How Do You Reverse A Manual Chain Hoist?

One of my friends recently asked how a manual chain hoist works and how to reverse a manual chain hoist. It is a topic I am not all that familiar with, and I know little about it, but to help my friend, I decided to research the topic of: “ How Do You Reverse A Manual Chain Hoist?”

A manual chain hoist can be reversed by using the reversing lever in the up position and moving the chain’s handle in a clockwise direction. Most manual lever hoists have a reversing lever just like a ratchet so that you can control and move the chain. A chain block has a reverse chain.

I began my research to find out how to use a manual chain hoist and how to reverse it. I discovered that a manual chain hoist has a drive gear that connects to a shaft that runs through the hoist and connects to the chain. On the other end of the hoist, another gear connects to a ratchet and a direction toggle. Follow the post to see the rest of my research.

Using A Manual Hoist In Reverse

There are different types of manual hoists, and they are all designed for the same purpose of assisting with the lifting of heavy objects. Although they are similar, they are different in how they operate and work, specifically in reverse action.

In the section below, I will go more into detail on how they work and how the reverse function works on the manual hoists. I discovered two types of manual hoists with the assistance of experts: a manual lever hoist and a manual chain block. The next part focuses on these hoists in more detail.

Manual Lever Hoist In Reverse

When using a manual lever hoist in a reverse mode, you will need to disengage the clutch of the hoist so that the ratchet will release from the forward action of lifting to the reverse setting. Doing this will cause the hoist to move in the opposite direction, lowering the load that is suspended on the manual hoist.

Manual Chain Block In Reverse

This type of lifting device works the same as a pulley with two chains, one for lifting goods and one for lowering goods. You will use the opposite chain for each action to lift or lower. The lifting part of the chain will be for the forward function, and the lowering part of the chain will be for the reverse.

So to use the reverse action of the manual hoist, you will use the chain that will lower the goods. To use the forward function, you will use the section of the chain that you will use for the lifting of goods.

Lever Hoist Vs. Chain Block, Which Is Best Used In Reverse

The chain block is easiest to use when in reverse for lowering goods, but it can sometimes be hazardous if you pull on the chain incorrectly or too hard. This method makes it harder to judge the weight and distance with the lowering of goods.

If a person lowers an engine, for instance, the vehicle or the engine can be damaged, and the person’s hands can even get caught between the chassis and the engine of the vehicle. Serious bodily harm can occur if mistakes are made with heavy loads.

When using the lever hoist for the lowering of goods or in the reverse mode, it is considered safe, seeing that you control the reverse function through the lever. Once the clutch and ratchet of the hoist have been overwritten, lowering or reversing the lever hoist is safer and easier to control. A lever hoist is the safer option in this case.

The lever works with a directional toggle switch that allows the operator of the lifting device to select between the forward and reverse functions when lifting and lowering goods. It means that the reversing is more controlled, and the chance of injuries is also lessened.

Guide For Using A Manual Lever Hoist In Reverse

Usually, it’s better to work with a manual hoist and to reverse the controls of the hoist if you know how it is done. Here is a guide on doing this effectively:

  • The way the manual hoist is designed is that it has a drive gear which is the main gear of the hoist that controls the function of the hoist collectively with the aid of a drive shaft.
  • The drive shaft, in turn, works together with a ratchet and a supporting gear controlled by the hoist’s clutch.
  •  When you want to use the manual hoist in reverse, you have to overwrite the clutch manually. You do this by pulling the clutch out of the body and turning it until it is running free and not catching on the inside gear.
  • Doing this switches the clutch and the ratchet in overdrive so that you can move the toggle switch of the hoist in the opposite direction, which will then be the reverse action of the hoist.
  • Now the clutch just needs to be activated in the opposite way that it was de-activated, and now when you use the ratchet, it will be in reverse and lower the load.

Safety Specifications When Using A Manual Hoist In Reverse

It is important to use lifting devices like manual hoists safely. According to safety professionals, the following steps can be used to ensure that the manual hoist is used in reverse in the safest possible manner:

  • Risk assessments will need to be conducted before attempting to operate the manual hoist in reverse.
  • Only trained personnel should be authorized to operate the manual hoist in reverse.
  • The end-user will need to perform inspections before using the manual hoist to lift and lower loads.
  • Users need to be familiar with the manufactures specifications, and booklets can be used as a valuable training tool.
  • Personnel operating the manual hoist should wear the necessary personal protective equipment according to the information found inside the company policies.


With the use of manual hoists or with any lifting equipment, it is important to use them according to the instructions and specifications of the manufacturer. When you want to use the manual hoist for a reverse action, just use the function to put the clutch of the hoist in overdrive so that it will change the direction.

I hope you also found the topic interesting and enjoyed the article. Remember to follow the guidelines on the reverse action of a manual chain hoist.


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