lever hoist vs come along vs chain hoist

Lever Hoist vs Come-along vs Chain Hoist

Lever (hand) lift (hoist): When you use a lever (hand) to lift something heavy, you exert a very small amount of force compared to what you would if you used a mechanical (or cable) hoist. This means that you can lift considerably more weight with a lever than with a mechanical hoist.

Chain (hoist): A chain (hoist) is simply a series of connected levers. As you can see in the illustration, when one person uses the chain (hoist) to lift another person, the lifting force is distributed (shared) among all the people using the chain (hoist).

A come-along is when you use human strength to pull on a rope or chain to raise a heavy object.

Which is better? That depends on what you are trying to do. If you just need to lift something that isn’t too heavy or bulky, a lever-type hoist will do the job nicely. However, if you have to lift something that is quite heavy or cumbersome, a chain-or-cable-type hoist might be a better choice.

What is a Lever Hoist?

lever hoistA lever hoist (sometimes called a mechanical hoist) is a mechanical device with a handle that is raised and lowered to raise and lower objects with cables or chains. Lever hoists are widely used in construction and other industries, especially in warehouse applications. They are useful for lifting very heavy loads with ease and are often used in construction sites. They’re commonly available with capacities ranging from 50 to 100 pounds.

A lever hoist works on the same basic principle as a jack or a hydraulic jack. It has a big metal lever attached to a wooden handle. When you pull the lever back, it extends out; and when you push it forward, it retracts back into the housing. There are different sizes and shapes of lever hoists. Some are designed to be small and lightweight, while others are very large and heavy. The size of the lever determines how much force (or pressure) is needed to operate it.

Advantage of lever hoist

  • Quickly and easily slides hooks into ceiling joists.

Disadvantage of lever hoist

  • A hoist isn’t always appropriate for every space.

What is a Come-a-long?

come alongA come-along is a special manual tool used for moving or hoisting heavy objects without using an engine. It is made up of wood or metal and consists of two different main parts. There is the handle and the ratchet part. The handle is shaped like a hand, while the ratchet is a large, round ring. The ratchet is attached to the handle, and the handles have a locking mechanism. It also has a wheel, which the user turns to tighten the ratchet. The handle is used to pull the load to hold the ratchet, and the wheel is used to turn the ratchet.

Advantage of come-along

  • Quickly and easily slides hooks into ceiling joists.

Disadvantage of come-along

  • A hoist isn’t always appropriate for every space.

Side-by-side comparison between Lever hoist and Come-along

The classic lever hoist is still the safest way to raise heavy loads. But there’s no need to lug around a giant lever to lift your gear if you have a Come Along (also known as a winch). It’s portable and a real timesaver. So if you’re working on a narrow trail or climbing in a canyon, the Come Along is what you should use to safely and efficiently haul equipment up to your campsite.

Lever hoist Come-along
A lever hoist is a type of mechanical lifting device that consists of a hoist and a counterweight. A come-along is a very simple and useful tool used to lift heavy objects and materials.
The lever hoist is much easier to use and requires less skill. The come-along is harder to use and requires experience.
It can be more expensive than a come along. It is comparatively cheap than a lever hoist.
Lifts that have a center shaft and pulley system that make them easy to control. Rope hoists with a chain, belt, or pulley system for lifting heavy loads.
A lever hoist is the most common way to move a large object such as a car or a boat. Come along is a safer option and can be used to move things like lawn furniture.
A lever hoist may look like a simple piece of equipment A lever hoist may look like quite a complex piece of equipment
Lever-hoists are often referred to as “man lifts” because they are operated by a single person. Come-along is usually controlled by more than one person.

What is a Chain Hoist?

chain hoistA chain hoist (also known as a lift chain or just a chain) is a mechanical device with a long chain attached to a steel or iron pulley. The other end of the chain is connected to a counterweight, or sometimes, to the bottom of a heavy object like a door or piece of furniture. The chain is then wrapped around a fixed point or object, lifting the counterweight up and allowing you to lift the heavy object. Chain blocks can lift in a vertical position only. Chain blocks are often preferred because they are safe.

It is often used in construction sites and industrial settings to lift very heavy objects. It is also very useful for moving items like furniture, appliances, and heavy boxes or crates.

Chain blocks can be operated manually or with electricity. Electric hoists come in a wide variety of sizes and capacities. They are commonly used for lifting very heavy loads. These loads may weigh up to several tons. The best part of using electric hoists is that they can easily be set up in a small area.

Advantage of chain hoist

  • Quickly and easily slides hooks into ceiling joists.

Disadvantage of chain hoist

  • A hoist isn’t always appropriate for every space.

Side-by-side comparison between Lever hoist and Chain hoist

A lever is a simple machine that converts force into motion. It’s made up of two rigid parts: A fulcrum or pivot point and a lever. The fulcrum is fixed while the lever can move. A chain is a long, flexible piece of material. It has two ends, which we call “links.” To raise something, you attach the other end to a stationary object. When you pull on the chain, the lever moves.

Lever hoist Chain hoist
Attach a weight to the end of a lever, then raise it high enough to allow grab it with one hand and pull it to the ground. Attach a weight to the end of a rope, then suspend the weight from a beam.
Grab the rope handle above the hook. Pull up on it to raise the load. Same thing, except using a chain instead of a rope.
Has one long lever instead of three short ones. It’s great for heavy-duty. Uses three pulleys instead of one. The lifting force is evenly distributed, so it’s great for light duty.
To raise or lower something that is attached to a crane with a lever. A device consisting of a series of horizontal bars mounted on vertical standards
 A lever hoist is similar to a regular hoist. The chain hoist requires two counterweights.
Use a lever to raise heavy objects. Use a chain to lift heavy objects.
A lever hoist is more compact than a chain hoist. A chain hoist is looser than a lever hoist.
A lever hoist is generally more affordable. A chain hoist is generally more expensive than a lever hoist.

Our Recommendations

In conclusion, the best option is to use a chain hoist when working on the roof. It is safer, provides more power, and has many other advantages. However, if that isn’t possible, then a lever hoist will work just as well. Just make sure that it is capable of lifting at least 100 pounds. And don’t forget to use safety equipment such as an approved harness, a safety line, and proper protection for your clothing and the surface below.


As you can see, there isn’t a right or wrong answer here. It all depends on the needs and requirements of your business and the specifics of your situation. However, I do feel compelled to point out a couple of things:

There is a difference between a “lever-type” hoist and a “come-along” or “chain” hoist. The main difference is that a “lever” type hoist has two parallel levers which are moved up and down by a person to raise and lower the load.

A “come-along” or “chain” hoist has one long continuous cable that is attached to a “come-along” device at each end. This allows the hoist to be operated with one hand instead of two.

It is my belief that most medium and large businesses in the US use lever-type hoists exclusively because they are much easier and faster to operate. And, they are cheaper than come-along or chain hoists. However, if you are only operating a single hoist, it really doesn’t matter which type you use as long as you understand how to properly operate it.

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