Aluminum vs. Steel: How To Decide What Is Best for Your Metalworking Project


If you are undertaking any sort of metalwork project then the first decision you need to make is which metal is best to use, aluminum or steel. Both are viable choices and have advantages and disadvantages.

The answer will depend on what project you are undertaking. The following should help you decide which is the most appropriate.


If you speak to a reputable steel fabrication Sydney for a price for your steel, and then try to match it at an aluminum supplier you are unlikely to be able to do so.

The simple fact is steel is made up of different substances, specifically iron and carbon. These are generally much cheaper than the elements that make up aluminum, making it impossible for aluminum to be cheaper than steel.

Therefore, as both metals are very strong, if cost is an issue then steel is the better choice.


In some cases, the decision will need to be based on the weight of the metal. For example, creating a lightweight vehicle that is capable of high speeds, or building an airplane. Both of these large projects need a framework that is as light as possible. That means using aluminum which is significantly lighter than steel. It is also worth noting that it is very easy to mold into shape.

Size Of Project

Both aluminum and steel are strong and capable of supporting a wide variety of projects and applications. However, in most cases, steel is the better choice for large-scale projects and aluminum is better for smaller projects.

Part of this is that you can have long stretches of steel with minimal flex, the longer the piece of aluminum the more it is likely to flex and the less likely it will be suitable for the project. Of course, it can be supported in place but this will increase costs further and may be detrimental to any design.


Metal is tough and will generally last for years without losing any of its strength. However, steel is generally acknowledged to be stronger and more durable than aluminum.  This makes it the logical choice for fabrication projects as it will hold a building or similar project in position for as long as you need it to.

In contrast, aluminum is better at being shaped allowing you to make more intricate structures from metal. It is also rust-proof and corrosion-proof. Steel can rust which is why it is usually coated in something prior to being used.

Skill Level

The final consideration should be the skill level of you and your team. Steel is generally much easier to weld into position than aluminum. However, steel can be more difficult to cut.

Before making your final decision, consider your project, your budget, and the skill level of your team. It will make the final decision much easier. In fact, you probably won’t have to think about it at all, when you consider the facts the decision becomes obvious.

Leave a Reply