The Difference between a Hardware Hoist and a Lug-All


We get asked a question a lot from people who occasionally use a manual ratchet hoist: “Why should I ‘invest’ in a Lug-All when I can buy a much cheaper hoist at my local hardware store?” Honestly, this question is very valid. If you don’t use a hoist often, why should you spend more money than you need to? In this blog post, we are going to explain the difference between a hoist you can buy at a local hardware store or big box retailer and a Lug-All hoist.

Hardware Hoist

The only advantage of a hoist you can buy at a local hardware store or big box retailer is the cost. Depending on whether you are hoisting or winching, you could find one for $50. But you get what you pay for. A major disadvantage is that these cheaper hoists are not made to last. Most cheaper hoists use a steel-stamped frame, which bends easier and doesn’t protect the drum teeth.

The term is Planned Obsolescence, meaning companies design their products with consumable components that need to be replaced regularly or even entirely. A great example of a Planned Obsolescence product that needs to be replaced entirely is a light bulb. Eventually, your light bulb will burn out, and without thinking much about it, you will throw it away and buy a new one. Similarly, after a few uses, the hoist will break and you will have to buy another one.

Although Planned Obsolescence is a major disadvantage of hoists you can buy at a hardware store, there’s something far more important to consider. The most important disadvantage is that hardware hoists are dangerous. Typically, occasional hoist users need to move an object with an unknown weight, such as a boulder or tree stump. In these scenarios, you need to guess at the capacity you need and hope you’re right. These hardware hoists do not have any type of overload protection. If and when you overload the hoist, it will break, which can be extremely dangerous, especially if you have that object already lifted and it falls.

Lug-All Hoist

Lug-All Come Along Ratchet Winch Hoists are designed with overload protection, making them a much safer option. Lug-All’s interlocking double-pawl ratchet system ensures that one pawl always holds the load if the hoist fails for any reason. Plus, Lug-All’s web strap hoists are equipped with stress links that break if the hoist is overloaded, and Lug-All’s cable hoists have a handle designed to bend at 125 to 150 percent of the rated capacity, protecting the user and equipment. The equipment is protected because if a stress link breaks or a handle bends, you only need to replace those components. In fact, you can replace any component on a Lug-All.

Another advantage of Lug-All hoists is that they are built to last. Lug-All hoists use an aluminum-alloy frame that protects the drum teeth and is lightweight and durable. Plus, Lug-All hoists use thicker diameter aircraft cable than cheaper hoists. For example, a cheaper two-ton capacity hoist uses a 3/16-inch diameter wire rope, whereas a two-ton capacity Lug-All hoist uses a 1/4-inch diameter wire rope. Lug-All does not practice Planned Obsolescence. In fact, there are thousands of Lug-All hoists still in operation from the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Made in the USA, Lug-All hoists have a safety factor of four-to-one. By manufacturing hoists to last, Lug-All saves users money while improving both safety and efficiency.

Additionally, Lug-All hoists also function as both a winch for pulling and a hoist for lifting. Most of the hoists you can buy from a hardware store can do winching or hoisting, but not both. Plus, with Lug-All’s drum-anchor design, Lug-All hoists allow you to use the full length of your cable hoist, compared to the cheaper hoists, which require at least two wraps on the drum.

Sure, a Lug-All hoist might be more expensive, but a Lug-All hoist is not only a much higher-quality product that is built to last, it is much safer, which is the most important point of all.