This article is about helping you understand the need for a fairlead. If you are having a winch, it is ideal that you should have a fairlead too. This is an extremely important off-road recovery gear that can gift you with endless possibilities. There are multiple types of fairleads present in the market and you need to know which should be used. Things can get massively wrong if they are used in the wrong way and hence, you should practice safe winching techniques.

What is a fairlead?

The fairlead is a piece of equipment that prevents the winch line from getting damaged or frayed. Once the winch is in or on the bumper, the fairlead sits in front of it. Without this, the lifespan of the winch line will get massively reduced. If the winch is used alone, it might directly hit the sharp edges of the bumper and experience great wear and tear. This is also a safety measure that should be kept in mind.

What are the types of fairleads?

If the winch does not already come with a fairlead, it is time that you explore the available options. Picking the right one can get confusing so you must understand the material build-up of the fairlead before picking one.

Roller fairlead

They have been a common option for quite some time and it is a standard choice with most of the winches. In this design, there is a use of two horizontal rollers and two vertical rollers. With this, smooth and dependable winching is achieved. Steel or synthetic winch line can be used with this. These fairleads mostly do not fail because they are rarely exposed under greater pressure. These fairleads are known to live a bit longer than hawse fairleads by using an aluminum line. For best results, it is advised to use steel lines to prevent debris collection.

Hawse fairlead

These types are pretty much simpler. There is no presence of moving parts and breakage is almost impossible here. This type comes in both machined aluminum and steel. This design is particularly slimmer and this gives an advantage of not using it as a rock detector. They weigh a lot lesser than the rollers and you can easily shave off 40-50 pounds. There are a couple of options between 1” thick or 1.5” thick.

After this guide, we hope picking the right winch fairlead becomes easier for you. 

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