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Shackles, also known (albeit less commonly) by their older name, gyves, are primarily used as a means of lifting, securing or rigging heavy loads, objects and equipment. Lifting Shackles are generally found as the final link in a connection chain or sling setup, where their key function is to make a robust physical connection between the load-lifting device (typically a hoist hook or sling) and the payload that needs to be moved or supported.

In a sense, they perform much the same role when used as lifting or rigging devices as all shackles do. Just like carabiners, handcuffs and various other types of shackling equipment, the point of a lifting shackle is to provide a strong and durable connection between two points, that can be opened and closed as required to either allow or prevent disconnection.

Although there are multiple different sorts of shackles available on the market, including snap shackles, twist shackles and headboard shackles, most lifting shackles can be designed and manufactured in one of two main configurations:

  • D shackles, commonly referred to as chain shackles
  • Anchor shackles, sometimes called Bow Shackles

Regardless of which type of shackle you’re using, it will generally consist of two main parts, namely the body and the pin (or bolt). The body of a shackle is broadly horseshoe-shaped or U-shaped, and the pin is affixed through both ends of the loop to create a closed link. Shackle pins or bolts are often threaded or part-threaded, but they can also take the form of clevis fasteners, with a cross-hole included for a split pin or tang to hold them in place once they’re secured through the ends of the shackle.


Dee Shackle - Most commonly used on single-leg slings, dee shackles - as the name suggests - are shaped like the letter D. They also resemble a loop of a chain, which explains why they are sometimes referred to as 'chain shackles'. Side or racking loads may bend a dee shackle, so keep in mind how you plan on using your shackle before making your final choice.

Bow Shackle - Recognisable by their 'O' shape, bow shackles are commonly used on multi-leg slings. Ideal for jobs such as rigging, bow shackles provide an easy way of fastening chains and straps securely. These shackles come with a variety of weight limits and in a range of colours, which can be particularly useful for live event rigging where black shackles (as pictured above) can minimise their visibility.

Load Rated Shackles - These types of shackles are designed for lifting purposes. We have a large range of Dee and Bow shackles in a variety of materials, they come with a certificate of loading. The stainless variety are generally used in a medical or dairy environment, where purity is required. The galvanised variety give reasonable corrosion protection at a very competitive price. The many different sizes gives a loading limit that suits your application. The best way to size these is decide your loading requirement and selct the appropriate option in the dropdown box on the prodcut detail page.

Snap Shackles - This type of shackle is often used where the shackle needs to be released and re-applied many times over. There is a pull ring that enables the shackle to be released under moderate loads



Interested in purchasing Shackles? Look to our comprehensive range here at Steelgear. We can provide you with many different sizes, in various materials. Steelgear is known for its high quality and durable products. Products you can rely on in harsh enviroments.

If you require additional information or wish to place an order visit our Eyebolts webpage, call us on 01903331401 or email us sales@steelgear.co.uk to get expert advise.