A Complete Guide to Air Hoists

Air hoists make up just one part of the extremely diverse and effective hoist family; some of the most commonly used lifting equipment in the world. Hoists are used in dozens of industries around the globe, and their adaptable nature means they find themselves being utilised for multiple applications and functions.

One of the most popular types of hoist is the air hoist, so in this guide we’ve laid out everything that you’ll need to know about this type of lifting equipment.

What is an air hoist?

Air hoists have been aptly named, as they use air to function. Because of this, you may also see that air hoists are referred to as pneumatic hoists, meaning a hoist that contains or operates using air.

The hoist works through the use of an air supply pump, which is usually located outside a worksite, and pumps the air inside to operate the hoist. The air compressor unit will suck in air from the surrounding atmosphere, remove the moisture, and then push the dry air back into the hoist itself.

air hoists

The above picture is the air hoist that we sell here at Lifting Hoists Direct, a Red Rooster Bench Handling Air Hoist

What makes an air hoist different to the rest of the hoist family?

Hoists can be split into one of three categories; manually operated, electrically operated or pneumatically operated. Manually operated hoists must be done by hand, usually with some kind of failsafe brake lock involved, and electrically powered hoists use an electricity supply.

What are the benefits of using an air hoist?

Each of the hoists from the hoist family has its own set of benefits, and this remains the same with air hoists. Below are just some of the many benefits that using an air hoist will offer to you:

–          Generally speaking, air hoists have a duty cycle of 100% without needing a rest period. This is because a minimal level of heat is produced during the use of the hoist

–          The design of an air hoist is kept deliberately simple with minimal components, allowing for ease of use by all users with uncomplicated on-off control buttons

–          The simple design of the air hoist means a simple operational life too. They have low maintenance needs and costs, and a long life span. They are also much cleaner to operate, having a low carbon footprint

–          There is an extremely low risk of fire and shock damage, meaning that air hoists can safely be used in hazardous environments

–          Air hoists are naturally resistant to dirt and dust ingression, as well as impervious to allowing heat, humidity, vapours or high temperatures to pass through

–          They are extremely lightweight in nature, typically around 40%-50% lighter than an electric hoist of the same nature

–          A safety braking system is incorporated, as well as an overload device for further safety measures

What do I need to know about air pressure?

While we’re sure that you’re used to electricity and manually operated objects, pneumatic objects and equipment may be new to you. Here’s a useful guide on air power and pressure and air flow conversions:


Kg p/square cm x by 14.226 = pounds p/square inch (PSI)

Bar x by 14.503 = pounds p/square inch

Pounds p/square inch x by 0.6984 = Bar

Pounds p/square inch x by 0.0703 = Kg p/square cm²


Cubic foot p/minute (cfm) x by 0.02832 = cubic metres p/minute (m3/min)

Cubic foot p/minute x by 0.4719 = Litre p/second (l/sec)

Litre p/second x by 2.118 = cubic foot p/metre

Litre p/second x by 0.001 = cubic metre p/second (M3/sec)

Cubic metre per minute (M3/min) x by 16.666 = Litre p/second

Cubic metre per minute (M3/min) x by 35.3146 = cubic foot per minute

air hoists

You will see air hoists being used in many industries, such as the construction industry


Where can you use an air hoist?

An air hoist’s highly adaptable nature means that you can use it almost anywhere for a huge range of industries, whether this is construction, engineering, shipping, the military, automotive, production lines, warehouses or, as we mentioned earlier, even hazardous environments.

What air hoists do you stock at Lifting Hoists Direct?

We always look to stock goods from reputable and reliable suppliers so that quality and safety can be guaranteed with all of our customers. Currently we stock the Red Rooster Bench Handling Air Hoist, capable of lifting up to a huge 140Kg (many more available on request, these will be added to the website in due course)

Want to know more about air hoists?

If you are after more information on air hoists, hoists in general or any of the other pieces of lifting equipment that we stock, then we’re here to help. You can get in touch with one of the expert team on 01384 75182, or you can find alternative contact details here.



Image credit: 贝莉儿 NG



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