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Tool review: JET JLH Compact Lever Hoist

Full of features normally found only on larger lever hoists, the JET JLH Compact Lever Hoist includes a grade 100 load chain, cast steel safety latches and a dual pawl brake design. Corrosion-resistant, industrial-grade components and heat-treated load plates make this hoist designed for increased strength and rigidity in harsh working environments. The exclusive, five-gear drivetrain design increases the gear ratio and requires less force to lift or secure a load. This design allows JET to pull with the same force as longer-handled models, while maintaining the compact design. Constructed of durable, lighter weight aluminum housing, this hoist comes in a nylon carrying case for easy portability. With a full range of models in this series, the JLH Compact Lever Hoist series is available in 1/4-ton and 1/2-ton capacities with standard lifts of 5', 10' and 15'.


Jon Grooms, a lead service technician at Como Mower Service in Columbus, OH, said that the 5’ JLH Compact Lever Hoist was an effective time-saver because of its smaller hoist.

“We have a larger hoist we regularly use for the same tasks that requires much more preparation for use, due to its size and capacity,” says Grooms.

Grooms found several uses for the hoist on multiple types of home and garden equipment.  He appreciated the proportionate size of the tool and found that he was able to remove and reposition various engines and mower decks.

“The capacity of the hoist compared to the overall size of the tool, it made for very easy set up and use in tight spaces.”

Although the hoist came in simple packaging and included no additional accessories, he found it was very straightforward and easy to use.

“In order to set up this tool for use we fabricated a gantry of sorts to attach it to,” Groom says. “I did have to fabricate a sling and spreader bar setup for use in some applications, where the tool just would not work as it came out of the package, but (the hoist) was very easily adaptable to the task at hand with the correct accessories.”

Although Jon hadn’t used a previous version of this tool, he has used larger, similarly designed hoists.  He suggested that, “the lever could be just a bit longer for better leverage when lifting close to the rated capacity of the hoist, or the addition of a square hole for using a breaker bar instead of the lever.”

Jon found the Compact Lever Hoist with a 5’ lift worthy of an eight out of 10 rating due to its size and ease of use.

“Very easy to use and set up.  Smaller size with good lifting capacity makes it a good fit for use in our shop for several operations we normally would use a larger, bulkier hoist for.”