How to use snatch blocks


How to get more pulling power from your winch using snatch blocks

Sometimes we need more pulling power than the winch can provide – or we want to get the winching job done faster. Either scenario requires maximizing the winch’s capabilities.

A winch only delivers the maximum-rated pulling power when the cable is on the innermost layer. Pulling from subsequent layers reduces that power by about 20 percent per layer.

Employing a snatch block (or blocks) in the winching setup provides a big mechanical advantage and allows more cable to be run off the drum so the winch can pull at a higher load..

Using a double-sheave snatch block along with the traditional single-pulley block found in winch accessory kits can help turn a frustrating winching situation into a piece of cake.

Employing both, as shown in the accompanying illustration, can make a 16,000-pound load feel more like 5,000 to your winch, speeding up the pull and reducing the electrical load on both winch and batteries. Heavy-duty, double-sheave snatch blocks are available from many sources including Gunnebo Johnson ( — Bruce W. Smith