Good winch, I agree with the above statement, most winches are made by the same people with different labels. Had a 2500 and used a 3500 with no issues.
Yep. I can't believe Polaris gets away with charging what they do but they are able to finance their $700 winches into the point of purchase. There are a few main differences in factories that can account for price differences.....
BIG BOX RETAIL WINCHES
......some use recycled raw materials and thinner gauge wiring for their winches. Seals might not be of high quality. Chinese rope is not nearly as nice as European rope or USA-made AMSTEEL BLUE.....these are typically the low-cost winches on the market made for multiple companies that do not own any tooling or designs and these winches are available through large retail stores like Harbor Freight, Cabela's, etc. A lot of these winches can work great. But they may not last as long, burn up, or fail in the elements....and these winches often don't have any tech support. But if you have enough money, you can go on Alibaba and order a bunch of winches and call them Jerry's Specials or whatever you like....
.....other companies (like us, WARN, Superwinch) are true powersports' companies, have our own designs, have a full tech team, longer warranties, and vet higher grade factories. In our case, nearly all our VIPER winches are made in TS16949 factories with military grade raw materials. That allows us to get true IP67 waterproof ratings with marine grade seals. Instead of cutting costs on quality of materials, we've chosen to avoid distribution mark-ups in these large retail chains because we want to make sure a reputation for VIPER quality lasts. WARN has done a GREAT job of that over the years and we modeled our company after theirs in a lot of ways.
Anyway, that's a bit of "insider" info on winches. Main difference is a mass factory winch with entry level materials, private labels, and made for big box retail versus actual powersports' companies that do this stuff for a living.
Have a great Sunday!