The standard sizes of steel studs are 8 feet to 12 feet by 1 1/2 inches and 3 1/2 inches. This approximates the dimensions of wood two-by-fours. Standard stud strength is 25-gauge steel.
Steel studs are used to frame walls in residential homes, greenhouses and in commercial buildings. Local building codes may require different minimum strengths for steel studs based on length, maximum wind speed capacity and snow load. Standards are defined by ASTM International, formerly the American Society for Testing Material.
Steel studs are used in place of wood to improve fire safety, but steel safety is a two-edged sword. Working with steel studs is more difficult and dangerous than working with wood. Cutting or drilling steel requires additional tools, including tin snips, hammers and metal drill bits. Burns from sparks, gashes from sharp edges and metal splinters are common injuries when cutting steel. Drilling into steel is permanent. There is nothing comparable to wood filler when a mistake is made. The advice of measure twice and cut once should be followed when working with steel. Some steel framing comes in precut and predrilled kits, which simplify its use. Steel studs are priced by weight as opposed to dimensions.