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Different Types of Chain Block

Different Types of Chain Block

selection of different types of chain block, blue chain block, red chain block, and yellow chain block

When it comes to lifting and lowering loads, chain blocks (also commonly referred to as chain pulley blocks, a block and tackle, or chain hoists) are a fantastic tool for giving yourself the means to handle and manoeuvre loads efficiently and safely.

A chain block uses mechanical gearing to reduce the effort of the user to lift the load. A chain block comprises of a load chain fitted with a hook, safety catch and a hand or pulley chain that’s used to operate the hoisting mechanism.

Different types of chain block

There are various types of chain blocks suited to different environments and different loads. If you’re currently browsing for a chain block to help handle a load, there are a few different features you should be considering in your decision process:

Lifting Capacity

Like any piece of lifting equipment, one of the most important features to consider is the lifting capacity. Before buying or renting any chain block, always take a good look at the SWL (Safe Working Load) or WWL (Working Load Limit).

SafetyLiftinGear stock a wide variety of chain block hoists with lifting capacities ranking from 250kg to 30 tonnes, so no matter what load you’re lifting, you're guaranteed to find chain block suited to your needs!

Browse Chain Blocks

Lifting Height

Height of Lift (HOL) is another critical feature to take into consideration when considering different types of chain blocks. Different chain blocks can have different height of lift, typically ranging from 3 metres to as high as 30 metres.

Some chain blocks are also more adjustable than others, and can be used with chains of varying lengths depending on the task at hand.  

Single or multiple fall chains

Once a chain blocks SWL exceeds 1 tonne, then many models operate multiple fall chains to reduce the effort needed to lift the load.

Some manufacturers of chain blocks can offer single fall up to 3 tonne capacity.

Chain blocks for pulling at angles [fleeting]

Standard chain blocks are designed to lift the load in a vertical position with a small allowance for lifting at an angle [fleeting].

The Yale 360 chainblock is the most suitable for fleeting / lifting at angles, and can even be used up 360 degrees because the hand chain always turns to the vertical position so the operator can lift safely.

This model (YaleLift 360 degree Chain Block) is available with a SWL of up to 10 tonnes. 


While the colour of a chain block hoist might not seem relevant to its performance, you’d be surprised! If you’re someone who works in the entertainment industry, be that on a television set or a live concert stage, having a black chain block hoists are ideal for this type of work environment.

Pictured: 500kg Black Chain Block Hoist

When working behind the scenes for events, being unseen is essential to keeping viewers immersed in the experience. Black chain block hoists like those pictured above can help make that possible!


If a manual chain block isn’t quite your speed, why not consider some of the different hoist systems available to you, such as electric or air powered hoists? Check out our blog titled Types of Hoist: What's the Right Hoist for You? to learn more about the different hoist systems and for expert advice of selecting the perfect hoist.

If you have a load that needs lifting but aren’t sure whether it’s worth investing in a chain block, why not hire a chain block? Here at SafetyLiftinGear we have a wide selection of lifting gear equipment available for hire.

Lifting Gear Hire


Read More: Block and Tackle: How It Works

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