CM® Tornado 360°™ Lever Chain Hoist: Design, Features, and Best Fits

Are you looking for a more efficient chain hoist to increase your productivity?

Matt Florjancic

How do end-users utilize ratchet lever tools to perform work at their job sites?

That was a question Columbus McKinnon sought to answer, and their engineers/application specialists partnered with the Institute for Product Innovation at the University of Wuppertal, Germany on an ergonomic study that included more than 200 customer interviews across 10 countries, in addition to on-site evaluations of real-life applications.

By discovering lever chain hoists are more often used for pulling and securing instead of lifting applications, Columbus McKinnon engineered and built the CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist.

In this article, you’ll learn about the CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist’s:

  • Design and configuration
  • Sidewinder™ feature
  • Common applications
  • Bad fit applications
  • Maintenance and repairability
  • Additional features
CM Tornado 360 Lever Chain Hoist: Design, Features, and Best Fits: Main

CM® Tornado 360°™ Lever Chain Hoist Design, Configuration and Materials

The CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist is a one-of-a-kind, unique product in comparison to standard lever chain hoists on the market.

It comes in capacities of ¾ ton to 9 ton and features:

  • Aluminum housing
  • Powder-coated finish for extra corrosion protection
  • 100% load-tested zinc-plated chain
  • Convenient directional indicator for lifting, lowering and neutral
  • Fully-enclosed Weston style brake

Directional Indicator

Located on the handle, the directional indicator clearly shows end-users the operating direction as lifting, lowering, or neutral.

Positive Load Control

The fully-enclosed Weston style brake is protected from debris and moisture, which helps with

precise load positioning.

Smooth Free Chaining

The CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist was designed NOT to accidently free chain while under load. The cast chain end stop allows the end-user to position the chain in free-chaining mode and prevents it from entering the lift wheel and jamming the hoist.


CM Tornado 360 Lever Chain Hoist: Design, Features, and Best Fits: Hoist Body

The lightweight aluminum housing stands up to rigorous use, and features high-quality, long-lasting bearings. The powder-coated finish allows for extra protection in harsh environments.

Easy-to-Inspect Swivel Hooks

The bolt-on hooks with nylon locks help end-users fulfill requirements included in the ASME B30.21 Lever Chain Hoists and ASME B30.10 Hooks standards. Hooks are forged, which allows them to yield under overload without breaking. Cast safety latches provide positive and secure load engagement.

Sidewinder™ Feature

CM Tornado 360 Lever Chain Hoist: Design, Features, and Best Fits: Sidewinder

The Sidewinder™ feature makes the CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist unique from its competitors. The first-of-its-kind lever handle is foldable, and the 360° rotating capabilities increase productivity while reducing the risk of operator injury.

There are three positions while the Sidewinder™ is in use.

The neutral position is inside of the handle like a standard lever chain hoist, while the outward position gives end-users the ability to rotate the handle 360° in a very safe and efficient manner. That construction allows end-users to reduce pull force by 30%, as well as increase speed by 12 times that of a normal lever chain hoist.

Also, the handle has an inward position that allows users to have your pull force in line with a load chain.

Oftentimes, when you’re using a standard or traditional lever chain hoist, and you’re ratcheting it to take tension, the hoist actually will begin to rotate. If you put that Sidewinder™ feature on the inside, your pull force is now in line with the load chain, and that hoist won’t rotate.

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Common Applications for CM® Tornado 360°™ Lever Chain Hoist

CM®  frequently sees the Tornado 360° ™ being used in pulling, positioning, stretching, and in some cases, overhead lifting applications.

Unlike the CM® Hurricane Mini 360°, which is designed for lighter-duty applications, you’re going to see Tornado 360° ™ in use at:

  • Fabrication shops
  • Shipyards
  • Mining applications
  • Construction
  • Railroads
  • Utility applications

Shipping and Fabrication

In shipyards and fabrication shops, CM® experts have seen the Tornado 360° ™ being used to position steel plates.

When you use the hoist horizontally with the Sidewinder™ handle, the operator can easily position plates for welding.

Because of its design, the CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist works well in outdoor  applications because it comes standard with plated chain guides, chain strippers and load chain.

Utility Applications

Utility workers will use the CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist in conjunction with the wire grip to pull and tension powerlines. The ergonomic handle design allows for the safe and efficient usage of a very difficult and dangerous job being done.

Mining Applications

CM® has seen the Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist used in mine conveyor belt maintenance, and this is done when hoist operators flip the handle in line with the upper and lower hooks to create an inline pull and reduce the amount of twist around the load chain.

This makes the end-users’ jobs much easier. In some cases, they could perform a one-handed pull instead of holding the body with one hand and operating the hoist with the other.

CM Tornado 360 Lever Chain Hoist: Design, Features, and Best Fits: Hoist In Use

Separating from Competition

The Sidewinder™ feature really helps separate the CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist from other hoists on the market because the handle can rotate to 360°, which can reduce pull force by 33% and increase speed by 12 times.

Also, having varying capacities from ¾ ton to 9 tons is another big advantage to using the CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist. A 9-ton hoist is a very large capacity lifting device by industry standards.

CM® offers end-users a three-year brake warranty on the Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist, which is unique to the industry. They put a warranty on the brake, and by doing so, guarantee the brake for three years.

Like other lever chain hoists, CM® gives customers an option to have overload protection on the Tornado 360°™. This will help protect both the hoist and the operator.

The Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist comes with the industry-leading CM® lifetime warranty, which protects against manufacturer’s defects and craftsmanship.

CM® put a lot of design into The Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist, and are making these guarantees because they believe this is a versatile, safe and efficient lever chain hoist.

CM Tornado 360 Lever Chain Hoist: Design, Features, and Best Fits: All Hoist Models

Bad Fit Applications for CM® Tornado 360°™ Lever Chain Hoist

If your company operates in a highly corrosive environment, you want to think about the tools you’re using. The CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist comes standard as resistant to corrosion. However, in some severe duty applications, other options may be necessary.

When you’re working with chemicals and acids, you need to check with a lifting specialist or manufacturer to make sure the hoist is fit for that application. CM® wants you to avoid situations where the chemicals or acids are eroding the load chain, and that makes your frequent visual inspections that much more important.

Use in a rated area where a spark-resistant unit is required is another point of concern. The CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist is not spark-resistant.

Also, the CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist may not be appropriate for confined space applications where there is not sufficient space to operate the lever.

Any load with over a 9-ton capacity requires a different solution to this problem.

CM® recommends that you never lift people with any of its hoists, or suspend loads over people. Always be aware of your work environments.

Maintenance and Repair for CM® Tornado 360°™ Lever Chain Hoist

Just like manual chain hoists, all of CM®’s lever chain hoists are repairable.

The CM® Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist was built with ease of repair in mind, as access to the gear cover and Weston style brake are convenient. This product has bolt-on hooks for easy removal for inspection and replacement.

For the Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist, CM® offers replacement parts, including:

  • Hooks
  • Chain
  • Brakes

CM® Tornado 360°™ Lever Chain Hoist’s Additional Features

Along with all of the product design elements, CM® offers other features that differentiate The Tornado 360°™ lever chain hoist from its competition, including the:

  • Shipyard hook
  • Latch-lock hook

A shipyard hook is a blunt-tipped hook usually used in welding applications where fabricators are pulling steel sheets together.

Normally, on a standard hook, shipyard workers will be tip-loading their lifts, so they’ll decrease the life expectancy of those hooks by opening the throat. The shipyard hook is intended to be tip-loaded.

Also, CM® offers latch-lock hooks, which is a positive-locking or self-latching hook designed for more positive load control. By using latch-lock hooks, you won’t have to frequently replace your latches.

Wrapping it Up

CM Tornado 360 Lever Chain Hoist: Design, Features, and Best Fits: Hoist In Use

Columbus McKinnon created the CM® Tornado 360°™  lever chain hoist with the customer in mind, trying to find a more efficient and safer way to lift objects on the job site, but that’s only part of the equation.

For Columbus McKinnon to achieve its goal of creating safer work spaces, they need commitment from end-users to look at your operations and see how your shops can benefit from using this innovatively-designed product.

If you have a CM® manual hoist, Mazzella offers hoist repair and hoist inspection. We have a large inventory of hoist replacement and repair parts, so contact one of our lifting specialists to help keep your equipment in proper working order.

Call us at 800.362.4601, or click here if you need pullers, lever tools, or chain falls! 

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Disclaimer: Any advice, graphics, images, and/or information contained herein are presented for general educational and information purposes and to increase overall safety awareness. It is not intended to be legal, medical, or other expert advice or services, and should not be used in place of consultation with appropriate industry professionals. The information herein should not be considered exhaustive and the user should seek the advice of appropriate professionals.