Choosing Mechanical vs Hydraulically Swaged Fittings

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Mechanical and Hydraulic Swaging - what is it?

Basically swaging is a method of connecting  a thing to a fitting (done with hoses,  tubes, wire, etc).  Mechanical swaging achieves a mechanical connection between the pieces.  Hydraulic swaging achieves a pressure weld between the pieces.

Mechanical swaging (of all things) involves a device that used mechanical advantage to generate  compression force .  This process only works on 'some' fittings (below and on the right) For a better explanation - click on the  Guide Link on the right.

Hydraulic swaging (of all things) involves a device that uses hydraulic fluid under pressure to generate compression force - which is generally a LOT stronger than a mechanical tool. This process (and requisite tools) work on ALL fittings but specifically allow the fittings on the left to be used in balustrade construction.  For a better explanation of Hydraulic Swaging - click on the Guide Link on the left.

Hydraulic Swaging tool on the Left                                                  Mechanical Swaging tool on the Right
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Hydraulic Swaging tool on the Left                                                  Mechanical Swaging tool on the Right
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Now the fittings and why you would use or avoid them...

  1. Fittings on Left are Hydraulically Swaged                                  
  2. Fittings on the Right are Mechanically Swaged
Fittings on Left are Hydraulically Swaged                                  Fittings on the Right are Mechanically Swaged
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Fittings on Left are Hydraulically Swaged                                  Fittings on the Right are Mechanically Swaged
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Fittings on Left are Hydraulically Swaged                                  Fittings on the Right are Mechanically Swaged
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Fittings on Left are Hydraulically Swaged                                  Fittings on the Right are Mechanically Swaged
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Fittings on Left are Hydraulically Swaged Fittings on the Right are Mechanically Swaged

Mechanical vs Hydraulically Swaged Fittings


Both kinds of fittings properly connected to high quality G316 Stainless Steel Wire Rope are strong, last a long time, and meet all Building Code Standards (given wire spacing and post spacing are implemented properly)...
So why use one kind of swaged fittings over the other?

Jaw Swage Rigging Screw, Fork Terminal, and Lag Screw Eye Kit
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Jaw Swage Rigging Screw, Fork Terminal, and Lag Screw Eye Kit

Hydraulically Swaged Fittings

Reasons to use:
* slim modern look so it does NOT look like your Nan's clothesline

* allows the use of 1x19 G316 Stainless Steel Wire Rope (the Best! - see the Guide on "Structures of G316 Stainless Steel Wire Rope")

* Smooth fittings and wire is ALWAYS internal to the fitting to no sharp ends

* Easiest to measure and build because no loops (thimbles and ferrules) involved.

* uses a multipurpose tool that will be useful WAY beyond the balustrade project

Reasons to Avoid:
* slightly more expensive than mechanically swaged fittings
Hook Eye Turnbuckle Saddle Swage Thimble Kit
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Hook Eye Turnbuckle Saddle Swage Thimble Kit

Mechanically Swaged Fittings

Reasons to use:
* Rustic look just like your Nan's clothesline

* requires the use of the more flexible 7x7 G316 Stainless Steel Wire Rope (the most common and economical! - see the Guide on "Structures of G316 Stainless Steel Wire Rope")

* cheaper than mechanically swaged fittings

* uses a single purpose tool that is only good for  the balustrade project

Reasons to Avoid:
* smooth fittings  but a sloppy build can result in the exposure of VERY sharp wire  to little hands, dogs, legs, etc.

* Hardest to measure and build because loops (thimbles and ferrules) involved so the time taken is about double

Conclusion...

Use Hydraulically Swaged Fittings
If you want a lasting result that will amaze your family, be a point of pride for years to come, and just 'feel good' whenever you look at it - use hydraulically swaged fittings and 1x19 wire.

Use Mechanically Swaged Fittings
If you want an economical result that will work for years, look like your Nan's clothesline, and just want to do it and be done before you sell the place - use mechanically swaged fittings and 7x7 wire.
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