Will Dunn

May 13, 2021 • 5 min read

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A Lever Hoist – also known as a Come-along, Lever Block or Ratchet Hoist – is a piece of equipment that is used to lift, lower or tension heavy loads. These portable devices are incredibly useful in tensioning and can lift objects in most positions – including horizontally.

Lever hoists feature a handle attached to a block which has an internal ratchet and gear mechanism. The lever is cranked up and down to power these ratchets, while the direction of the internal gear is switched to facilitate the easy moving of loads up and down.

Lever blocks are important equipment used in garages or construction sites. They are made either from single or double fall chain configurations. The ideal configuration should be chosen according to the weight of the load to be lifted.



Does not require electricity

  • This type of hoist does not require any electricity or power source, so:
    • They are eco-friendly
    • They are much more portable when compared to electric hoists.
    • They are cheaper to run since you save on the cost of electricity bills.
    • Manual operating equipment can even be used when power outages occur, so the workload will never fall behind



  • Lever hoists are cheaper to buy upfront when compared to electric or hydraulic hoists.
  • Lifting heavy loads – Being able to lift heavy loads where it once was not possible, or could only be done with difficulty, is a great advantage to business owners as they can save on labor costs.


Easy to maintain

  • The simple design of this type of hoist means that they are easier to repair and maintain since there are no complex motors, wires, or electrical/hydraulic systems to work around.


Easy operation

  • Operating a Lever Block is easy and requires little training in the operation
  • Completion of heavy lifting jobs by one person – Where more than one worker would have been needed to lift heavy loads via other means, completion of lifting jobs with the use of a chain block or lever block mostly only requires one person
  • These portable devices are incredibly useful in tensioning and can lift objects in most positions – including horizontally, which a lot of other hoist types cannot do.



Before choosing your Ratchet Hoist or Come-Along, here are some important things to take into consideration:


Safe Working Loads

  • It is really important to consider the application, size, and weight, and type of load you will be lifting when choosing your hoist. Some Ratchet Blocks are color-coded to make selection easier and safer.

Range of Lift

  • This is the distance that the lever hoist travels between the extended and highest positions. The higher the range of the lift, the further the hoist can move goods.


Method of Attachment

  • Your lever block features a top and bottom hook or another fitting for easy rigging
    • Most Come-along's have a top hook, shackle, eyebolt, or another fitting by which the block is hung and which allows a degree of articulation between the block and the supporting structure.


Chain Reeving Configuration

  • You can have the following chain configurations for your lever hoist:
    • Single reeve chain
    • Double reeve chain
    • Multiple reeving chain
  • If your lever hoist does not need to lift a heavier load, it can operate with a single fall of chain. However, higher capacity hoists will usually need more reeves of chains. They may also have a larger frame or may utilize a combination of a larger frame and multiple falls of load chain and may even have two or more frames linked by a yoke.


Slack Chain Collection

  • Some lever hoists may not have provisions for storing slack chain. If this is the case, the slack chain will hang freely from the block when the lever hoist is not in use, presenting a hazard as the slack chain could become caught on obstructions or otherwise be a risk to operators themselves.
  • You can use a ‘chain bag’ to collect and house slack chains and therefore minimize the risks associated with this. If you are thinking about using a chain bag with your lever hoist/Come-Along, consideration should also be made for:
    • The risk of an improperly designed chain bag – if the slack chain accidentally falls uncontrolled, it could inflict serious injury on both the operator and the machinery. You should only ever use one manufactured and recommended by the OEM.
    • If the lever hoist is being used in a moist or humid environment, it should have a drainage hole to prevent the build-up of water that would cause rot, rust, or mold.
    • The chain bag should be big enough to fit all of the load chain when the bottom hook is in the highest possible position. If the ‘chain bag’ is too small, the chain will spill over the edge, causing all of the chain in the bag to be pulled out at an accelerating rate.


For more information about Lever Hoists and Come-Along's please reach out to a member of our team via our Online Chat, Phone or Email and we'll be glad to assist you!

Will Dunn

May 13, 2021 • 5 min read

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