Hi, I’m Mike, and I don’t use this winch or my front recovery points very often. But when I do use it, I like to use soft shackles because they’re light, strong, and a lot softer than a steel bow shackle. A soft shackle is a loop of high-strength synthetic rope with a ball knot at one end and a slip knot at the other end. They can be used to make incredibly strong connections for winch and kinetic vehicle recovery. Their advantage is that they are lighter, stronger, and, if they end up flying through the air, much safer than steel shackles.

If you want to use a soft shackle, you need to have a recovery point that has rounded edges. I have a receiver recovery loop from 41:22. This has a large loop for attaching a soft shackle that has round edges. This one is so well designed for a soft shackle that it probably wouldn’t be safe to use it with a steel shackle.

41.22 Hitch Slide recovery point
41.22 Hitch Slide recovery point is compatible with soft shackles.

Unfortunately, most steel bumpers have recovery points designed for bow shackles, like this Warn semi-hidden front bumper I have on the Tacoma. These have hard right-angle edges that will abraid and cut a soft shackle if you try to recover with it. 

Off-road Recovery Point
Off-road Recovery Point not compatible with soft shackle.

So, one thing I’ve been meaning to do for a while is to round out these edges so I can use soft shackles and get rid of these heavy bow shackles. To do that, I’m going to use a pneumatic die grinder I borrowed from Harry. These die grinders really need a high-volume compressor and tank, but I was able to get it done with my small pancake compressor.

Using a die grinder on a winch bumper
I used a die grinder to round over the edges of the recovery points on this Warn Semi Hidden winch bumper.

I also used a small file to help chamfer the edges, as well as some sandpaper. To check if it was smooth enough, I ran my finger over the edges and kept grinding wherever it was still sharp.

Modified winch bumper recovery point
Winch bumper recovery point modified to work with soft shackle.

Once I got it nice and smooth, I sprayed it with a little black paint to keep the steel from rusting. And that’s all I’m going to do. I didn’t take off enough metal to compromise the strength, and now I can safely use my soft shackles on the recovery pints. 

Let me know what you think of this fix and if you would take a grinder to a brand-new steel bumper like this.

Thanks for watching and Happy Trails.


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