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 $38.33
Time Remaining: 20d 10h 43m
Buy It Now for only: $38.33
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 $68.77
Time Remaining: 29d 6h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $68.77
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 $75.65
Time Remaining: 21d 3h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $75.65
EIP WINCH CABLE 5/16" X 150' BRAND NEW OFF ROAD OVERLAND 4X4
EIP WINCH CABLE 5/16 $99.00
Time Remaining: 22d 21h 6m
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 $68.77
Time Remaining: 5d 12h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $68.77
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 $68.77
Time Remaining: 6d 15h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $68.77
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 $68.77
Time Remaining: 26d 9h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $68.77
SOLENOIDS & BOX with cables for a WARN M12000 WINCH
SOLENOIDS & BOX with cables for a WARN M12000 WINCH $100.00
Time Remaining: 21d 9h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
EIP WINCH CABLE 3/8" X 100' BRAND NEW OFF ROAD OVERLAND 4X4
EIP WINCH CABLE 3/8 $89.00
Time Remaining: 22d 21h 7m
Buy It Now for only: $89.00
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 $61.89
Time Remaining: 6d 15h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $61.89
10mm 3/8" inch x 100' 30M gray Synthetic Dyneema Winch Rope Cable recovery 4WD
10mm 3/8 $99.80
Time Remaining: 16d 14h 55m
Buy It Now for only: $99.80
EIP WINCH CABLE 5/16" X 125' BRAND NEW OFF ROAD OVERLAND 4X4
EIP WINCH CABLE 5/16 $79.00
Time Remaining: 23d 4h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $79.00
Smittybilt Winch Cable 97281-41
Smittybilt Winch Cable 97281-41 $93.99
Time Remaining: 23d 1h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $93.99
Zimtown 3000LBS 12V Electric Winch Kit ATV Steel Cable 1 PCS Wireless Remote Con
Zimtown 3000LBS 12V Electric Winch Kit ATV Steel Cable 1 PCS Wireless Remote Con $99.99
Time Remaining: 1d 2h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
ATV UTV Winch 3500LBS Electric Winch Steel Cable Remote Wireless 12V DC
ATV UTV Winch 3500LBS Electric Winch Steel Cable Remote Wireless 12V DC $99.99
Time Remaining: 5d 11h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
Electric Winch 3000LBS/1360kg Steel Cable Wireless ATV 4WD REMOTES 12V
Electric Winch 3000LBS/1360kg Steel Cable Wireless ATV 4WD REMOTES 12V $99.99
Time Remaining: 5d 19h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
ECCPP 3000LBS Electric Winch Towing Truck Trailer 12M Steel Cable Off Road 12V
ECCPP 3000LBS Electric Winch Towing Truck Trailer 12M Steel Cable Off Road 12V $99.99
Time Remaining: 16d 19h 1m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
3500 lb ATV Cable Winch Electric 12 V Volt Recovery Boat Trailer Truck Plow
3500 lb ATV Cable Winch Electric 12 V Volt Recovery Boat Trailer Truck Plow $99.99
Time Remaining: 17d 20h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
3500LB ATV Winch UTV 12V Electric Remote Waterproof Boat Steel Cable Kit offroad
3500LB ATV Winch UTV 12V Electric Remote Waterproof Boat Steel Cable Kit offroad $99.99
Time Remaining: 19d 6h 38m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231 $99.99
Time Remaining: 25d 18m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
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.