How to Put a Cable on a Hand Winch [4 Steps] in 2024

Let’s learn how to put a cable on a hand winch in this article.

A winch is a mechanical device where you can pull or hoist heavy loads. There are many winches, but one of the most common is the best manual hand winch or simply hand winch.

This type of winch is lightweight and portable, making it ideal for extended use when working on various projects.

While hand winches may seem simple and easy to use, there are certain things you need to know before using them. One of these things is putting a cable onto a hand winch.

How to Put a Cable on a Hand Winch (4 Steps)

Step 1

Work gloves made from heavy-duty material should be worn. This step should not be skipped.

A braided wire rope can be dangerous if you cut yourself, and your gloves will keep you from having your hand crushed in the winch in case of an accident. 

Due to the drum and wire catching the glove first and pulling it, gloves will give you the necessary seconds’ notice that your hand is almost ready to be trapped in the drum.

Step 2

You will find the release lever on the drum of your winch. It will probably be found on one of the side plates, likely by the wire rope’s insert slot. Unfold the side plate. The wire clamp jaws on the drum will open by inserting the side insert slot.

Step 3

Pass the end of your rope over the drum towards the rear of the winch. Pass the wire over the winch spool toward the back of the truck when you wind wire onto a bumper-mounted winch. 

Wire rope should be inserted into the side insert slots and between the clamp’s jaws. Ensure that the wire clamp jaws are closed and locked on the end of the wire by pulling the release lever closed.

Step 4

The wire should be wound onto the winch. The wire should be pulled over the top of the winch, around the spool, and towards the back. When handling the wire, guide it onto the spool by holding it loosely with your hand. 

To prevent overlapping, you want the wire to wrap from the side insert slot to the opposite side of the spool. 

Once you’re at the other side of the spool, lay the loop for the next layer over the last and begin wrapping the wire (once more without overlapping the previous layer) until it reaches the insert slot. 

From side to side of the spool, wrap the wire in layers, ensuring no overlap except at the last loop where the layers are changed.

Clean Up the Area of Installation. After you prepare to install the hand winch, clean up the area. Therefore, it is vital to clear away any loose bark or debris before putting the winch in place. This will make sure that the winch will not get damaged.


I hope you learned how to put a cable on a hand winch above.

When you are winding your winch wire rope, you should have at least 20 feet extra than you anticipate. 

You should have this extra to deal with any surprises that you may encounter. Ropes are wound at high speeds by powered winches, causing severe injury. 

Keep all the safety precautions specified by your winch manufacturer in mind. Good luck!

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As an avid off-road enthusiast, I know firsthand the importance of having a reliable winch. That's why I created WinchAdvice – to help fellow off-roaders like myself make informed decisions when selecting their next winch. So whether you're an experienced pro or a beginner just starting out, my website offers valuable advice and guidance on all things winching.

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