Steel Angle Basics & How to Buy

January 28, 2022 | Categorized in:

stack of different-sized steel angles

Steel angles can appear basic in appearance, but the different types, sections, measurements, and more can be overwhelming for those not familiar with steel manufacturing and buying. These steel products are used in a wide variety of applications, so it’s critical to understand the basics and common terminology around them.

What are steel angles?

The first step in this understanding, steel angles, angle iron, or steel angle bars are a category of structural steel shapes alongside beams, channels, piping, and more. They’re generally made from carbon steel that is hot-rolled to form an L-shaped cross-section. While most steel angles use a 90° shape, there are also other variations that employ different angles.

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Steel angle parts

Looking at the cross-section, the two parts of the “L” are called the legs of the steel angle. The thickness is that of the legs, while the length is the measurement from end to end of the section of steel. These three measurements (as well as steel type and finish) are the primary factors that you will need to know when talking about or purchasing steel angles.

Equal vs. unequal angles

Angles can also come in equal or unequal variations. Put simply, equal angles have legs that are the same length, while unequal angles have legs of different lengths. Depending on the project and dimensional needs, one option might be more useful or practical than the other, so we stock both to meet your requirements.

Uses & applications

On the topic of different projects, steel angles are used in a huge range of applications and industries. One of the most common uses is as frames, including for shelving, vehicles, storage, beds, windows, doorways, and more. They’re also commonly used for structural support in the form of trusses, brackets, support beams, and braces. No matter where they’re used, angles combine the strength of steel with weighing less than a standard beam or channel to allow for more versatility and reliability across more industries.

Steel angle sizes

The size of steel angles can range from as small as 1/2” legs to 8” legs with thicknesses from 1/8” to 1 1/8”. Reading the standard sizing format of steel angles is relatively easy because it just consists of the two leg measurements and the thickness. For instance, 2” x 2” x 1/8” is an equal angle with legs of 2 inches and a thickness of 1/8 inches. An example of an unequal angle would be 3” x 2” x 3/16” that has legs of 3 inches and 2 inches respectively, and both have a thickness of 3/16 inches.

Service Steel stocks nonstandard sizes and unequal angles, so click here for a full sizing chart and more information.

Get the right angles for your project today

Now, with a better understanding of steel angles, their uses, how to identify what specifications you need, and more, you can place an order or request more information to help come to a decision. Regardless of the type or size of steel angles you need, Service Steel can quickly provide high-quality steel products to supply all of your projects.


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