Chain hoist and wire rope hoist are both electric-powered, heavy-duty machines designed for lifting objects that weigh upward of a ton. This means they are mostly used on large-scale construction sites, industrial sites and anywhere where large objects are periodically lifted from one place to another.
As the name states, a wire rope hoist uses a wire rope, which is a rope made out of wire fiber. Chains, on the other hand, use chains, which are linked-together pieces of metal. This is the key difference between the two pieces of machinery.
A chain hoist lifts by moving the chain through a socket and depositing it into a container. This means that anything it lifts goes straight up. A wire rope, however, is wrapped around a drum--it lifts by moving around this drum, which means that anything it lifts goes a little to the left and right as well as up. This is not generally a big deal, but some items do require precise lifting and dropping, which means a chain hoist is better-suited for these items.
Chain hoists are substantially less expensive than wire rope hoists. They also require less maintenance, which means that the initial costs are lower and so are the maintenance costs.
Capacity and Speed
Wire rope hoists are much stronger than chain hoists. They are generally the choice for jobs over 10 tons. They also lift much faster than chain hoists, so if you need a lot of material moved quickly, a wire rope hoist will do the job. If your budget is low, however, or you only need less material moved, or you just need material moved precisely, then a chain hoist would be appropriate.