5 Surprising Uses for Ratchet Straps

Do you have ratchet straps in your garage collecting dust? These straps are more useful than you might think. Check out these five surprising things you can do with ratchet straps:

1. Use them in place of clamps

Table held together with straps
Image: AKA Design

Are you working on a large project? If a woodworking project is too big for any of the clamps in your toolbox, ratchet straps can be used to hold everything together: http://akadesign.ca/diy-project-rustic-farmhouse-table/

2. Build furniture

bed held together with straps
Image: Magazin

No tools? No problem! Some flat-pack furniture manufacturers, like the German manufacturer of the bed pictured above, have done away with nails and screws altogether, instead using ratchet straps to hold pieces together. If you have access to a laser cutter or even a jigsaw, you can create your own piece, like this chair: http://www.instructables.com/id/Ratchet-Strap-Chair/?ALLSTEPS

3. Hoist the top off of your truck

SUV roof suspended from ceiling
Image: mjanderle via IH8MUD

Have a hard-top Wrangler or a pickup with a camper top? Instead of spending a ton of money on specially-built hoists, attach ratchet straps to your garage ceiling and use them to lift and suspend the hard-top or camper shell. As forum user mjanderle found out after trying this, "having the top off is a freakin' hoot!" http://forum.ih8mud.com/threads/20-hard-top-hoist.605278/

4. Take up slacklining

Walking on a slackline
Image: Wikipedia

Slacklining is similar to tightrope walking. Slackliners walk along webbing straps suspended between two points. It's not uncommon to see them doing tricks and yoga on their lines either. A ratchet strap makes a great starter slackline. Here's how to use one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhPOzZ7j9Y4

5. Secure loads

Items in a roof rack

Okay, this one is pretty obvious, but many times when people need to strap something down they automatically reach for bungee cords. As our piece Five Reasons You Shouldn't Use Bungees Instead of Tie-Down Straps illustrates, using bungee cords to secure loads is dangerous. Despite the fact that we’ve shown you how to use ratchet straps for everything but securing loads, this is still the job they're best at.

Now that you have a better idea of what ratchet straps can do, wipe the dust off the ones in your garage and put them to good use. Make sure your straps are in good shape first, as we wouldn't recommend trying any of these things with ratchet straps that are frayed or damaged. If you need replacements, check out our full selection of ratchet straps.

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