Unless you plan to use your winch as a hoist, a dynamic brake should be all you need. Winches with dynamic brakes should never be used for a hoist system.
The excessive force on the winch cable caused by hoisted weight will cause the line to “bleed” out, making the load unsafe and endangering the user. If you plan to use your winch as a hoist, make sure the winch you purchase is specifically designed for this purpose.
A mechanical winch brake is a physical brake, like on a car, that stops the drum from turning when there is a load on the cable. Mechanical brakes are optional on most ATV winches, although some winches come with both dynamic and mechanical brakes.
Which Is Better: Dynamic or Mechanical?
The dynamic braking system is sufficient for most ATV winch owners; however, a mechanical brake can be installed in addition to the dynamic brake in order to offer better control and prevent roll back. The XT 1500 winch and the Outback Series winches are designed with a mechanical winch braking system.
The downside of a mechanical brake is the added weight (winches are heavy enough as it is) and the increased size of the winch body. The weight and size issue can be a big deal for ATVs and UTVs with tight mounting spaces.
If you plan to use your winch as a hoist, however, you will need a winch with a mechanical brake to securely hold a vertical load.