The Differences Between 2-Way And 4-Way Pallets

The Pallet Guys are here to help you better understand the differences between 2-way and 4-way pallets!


All of us at The Pallet Guys understand that many business leaders don’t necessarily live and breathe pallets like we do. This means that you may not be fully aware of certain things like the differences between 2-way and 4-way pallets.

We frequently get asked this type of question from our new clients that are inquiring about pallet purchases, and the good news is that the answer is really simple!

What Does It Mean For A Pallet To Be 2 And 4 Ways?

New wood pallets are always constructed to be either 2-way or 4-way pallets, and it’s important to understand that this directly relates to how the new pallet is constructed. The major difference between these two types of pallet construction are the ways in which the pallet can be picked up via forklift tines and hand trucks.

So the ways in which forklift tines can get underneath a pallet and lift it will ultimately determine whether the pallet is a 2-way or 4-way option.

2-Way Pallets

2-way pallets are also referred to as stringer pallets, and these pallets will have openings on two sides where forklift tines will be capable of entering. Pallet stringers are the boards that lay horizontally on a pallet and support the pallet’s deckboards.

Most 2-way stringer pallets will have two stringers on each side of the pallet, as well as a middle stringer that helps bolster the pallet’s weight capacity limits. These pallets tend to be solid options for all businesses, and your forklifts will be able to enter on the stringer sides.

4-Way Pallets

4-way pallets are similar to 2-way stringer pallets, but the main difference is that these pallets will also entail notched stringers that allow forklift tines to enter on all four sides. So the technical definition of a 4-way pallet is any pallet that a hand truck or forklift can enter from all four sides.

Block pallets are also considered to be 4-way pallets because tines can enter underneath these pallets on all four sides.

Which Is Better?

Both 2-way and 4-way pallets are commonly utilized for a whole array of different commercial and manufacturing applications. Most businesses will make their decision between these two types of pallets based upon how they’ll be handling their pallets and what works best with their unique facility and needs.

There are many scenarios in which a facility’s layout or equipment will make one pallet type more favorable than the other. For instance, if you’re working within tight spaces then you’ll likely want 4-way pallets because you’ll be able to use less space while moving throughout your facility.

The following are some important considerations to keep in mind when it comes to understanding which type of pallet will work best for you and your company’s needs:

  • 2-way pallets tend to be an economical option for many businesses, and they’re frequently more affordable as compared to 4-way pallets.
  • Forklifts will require additional space to maneuver throughout your facility in order to properly get underneath 2-way pallets.
  • Your products will potentially need to be lined up in a unique way on a truck or within your facility in order to improve your team’s efficiency while using 2-way pallets. This subsequently will make the utilization of your space a bit more difficult.
  • There are certain types of automation throughout many industries that will only accept the use of 4-way pallets.

Reach Out To The Pallet Guys To Better Understand If 2-Way Or 4-Way Pallets Will Work Best For You!

The difference between 2-way and 4-way pallets is pretty simple in that it all comes down to how many sides a hand truck or forklift can enter underneath a pallet. However, it’s not so simple to understand which type of pallet will work best for you and your company’s unique needs. You’ll need to keep your facility’s functionality in mind, as well as how you’ll use your pallets and the amount of space you have.

The Pallet Guys are here to help you throughout these types of business investments, and our design team will be there for you through every step of the process to ultimately determine what’s the best type of pallet for your specific needs.

Contact us online or call us at 832-895-7555 to get in touch with our pallet specialists and learn more about how 2-way and 4-way pallets can benefit your facility’s overall functionality!

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