How To Use a Hand Winch? – Detailed Procedure

Embarking on a road trip or navigating through off-road adventures often demands a reliable means of handling loads without the complexities of electronic or hydraulic setups. This is where hand winches prove to be a practical and cost-effective solution. Compact in size and requiring minimal power sources, hand winches offer portability, making them an essential companion for any journey.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the fundamental steps on how to use a hand winch effectively. Whether you find yourself stuck in a challenging terrain or simply need to transport heavy items, mastering the art of hand winch operation can be the key to overcoming obstacles with ease. Let’s navigate through the intricacies and unlock the potential of this versatile tool.

What is a Hand Winch?

These are cheaper alternatives to regular winches that allow you to complete all the same tasks with ease. They are quite easy to use and at the same time, they are also light and portable which makes them much more user-friendly. If you’re going to an area where you won’t have access to a power source then hand winches are clearly the better option for you. However, they need to be powered manually which means that the process will take a little more time as compared to electrical winches.

Cost of using a hand winch

As we have mentioned before, hand winches are obviously much more affordable as compared to electrical winches which makes them the better option for people on a budget. It would take you around $25 to purchase as well as install a hand winch. However, if you already own the installation tools, the price would go even lower.

Our Top Hand Winch

Time required for installation and use

Installing a hand winch is a very easy process so it would take you hardly 10 minutes to successfully set up a hand winch. However, using the hand winch requires a lot of effort so the time for pulling in the vehicle or object would obviously depend on you.

Tools required

Next, let’s make a checklist of all the tools that you will need for setting up and using a hand winch.

  • Hand wrench
  • Hex key
  • Electrical tape

How to work a had winch?

Now that we have discussed everything related to hand winches, let’s move on to the steps for which you are here. Follow the steps below to learn how to use a Tirfor hand winch.

1. Setting up

The first thing that you need to do is to check how much weight the hand winch can pull or carry. Make sure that your winch has the ability to pull the weight that you need to move. Don’t use a hand winch for pulling a weight that is above its capacity because this will only end up damaging the winch. It may also cause injuries to you or other people around.

Ensure all safety precautions such as staying at a safe distance and wearing safety gloves while setting up the hand winch. You only need to wear gloves during the installation process.

2. Mount the hand winch

Before you do this, you need to decide if you want to lift the weight or pull it in. This step can be a little tricky. Pulling the weight in can be done with no extra consideration but if you need to lift the weight then you need to ensure that the hand winch comes with a braking system.

This is because if you attempt to lift something using a hand winch without a braking system, losing control of the handle will result in the handle spinning around violently and the weight will immediately fall to the ground. This will damage the object and may also cause injuries to you.

Next, you need to look for a flat metal or wood surface where you can mount the hand winch. Look for mounting holes below the hand winch’s frame.   Place the hand winch on the flat surface using screws. Tighten the screws to ensure that the mounting vase stays in place. After this, attach the hand winch to it.

3. Spool the cable wire

Pick the end of the cable wire or rope and roll it up with some electric tape. Insert it in the hand winch. Insert the set screw through the cable. Next, insert the end of the cable into the catch hole. Make sure you leave about one length diameter of the cable wire. This needs to protrude from the winch’s other side.

Slide and tighten the set screws using a nut. Make sure that the cable is flowing into the spool properly before you completely tighten up the screw. Next, turn the handle slowly and keep putting the cable into the spool. Make sure that you distribute the cable properly around the spool.

4. Use the hand winch

All you have to do now is to attach the hook of the hand winch to the weight and begin turning the winch’s handle to pull in the wight. Remember, you need to mount the winch vertically if you want it lift an object.


A hand winch can be a very useful tool when going on road trips. It will allow you to easily recover your vehicle if you’re stuck. We hope this article was helpful and you were able to learn how to use a hand winch. If you have any other questions, make sure to put them in the comments section down below and we will surely answer them.


1. Are hand winches any good?

Answer: Yes, hand winches allow you to lift or pull in objects like regular winches and they are also much cheaper.

2. Can you pull a car with a hand winch?

Answer: If your hand winch has a weight capacity that is more than the weight of your car, you can use it to pull your car.

3. What size hand winch do I need?

Answer: Your hand winch should have a capacity that is at least 1.5 times the weight of the object that you need to pull.

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