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Winch Pulling Power and Snatch Blocks

Snatch block

Use a snatch block to double your winch's pulling power.

Want to know how you can increase the pulling power of your ATV or truck winch? Meet the snatch block. This little powerhouse can almost double the rated load capacity of your winch, without even breaking a sweat.

What Is a Snatch Block?

A snatch block is basically a pulley with a metal casing designed to give you more flexibility in winching—whether you need to redirect a pull or get more power and reduce the strain on your winch. It’s compact enough to easily store inside your vehicle.

How Do I Use a Snatch Block?

To use a snatch block, spool out a few feet of cable, thread the winch cable through the pulley, and attach the hook to a recovery point on your vehicle. The winch line should travel through the block on the pulley and back to the vehicle.

Then grab hold of the snatch block and walk the cable and pulley out to your anchor point. Wrap a tree strap or chain around your anchor point and attach the snatch block to the strap/chain with a D-shackle.

Safety Tips

Make sure the recovery point on your vehicle is rated high enough to handle the full force of the pull. Your winch’s line speed will be slower with a double line pull, but the stress on your winch will be reduced and the power will be greater—both because of the snatch block and because you have more winch line out.

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  • Rewhite

    How can I keep my nylon ATV rope from getting caught between the snatch block roller and the side plates? If there is much of an angle at all in the attachment the rope slips off the roller and gets wedged between the roller and side plate.

  • Esther

    The walls on the pulley are not very tall so any angle is going to make the rope want to slip off. Another issue may lie in the inherent “stickiness’ of the rope versus a steel cable. When there are twists in the rope, which there will always be, it wants to roll off of the pulley where a steel cable is more likely to just spin on the pulley without going anywhere.

    Best thing to do when using a snatch block is make sure that it’s able to move freely (rotate, twist and turn) in order for it to create a situation where the rope and snatch block are at the same angle. Put another way, if your winch is level with the object you’ve attached the cable to, the snatch block would be parallel to the ground. If your winch was lower than the attachment point (read tree), the snatch block should be able to naturally match that angle once the slack is out of the rope.