Manual Chain Hoist - Questions Answered

Published: 30th May 2012
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For the duration of this article regarding manual chain hoists we'll take a look at why, where and the way they are normally used with the most important instructions for safe usage.

From the outset please note that the manual chain hoist can also be commonly referred to as a chain block, block and tackle, hand chain hoist or manual chain block.

So what exactly is a manual chain hoist? Simply put, they're a piece of hand operated lifting equipment designed for lifting, lowering and manoeuvering weighty loads at the pull on the chain. Just how do they operate? To begin with they are fixed by the use of their top hook to an appropriate anchor point, regularly a beam clamp or beam trolley commonly on a jib crane or lifting gantry. Once secure the load is attached by means of the bottom hook regularly with the use of a sling of some kind, depending on the type of load, one side of the chain is then slowly pulled downward on, which sequentially sends the chain revolving around some various sized gears within the housing system which raises the gear ratio and therefore increasing the lifting power. The brake holds the load securely as and when required. The other chain is pulled to lower the load. Overload prevention devices may also be incorporated for extra safety.

Manual chain hoists may possess a variety of falls of chain, all of them operate in exactly the same way, however the more falls of chain the heavier loads they are able to lift although are slower as a result of quantity of chain to be pulled through the gears. The lower the falls of chain the quicker they pull through.

There are a number of variations of manual chain hoists obtainable today, all with varying lifting capacities, popular optional extras include chain buckets or bags to store the chain in, protecting the chain from damage and personell from potential injury. Lifting equipment specialists will be able to offer excellent guidance on the best type for your requirements.


Utilizing a manual chain block can have several benefits including the fact that they can lift up heavy loads to a very accurate height. They are ideal anywhere electrical devices can't be utilised for hazardous reasons or wherever there isn't a supply. These hoists are not only cost effective but also extremely adaptable because of the undeniable fact that they are easily transportable making them ideal for using over numerous areas, specifically industrial areas, warehouses and factories. A number of versions possess a 360 action allowing the chain to be pulled from many angles, not only vertical like the standard types.


There are numerous safety rules for the safe use of any kind of lifting apparatus that ought to be issued when purchasing. Here are the very basic do's and don'ts for a chain block.

DO NOT: use if any disorders crop up or are suspected; walk beneath a balanced load; use to lift people; exceed the working load limit; alter the chain without authorisation from the supplier or manufacturer.

DO; examine prior to each use for defects; load with centre of gravity precisely under the top hook; get it inspected every six months for safety reasons; check that the bottom chain hook will reach the lowest level required without the chain running out fully; always pull the chain in a smooth movement, do not jerk it.

To encapsulate then a chain block is very versatile and cost efficient, easy to utilize, in all kinds of areas as well as being easy to examine and fix if needed. A great piece of lifting gear.


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