Winch vs Hoist: Know the Difference Before You Buy

Those who have never heard terms like ‘Hoist’ and ‘Winch’, let’s get the basic idea. Many people get confused between Hoist and Winch as both look similar and both have the same purpose of separate things. In this article, you can get clear idea of Winch vs Hoist, and what differentiates them from each other. Understand what is a winch/hoist and how it works reading this difference before you buy one of them to serve your purpose. Let’s start with the basic differences.


A hoist is designed to LIFT a load VERTICALLY. If you want an angle of 45 degrees or more than that, then you must have a hoist to lift the dead weight. There are different types of hoists available in the market with varying capacities of lifting. Hoists can lift the Jeep, truck, or tractors’ hardtops, engines, construction material, or even boats & kayaks. You may think that a winch can also do this task, but it is not always true.

As mentioned above, this equipment can up and down the dead weight or any other loads. It is made with chains or wipe ropes. There are many automatic and manual hoists available, which allow the person to operate the hoist manually or with the help of any powered motors. One can operate a hoist by electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic motors. The hoists which are not automatic can be used by ratcheting, levering, or hand cranking, which is tough to handle as compared to automatic hoists.

If you are a person who need to lift or lower the load on a daily basis, then any electric chain hoist is best for you. Many professionals prefer to use such hoist because of its convenience as it can be plugged into any common electrical outlet. If you work in some flammable or dusty area/workshop, then you should consider air chain hoists to secure and store the materials by mounting on the ceiling or the side walls.


You may have seen some devices which are useful to wind a cable or rope to pull or move the heavy loads and materials. Such devices are known as Winch. It can be set in or out to allow the pressure which helps in the pulling. A winch is designed to PULL a heavy load HORIZONTALLY. It can’t work well if the surface is sharply inclined. If the load is supposed to move slightly above the level, then it is surely possible.

There are many options of powered winch like air power, electric, or hydraulic power. There is also an option of manual winch which consists of a rope or cable. Professionals suggest to use the automatic winch because of the obvious reasons like ease and comfort. Winch drums have different capacities. So, you need to identify which type of winch you will need. Complex winches are useful to tow automobiles.

Hoist Vs Winch

  • Hoist helps in lifting, while a winch helps in pulling.
  • Winch uses a high-powered, driving brake which can also slide.
  • A hoist is designed to lift the heavy weight like Jeep hardtop, boats or kayaks, engines, etc. while the winch is geared for pulling a load on a relatively level surface.
  • Hoist has a locking brake which is very useful for any air load. It can easily lift the heavy weights like hardtops. While a winch should be used only for pulling. If there is some possibility of rolling then we can use winches to move such weight as a winch has a different locking system than the hoist.
  • Example: If the hoist is able to lift 250 pounds weight, then it may be capable of pulling 1000 pounds rolling weight through the hard surface. When a winch is capable enough to pull 1000 pounds through the hard package, there are chances that it may not help even for 100 pounds of dead weight.

It is important to know the purpose to choose the correct machine or device for the job, and for that, it is necessary to understand the basic difference between a hoist and a winch. So, that is all for the Winch Vs Hoist. To remove the hardtop or to tow the heavy loads are as easy as the DIY bedliners. Just go for it. Hope this article is helpful to understand what these terms states!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button