Which Sling Should You Choose?

Are you planning a lifting project and unsure about the correct sling type to use? Or maybe you’re not getting the service life you expect from the slings you’re currently using? Choosing the right lifting sling is an important part of any lift plan.

Web slings, wire rope slings, polyester round slings, and chain slings may all be used to lift, move, and position a load safely and efficiently. However, choosing the right sling depends upon understanding the lifting application, the environment in which the lift will take place, and how the sling will be used to support and lift a load.

This article is not intended to be a comprehensive guide. However, our goal is to give you a broad overview of the different sling types offered by LGH and provide you with the advantages and disadvantages of each type so you can make a better-informed decision when selecting the best sling for your application.

LGH rigging sling cards


Web Slings

Web slings are the most versatile and widely used multi-purpose sling since they are strong, flexible, and easy to rig. Their inexpensive and lightweight design makes them attractive to almost any industry or lifting application. They’re essentially flat belt straps made of webbing material. They commonly have fittings or eyes on each end, although endless slings are also available.


  • Made of soft, flexible material that grips and molds to the shape of irregular loads
  • Strong enough to lift heavy loads but will protect delicate loads from scratching
  • Performance not affected by oil and grease, resistant to alkaline-based chemicals


  • Low heat resistance, not to be used in environments where the temperature is below – 40˚F or above 194˚F
  • Not as durable as steel slings when it comes to abrasion and cut resistance. Wear pads required when lifting loads with sharp edges.
  • Sensitive to prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV rays

A more comprehensive guide to the various web sling offerings can be found here.

nylon - web lifting sling


Wire Rope Slings

Wire Rope slings are popular across industries where rugged conditions exist due to their strength, flexibility, and abrasion resistance. Its unique design consists of multiple steel wires that form individual strands laid in a helical pattern around a fiber or steel core. All LGH wire rope slings are mechanically spliced and come with a standard eye-to-eye design, available in a wide range of capacities and sizes.


  • Lighter in weight and lower initial cost than alloy chain slings
  • Different designs provide strength, flexibility, and abrasion/fatigue/corrosion resistance
  • Can be used in vertical, choker, and basket hitches
  • If the wire rope is damaged, the hardware may be re-used – provided it is undamaged


  • Difficult to inspect – especially in and around the core
  • Abuse or misuse may cause kinking, crushing, or abrasion, resulting in damage and loss of strength. Unrepairable if damaged.
  • Susceptible to internal and external corrosion
  • Not to be used in temperatures above 400˚F or below -40˚F

wire rope lifting sling

Polyester Round Slings

Round slings have load-bearing fiber or core yarns protected by a woven outer jacket. The jacket protects the internal load-bearing fibers and core yarns against abrasion, dirt, grease, and UV degradation. They are ideally suited for general and heavy industrial lifting. They have the precision and flexibility to perform heavy lifting jobs quickly and safely.


  • Weighs approximately a tenth of the total weight of a comparable steel sling
  • Strong, soft, and flexible composition means the sling will not damage your load when used correctly
  • Usable in vertical, basket, or choker hitches
  • Suitable for acidic environments and around bleaching agents


  • Susceptible to heat damage
  • Wear pads required for loads with sharp edges or in any case where extra durability is needed
  • Weakened by prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV rays
  • Not to be used in alkaline environmentspolyester round lifting sling


Chain Slings

When it comes to durability – chain slings are on top. Chain slings can be used to lift heavy and bulky loads on a regular or repetitive basis. Their strength, durability, and high heat resistance allow them to be used in foundries, steel mills, heavy machine shops, and other environments where repetitive lifts or harsh conditions would damage or destroy other sling types. In addition, their design is flexible. They may be configured in single-leg, 2-leg, 3-leg, or 4-leg designs. Various sling hooks, lengths of chain, and master links can be used to create a variety of sling assemblies for different applications.


  • If damage occurs, chain slings are repairable and can be load tested and re-certified after repair
  • Able to withstand extreme temperatures
  • May be configured for use in vertical, choker, or basket hitches
  • Resistant to corrosion, chemicals, and UV exposure
  • Unaffected by dirt, oil, or grease


  • Very heavy – the higher the rated capacity, the heavier the chain will be
  • May be more expensive than other sling types
  • Can easily crush or damage sensitive or finished parts

chain lifting sling


Many options are available when selecting the correct sling for your lifting application. However, various factors should be considered before sling selection to ensure the sling you choose can operate safely and efficiently.

If you need assistance choosing the right lifting sling or if you require more detailed information on what variations of each sling type are available, you can chat with a live rental support specialist or call 800-878-7305 today.


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