October 16, 2017 / by Danny Mavis

One piece of equipment that comes in very handy whenever heavy lifting is involved is the hoist. These devices are capable of lifting and relocating heavy items quickly and easily. Moreover, it allows you to move items efficiently and comfortably. It can save a lot of time and energy from taxing tasks that would otherwise involve multiple people. Typically, you’ll find 3 types of hoists, and choosing the right one depends on your specific needs and the tasks you’re usually involved in.

Electric Hoist

Perhaps the most popular piece of material lifting equipment is the electric hoist. These tools are capable of lifting anywhere from 150kg to 100T, depending on the model. Electric hoists utilise an electric motor which turns the internal gearing which then lowers or raises the load connected to the chain. They can rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise, and most models feature a safety stop button. Typically, their motor utilises 220/440V or 230/460V and they require a hard wire connection. However, there are also models that can just be plugged into a household outlet, but these models are more light-duty and operate on 110V.

Pneumatic Hoist

Pneumatic hoists are material lifting equipment commonly used in industrial production settings. They either feature a piston driven air motor (powered by an air compressor) or a rotary vane. Pneumatic hoists have a 100% duty cycle rating, which means they can keep working forever, unlike electric hoists that need some rest. However, this means that you get as much power and capacity from them as much as the air compressor feeds them. So you’ll need a quality air compressor to go with the hoist if you want the hoist to operate optimally.

Manual Hoist

Manual hoists are designed for non-production lifting where speed isn’t required. Simply put, they’re meant for occasional use. They feature 2 chains: one to support the load and one to lift and lower the load. All of the lifting is done manually, using a hand over hand method. They’re generally available in 500kg to 25T capacity and are ideal for use in construction, rigging, automotive applications, shipbuilding and maintenance.


  • Capacity -The lifting capacity of the hoist
  • Lift – The vertical distance of the lift the hoist is capable of
  • Drop – The amount of cable, and chain offered in the package
  • Control – Manual hoists are usually controlled by a chain control, pneumatic hoists use levers and valves, while electric hoists use push button controls
  • Mount – Hoists can either be mounted on the ceiling, a hook, or trolley