If you have a winch on your off-road vehicle, you should get a snatch block. For a relatively low price, a snatch block can greatly extend your winching capabilities when you or someone else gets stuck.
If you are looking for a quick recommendation, the Warn Epic Snatch Block is a good option for most overlanding and off-road vehicles.
Below, we’ll spotlight some of the best snatch blocks available for off-road recovery as well as provide some guidance for choosing the best one for your vehicle and winch setup. For a detailed look at how to use a snatch block, check out our article How to Use a Snatch Block with a Winch for Off-road Recovery.
Best Snatch Blocks
Below, we’ll go into how to choose a snatch block and why you might need one, but first, we’ll provide our top choices for those looking for those in a hurry and looking for a quick recommendation.
Warn is best known as the manufacturer of high-quality winches, a reputation earned over 70 years of making off-road gear. They make a quality product and their Epic Snatch Block is one of the best on the market. This model (92188) is rated for use with winches that can pull up to 12,000 lbs.
The Warn Epic Snatch Block is made of forged steel and is powder coated to prevent corrosion. This model has “12T” embossed on the side, which means it’s rated for loads of 12 tons (or 24,000 lbs). It’s a bit confusing, but this means that the snatch block can be used with winches rated up to 12,000 pounds pulling capacity (because you want your snatch block rated to twice what your winch is rated).
The Epic is one of the best quality snatch blocks on the market – if not the best. The groove in the pulley is wide, which makes it a good choice for both metal and synthetic winch lines. This is a good size of snatch block to use with most small to mid-sized vehicles used for overlanding and off-roading: Jeeps, SUVs, and pickup trucks. If you plan to use a winch with a pulling capacity over 12,000 lbs, you will need to move up to Warn’s larger 18T Epic Snatch Block.
If you purchase it on Amazon or some other online retailer, look for product number #92188. The listings sometimes are confusing or downright inaccurate, but if you make sure you are ordering the correct product number, you’ll be getting the “12T” version. Another plus is that Warn’s products are made in the USA at their factory in Oregon.
If you are on a tight budget, Rugged Ridge makes decent snatch blocks at a reasonable price. This model can work with winches rated up to around 10,000 lbs and will work with small to mid-sized vehicles used for overlanding and off-roading.
If you’re not looking for the fanciest or the biggest snatch block, this Rugged Ridge option will get the job done.
It’s rated to 20,000 pounds, which will suffice for the vast majority of off-roading recovery situations with a small to mid-sized vehicle and makes it suited for winches rated up to around 10,000 pounds or a bit higher. It can be used for winch cables up to 3/8 inches in diameter.
There are a lot of cheap snatch blocks on the market nowadays, but Rugged Ridge is a trusted name among budget gear manufacturers.
Rhino USA makes a variety of quality off-road gear at a reasonable price, and their snatch blocks are no different. With a working load limit of 9,019 lbs, the snatch block is a good choice for smaller vehicles, such as light Jeeps, small SUVs, and ATVs.
Rhino USA is a family-owned off-road gear business based in the Southern California town of Murrieta. The company, which started in 2014, designs, engineers, and tests its products in the US and has them manufactured overseas. Rhino has grown a great deal as a brand in the off-road and boating industry in recent years and has a reputation for offering solid products at a decent price. They offer a lifetime warranty on their products.
This snatch block has a rated working load limit of 9,019 lbs and a maximum break strength of 27,056 lbs. This makes it adequate for lighter vehicles, such as light Jeeps, SUVs and ATVs – something you might fit with a ~4,000 lbs winch. The slide plates are made of 6mm powder-coated drop forged steel, and the sheave is made from a strong polymer developed for aerospace applications. The snatch block works with both synthetic rope and metal cable.
Here’s their propaganda video:
The Mega Snatch Block from Gear America is another reasonably priced snatch block that can be used with winches rated up to around 12,000 lbs. It's a solid choice if you have a larger off-road vehicle and winch.
Gear America is a fairly recent entrant into the off-road gear market, but they have a large footprint on Amazon. It’s a little unclear where they are based and where the gear is made – but we’re guessing they are headquartered in the states and manufacture overseas.
Having used some of their gear, I can say that it seems to be of decent quality – especially for the price. One cool thing about purchasing one of these is that Gear America gives 10 percent of its profits to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The Mega Snatch Block from Gear America is a good option if you are looking for a larger capacity block for a reasonable price. It has a 25,000-pound working limit. It’s probably overkill for winches typically found Jeeps, SUVs and smaller trucks (often rated around 9,000 lbs ), but a good match for those found on 3/4 ton and full ton trucks (in the 12000 lbs to 16,500 lbs rating range, for instance).
Why do I need a snatch block?
Snatch blocks are used for two purposes: 1) to enhance the pulling strength of winch when rescuing a vehicle during an off-road recovery; and 2) to redirect the force of the wince in recovery situations where it is impossible to pull directly on a stuck vehicle.
Simply put, if you have a winch, it’s worth getting a snatch block to extending your winch’s capabilities for a relatively low cost. You’ll also want to purchase several shackles and a tree saver strap for making connections with other vehicles and anchors (trees and rocks, typically).
Parts of a Snatch Block
Modern snatch blocks used for vehicle recovery in overlanding and off-roading are fairly simple devices, comprising a pulley (also known as a sheave) sandwiched between two metal side plates and held together with a pin.
The side plates can be twisted apart to wrap the winch line around the pulley. When the side plates are lined up, the two holes form an eye that is used to attach the snatch block to an anchor or vehicle using shackles and (in some cases) tree savers or other recovery straps.
How to Choose a Snatch Block
Several factors should be considered when selecting a snatch block:
Winch Pull Rating
A good rule of thumb is to get a snatch block that is rated for roughly twice the load your winch can pull. If your winch has a 9,500-pound pull rating, for example, your snatch block should be rated to at least around 19000 pounds (9.5 tons). This is because with one snatch block you can pull roughly twice the load that your winch is rated, thanks to the mechanical advantage the snatch block provides.
You’ll see snatch blocks suggested for use with certain winches that aren’t quite rated to twice the winch’s line pull rating. The logic behind this is that it’s rare when overlanding or off-roading that you’ll actually need to pull twice your winch’s rated pulling force (assuming you’ve chosen a reasonably strong winch, which is another discussion). Still, we recommend erring on the side of getting a larger capacity snatch block to give yourself peace of mind and flexibility.
Winch Cable Diameter
The diameter of the pulley (sheave) in the snatch block should be at least 8 to 10 times the diameter of your winch cable or even larger. For a metal cable, if possible, find a snatch block with a sheave diameter that’s at least 20 times the cable diameter.
It’s worth erring on the side of getting a large snatch block, as they will be more versatile for the various situations you might encounter.
Winch Line Material
Synthetic rope winch lines are generally thicker than metal cables. Some of the newer snatch blocks have larger grooves in the pulley that accommodate this evolution and avoiding squeezing the line as it passes around the sheave. Avoid snatch blocks with V-shaped grooves in the sheave, as these can pinch the line. Also, look for and remove any burrs or other imperfections in the sheave that might snag the synthetic line.
Snatch Block Accessories
There are several other pieces of equipment that are essential when using a snatch block with a winch in off-road vehicle recovery.
Recovery shackles connect your recovery straps, vehicles, snatch blocks and winches. Traditional shackles are shaped like horseshoes with a pin that locks them shut. Recently, recovery shackles made with freakishly strong synthetic rope have also become popular.
Here are a couple solid options:
A winch cable damper is a safety device used during winching to prevent the cable from flying through the air and injuring someone, in case it snaps during use. The damper is draped over the winch cable so that gravity will pull the cable to the ground in the case of a snap.
This is a good choice: ARB Winch Damper
When working with recovery straps and winches, you should wear a tough pair of gloves to protect your hands. Thick leather work gloves are preferred.
All Recommended Snatch Blocks
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