Category Icon Electric Chain Hoists Lodestar Lodestar Classic

CM Lodestar vs. Lodestar Classic (What Has Changed)

Short Answer

The modern Lodestar offers quieter operation, enhanced safety features, and an environmentally friendly design, making it suitable for precision applications. In contrast, the Lodestar Classic has durable and reliable, making it ideal for harsh environments and heavy-duty use.

cm lodestar nh versus cm lodestar classic

Initial Thoughts

In the world of industrial applications, the efficiency and reliability of hoisting equipment play pivotal roles in daily operations. Among the large number of options available, the CM Lodestar electric chain hoists stand out as a beacon of quality and dependability.

The Lodestar, with its modern features and refined design, and the Lodestar Classic, renowned for its enduring reliability, represent two sides of the same coin in Columbus McKinnon’s legacy of excellence. This guide embarks on a detailed comparison of these two models, shedding light on what has changed, what remains steadfast, and how these differences translate into real-world applications.

As we navigate through the intricacies of each model, our goal is to offer valuable insights for users to make informed decisions tailored to their specific needs. Whether it’s the whisper-quiet operation of the Lodestar or the rugged, tried-and-true performance of the Classic, understanding these hoists’ unique attributes is key to harnessing their full potential in various industrial settings.

Background on CM Lodestar

The CM Lodestar series stands as a testament to Columbus McKinnon’s legacy of lifting solutions that blend strength, reliability, and innovation. Let’s dive into the rich history and evolution of the Lodestar lineup and examine the journey from the robust Classic model to the technologically advanced Lodestar that showcases the brand’s commitment to engineering excellence and user-centric design.

The Genesis of Lodestar Classic

The inception of the Lodestar Classic marked a pivotal moment in hoisting technology. Engineered for durability, safety, and efficiency, the Classic quickly became the industry standard for overhead lifting.

Its robust construction and reliable performance earned it a reputation as the go-to electric chain hoist for diverse industrial applications worldwide. The Classic model’s introduction not only set new benchmarks in lifting solutions but also solidified Columbus McKinnon’s role as a leader in the field.

Evolution Towards the Modern Lodestar

Responding to the evolving needs of industries for more efficient, safer, and environmentally sustainable lifting solutions, Columbus McKinnon introduced the Lodestar. This model retained the Classic’s renowned ruggedness and reliability while incorporating cutting-edge features such as significantly quieter operation, environmentally friendly design, and advanced safety measures.

The Lodestar represents Columbus McKinnon’s forward-thinking approach, marrying traditional strength with modern innovation to meet contemporary operational demands.

A Legacy of Quality and Innovation

The journey from the Lodestar Classic to the latest Lodestar model is more than a tale of product evolution; it’s a reflection of Columbus McKinnon’s enduring commitment to excellence.

This transition illustrates how the brand has not only adapted to but also anticipated and shaped industry trends, ensuring that users have access to the most advanced lifting solutions. The story of the Lodestar series underscores a dedication to pushing the boundaries of material handling technology, highlighting a continuous quest for improvement and innovation.

Overview of CM Lodestar Classic

The CM Lodestar Classic has been a cornerstone in the Columbus McKinnon lineup for decades, renowned for its durability, reliability, and performance. As the original model in the Lodestar series, it set a high standard for electric chain hoists, earning a reputation as an indispensable tool across various industrial sectors. Here is an overview of the Lodestar Classic, highlighting its key features and the enduring qualities that have made it a favorite among professionals.

cm lodestar electric chain hoistKey Features of the CM Lodestar Classic

  • Robust Design: The Classic is built to withstand the rigors of heavy-duty industrial use, ensuring long-term reliability and performance.
  • Versatility in Applications: Capable of handling a wide range of lifting tasks, the Classic’s versatility makes it suitable for numerous environments, from manufacturing facilities to entertainment venues.
  • Safety and Durability: With safety at its core, the Classic features a rugged design and construction that prioritizes operator safety and hoist longevity.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Designed for easy servicing, the Classic allows for straightforward access to its parts, facilitating maintenance and reducing downtime.
  • High Performance: Known for its efficient operation, the Classic delivers high lifting speeds and precise load handling, enhancing productivity in every use case.
  • Adaptability: With various capacity options and the ability to work in different voltages, the Classic can be tailored to meet specific operational needs.

Benefits of Choosing the CM Lodestar Classic

  • The Classic’s proven durability and reliability reduce the total cost of ownership, making it a cost-effective choice for businesses.
  • Its ease of maintenance not only prolongs the hoist’s life but also ensures it operates at peak efficiency, contributing to smoother, uninterrupted workflows.
  • The versatility and high performance of the Classic make it an asset in diverse applications, reinforcing its status as a go-to solution for lifting needs.

Overview of CM Lodestar

The modern iteration of the CM Lodestar electric chain hoist represents Columbus McKinnon’s ongoing commitment to innovation in the lifting and material handling industry. Here is an overview of the Lodestar, highlighting its standout features and the advancements that distinguish it from its predecessor, the Classic. Designed to meet the needs of today’s industries, the Lodestar incorporates a range of enhancements that improve operation, safety, and maintenance.

cm lodestar nh electric chain hoistKey Features of the CM Lodestar

  • Quieter Operation: The Lodestar boasts a significant reduction in operational noise, making it a more suitable option for environments where noise levels are a concern. This improvement enhances workplace safety and communication.
  • Environmentally Friendly Design: Emphasizing sustainability, the Lodestar is designed with eco-friendly components and materials, reducing the environmental impact of industrial operations.
  • Enhanced Safety Features: Safety is paramount in the design of the Lodestar, with features such as improved braking systems, fall arrest mechanisms, and overload protection, ensuring safer operations and peace of mind for users.
  • Ease of Maintenance: The Lodestar is engineered for easy access to its components, simplifying maintenance tasks and reducing downtime. This user-friendly approach extends the hoist’s service life and ensures peak performance.
  • High Duty Cycles: Built to handle the demands of continuous operation, the Lodestar is capable of high duty cycles, making it a reliable choice for intensive use in various industrial applications.
  • Reduced Vibration: The incorporation of a 5-Pocket Lift Wheel and other design optimizations minimizes vibration during operation, leading to smoother lifting and a longer chain life.
  • Advanced Control Options: Offering state-of-the-art control features, the Lodestar provides users with precise handling and versatility in operation, whether through standard pendant controls or advanced variable frequency drives.

Benefits of Choosing the Lodestar

  • The Lodestar’s quiet operation and reduced vibration enhance the working environment, contributing to better focus and reduced fatigue for operators.
  • Its environmentally friendly features and sustainable design align with green initiatives and corporate responsibility goals.
  • Enhanced safety features and easy maintenance not only ensure the longevity of the hoist but also contribute to lower operational costs over time.
  • The Lodestar’s adaptability across various industries and applications makes it a versatile and invaluable asset in any lifting operation.

Differences Between Lodestar and Classic

The transition from the CM Lodestar Classic to the modern Lodestar represents Columbus McKinnon’s commitment to innovation while maintaining the core strengths that have defined the brand. Here are the critical differences between the two models, highlighting how technological advancements and design improvements have been integrated into the Lodestar to meet contemporary industrial needs.

Technological Enhancements and Performance

  • Operational Noise: The Lodestar offers a quieter operation compared to the Classic. This reduction in sound levels creates a more conducive working environment, particularly in settings where noise reduction is critical.
  • Environmental Considerations: With an emphasis on sustainability, the Lodestar incorporates environmentally friendly materials and design features, aligning with modern green initiatives and reducing the ecological footprint of industrial operations.
  • Safety Features: While both models prioritize safety, the Lodestar introduces advanced safety mechanisms, including improved braking systems and overload protection, ensuring a safer operation for users.
  • Maintenance and Accessibility: The Lodestar has been designed for easier access to components, simplifying maintenance tasks and reducing downtime. This approach enhances the longevity and reliability of the hoist.

Design and Usability

  • Vibration and Operation: The introduction of the 5-Pocket Lift Wheel in the Lodestar reduces vibration, offering smoother lifting operations. This feature not only enhances the user experience but also extends the lifespan of the hoist’s chain.
  • Control Options: The Lodestar provides more advanced control options, including variable frequency drives (VFD), for precise handling and versatility in operation, catering to the nuanced needs of diverse industrial applications.

Industry and Application Fit

  • Versatility and Application: While the Classic has been celebrated for its versatility, the Lodestar expands on this by offering configurations that are tailored to even more specialized applications, from concert stages to automotive manufacturing floors.
  • Capacity and Performance: Both models cover a wide range of capacities, but the Lodestar’s improved design allows for enhanced performance across all capacity ranges, particularly in high-duty cycle environments.

Applications and Industries

The versatility of the CM Lodestar series, including both the Classic and the modern Lodestar, allows these hoists to be employed across a broad spectrum of industries and applications. This adaptability stems from their robust design, reliability, and the range of capacities and features available. Understanding where and how these models are utilized can help users select the right hoist for their specific needs.

Manufacturing and Warehousing

  • Assembly Lines: Both hoists are extensively used in manufacturing facilities for moving components along assembly lines, where precision and reliability are crucial.
  • Material Handling: In warehousing and distribution centers, the Lodestar series is instrumental in lifting and positioning goods, aiding in inventory management and logistics.

Entertainment Industry

  • Stage Rigging: The modern Lodestar, in particular, is favored in the entertainment industry for its quiet operation and precise control, essential for safely positioning lighting, scenery, and sound equipment during productions.

Construction and Infrastructure

  • Building Projects: The ruggedness of the Classic is valued on construction sites for lifting building materials and equipment, supporting the assembly of structures and installation of heavy components.
  • Maintenance and Repair: Both models find applications in maintenance and repair operations of infrastructure, such as bridges and towers, where durability and operational reliability are paramount.

Automotive Industry

  • Production Lines: Automakers leverage these hoists in production lines for the lifting of parts and assemblies, where the Lodestar’s high duty cycle and reliability ensure seamless operations.


  • Aircraft Assembly and Maintenance: The precise lifting capabilities of the Lodestar series are critical in the assembly and maintenance of aircraft, where every lift must be performed with utmost accuracy and safety.

Energy Sector

  • Wind Turbines: The maintenance of wind turbines is another area where these hoists are essential, providing the necessary lifting power in a compact form factor that is ideal for the confined spaces within turbine towers.

Food and Beverage Production

  • Processing Equipment: In the food and beverage industry, the ease of maintenance and reliability of the Lodestar hoists support the lifting of processing equipment and large batches of ingredients.

Maritime Applications

  • Shipbuilding and Repair: The Lodestar series is utilized in shipyards for the construction and repair of ships, where their performance in harsh environments proves invaluable.

Choosing The Right Lodestar

Selecting the right hoist between the CM Lodestar and the Classic model is a critical decision that hinges on understanding your specific needs and the unique features each model offers. Here are several considerations to guide you in making an informed choice:

Operational Environment

  • Noise Sensitivity: For environments where noise is a concern, such as theaters or broadcast studios, the modern Lodestar with its quieter operation is the preferred choice.
  • Harsh Conditions: The Classic’s robustness makes it ideal for harsh environments like construction sites or outdoor use where it can withstand the elements and rough handling.

Application Requirements

  • Duty Cycle and Usage Frequency: If the hoist will be used intensively or in a high-duty cycle application, the modern Lodestar’s design for continuous operation makes it a better fit.
  • Precision and Control: The Lodestar offers advanced control options, including variable frequency drives, making it suitable for applications requiring precise load positioning.

Safety and Maintenance

  • Safety Features: While both models prioritize safety, the modern Lodestar includes enhanced safety features and overload protection, which may be decisive for applications with strict safety requirements.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Consider the ease of maintenance and access to components. The Lodestar’s design facilitates easier maintenance, potentially reducing downtime in operations where time is critical.

Financial Considerations

  • Initial Investment vs. Total Cost of Ownership: While the modern Lodestar may come with a higher initial price tag due to its advanced features, its efficiency, durability, and lower maintenance costs can result in a lower total cost of ownership over time.
  • Operational Costs: Factor in potential savings from reduced energy consumption with the Lodestar’s efficient design and the cost implications of the hoist’s duty cycle on operational budgets.


  • Adaptability to Future Needs: Consider not only current needs but also future requirements. The Lodestar’s advanced features and adaptability make it a more future-proof investment, especially if your operational needs are expected to evolve.

Making the Decision

  1. Assess Your Needs: Start by clearly defining the operational, safety, and financial requirements of your application.
  2. Compare Features: Evaluate the features of both the Lodestar and the Classic against your needs. Consider factors like operational environment, duty cycle, safety features, and ease of maintenance.
  3. Consult with Experts: Speak with industry experts or representatives from Columbus McKinnon. They can provide valuable insights and help tailor your choice to your specific needs.
  4. Consider Long-Term Implications: Think about the long-term implications of your choice, including maintenance costs, operational efficiency, and the potential for future upgrades.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between the Lodestar and the Classic is not just a matter of preference but a decision that should be informed by a comprehensive understanding of each model’s capabilities, features, and suitability for specific applications.

Whether you prioritize the environmental sustainability and advanced safety features of the Lodestar or the time-tested durability and reliability of the Classic, both hoists embody Columbus McKinnon’s dedication to quality, safety, and efficiency.

As industries continue to evolve and new challenges emerge, the importance of selecting the right lifting equipment cannot be overstated. The decision to invest in a CM Lodestar hoist, be it the Classic or the modern iteration, is a decision to invest in the future of your operations.

By carefully considering the factors discussed, users can ensure they select a hoist that not only meets their current needs but also adapts to future demands, maximizing the return on their investment and ensuring operational success for years to come.