types of lifting slings

Common Types of Lifting Slings

Falls are the number-one cause of death in the construction industry.

To help combat this, it’s imperative that you use the correct types of lifting slings and equipment for moving suspended materials.

When choosing lifting slings or cable and rigging supplies for your construction project, the following are some different types of lifting slings to consider.

Nylon Lifting Slings

Also referred to as a nylon web sling or nylon rigging sling (because of its dense, strong, web-like configuration), nylon slings are pliable, to conform to the shape of the item being lifted.

The flexibility of nylon lifting slings makes them an excellent choice for maneuvering heavy objects that are also sensitive to damage, such as finishing materials.

Nylon lifting slings will stretch as much as 8% of its length. This is important to take into consideration, as it may render them unfit for certain construction situations. Because nylon slings absorb liquid, they can be weakened if they come into contact with any kind of acid.

Polyester Round Slings

As with nylon slings, polyester round slings are sometimes called web slings or rigging slings, because they are also made of a strong, web-like fabric.

The primary difference between these two types of lifting slings is that while nylon slings stretch easily, polyester round slings have very little stretch to them (only 3% of its length). This makes them ideal for conditions in which strength is needed, but stretching could pose a liability.

Also unlike nylon, polyester slings are safe to use even when acids are present.

Chain Slings

Chain lifting slings are ideal for very rugged conditions. Naturally, they are incredibly strong and resistant to abrasion or cutting, with a lifting capacity that doesn’t change in extreme temperatures.

Chain slings are usually made with Grade 80 steel, which is the industry standard, although Grade 100 steel is also available.

Because chain can be linked together in practically unlimited ways, a custom sling assembly can be constructed using chain slings, to perfectly suit any task.

Wire Rope Slings

Like chain slings, wire rope slings provide incredible durability and high tensile strength, but they are lighter and less costly than chains.

Different categories of wire rope are defined based on the number of wires in a single strand, and how many strands are wrapped around the core. The category defines a wire rope’s flexibility and resistance to abrasion. While fewer wires give the rope higher abrasion resistance, more wires increases the rope’s lifting flexibility and resistance to kinking.


These are some of the most common types of lifting slings available to construction workers. Hopefully, this brief guide has given you an idea of what to use for your specific project.