Spiral Supports are a brand new shelf support pin of a unique design that is claimed to provide perfect shelving every time. These shelf pins are quick and easy to adjust, and can be used to eliminate the wobbling or trembling associated with slightly misaligned support pin holes in cabinets and shelving.
Even if you can drill perfectly aligned support pin holes, there are other factors that can create a bit of shelf wobble, such as: wear and tear, warped wood, or uneven floors.
We love unique and innovative tools and accessories, and have been plagued by wobbly shelves in the past, so we naturally had to give these new Spiral Supports a try.
Initial Impressions and Concerns
Upon initial inspection, Spiral Support shelf pins appear to be extremely well molded, with no sharp edges or flashing. We received samples in several colors – clear, white, black, tan, and brown. Right now you can only purchase clear or black supports, but that may soon change.
For a better depiction of the Spiral Supports’ colors, take a look at the gallery at the bottom of this page.
There is no doubt in our minds that not only are these support pins very well made, they have been very well designed.
So How Do They Work?
Basically, Spiral Supports are cam-action shelf pins. What this means is that the shelf pins are not uniformly circular. Rotate a Spiral Support, and its height increases. Rotate it a little more, and the edge that a shelf would rest upon gets higher and higher. After one complete rotation, there is a sharp step in height where the highest point of the pin meets the lowest point.
Spiral Supports are extremely easy to use. First, drill 5mm holes into your the sides of your cabinet or bookcase. You can find 5mm drill bits and drilling jigs at woodworking suppliers such as Rockler and Woodcraft, or do as we did and add a 5mm Titex bit to your next Amazon order.
Next, insert Spiral Supports in the same orientation into the drilled shelf support pin holes. Then, place your shelf onto the pins, and test for any wobble. If there is any uneveness, you can adjust the Spiral Supports using a slotted screwdriver.
How Well Do They Work?
We were quite pleased with the performance of the Spiral Supports as they were easy to install and adjust. We measured the vertical adjustment range to be about 2.5 to 3 mm per shelf, which should be more than enough for even moderately misaligned holes. Anyone needing more adjustment than that may want to consider offsetting the support position and redrilling new pin holes.
Not only can Spiral Supports be used to compensate for one or to vertically misaligned holes, they can be used to adjust the height of an entire shelf. This type of adjustment can be used when you have a modular setup with side by side rows of shelves that might be ever so slightly misaligned.
Concerns & Observations
Seeing as how these supports are made from plastic, one of our initial concerns was about how much weight they could actually handle. We placed an entire row of books on top of a 16″ Spiral Support-supported shelf, and it handled it without a problem.
After testing the Spiral Supports, we asked the manufacturer about their load rating, and was told that they can support a maximum 60 kg (132 lbs) evenly distributed load per shelf, which seems reasonable to us.
Spiral Supports have a flange-like lip that rests against the cabinet or case wall once installed, and it seems to provide additional strength and reinforcement for the supports. Even when we REALLY loaded down the shelf, the Spiral Supports refused to bend, yield, or deform, something we partially attribute to this flange structure.
While we wouldn’t call this a concern, the Spiral Supports’ flanges should be taken into consideration when installing shelves. Most other shelf support pin designs have similar features, but we found that it took slightly longer to confirm that a shelf was properly resting on the Spiral Supports’ load-bearing cylinder rather than the flange during installation.
This product usage photo from Rockler demonstrates this consideration perfectly. As you can see, the shelf is properly resting on one support, and is resting on the other’s flange instead.
Once aware of this, ensuring that the shelves rested on the load-bearing and tunable part of the supports required no more than an extra few seconds during installation. This is something that we encountered, and apparently Rockler encountered it as well, so while not a flaw, this was an observation worth mentioning.
Conclusions & Recommendations
To be truthful, we had our concerns about this product before we began the review. Sure, the Spiral Supports did seem quite innovative and thoughtfully designed, but there is a very fine line between innovation and gimmick.
The minute we actually handled the Spiral Supports, our concerns immediately dissolved. Not only do these shelf pins feel strong, they feel downright tough. They work exactly as advertised, and are a pleasure to use.
Given our experience with these pins, we definitely recommend Spiral Supports for your own projects and use.
These patented Spiral Supports are available at Woodcraft, Rockler, and WoodWorkers. At Woodcraft, Spiral Supports are priced at $5.99 for 25 supports, enough for 6 shelves plus a spare. At Rockler, you can buy these supports in clear or black at $3.99 for 16 supports.
Thank you to Spiral Supports for providing the samples featured in this review.