Porch swings are a treasured topic for me — I have spent countless evenings watching the sun go down, idly swinging on the porch. I’ve installed my fair share and I’ve even researched how much they typically weigh!
As much time as I’ve spent reading about them and installing them, I finally have some recommendations about the best hardware to hang a porch swing. Stick with me, and let’s explore our options.
It’s easy to look at the list of hardware available and simply pick the one with the highest weight capacity. This is what many folks do, but I’d urge you to reconsider that urge.
Comfort, durability, and aesthetics all play into determining the best hardware to hang a porch swing. Each piece of hardware is slightly different, so weigh your options before choosing. To make the comparison easy, I compiled a complete list of the various options.
First, let’s start with porch swing hangers.
Best Porch Swing Hanger Options
Porch swing hangers are the sturdy connectors for which the porch swing hangs. They’re bolted directly to a wooden surface and a chain/rope connects the hardware to the porch swing itself.
They serve an important purpose and if they fail, the entire setup fails. It’s important to pick a quiet, reliable option unlikely to break, rust, or otherwise be destroyed.
But what aspects of porch swing hangers should you look out for?
- A strong weight limit. This isn’t everything, but it certainly helps. A porch swing weighs ~30-50 lbs, so you want to make sure it can support the swing + two adults.
- Constructed from materials unlikely to rust. This can be stainless steel, aluminum, and even nylon.
- Quiet action. We already established that porch swings can be noisy. If you’re the type of person easily annoyed, take the noise level into consideration.
If you search, you’ll definitely find other options. However, the above hardware exceeds standard expectations. Of all the products available, they’ve risen to the top.
Porch Swing Chains
Now that you’ve likely chosen porch swing hangers, turn your attention to porch swing chains. Trust me, you don’t want the chain to fail either. To avoid a nasty fall, make sure to pick one as sturdy as the hanger you choose. A hanger rated at 2,000 lbs doesn’t mean much if the chain only supports 500 lbs!
So, what do we need to look for in a porch swing chain?
- Lightweight material. You want the strongest, lightest material that you can find. Too heavy and you’ll waste precious poundage on the chain. Too weak and you’ll end up on the patio!
- Constructed from materials unlikely to rust. This should sound familiar — porch swings are built to be outside and their chains need to stand up to the elements.
What kind of rope do you use for a porch swing?
The most economical rope material to use for a porch swing is synthetic nylon. Not only is it strong, but it’s resistant to mold, mildew, and rot. This is especially important if your patio exists in hot, humid conditions.
You can use natural manila rope, but it won’t last as long and will be subject to degradation.
Will a 2×6 hold a porch swing?
Yes! In fact, your joists should be at least 2×6, but can certainly be larger. You should never hang a porch swing from weaker materials. These include plywood, OSB board, beadboard, or drywall.
What do porch swing springs actually do?
Porch swing springs ensure that the swinging action is smooth and fluid. They also serve the same purpose as shocks, providing a more comfortable feel to the swing (as well as preventing chain breakage).
How much weight can a porch swing hold?
We wrote the full answer here: https://captainpatio.com/porch-swing-weight
How far from the wall should you hang a porch swing?
You’ll want adequate clearance between your porch swing and the walls around it. Getting it too close could potentially cause damage or injury. You should allow 4 feet minimum of clearance from front/back, and at least 2 feet on each side. Any smaller clearance increases your risk for injury.
After you’ve chosen your hardware, the next step is to choose a location. We wrote about this and more as part of our series of articles about porch swings, found here.