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Chain Slings: A Guide

Chain Slings: A Guide

Use the strongest and most durable lifting chain out there with our high-quality chain slings. These lifting slings provide safe use for any of the toughest overhead lifting and rigging tasks on a regular or repetitive basis. Read on about our sling products and how to choose the right one for you.


Table of Contents:



What are Chain Slings?

Chain slings are the ideal lifting and rigging tool to raise heavy, odd-shaped, and hot materials that other slings could not normally withstand. Our slings consist of an alloy steel chain connected to a master oblong chain link that can easily hook onto any crane, hoist, or jib. The slings also come with a hook end fitting suitable to your specific lifting needs. Besides hooks, other features may differ depending on the brand and make of the chain sling. 


Benefits of Slings

Chain slings offer a wide variety of benefits and uses that other types of slings, like slings or slings, would not normally be able to do.

  • Strength & Durability:
    Chain slings and lifting slings work best when you need extra strength and durability. Our hoisting chains include alloy steel that’s Grade 100 or higher, providing approximately 25% higher strength than Grade 80 chains, the industry grade for chain slings.

  • High Temperature Tolerance:
    Our slings can maintain their strength under extremely high temperatures where other slings could not. For example, they can withstand higher working temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Cut-Resistant:
    These lifting chains can easily resist abrasions and withstand other damage that other types of slings could not.

  • Versatility:
    Our chain slings are strong enough to handle a wide variety of lifting and rigging demands under many different conditions.

  • Safer Lifting:
    Our chain links have undergone individual proof testing to ensure its working load limit. The exceptional strength of these rigging chains meets the U.S. standards of ANSI, NACM, ASTM, and OSHA and are safe for overhead lifting jobs.



    How to Choose a Sling

    At USCC, we have many different chain sling options that tailor to your preferred specifications and needs. There are many factors to consider when choosing the right chain sling such as make or brand, chain sling style, chain length, chain diameter, leg options, and hook end fittings. These factors are configured in a number of ways to provide the variety of chain sling options we have.


    1. Choose Your Brand

    U.S. Cargo Control offers two trusted brands that sell Grade 100 chain slings or chain sling components, as well as one brand that sells Grade 120 components:

    • Crosby
      Crosby has been a leader in the rigging and lifting industry for years, providing some of the highest-quality chain and rigging hardware, including the Crosby Eliminator® hook. Their slings are manufactured in the U.S. and are expertly assembled by our team members at our warehouse. We offer many different options for our Crosby slings that cater to your demands.

    • KWB
      Another manufacturer we carry is KWB, based in Europe. We import their manufactured chain and end fittings and assemble them in the U.S. to provide high-quality slings. KWB slings include Grade 100 alloy steel and have a signal violet varnish coat and a heavy powder coating that helps with corrosion resistance. Similarly to Crosby, our KWB slings come in a variety of options that differ by chain length, end fitting, leg option, and more.

    • Pewag (Grade 120 Chains)
      Pewag is the parent company of KWB and manufactures their sling components and end fittings in Europe. These are imported and expertly assembled by our team to create high-quality, durable slings. Pewag makes Grade 120 chain that allows for a higher working load limit in a lighter sling. They are also made with a light blue powder coating for superior corrosion protection.

    2. Choose Your Style

    U.S. Cargo Control offers two different chain sling styles on all our sling brands:

    • Standard
      Standard slings have a fixed chain length sold in a variety of leg options, chain link widths, diameters, and end fittings.

    • Adjustable
      Adjustable chain slings look very similar to standard slings. However, they feature additional shortener components attached to the master link. These allow you to adjust the length of the chain legs as needed without compromising lifting strength and working load limit.

      Crosby and KWB offer adjustable slings and have different adjustment components:
      • Crosby Eliminator®
      • KWB Grab Hooks


    3. Choose Your Leg Option

    There are four chain sling leg options to choose from:

    • Single-Leg
      Single-Leg chains are extremely versatile since they can be used for load securing and pulling. These slings should be used with vertical hitches and have a 90 degree angle when in use.

    • Double-Leg
      Our two-leg slings are ideal to maintain balanced while lifting materials. These slings are used at a 60, 45, or 30-degree angle of lift. Chain capacity will vary by angle of the lift and by chain size.

    • Triple-Leg
      Similarly to above, the triple-leg sling keeps balance and also uses the same hitch degrees as the double-leg sling.

    • Quad-Leg
      Also known as a 4-leg chain sling or a 4-leg bridle sling, the quad-leg offers the maximum number of chain lengths available on one chain sling assembly. These use the same 60, 45, and 30-degree lift angles as the triple- and double-leg slings.

    4. Choose Your Chain Length

    U.S. Cargo Control offers different chain lengths for both our standard and adjustable slings. A chain sling’s length measures from the load-bearing point on the sling’s master link to the load-bearing point on the opposite end when pulled taut.

    Our standard slings will have more length options to choose from compared to our adjustable slings. Lengths range from 3’ to 20’ long.

    Adjustable slings have four length options to choose from, regardless of which brand you buy: 5 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet, and 20 feet. These chains adjust to whichever length you need using the shortening components.



    5. Choose Your Chain Diameter

    Our chains come with different thickness measurements, or diameters. The thicker the diameter of the chain link is, the stronger the sling and the higher the working load limit will be. We offer the following diameters:

    • 9/32”
    • 5/16”
    • 3/8”
    • 1/2”
    • 5/8”
    • 3/4"

    NOTE: Not every sling will have every diameter offered.

    You’ll want to keep an eye out for chain wear the more you use slings. Even with proper care, chains will eventually begin to wear over time. Make sure you regularly inspect the links for minimum allowable thickness. Once it’s worn below this measurement, you should no longer use the chain.

    Our table guide below will help you determine what chain wear you should look for in these chains:

    6. Choose Your Hook

    You can choose which end fitting works best for you. We offer four kinds of end fittings used for different purposes:

    • (A) Sling Hook
      These large throat hooks are typically self-locking to avoid disconnecting.

    • (B) Grab Hook
      These have a small throat that attaches to the chain by slinging over the chain in-between links.

    • (C) Foundry Hook
      These are extra-large throat hooks used in unique situations that require a larger opening to manage loads.

    • (D) Self-Locking Hook
      These hooks pivot in the middle and lock under lifting pressure. They cannot be opened while lifted with your overhead lifting chains.

    • (E) Oblong Master Link
      These are generally located at the top of the sling to hook onto the lifting equipment.

    • (F) Adjustable Grab Hook
      These hooks attach to a chain link that is attached to the master link toward the top. They are found on KWB slings and help to adjust your chain to whatever length you need.



    Safety Tips for Chain Slings

    Here’s what you can do to make sure your chains look good and that you are using them properly:

    • Always use slings within posted working load limit
    • Distribute loads evenly (an unequal load on one leg can create a dangerous situation and damage the sling)
    • Avoid rapid or sudden stops, impacts, and lifts
    • Don’t allow a chain leg to be twisted or tied into a knot
    • Don’t use slings with damaged, defective, or worn chain
    • Protect sharp edges and corners accordingly with padding or protectors to keep chain from coming into contact
    • Inspect hooks
    • Load hooks should never be tipped or pointed
    • Clean chains prior to inspection (oil and dirt can hide chain damage)

    It’s always important to follow safety protocols when using these chains for lifting and rigging.

    If you have questions over our sling products, get in touch with one of our experts by calling 866-444-9990 or by emailing

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