Is Rope Or Chain Better For A Tree Swing

Is Rope Or Chain Better For A Tree Swing? (What To Consider)

For kids, hanging a tree swing is a great way to spend time outdoors, while for adults, it is a great way to get some fresh air, bringing back some nostalgic memories.

The first thing you need to consider to hanging a tree swing is safety, so you need to ask yourself if rope or chain is better for a tree swing?

We have covered all you need to know about chain and rope, their advantages and disadvantages, and which will be best for a tree swing.

Types of Ropes

There are various types of ropes, and knowledge of these ropes will give you an idea of which will be suitable for a tree swing.

There are two major types of ropes twisted and braided. Just as the name implies, twisted ropes consist of strings twisted together to form two or three strands intertwined to form a rope.

Braided ropes comprise eight to ten strands plaited to form a rope. Braided ropes are stronger than twisted ropes because they contain more strands bunched up together. In addition, they have a smooth texture that makes them easy to use and very flexible.

Best Rope For a Tree Swing


Rope fibers can be made up of natural manila, nylon, polyester, and polypropylene. Polypropylene is the best material for any tree swing, and in addition to these other components, you get a more durable rope.

You shouldn’t purchase a rope made of nylon because it gets slippery when wet and natural manila as it rots when given some time. To hang a tree, aim to purchase a braided rope made of polypropylene.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Rope For a Tree Swing

Is Rope Or Chain Better For A Tree Swing

Before purchasing a rope to be used in your yard, there are some features to look for as they tell you about the quality of the rope. An idea of these factors helps when making a decision.

1. Size (length and width)

You do not want to buy a very long rope, and you also don’t want to buy a short one. If you know the location of your swing and the trees to be used, you can determine the appropriate rope length. 

All you need to do is measure the distance between your swing and the branch and add 4 yards of rope tied around the branch of the tree.

As for the width of the rope, it should have a diameter of 3/8 to 5/8 inches. This measurement ensures that the rope will hold any weight without breaking. An ideal width should be between the required measurement as a very thick rope will be difficult to tie around the tree branch.

2. Rope Safety (Strength and Workload)

The strength of a rope is the amount of weight a rope can carry before it breaks. This strength is tested by gradually adding some weight to the rope to determine the weight that makes the rope break. This strength helps to ensure the safety of swing users as they will be aware of the weight capacity.

The workload is a more elaborate test to determine the rope’s strength. In this test, weights will be put on the rope and then allowed to swing to determine its breaking point.

3. Installation

The rope you are using should be compatible with your swing; the rope should not be too thick that it doesn’t fit; rather, it should be just the right size.

Types of chains

The type of chain used to hang tree swings is an industrial swing. The industrial chain is used for various heavy-duty tasks because they are extremely strong, making them a good fit for a swing. There are five main grades of chains grade 30, 43, 70, 80, and 100.

Each grade has its strength capability. The higher the number of the grade, the more stress it can handle; for example, a grade 70 chain can handle 700 newtons per millimeter squared.

Grades 43 upwards are extremely strong and are used for more tedious tasks making grade30 the best chain for a tree swing. In addition, the higher grades are heavier, making it difficult to install them.

Factors to Consider When Buying Chains for a Tree Swing

Is Rope Or Chain Better For A Tree Swing

There are some factors to take note of when purchasing a chain. These factors determine how long it will last, even under harsh conditions.

1. Coating

A coated chain is what you should look for when hanging a tree swing. The coating prevents rusting and corrosion caused by air and moisture coming in contact with the metal. This feature allows the chain to last longer and keep its shiny look.

2. Size

You should know the size of the chain suitable for the whole family; the chain should not be too thick to allow kids to have a good grip on the chain. The right size will also allow easy installation and a high weight capacity.

Is Rope or Chain Better For a Tree Swing?

A rope is better for a tree swing than a chain. This is because a rope can be tied easily to the tree, and it lasts way longer than a chain and can easily be replaced or changed at any time. It is also safer compared to using a heavy chain.

While chains have incredible strength and holding capacity, it is the worst support for a tree swing. Using a chain requires installing hardware on the tree branch for the chain to sit. This hardware gradually sinks into the branch when swinging, causing a hole to form.

With time, the tree branch will collapse, which is not a safe event for whoever uses the swing. Chains supporting a tree swing will only shorten its lifespan.


When hanging a tree swing, safety is your maximum priority; you will need to choose between a rope and a chain.

The best rope for a tree swing should be braided and made of polypropylene; unlike other materials, it is not slippery and doesn’t rot.

While chains are known for their ability to support a lot of weight, they should not be used to hang a tree swing as it gradually damages the branch. We have briefly explained some of the basic factors to consider when purchasing these two materials and which is better.

Helpful Articles:

We trust this article has helped you find out which is better for a tree swing, rope or chain? You may also want to check out How to Hang a Swing Between Two Trees.

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