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Plate lifting clamps - RUD India

Dec 21, 2023

Horizontal vs Vertical plate lifting clamps - Understanding the difference

Plate lifting clamps are tools used to lift and transport heavy flat objects like plates, slabs, and other flat surfaces. The clamps are usually attached to automated or remotely operated heavy machinery in industrial settings and can also be called friction gripping lifters. Unlike regular industrial clamps, these do not feature a hook-like shape. 

In the world of industrial lifting solutions, there are two types of plate lifting clamps; Horizontal and Vertical. While this is implicative that the only difference between the two is their positioning, their differences are more significant in practice. Both types have their merits and limitations and it is important to understand the difference between them to ensure you get the right clamp installed for your plate lifting requirements.

Horizontal Lifting Clamps are stable and compact

Horizontal lifting clamps grip plates horizontally and transport them from one flat surface to another. These clamps are compact and work well in small industrial facilities with space constraints.


  • Compact size and agility - These clamps are practical and take up less space. They’re also agile and perform well in cluttered environments.
  • Positioning and precision - Owing to their agility and precise controls, one of the horizontal lifting advantages is their ability to position the plate with increased precision.
  • Versatility - Another major strength of horizontal lifting clamps is their versatility. They’re available in a wide range of sizes, making them capable of thick and large plates as well as slim and fine ones.
  • Self-Locking Mechanisms - One of the best features of horizontal clamps is that they come with self-locking mechanisms. This makes them a very stable and reliable solution to transport industrial plates across surfaces.


  • Only good for short distances - Horizontal plate lifting clamps can only lift up to a limited height, restricting the distance they can transport plates.
  • Requirement of multiple clamps - Another major drawback of horizontal plate lifting clamps is that you’ll need at least two or more to lift and move larger plates. Owing to their compact size, these clamps aren’t capable of holding large plates on their own.

Vertical Plate Lifting Clamps are heavy-duty and efficient

Vertical plate lifting clamps are large and capable of lifting heavy loads in one go. These clamps are meant for vertically lifting plants from a horizontal position and transporting them to a different location. They’re usually used in situations where multiple stacks of plates need to be unloaded and transported.


  • Efficiency and time saving - Vertical plate lifting clamps save a lot of time and avoid the need for horizontal-to-vertical transitions. They can be liberally moved around over larger distances.
  • Vertical space saving - Vertical clamps lift plates upright and minimize the vertical space you require, improving overhead clearance.
  • One clamp is enough - Vertical plate lifting clamps can handle small-medium lifting loads. Load capacity in lifting clamps can vary based on brand and features, but most vertical clamps are designed to handle small and medium plates comfortably and in some cases, can also lift stacks of plates and sheets.


  • Bulky proportions and weight - Vertical clamps are meant for heavy-duty operations, and therefore, can be quite bulky and cumbersome.
  • Capacity Limitations - More often than not, only a single vertical clamp can be used for lifting. These clamps cannot work in tandem with other vertical clamps and therefore cannot be used to transport heavier loads or thicker slabs. It would be a good idea to check their capacity limitation before using them with heavier loads.

At the end of the day, both vertical and horizontal plate lifting clamps serve different purposes. As far as plate handling in manufacturing units is concerned, vertical lifting clamps offer heavy-duty solutions for transporting plates over larger distances whereas horizontal clamps offer precision and stability. In most advanced industrial units, both vertical as well as horizontal clamps are installed and work as a contraption but in some cases, you’ll need only one of them. It’s important to know what each one is capable of so that you can opt for the right one.

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