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Use with soft or hardwood posts


Use with vinyl or composite post sleeves


Use with Signature series or custom metal posts


Use with structural masonry posts or columns


Aluminum posts, matching handrail, and stainless steel cable railing.

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Vertical cable railing with aluminum posts and rail.

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All stainless integrated post and tensioning cable railing.

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How to install cable rail kits in wood, metal, or masonry posts.

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How to install Signature series posts, handrail, and cable infill.

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How to install Venture series posts, handrail, and cable infill.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

About the Cable Bullet System

If you have questions that aren't covered on our website, please don't hesitate to contact us directly.

Tensioner Installation & Use

Yes, and installation is the same for stair runs as for level runs.

Cable Bullet tensioners can be used on level and sloped runs, and are always installed perpendicular to the post. The 7x7 braid cable we recommend is flexible enough to bend to a crisp angle as it exits the Bullet along an angled stair run.

When installing Cable Bullet tensioners, make sure the set screw channel used to tension the cable run is always angled away from the bend of the cable.

It can, but we don't recommend it.

Pre-tensioning your cable through a 90-degree turn while measuring, especially in a 2-post corner configuration, is difficult due to the rigidity of the wire. Inaccurate cut lengths will result in excessive slack, which in turn increases the likelihood that you won't be able to fully tension the run.

However, 45-degree bends through single pass-through posts are less problematic. It is also possible to make an inline transition from a straight to a sloped run, e.g. from a level deck down a flight of stairs. As with any standard run, make sure the total length of your combined run doesn't exceed the maximum recommended distance of 20 ft.

Yes, as long as you follow the installation instructions.

When considering the holding strength of Cable Bullet tensioners it's helpful to think of them less as wood screws, and more as threaded bolts. Properly installed in pressure treated pine (PTP), a standard 1-1/2" Cable Bullet tensioner will hold up to 1,200 lbs of pull tension. Even in softer wood species, e.g. cedar, tensioners will hold up to 800 lbs of pull tension. This means a single cable run will support a 150-200 lb load mid-span. It is our interpretation that the International Residential Code (IRC) specifies each cable run be able to hold a 50 lb load.

Approximately 3/4 inches per tensioner.

The set screw channel on each Cable Bullet tensioner is approximately 3/4-inch deep. Because both ends have the ability to tension the cable this gives you approximately 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches of slack or stretch that can be tensioned out of a single cable.

No, they do not.

Every Cable Bullet tensioner has the same 3/4-inch deep set screw channel which allows for the same amount of tensioning.

Using the Allen key will allow you to tension your cable comfortably to approximately 150 lbs.

At 150 lbs of tension your cable is going to feel taught and deflect minimally when strummed. Beyond this point, the Allen key will begin to bend and want to strip out the set screw.

Yes, you can, and you will most likely need to.

Over time, cable will relax in place, your structure will settle, and the cable itself will expand and contract if exposed to the elements. This is perfectly normal and to be expected. Following our installation instructions and recommendations will allow you to re-tension your cables as needed using a standard 3/32-inch Allen key.

Cable Bullet tensioners were designed to work with 5/32" cable.

3/16" thick wire is too large to fit our crimp sleeves and lobed washer, both of which are key components of the tensioning mechanism. Thinner 1/8" wire by comparison will not allow the crimp to seat properly, reducing the holding strength of both cable ends and increasing the risk of failure.

Railing Guidelines

To guarantee you can fully tension your run.

The longer your run, the more work your tensioners have to do in fully tension the line. Even steel wire will have a noticeable amount of "stretch" over longer runs. The drawback to an internal tensioning mechanism is the relatively conservative amount of slack that can be adjusted for (e.g. as compared to an external turnbuckle). Limiting your runs to 20 feet guarantees you will be able to tension, and re-tension your run even after the structure settles and your cable relaxes in place over time. Less flexible braids of cable, e.g. 1x19, will allow you to run your cables further between tensioners.

To minimize cable deflection (cable displacement under load).

All recommendations for post and cable run spacing are designed to satisfy stricter interpretations of the International Residential Code (IRC). More on that here.

To allow for some cable deflection without breaking code.

The International Residential Code (IRC) specifies that no opening in a railing may be large enough to pass a 4-inch sphere through. The IRC does not specifically address cable deflection, leaving significant room for interpretation. Rules for evaluating cable deflection can vary significantly by local building code. We recommend consulting your local building inspector before starting any cable railing project as it is the installers responsibility to make sure the finished railing complies with all local building codes. Read more about code compliance here.