Warn Vr Evo 10s Review (& Comparison Vs. Smittybilt X20 10k)


First Fill-Up (of many)
Western WA
I recently upgraded from a Smittybilt X20 10k to a Warn VR EVO 10s. These compete directly with each toher - both 10k rating, synth line, wireless remotes. I used my Smitty to unstuck me or others probably 50+ times over the last 3 years.

Warn Link - was $700 at time of my purchase
Smitty Link - was $550 at time of my purchase

Reasons why - Smitty had the wireless remote fail a month in right out of the box. Replaced under warranty. Then my Smitty had the wireless remote STOLEN out of my car a few years back. A replacement wireless remote outside of warranty was $220 (really... the whole winch is only $550) so rather than buy something ridiculous I had just been using a $20 wired remote. I had opened up the control box too many times trying to implement failed $10 chinese wireless remotes and eventually, the electronics just got too unreliable. My soldering sucks so they connections kept breaking loose and the winch would not work. I sold it to someone with more wiring skill than me and traded in for the Warn. Now I get an untouched control box and a wireless remote back!

Here are my comparison thoughts so far -
Warn Advantage
  • Warn is made in China like the Smitty, but everything feels way more "substantial" for lack of a better word.
  • The wiring to the box and the winch on the Warn is cleaner. The wires themselves feel less cheap.
  • The synthetic rope on the Warn looks a little thicker and higher quality.
  • The control box seems better sealed and it is easier to mount
  • The wireless remote operation is better. No switch on the control box to turn on like the Smitty.
  • The hook is removable without special tools (just have to remove a cotter pin). The Smitty would require cutting the line to change hook
  • Lower amp draw at full load
  • 5 year electrical & Lifetime mechanical warranty (3 year electrical and 5 year mechanical warranty for Smitty)
Smitty Advantage
  • The Smitty was $550 vs. the Warn $700
  • Both the Warn control box and the winch itself are overall larger than the Smitty. Both fit in my Hardcore bumper but this may be a considerations for others.
  • Smitty line speed under load is faster. Unloaded they feel about the same.
  • Smitty hook has a bigger opening. I can actually fit my tree saver in it whereas with the Warn I could not.
  • Smitty has 100ft line vs 90ft with Warn
Overall, if you can swing the extra $150, I think the Warn is well worth it. Line speed is really only important if you are reeling it in during winch maintenance. In actual stuck situations, I don't care how fast I can winch myself 12 inches forward. 10ft extra of winch line is inconsequential IMO. Don't get me wrong, the Smitty was a great winch, but the Warn is just better put together. The only thing that really sucked about the Warn was the hook. It's too small. I got their aftermarket hook instead because of it (that adds another $60).

Anyway, hope that helps some of ya'll with a decision! Here are some pics:


For the control box, I welded a couple of tabs on the bumper so that I could mount it far enough back to be flush with the front. It's just held on with two bolts at the back (the existing holes in the actual bumper were for the Smitty box). Doesn't seem to be going anywhere.


And now for the new Warn Epic Winch Hook. The fitment is right and it works. I'll show how the OEM hook fits vs. this one. Not much more to say about it....



It was advertised (I swear it said it somewhere) as "lay flat". Well I regret trying it. It scratched up my brand new fairlead. I'll have to keep an eye on it to see if it is gonna tear up the rope. That part is annoying. Just clip it on the truck like you would anything else and it will work fine.

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