A buying guide for Pulleys

A buying guide for Pulleys

There are two important factors that determine the efficiency of a pulley:

  • Sheave diameter
  • The larger the sheave diameter, the higher the efficiency

  • Bearings / Bushings
  • Sealed ball bearings are very efficient and do not require maintenance
    Bushings are normally self-lubricating but do require regular maintenance

Other considerations relate to use:

  • High-efficiency
  • Versatile and manufactured for intensive use.

  • Progress capture
  • Integrated progress capture function replaces the traditional pulley / rope clamp configuration

  • Prusik minding
  • Designed for use with a prusik friction hitch (to build a progress capture system). The shape of the side plate prevents the prusik knot from jamming the pulley.

  • Single
  • Lightweight pulleys where efficiency is not an important factor i.e. redirects

  • Transport
  • Two aligned sheaves designed for movement along a rope or cable.

  • Pulley karabiners
  • These enable the rope to be installed when the pulley karabiner is connected to an anchor / device and can be used as a directional point.

  • Specialist
  • Designed for a particular application i.e. passing knots or use on a lift cable.

  • Haul kits
  • Pre-rigged pulley systems used for pick-off rescues, making a releasable anchor or for use in a tensioning system.


    EN 12278 Mountaineering equipment. Pulleys


    NFPA 1983 Technical Use

    UIAA 127 Pulleys