Warn Magnum 10K-S: 12-volt winch test

Contender 2: Can the Warn Magnum fire a winning shot?

Warn Magnum 10K S badge

THE Warn Magnum series offers a more affordable Warn-badged winch than the top-of-the-line versions.

The Magnum, with an ‘on-paper’ advantage rating of 10,000lb instead of 9500, returned no real-life extra pull and follows the same lack of information for horsepower ratings as the Zeon range – Warn simply don’t tell you.

The Magnum drew high amps, often more than 400, and returned the second slowest time overall. Slow isn’t a problem unless other components fail.

Warn Magnum 10K-S winch recovery kitWhile the Magnum didn’t fail, it started smoking on the fifth pull, at which it was pulling 400-plus amps with motor temperature readings of 104 and gearbox at 97 degrees.

After its duty-cycle cool-down period of 10 minutes, and during the last part of its sixth pull, it started smoking even more with slightly higher temperatures. We called it quits for a seventh pull, leaving a total of about 17 metres of winching compared to all of the others which managed about 20. Would it have kept going? Who knows, but there was simply no point destroying it just for the sake of it.

The Magnum winch also sports the strengthened thimble as per the Zeon; a simple design that saves the thimble from crushing under load, and one that all other manufacturers should heed.

Warn Magnum 10K-S testing recovery.jpgThis winch offers good protection sheaths at each end of the rope, while the drum end is red to signify how much rope is left on the drum, making it perfectly clear how much rope should not be pulled off.

Interestingly, the red portion is far more than the much bandied six, eight or 10 wraps suggested to keep on a drum; rather it takes up a full drum wrap plus some. The retaining bolt that secures the end of the rope to the drum is protected via a conical cover arrangement to loop the rope over, offering good rope protection from chaffing or cutting.

The Magnum control box is a step up in design from plonking a square box on top of a winch or bar work, but it is one step below the Zeon’s futuristic appearance.

Warn Magnum 10K-S control box.jpgA cast-aluminium tie-rod plate aids in rigidity of the whole winch body, helping to reduce flex during uneven winching.

A good rubber cover over the hand control plug should keep dirt and water out when it’s not in use. Hand control pictorial instructions are to the point and easy to understand.

Warnings and instructions of use are exceptional, as with most Warn products.

Wired hand remote control; alloy hawse fairlead; open hook with spring-loaded safety catch and removable clevis pin; safety strap; rope protector. 

Price $1490
Warranty Limited lifetime mechanical / limited 7 year electrical
Load rating pound / kg 10,000 / 4536
Motor Hp N/A
Gear ratio 261:1
Gear train type 3 stage planetary
Brake type Automatic direct drive cone
Synthetic rope size (diameter x length) 9.5mm x 27.4m
Solenoid Albright
Clutch Sliding ring gear
Fairlead Aluminium hawse fairlead
Drum size (diameter x length) 64mm x 230mm


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Mark Allen

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