The Facts About Stainless Steel Fasteners

Stainless SteelYou’ve probably heard a lot about stainless steel this and that. but what’s the big deal about stainless steel — and when do you need to choose stainless steel fasteners for your project?

First let’s examine what goes into stainless steel that makes it, well, stainless. Ordinary carbon steel met the world’s steel needs for centuries, finding its way into everything from building projects to swords, but it was by no means a perfect metal. Before you could say “Taste my steel!” the exposure of the steel’s surface to oxygen would lead to oxidation, which would show itself in the form of iron oxide — in short, it would rust. The more corrosive your environment, the faster oxidation would take place. If you lived by the seaside, forget about it.

Stainless steel solves that problem by containing at least 11 percent chromium. When this metal is mixed into the steel, it oxidizes too — but it oxidizes into a super-strong, corrosion-resistant film of chromium oxide. This outer layer of chromium oxide acts as a kind of protective sealant that prevents rust from penetrating the steel.

Stainless steel fasteners are an industry standard for other reasons as well. These screws maintain their strength under extreme temperatures (hot or cold), they’re easy to clean, and their anti-corrosive qualities give them a longer lifespan than fasteners made of other metals. Stainless steel is largely resistant to magnetic forces as well. And of course they look great — after all, they’re stainless!

Yes, you can go with other materials for your screws, bolts or other fasteners — we have all kinds of options in stock to meet specific needs, and you’re welcome to ask us about them. But if you’re building a structure that’s meant to last, especially around chemicals or salt water, stainless steel is the clean winner!

About the author

Mr. Metric is the spokesperson for, an online store for metric fasteners. Get $7.50 flat shipping with no minimum orders, plus advice and best practices for using metric fasteners in any application.

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