If you can’t tell a lifting strap from a lifting sling, this is the article for you. Both are used in moving items around but they have widely varied applications.

Some people use the term lifting strap and lifting sling interchangeably. However, they are actually two different tools with two different applications.

A lifting strap is also referred to as a moving strap. This type of moving aid can be used to help people – usually a team of two people – lift heavy objects. These straps can be a lifesaver in moving in and out of a residential home especially if you are moving yourself. Professional movers also use them instead of a traditional wheeled dolly because there are certain places you don’t want to wheel a dolly around a home. For example, you may not want to wheel a dolly over white carpet or fragile tile floors. There also may be pieces of furniture or appliances which don’t lend themselves to being moved with a dolly. A moving strap is usually secured around both persons shoulders and/or waists in order to provide stability and help you handle the heavy object. You may be surprised at the many items which can be lifted this way including washers, dryers, cabinets, refrigerators, couches and much more.

A lifting sling is generally used in an industrial or marine setting to lift or hoist very heavy equipment such as boats, trucks and construction equipment. They are made out of a variety of materials which are designed for specific applications including nylon, polyester, wire rope and chain. Nylon type are the most common choice. Chain type are the strongest option. All types are graded by the manufacturer for a variety of load factors and you need to be careful to purchase the correct hoist for your load. The slings are usually connected to the crane or whatever is being used for the pull with a shackle or other type of industrial strength connector.

Whether you call it lifting straps or slings, most sales professionals can figure out what you are really after. The important thing is to ask questions so you get the right tool for the job you need to do.