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Stainless Steel Hex Bolts Vs Galvanized Hex Bolts – What’s the Difference?

Stainless Steel Hex Bolts Vs Galvanized Hex Bolts - What's the Difference?

Regarding heavy-duty fasteners, two commonly used bolts are stainless steel hex bolts and galvanized hex bolts. While both bolts have a hexagonal shape, they differ in composition, use, and price. If you need help deciding which bolt to use for your project, this blog post will help you understand the differences to choose the right one.

What are Stainless Steel Hex Bolts?

Stainless steel hex bolts are fasteners commonly used in construction, automotive, and manufacturing industries. These bolts have a unique six-sided head and are made from iron, chromium, and nickel alloy. The addition of chromium in the alloy provides corrosion resistance, making stainless steel hex bolts suitable for outdoor use.

These versatile bolts come in various sizes and grades to cater to different applications. The most commonly used grades are 18-8 and 304 stainless steel, which offer excellent strength and durability. In addition to its corrosion resistance properties, stainless steel has high tensile strength and is resistant to extreme temperatures.

What is Galvanized Hex Bolts?

Galvanized hex bolts are fasteners commonly used in construction and industrial applications. These bolts are made from strong and durable steel material, which undergoes a galvanization process to provide an added layer of protection against corrosion. This process involves coating the bolts with a thin layer of zinc, which acts as a barrier between the metal and any external elements that could cause rust or deterioration.

One of the main advantages of using galvanized hex bolts is their ability to withstand harsh environments. Whether exposed to extreme temperatures, moisture, or chemicals, these bolts remain sturdy and intact due to their protective zinc coating. This makes them ideal for outdoor structures such as bridges, fences, and decks.

Difference Between Stainless Steel Hex Bolts vs. galvanized Hex Bolts


Stainless steel bolts are made of an alloy that includes at least 10.5% chromium. This composition makes them more corrosion-resistant than galvanized bolts. On the other hand, galvanized bolts are made of carbon steel bolts coated with a layer of zinc. This layer protects against rust but is less than stainless steel. So, stainless steel would be the better option if you’re looking for maximum corrosion resistance.


The strength of a bolt is a crucial factor in determining its ability to hold materials together and withstand tension. Stainless steel bolts are stronger than galvanized ones, making them suitable for high-stress applications requiring stronger bolts. Stainless steel bolts have a high tensile strength, making them less prone to breakage, while galvanized bolts tend to break under high tensile stress.


The primary difference between stainless steel and galvanized hex bolts is their material. Stainless steel bolts are made of steel alloy with a minimum of 10% chromium to prevent rust and corrosion. In contrast, galvanized hex bolts are steel coated with a thin layer of zinc to protect against rust. While stainless steel is more expensive than galvanized steel, it is also more durable, long-lasting, and corrosion-resistant. In contrast, galvanized bolts have a limited lifespan, especially when exposed to harsh conditions like saltwater.


Stainless steel bolts are recommended for outdoor use, particularly in applications where they’ll be exposed to salt water or chemicals. They’re often used in marine and construction industries because of their durability against corrosion. Galvanized bolts, on the other hand, are more commonly used for indoor applications such as wood framing, as their zinc layer is adequate protection against rust in relatively dry environments.


One significant difference between the two bolts is their price. Stainless steel hex bolts are generally more expensive than galvanized bolts. However, if you consider the cost of their lifespan, stainless steel bolts will save you money in the long run, especially for outdoor use.


While both bolts offer good corrosion resistance, stainless steel bolts require little to no maintenance. They won’t corrode, and the alloy won’t break down or rust. On the other hand, galvanized bolts require annual maintenance to keep them from rusting. Over time, the zinc coating may wear off or corrode; when that happens, the bolt must be coated with another layer of zinc.

Appearance –

If you are looking for a sleek and modern bolt, then stainless steel hex bolts are the way to go. They have a shiny finish that gives off a more polished and professional look compared to galvanized bolts. Galvanized bolts have a duller silver finish, and their rounded faces may have imperfections caused by the galvanization process.


When it comes to choosing between stainless steel hex bolts and galvanized hex bolts, it all depends on your project’s needs and requirements. If you need heavy-duty bolts that withstand harsh outdoor elements, stainless steel hex bolts are the better option. They offer maximum corrosion resistance, require minimal maintenance, and have a long lifespan, making them better value for money in the long run. For indoor projects, such as wood framing and other dry environments, galvanized hex bolts offer adequate protection against rust and are cost-effective. Whatever your choice, make sure you understand the differences between the two bolts before your purchase to ensure the right bolt is used for your project.

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