Pick the Right Steel for Your Project

snap hook - Fixed Boat Snap-Die Cast

Do you have a project you’re putting off?

Are you working on a task fixing up a safety gate on your barn or the latches on your boat and you’re not sure what product to go with? Are you looking to upgrade your marine hardware?

We offer our snap hooks, bolt snaps, trigger snaps, pulleys and hooks in a variety of materials and finishes and steel is one of the most popular. It can be confusing to differentiate between steel, stainless steel, and nickel plated steel. Here is some basic information to consider when selecting the right steel product for your job!

Are you looking for strength and not worried about corrosion or aesthetic? Steel may be a good option. Modern production of steel began in the late 19th century and was an important part of the Industrial Revolution. Steel was widely used in construction of buildings and railroads due to its strength, cost, and light weight. Today, we see steel being used across a wide range of industries, especially hardware. We offer snap hooks, bolt snaps and hooks manufactured using a durable forged steel. Steel is an alloy consisting of iron and carbon. It has a high tensile strength making it a strong and inexpensive option. However, when exposed to the elements, steel is susceptible to corrosion.

Stainless steel is one of the most common and popular products on the market today. Stainless steel is an alloy made from iron, chromium, and nickel. It’s corrosion resistance combined with it’s aesthetically pleasing look make it a popular choice amongst customers. Our stainless steel snap hooks and trigger snaps are manufactured with a 316 grade stainless with superior corrosion resistance. These snap hooks and trigger snaps can stand up to fresh or salt water exposure without worry of corrosion, making them a great choice for any marine or outdoor application. While stainless steel may be slightly more expensive up front, you will save a lot on the back end as stainless steel pieces are made to last.

The benefits of stainless steel are obvious, but nickel plated steel has many of the same benefits at a lower cost. Nickel plated steel is just that…a steel that has a thin layer of a oxidation resistant nickel applied. The nickel does not decompose, but rather forms a layer of nickel oxide, which prevent further corrosion from occurring. There are several benefits of using nickel plated steel: corrosion resistance, heat resistance, increased strength, resistance to wear and aesthetic. Like stainless steel, nickel plated steel is also a great option for marine and outdoor applications.

Below is a chart for highlighting the pros and cons of these steel products…


Stainless Steel

Nickel Plated Steel


Alloy of Iron and Carbon

Alloy of Iron, Chromium and Nickel





-Corrosion resistant

-Fire/Heat resistant

-Aesthetically pleasing

-Long term value

-Extreme corrosion resistance

-Wear resistant

-Less expensive than Stainless Steel


-Susceptible to corrosion

-Higher up-front cost

-Inadequate plating can lead to corrosion


Agricultural, Equine, Dog Leash & Collar, Sports Equipment

Marine, Outdoor, Agricultural, Awnings, Dairy, Hardware, Sports Equipment

Marine, Outdoor, Hardware, Sports Equipment


2 thoughts on “Pick the Right Steel for Your Project

  1. Ken Hwan says:

    A friend of mine is doing some renovations on his house and was looking for the right steel to use, and this article cleared up a lot of my questions! I really enjoyed the pros and cons of steel products, especially comparing the differences between steel and stainless steel, it was very helpful! I will have to pass this along to my friend while he’s doing his renovations.

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