How Long Should Stainless Cable Railing Sections Be?

“How long should my stainless cable railing sections be?,” this is a common question.  The longer the run the less hardware is needed and thus correlates to a smaller bill for your project.  We understand this and look for the least expensive way to give our customers the look they are going for.

There are a few points to consider when deciding when to end your runs and when to start over.  The Longer the section of cable railing the more strain is placed on the terminal posts.  The longer the run, the more the cable will weigh in addition to the strain required to keep the lines tight enough to meet local building codes.  Keeping your lines closer to one another with a maximum of 3″ will help as you will not need to tighten the lines as much to meet most requirements.

As a general rule to go by, keeping your runs under 30′ will be ideal.  That being said, we have had customers use metal posts and go a bit further using tensioners on both sides to pull in the slack.  Keep in mind that with either wood or metal the connection at the top rail is equally as important as the base of the post to your flooring or deck.  If the connection to the top rail is insufficient, the force of the cable under tension is likely to pull to post from the top rail.  A solid connection to the top rail is especially important when using Protective Sleeves to bend the cable around a 45 degree turn. With wood posts another concern with lengthy runs is the possibility of the wood lag screw pulling out of the post. This is rare but becomes probable with exceedingly long cable runs.

Devline Rail is always glad to help with your hardware layout.  If you would like some guidance, please send your plans to: or give us a call at 801-899-3806.