What Is the Difference Between a Winch And A Hoist?

Short answer:

A hoist is for lifting and a winch is for pulling.

A Winch is geared for pulling a load on a relatively level surface. A winch uses a dynamic brake that must slide.

A Hoist is geared to lift (dead weight) and has a locking brake that can support a "hanging" load.

If a Hoist can lift (dead weight) 250 lbs., then it may be capable of pulling 1000 lbs rolling weight across a hard packed surface. If a Winch can pull 1000 lbs. across a hard packed surface, it may only have the capacity to support 100 lbs. (dead weight) because the winch employs a different braking system than that of a hoist.

A Hoist is used for lifting and supporting "dead weight".

A Winch is used for pulling (moving rolling weight).