How to Inspect and Maintain Pulley Blocks and Parts

It is important to inspect and maintain pulley blocks and parts to insure pulleys last a long time.  Performing proper maintenance on your pulley block and tackle system includes periodically evaluating, reviewing and maintaining the pulley blocks and sheaves.  Practical maintenance is essential to ensuring longevity, durability and functionality of your pulleys and related products.  The following are some points to consider when performing maintenance on the parts of your pulley block system.  In addition, we’ve included a diagram (photo) depicting the parts of a pulley block, which can also be used as a reference when reviewing our maintenance tips listed below.

Here are some maintenance tips to review when examining and maintaining the parts associated with your block and tackle pulley system:

How to Maintain Pulley Blocks and Parts

How to Maintain Pulley Blocks and Parts

  • Inspect the sheave by spinning the sheave (wheel) around multiple times.  Does the sheave spin smoothly?  If the wheel spins smoothly, that means that it’s doing its job and holding up well.  If it does not spin smoothly, try spraying some lubricant between the side plate and the sheave, and then spin the sheave again.  If it still sticks, you’ll need to either replace the sheave or purchase a new pulley.  How do you know which option to choose?  If your pulley has a snatch pin, this allows you to remove the snatch pin and disassemble the pulley to remove the existing sheave and replace or insert the new sheave.  If your pulley does not have a snatch pin, you’ll need to purchase a new pulley block.
  • Look at the rivets (or bolts) that hold the block together to insure that there is no major wear and tear between the rivets and the side plates.
  • If your pulley has a swivel or fixed hook, look for any deformation in the hook.  Make sure that there are no noticeable deformities in the hook.  If there are any deformities, replace the pulley.
  • If the pulley block has a snatch pin, make sure the snatch pin can fit securely and that a bridge pin is used.  See the photo “How to Maintain Pulley Blocks and Parts” above for details.
  • Use an aerosol lubricant on the sheave bushing.  Spray the lubricant on the sheave bushing on both sides of the sheave.
  • Visually check the area between the side plate and the sheave for wear.
  • If the cable, wire or fibrous rope is jumping the sheave groove and lodging in between the side plate and sheave, it will cause premature wear on both parts.  If this is the case, replace the pulley block.
  • Make sure the block or sheave and wire rope are aligned or you will experience side loads, which causes premature wear on the bushing in the sheave or possible damage to the side plate.
  • If necessary, order replacement sheaves or a new pulley, which are available at

Block Division Inc. was formed in 1969 out of a creative desire to develop long lasting, small pulley products.  For over 55 years, Block Division has developed an intimate knowledge of manufacturing tough, high-quality pulley block and tackle parts.  Our passion is to continue to develop, manufacture and deliver the best small blocks, small sheaves, large sheaves, and accessories in the market.  We place a high emphasis on quality control to insure that our customers can count on their safety, durability and reliability.  To find out more, contact Block Division at 800-433-0921 or check out our hundreds of pulley products, ideas for product application and usage, as well as information about the company at