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What Is an AC Winch?

Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

An AC winch is a device used to pull, lift and hold objects that might be too difficult to manipulate by hand. Using common household current, the AC winch is often able to generate incredible pulling and lifting force by winding a steel cable around a drum or spool. Typically, the size of the AC winch is rated according to the amount of weight the device is capable of safely lifting. The common winch is at home indoors or outdoors and is easily used wherever there is an electrical outlet to provide power. Accessory kits commonly provide chains, hooks and other devices that enable the winch to be secured to solid objects, thereby allowing the winch to be able to pull heavy objects.

Jobs that used to require the use of a hand winch to complete are made much easier through the use of an AC winch. Whether it be in a light manufacturing setting or a home shop or garage, the AC winch is able to save both time and energy by using an electric motor to power the winch spool and move a heavyweight item. Occasionally, the biggest benefit in using the power winch is merely convenience. In some circumstances, the ability to raise an object into the air makes it much easier to perform routine service or maintenance than when it is sitting on the shop floor.

Boat hoists utilize a winch.
Boat hoists utilize a winch.

Sportsmen occasionally use an AC winch to hoist deer and other large game into the air to make skinning and processing the carcass much easier. By using a gambrel attached to the hook of the winch, the carcass is simply raised into the air to a comfortable height and the hide is removed. The front of a boat trailer can also be winched up into the air to make it easier to wash the inside of a small fishing boat while providing the proper angle for the water to drain out of the vessel.

Other home shop uses for an AC winch center around auto repair. When changing or rebuilding an automobile engine, an AC winch makes short work out of pulling an engine. By attaching a chain to the engine block, the engine can be easily winched up and out of the vehicle. Other heavy automotive components such as axles, transmissions and chassis can be lifted to provide a better position to work on the components. When sanding, sand blasting or painting, the component is often more easily accessed by lifting the part with an AC winch.

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    • Boat hoists utilize a winch.
      By: richsouthwales
      Boat hoists utilize a winch.