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Swing Sets Buyer's Guide

If you are looking to create a wonderful outdoor play zone in your backyard, a play set is the perfect addition. Because this is something your children, nieces, nephews and other kids will be using, it is important to thoroughly shop for the best swing set option.

Gorilla Playsets 01-0007 Big Skye I Swing Set


Swing sets can be made from wood, plastic and metal. If you choose a swing set made from metal, check out the gauge of the metal to determine how sturdy the play set will be. The lower the gauge number, the thicker, heavier and more durable the play set will be. Metal swing sets are very durable making them ideal for parks, churches or schools where they will be receiving constant use.

Plastic swing sets are highly suggested for toddlers because they are lightweight and don’t have sharp corners or edges which are dangerous to a toddler. If you choose a swing set completely made of plastic it is important to monitor the play zone so that older kids do not try to jump on it, because plastic is not to strongest material for a swing set. Plastic swing sets are typically very basic and will just last a few years, which is generally the length of time they are needed for before your kiddo will be ready for an upgrade.

Wood is commonly used to make swing sets. Clearly a wooden slide isn’t a good idea, but treated wood is very durable, strong and does not get as hot as metal, making a great base material for the swing set structure. Wooden swing sets usually have plastic slides. Be sure to check the warranty on the wooden swing set, this will give you a good idea of how long it will last.

There are different types of lumber available to make a wooden play set. This includes:

  •  • Redwood: Redwood is stained and known for its durability and ability to withstand the elements
  •  • Sapwood: There are different grades available (redwood, cedar, fir and pine) and all must be stained to withstand the outdoors as well
  •  • Imported: This is usually Chinese Fir.

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Choose the best fit

First, measure out the space you have in your backyard for a swing set and then determine what kinds of extras you and your kids would like. Many swing sets can be purchased as just a basic structure and then later you can purchase additional parts such as extra slides, swing, a rock wall, a canopy and more

The details

Because you child will spend so much time playing and running around their swing set it is important to consider all the details to choose the safest option. Be sure that the swing set is:

  •  • pre-stained or plan on staining it yourself
  •  • has safety handles available in climbing area
  •  • has  all hardware is recessed so no blots stick out to snag clothing
  •  • reinforced if it is taller or has longer slides


When it comes time to make a purchase, be sure to check things like cost of shipping, the return policy and remember that you will most likely have to assemble the swing set yourself. During assembly, be sure to take your time, have a level area prepared for the play set and follow the provided instructions carefully.

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