Single Gear / Dual Gear - A single gear is just one gear on the
handle shaft and one to operate the drum. Dual gear means that the
winch has 2 speeds so to speak, 1 fast retrieval and one slower for
more power, they may both be operated by the same handle, or it may
require you to move the handle to another position.
3:1, 4:1, 5:1, 10:1, 12:1 etc - The gearing ratio between the handle
or motor and the take up hub. 3:1 means the handle takes 3
revolutions to 1 of the drum, 12:1 means the handle takes 12
revolutions to 1 of the take up drum. For the 12:1, a 10lb of pull on
the handle would theoretically provide 120 lb pull on the take up
drum. A lot of leverage issues go into this also, like how long is
the handle to the size of the take up drum that kind of thing.
Single Pawl / Triple Pawl - There is a little lock that wedges into
the gears that function on winches and come-a-longs, this lock is
called a pawl. Single and triple, I don't know if they mean that the
pawl is triple stacked across the gear face like some I have seen or
if they mean that there are 3 in different locations to reduce the
amount of back roll when you let off on the handle, depends on the
Brake Winch - A winch that the pawl automatically sets in the gear
teeth as you crank on it, you can hear it click. You have to put
tension on the line to get the pawl to release, and then you flip it
up out of the way to let off on the winch. On an electric winch, the
winch has a brake drum or disk which holds the load in position.
Worm Drive - The power application is at right angles to the take up
drum. The handle can come off the front or rear of the winch in the
same direction as the cable and provide a much higher gear ratio than
normal. This will appear as a gear that is very low on the shaft the
handle is attached to and is longer than the mating point of the drum
gear, the gear teeth spiral down the shaft of the handle on a worm
gear winch. These are usually quite slow, but if manual power is what
you have and a large weight to move, this is the way to go. A lot of
really heavy duty power winches use this, it is more immune to
rollback than straight gears and it allows the use of smaller motors.
Disadvantage, there is usually no free wheel position on these
winches unless the drum is pinned to a rolling frame that will allow
it to free wheel the cable out. Here is a site you can see what I
I knew all that farm stuff would be good for something.