A web stretcher is predominantly made from wood, (either beechwood or hardwood maple). However, there is a plastic web stretcher available that is more affordable than the wooden models.
Web stretchers are most commonly made from beechwood. Beechwood is a pale pinkish, brown wood, often marked by small brown flecks.
Beechwood is used in many tools because it is strong and can withstand wear and tear. As well as this, it can easily bear weight and withstand high impact shocks, which is important when used for web stretchers as they endure a lot of pressure when pulling the webbing.
However, using beechwood means that the web stretcher is not suitable for outdoor use as the wood is not durable when exposed to changes in moisture.Although, as a web stretcher would normally be used indoors, this factor is of little importance.
Gooseneck web stretchers and spiked stretchers are also available in hardwood maple, normally made in America. Maple, like beechwood, is a very strong material making it ideal for use on web stretchers.
Maple is largely used for American-made web stretchers as it a more widely available material in the United States than in the United Kingdom.When buying in the UK, though, maple web stretchers may be slightly more expensive than beechwood web stretchers. This, however, is the only noticeable difference between the two materials in their use for web stretchers.
The spiked web stretcher is also available made from plastic. This version is cheaper than the wood versions so may be useful if it is required for only a single project. However, plastic is not as strong as wood so this kind of web stretcher cannot be used with very strong webbing as the pressure required may cause it to snap.