Hoists are powered mechanical lifting devices that do the active lifting in many crane applications. Hoists use chain to support the load being lifted and will have a pendant with up/down push buttons. Hoists can be powered by electricity or compressed air.
Electric hoists range from single phase 110V to 3 phase 600V with options for single and dual speeds or VFD motors to make movements smoother.
Air hoists require compressed dry air and depending on the model, may require an oiler. Air hoists can be powered with as little as 65psi of power depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.
Balancers are pneumatic lifting devices that use steel cable or chain. They can be configured in several ways for up/down control such as free hanging pendants, inline cable pendant, or a floating mode with no pendant.
Balancers are best suited to lifting applications that are less than 1000lbs, however their capacities are based on 100psi of air pressure so a lower air supply will reduce the rated capacity of the balancer.
Manual hoists are also known as lever hoists or chain-fall hoists. Manual hoists require the operator to physically actuate a lever, or to pull on the chain fall to index the chain up or down. These are very cost effective solutions for applications that have a low frequency of use or where electricity or compressed air is not accessible.