A winch (or a hoist) is a manual, electric, or hydraulic device used to move heavy loads by winding a rope, cable, or chain around a drum. A winch is for pulling rolling weight across a level or inclined surface. A hoist is used to lift or lower loads vertically. Winches have sliding breaks and hoists have locking breaks. Hoists are geared for lifting, and can usually support more weight than winches, which are geared for pulling.