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Synthetic rope vs steel rope: Which one is best?
Written: November 18, 2011
by Andy Lilienthal
As you may have heard, Warn Industries now offer six winches with our Spydura synthetic rope. Those winches are the VR8000-s, VR10000-s, M8000-s, 9.5xp-s, 9.5cti-s, and the 9.0Rc.

A lot of people have asked questions about our rope and our opinion of synthetic vs. steel rope, so here is some information.

WARN Spydura synthetic rope is made from an ultra high molecular polyethylene material. It receives a coat of black urethane that helps protect the rope from the affects of ultra-violet rays and chemicals as two enemies of synthetic rope. The rope also includes a sliding sleeve to help protect it from wear and abrasion while winching. All WARN truck/SUV winches equipped with Spydura rope should be used with our polished aluminum hawse fairlead, too.

The synthetic vs. steel debate has heated up recently, as synthetic rope becomes more mainstream. Here's our take on it.

Spydura synthetic rope is a great product for many vehicle recovery situations. If you winch a lot and are concerned about weight, synthetic can be a great option since it is lightweight and easy to handle. It doesn't develop sharp burrs like steel rope, and doesn't store as much potential energy when under load. On the flip side, synthetic rope is more prone to abrasion, and should be regularly inspected for frays or other damage caused by UV, chemicals, and overall use. And when using synthetic, you always want to lay down the abrasion sleeve when needed to guard against rope damage.

Steel rope is extremely durable, and is good for both vehicle recovery and utility work, such as moving trees, rocks, etc., since it resists abrasion very well. Ultra-violet wear is also not a factor with steel rope, and it may be a better choice for you if you don't frequently use your winch. Steel rope is heavier than synthetic, can develop rust, and can also develop sharp burrs. This is one reason why we always recommend users always wear heavy gloves to protect their hands while handling the rope.

Some people immediately think synthetic rope is safer than steel rope. Although steel rope will store more potential energy, since it's made out of steel, it is less prone to abrasion (and possible fraying). The bottom line is that no matter which line you choose, you need to follow safe winching techniques and take all necessary safety precautions. In fact, you can download Warn Industries' The Basic Guide to Winching Techniques to brush up or learn more about how to use your winch and practice safe winching.

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Tags: synthetic rope,wire rope,Spydura,winch,winches,synthetic,wire,steel
Filed under: Truck/Jeep/SUV

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#1
Mike
says
November 18, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Another bad about Synthetic rope is that they tend to hold moisture. For those whose rigs are stored outside without a winch cover, the rope gets wet and and the trapped moisture then proceeds to rust the drum. Regular checking, cleaning drying and sometimes sanding of the drum can prolong the life of both rope and drum.

#1
Mike
says
November 18, 2011 at 03:37 PM
Another bad about Synthetic rope is that they tend to hold moisture. For those whose rigs are stored outside without a winch cover, the rope gets wet and and the trapped moisture then proceeds to rust the drum. Regular checking, cleaning drying and sometimes sanding of the drum can prolong the life of both rope and drum.

#2
says
January 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Re VR8000-S What is the capacity of line that can be applied to the VR8000-S Spydura synthetic diameter-length and breaking strength?

#2
says
January 10, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Re VR8000-S What is the capacity of line that can be applied to the VR8000-S Spydura synthetic diameter-length and breaking strength?

#3
says
June 22, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Spydura FTW! you can't beat the weight savings.

#3
says
June 22, 2012 at 12:10 PM
Spydura FTW! you can't beat the weight savings.

#4
Mike
says
June 25, 2012 at 05:16 PM
The best abrasion sleeve I've come across so far is Chafe-Pro. They were originally intended for the USCG & US Navy and now sell their products to a variety of industries and applications.

#4
Mike
says
June 25, 2012 at 05:16 PM
The best abrasion sleeve I've come across so far is Chafe-Pro. They were originally intended for the USCG & US Navy and now sell their products to a variety of industries and applications.

#5
Derick Ondra
says
June 27, 2012 at 07:55 AM
What is the capacity / breaking strength of the Spydura rope itself?

#5
Derick Ondra
says
June 27, 2012 at 07:55 AM
What is the capacity / breaking strength of the Spydura rope itself?

#6
Dan Flynn
says
September 29, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Thanks so much for providing this information. I really appreciate it. I was wondering if I should switch over to synthetic winch rope but, after reading this article I realize I do not need to. I did down load The Basic Guide to Winching Techniques and that too is a source of very valuable information. Thank You Warn.

#6
Dan Flynn
says
September 29, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Thanks so much for providing this information. I really appreciate it. I was wondering if I should switch over to synthetic winch rope but, after reading this article I realize I do not need to. I did down load The Basic Guide to Winching Techniques and that too is a source of very valuable information. Thank You Warn.

#7
says
October 30, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Hi
Thanks for sharing the useful Information. I really like this entry. Before reading this article I don't know much about the Synthetic and Steel Rope but it helps me to understand all the aspects of these Ropes.

#7
says
October 30, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Hi
Thanks for sharing the useful Information. I really like this entry. Before reading this article I don't know much about the Synthetic and Steel Rope but it helps me to understand all the aspects of these Ropes.

#8
SuperManPrime
says
May 05, 2013 at 01:44 AM
I Just Like The ROPE 4 Just Use A Dog Leash Only That's All

#8
SuperManPrime
says
May 05, 2013 at 01:44 AM
I Just Like The ROPE 4 Just Use A Dog Leash Only That's All

#9
Ben
says
August 30, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Why does warn say I can not put the spydura rope on my 8274

#9
Ben
says
August 30, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Why does warn say I can not put the spydura rope on my 8274

#10
null
says
September 03, 2013 at 08:50 AM
Ben,

The M8274-50 has a different type of rope attachment that doesn't allow the Spydura to be attached.

#11
sherri
says
September 04, 2013 at 11:21 AM
\I am looking to carry synthic rope in my shop as I own a riggin company can you please give me pricing on 3/16' 1/2' 5/8" sizes,
Thanks you
Sherri

#11
sherri
says
September 04, 2013 at 11:21 AM
\I am looking to carry synthic rope in my shop as I own a riggin company can you please give me pricing on 3/16' 1/2' 5/8" sizes,
Thanks you
Sherri

#12
null
says
September 04, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Sheri, we do not sell directly and our Spydura rope is only available in 3/8".

#13
Kelly
says
September 28, 2013 at 02:39 PM
I just bought a 9.5 cti-s winch.
The parts lists says it should come with rope part #87915.
The box was opened when I received it.
The part # on the rope in the box is part #87780.
How do I get the correct rope?

#13
Kelly
says
September 28, 2013 at 02:39 PM
I just bought a 9.5 cti-s winch.
The parts lists says it should come with rope part #87915.
The box was opened when I received it.
The part # on the rope in the box is part #87780.
How do I get the correct rope?

#14
null
says
September 30, 2013 at 07:18 AM
Kelly,

You can call Customer Service at 800-543-9276.

#15
says
October 24, 2013 at 11:43 AM
I have a M800-S is there a vinyl cover that will fit correctly?Thank you!

#15
says
October 24, 2013 at 11:43 AM
I have a M800-S is there a vinyl cover that will fit correctly?Thank you!

#16
null
says
October 24, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Jerry,

We offer part number 13916 if you have the control pack mounted on the top of the winch. If the control pack is remotely mounted, check out part number 13917.

#17
removed
says
November 13, 2013 at 05:29 AM
Comment has been removed

#17
removed
says
November 13, 2013 at 05:29 AM
Comment has been removed

#18
removed
says
November 15, 2013 at 10:05 AM
Comment has been removed

#18
removed
says
November 15, 2013 at 10:05 AM
Comment has been removed

#19
John
says
December 07, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Can the synthetic rope be used to replace the wire rope on a Warn A2000 mounted on an ATV??

#19
John
says
December 07, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Can the synthetic rope be used to replace the wire rope on a Warn A2000 mounted on an ATV??

#20
null
says
December 09, 2013 at 07:33 AM
John,

You cannot replace the rope on the A2000 with synthetic. Our Synthetic Rope Replacement kit will work with our older ci and s winches; our past RT/XT lineup, and our Vantage and ProVantage winches.

report #21
Peter
says
February 04, 2014 at 09:20 AM
My Spydura sythetic rope broke during the third time I used it and only 4 months after installing it. Wouldn't reccommmend it until Warn refines it to the point where they are willing to back it up with at least some kind of warranty.

report #21
Peter
says
February 04, 2014 at 09:20 AM
My Spydura sythetic rope broke during the third time I used it and only 4 months after installing it. Wouldn't reccommmend it until Warn refines it to the point where they are willing to back it up with at least some kind of warranty.

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