Category Archive: INDUSTRY

Rigging Hardware 101: How to Choose the Best Type for Your Project

Wire ropes, straps, hooks, and other rigging hardware can be used in conjunction with cranes or other lifting equipment to move loads that are too heavy to lift manually. A wide range of industries and applications use rigging every day to facilitate the movement of cargo and materials. Rigging may be largely taken for granted, but proper selection can make the difference between a safe, successful move and one that causes property damage or injury.

Strict safety guidelines must be followed to avoid accidents. There are several steps users should take to make sure everything is used correctly. These include:

  • Familiarizing all users and stakeholders with information contained within equipment user manuals.
  • Proper training on all rigging and lifting equipment for all operators.
  • Conducting regular preventative maintenance on all rigging and lifting equipment.
  • Adhering to all safety and operational standards set forth by OSHA and other regulating bodies.

Rigging Hardware 101 Infographic


The Different Types of Rigging Hardware

Rigging selection can be a complex process, with many different forms of hardware made specifically for certain weights, situations, and environments. Common forms of rigging hardware include:


Used to lift heavy objects and eliminate slippage of materials, rigging hooks come in various forms, each one better suited for different weights and material types. The most common styles include:

  • Hoist hooks
  • Lifting hooks
  • Rigging hooks
  • Sling hooks

Eye Bolts

Eye bolts typically serve as an anchor point for cables or wires and are chosen depending on the angle of the load. Eye bolt types include:

  • Shoulder eye bolts
  • Straight eye bolts
  • Screw eye bolts
  • U-bolts
  • Lag eye screws

Steel Nuts

Steel nuts work in concert with eye bolts on many rigging applications. Most steel nuts are made from type 316 stainless steel. Nut types include:

  • Hex nuts
  • Ball ends
  • Dome nuts
  • Wing nuts
  • Lifting eye nuts

Wire Ropes

Wire ropes are used in rigging, mooring, and lifting operations. They are typically made with stainless steel and come in multiple sizes and strengths. Wire ropes can be used in conjunction with clips, thimbles, and sleeves.

Pulleys & Blocks

Blocks are a requirement for lifting very heavy loads. They do so by lessening the force needed to move weightier objects. The most common type of block is the snatch block, but swivel blocks and square blocks are also viable options for specific applications. Blocks are easy to deploy, available in multiple sizes, and can accommodate up to 30 tons in weight. Pulleys, available in single and double varieties, tend to be combined with rigging ropes in order to hook onto objects securely. Pulley selection is dependent on rope, frame, and sheave size.

Choosing the Best Hardware for Rigging and Lifting

With so many options, it’s important to differentiate between each piece of equipment and figure out what is best for each unique lifting situation. The correct choice of rigging hardware depends on many variables, such as the different weather conditions they must withstand, the materials they are interacting with, and the industry that is using them.

Rigging is a versatile discipline. Divers use rigging hardware such as bolt snaps and D-rings to attach valuable items to fins, masks, regulators, ventilators, and tanks. Snap hooks, anchor chains, and trailer safety chains do a similar job as sailboat rigging hardware. Different harnesses may be used as saddle rigging hardware for horses, depending on the work load (breast collar harnesses for light work, breast strap harnesses for more strenuous activity). Rigging hardware is also useful for other recreational activities. Links, snaps, eye bolts, and D-rings are all useful ways to stay safe while rock climbing or water skiing.

Rigging hardware is an invaluable source of safety in many industrial, commercial, and recreational applications. Henssgen Hardware offers a wide range of solutions for your rigging needs. If you have any questions or want to request a quote, please contact us here.


What Does WLL Mean and Why is it Important?

It can be confusing to decrypt all of these acronyms like SWL, NWL, WLL and MBS. But Henssgen Hardware is here for you, to educate you on terms like Working Load Limits and everything you need to know about our products.

Safe Working Load, SWL, (or Normal Working Load, NWL) is an outdated term that was used to indicate the amount of weight that a lifting device could safely carry without fear of breaking. It is a calculation of the Minimum Breaking Strength, or MBS.

The more up-to-date phrase for the term SWL is Working Load Limit, or WLL.

The specific definition for the Working Load Limit (WLL) is: The maximum mass or force which a product is authorized to support in general service when the pull is applied in-line, unless noted otherwise, with respect to the centerline of the product.

The manufacturer designates the right or approximate WLL value for each lifting device or use, and considers many factors including the applied load, the length of each rope or line, and many other factors.

It is critically important to heed this number, which is set forth by the manufacturer, when lifting with any device, including a line, rope or crane. The number is calculated by dividing the Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) by a safety factor that is assigned to that type and use of equipment, generally ranging from four to six unless a failure of the equipment could pose a risk to life. In the event that the failure of the equipment could pose a risk to life, the safety factor is ten.

For example, if a hook has a Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) of 1,000 pounds and a safety factor of five, then the Working Load Limit (WLL) would be 200 pounds.

The history to the change in terminology

There were legal implications to the term Safe Working Load, so USA standards phased this term out more than twenty years ago, followed by European and ISO standards just a few years afterward. This change took place because of the legal significance placed on the word ‘safe’.

The Americans and Europeans then developed a more appropriate term and definition for the maximum load capacity of a particular lifting device, agreeing to use the term Working Load Limit (WLL) for equipment such as hooks, slings and shackles.


In the cases of cranes, hoists and winches, the term Safe Working Load (SWL) was replaced by Manufacturer’s Rated Capacity (MRC), which is the maximum gross load which may be applied to the crane or hoist or lifting attachment while in a particular working configuration and under a particular condition of used.


SWL — Safe Working Load

NWL — Normal Working Load

WLL — Working Load Limit (Current term used)

Other Acronyms

MBS — Minimum Breaking Strength

MRC — Manufacturers Rated Capacity

Henssgen Hardware is committed to providing top quality products as well as all of the information you need in order to ensure the utmost in safety. Please contact us with any safety questions you may have and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs and which products are the best fit for you.

The Latest News From Henssgen Hardware Online and Henssgen at the Tradeshow

Although we’ve been around for nearly 40 years, we’re not the best retail and wholesale hardware distributor because we’re one of the oldest. We’re one of the oldest because we are the best.

We got that way by not resting on our laurels and always partnering with the highest quality manufacturers of rigging hardware in the world. We’ve also kept up with the times, when it comes to online technology and customer service.

Our easy to access online catalog and our pain-free online membership enrollment page make becoming a customer, establishing a line of credit, and placing orders easier than ever. And, because we know that customers are increasingly turning to online procurement, we have just added Paypal to our list of services, and we are planning on adding other payment options – such as Venmo – in the very near future.

Why online ordering helps your bottom line

When you become an online customer and begin placing orders electronically, you will quickly discover that you are saving your company money by cutting down on administrative costs, unnecessary additional paperwork and red tape.

Remember all those checks you used to write at the end of the month? Just think about the printing costs, the costs of the checks themselves, and the labor costs associated with accounts payable. Now, you can quickly place your order, review it, confirm it and pay for it – all in a few easy steps.

Services like PayPal and Venmo are convenient, secure and cost-effective. You know that your order has been placed and paid for and is on its way to your shipping dock.

So, keep up with the times by shopping for your hardware inventory from Henssgen – where we sell rigging hardware – and offer procurement software – that you can rely on!

Keep track of where we’ll be this Fall

From September 12-14, Henssgen Hardware will be in Atlantic City, NJ for the annual Bradley Caldwell Show. Bradley Caldwell, Inc., is one of the biggest dealers in equipment for farmers, equine and livestock, backyards, pet supplies, barn and veterinary products, and more. From there, we’ll be in Alabama for the HDW tradeshow, followed by a stop in Orlando to attend the “Go for the Greens” conference for women entrepreneurs seeking supplier diversity opportunities through exclusive access to companies, government agencies and non-profits.

So, it’s going to be a busy month for us at Henssgen. But, thanks to our commitment to the highest level of customer service and support, you will have 24-7 access to our product catalog and customer service representatives when you need it.

Turn Your Store or Marina Into a “Go To” Destination for All Your Customers’ Marine Hardware Needs

If you own a sporting goods store, a marina or even a gas station/convenient store on one of the several beautiful lakes in the area, it’s only a matter of time before warm weather finally arrives and people will be putting their sailboats, power boats, kayaks and canoes on the water. Maybe those boat owners failed to read our earlier blog post about being prepared and doing a thorough checklist of their boats in advance of the yearly launch.

That’s why you need to be prepared for any requests your summertime sailors will throw at you. When it comes to marine hardware, it’s important to have in stock an ample supply of boat snap hooks, rope cleats, double end hooks, rings, and eye snaps with fixed, open and swivel ends.

There are so many things that require repair, maintenance or updating on a boat, whether it is a kayak or a cruiser. For your sailboat and power boat customers, snap hooks are important to keep on hand for anchor chains or trailer safety chains. They may be rusted, bent, broken – which would be unfortunate when trying to hook up to a mooring ball or getting a boat safely secured on the trailer.

Owners of power boats that pull water skiers, tubes and other flotation devices may need to replace their safety hooks, rings and snap hooks. The last thing they want to do is lose their precious cargo in the middle of a busy lake. When your customers pull into your marina to gas up and buy provisions, be sure to ask them if they’ve checked their skiing and tubing lines for signs of wear or broken connections.

Sometimes, summertime boaters are more focused on having an ample supply of ice, fishing line, and fresh brews on hand. You can grow your base of loyal customers by making sure to let them know you are their “go to” destination for a complete line of marine hardware. Before they head out for a day on the water, be sure to ask them if they need their anchors, rope cleats, safety snaps and snap hooks replaced.

Kayaks, canoes and rowboats also need to be secured safely to docks and mooring balls. And, no matter what type or size boat your customers have, they need to check their life jackets and bumpers to be sure that the rings, snaps and hooks are in good working order.

If your store is located near a salt water body, Henssgen Hardware offers a complete line of products that are salt-and corrosion resistant. Our complete line of marine hardware includes brass, steel, stainless steel and die cast zinc. A well-stocked marina or sporting goods store should keep an ample inventory on hand in all these materials.

For marinas that service a large number of sailboats, it’s also a good idea to have a good assortment of rope hardware in stock. Rope cleats, thimbles and clamps in stock can mean the difference between a great day of sailing or a trip cut short because a sailor couldn’t find a marina with the equipment they needed to be “seaworthy.”

Henssgen Hardware has the hardware you need for a safe summer out on the boat. Download our catalog for all our product offerings.

Henssgen Hardware for Gym Equipment… Who Knew!

When Kathy Porcell, owner of Elevation Pilates in Glens Falls had to replace the hardware on her Pilates equipment, she thought her only option was to go back to the Pilates equipment manufacturer for the double-ended and single-ended clips and snap hooks she uses each day in her fitness classes.

“I waited four weeks for the manufacturer to get the stainless steel clips in stock. And then I had to drive all the way to Queens for them!” After waiting for so long to get them, she knew it would probably take at least another week to have them shipped from downstate. Not to mention the additional cost of shipment. You see, the Pilates machine manufacturer outsources their clips, hooks and other hardware from wholesale suppliers. Chances are, they don’t keep a lot of clips, snaps or hooks in their stock. More likely, they don’t stock them at all.

Kathy had no idea that there was a wholesale and retail distributor of stainless steel hardware just minutes away from her own fitness studio in Glens Falls, NY. She could have saved herself at least a month of waiting, not to mention the additional time and expense of traveling to Queens.

Kathy won’t make that same mistake again. When it’s time to perform routine performance and maintenance checks on her specialized equipment, she’ll know exactly where to go to replace the all-important snaps and clips that make her Pilates equipment so versatile, allowing clients to work out each muscle group in the body.

It’s not just Pilates equipment that requires clips, snaps and quick release snaps. Think about the last time you were at the gym and you were changing the cables on the standing leg and arm apparatus. Or the seated rowing machine, the lat pulldown machine and the standing cable row.

If you have a personal trainer, he or she relies on the quick release clips and snaps that enable a swift change of equipment – say, changing out the wide grip bar to a smaller grip handle or bar.

By quickly changing the cable grips on a machine from the handle grips to another bar or handle, fitness buffs will work out an entirely different set of muscles, or work out the same muscles in a different way. And, by having the ability to make these changes quickly and efficiently, it allows the person training to maintain a higher level of intensity during the workout.

Nearly every machine in the gym uses hardware that Henssgen Hardware carries in a whole range of sizes and in different materials, from stainless to bronze to nickel plated to aluminum.

But don’t take my word for it. If you’re the owner or manager of a gym or fitness studio, it’s fast and easy to set up an account online at Henssgen Hardware. While you’re there, browse their catalog to learn more about their products and pricing.