What is cable railing? In this blog we will answer basic questions about cable railing, and highlight the HAAS Stainless Cable Railing System.

Read more or watch our video to learn about the basics of installing the HAAS Stainless Cable Railing System.
If you've never installed a cable railing system before we can completely understand how at first glance it may seem like a very complex and overwhelming type of project. The good news is that cable railing systems are actually pretty basic, and they're really easy to install!


The foundation of any cable railing system is the cable. Typically 1/8 inch or 3/16 inch, 1 by 19, type 316 stainless steel cable is used for cable railing systems. Cables are usually spaced about three inches apart to comply with building code.

Selecting Cable

When it comes to selecting a cable size it's really a matter of personal preference. 1/8 inch cable is going to give you more of a minimalistic and less obstructive type view, whereas 3/16 inch cable is going to give you more of a robust an industrial type look.

Regardless each size is more than capable of handling the minimal amounts of abuse and loads that cable railing systems are prone to. Once you've determined your cable size the next step in the process is going to be to break down your entire cable railing system into what are called individual cable runs.

A cable run is basically one segment of your cable railing system. It starts at one end post or corner post and then stops at another. There are typically some intermediate support posts that are in between the two.
Types of Cable Railing Posts

For example, if you take a look at this deck diagram you'll see that there are a total of three separate cable runs that make up the entire cable railing system. Each cable run is going to consist of three different types of component.
Cable Railing Cable Run Diagram

Cable Run Components

The first type of component is called an end stop. An end stop's job is to hold the cable in place at one end of the cable run so that the cable can be tensioned at the opposite end of the run.

The second type of component is called a wood post protector. A wood post protector prevents the cable from rubbing around the edges of the holes in the post, and it also adds a very finished and appealing look to the face of the post.

The third and final component in the cable run is the tensioner, and the tensioner is what tightens all of the cables in the run.

At this point you know that your cable railing system can be broken down into individual cable runs that each consists of end stops, wood post protectors, and tensioners. Now, atHAAS Stainless we offer those three components in a few different types. It is really important that you understand what each type is used for, so you can select the most suitable components for each scenario in your cable railing system.

End Stops

When it comes to end stops, HAAS Stainless has three different styles to choose from:standard swage stops, low-profile swage stops, and lag swage stops.

Cable Railing End Stop

Standard swage stopsare through post fitting, and should be used whenever you have access to the back side of the post.

Low-profile swage stops mirror standard swaged stops in functionality but are much thinner which provides more of a minimalistic type view.

Lag swage stops are a non-through post type of fitting that screw directly into the wood of the post. They're typically used whenever you don't have access to the backside of the post, or at a single corner post where a through post tensioning fitting has been installed.

Wood Post Protectors

As far as wood post protectors go, HAAS Stainless has three different styles to choose from.Straight, transition, and angled.
Types of Wood Post Protectors
Straight post protectors are going to be used on both sides of any of the intermediate post in your cable run, and also on one side of the end post or corner post in your cable run where there is a through post in stop or tensioning fitting installed.

Transition post protectors are going to be used at the post which are seated at the top or bottom of a stair run where the cable is entering or exiting the posts at an angle.

Angle post protectors are designed to be used at the intermediate posts and a stair run. They are available in 31, 33, and 37 degree angles. Whenever you're selecting an angled post protector you should always choose the angle which most closely matches the angle of your stair run.

Wood Post Protector Model

Tensioning Fittings

HAAS Stainless offers two different types of tensioning fittings. Swage studs and lag swage turnbuckles.

Cable Railing Tensioner

Swage studs are through post tensioning fitting that can be used to tension both horizontal and angled cable runs.

Lag swage turnbuckles are non through post tensioning fitting, and screw directly into the wood of the post. They're typically used in scenarios whenever you can't access the backside of the post. Such as a post that's mounted flush up against the building wall.

Where To Now

You should now have a pretty basic understanding of how a cable railing system works and the different types of components that make up one.

For a full video with more information on the HAAS Cable Rail System, please click here.

View our YouTube Channel for instructional and informational videos about our products. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us

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