Difference Between Winch And Hoist: Which Is Best?

Most of the people are in confusion that there is no difference between the two, winches and hoist. But, that’s not true as both the machines have their own personal use. A winch is used for pulling a heavy load horizontally at a small inclined angle on a level surface. But hoist is made for lifting things vertically like cranes. Both devices hold great value in today’s world. Both make our everyday tasks easier and quicker. Here, in this article, we have summarised some tips from electric winch manufacturers in India that help you select the best one as per your needs. So, let’s have a look at the difference between a winch and hoist.


A winch is a device used for pulling things and is made of the combination of cables, ropes, and a horizontal rotating drum which is turned by a motor to make the wire easier to wrap on the drum and exert a force on the load. The winch is not a modern generation invention, and this was also in common practice in ancient times.

The Greeks used them to lift heavy objects. Winch plays a significant role in architecture and civil engineering. These save a lot of time and efforts of the people.

Use The Right Winch

Selecting the right winch according to your load, is the main task. The type of winch you need for your requirements is based on many factors such as weight, surface level, mobility.

For determining the size of winch required for your setup, just do a simple mathematical calculation. Multiply the weight of the load by 1.5. For example, if you are thinking to lift an object of weight 500kg then you need a minimum 750kg line of pull. Also, there are many other things associated with the winching, so you must ensure that the proper winch is used for pulling purposes.



The hoist is mechanical or electromagnetic devices used for lifting the things horizontally. The Hoist is also used for lowering the load. The lifting force is given by a wheel or a drum on which the wire wraps. There is a vast variety of Hoists such as Electro-hydraulic, manual operated, base mounted, or pendant cranes.

Use The Right Hoist

Mainly Hoists are classified based on their ratings, ranging from H2(light duty) to H4(Industry standards). An H2 is not used for more than 15 percent of the work, whereas an H4 is used until 50 percent of the work period. Moreover, an H4 rating tells us that these can take up to a maximum of 300 starts/stops per hour.


Operating System Of Winch And Hoist

A Hoist has a geared system which is lift system, which can hang the load in between. Whereas a Winch has dynamic breaks. If the Hoist has a dead weight of 250 lbs then it can pull up to 1000 lbs whereas if a winch has a capacity of pulling 1000 lbs then it can only have a dead weight of 100 lbs. Hoists do not have a free spool mechanism and have locking brakes which ensures the safety of the material. It prevents the load from slipping off and reduces the risks of material bleeding. Winches can double up as hoist if locking brakes are installed along with the removal of free spool mechanism.

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Maintenance Tips

The safety majors for both are nearly the same. Read the manufacturer’s instructions very carefully before use. You should take care of hooks, ropes, brakes daily for damage. Before lifting check all parts very carefully and replace them with a new one if any damage found. Check if the wires are frayed or kinked and replace if any damage found.

Cleaning is a must, especially for winches. Keep everything clean; use a clean cloth to remove dust and debris.

Make sure the battery and cable are in good condition. Change cables on time and keep the batteries charged. Also, keep all the wires and chains lubricated. If you are lifting the load, try to check there is no worker and employees under the load to prevent any kind of mishappening.

Being careful with maintainer and operation of such devices can not only save you money but can also prevent accidents.