If you are going to go through the trouble of installing shelves in your garage you should really get the ones that will last the longest and hold the most weight. You will be happy you took the time to do it right the first time.
Rhino shelving (technically call the Rhino Shelf DIY Kit for reasons I will discuss later) is simply the strongest wall shelving system I know of. Ultimately they are not much more expensive than competing shelves, just as easy, if not easier, to install, hold more weight and offer greater flexibility in terms of accessories. If you need good strong wall shelves for your garage get the Rhino Shelf here on Amazon.
If for some reason you don’t want to go with Rhino, Fleximounts is also a strong competitor, but their wire shelves make me strongly prefer the Rhino Shelf.
What to Look for in a Shelving Unit
You want to make sure that it will hold your stuff securely. It is best to have some plan in mind when deciding on any storage and that plan should also include potential future needs. It is hard for me to imagine having a shelf that is too strong for storage.
Look for something easy to install and durable. Whatever you get should be flexible enough to handle reasonable variations in building standards. The add ons such as bike hooks or kayak straps should be reasonably priced and have the features you need. In the best of all worlds you should be able to use other brand or generic hooks and such to meet your need.
Why Do I Like Rhino Shelving So Much?
Each 4-foot section of Rhino Shelf can easily hold 650 pounds. That’s a lot of weight.
The strength comes from the bracket that attaches to the wall. It is made from a super-strong marine quality aluminum alloy that is powder coated white, won ft.t corrode or weaken over time. They have a patent-pending and are made in the USA. They recommend using 2×4 wood for the actual shelves so you have a strong wood shelf to hold your things.
Rhino Shelves were originally designed for contractors in 2004 so they could add storage solutions to newly built and existing houses. They started selling to consumers 6 years later as an easy to install DIY solution.
Since the shelves are wood, you can attach any kind of hook or hanger you want. Other brands usually lock you into their proprietary brand of attachments. Also, the brackets are attached at the ends of the shelves. Many other units have a few inches on each side that is unsupported.
The way the brackets are constructed leaves the entire bottom of the shelf free from obstruction. This leaves room for more storage underneath or just for walking. (I hate hitting my head on brackets!)
It is Good That the Lumber Is Not Included, Really
You might think that it is a hassle that the “shelves” are not included. It’s actually not that big of a problem and adds to the strength and flexibility of the shelving solution. It’s a good thing.
First and foremost the 2×4 lumber Rhino Shelf recommends is cheap and strong. For less than $20-$30 you can get the wood you need for 4 ft. of shelving. Your local lumber or home improvement store will likely cut it for you for free or very cheaply. All you need to do is attach the brackets to the walls (all the hardware you need is included) measure the distance and attach the shelving with some screws.
This leads me to my second point. Since you are measuring the wood and cutting it (or having it cut for you) you don’t need to worry whether your studs are not the correct distance apart. Most modern construction has studs that are 16 in. on center. There may be variations in the distance between studs and you can account for that easily with the Rhino Shelf. You may not have that kind of flexibility with a different shelving unit.
Other shelving solutions use wire shelves (including our favorite adjustable shelves by Fleximounts) because they are inexpensive to ship. I just prefer a solid shelf to wire. Wire shelves have these awkward openings that let small object fall through. Also, wire creates an uneven surface making tall narrow objects like aerosol cans unstable. And wire will have a little give to it which makes me a little nervous when the load gets heavy.
The Dimensions Are Perfect
There are 2 sizes of Rhino Shelf (they both hold 650 lbs per 4 ft.length) the larger is 33.5 in. deep and is designed to accommodate stackable 30gal tote sizes lengthwise. Most other shelves are only 24 in. deep. This means that with Rhino Shelf you can store more boxes on a shelf. Also large bags of soil will fit length wise allowing you to maximize shelf space.
The Rhino Mini is 20 in. deep which is perfect for smaller crates.
Allow 24 in. of space above the Rhino Shelf and 12 in. above the RhinoMini Shelf for proper installation.
What do you Get When You Buy Rhino Shelf DIY Kit
There are only a few configurations of Rhino Shelf that you can buy which keeps things pretty simple. And since all the hardware is included all you need to know is how long your shelf needs to be and whether you need the 33.5 inch (33 11/16 in.) or the 20 inch (20 3/16 in.)
Each kit comes with two end pieces and as many middle pieces as needed for the distance in question. For instance, a 4ft kit would have two end pieces and an 8ft kit would have 2 ends and one middle piece that allows for the 2x4s to be secured at each end.
Each piece is a bracket with an arm piece attached that attaches to the wall as well and provides support from above. If you want to install the shelf in a corner just remove the arm from the appropriate side and attach that end to the walls. You can also buy specific corner pieces to make an L shape around a corner.
How Much Wood Will You Need?
Each 4-foot wide section is designed to have 2x4s acting as the shelving. The 35.5 in. deep shelf will fit 5 sections of 2×4 with a 2 in. space between each pair. (think wood space wood space etc..) for a total of 5 lengths of wood and 4 spaces in between. You can, if you wish, have 9 lengths of wood for a solid platform.
The 20 in. deep shelf is similar accommodating 3 lengths of wood and 2 spaces or 5 lengths of wood if you desire a solid platform with no spaces.
A 2×4 comes in standard lengths of 8ft which is convenient since the Rhino shelf sections are meant to be 4ft wide.
Figuring out how many 2x4s you need is easy just do this.
Take the number of feet of Rhino shelf you are buying and divide that by 4 then multiply by 2.5 and round up the result to the next whole number.
Here’s a handy chart:
If your actual width is longer than 4ft do the same math but get 10ft long 2×4 instead of the 8ft.
If you want a solid shelf surface multiply by 4.5 instead of 2.5
Here is a similar chart for the 20 in. deep shelves:
If your actual width is longer than 4ft do the same math but get 10ft long 2×4 instead of the 8ft. If you want a solid shelf surface multiply by 2.5 instead of 1.5
Value for the Dollar
Even after you factor in the cost of the wood needed for the shelves Rhino compares favorably to other heavy-duty systems. The Rhino Shelf is deeper than other shelving units but is not that much more expensive than more narrow units and the RhinoMini compares favorably to units that are about the same depth. With the Rhino you get more load-bearing shelf for the money than you do with other shelves. You can get them on Amazon by clicking here.