One of the most ubiquitous structures associated with playgrounds around the world is the classic metal swing set. This is because they are sturdy, affordable, and genuinely fun for all ages. Towering swing sets dominate the playground landscape so much that no play area seems complete without them. What few people realize, however, is that swings have been around for thousands of years in one form or another. In fact, there are depictions of primitive swing sets in ancient Greek artwork dated over three thousand years old. A simple wooden plank seat suspended from a tree branch with rope is something that most people throughout history could build themselves. These designs were gradually modified and improved upon throughout the years. Today, most commercial swing sets are made from metal, because it is highly durable and rarely requires any maintenance. The first large metal swing sets resembling the kind found on modern playgrounds were believed to have been built in Wicksteed Park in the U.K, in the year 1923. These swings were dangerously tall, but after some changes they evolved into the familiar style that we all know and love.
When people think of swing sets, they usually picture the classic model with four legs and a top rail. But while most metal swing set plans and designs are similar, there is actually a surprising variety of different types of metal swing sets for sale. They range from basic, unadorned models to extravagant designs of metal swing sets with monkey bars and slide attachments. The diversity of these designs allows customers to find the ideal swing set for whoever will be using it. While some designs, like the aforementioned metal swing sets with monkey bars, are clearly made for children, this is not always the case. Although somewhat less common, there are also metal swing sets for adults, designed to go faster and higher than those which are typically appropriate for children.
While it is easy to find new metal swing sets on sale, finding used metal swing sets for sale is often more difficult. This is because people rarely replace entire swing sets at once, but rather upgrade individual pieces at a time. For example, if metal swing set brackets fall into disrepair, they can simply be exchanged for new ones without needing to scrap the entire structure. The interchangeability of metal swing set hardware makes repairs and upgrades simple. Wooden swings, on the other hand, are not so simple. Their wooden beams, no matter how well they are treated, are bound to decay over time. Sooner or later, termites, fire, or water damage will take their toll. And once one beam starts to fall apart, a wooden swing set can be almost impossible to repair, since fitting beams are not sold individually as metal swing set replacement parts are. Because of this, it may be easier to find an entire used wooden swing set or playgrounds for sale, but these deals should be viewed with caution.
To be clear—the purpose of this article was not to denounce and disparage the use of non-metal swings. A wooden bench swing on a quiet porch or in a garden is the pinnacle of idle relaxation. Tree-mounted rope swings and tire swings also have a certain irreplaceable charm in their simplicity. But as far as commercial playground equipment goes, it is easy to see why metal swing sets reign supreme. Compared to the millennia-spanning history of swing sets, they are a very recent innovation. But in their short lifetime, they have almost completely eclipsed other varieties because of their strength and versatility.