Is Your 12 Gauge Metal Framing Strut Really 12 Gauge?

For the uninitiated buyer, strut is strut, and the only differentiator between competing brands is the price.  All of the major manufacturers offer a “standard” channel that looks like Unistrut, but appearances are often deceiving.  Before specifying or purchasing your next section of the channel, remember there ARE significant differences between genuine Unistrut and the competition.  The gauge or thickness of rival framing strut offerings is case in point.

Unfortunately, some strut manufacturers claim their 12 gauge products meet ASTM requirements when, in fact, their channel doesn’t meet industry-accepted tolerances.  Unistrut ran spot checks on so-called 12 gauge channel manufactured by the competition. Our research found multiples instances of that did not meet the ASTM-AISI thickness tolerance of .0994” - .1174” while Unistrut’s 12 gauge strut landed well within the industry standard tolerance range.

12 gauge channel comparisons

As a contractor, engineer, or architect, your reputation means everything.  Using off brands instead of genuine Unistrut framing channel can compromise a project’s structural integrity and lead to field failures with costly or devasting consequences.  If things go wrong in the field, your client is bound to ask some tough questions: 

  • Was the design sound?
  • Did the installer make a mistake?
  • Did we use Unistrut or some other brand?

The best designs and the most competent installations are only as good as the materials used to back up your work.  This is why you should insist on genuine Unistrut channel, fittings, and hardware.  We invented the original metal framing system, and we have been helping to protect the reputations of architects, engineers, and contractors worldwide for over 100 years.  If you have more questions about how Unistrut stacks up versus the competition, download our fact sheet or contact Unistrut Service Company for more information.