Lever Binders and Ratchet Binders: What are the Safety Benefits?

Are you looking for which chain binder is best for your haul? Read to learn the differences of each binder.

When researching the benefits of lever binders and ratchet binders, people often ask “what can I do with a lever binder?” or “how to use a ratchet binder?” It can be scary operating these binders because of the injury risk it may bring. Read the differences of each chain binder and how to operate them safely.

What is a Chain Binder?

A chain binder is a tool used to tighten chain to secure cargo for transport. When shopping for chain binders, there are commonly two styles: the ratchet binder and the lever binder.

How to Use Chain Binders?

Ratchet Binders

a ratchet binder, also known as a load binder chain
Ratchet Binder 5/16″ – 3/8″

A ratchet binder, or a ratchet chain binder, includes a ratcheting mechanism to create tension in the chain in order to safely secure the load. It has a handle, two tension hooks, and a cam and prawl mechanism to create a smooth, ratcheting action.

When you are using a ratchet binder, the lever and screw will work together to increase the force applied to the tie-down assembly. This will provide the least amount of work to bind the chain tightly to secure the load. Also, its handle takes much less pulling force than you would need with a lever binder.

Lever Binders

the other type of chain binders, the lever load binder
Lever Binder 1/4″

A lever binder, or lever chain binder, is the easiest to unbind quickly to unload your cargo. The lever binder has a lever and tension hook on each end, and the lever can increase the force when applying to a tie-down.

The lever binder will require more pulling force because it stores energy in the handle. With added tension, this can make it harder to tighten because it requires more strength.

chain and binder set
Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder 5/16″ – 3/8″

The lever binder is viewed as the least safe option because of the lever’s built-up tension when you release it. Recently, we added a new type of lever binder called the Recoilless Cam Action Lever Binder. This is one of the safest lever binders on the market today. This is because its unique design eliminates the whiplash that occurs when you release the chain tension.

If you are seeking a lever binder but want to add safety to it, this is the perfect choice for you. To learn more about this new product we added, check out our blog post on New Products Alert: Recoil-less Cam Action Lever Binder and Ratchet Chain Binder.

So, Which Binder is Best for Your Haul?

Although the lever binder can unbind quickly to unload your cargo, the ratchet binder is considered the safest option. With less built-up tension, this reduces the risk of the bar snapping back on you.

At the end of the day, the chain binders are only as safe as how you are using them. If you don’t use it correctly, it will become a danger to you. If you wish to learn more about our chain binders, give our team a call so we can get you the information that you need to keep you going.

At US Cargo Control, we care about your safety. When you’re ready to use chain binders, go to US Cargo Control or give our sales team a call at 800-969-6543.

Chain Binders

What is a chain binder?

Also called a load binder, chain binders are a device to tighten chain when securing a load for transport. There are two general styles of chain binders –  ratchet binder and lever binder. The method of tightening the binder is what differentiates the two.

Ratchet Binder

  • Uses a ratcheting action to create tension in the chain.
  • Also called a ratchet load binder or simply a ratchet chain, it consists of two tension hooks on each end and handle.
  • Because ratchet binders are designed with a gear, handle, pawl, and end fittings, it will not store as much energy in the handle like a lever binder will.
  • A ratchet-type binder is easier to adjust in finer increments without the recoil or snap back effect of a lever binder.

Lever Binder

  • Uses a leverage action to create tension in the chain and stores kinetic energy in its handle.
  • Also called a lever chain, lever load binder, or snap binder, it has a tension hook on each end.
  • This type of chain binder generally requires more strength to tighten it.
  • Lever binders are generally easier to install because it has fewer moving parts.

Both lever binders and ratchet binders work similarly, and should be chosen based on operator preference.

What are the different sizes for chain binders and how do I choose?

Two measurements determine the size of a lever binder or ratchet binder, but let’s first outline chain grade.

There are two main grades of chain for tie-down applications:

Grade 43 high test chain is used for stationary, non-transport tie downs.

Grade 70 transport chain is for objects being transported on a flatbed or other moving vehicle.

Each binder can be used with either size of equipment chain for the appropriate application, but since the different grades have different load limits each binder will be marked with the appropriate chain dimensions for both types of chain for proper performance. The first measurement (smaller) identifies the Grade 70 chain dimension, the second measurement (larger) identifies the Grade 43 chain size required.

Keep the weakest link theory in mind to maximize your working load limit: choose a work load limit equal to or greater than the chain.
Example:

image of lever binder

5/16″ – 3/8″ Lever Binder.

The 5/16″ specifies the chain binder can be used with 5/16″ Grade 70 Transport Chain or it can be used with 3/8″ Grade 43 High Test Chain.

Small binders can technically be used for both 5/16″ or 3/8″ chain in either grade, but if you pair one with 3/8″ Grade 70 transport chain the binder will be weaker than the chain, making the binder the weakest part of the assembly. If you are working with 3/8″ Grade 70 chain, the best choice is to pair it with a 3/8″ – 1/2″ chain binder so that binder and the chain are of equal strength.

Chain binders should have the size, break strength, and working load limit marked on the handle for easy identification.