When purchasing heavy-duty steel cabinets for your worksite, you'll likely come across various makes, models, and claims. Industrial and commercial steel cabinets come in all shapes and sizes. One of the main ways to distinguish between their strengths is with their steel gauge ratings.
Gauge Ratings for Steel Cabinets
In general, the lower the gauge rating, the thicker the steel. However, the thicker the steel, the heavier the cabinet, and the higher the price. If you're purchasing in bulk, such as for employee lockers or warehouse storage, then you will have to weigh the amount of protection the gauge offers against your budget.
Keep in mind that a two gauge difference won't change much, but a four gauge difference, or greater, definitely can. Another thing to remember is the cabinet, its frame, and its shelving or compartments may all have different gauge strengths.
The doors too may have a different gauge from the rest of the body. For example, a 20-gauge cabinet, reinforced with a 16-gauge frame, is a strong and durable piece. But if the doors are also 20-gauge and the shelves are 22-gauge, then you have to question if it's capable of holding your heavy equipment.
That kind of configuration would work well in an office environment, but it may not stand up to heavy equipment storage.
More than the Gauge
While steel gauge ratings can give you an idea of the strength involved, it's still not the only factor involved with your cabinet's strength. The truth is that some metals are inherently stronger than others.
For example, if the choice is between steel and aluminum, and the gauge rating is the same, steel would still represent the stronger of the two. The steel would stand up to impacts better, and likely fight back rust and corrosion better too.
Even with steel, some grades are better than others. This is especially true when you consider that steel isn't one material. It's in fact a term that can stand in for any of a number of alloys, some more durable than others.
Unfortunately, unless you're buying the materials to construct the cabinet yourself, you probably won't know much about the steel involved in the cabinet's creation. But, there's still a few things you can rely on. If you purchase a quality product from a quality company, then you won't have to worry so much about the grade of the material used. Click for more information.