Pintle Hitch Vs Ball Hitch

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Last Updated on July 20, 2022

Whenever you think about towing your trailers, you will find that there are two main hitch types available to make your job easier. They are the pintle hitch and ball hitch. A lot of people get confused about which one to pick among these hitch for their towing purposes.

So, before you purchase a hitch, you need to know it well. It will help you to understand the capability of the hitch. Otherwise, it may happen that the hitch you brought is unable to satisfy your purposes.

In this article, I will talk about the pintle hitch and ball hitch. I will also make an overall comparison as well between these hitch types.

Pintle Hitch Vs Ball Hitch

Does Your Hitch Matter?

In short, your hitch matters a lot. Because it is your hitch that will tell you how much weight you can tow behind your vehicle. Plus, your hitch will also decide which types of trailer you are allowed to tow. The towing requirements can vary from person to person. Which type of hitch you will need depends mostly on the road types, how frequently you will use it and the amount of weight you will pull every time.

If you can’t pick the right hitch according to the job requirements, you may end up having a terrible towing experience.

Pintle Hitch Vs Ball Hitch

Pintle Hitch

pintle hitch

The pintle hitch is used for dealing with your large trailers. This type of hitch has a bigger weight capacity compared with the standard ball hitches. The pintle hitch uses a tow ring figure in order to make the hook or ball combination secure. This type of hitch is mostly used in construction, military, agricultural and industrial equipment.

Besides, the pintle hitch offers the highest movement in the attachment spot than the ball couplers. The ball couplers usually fit snugly over the ball of hitches they remain to attach to and lock into place. The hook of the pintle hitch lets you have extra space where they remain connected to the lunette rings. This allows your trailer to have a bit of degree of movement.

Without it, if you need to travel on uneven or rough terrain, then the pintle hitch will be the option to pick. Because they offer both horizontal and vertical motion that allows you to deal with dramatic angles.

However, there are some downsides of a pintle hitch as well. First, you will have a rough and noisy ride because of the high motion range. That is why the trailer will have a higher ability to move around compared with the ball coupler. If you are not used to driving with the pintle hitch, then it can be nerve-racking. Secondly, the pintle hitch is not always compatible with the weight distribution system.

Ball Hitch

Ball Hitch

Again, the ball hitches are used for towing your small trailers or boats. If you need a hitch for recreational or light commercial towing, then the ball hitch is the option. The ball hitches come in different sizes such as 1-7/8-inches, 2-inches or 2-5/16-inches. The towing capacity of the ball hitch also varies according to the size. They usually remain attached to the coupler of a trailer.

The attachment of your ball hitch to the trailer is a tight fit and there is less opportunity to make movement between the coupler and ball. As a result, you will be able to enjoy a smooth experience of towing. There are some downsides as well. As the attachment of hitch and coupler will remain tight, you will find there is less maneuverability horizontally and vertically while making turns. Apart from that, the towing ability of the ball hitch is lower than the pintle hitch.

Pintle Hitch & Ball Hitch Comparison Chart

Well, in the above, I tried to tell you about these hitch types in detail. I guess you already have a good understanding of both these hitches. Still, for better understanding, I am making an overall comparison about them so that you can know these hitches better in a look.

Ball HitchPintle Hitch
Towing capacity: 2,000 lbs to 25,000 lbsTowing capacity: 10,000 lbs to 60,000 lbs
Remain mounted to trailer hitch receiverRemains bolts to pintle mount
Smooth and quiet rideRough and noisy ride
Need ball couplerNeed lunette ring
Not compatible for off-roading purposesCompatible for off-roading purposes
Use hitch ballUse pintle hook or ball/hook combination
Fits 11⁄4“, 2”, 21⁄2“, and 3” hitch receiversFits 2″, 21⁄2“, and 3” hitch receivers

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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