What Is The Difference Between Bow Shackle And D Shackle?

I work with loads often, and I get asked often about shackles. I had to answer the most recent question: “what is the difference between a bow shackle and a D shackle.” I decided to write a post about this topic because this was not the first time another employee had asked the same question.

The difference between the D shackle and the bow shackle is the shape and the use. It is mainly the shape that dictates at what angle the slings can be used. They are both designed to assist with lifting. A D shackle can lift at a flat angle and a bow shackle at increased angles.

I did even more research on shackles to share the best possible information. Experts in the lifting industry shared their expertise, and I hope that the information in this post will be informative and helpful. Shackles are important to assist with lifting heavy loads and goods by connecting the load with a sling.

Differences Between A Bow Shackle And A D Shackle

Chain shackles, also known as D shackles the name refer to the D shape of the shackle. Anchor shackle or Bow shackle with a bigger O-shaped bow. The difference between the two connectors is their shape in design and the purpose they are being used for. D shackles are also narrower than Bow shackles.

What Exactly Are Bow Shackles And D Shackles?

Shackles are designed and used to assist with the lifting of heavy goods and equipment. Lifting shackles are usually the final link connection between a chain or sling setup. Their primary function is to make the connection stronger and safer between the load lifting device and the payload that needs to be shifted and supported.

Bow- and D shackles are the connectors that link the payload with the chain or the slings that, in turn, connect to the crane or the hoist. Let us look at the functions of both the bow shackle and the D shackle. Keep reading for more on this.

The D Shackle And What It Is Used For

D shackles are composed of a D-shaped body, narrower than the O-formed Bow shackle. It is shaped more like a standard chain loop and link. They are more common shackles used in everyday situations.

D shackles aren’t recommended to be used to assist with the lifting of side loads because they are known to start twisting or even bend when a lot of force is applied to them. D shackles are closed by a threaded pin and are mostly seen as a good choice for lifting moderate to heavy loads lifted in line. 

The Bow Shackle And What It Is Used For

Bow shackles are designed wider and more flared than a D shackle with an O shape. The Bow shackle is better equipped than the D shackle, which makes it better to use multiple loads from different angles without holding much danger of creating a side load situation. Bow shackles can also accommodate wider lifting straps than a narrower D shackles type.

With lifting and rigging of workloads, the shackle used should assist the strap or sling without causing major pinching in the material. The benefit of using a Bow shackle is that it can handle a lower overall weight tolerance than the D shackle can, in the case that the lifting will be done strictly in line with the latter.

What Other Tasks Are D- And Bow Shackles Used For?

These shackles have many useful ways in which you can use them. You can use them to assist with the lifting of both industrial and domestic loading. There are light-duty shackles and heavy-duty shackles available.

Light duty shackles are used for smaller items and lighter equipment like tow ropes and luggage or even on a more personal level for safety gear like rock climbing and mountain trail hiking harnesses.

Heavy-duty shackles are used more to lift things such as freight cargo and the loading of large shipping ships and intensive workplaces like industrial cranes.

Shackles also offer a practical and constructive way to help where heavy cargo is being shifted or moved. Securing any rigging jobs requires reliable and strong shackles and are made to give support between the sling or any other lifting equipment and the payload as extra support.

Different Sizes Of D- And Bow Shackles

There is a significant range of shackles available on the market today, and of course, there are different sizes for different uses. There are small, medium, and large shackles available, and they each serve a different purpose and are used differently.

It is crucial to keep sizing in mind when deciding what type of shackle to use. It is very important to have the correct shackle size for the specific workload that it will be used for. The correct sized shackle must be used for the appropriate weight that it will carry and needs to support. 

Safety And Maintenance For Shackle Use

Shackles are used for major and serious lifting and rigging situations and are often in very dangerous environments. It is very important to follow the rules and regulations with the use and application of shackles and to make sure their standards and conditions are up to date. 

Safety checks and inspections should be done regularly on shackles to ensure that they are on standard with the heavy loads they will carry. Check for any signs of bending, stretching, or any warping that might be visible so that they can be corrected according to the correct safety measures.

It is important that experts and safety officers properly and professionally do the safety checks as mistakes can happen, leading to dangerous situations or even fatalities and can have serious consequences. If any faults are spotted on the shackles, it is safer to dispose of the shackle and replace it with a new one. 


The difference between the D shackle and the Bow shackle is primarily the way they look and how they have been designed. They each serve a different purpose for lifting heavy cargo and equipment, but they both are important according to their own specifications and the reasons they are being used.


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