How Many Amps Does a Winch Draw? Understanding Amperage

Did you know how many amps does a winch draw? Many factors are out there to determine how many it should pull. However, a winch draws a lot of power from the battery. Different sizes of winch pulling power somehow affect amps. The linear style winches can draw more or less 300 amps when fully loaded. On the contrary, a 10k winch can pull a max of 420 amps, which is moderate. Again, a standard 9k winch draws only 60-80 amps when just used for spooling in and out.

So, you can comprehend that it is hard to come to a one-phrase conclusion to such a question. Beyond this query, let us know what the amps are and how they affect winching.

The ampere is shortened to amp, a unit that determines electrical current. It measures the electromagnetic force during its operation.

The low amp or high determinates winch pulling power sometimes keeps your winch under pressure. The amp draw translates into your battery consumption. A quality winch passes low amps and can pull heavier objects yet. The lower the amperage is, the less power it drains from the battery.

How Many Amps Does a Winch Draw?

Higher amps mean higher current draw, and that’s suitable for winch draw is a false statement. The resistance and voltage in the circuit combinedly produce current. The number of volts from the electromagnetic force calculates the amperage draw. Higher current-draw and slow-crank typically mean something is not in good order. It sometimes happens to battery drainage as well.

Lower amperage is ideally good for heavy loads. However, a few factors are there to determine amperage for pulling objects. The following sub-sectors will show you how they affect amperage.


Carefully look into the winch components e.g the car battery, winch motor, winch solenoid, and electrical wirings that directly or indirectly affect amperage. To understand the effect of the winch amps, you should have a little trip to your old-school science class. The concept of amps lies inside these factors.

  • Voltage – electrical pressure that your power source (car battery) provides. The unit of measurement used is volts.
  • Current – the rate of electron flow in an electrical circuit. The unit of measurement used is amperage.
  • Resistance – it is affected by Ohms (the electrical resistance and the actual weight of the load).
  • Weight – the mass of the object that your winch would be carrying (kg or lbs).
  • Duration – time spent on how long the winch will pull.

How Do Wrapping Layers Affect The Winch Amp?

When solenoid winches are tested and rated for their efficiency, their measurement usually gets with one layer of line wrapped on the winch drum. But more than one layer of cable around the drum makes it weaker. Generally, it lowers the efficiency by 10% in each wrap. Thus, it is wise to anchor the line as far away as possible from the winch.

How Does Line Speed Affect The Winch Amp?

The line speed refers to the winch’s ability to spin the cable at different load levels. At zero load, the line speed is 37.5 ft per min. At 4,000 lbs, the speed level is 11.8 ft per min, while at 9,500 lbs the winch speed level is 6.2 ft per min.

However, you will see that statistics will be changed immediately when the load gets heavier. Depending on the usage, you can either maintain the line speed or the pulling speed, but you cannot do both. You can reduce the pulling speed to maintain the line speed. And do vice versa to keep pulling speed constant.

How to Convert Horsepower to Amperage?

In theory, if you know the horsepower of your winch motor, you can derive the amperage. The horsepower is equal to 746 watts. Following this formula:

Amperage = (Horsepower x 746 Watts) Winch Efficiency Voltage

An example of this is if you have a 2hp winch motor that runs at 95% efficiency at 120 volts, you will have 14.54 amps.

Use this free calculator to lessen your hassle:

What Winch Amperage Impacts a Car Battery?

As we have explained, having higher winch amps consumption equates to battery drainage. If you forego looking at your winch amps draw, you may be surprised at the end of how high your rate is of battery drainage. The winch could consume more power to draw a full load than the promised charging system. You could run a solenoid winch for a whole day, but it can’t last long if it is fully loaded.

To solve this, you will need to learn about your winch amps drawing power to align with a sized battery. That way, you won’t be left stuck in the mud. The bigger the winch, the bigger its motor should be – and it will draw more amperage. It is also significant to consider how long your winch is active. If you allow frequent breaks, you are helping to preserve the longevity of your battery. Having long intervals has an impact because it permits the battery to charge.

How to Maximize Power Source?

While running your winch with its dedicated battery, it might sound good. But still, you have some concerns to bring into consideration. First, the voltage output from the battery tends to drop as it only relies on the chemical reactions within it to produce the energy to power up the winch.

Second, there are some statements claiming a car battery drains faster. The idea is car batteries tend to give out less power, and winch motors tend to draw more power than advertised.

To address this, you can stick to the following:

  1. Select the appropriate winch cable considering the winch motor specs and tasks.
  2. Compute winch amperage capacity and winch load capacity so that it can perform without fault.
  3. Monitor the health of your battery, regardless of whether it is a dedicated winch motor battery or your vehicle’s battery. If it already shows signs of deterioration, recharge and repair that as early as possible.
  4. Cool it down when you have your job done.
  5. Supplement the tasks with other gears like pulleys, rollers, ramps, grips, and locks to make the load easy to tackle.
  6. Keep your winch clean whenever you finish drawing a heavy task. It will ultimately help prolong its lifespan.

Read also…How do you mount a winch to a car trailer?


Learning how many amps a winch draw will present confidence in rigorous activities. Even though the winch is a small object, it is a powerful tool to pull large weights.

However, this tiny kit performs well only when the other components are well managed. Once you understand the full capabilities of your winch, what factors affect the winch amperage, and how it behaves – you can fully maximize your winch capacity and make it work efficiently. This way, each component integrated into the vehicle is well worth it.

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