The Shape

In strength equipment manufacturing, most commonly you will see square tubing or rectangular tubing used as the base of your strength racks and adjustable weight stack machines. 

The size

This component refers to the actual measurement of the type of steel your gym equipment is using. When you see 3×3 or 2×2, this is referring to three inch by three inch square tubing.  When you see 5×3, 2×3, or 4×3 these numbers are typically referring to rectangular tubing.  

The gauge 

The steel gauge of your steel refers to the wall thickness of your steel.  This term is similar to gauges of shotgun barrels. The inverse relationship means the smaller your gauge number the thicker the material.  

In fitness equipment, you most commonly see 7 gauge and 11 gauge. This number represents the approximate thickness in fractions of an inch. 

7 Gauge is equivalent to ~3/16” 

11 gauge is equivalent to ~⅛”

The thickness 

This number is expressed in decimal format of the gauge.  When understanding your manufacturing of Samson Equipment and competitors, the industry expresses these numbers as .120 wall and .188 wall.  

.188 wall is the decimal measurement of 7 gauge

.120 wall is the decimal measurement of 11 gauge

The weight 

This number is extremely important to understand as it is the weight per foot expressed in pounds.  “Heavy Duty” is a loosely used term to define steel types within the weight room and fitness equipment industry.  Having this knowledge of the weight of your equipment will give you insight to see past subpar marketing. Below is a comparison for you to make it make sense:

3×3, 7 gauge square tubing has a weight of 6.87 lbs/ft

3×3, 11 gauge square tubing has a weight of 4.75 lbs/ft

*This is a 44.7% Difference between the two!


Educating and informing our industry is a mission of our company moving forward to provide transparency and establish trust with our clients.  There are many lies and smoky mirrors in the market right now which results in poorly made investments for your strength training needs.  Samson Equipment is the ONLY company to use .188 steel across the board on our products.

Scott Schroeder Samson Director of Sales

Email Sales Director, Scott Schroeder for your free layout consultation:

800-472-6766 ext 202

Scott Schroeder

Director of Sales , Samson

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