Top 4 Types of Stage Rigging Blocks for Smooth Operation

lead blocks

Top 4 Types of Stage Rigging Blocks for Smooth Operation


lead blocks


Many theatrical and entertainment venues utilize large pulleys, known as stage rigging blocks, that are specifically designed for overhead loads and essential applications. Thern Stage’s blocks are built for multi-line systems and reduce drag and noise for smooth operation. We offer several types of blocks that serve different purposes and can work together to deliver exceptional results.

Comparing 4 Types of Stage Rigging Blocks

Thern’s top four types of stage rigging blocks include head, loft, floor, and mule. In general, venues with a counterweight rigging system will use head, loft, and floor blocks in various quantities to make up a working system. Venues with obstructions or unique rigging layouts are recommended to use mule blocks.

Head Block HB12-R8S25SP

Head Blocks

The large blocks that are mounted directly above an arbor or hoist are called head blocks. These blocks gather the lift lines over one multi-groove Nylatron® or steel sheave and direct them out to the loft blocks across the stage. They can be installed underhung or upright and include a series of mounting holes to accommodate a wide range of head beam configurations. Custom groove arrangements are also available to meet the needs of your specific project. 

Loft Block LB12_R4N25

Loft Blocks

The blocks that run across the stage above the battens are called loft blocks. These blocks are typically positioned above the stage on steel I-beams or grid wells. They redirect the lift lines from a horizontal to vertical direction to attach to the batten below. 

Floor Block FB12-W1N75

Floor Blocks

Floor blocks are installed on the bottom of a counterweight rigging system, below the arbor to guide the hand line through the rope lock and up over the head block. Our floor blocks are a single Nylatron or steel sheave grooved for the size of the hand line. Typically, this block is free-floating within the guide track to maintain proper tension on the handline. 

Mule Block MB12T-X4N25

Mule Blocks

Mule blocks are often located at the near or far ends of the line set. Our mule block is a multi-groove sheave that supports and changes the direction of the lift lines. They are used to redirect lines horizontally or at various angles, providing flexibility in the arrangement of scenery or equipment. We also include customized mounting options to meet your specific application.

The Advantages of Thern Stage Rigging Blocks

As an industry-leading manufacturer of counterweight rigging equipment, we are pleased to offer stage rigging blocks that are built to streamline your performance. Some key advantages include: 

  • All blocks are engineered with an 8:1 design factor and conform to ANSI standards for manual and motorized rigging for safe and reliable performance.
  • Being an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we ensure that every product we manufacture meets strict quality standards.
  • Our loft blocks are formed from a single piece of steel to reduce stress on welds and fasteners. They come with either single-groove sheaves with 2” idlers or multi-groove sheaves. These blocks can be mounted upright, underhung, or fastened directly to the beam with our throat-cut mount. They are available with 6, 8, and 12” diameter sheaves. 
  • Our head blocks come with 12 and 16” diameter sheaves and can be customized for 3/4 or 1” hand lines or 3/8” drive lines for line sets using a counterweight assist hoist.
  • Durable Nylatron and steel sheaves are both available. Steel sheaves are ideal for a fire curtain system due to the potential high heat situations while operating.

Take your performance to the next level with reliable stage rigging blocks at your venue. We are here to help determine the best solution for your specific needs. Connect with our team today to get started!