In this article, we’re talking about one of the most common concerns associated with winch cables – the size and diameter of the cable itself.
We’re explaining how size impacts a winch cable’s functionality and which size and diameter is right for you.
Let’s get right into it.
Does Size Matter in a Winch Cable?
Simply put, yes, the size of the winch cable does matter. It matters both in terms of length and diameter of the winch line.
With length, the strength of the winch cable actually decreases with more length. With each wrap of line around the drum, the winch actually needs to work harder to rotate the drum, which results in less pulling power.
The diameter matters as well. Generally speaking, more diameter leads to greater strength. This isn’t always the case, though, as different materials of line can have more strength in smaller diameters. In general, it’s just best to check the breaking strength of the line, with a higher breaking strength indicating a stronger winch line.
What Size of Winch Cable Do I Need?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to the question of what size winch cable you need. The answer depends on many different factors. Primarily, it depends on what you are using the winch for.
The heavier things you intend to pull, the higher strength winch line you will need. Below, we’ve included a link to a handy winch cable size chart, which gives you an outline of the line's Safe Working Load based on its diameter.
What Size Winch Cable for ATV?
The answer is that it depends on the weight of your ATV! Generally speaking, you simply want a winch line that is rated to pull the weight of your vehicle. The general rule is to choose a winch cable with a rated capacity of roughly 150% of the vehicle's weight. So, multiply the weight of your ATV by 1.5, and you’ll have your answer!
What is the Most Common UTV Winch Cable Size?
Once again, it depends on the weight of your UTV. Most UTVs weigh around 1200 to 1600 lbs. Use the same rule described above for ATVs, and you’ll have your answer.
Winch Cable Size Chart
For more answers related to winch cable sizing, check out this handy Winch Cable Size Chart here.
Thanks for reading our guide to winch cable size and diameter. As you can see, these factors are important because they help determine the strength of the winch cable, which is a key consideration in the cable you purchase. We hope we’ve helped you understand why buying the proper winch cable is an extremely important decision!
People Also Ask
Before we wrap up, we’re answering the most frequently asked questions about winch cables.
Is Synthetic Winch Rope Better Than Cable?
It depends on what you mean by “better.” Most of the time, synthetic winch cable is the preferable choice. It is stronger by size and doesn’t have the extreme safety risks that accompany a snapped steel winch line.
However, steel cable does tend to be less expensive and also frays less frequently than synthetic cable.
Is Brand Important When Choosing the Size of a Winch Cable?
As with any decision, the brand is only important if it’s an indicator of quality. Sometimes, a brand can lead to an inflated price. Your best bet is to buy a winch cable that is durable and reliable. Brand can be a good indicator of this, but it is only one indicator. You also have to look at customer reviews and look at manufacturing standards, and quality control.
How Do You Determine What Size Winch Cable You Have?
Generally speaking, you should consult a sizing chart to determine your proper winch cable. The size of your winch cable is important in determining its strength, which determines which loads it can safely pull. Consult our winch cable size chart above!
Can Any Size Winch Cable Fit on Any Winch?
No, some winches are sized for different cables. Some winches are smaller, which means they aren’t meant to support winch cables of extending lengths or diameters. A winch will indicate the type of winch cable it is meant to support.