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Chain Block vs Lever Block: The Main Differences

Chain Block vs Lever Block: The Main Differences

For most industries, the manpower of the employees does the heavy lifting of the labor. However, making people do the actual lifting of heavy objects is not only unkind but also dangerous. It puts your workers, those lifting and those in the vicinity, in considerable danger. That’s why mechanical hoists have been developed to help with all the lifting needed. If you’re choosing between a chain block vs a lever block or lever hoist, you’re already doing your workers good.

The two types of manual hoists are very useful in a wide range of industries. In fact, anything that requires lifting could use these hoists. They are so similar that some workers use the terms interchangeably. But how should you choose the right one for you? There are a few differences between a chain and a lever hoist that you might need to consider. Keep reading to learn more!


These manual hoists work in very similar ways. A chain block utilizes a series of cogs, gears, sprockets, and axles to make a small pulling force into a significantly larger one. This means that even a single person pulling on the chain can carry remarkably heavier loads.

Meanwhile, lever hoists use a ratchet and pawl system with a load chain. It has a lever that you turn to move the load along a horizontal or vertical track. Either way, you’d be able to carry heavy loads with less effort than normally needed.



Using a lifting mechanism is always the better option than letting your workers do it without any help. If you want to choose between these two manual hoists, consider the following differences first:


Although both tools are very similar, their main usage differs for several reasons. Chain blocks are used mainly for lifting vertically. They are meant to carry large loads that can’t be lifted easily by people. On the other hand, lever hoists are multi-directional. They can lift loads too, but they can also be used to move objects on a horizontal axis. A study conducted by the University of Wuppertal interviewed over 200 workers in 10 countries, and the results show that lever hoists are used more for pulling and securing than lifting.


One of the biggest differences between a chain block vs a lever block is the way they are operated. Generally, these manual hoists were designed to turn a small amount of force into a greater one, enough to lift heavy loads by simply pulling on a chain. Even a single person will be able to do the work of ten people on their own with the help of these manual hoists. But the way you use these two are different.

A chain block has a hand chain that workers pull on. Since you’re working with loads that weigh tons, pulling on a hand chain would need both hands to successfully lift the load. On the other hand, the lever hoist uses a lever to move the load backward or forward, hence its name. You only need one hand to do this, making it easier to handle. The added maneuverability of the lever hoists is one of the reasons why it has more usage than the typical chain block.


Because of the different ways they were designed, chain blocks and lever hoists have different specifications as well. Chain blocks seem to be the more basic of the two as it requires workers to manually pull on the chains with their hands. But believe it or not, chain blocks can handle heavier loads than lever hoists. Typically, high-quality chain blocks only need to carry over 5 tons to already be useful in most industries. Some chain blocks can carry up to 50 tonnes thanks to an advanced lifting mechanism and its mechanical advantages.

Meanwhile, a lever hoist is known to only carry loads up to 10,000 kg or 10 tonnes. Make no mistake — 10 tonnes is already a lot of weight. However, if you need to carry heavier loads, then a chain block is the better option. This is why the lever block is better at pulling than lifting.

Key Takeaway

Both the chain block and the lever hoist can find their own niche in the workplace. If you know you’ll need to carry huge loads more than 10 tonnes, then you need a chain block. If not, a lever hoist should be enough. But don’t close yourself from the option of getting both manual hoists if needed and if electric hoists are out of the question.

Chain blocks are very useful, but to keep one working for a long time, you would have to ensure the quality of the tool. Thankfully, Tolsen can provide that for you! We are one of the most trusted developers of tools in the Philippines, and that includes chain blocks! For your assurance, you can learn more about us here, or you can browse through our products and order them online here!

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