What to Consider When Choosing an Electric Chain Hoist


Electric chain hoists are relied upon in many industries for efficient and safe lifting and lowering of materials. Operating using an electric motor and controller, electric chain hoists are especially used in industrial production lines or factories where loads beyond the capacity of forklifts need to be moved safely.  

When it comes to choosing the appropriate electric chain hoist for your business, there are a number of factors to consider. By going over the following criteria, you’ll have the confidence and knowledge to invest in the right electric chain hoist to boost the efficiency of your facility in a safe manner. 


Electric Chain Hoist

Of course, the most important thing when lifting loads is knowing how much you’ll need to lift! Determine what your required weight capacity is, and round it up to the nearest ¼ tonne, ½ tonne or tonne. In the case of weights above 3 tonnes, many manufacturers won’t offer increments of ¼ or ½ weights. This means that if you are dealing with a weight of 3 tonnes, it is best to go with a chain that has a 4-tonne capacity to ensure safe lifting performance.

On a similar note, also consider how hard your chain hoist will have to work throughout the day. Does your business run multiple shifts throughout the day? How often will the chain hoist be used and for how long each time? How much weight will the chain hoist usually be lifting?  When you share all of these facts with a chain hoist supplier, they will be able to provide more appropriate product recommendations which are guaranteed to meet the required capacity of your facility.

Chain lift

This refers to the difference between the location of the item that is to be picked up and the hanging location of the hoist. For example, if the item is sitting on the factory floor and the beam that your chain hoist is attached to is 5 metres from the ground, you will need a hoist that has a chain lift of 5 metres. Like weight capacity, always err on the bigger side if unsure of how much chain lift you require, to ensure your new chain hoist will be able to handle all of your requirements.


One factor which is sometimes overlooked is the speed at which you’d like to lift your item. Generally, a chain hoist’s speed will be somewhere between 50cm per minute to 10 metres per minute.

When determining the speed, you require, safety is of the utmost concern. Consider whether the item is fragile and can break if lifted off the ground too quickly, and whether the surrounding environment allows for the quick movement of items.  If unsure, contact a professional chain hoist company to help you do the required calculations.

Power Source

Large factories and workplaces will generally be using three phase power, with three phase voltages ranging from 208, 230, 460 and 575. Check with your power supply company to work out which of these voltages your facility uses to ensure that the chain hoist you choose will be compatible.

Pendant Control Cable Length

Electric Chain Hoist

The pendant control cable length is how far down from the chain hoist you want the hand control to hang. Generally, the standard push button drop is around 1.2 metres less than lift, but this may need to be adjusted to suit your facility.

Suspension Method

The two primary methods of suspending a chain hoist is via a hook mount or lug mount. Hook mount hoists already have the hook attached to the body of the device, while lug hoists utilise bolts and lugs and are therefore a better option when there is limited headroom for mounting and operating a hoist. 

Trolley Type

If you are going for an electric chain hoist as opposed to a manual one, you are most likely to come across a motorised trolley. Trolleys are the device that roll along the beam that your chain hoist operates from, with motorised trolleys being the most ergonomic and easy-to-use option.

By considering all the above factors, you will be able to make an informed purchasing decision and also provide the necessary information to your chain hoist provider, who can then provide expert advice and product recommendations. 

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