Warn has been making winches for decades, and there are few that can argue that Warn’s legacy of being the best is not well deserved. Nearly 30 years ago, Warn released their M-series winches, with the M8000 being their entry level winch.

The M8 series winches feature a full pull 8000lb capacity and is incredibly low profile with a separate control box that can be mounted directly to the winch, or remotely wherever your heart desires. Additionally, it uses a durable three-stage planetary gear train attached to its series wound, 4.8hp electric motor that allows an incredibly fast 8 feet per minute pull at full load and 42 feet per minute free spool. A sliding ring gear allows the actuation of the free spooling clutch and uses an automatic mechanical cone as its brake against the inside of the drum. And at 74lbs with 100 feet of 3/8ths wire rope, or just under 50lbs total with synthetic rope, it’s incredibly light.

Many overseas vendors have attempted to copy the M8 winch and undercut Warn’s sale price. These vendors copied the look, but when you crack them open you will notice compromises in motors, gear trains and wiring. The motor is the heart of a winch and consists of the armature and stator. When current is applied to the armature and stator, a magnetic field is created causing the armature to rotate within the alternating polarizations of the magnetic field. This system is called an electromagnet, because it uses electricity to create the magnetic field and “turn-on”. The stator can also be wound with wire coil, that is in turn magnetized with current. This type of motor is your standard series-wound. Alternatively, the stator can be constructed with standard metallic magnets that are always “on”—those are known as permanent magnet motors.

While permanent magnet motors are less labor intensive to construct, and in turn cheaper, and use slightly less current since there is no magnetizing process, they overheat more easily than series mound motors and lose their magnetism over time. Warn uses these high-stress capable series-wound motors, while their competition uses permanent magnet motors. Other portions of the winches are subject to quality control standards, such as the wiring, contractors, bearings and water sealing systems.

Warn’s all-star made in USA M8 mainstay can be purchased new for $599.97 from a multitude of vendors online, or can be picked up for a fraction of that cost if used. With the longevity of the design spanning nearly 30 years, used M8000s are prevalent in the classifieds marketplace and are easily disassembled and rebuilt to continue their life again. The M8000s is easily the best value winch you can get new and used due to its top tier quality and small package.