View Full Version : badland winches from harbor freight.

12-02-2011, 10:42 AM
Hi all, I was in Harbor freight yesterday and saw that they have some pretty good deals on winches. Considerations, contemplations, cogitations here:
They LOOK pretty well built and robust.
Like everything else in H.F. they're "Made in China".
I've read that a lot of the Warn models are now made there, only brand that you can be sure of in the US is now Ramsey.
Warrior advertises that theirs are 'British designed and engineered', but not where they are manufactured (Much like the Triumph brand named motorcycle jacket that boasts "British designed" on the big tag at the collar and whispers "Made in China" on the tiny tag on the inside of the armpit?)
I really don't mind spending some extra $$$ to get something of higher quality and greater value, (don't want a useless lump hanging on my bumper) but wonder whether I won't be paying for a more famous label on something that came from the same production line at the People's Winch factory.
Looking for info, experience, opinions.
Bill Snyder

12-02-2011, 11:44 AM
i actually read a review of the badland winches on some jeep website and they said that they were actually really quite good for the price. it did say it was slow but other than that there was no problem and you can't beat the warranty with the price. i say give the 12,000lb a try!

Rob P
12-02-2011, 08:48 PM
Four wheeler magazine did a winch shootout and compared 12 winches side by side. The one from HF failed out of the box and never ran. The one from summit also never ran but made a lot of smoke on startup.

12-05-2011, 01:55 PM
I made my mind and bought a Ramsey 9500. I'm hoping that my decision may help keep some fellow American in a job. If i do need 12000 pounds, I'll just have to double up on the blocks.

12-09-2011, 12:37 PM
I have been looking at the 9000 lb BadLand from HF. It fits by budget so I am going to give it a try.

Rob P
12-10-2011, 12:25 AM
please write review when possible

12-17-2011, 05:33 PM
I looked at some other winches on Amazon. Found the Vortex winch. The winch motor is advertised as water proof and it has a 3 year warranty. Same price as the Harbor Freight gear. Does anyone have any experinece with the Vortex winch. Rated 10000lbs x $350.

Disco Daze


10-03-2012, 12:00 AM
So, any thoughts on these Harbor Freight winches? I have mixed ideas too....but it is a huge difference in costs compared to the big brands!

I mean I don't want to feed the people's machine either, sometimes there's no way around it!

Have you guys used these yet?

10-03-2012, 08:20 AM
I have fit a lot of Warn winches; my XD9000i has been frozen in ice, stuck in muck, been utilised for major recoveries, frequently drags dead Rovers in and out of the shop, toppled trees and been used enthusiastically for 12 years. I have broken 2 synthetic winch lines and had to replace the motor and drum brake shoes once in that period.
Some customers don't use their winches any where near as often and still have the reliability to use it when they need it. Big power cables, clean electrical contacts with a generous application of silicone paste at the electrical connections are a must.
Another resource would be Justin at Lucky 8. He has a hydraulic on his D90 which was pretty awesome, but I suspect he has tried most all of the electrics....

10-03-2012, 06:59 PM
Keep in mind - very often you get what you pay for! I buy stuff from Harbor Freight, but never anything that I will need to rely on like a winch.

10-04-2012, 10:48 AM
bossman429 has one mounted to a custom bumper he fabbed up, and it's been fine so far. We used it a ton at Winter Romp this past year, pulling Dan - ini88 - up a hill when his CV broke, and it pulled him just fine. It will eventually break, but it's cheap - just buy a new one once it does. If you're always wheeling in a group that is also equipped with winches, then you'll have a back-up if/when it does break. If you're wheeling without back-up, then get something with a reputation for longevity and reliability.

Winch thread:

Winter Romp proof:

Winter Romp thread:

10-05-2012, 07:57 PM
Both Frank and Josh make very good points!
Maybe be I'll look for a second hand quality winch!
Frank, you reminded me of when I bought these cheap power cutting tools from HF....small saw for cutting sheet metal broke the first time I used it. Yhea, you get what you paid for....but they replaced it rite away!
But the $26.00 power sheers for cutting 14-18G sheet metal....performed brilliantly, its my new favorite power tool!

10-05-2012, 08:03 PM
I just had a cheap-ish northern tool air powered die grinder go out on me today. It lasted for a few years, but if I had bought the good one I bet it would last a lifetime if I took care of it.

I got a used warn winch a few years back with my ARB bumper, $500 for the pair. I'll keep my eyes open for a deal.

10-20-2012, 12:57 AM
I've read that a lot of the Warn models are now made there, only brand that you can be sure of in the US is now Ramsey.

Bill Snyder

It seems WARN has the "VR" version which is much less expensive. I think this must be the Chinese one. I believe the XD models are still made in the USA.