Snatch Block Buyer’s Guide
To Double Your Winching Power…Snag A “Snatch Block”
Look…if you’re going to be traveling “offroad” on a regular basis, you need to be prepared for the inevitable recovery situation. After all; if you go the back roads enough, you’re bound to encounter a slippery slope, mud hole, or singletrack where you can’t get the vehicle turned around. Then you may find yourself winching your way out.
Sometimes those scenarios can be very hard on a winch, and that’s exactly where the snatch block comes in. It can double the winch’s capacity by reducing its load up to 50%. And it changes the pulling direction without damage to the wire rope which helps to reduce heat build up and amp draw. The snatch block is designed to open from a side plate so you can easily insert your rope or cable without having to thread it through. It’s a great tool to use when straight ahead winching isn’t the best option.
Don’t be mislead into thinking you can “get away with” overloading the winch by using a snatch block; though. You can still create a very dangerous (even deadly) situation by misusing or overloading the gear.
What To Look For In A “Snatch Block”
So…you’ve decided to add to your off-road recovery capabilities with a snatch block. But what do you need to look for? What makes one better than another? The newer snatch blocks have some pretty incredible engineering. These features benefit you in more ways than just recovery. Look for these things when you’re going to buy:
- Two-piece pulley design…increases the ease of use and safety
- Rounded safety edges…to protect against pinch points
- Side plates press together under a load…extra support and cable safety
- Working load rating…get the rating best for your vehicle
- Press formed plates…preferably made from heavy gauge carbon steel
- Outer pulley material…polymers reduce wear and damage to cables
- Cable compatibility…at least up to 1/2” in diameter is good
Also…look for some of the new blocks made of “ high strength low density”
materials. This can help reduce the overall weight of the snatch block by up to half. And every little bit helps with the cost of gas these days. Some models have “self-righting plates. This can eliminate the need to keep positioning the block as the tension on the cable increases. And you can find snatch blocks with inner pulleys made from self lubricating crystalline polymer. The cool thing about that is you won’t have to lubricate the block while it’s doing its work.
A Tool That Pays For Itself
With double-lined and angle pulls, and a high capacity rating you’re going to greatly increase the life of your winch. And that’s going to save you a bundle right there. You’ll also find the extra versatility it gives you in even the roughest winching situations will save you a lot of stress. That’s worth its weight in gold on really cold or hot trips.
Several of the well-known winch companies sell snatch blocks and they feature models with most or all of the features mentioned here. Prices range from about $50 for the smaller models up to about $165 for heavy duty blocks.
Go snag a snatch block and get out there!