthetic Dyneema 10mm x 30m Car Tow Recovery Offroad 4WD Cable-45933
Winch Rope Synthetic Dyneema 10mm x 30m Car Tow Recovery Offroad 4WD Cable-45933 $67.97
Time Remaining: 23d 15h 19m
Buy It Now for only: $67.97
Reese Towpower Portable Electric Remote Volt Ball Winch Boat Truck Trailer Cable
Reese Towpower Portable Electric Remote Volt Ball Winch Boat Truck Trailer Cable $86.00
Time Remaining: 16d 2h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $86.00
EIP WINCH CABLE 3/8" X 100' BRAND NEW OFF ROAD OVERLAND 4X4
EIP WINCH CABLE 3/8 $89.00
Time Remaining: 20d 3h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $89.00
10mm 3/8" inch x 100' 30M gray Synthetic Dyneema Winch Rope Cable recovery 4WD
10mm 3/8 $99.80
Time Remaining: 13d 21h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $99.80
1200LBS/544KGS 2-Ways Steel Cable Hand Winch Manual Car Boat Trailer Camper
1200LBS/544KGS 2-Ways Steel Cable Hand Winch Manual Car Boat Trailer Camper $28.62
Time Remaining: 1d 14h 38m
Buy It Now for only: $28.62
EIP WINCH CABLE 5/16" X 125' BRAND NEW OFF ROAD OVERLAND 4X4
EIP WINCH CABLE 5/16 $79.00
Time Remaining: 20d 3h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $79.00
6000lbs Rolling Winch Boat Trailer 12V Hand Electric IP68 Waterproof 20ft Cable
6000lbs Rolling Winch Boat Trailer 12V Hand Electric IP68 Waterproof 20ft Cable $98.99
Time Remaining: 5d 13h 15m
Buy It Now for only: $98.99
Smittybilt Winch Cable 97281-41
Smittybilt Winch Cable 97281-41 $91.99
Time Remaining: 21d 8h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $91.99
800lb Steel Cable Hand Winch Crank Gear Winch ATV Boat Trailer Heavy Duty NEW
800lb Steel Cable Hand Winch Crank Gear Winch ATV Boat Trailer Heavy Duty NEW $99.99
Time Remaining: 17d 14h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231 $99.99
Time Remaining: 20d 8h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
Superwinch Replacement Winch Cable 90-24550
Superwinch Replacement Winch Cable 90-24550 $89.99
Time Remaining: 21d 8h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $89.99
92ft*1/2'' Synthetic Winch Rope Winch cable Climbing 12MMX28M Extension Rope
92ft*1/2'' Synthetic Winch Rope Winch cable Climbing 12MMX28M Extension Rope $99.80
Time Remaining: 27d 21h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $99.80
92ft*1/2'' Synthetic Winch Rope Winch cable Lightweight 25300LBS Heavy Loading
92ft*1/2'' Synthetic Winch Rope Winch cable Lightweight 25300LBS Heavy Loading $99.80
Time Remaining: 27d 21h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $99.80
On the downside, wire rope is heavy and the individual wire strands frequently fray leading to potentially serious injury to the hands of the winch operator, even with gloves on. In addition, wire winch cable can be difficult to respool, kinking up along the way. It also gets very cold to the touch during winter operation and it can rust and stretch out with repeated use. But most significantly, wire rope actually stores energy and if it snaps during winching the recoil can produce devastating results.

If you are a newcomer to the off road world you may have wondered why you've seen what appears to be car floor mats draped over wire cable in some of the pictures and videos of winches in operation. That's why they are there: to minimize the recoil snapping effect of a cable that breaks under stress.