Propellers: Stainless Steel or Aluminum? Go with Stainless Steel

20th Nov 2019 | Posted by Savvy Boater
Propellers: Stainless Steel or Aluminum? Go with Stainless Steel

stainless vs aluminum boat propellerNo matter how luxurious or top-notch your boat may be above the water – what’s under the water can really make a difference.  Let’s talk propellers.

If you are trying to decide between a stainless-steel boat propeller and an aluminum one, take note. Both have their unique qualities; however, if you’re a frequent, serious boater, choose the stainless-steel prop.

Stainless-steel props offer high performance and durability.  Stainless-steel props are thinner thereby reducing drag and they won’t flex when revving the boat’s RPMs.  These propellers are designed to perform effectively in all water situations, whether shallow or deep, clear or silt filled.

To give aluminum a fair shake, these props cost less than their stainless-steel counterparts, come with a protective coating, and weigh about half as much. They are less expensive to repair and perform satisfactorily in most situations.

But who wants satisfactory? Dole out the dough (two-to-three times more) for a stainless-steel boat propeller. You’ll find over years of use that your investment will most likely pay off. Here’s how:

In addition to offering higher performance than aluminum propellers, stainless steel boat props are more resilient to marks and dings. Because the blades are stronger and they don’t flex under pressure, stainless steel propellers aren’t damaged as easily as aluminum ones. If you hit a rock and get a dent that affects the performance of your boat, you’re more likely to be able to repair the blade of a stainless-steel prop to its original condition. The strength and durability of stainless steel props make them exponentially more resistant to damage from sandy conditions and minor impacts.

The list below compares the basic characteristics of stainless steel and aluminum boat propellers and will help you choose the best propeller for your purposes. Unlike other prop features, the choice of material is a matter of personal preference, rather than of requirements based upon your boat’s style and specifications. For more information on propellers, link here to SavvyBoater’s Propellers Buyer Guide.

Stainless Steel Blades

  • Higher performance
  • Blade strength preventing flexing under pressure; blades remain longer in optimal condition
  • Durability and lower susceptibility to damage from sandy conditions or minor impact
  • Repairs able to bring propeller closest to brand new condition

Aluminum Blades

  • Lower cost
  • Protective coating
  • Light weight (weighs about 1/2 as much as steel)
  • Satisfactory performance in most situations
  • Less expensive to repair