types of slings for lifting

5 Types of Slings for Lifting: Everything You Should Know

Slings are a familiar face in any industry and lifting workplace. Basically, it uses a lifting device; with the help of slings, you can easily lift any size of an object. However, depending on the industry, loads, type of objects, size, and other things, there are different types of slings for lifting.

That’s why it’s difficult to say precisely without knowing which sling may be suitable for your job. In this complete guide, we will discuss different types of slings used in cargo handling, hoists, regular task in-depth, which will help you to decide which one will be suitable for you. But, first, let’s find out how many types of lifting slings available in the industry.

What is a Sling for Lifting?

A sling is a simple device used to assist a person with lifting an object. These are often called weight lifting slings.

Sling for lifting refers to a type of pulley system that is commonly used to lift heavy objects. A sling is a loop of material like rope or webbing connected to a solid object, and then another solid object called a “pulley” (or sometimes, simply a “block”) is attached to the first object with a belt or chain. The second object is then lifted by attaching it to the third object, which is attached to the first object with another belt or chain. By doing this over and over, the first object can be lifted very high.

How Many Types of Lifting Slings

In any lifting work, slings are used in combination with forklifts, cranes, hoists, and lifting devices. Though slings, shackles, hoists, chokers are with many types but mostly used five types of slings for lifting, cargo handling, fractures, or many more works, those five slings are;

  1. Wire Rope Slings
  2. Synthetic Web Slings
  3. Chain Slings
  4. Metal Mesh Slings
  5. Fiber Rope Slings

Types of Slings for Lifting: Detailed Section

There are many different types of slings on the market. When it comes to deciding which sling is right for you, it’s important to know what type of lifting you’ll be doing, what your goal is, and how much weight you’ll need to lift. In this section, we will discuss each of the above five different types of slings for hoists in detail. Let’s see

Wire Rope Slings

Wire rope slingsThese are the most commonly used slings, mainly used in rugged conditions like industrial and construction, particularly for easy lifting of heavy loads. Wire ropes are stronger in terms of higher strength and durability so that heavy things can be easily lifted. Also can be stored anywhere because they come with higher resistance features, also in the manufacturer’s book about usability, everything is mentioned in detail.

You need to be very careful when you are using the wire rope slings, especially since it is a wire; on the one hand, it is very strong; on the other hand, it has sharp edges around it. Also, you can’t force it, being too strong; you need to determine the wire slings that will naturally fit the loads.

Common uses

  • Wire rope slings can be used to cinch and tie around trees, poles, and structures.
  • Wire rope slings can be used as rappelling gear if properly set up and rigged.
  • Wire rope slings can be used as a lifeline in a climbing or rescue situation if rigged correctly.
  • Tie two pieces of wire rope together and use as a “choker” or “cable” restraint.
  • Carry heavy objects like a pack on your back.
  • It can be used to quickly and easily hoist a backpack over your shoulders.
  • Use a wire rope sling to attach a tent peg to a tree.
  • Use a wire rope sling as a makeshift leash to train a puppy.
  • Wire rope slings can be used as a low-tech alternative to a safety belt.
  • Use a wire rope sling as an emergency life raft.
  • Wire rope slings can be used as a makeshift baby carrier for your baby

15 Most important safety precautions of Wire rope slings

  1. When using wire rope slings, the most important thing is to set the hook properly.
  2. Proper rigging is essential to avoid snagging a wire rope sling.
  3. When using wire rope slings, always use proper knots to secure them.
  4. Never allow a line to become twisted or kinked.
  5. Avoid using wire rope slings to replace climbing equipment like ascenders or harnesses.
  6. When using wire rope slings to secure yourself on a rope, be careful to not tie the rope too tight.
  7. A wire rope sling must be removed if it becomes wet, and it should never be left unattended.
  8. Be careful when using a wire rope sling as the hooks can cause injury if they become snagged.
  9. Keep the rope attached to your harness (with the carabiner) at all times.
  10. Always wear a helmet (and have it ready to go).
  11. Know what kind of knotting is safe and proper for different types of work.
  12. Avoid tight knots in wire rope slings that may cause pressure points or injury.
  13. Consider the length of the sling needed to perform a specific task and the type of work performed.
  14. Always inspect the rope before using it.
  15. Never cut a wire rope sling, always splice.

Synthetic Web Slings

Synthetic Web SlingsSynthetic web slings are mainly used in areas where is required very flexible and lifting loads with low pressure. This sling also protects against damage. One of the special features of synthetic web slings is that they are incredibly lightweight and can be easily handled. Being non-sparking and conductive, it can be safely used in explosive atmospheres.

Synthetic web slings have some downsides; you can’t use them in lifting heavy metal objects, you can’t drag them on an abrasive surface. If you do these things, it starts to lose effectiveness.

12 Most important safety precautions of Synthetic web slings

  1. NEVER use a synthetic web sling to lift something that is too heavy for you.
  2. ALWAYS wear protective gear when using a synthetic web sling.
  3. Use the lowest setting possible when tightening the anchor point.
  4. Use the highest setting possible when pulling the slack out.
  5. Once you are done using the sling, always untie and unroll the end that is attached to the anchor point. This will prevent snags and makes it easier to get the sling back into its storage container.
  6. If you ever need to cut the sling, do it at the anchor point.
  7. Keep your hands away from the teeth of the slings.
  8. Don’t feed the sling through anything sharp like a staple or a hook.
  9. Store the sling in a place that is not subject to extreme heat or extreme cold.
  10. Avoid contact with skin as the lubricant in the webbing can cause irritation.
  11. Use a protective glove if you are going to handle food with the sling.
  12. The lubricant in the webbing can also attract dust and dirt, which over time can clog up the mesh.

Chain Slings

Chain SlingsChain slings are used in all fields where higher strength, superior durability are required. It builds with corrosion, and rust-resistant materials, which makes it highly durable and provides long-lasting lifting performance. Moreover, it is capable of carrying up to the highest loads, so you can use chain slings in all types of lifting fields effortlessly.

Chain slings have many advantages as well as some disadvantages sides; primarily, they can not be used with dragging load; if you use it does erode, you did not lift on the point of the hook. Also, the chain sling is not shock-resistant, so there is a lot of risks. In addition, if there are loads of extra weight outside the capacity, there are chances of breaking easily.

12 Most important safety precautions of Chain slings

  1. Learn how to tie knots to improve your ability to tie up and hang things properly.
  2. If you’re experienced, make sure you have it around your wrist and not your neck.
  3. When you pull your arm back, the tension pulls against your spine.
  4. Pulling your hand through the loop makes your elbow bend.
  5. Hold your wrist out straight and wrap the other end around your elbow.
  6. Pull your arm back toward your chest, then let go.
  7. Make sure to keep your wrist straight so that it doesn’t swing around in the loop.
  8. The chain sling can be tricky if you’re in the middle of a fight.
  9. Avoid using too many knots and be careful not to overstretch them.
  10. Make sure you know the correct length to use before tying up your gear.
  11. Don’t use it to hang yourself.
  12. Do not use it to strangle someone.

Metal Mesh Slings

Metal Mesh SlingsMetal mesh slings are the origin of a combination of wire and chain; it means that it is made of stainless steel, carbon steel, and alloy steel materials that make it to tackling with extremely hot, sharp edges, and plate steel-like objects balance and lifting. Also, metal mesh slings are highly flexible for use.

One of the cons sides is that it cannot lift heavier loads than safer loads. Also, metal mesh slings are not suitable for dealing with the excess temperature outside its limitations.

10 Most important safety precautions of Metal mesh slings

  1. Don’t use them while lifting heavy objects.
  2. Avoid lifting more than 10 pounds.
  3. Wear them when you’re sleeping to minimize the chance of tearing or catching on to something.
  4. Avoid doing pushups with them.
  5. Wear them to lift your groceries.
  6. Never wear them for longer than 30 minutes.
  7. Do not attempt to throw or catch anything with them.
  8. Don’t do situps with them.
  9. Never use them as a restraint.
  10. Be mindful that you have to use enough weight to keep your hand out of the sling.

Read what ccohs.com had to say about metal mesh slings

Fiber Rope Slings

Fiber Rope SlingsYou may have heard the name and realized some of the quality of these slings. There are basically two types of fiber rope slings, natural fiber rope slings, and the other one is synthetic fiber rope slings. Their built quality and usability are a little bit different.

Natural fiber rope slings are made with natural manila fiber which makes them highly flexible and shock absorbent but not much durable as synthetic fiber slings or their slings. That’s why it is not suitable for using for lifting heavy loads.

Synthetic fiber rope slings are made up of a combination of high-quality nylon, polypropylene, polyester, and more synthetic materials, which makes it simultaneously flexible, highest resistance, strong, and long life. So it is suitable for use in any industrial field.

10 Most important safety precautions of Fiber rope slings

  1. Don’t worry about the knots or how tight they are. Just keep it tight enough to hold your stuff.
  2. Don’t throw it across open flames, sharp objects, or lava. It might catch fire or melt.
  3. Throw it into a campfire and wait for it to cool down.
  4. Don’t leave it unattended. You never know when a bear will wander through.
  5. Never wear it around your neck, as it will choke you.
  6. Be careful when untying it. Don’t pull on the rope too hard or it might break.
  7. It should never be tied around your neck for more than 24 hours. If it’s still tied after that, you should cut it off.
  8. Please remember to use the provided knot to tie the Fiber Rope Slings.
  9. Be aware that the Fiber Rope Slings will stretch
  10. The Fiber Rope Slings may cause your hands to swell and blister.

What Determines Which Types of Sling You Use?

This is a very simple process. You have to keep in mind that slings are not the same; based on the conditions, they are made of different materials. And different types of slings are great for different situations. So when you can determine slings, you must keep in mind your work area needs, then you have to pick slings according to the size, types of loads, and environment.

You also have to pay special attention to the weight capacity; you can see that most of the accidents occur due to carrying overweight than the unit’s capacity, so select the sling based on the ability of your loads. After using the sling, if you can not manage it properly, it does not last long, so you can clean them perfectly after each use and keep them in a dry space.

What Are The Differences Between a Rigger and Slinger?

I often see many discussions and questions from users with slinger vs rigger. It is very important for everyone to be precise. There are many differences between Rigger and Slinger; these two are not opponents in any way. In short, rigging is basically a method that allows any heavy loads to be easily moved or lifted from one place to another.

On the other hand, a slinger is primarily the name of a tool or equipment, which is connected to the lifting device or crane to effortlessly lift any kind of load. So I think you are pretty clear about the differences between rigger and slinger.


Here are three types of slings that are used for lifting heavy objects: the conventional sling, the D-ring, and the webbing. A conventional sling is simply a length of rope with a loop at one end. It is used in a variety of ways to lift, carry, or transport things. The D-ring sling is a special type of sling that has a hole that can be attached to a ring. It’s especially useful when you need to lift an object and can’t use a rope. Finally, the webbing sling is a type of strap that is made of fabric. It’s a very versatile sling that can be used to lift, carry, or transport things.

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