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What Shackles are Used For

11 November, 2020



If you’re new to the world of lifting gear or simply looking to learn more about shackles, you’ve come to the right place. Not to be confused with the hit released by Mary Mary in 2000, shackles are used to create a connection between a load being lifted and a load lifting device. 


Lifting shackles can be used in lifting and static systems as a removable link to connect wire rope, chain and slings. It’s worth understanding that not all lifting shackles are the same, which is what we will be explaining in this guide.

What are Shackles?

Shackles have been widely used in the lifting industry for decades and are primarily used as a means of securing and lifting heavy loads, objects and equipment, to connect wire rope, chain and other fittings Some basic versions of shackles can be used for domestic and light use, however, our shackles come in a range of sizes with safety bolts to comply with British Standards B.S. 3032. 


While there are multiple different types of shackles available on the market, most lifting shackles are designed and manufactured as two types. These include bow shackles (also known as omega shackles) and dee shackles. Each lifting shackle is made from a durable and high-quality material to ensure the perfect connection with excellent reliability.

Bow Shackles

Bow shackles are commonly used for a variety of purposes, with one of the main purposes used where multi-leg slings are needed.


With the rounded ‘O’ section of the bow shackle, it provides a wider area for attaching slinging equipment, such as round slings, chain slings, wire rope slings and web slings. Unlike a dee shackle, a bow shackle allows you to load weight at an angle.

Dee Shackles

If you’re looking for a shackle providing more strength, you may wish to look at dee shackles instead, as these have a higher strength rating than the bow shackles. Shaped like the letter ‘D’, dee shackles resemble a loop of the chain, which is why they are sometimes known as ‘chain shackles’. 


Can’t find what you’re looking for? At Lifting Gear Direct, we also stock specialist shackles which have been designed for specific purposes and specialist operations, as opposed to standard lifting shackles. We even offer stainless steel shackles which provide greater corrosion resistance than the standard alloy steel. These shackles are most ideal for use in marine applications, water treatment plants, oil & gas works, chemical industries and food processing plants. 

Shackle Maintenance

Fortunately, shackles require very minimal maintenance, although it is important to keep them clean and the threads free of debris and corrosion.


In order to ensure safe use of shackles, it’s important that shackles are regularly inspected by a competent person, with a thorough examination to ensure that the shackles are fit for use and safe for operation.


It’s important to always store and handle shackles correctly, making sure that they are inspected before and after use. As part of regular inspections, it’s critical to never use shackles with bent pins or deformed bodies and to never eccentrically load shackles.

How Can We Help?

At Lifting Gear Direct, we stock a great range of high-quality lifting shackles including the bow shackle and dee shackle varieties suitable for use in a wide range of lifting operations. Bow and dee type shackles are the most popular type of shackle which are available in various sizes and pin types as well as stainless steel shackles.


We sell shackles of all sizes and capacities, along with equipment for every conceivable lifting task you might need to tackle. We also offer an excellent range of specialist shackles for more diverse lifting applications including piling, ROV, Polar, Trawling, wide mouth and fixed nut shackles.


We can provide in-depth information on our bow shackles and dee shackles and any other products that catch your eye when you contact us directly. Speak to our team by calling 01384 76961 or fill in our contact form to discuss your requirements today.