Both pulley blocks and snatch blocks are fantastic tools to help assist in facilitating your lifting operations. They both are actually considered pulley blocks. There really isn’t a right answer over which one you should choose for a specific task. Often people choose their personal preference, most of the time being what they are most familiar with. Take a few minutes to learn the true difference between a pulley block and a snatch block.  

Pulley Block 

Pulley and Snatch Blocks can help lift up to 30 tons with their wheel on axle design. A pulley block gives direction to the rope while it’s loaded. You then can increase the line or lift the weight of a hoist or winch by multiplying lines. The noticeable trait of a pulley block is that it is always closed, so you must thread the line through the axle. Any wired rope that is rigged into the system will need to be reeved to continue on.  

Snatch Block  

A snatch block is very similar to a pulley block with the same wheel on axle design, however a snatch block, unlike the pulley block, is designed to open. A snatch block must open with a gate on the side to allow the wire rope to fit easily. The heavy-duty pulley is inside the forged steel casing and will run on roller bearings for friction-free use.  

Snatch and Pulley Block Uses 

Snatch and pulley blocks can be used interchangeably. Again, most of the time the deciding factor comes down to the user’s preference. Here are a few common uses of snatch and pulley blocks and who typically uses them:  

  • On cell towers with gin poles 

  • Improving the winch system  

  • Mechanics and machinists may use for lifting a motor, vehicle, etc.  

  • 4x4 roaders  

  • Arborists  

  • First responders may use to recover a vehicle or lift an extreme weight 

  • Lifting and/or dragging tree limbs 

  • Towing vehicles 

  • Recovering vehicles 

  • Off-roaders 

Now that you know the main differences between a pulley block and a snatch block, it is up to you on your preference for use. Both are great tools to facilitate lifting a large about of weight safely and securely.