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What’s the Difference between Ratchet Binders and Lever Binders?

A chain binder, is a tool used to tighten chain as a method to secure cargo to a trailer for transport. There are two common styles; the ratchet binder and the lever binder.
ratchet chain binder
Ratchet Chain Binder 5/16" - 3/8"

The Ratchet Binder

A ratchet binder also known as a ratchet chain, uses a ratcheting mechanism to create tension in the chain and secure the load. It features a ratchet handle and two tension hooks on each end. Ratchet styles are often noted as the safer option between the two types because its design does not store as much energy in the handle, reducing the risk of the bar recoiling or snapping back.

The Lever Binder

lever binder
Lever Binder 5/16" - 3/8"

Lever binders also known as a lever chain or snap binder, uses leverage to tighten the chain and secure cargo. The tool features a tension hook on each end. Lever binders are typically easier to install because they have a more simple design. This style stores energy in the handle and can be tougher to tighten as it requires more strength. People often use cheater bars because of it. Those bars are considered dangerous and are not recommended.

Binder Pricing

There is a difference in price between the two types of load binders. Lever binders are typically the more economical choice. US Cargo Control offers binders individually or in packs. Free shipping is available on orders of $199 or more.

Selecting the Right Size

Once you've zeroed in on your preferred style, it's time to determine the size.

US Cargo Control lever and ratchet binders feature the same forged steel handle, break strengths and working load limits based on the size of the binder. Both types are designed to work with designated sizes of grade 70 and grade 43 chain. It is important to know the size and grade of chain you are working with when shopping for a compatible binder.

Two measurements are listed on each type. The numbers indicate the size of chain the binder is recommended to work with. The first number indicated grade 70 transport chain while the second number shows grade 43 test chain. For example, a 5/16’’ – 3/8’’ binder is compatible with 5/16’’ grade 70 chain and 3/8’’ grade 43 chain.

Be aware of these numbers. The assembly is only as strong as its weakest link. A smaller binder may fit, but it will bring down the working load limit of the entire operation.

Deciding on a Binder

Many factors come into play when deciding which binder is best. Operators should select their preferred style based on their comfort level when it comes to tightening the mechanism.

If you need further help give one of our US Cargo Control sales specialists a call at 866-348-3473.

Learn more about transport chain and load binders.

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