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It's no average person who knows a winch from a hoist. So don't feel bad if you don't know. Oh, sure, they may look the same, but they serve quite different purposes. Both are used to move heavy loads, of course; but the winch is designed to pull a load while a hoist is designed to lift it. Now that you are hip to the difference between a hoist and a winch, you'll be able to make the right choice to get the job done.