Best Gas-Powered Winch (2023 Reviews)

A gas-powered winch comes in handy if you’re ever in a dire situation and you need to pull a heavy load to your truck’s bed. Better yet, you could carry it wherever you want to go and power it on the spot as long as you got some gasoline. How cool is that?

In this article, we’ll be reviewing the best gas-powered winches on the market. Let’s get started, shall we?

Our Best Gas Powered Winches 

  1. PCW5000-FK Portable Gas Powered Winch (Our Top Pick)
  2. PCW3000 Portable Winch Gas-Powered Capstan Winch (Best Budget) 
  3. PCW5000-MK Portable Winch Multi-Purpose Gas-Powered Capstan Winch (Best High End) 
  4. PCW-4000 Portable Winch Gas-Powered Capstan Winch
  5. PCW3000-CK Portable Gas Powered Winch

Benefits Of Gas Powered Winch

Ideal For Pulling Heavy Objects

Do you want to pull and reach logs that are blocking the way? How about a game hunt? Maybe you’re on a search and rescue operation and you need to pull somebody. It doesn’t matter, a gas-powered winch can pull heavy objects as long as they’re within the load capacity.

It’s Portable

Unlike a winch that is usually stuck on your truck’s bumper, most gas-powered winches on the market are portable. That means you can take it to areas where your truck is inaccessible.

No Need For Electrical Power

In contrast to an electric winch, you don’t need to look for an electrical switch or connect it to a battery when you want to use it. Not to mention, you don’t need to worry about loss of power or overheating the motor when you’re using it.  

It Can Help To Un-stuck A Vehicle

Have you ever been in one of those situations where you need one or two people to slightly push your truck out of mud or sand? Or maybe another vehicle? However, sometimes you can’t find anybody around to help you out; and that’s where a gas-powered winch comes in for the rescue.

No Manual Labor Required

A gas-powered winch will do most of the hard work for you without breaking a sweat. All you need to do is hook it up, align the cable to the load, and let the winch do its job.

How Does A Gas Powered Winch Work?

As the name suggests, a gas-powered winch uses gasoline to operate; it’s basically like a small generator but instead of producing electricity, it’s used for pulling heavy objects.

If you want to use a gas-powered winch, how should you go about it?

Step 1

The first thing that you need to do after you’ve removed the winch out of the storage box is to check the oil and gasoline level inside the engine. If the winch is empty, you need to top it up with the recommended oil (on the reservoir) and gasoline until the tank is full.

Step 2

Hook up the winch to a tree or your truck. If you’re hooking up to a tree, you need to put a sling around the tree in a U shape and clip it onto the winch hooks. But if you want to anchor the winch to your truck, you need to first attach a plate on your truck’s hook on the rear or front side, before you secure each of the gas winch hooks on the plate.

Step 3

Turn on the gas-powered winch and let it run idle for at least 5 minutes. This is a safety precaution to make sure that the engine is okay before you start winching.

Step 4

Switch off the engine, put the rope into the entry hook, wrap it around the drum three or four times and take out the rope on the exit hoop on top of the drum. There should be at least 1 or 2 meters of rope left to hold on your side after it has gone through the hoop.

See also  Best Portable Winch 2023 Review

Step 5

Attach the rope to the load that you want to pull. Make sure the load’s weight is within the winch’s rated pulling capacity.

Step 6

Wear your gloves, turn on the winch’s engine, and stand back at least 2 meters away from the winch.

Step 7

To haul a load using a gas-powered winch, you should pull the rope coming out of the swing side with both hands. There should be tension on the rope and it’s normal for the winch to lift up in the air. To avoid tripping, be careful not to jam your feet around the rope or wrap the rope around your hand.

Step 8

After you’re done, you should slowly release the tension on the rope and the winch will slowly go back to the ground.

Step 9

Switch off the engine and unhook the winch. Don’t forget to clean it a little bit before you put it back in its storage box.

Different Types Of Gas Powered Winch


This is the most common type of winches on the market. Most portable winches are lightweight with a top handle to make them easier to transport. Of course, you can take a portable gas-powered winch just about anywhere, especially those places that you can’t access.

Another thing; most portable gas-powered winches are equipped with a 4 stroke engine that runs on gasoline.


Non-portable gas-powered winches are difficult to obtain on the consumer market; this is because they’re often used in industrial complexes. To begin with, most non-portable winches are heavy-duty and some units weigh as much as 5 tons. In addition to that, non-portable winches typically run on diesel engines.

Nonetheless, it’s not unusual to come across industrial non-portable winches that can pull over 100,000 pounds of load. Let’s just say that is not something that you will need for your truck.

What Do You Look For In The Best Gas Powered Winch?  

Load Capacity

Unlike a truck winch that is usually mounted on a bumper, most powered gas-powered winches don’t have a lot of load weight capacity. In fact, most gas-powered winches have a load capacity of 2,000 lbs to 2,500 lbs on a single line. Obviously, the higher the load capacity, the better the gas-powered winch.

However, it’s possible to double or triple the load capacity using a snatch block or a pulley system. That means, if you have a gas-powered winch with a load capacity of 2000 lbs, you could use a snatch block to increase the line pull to 4,000 lbs.

Synthetic Or Steel Rope?

Since you need to pull the line with your hands when operating a gas-powered winch, we think a synthetic rope is better than a steel rope. Why is it so? Even though a steel cable is cheaper, it can cause serious damage or injury if it breaks on tension.

On the other hand, a synthetic rope is less likely to cause serious injury if it snaps compared to a steel cable. In fact, a synthetic rope won’t cut or bruise your hands if you forgot to wear your gloves. Not to mention, synthetic ropes are usually lightweight and rust-resistant.

Weight And Material

You probably want a gas-powered winch that is lightweight as possible if easy portability is on top of your priority list. As a general rule, avoid anything that weighs over 50 pounds; otherwise, you will have a hard time trying to carry it.

Then again, sometimes the weight is dictated by the material used to manufacture the winch. Do you want steel or aluminum? If you’re going for steel, you’re going to sacrifice a little bit of weight for durability. But if you prefer an aluminum-made winch, it will be lighter but don’t expect it to be durable than stainless steel.

Power Output And Pull Force

The power output and the pull force of a winch are usually interconnected. The power output is measured in horsepower (HP) and the pull force is the rope length a winch can pull per minute. Of course, the higher the power output, the faster the pull force.

See also  The Best Truck Winches (2023 Review)

Besides that, sometimes the minute line speed of a winch is determined by the weight of the load that you’re winching. A heavier load will cause the rope line to move slower compared to a lighter load. For that reason, it would make more sense to prioritize the engine hp than the line pulling speed. 

Accessories Kit

The best gas-powered winch should come with a full accessories kit that makes it easier to operate. Some of the basic winch accessories include; synthetic polyester rope, polyester sling, snatch block, hitch plate winch anchor, locking carabiner, choker chain, grab hook, safety hook with latch, and a rope bag.

Of course, any winch that comes with a padded waterproof case is an added advantage.


If you want to choose a top-quality gas-powered capstan winch, you ought to choose from reputable brands that have been in the game for a while. We’re talking about brands such as Honda, Portable Winch or Warn.

It would be helpful if you choose a gasoline-powered that comes with at least 2 years warranty.

Best Gas-Powered Winches Reviewed

1. PCW5000-FK Portable Gas Powered Winch

Type: Portable

Load Capacity: 2200 lbs

Weight: 35 pounds

Rope Material: Synthetic

Rope Length: 164 feet

Power Output: 2.1 hp

Line Speed: 40 feet per minute

What’s impressive about this portable capstan winch is that it weighs only 35 pounds, but it can pull up to 2,200 pounds on a single line. Better yet, if you use a snatch block, you can double the pulling power to 4,400 pounds.

It comes with a 164 feet synthetic rope made out of double braid polyester. That means you don’t need to worry about getting bruises on your hands. On top of that, it includes all the necessary mounting hardware from anchor sling, snatch block, hitch plate, locking carabiner, choker chain to a skidding cone.

However, even though it’s made out of aluminum material, it’s not as durable as steel.


  • It’s very lightweight
  • Super-fast line speed
  • Better than average load capacity
  • Mounting accessories included 


  • The aluminum material is not durable as steel

Buy The PCW5000-FK Portable Gas Powered Winch On Amazon

2. PCW3000 Portable Winch Gas-Powered Capstan Winch

Type: Portable

Load Capacity: 1550 lbs

Weight: 23.1 pounds

Rope Material: N/A

Rope Length: N/A

Power Output: 1.34 hp

Line Speed: 33 feet per minute

How about a budget-friendly 1.34 hp gasoline-powered winch with constant pull power and 33 feet per minute line pull? Besides, you don’t even need to limit the rope length once you start winching.

Even though it’s a ‘Portable Winch’ brand, it’s equipped with a 35cc 4 stroke Honda engine. The outer cover is made out of steel, so that means it’s very durable; and surprisingly, it’s lightweight too.

On the downside, this capstan winch doesn’t include extra accessories. But for that price, we can’t complain that much.


  • It’s durable
  • Constant pull power
  • No overheating
  • It’s lightweight
  • It’s easy to operate


  • No extra accessories included

Buy The PCW3000 Portable Winch Gas-Powered Capstan Winch On Amazon

3. PCW5000-MK Portable Winch Multi-Purpose Gas-Powered Capstan Winch

Type: Portable

Load Capacity: 2200 lbs

Weight: 35 lbs

Rope Material: Synthetic

Rope Length: 328 feet

Power Output: 2.1 hp

Line Speed: 40 feet per minute

For what it’s worth, the PCW5000-MK multi-purpose gas-powered winch features the most complete accessories kit on our guide. Besides the gasoline winch, the full package includes a padded waterproof case, synthetic rope, snatch block, hitch plate, grab hook, safety hook, choker chain, polyester sling, and a capstan drum.

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The engine’s power output is 2.1 hp with a line speed of 40 feet per minute. What’s more, it has a load capacity of 2,200 pounds but if you use the snatch block, you can double it.

However, we think it’s a little bit expensive. Then again, considering it features a complete accessories kit, it’s worth every penny.


  • It includes a fully packed accessory kit
  • It’s made out of durable stainless steel
  • Higher than average load capacity
  • Extra-long rope length
  • Continuous work cycle


  • It’s expensive

Buy The PCW5000-MK Portable Winch Multi-Purpose Gas-Powered Capstan Winch On Amazon

4. PCW-4000 Portable Winch Gas-Powered Capstan Winch

Portable Winch PCW4000 Gas-Powered Capstan Pulling Winch

Load Capacity: 2200 lbs

Weight: 26.5 lbs

Rope Material: N/A

Rope Length: N/A

Power Output: 2.0 hp

Line Speed: 44 feet per minute

This PCW-4000 Portable Winch uses something known as a ‘quick-release anti-rollback mechanism’. In other words, as soon as you release the rope tension during a winching operation, the drum will stop turning making it easier for you to control the load.

Surprisingly, it has a better than average 44 feet per minute line speed despite its 2 hp motor output. Also, it only weighs about 26 pounds but it can pull up to 2200 pounds on a single line.

Unfortunately, this unit doesn’t come with a complete accessory kit. The only extra accessory you get in the package is a polyester sling to hook it up to a tree. 


  • Anti-rollback mechanism
  • Super-fast line speed
  • 360 degrees inclinable
  • It’s durable
  • Lightweight


  • No extra accessories

Buy The PCW-4000 Portable Winch Gas-Powered Capstan Winch On Amazon

5. PCW3000-CK Portable Gas Powered Winch

Type: Portable

Load Capacity: 1550 lbs

Weight: 20 pounds

Rope Material: N/A

Rope Length: N/A

Power Output: 1.34 hp

Line Speed: 33 feet per minute

Unlike the previous PCW3000 gas-powered winch that doesn’t include any extra accessories, this unit comes with a waterproof transport case and polyester sling. Everything else isn’t so different except that this one is lighter because it’s made of aluminum material.

What else? It’s equipped with an anti-reversing roller clutch brake system and 3 stage spur gears so it doesn’t overheat. Did I mention, it can be operated in any position; vertically or horizontally?

Despite all its remarkable features, it’s a shame this portable winch has a single line load capacity of just 1,550 pounds.


  • It’s lightweight
  • It’s oil-lubricated
  • Unlimited length 
  • It’s easy to install
  • Excellent brakes


  • Not the highest pulling capacity

Buy The PCW3000-CK Portable Gas Powered Winch On Amazon

Common Q&A

Q. Can you use a gas-powered winch to pull a truck?

A. Technically, you can use a gas-powered winch to pull a truck but you would need a pulley system to double or triple the pulling force. Despite that, we don’t recommend using a gas-powered winch to tow a truck; a dedicated truck winch would do a better job.

Then again, you could use a gas-powered winch to give your truck a little push through a double line recovery.

Q. Is a gas-powered capstan winch safe to use?

A. Yes, a gas-powered capstan winch is safe to use as long as you follow all the safety precautions. Also, it would be safer if used a synthetic rope than a steel cable when operating a gas-powered winch.

Q. How long can you use a gas-powered winch?

A. Some of the best gas-powered winches can run over a decade with no serious mechanical issues. However, you should ensure that you change the oil and maintain the engine as recommended by the manufacturer. 


 In a nutshell, we think the overall best gas powered is PCW5000-FK Portable Gas Powered Winch. This is because it’s lightweight, and it relies on a durable Honda engine that can deliver 2.1 hp and 2,200 pulling capacity. But if you want a low budget option, PCW3000 Portable Winch Gas-Powered Capstan Winch would be a good pick.