How does the Lewis Winch work?

The Lewis Winch is a simple device that magically transforms the high revolutions per minute (RPM) of a chainsaw engine into low-speed torque. This is necessary to make our portable winch powerful, and it works pretty much like the transmission in your car.

The Lewis Winch is designed to bolt on a chainsaw just like the cutter-bar bolts to your chainsaw. In fact, our portable winch uses the same two nuts as the cutter-bar, and it only takes a few minutes to switch back and forth from a cutter-bar to a Lewis Winch.

The sprocket on your chainsaw is replaced by the adaptor supplied with your new Lewis Winch, allowing the chainsaw output-shaft to drive the input-shaft on your portable winch.

The oil-filled gearbox (or transmission) on the Lewis Winch then transforms the high RPM of the chainsaw into low RPM torque that drives the Lewis Winch cable spool, which rolls up the cable and pulls in the load. It's that simple!

Unlike electric winches that drain your battery rendering the winch useless, our portable winch is powered by a gas-driven chainsaw.

The Lewis Winch is made of a rugged cast-aluminum alloy housing making it extremely strong and lightweight. The Lewis Winch uses oil-bathed steel gears, which ensure years of trouble-free service in the most hostile environments.

With a variable line speed of 60 to 80 ft/min, the Lewis Winch will pull 4,000 lbs. in a straight line, and up to 8,000 lbs using one Lewis Winch Snatch Block.

What do I get with my Lewis Winch?

Your new Lewis Winch will be shipped to you in a box that will include the following items:

How does Lewis Work?

  • One Lewis Winch Model 400 MK2 c/w clutch and brake
  • 150 feet long 3/16" galvanized aircraft cable with a safety hook
  • Universal Adaptor Kits to fit all chainsaws
  • Owners Manual
  • One year free-replacement warranty from the manufacturer

Information about my Lewis Winch

The shipping weight of the box is 35 lbs./16 kg. - but the actual Lewis Winch 400MK2 weighs only 22 lbs./10 kg without the cable.

Cable Information:

*CAUTION - We do NOT recommend using SYNTHETIC ROPE on the Lewis Winch because - unlike the steel cable, the rope will squish and cause a side force on the spool, which will in turn cause metal fatigue and a possible spool breakage. We only recommend using the supplied 3/16”, or the 1/8” optional steel cables. Using anything other then the cables supplied, will void the warranty.                                                                                                 

The 3/16"cable supplied with your Lewis Winch is 150 feet long which is the maximum amount of 3/16" cable the drum will hold.

If you don’t normally need to pull 150 ft. in one pull, you will want to consider cutting the cable shorter so that it is easier to handle while you work. A shorter cable is also easier to evenly wind back on the spool of the winch without jamming. Simply re-position the Lewis Winch if you need to continue the pull.

However, if you need to work with a longer cable than 150 ft., we also offer the N1009 Cable, which is 250 ft. long and 1/8” in diameter.

This longer and lighter cable is offered as an accessory and it is also made of a galvanized aircraft cable with a safety hook.

This 250 ft. long cable is great for lighter and longer pulls, such as wire fence tensioning, pulling small game animals out of the bush, or pulling a stuck off road atv out of the mud.

The smaller diameter of the cable allows the winch drum to wind up the full length. The maximum load we recommend for this cable is 2,000 lbs./900 kg. - but if you use one Lewis Winch Snatch Block, this cable will pull up to 4,000 lbs./1,800 kg.

What kind of chainsaw do I need?

You will want to choose the right chainsaw for your new Lewis Winch, because the size of your chainsaw is important and should be considered whenever you work with our portable winch.

If you are pulling in a straight line 2,000 to 2,500 lbs.(or up to 5000 lbs.) using one Lewis Winch Snatch Block, you can use a light-duty chainsaw with an engine size of 3 horsepower (bhp) (48 cc’s, 18”+ bar with 3/8” chain).

This is important because such a chainsaw comes with a commercial-grade clutch that although it might sometimes slip under a heavy load, it guarantees that the clutch will not burn up.

If you are pulling 3,000 to 3,500 lbs. in a straight line (or up to 6000 lbs) with one Lewis Winch Snatch Block, you should use a general-duty chainsaw with an engine size of 5-6 horsepower (bhp).

And if you need to pull up to 4,000 lbs in a straight line or 8,000 lbs with one Lewis Winch Snatch Block, make sure to use a heavy duty chainsaw with an engine size of up to 7 horsepower (bhp).

Please note that the operator accepts all risks when using an engine with more than 100 cc’s or 7 bhp, as you could damage your Lewis Winch or break the cable and potentially cause injury.

Chainsaws must be properly maintained and serviced to ensure that the throttle and clutch are in proper working condition since this directly affects the safe performance of your Lewis Winch.

Electric chainsaws and smaller gas chainsaws will give satisfactory performance only with lighter loads. The Universal Adaptor Kit included in the shipment does not come with an adaptor for electric chainsaws, but note that such adaptor is available free of charge from the manufacturer.