Manual Chain Hoists – Lift Heavy Loads Without Straining Your Backs

Manual Chain Hoists – Lift Heavy Loads Without Straining Your Backs

A manual chain hoist is used to lift heavy loads. They are designed to withstand rugged day-in and day-out use.

The chain is looped over a smaller gear inside the hoist, which is then pulled by a worker. This pulls the larger gear and raises or lowers the load.

Whether it’s in an assembly line, construction site or fab manual chain hoists shop, heavy lifting tasks require equipment that can handle the job. That’s why many companies choose to use manual chain hoists.


When lifting a heavy item, it can easily drop and cause injury or property damage. This is especially true with large equipment and machinery. A dropped anvil, swage block or milling vise can break numerous bones and disable the worker. Manual chain hoists help lift and transport heavy items without endangering the physical safety of workers.

Hoist manufacturers like Harrington, CM (Columbus Mckinnon) and Coffing offer a wide selection of manual chain hoists with varying capacities and helpful features to meet your needs. When a worker is operating a manual chain hoist or chain pulley block, proper worker training should be provided to ensure safe use. It is also important to physically inspect the condition of the chain hoist and lifting accessories before each use. Ensure that the load brake is working properly, and check for rust or other signs of wear. Ensure that the hook is provided with a safety latch and the limit switch and emergency stop are functioning correctly.

Crane engineer and maintenance specialist, Phil Simpson, explains some of the main issues that can occur with hand chain hoists. These include overloading, incorrect slinging and contamination. For instance, using a corroded or damaged chain can reduce the tensile strength of the load and lead to personal injury and property damage. Additionally, improper slinging can lead to chain stretching and hooks being placed into contorted positions that decrease the capacity of the hoist.


Hand chain hoists are simple to use, easy to store and cheap to maintain. They’re ideal for a wide variety of applications and provide flexibility when electrical power isn’t available or needed. With a manual chain hoist, workers can lift loads without straining their backs and potentially risking injury.

When selecting a manual chain hoist, consider the capacity of the load you need to lift and its application in your warehouse. Then, look at the features of the hoist that will make it a great fit for your workplace, including its lift speed, safety features and durability.

Most manual chain hoists have two gears that move when the operator pulls on a section of the load chain looped over the smaller of the two gears. The chain is reeved with several stands of chain (falls) that are attached to the larger gear and can be pulled in one direction or the other to lift and lower the load.

Harrington’s RCB and RPT/RGT manual hoists feature spark-resistant materials to reduce the risk of ignition in hazardous environments. They’re designed with a low headroom to accommodate tight spaces and have friction-reducing rollers, ball bearings and jamproof chain guides for smooth operation and maximum load security. Some models also include overload protection that prevents the hoist from being used to lift dangerously high or heavy loads beyond its rated capacity.

Lifting Capacity

Depending on the model of hoist, it’s possible to lift loads that weigh several tons. In addition to the chain and hook, internal gears help to minimize the amount of operator input needed to move a load up or down. This allows the hoist to be used in more applications than electric models that require a lot of power, which isn’t always possible in smaller spaces like garages or shops.

Manual hoists are usually made of steel construction or aluminum, with the option of a combination of materials. Steel models offer greater durability and sturdiness. This is especially useful for more rigorous applications, such as those found in automotive, aerospace or steel fabrication.

Inside a manual chain hoist, there are two gears—one of which is smaller than the other. The chain is looped over the smaller gear, and when you pull on it, the gears rotate to move the chain up or down.

Some models have a load limiter that ensures the hoist isn’t being used to lift loads that exceed its rated capacity. These are useful for preventing damage to the load chain, and they can prevent injury to the operator. Uesco Cranes offers a variety of different CM (Columbus McKinnon) and Harrington chain hoists, all with a range of capacities and helpful features. Some of the most popular models include low-headroom designs, free wheels and swivel hooks that can be used in any direction.


Using a manual chain hoist can make it easier to lift heavy objects without the need for expensive powered equipment. These portable tools are useful in a wide range of industries, including automotive, construction, manufacturing, emergency services, entertainment, and transport.

They’re commonly used to load and unload items from flatbed trucks or other vehicles. They’re also a great tool for lifting heavy appliances and machinery onto production lines. The slow, steady movement of a hand chain hoist makes it easy to position engines and other components without damaging fragile parts.

In addition to their portability, manual chain hoists are relatively compact and lightweight compared to powered lifting equipment. They can easily be positioned Manual Chain Hoists Manufacturer in tight spaces where other types of hoists wouldn’t be able to operate. They’re also often used to move objects into hard-to-reach areas during maintenance, repairs, or replacements.

When selecting a hand chain hoist, it’s important to consider the rated capacity of the heaviest load you intend to lift and the maximum dimensions of the rigging point from which you’ll be operating the hoist. You’ll also want to understand any dimensional restrictions such as headroom clearance, side clearance along the length of the monorail or crane beam, and end approach distance.

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