If your everyday work involves some bit of lifting and pulling heavy loads, you understand the amount of danger you’re usually exposed to and how tiring your days can be. Apart from being labor intensive, hand-lifting skyrockets your labor costs when you have to hire people. Luckily, there’s a safer and faster way through—an electric hoist.
Like a standard winch
, electric hoists come in handy when lifting and pulling heavy loads, making it easier compared to even a hand winch. The best thing about electric hoists is that they can be used almost anywhere! Years back, these handy tools were thought to be best for warehouses, auto-garages, and construction industries; but today, they’re used in every sector, including homes, ranches, and shops. While there are some models designed for specific industries (especially the high-end ones), all the others can have numerous applications. This means with just one electric hoist, you have an additional hand during any lifting.
There are a couple of things that make electric hoists one of the best lifting and pulling options on the market. First, it’s their speed. With a 1000-pound-rated hoist, you can lift 1000 pounds up to 40 feet high, in one minute, all alone. If it was people doing the lifting, this could take almost an hour. If you were using a hand winch
, it could also take longer. Another deal maker about these tools is that they’re easy to install. With a strong supporting surface, you’ll just need a good electric screwdriver
to fix them up.
Finally, there is no safer way of lifting heavy equipment, machineries, and other monstrous loads than using an electric lift. Since most of them are remote-controlled, you can control them from a few feet away. The most recent models offer more than safety; their remotes are feature-packed, adding to their ease of use and user’s comfort.
In this guide, we will discuss what you should consider when shopping for an electric hoist. Later, we have a review of the best electric hoists from the best tool brands. Read through, get to understand the world of electric hoists, and get one that will revolutionize how you lift and pull heavy stuff.
If you’re wondering how much an electric lift costs, there’s not a specific price. As we earlier indicated, electric hoists are more advanced than hand winches, making them pricier. On average, the price of a good electric hoist falls somewhere between $100 and $500.
On the lower side, there are cheap electric hoists that cost as low as $50. But considering how dangerous a weak hoist can be, we don’t think these are worth purchasing. That’s why we didn’t include any of them in this review. We were looking for a unit that won’t jeopardize your safety, nor expose your property to damages.
On the upper side, there are electric hoists that cost up to $20,000. Most of these are equivalent to industrial cranes and can lift loads of between 1 to 10 tons. In most cases, the price of an electric hoist is pegged on among other features, such as the lifting capacity, brand, and inclusion of modern features like remote controls and over-loading indicators.
With the price range in mind, let’s now look at the features that you should keep an eye on when buying an electric hoist.
Electric hoists are designed for lifting heavy loads, that would otherwise be impossible or hard for people to lift or pull. This means the best definition of an electric hoist is strength, safety, and speed. However, not all of them will deliver. Some are best for specific applications, while others are multi-purpose. So, have in mind your specific needs and match them with a good electric lift.
Below is a highlight of the important features that you should keenly consider before making a buying decision:
- Lifting Capacity: This is one of the most important features, since our lifting needs vary. To get the best from your electric hoist, go for a unit that’s powerful enough to meet all your lifting needs, and that can accommodate any changes.
- Height: Another great consideration is how high the lift can get. If you want one for loading trucks, a small lifting height is enough. For most electric hoists, the maximum height depends on the length of the pulling rope and its power.
- Speed: Electric hoists are designed to make lifting easier than it would have been if you were using hands or a hand winch. The faster the speed, the stronger the hoist is and the more efficient it will be for you.
- Lifting options: Depending on how high you want to lift your load and the weight, these units allow you to either use a single-line or a double-line pulley.
- Safety features: A weak or poorly made electric hoist can harm you and destroy your cargo. Check if there are any safety features designed to keep you safe and protect your load.
- Ratings: Rating refers to the voltage and current that the lift requires. Check the voltage rating to ensure that it matches your power supply and is powerful enough for your loads.
- Ease of use: If a lift is making it harder to lift stuff, then it’s not worth your investment.
- Mounting options:Finally, consider how the hoist is supposed to be mounted and how easy it is to mount. If there are several mounting options, the better since you can go for what works best for you.
These are the main features that you should consider when buying a lifting hoist. Let’s now see how these features determine performance and ease of use an electric hoist.
Construction and Design
The construction and design of an electric hoist is one of the key considerations that you must be 100% sure about before picking one. Just as an electric hoist is one of the best tools you can have in your garage, home, or shop, it’s on the other side one of the most dangerous tools you can have, if misused and when weak. This means safety and reliability should be almost guaranteed. But how do you assess the construction and design? Below are the key elements that you should consider.
There are different ways to enhance the safety of an electric hoist. One of the most common safety features is a tethered remote that allows you to control the lift when you’re a few feet away. Another feature that you’ll find in some models is a variable speed control, which gives the user better control of the lift by allowing them to adjust the speed as they lift or pull a load.
Every electronic hoist has a specified lifting capacity. While sometimes it’s hard to determine the weight of a load, some models make it easy by having a load limit indicator. If you overload, the indicator will alert you, saving you from damages. However, not all models have this feature. Other features that you’ll find in electric hoists aimed at enhancing safety include a safety stop micro switch that automatically turns off the motor before the hook is retracted into the lift.
It’s also worth noting that while manufacturers introduce safety features to keep you safe, you’re also supposed to know how to take care of a lift. For example, never overload the lift, keep your hands away from the cable intake slot, and always ensure that the hoist is properly mounted.
The construction and design of an electric hoist plays a significant role in determining the load weight that the electric hoist can lift. To get the best deal, assess where you’ll be using the hoist and the average weight of the loads. If you’re looking for a unit that’s usable at home, on your farm, and in your car, go for a unit with a high lifting capacity.
The lifting capacity ranges between 200 pounds up to 10 tons. Because of the versatility of these tools, an electric hoist with a lifting capacity of 1000 pounds can be used in constructions when lifting equipment and machineries, in auto-garages, during pipe fitting, and in homes for small lifting tasks.
Another great consideration here is the lifting speed and how high the electric hoist can reach. Most electric hoists can go up to 20 feet high when using a single cable option, and 40 feet when using double cable. For a hoist that can get up to 40 feet, the speed ranges between 30 feet per minute and 40 feet per minute. This means that it only takes a minute to lift a load to the maximum height. Finally, check how long the lifting cable is, its size, and material, which are the factors that determine its strength.
The last element to consider is the power rating of the electric hoist. The considerations here include the voltage, horsepower, power input and output, and the current. The higher the power rating, the stronger it is. For voltage, ensure it’s compatible with your local power supply ratings and specifications.
Performance and Ease of Use
To get the best out of an electric hoist, carefully assess your lifting needs, then look for a unit that meets them. To do this, check who the hoist is made for, the lifting capacity, the highest height it can reach, and how easy it is to use. For the best versatility, go for a model designed for homes, auto garages, shops, and other area applications. This way, you can have just one hoist that will serve you for years without needing an upgrade. And, to make it easier for you, there are some fully-automatic hoists that don’t require hand cranking.
An electric hoist should make lifting and pulling easier for you. Anything short of that is a raw deal. Apart from that, it should be easy to use, both for beginners and pros—and this begins with installation. Because of the weight involved, these tools require firm support that can withstand extensive use. To make it easier, check if what you’re buying has all the required installation parts, including mounting brackets, lifting hooks, and pulleys. Also check how it’s mounted; if there are several mounting options, the better for you.
Apart from adding to users’ safety, a remote control makes it easy to use a hoist. They allow you to fully control the hoist from a distance of between 5 and 6 feet. There are different types of remotes, with some having both the basic features such as an up and down switch, and advanced features like speed triggers and a safety stop micro switch.
The best electric hoist for you will mostly depend on your lifting needs. One of the main differences in electric hoists is their lifting capacity, which ranges between 200 pounds and 10 tons. This means that when buying one you should base your decision on what you’ll be lifting. If you’re looking for a unit that you can use in different places, choose one that has a high lifting capacity.
Secondly, the best electric hoist should make lifting easier and safer for you. If this isn’t guaranteed, disqualify that model and the brand. And finally, it should be within your budget. Before getting into our reviews of the best electric hoists, let’s see what makes a good electric hoist unit and what you can’t afford to ignore when buying an electric hoist.
Champion Power Equipment is a California-based company dedicated to designing and manufacturing a wide range of equipment that change and simplify the way you do things. The company’s mission of powering and energizing workplaces is evident in its wide range of power equipment. While it’s mostly known for its generators, it has other product lines including pressure washers, engines, winches, log splitters, and transfer pumps, among others.
The Champion Power Equipment Overhead Engine Hoist is the solo electric hoist from this legendary brand. It can be used at homes or in businesses to lift and transport tools or any other heavy weight. What makes this electric hoist stand out is its safety and versatility. It’s designed in such a way that it can be used almost everywhere, provided there is a power source.
When using a single line lift, this hoist can lift up to 440 pounds at a speed of 33 feet per minute, while the double line lift can lift up to 880 pounds at a speed of 16.6 feet per minute. This makes it great for home and commercial applications. When it comes to the highest height that the lift can get, it will depend on whether you’re using the single or double line lift. On the single line lift, you can lift a load up to 38 feet, while on double line lift, you can lift up to 19 feet.
To deliver reliable and powerful lifting, this lift runs on 120 volts, 60 HZ AC motor that produces up to 850 watts output power. For durability and safety, there is a strong pulley lift and 39.4-foot-long galvanized steel cable.
Founded in 1948, Warn Industries Inc., is a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of vehicle recovery equipment for 4WD (four-wheel-drive) vehicles, utility vehicles, and ATVs. Apart from accessories and vehicle recovery equipment, Warn also produces winches and hoists for industrial, commercial, and home application.
From its material-handling hoists, we couldn’t fail to spot the Corded AC PullzAll, a portable pulling and lifting hoist and the most recent addition to its portable utility winches. It’s great for pipe fitting, construction industries, plant maintenance, iron works, garages, and auto-shops for lifting, dragging, and pulling heavy machineries. It can also be used in farms and ranches, among other places.
This hoist is powered by any 120V motor to pull up to 1000 pounds. To give the user more control, the unit has a variable speed trigger, allowing you to regulate its power input and output. Another feature that makes this hoist unique is the forward and reverse motion button control, and brakes to enhance safety.
The Warn Corded AC PullzAll Hoist also features a swiveling anchor hook, 15-foot heavy-duty wire rope, and an easy-to-use controlling panel. For added safety, there’s an electronic load limiter with an LED indicator, which alerts you when lifting or pulling a load. It’s worth noting that this electric hoist is the corded option; if you’d like a cordless option, it’s available as well.
Arksen is one of the few brands that has managed to design and manufacture different and unrelated products successfully. It produces a vast range of hand tools, power tools, pumps, ladders, tool boxes, and utility carts in the home improvement category. That’s not all; in the car and track product line it has some of the best manifold gauges, hitches, and gas caddys. It also has pet supplies and kitchen products such as pasta makers and fryers.
Since we were looking for a fully-automatic hoist, we picked the Arksen Overhead Electric Hoist, recommended for engine repair applications and maintenance lifting. This hoist eliminates tiring hand cranking tasks, with 1000-pound lifting capacity using the single line or 2000-pound lifting capacity using the double line. The double line can go up to 18 feet at a speed of 16.5 feet per minute, while the single line goes up to 36 feet at a speed of 33 feet per minute. This means with this lift, in just one minute you can lift 1000 pounds to a height of 36 feet.
We also loved the security features in this unit. First, it has a tethered remote, allowing you to lift or pull from five feet away; this keeps you safe from any potential harm. Second, there is a power up and power down controller, giving you more control of the load. And when there’s need for an emergency stop, you just do it from the switch.
Apart from getting the sheaved pulley lift, this AC hoist comes with a braided steel cable and mounting brackets. It has a voltage rating of 120V and 18 Amp current rating.
If you want a smaller size, there are five other capacities to choose from – 440 pounds; 880 pounds; 1100 pounds; 1300 pounds; and 1500 pounds.
Shop Fox is a machinery product line by Woodstock International Inc. introduced almost a century ago. Today, the product line has some of the most recommended woodworking and metalworking tools in the US. Apart from hoists, Shop Fox also manufacturers mills, table saws, dust collectors, sanders, among others. As we mentioned Shop Fox is a brand under Woodstock International, other brands under it include Rebel, Rotacator, Board Buddies, among others.
There are two major reasons why we featured Shop Fox 440 lbs. Electric Hoist. Firstly, this hoist can be mounted in several different ways. This can either be on a rotating pillar or on a stationary metal tube provided it is strong enough to support the weight limit. Secondly, it because of the safety stop micro switch that shuts off the motor automatically before the pulley hook or lift is retracted into the housing.
The lift enables you lift up to 220 lbs. using a single cable or 440 lbs. when using the double cable. It can go up to 33 feet on a single cable and16.5 feet on double line, at a speed of 38 feet/minute and 19 feet/minute respectively. For ease of use, this hoist has a remote control switch on a 5.5 ft. long cord, allowing you to control it from a distance.
Over the last four decades, Five Oceans has grown into a leading supplier of different products in its diversified 24 product lines. Some of its popular product lines include boats, LED technology products, lock systems, snow sports, sprayers, and trailers. In its electrical hoist category, it has five bestselling models designed for different applications.
The reason we picked the Overhead Electrical Hoist is primarily for its design and budget-friendly price tag. Its power plug is usable in almost every state and country, and to add to users’ safety and ease of use this electric hoist has a remote control tethered on a 6-foot cord allowing you to control it from 6 feet away. The upper limit lever adds to your safety by stopping any movement when it reaches its highest point. The wire rope is made of aircraft-grade materials, making it 4 times stronger than normal lifting cables.
With its single wire pulley, you can lift up to 220 pounds to a height of 38 feet, at a speed of 33 feet per minute, while the double line option lifts up to 440 pounds at a speed of 16.5 feet per minute. With a rating of 120 volts and 4.1 amps, this lift delivers a reliable 0.7HP.
Other notable features include a weighted lift hook, 5-foot-long power cord, sheaved pulley lift hook, and UL/CUL certification.
We trust we have equipped you with the information you need when buying an electric hoist. The brands we chose can be counted on for safe, quality, and durable electric hoists. If by any chance the five models we picked aren’t the best for you, the brands have more models to choose from.