Cable Tensioning, How much should I tighten my cables?

Chris Baker

One extremely common question is: How much should I tighten my cables?

The short answer is: Tight enough to pass code, which in most areas is tight enough to ensure a 4-inch sphere does not push through the lines easily.

The Key to cable railing is cable spacing and the spacing between support posts.

If you space your posts 4 feet apart and the cables 3 inches apart you will pass any code that we have ever heard of or have come in contact with. The further your support posts are from each other the easier it becomes for your cables to be separated. For the 4″ sphere rule your lines should only be able to move 1/2″ up or down.

4 inch spacing no good 3inch cable spacing good

"But what if I don't want a bulky post every 4 feet? PanoRAIL can send you a simple and sleek 1/4″ thick flat post as a cable support and you are set! Space your structural posts every 8 feet and using flat intermediate posts in between your rail will be even more of a space opener and view enhancer!

Tightening or Tensioning Cable railing systems is like tuning a guitar at first in the sense that you will need to tune the lines once or perhaps two more times after the initial setup. The system under tension will settle over the first week or two and will need to be adjusted but should only be slight.

For wood posts you will see some loosening as the weather transitions from winter to summer. There is a natural expansion/contraction cycle that happens to wood through the year as humidity rises and falls. This is most notable with pressure treated pine. Redwood and cedar are more stable and don't see as much moisture infiltration. 

Be careful:

As you tighten each line you may discover that the previously tightened cables are now loose again. If you overtighten a line just back it off slightly as overtightening effectively loosens the other lines. These wires and tensioning devices (turnbuckles) are strong 🙂 Tighten by feel and try to tighten up to, and not beyond the previous wire.

Cable Railing is a fun process and will last the test of time with minimal cleaning and maintenance. We hope this information on how to tighten cable railing has been helpful. Feel free to call and one of our pros will guide you along your way.

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What is Stainless Steel? Will it Corrode?

Chris Baker

What Is Stainless Steel?

Stainless Steel is an alloy that was discovered in 1913 by Sheffield metallurgist Harry Brearley. He was experimenting with different types of steel for weapons and noticed that a 13% Chromium steel had not corroded after several months. Stainless Steel must have a minimum of 10.5% Chromium. The Chromium creates an oxide or a layer called the Passive layer on the Steel that helps to protects it from Corrosion. There are several different grades of stainless steel where the composition of the elements changes for different outcomes and corrosion resistance. PanoRAIL stocks and supplies exclusively Type 316 Stainless Steel cable and hardware which contains more Nickel and an element called Molybdenum that helps to protect the stainless steel further from corrosion caused by chlorides found in sea water and de-icing salts.

Can Stainless Rust?

Stainless in Stain ‘less’ not Stain ‘proof.’ Generally, Stainless Steel will not rust and corrode like ferrous steels. It can become contaminated by a surface contaminant which can occur by not cleaning the stainless after using a ferrous tool or by using gloves that may be contaminated by ferrous metals. This can cause panic understandably if this is happening to your stainless cable railing, cable, or hardware. The good news is that in almost every scenario it can be cleaned using CitriSurf 77 Plus which is a cleaning spray that will help prevent further staining going forward as well. If surface staining is noticed it is very important that it is addressed as soon as possible to avoid further damage making its removal more and more difficult. Here are some examples of stain removal (photos courtesy of Stellar Solutions, creators of Citrisurf Products):

Stainless Steel Rust Removal

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Cable Railing Parts for Homes and Businesses

Chris Baker

Cable railing parts is extremely versatile and is suitable for a number of different applications. Here at PanoRAIL we stock all the cable railing parts you need to create a cable railing that fits your needs. Our stocked parts are made from T316 Marine Grade stainless steel but we’re able to get our hands on anything for our customers.

Interior Applications

stainless steel cable railing stairs black powder coated metal steel post

The great thing about cable railing is the minimal profile. The profile created by the cable disappears into any existing decor creating a sophisticated look. The minimal profile not only looks great, it takes less space than traditional materials. It allows you to maximize the room that you have; perfect for apartments and smaller dwellings. It is nowhere near as bulky as wood creating a significantly smaller footprint in your home. It can serve as a banister for stairs or for an upper floor. You can integrate cable railing into every area of your interior or just specific places. The cables can be suspended between posts made from wood or metal. The clean look is well suited for both personal homes and professional businesses.

Exterior Applications

stainless steel cable railing system cedar posts outdoor backyard view

All of our parts are constructed to withstand the elements. Made of Type 316 "marine grade" stainless steel, it will withstand the wind, rain, sun, and snow all in stride. It is a material that takes minimal maintenance and will last for a really long time. Use cable railing to secure decks, docks, stairs, boardwalks, and balconies. You can decide how many cables you use and the distance between cables but we always recommend checking the building code in your local area before finalizing plans.

Cable railing allows you to maximize the security of areas without compromising visibility. Again, cable railing has such a low profile that it virtually disappears. It provides the most visibility you can get from a railing system without using glass (that constantly needs to be cleaned).

Range of Products

We offer you everything you need to complete your cable railing project here at PanoRAIL. We can ship your products to you in the United States or internationally. Our full range of products include swage and swageless fittings, rail posts, cable, tools, and all the accessories needed to install cable railing. We even offer some custom products for special projects.

If you need an experienced contractor to help you with your cable railing project we might be able to assist. We have fostered trusted relationships with several contractors in varied areas of the United States. Contact Us to see if we know a contractor in your area. We can help you determine what cable railing parts you’ll need for your project.

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What Size Of Stainless Steel Cable Should I Use For My Railing? 1/8" or 3/16"? Here’s How To Decide

Chris Baker

Cable Railing can fit many different styles and looks within both residential and commercial spaces. It can be used for a modern industrial space or in a cabin in the mountains. The size of stainless cable and the type of rail is key to get the look you're wanting.

Look at this rail with a rock clad posts:

Rock post stainless steel cable railing with wood top rail

This Rail is all steel and was built to maximize the view:

2" square tube rail with 1/8" stainless steel cable railing infill

When trying to determine what size cable to use, first decide whether you want to see the cable infill or not. Do you want a cable railing system that will disappear or is the stainless steel part of the statement for the space that you are trying to create?

1/8″ and 3/16″ Stainless Steel Cable are the most common sizes when it comes to railing applications.

1/8″ Stainless Steel Cable will all but disappear at distances over 7-10 feet and will allow you and your guests to focus on the view. 1/8″ cable and hardware are generally less expensive as well. This is the most common between the two.

3/16″ Stainless Steel Cable makes a bit more of a statement. It will still create the illusion that there is almost no railing present but is much more brilliant up close and has a heavy duty feel to it.

Either way, you cannot go wrong with cable railing. Not only are Cable Railings nice to look at but they are near maintenance free. 

Please feel free to Contact Us should you have any questions or just for a few tips & tricks!

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Cable Railings Systems Explained In Detail

Chris Baker

Cable Railings Systems are a welcome addition to any residential home as well as commercial projects due to the trendy, modern look they bring to the premises. At PanoRAIL we are a private, family-owned company that prides itself in offering customers a variety of parts and tools for cable railing systems. We have built a reputation for supplying quality and unique items, thanks in part to our vast knowledge and experience in the industry. Below is a detailed description of what to expect from our range of products.

 stainless steel cable railing indoor modern staircase metal posts

Unobstructed Views

Cable railings promise to deliver a handful of benefits including the capacity to offer a clear view that is free from obstruction, especially for places like apartments with raised terraces. Our parts are ideal for any indoor, outdoor, residential, or commercial design. We offer tailor-made railing materials to suit your every need.

Indoor & Outdoor Applications

A cable rail is one of the most flexible yet practical applications you can adopt in a modern home. When used indoors, it is advisable to blend it with wood as well as some stainless steel accents. For outdoor applications, some go with all steel and others still mix some wood in, even if it’s just the top rail.

PanoRAIL cabling systems explained

No matter the application, our products are designed with safety in mind while retaining the aesthetic appeal. Our posts are strong enough to handle more of a load and force than they’d ever need. Our cable strands are made from T316 "marine grade" stainless steel, available in 1/8″, 3/16″, and 1/4" diameter.

Regardless of your choice of material, you can rest assured knowing your parts will last a lifetime.

Why choose us

Discover why PanoRAIL is the supplier of choice for so many people across the country and overseas. We offer a wide variety of innovative parts and hardware for cable railing systems including swage and swageless fittings at unbeatable prices. Our customer service department offers a speedy response to all our customers' demands. Feel free to give us a call or text (501-712-9676), shoot us an email (, or use the live chat feature on this site.

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The Benefits of Stainless Steel Cable Railing Systems

Chris Baker

A stainless steel cable railing system is essentially a series of metal wires/cables that run between rail posts. Open views are maintained by this system and when compared to glass, cable railing enables superior ventilation. The aesthetic created by this railing system complements different home styles.

 stainless steel cable railing with metal top rail ocean view and hot tub

Installers find this type of system remarkably easy and flexible. As an interior application, it is typically combined with cable rail handrails and wooden posts, with accents of stainless steel. When used in exterior applications, they are most attractively paired with stainless steel posts, steel-reinforced vinyl posts, composite posts, aluminum posts, or wood posts. Below are two benefits of installing a stainless steel cable railing:

Flexibility and Variety

When it comes to visual appeal, our stainless steel cable railing systems are quite flexible and they blend easily with any design. They look outstanding on both traditionally-designed and contemporary homes; this is largely because their clean lines virtually disappear.

The ultimate look of cable railings will largely depend on the particular materials used for framing and how the system is mounted. A chic, modern look can be achieved with a shiny, metallic finish, while you can achieve a homier, more traditional feel with dark framing.

Minimal Maintenance and Impressive Durability

Stainless steel cable railing systems can endure all types of wear and weather, which makes them a sensible investment for any homeowner. The quality of the fittings and cable we offer makes them practically maintenance free and tremendously resistant to corrosion.

Additionally, since a lot of the cable we have available can withstand up to 2800 pounds, you will be able to rely on the strength of your railing system for many years to come. In contrast to glass and wood pickets that get dirty or rot, the very minimal amount of material used in this type of system will allow you to effortlessly view your panoramic picturesque surroundings.

At PanoRAIL, our cable railings are available in variety of quality and sizes. The two most commonly used sizes are 1x19 and 7x7. The former is the sturdier of the two and it is more resistant to corrosion resistant. In addition, it is more rigid, with a more advanced breaking point than its less costly 7x7 counterpart.

Typically, our stainless steel cable railing parts are used for stairwells, decks, and porches. However, every day inspired architects are coming up with new and creative ways to use cable railings to really showcase the unique personality of the property owner and the overall beauty of a space.

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Why Choose Cable Railing Systems For Your Home?

Chris Baker

Cable railing systems are a great option for any home. Whether you’re upgrading your balcony, porch, or deck, you will reach a point where you’ll have to choose what railing option to go with. For most homeowners, the decision is usually a quick one that results in something boring made of wood or metal balusters, and there’s a good chance that you’re considering the same route. But what if you chose something different — something that will dutifully serve its purpose yet remain practically invisible?

stainless steel cable railing with 2" square steel tubing river view

They Can Complement Many Different Home Designs

Most of the systems you’ll come across when shopping will be comprised of end, corner, and mid/intermediate posts, with cables running across the framing. This makes them flexible enough to blend in with any design and architecture.Thanks to the elegant structure and lean texture. What’s more, you can further enhance this appeal by using different materials for framing or changing the manner in which the cables are mounted. But if you like to keep things simple, you can take comfort in the fact that most products are designed stylishly enough to be used in both contemporary and traditional homes.


Unlike most other railing options, cable railings have the ability to withstand just about all weather conditions. This is especially true for aluminum and stainless steel systems — not only can they withstand enormous amounts of weight, but they also don’t deteriorate when continuously exposed to sunlight and precipitation. Cable railings are thus a wise investment for any homeowner, since they don’t require much in the way of maintenance.

Picturesque Views Ahead

If you’re looking for a railing option that stays functional without obstructing your view of the surroundings, cable railings would be your best bet. The posts should be placed 4 feet apart. No matter how far apart the cables are spaced, you can rest assured that they will let you see right through to your backyard, walkway, or balcony. This enhances the curb appeal and resale value of your property as well. Something you can’t say of wood pickets.

Built to Last

Obviously, a piece of wood will never match aluminum or stainless steel cable rails in terms of sheer strength. This means wooden structures have to be replaced regularly to uphold stability, something you won’t need to worry about when you choose cable railing systems. As long as they’re installed properly, these could last for decades, making them ideal for homeowners seeking long-term solutions.

Ideal for both commercial and residential applications, cable railing systems allow for a sleek, contemporary look that’s sure to impress. This might be the reason why their popularity has been rising steadily in recent years. So why not get in touch with us for more advice on these solutions? At PanoRAIL, we have an experienced railing team who can guide you towards the best solution for your specific needs and preferences, so feel free to call or email us.

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