The differences between Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps

Published on 06/10/19

Today we will be going over the main differences between Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps and which cargo securement works best for your application needs.

For some people, selecting a Tie Down Strap is as easy as going to the store and grabbing the first one they see on the shelf. This is okay when you are taking your childʼs bicycle down the street or working on an at-home project, but when you are transporting your most valuable items across the country you will undoubtedly dig a little deeper into the type of Tie Downs you should use.

There are many debates as to which Tie-Down is better and this article is meant to compare and contrast Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckles to help you make the decision on your own!
In this article, we will be using 4 different categories to compare and contrast Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps: Strength, Usability, Customization, and Durability.

Cam Buckle Straps vs Ratchet Straps

The Strength Differences Between Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps

In order to compare and contrast the categories as a whole instead of one individual strap, we will do our comparisons based on the lowest and highest possible values for breaking strength and Working Load Limit within each category. This allows you to get a better picture of the strength of Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps in general. If you have any questions about breaking strength or Working Load Limit, feel free to call us at 800-483-2189 and our experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Ratchet Straps – Our Ratchet Straps, also referred to as Ratchet Tie Downs, are available in sizes ranging from 1 inch to 4 inches. Each is made from durable polyester webbing that is designed to resist the elements. The breaking strength of our 1-inch Ratchet Strap webbing is 3,000 pounds with a Working Load Limit ranging from 500-to 1100 pounds depending on the hardware attachment. These Ratchet Straps are mainly used to secure smaller vehicles like ATVs and Motorcycles.

Our 4-inch Ratchet Strap webbing has a breaking strength of 20,000 pounds with a Working Load Limit of 5,400-5,670 pounds. These are the strongest straps on the market that are used for cargo securement purposes and are typically used for securing heavy machinery.

Cam Buckle Straps – Our Cam Buckle Straps, also called Cam Buckle Tie Downs, are only available in 1 inch and 2-inch widths. They are made out of the same polyester webbing as our Ratchet Straps. The breaking strength of the 1 inch Cam Buckle Webbing ranges from 1,500 to 6,600 pounds and had a Working Load Limit that tops out at 500 pounds because of the Cam Buckle hardware.

Our 2 inch Cam Buckles have a webbing breaking strength of 6,000 pounds and a Working Load Limit between 833 and 915 pounds depending on the combination of hardware that you decide to use.

When working with any kind of Tie Down Strap it is important to know the Working Load Limit. These limits are set by the Department of Transportation for your safety and for the safety of those around you. All of our Tie Down Straps have a clearly labeled tag that contains the Working Load Limit and failure to adhere to that limit could cause serious damage to you and your cargo.

Ratchet Straps instructions


Ratchet Straps – If you have ever used a Ratchet Strap before, you know that they can be extremely frustrating to use. If you have never used one before, good luck learning! Many people have been using them for years and still have trouble getting them to cooperate every single time.

The complicated design of Ratchet Straps means that there are a lot of little things that could go wrong and that can make for a frustrating experience if you are in a hurry. If you donʼt get them just right they can be a pain and this is the main complaint that you will hear about Ratchet Tie Downs. When used right, however, they are a very helpful tool!

Cam Buckle Straps – Arguably the best feature of Cam Buckle Straps is their ease of use. For those of us who do not have the time nor the know-how to deal with Ratchet Straps, Cam Buckles are a great replacement! They are great for making quick work of any securement task you may have.

Motorcycles and ATVs are one area where Cam Buckle Tie Downs are used the most. When embarking on an outdoor adventure, nobody wants to eat up valuable riding time while loading and unloading vehicles, and Cam Buckles are one way to avoid that altogether!

If you are new to Ratchet Straps and would like some additional information about them, check out our Ratchet Straps Blog! Here you will find helpful tips and tricks like how to store, use, and make the most out of your Tie Down Straps! If you have any additional questions feel free to give us a call at 800-483-2189 to speak with one of our experts! We look forward to taking your call!

Different Customization Options for Ratchet Straps

Customization Options Between Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckles

Ratchet Straps – All of the Ratchet Tie Downs on our website are customizable with a variety of options. First, you will want to choose your webbing color. Some of our colors include blue, yellow, orange, and camouflage. You can then choose the kind of ratchet you want with options such as a wide handle, rubber handle, thumb ratchet, narrow handle, wide handle with snap hook, and more!

Color options include stainless steel, black, and gold. The hardware combinations are virtually endless. We have S hooks, Wire Hooks, D-rings, O-rings, Flat Hooks, E Track Fittings, Snap Hooks, Oval rings, Carabiners and so many more. Any possible combination that you can think of, we want to be the provider of it!

In addition to these choices, we have the ability to custom cut any of our straps to fit your exact specifications. This allows us to meet your needs better and ultimately help you find the product you need!

Cam Buckle Straps – Cam Buckle Tie Downs are also very customizable. The Cam Buckle Hardware is available in black, gold, and stainless steel. There is also a Push Release Clip for our 1 inch Cam Buckles Strap that is an even more simplified version of our regular Cam Buckle. The hardware available on our Cam Buckle Tie Downs includes S hooks, D-rings, Snap Hooks, E Track Fittings, O-rings, Oval rings, Carabiners, and Wire Hooks.

While these options are all available to you, our most popular ones are S hooks and Wire Hooks for their uses in hauling ATVs and Motorcycles. Cam Buckle Straps are also available in custom lengths and colors including blue, yellow, and even camouflage! Allowing custom lengths gives us the opportunity to meet your specific needs and provide you with the best product for your needs!

We know all of the options on our site can be overwhelming so if you have any questions about the customization options on any of our Tie Down Straps, please give us a call at 800-483-2189 and one of our experts will be happy to speak with you!

Popular Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps

The Durability Differences Between Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckles

Ratchet Straps – Ratchet Straps are notoriously durable. They are used often in the cargo control industry where durability and strength are important. The polyester webbing used for our Tie Downs is resistant to scratches, UV rays, and water which makes it particularly useful for flatbed trucking. The 3 and 4-inch versions of our Ratchet Tie Downs are some of the strongest and most durable on the market. Each ratchet is constructed with steel for maximum durability.

This sturdy construction allows our Ratchet Tie-downs to hold tight throughout the trip as long as the Working Load Limit is not exceeded. All of our webbing and hardware are tested rigorously to establish Working Load Limits and breaking strength so we can ensure the safety of each one of our customers!

Cam Buckle Straps – Cam Buckle Straps are definitely not as strong as Ratchet Straps, but they are definitely as durable! They are constructed from polyester webbing that is resistant to rain, sun, and harmful scratching. The hardware for our Cam Buckle Straps is made from steel to ensure that every strap that leaves our shop is able to withstand the burdens you need it to. As long as you are not misusing the straps or exceeding the Working Load Limits on Cam Buckle Straps they are more than capable of getting the job done!

How you store and use your straps influences how long they will last. It is important to always store your straps in a dry place and to prevent them from rubbing on your cargo as much as possible. Cordura sleeves are a great way to put a barrier in between your strap and the sharp edges it may be rubbing against.

Working Load Limit Tag for Ratchet Straps USA

Things to take away about Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps

When you compare and contrast two Tie Down Straps such as Cam Buckle Straps and Ratchet Straps your decision is ultimately made based on two things: what you are using it for and personal preference. Each strap has its pros and cons. Ratchet Straps are stronger but Cam Buckles are easier to use.

Those are just the facts. But sometimes either tie-down will work just fine. That is when it comes down to personal preference. As long as the Working Load Limit matches up with the one given on the strap you can use whichever you prefer! We hope this article was helpful and informative! If you ever have any questions about Tie Down Straps of any kind, give us a call at 800-483-2189 and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can!

Endless Loop Ratchet Straps

Frequently Asked Cam Buckle Strap and Ratchet Strap Questions

What is the better strap for heavier cargo? – We strongly urge our customers to always opt to go for ratchet straps over cam buckle straps if the load of the cargo is above 700 to 750 lbs. When dealing with heavier cargo the risk of the cargo not being tightly secured enough by hand strength could cause the cargo to move or even become unsecured if you are not careful. Whereas a ratchet strap tightens using a mechanism that can get the strap much tighter and help to remove the chance of the cargo moving from not being tight enough.

What are the more affordable strap between Cam Buckle Straps and Ratchet Straps? – Cam Buckle straps are by far the most economical straps out of the two due to the fewer amount of materials in order to make them. These straps are easy to use and are much cheaper to use for most normal-sized cargo securement applications. However, if you are transporting higher physical weight cargo you will want to typically opt for ratchet straps instead.

What is the longest a strap can be made? – As we have the capability to make these straps in-house the length of the webbing can be made to almost any length of webbing. We have previously had customers order 100-feet long straps or longer depending on their cargo securement application needs. If you are interested in purchasing a longer strap please contact our experts at 800-483-2189 or by using our online contact form located at the top of the website and our team would be happy to assist you further.

How long do Ratchet Straps and Cam Buckle Straps last? – Depending on the amount of usage the straps see every year they can range from several years to upwards of 6 years or longer. As long as you are stopping and inspecting your straps before and after every use to ensure that the straps are safe to use there is no real-time limit on any tie-down straps as it varies from user to user.

What is the best way to determine how long of a strap I need? – We often recommend customers to use a string or a bundle of yarn and wrap around the cargo or simply edge to edge and then use a tape measure to measure the amount that is used. This is the easiest and cheapest method to find the length of webbing that you need for your next cargo securement.