How efficient are snatch rings compared to snatch blocks?
Snatch rings, sometimes known as recovery rings or winch rings, are replacing the older snatch blocks because the rings are lighter, cheaper and smaller. Some would argue they’re also safer as a result – less metal in the recovery chain – rings weigh around 300g, vs snatch blocks at around 3kg and in this day of weight concerns, every bit helps. You’ll probably never need more than 3 pulleys, and the weight of three rings will be less weight (and bulk) than one snatch block.
So the snatch ring looks good, but but the big question is; how efficient are the rings? If the rings just sap so much energy, and damage your ropes, then it doesn’t matter how efficient they are, they’re no good.
A double-line pull should, in theory, exactly halve the effort required from your winch. So, if you need a force of 1000kg to pull your car out, then your winch only need develop 500kg. But there’s always friction, so you’ll need a bit more than the 500kg…but how much more?
So if we call 1000/500 as 0% loss, then a snatch block will require 5% more force, and a ring around 10%.
So the answer is that rings are indeed less efficient than blocks, but not so much that it matters. They can very much can act as a pulley for redirects or mechanical advantage, and replace snatch blocks for recreational users.
The full answer, and testing method, is in the video below:
What’s your view – will you switch to rings, or stay with blocks? If you choose a ring, this will help you decide: