Now that you know your capacity, how will your hoist be powered? When choosing a hoist, you have three main options:
Manual, Electric, and Air. Manual hoists are powered by hand. The two most common versions of hand-powered hoists are ratchet levers (also known as comealongs) and hand chain hoists (commonly referred to as “chain falls”.)
A ratchet lever hoist is powered by a ratcheting mechanism located at the body of the hoist. Common applications for a ratchet lever or come-along hoist are for short lifts or for horizontal pulling. While ratchet levers can be fitted with long lifts, the jerky motion associated with lifting takes a good deal of energy.
For longer vertical lifts, a hand chain hoist or chain fall can be a good solution. A hand chain hoist operates by pulling a “hand chain” over a wheel. The smooth, constant hand over hand motion of lifting or lowering a load makes it a good choice for manual hoist applications requiring longer lifts. Electric hoists are another option. If you have power available to the hoisting area and you are making multiple lifts within a short amount of time, an electric hoist can be a great solution.
Common information to know before choosing your electric hoist is voltage and phase of your power. Also, when planning to purchase an electric hoist, be mindful of how you are going to get the power to the hoist itself. Simply allowing the power cord to drop down from the hoist can lead to tangles with the lifting chain, so be sure you have a plan in pace as to how to route your power.
Air Hoists are another great option. Although generally a bit more expensive than an electric hoist, an air hoist is usually considered to be better equipped to perform heavy duty hoisting functions. Because they are powered by air, they run cooler than electric hoists. Also, because they are pneumatic, they have no electrical contacts that can generate an arc.