Warn M8000 vs VR8000: Which Is Better?

Ultimately, it depends on what you need it for. The Warn M8000 Winch is more powerful and better suited to experienced users, while the VR8000 is easier to use and thus great for beginners.

How Do They Break Down in Direct Comparison?

Both winches have a lot going for them, so to give you a better idea of which model might be a good fit for you, we’ll break down some of the features and give you the perks of each model. We’ll start off with pricing and then give you the performance and durability of each model.

They actually tested out quite similarly, so the right model is going to depend on your needs. Let’s take a look at how they measured against each other so that you can see for yourself.


The VR800 is less expensive than the M8000 model, but this mostly has to do with the assembly. The VR8000 is manufactured in China, while the M8000 is assembled in the U.S. (though some parts are manufactured in China).

The VR8000 is a better-fit on a budget and gives a similar performance that we’ll go into shortly. That said, the M8000 is certainly more robust and definitely built to last. If you don’t mind paying a little more, you get a more solid winch and a faster line.


The Warn M8000 has a 4.8 horsepower motor and is available with an 80 or 100-foot line. It is water-resistant and can be used for off-roading, as the rubber seals create a quite effective barrier for keeping the internals dry.  

While it only weighs just shy of 75 pounds, you get a great performance from the M8000. It is rated at 8000 pounds and while handling this weight you get a speed of around 8 feet per minute (with a speed of 30.2 feet per minute, unloaded). This durable winch is quite ideal for emergency usage or for serious off-roading enthusiasts.

The VR8000, by comparison, is a great winch for beginners who would like a winch for their SUV, Jeep, or for light trucks. It has a corded remote and the line that comes with it measures 94 feet. It employs an easily cleanable rope from Spydura and the performance is only slightly below the M8000, with about 29 feet per second of speed when unloaded.


The M8000 wins on durability, as it sports a free spooling clutch with specialized ring gears designed for sustained pulls and it’s got a nice gray powder-coat finish that adds an aesthetic level to this workhouse winch.

The VR8000 delivers a similar performance and these models are close in speed, but the M8000 tested slightly faster and has more durable components. That said, if you simply want a good winch and don’t intend to do any sustained pulling, then the VR8000 might be a good fit for you.


The VR8000 is the lighter of the two models, weighing around 71 pounds and sporting a steel haws fairlead that is durable enough for light off-road use.The M8000 is only 4 pounds heavier, so the differences are fairly negligible in this arena.


The more powerful model is definitely the M8000. While the pulling speeds are similar to the VR8000, the M8000 is slightly faster and is definitely more durable. The VR8000 uses a winch solenoid and, while good for standard use, the Warn M8000 employs contactors in place of this.

The contactors make for a more efficient design than the older solenoids, taking up less space and quite well-sealed to resist corrosion while providing excellent motor power. Both models utilize a 12-volt motor, but the more efficient design of the M8000 gives it an advantage in the power area and a consistently faster line pull in testing.

It’s a well-built winch and the difference is noticeable.


While both the VR8000 and the M8000 have similar performance, the M8000 is definitely the superior model. With its solid construction and the added efficiency of using a contactor, this is a winch that hardcore off-roading enthusiasts will certainly appreciate. It’s better built and the performance that you get from that really shows.

For amateur users or first-timers, the VR8000 is a good budget option. While it’s not as fast, both models are rated for pulling loads of 8000 pounds and so the VR8000 might be adequate for most needs.

Simply put, it’s not the fastest, but you can install it and it will get you out of trouble in a pinch. For more serious off-roading and sustained pulls, however, the M8000 wins hands-down and it’s built to last. So, if you don’t mind spending a little extra, you can get a lot of mileage out of the M8000.