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The Main Types of Rigging Hooks and Their Use

Hooks are one of the fundamentals of any rigging equipment. Whether you’re lifting or securing, you’re going to use a hook - but these rigging components may come with a different design, capacity, and application.

Next time you need rigging chains and hooks for a job, Southeast Rigging has got you covered. This article will list and elaborate on all the different types of rigging hooks, so you know exactly what to look for.

What to Consider

Ultimately, every part of your rigging equipment should be selected to best suit the job you’re doing. 

The various types of hooks can go on different slings. So, while you may know whether you’re using a
4 leg lifting chain sling or double leg wire rope sling to hoist your load, the hook requires its own set of considerations independent of this.

There are various types of hooks, all meant for different applications. So, finding the “right” one will depend on what you need. Mainly, you’ll find that lifting chain hooks will vary in two ways:

  • The top attachment mechanism
  • The body style of the hook

Different Mechanisms: Eye vs Clevis vs Swivel Hooks

There are two main ways rigging hooks attach to a sling - an eye or a clevis at the top of the hook.
Also, some hooks can have a swivel top that rotates. We’ll look at all three possible lifting chain hook types and styles in further detail.

sling hook
  • Eye Hooks. Eye hooks allow for much more flexibility and efficiency in positioning an attachment. They have a round attachment point and are permanent solutions. However, the permanent nature of an eye hook can be a drawback. If the hook becomes damaged, the entire sling would have to be removed from service.
  • Clevis Hooks. A clevis hook has a U-shaped attachment point that is secured by a bolt or a pin. These can serve as non-permanent alternatives to eye hooks and provide a mechanical connection to a chain sling. While clevis hooks don’t have the same freedom of movement as eye hooks, they can pivot side to side to help connect to a load. An advantage of clevis hooks is that riggers can replace the hook alone if it’s damaged. 
  • Swivel Hooks. The swivel hook has two distinct types, and it’s crucial to know which one you’ll need for your application. These are positioning swivel hooks and true swivel hooks with bearing;

Positioning swivel hooks ensure the rigger can properly place and secure the hook by rotating it. These are not designed to rotate while loading. A swivel hook with a bearing can also swivel freely while under load and prevent the rigging equipment from twisting.

Different Body

Learn the different chain hook types based on variations in the body of a hook. 

  • Foundry Hooks. Foundry hooks have wide and deep throats that allow them to fit trunnions and handles on molds and castings typically used in foundries - ergo, the name. Foundry hooks are generally designed without a safety latch and used in environments where it would be unsafe for workers to connect and remove loads themselves.
  • Sorting Hooks. Because of their unique design, sorting hooks have to be used at a 30°-45° angle to get complete engagement. The Working Load Limit can be significantly reduced if the load isn’t fully engaged with the hook’s throat opening. Sorting hooks are designed to be used without a safety latch, as it would limit their practical use. 
  • J-hooks. J-hooks have a slimmer design than other lifting hook types which makes them ideal for cases where sling, foundry, or grab hooks are too big. However, this feature also means they have a lower Working Load Limit. These hooks can often be custom-engineered for a particular application, in which case their design will differ in how the eye at the top of the hook is configured in relation to the body.
  • Grab Hooks. Grab hooks have a narrow throat that can grab and shorten the length of a chain. They receive a specific grade and size of chain - so pay attention when picking them out. There are two types to consider. The standard grab hook is a popular and more affordable choice but it requires you to reduce the Working Load Limit by 20%. The second is a cradle grab hook that features a cradle for the chain. It’s more expensive than a standard grab hook but doesn’t require a reduced Working Load Limit when used to shorten a chain.

Find The Best Chain Hook Types and Supplies at Southeast Rigging

Southeast Rigging provides customers with the newest and most efficient rigging chains and hooks, as well as related materials and technologies. Since 1989, we have represented numerous major manufacturers and can offer you everything you need to support your operation.

We also provide safety seminars, training, and in-house or on-site inspection. Find more information on our website or contact us today!

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