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.

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 $81.29
Time Remaining: 2d 9h 15m
Buy It Now for only: $81.29
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 $77.90
Time Remaining: 28d 6h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $77.90
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 $67.74
Time Remaining: 13d 12h 6m
Buy It Now for only: $67.74
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 $67.74
Time Remaining: 21d 15h 39m
Buy It Now for only: $67.74
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 $67.74
Time Remaining: 23d 18h
Buy It Now for only: $67.74
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 $60.96
Time Remaining: 23d 18h
Buy It Now for only: $60.96
10mm 3/8" inch x 100' 30M gray Synthetic Dyneema Winch Rope Cable recovery 4WD
10mm 3/8 $99.80
Time Remaining: 22d 17h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $99.80
Smittybilt Winch Cable 97281-41
Smittybilt Winch Cable 97281-41 $93.99
Time Remaining: 16d 5h 22m
Buy It Now for only: $93.99
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: 3d 14h 27m
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: 3d 22h 26m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
7/16" x 50' Winch Cable Rope Wrecker Tow Truck Rollback - Steel Core
7/16 $99.99
Time Remaining: 7d 3h
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: 15d 9h 32m
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: 16d 23h 28m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231
Rugged Ridge Synthetic Winch Cable 1510231 $99.99
Time Remaining: 17d 17h 30m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
Wire Rope Steel Core Winch Cable 3/8" x 100' Self-Locking Swivel Hook Towing Wre
Wire Rope Steel Core Winch Cable 3/8 $99.99
Time Remaining: 19d 3h 5m
Buy It Now for only: $99.99
Westin 47-3620 Steel 10,000 Lbs Cable .362" Dia. x 94' Length for Winches
Westin 47-3620 Steel 10,000 Lbs Cable .362 $99.98
Time Remaining: 11d 20h 19m
Buy It Now for only: $99.98
92ft x 1/2" Synthetic Winch Line Rope Cable Protective Sleeve 22000LBs ATV Truck
92ft x 1/2 $99.97
Time Remaining: 19d 22h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $99.97
92ft*1/2 Synthetic Dyneema Rope Winch cable 12MMX28M Winch Rope
92ft*1/2 Synthetic Dyneema Rope Winch cable 12MMX28M Winch Rope $99.96
Time Remaining: 19d 22h 49m
Buy It Now for only: $99.96
92ft*1/2 Dyneema Rope Winch cable Lightweight 25300LBS Winch Rope
92ft*1/2 Dyneema Rope Winch cable Lightweight 25300LBS Winch Rope $99.93
Time Remaining: 17d 22h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $99.93
92ft*1/2 Synthetic Dyneema Rope Winch cable Winch Rope Marine Helicopter
92ft*1/2 Synthetic Dyneema Rope Winch cable Winch Rope Marine Helicopter $99.91
Time Remaining: 19d 22h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $99.91
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.