Know the Difference between Ratchet vs Pinlock Suspensions


Hard hats can be your last line of defense when you’re on the job site. Make sure you understand what type of suspension when wearing a hard hat. Suspensions allow you to wear the hard hat comfortably without it moving or falling off your head. Replacement suspensions are a common occurrence because of wear and tear. There are several types of suspensions on the market for hard hats. But between ratchet vs pinlock suspensions, which is the right one for you?

The Battle of Ratchet vs Pinlock

First, we have the pinlock suspension, that is generally the standard type of suspension. But by no means does that mean it doesn’t live up to the job. Just like on the back of a snapback baseball cap, it’s adjusted by moving the pin to the proper hole for best fit. It’s quick and easy to adjust. An alternative pinlock would be the one touch suspension. Which adjusts by squeezing the lock to the appropriate fit. Can adjust with just one hand, unlike the regular pinlock.

JSP Ratchet Suspension

You Spin Me Right Round Like a…Ratchet

On the other hand, there is the ratchet suspension which can adjust by a wheel in the back. The ease of changing a knob to provide a better fit can be useful in certain situations. Tighten or loosen the hard hat, with only one hand. And the alternative ratchet suspension is the ‘swingstrap ratchet.’ It allows the user to wear the hard hat backwards if needed.

Another area of note, the number of points that the suspension can cover. The types of suspensions will come with either a 4, 6 or 8 point suspension. The higher number the of points, then the greater the impact protection. That’s because the impact is scattered to more places to lessen the blow.

And the Verdict is…

In summary, the type of suspension will come down to a matter of preference or work requirement. Ratchet vs pinlock suspensions are both easy to use and to adjust. Both will provide the same amount of support. Granted that they have the same amount of suspension points. It’s also common that the types of suspension may differ from brand to brand. Notable hard hat brands include Bullard, JSP, Pyramex, MSA, and many more. So, make sure you’re getting the hard hat suspension, that best fits you and your job!