What is a “swedged” mast?

Solid Signal’s SSMAST says that it has a “swedged” end. This is all well and good if you know what a “swedged” end is, but in case you don’t, I’m here with a simple explanation.

The end of the mast is pushed in just a little bit, like the image above, so that you can assemble multiple sections together securely. That’s all it means. It’s a lot cheaper to ship a mast in multiple sections than it is to ship a single 10 or 15 foot mast, so we give you the option of assembling it yourself.

Let’s take a closer look.

There are several reasons why you would want a swedged mast section instead of a long pole. As I said above, the cost of shipping is a big factor. Once you get something longer than about six feet, the cost of shipping goes up dramatically. I mean really dramatically. It can cost ten times as much to ship a 30-foot pole as it does to ship six 5-foot poles. No matter what it is you need, you always have to account for shipping costs. Remember, even if a site advertises free shipping, they’re still building that cost in somehow. Swedged masts are a good idea because with them, you can afford what you need.

Are swedged masts weaker than long masts?

You might think that a long pole made up of five smaller poles is inherently weaker than a long pole that isn’t. There’s a lot more to that argument. It has to do with the overall construction. Swedged masts that fit together securely add internal structure to the finished pole and that can make them stronger. They can be strengthened even more by drilling holes and running lag bolts into the masts,  or they can be welded together. With a multi-segment mast, you have a lot of options.

I hate to say it, Buckler is right

My colleague Jake Buckler has taken me to task before. I laughed at him when he wanted to write 500 words on swedged masts before. (He did write just that, and you can read his work here.) And here I am doing much the same thing. Jake’s article is surprisingly good, but I thought I’d build on it by pointing out a few more things. The first thing is that swedged masts aren’t just used for basic poles for mounting antennas. Swedged elements are part of huge towers. It’s a critical way to help assemble large things when you start with smaller pieces. Swedging, when done right, adds strength and stability to a joint. It just makes sense.

Get the parts you need at Solid Signal

Solid Signal has not only a great selection of masts, but tens of thousands of parts and accessories to help you make your projects the best they can be. You’ll get great customer service and all the support you need when you call our technicians at 877-312-4547. If you know just what you’re looking for, shop the great selection at SolidSignal.com and you won’t be disappointed!


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.