Galvanized Steel vs. Stainless Steel: What’s the Difference?

Galvanized Steel vs. Stainless Steel: What’s the Difference?

It’s easy to mistake the two types of steel—galvanized and stainless—for one another due to their similar appearance. But galvanized and stainless steel vary in strength, composition, and, especially, weight. Let’s explore the differences between galvanized and stainless steel and how you can tell them apart.


Galvanized steel is the result of hot-dipping ordinary steel into molten zinc. Another form of dipping often performed is electro-dipping, which is the process of dipping the steel in an electrolyte solution containing zinc.

In contrast, stainless steel is ordinary steel combined with chromium in a molten form. The ratio will vary depending on the type of stainless steel needed. When the mixture cools, it hardens to a solid state, and the solid is then treated with acid to remove any superficial impurities.


In short, stainless steel is the product of two different metals thoroughly mixed, while galvanized steel is ordinary steel covered in zinc. The zinc coating on galvanized steel protects it from corrosion, and stainless steel has a minimum of 10 percent chromium in its molten form.


Due to their preparation methods and composition, the differences between galvanized and stainless steel are apparent in their usage. Galvanized steel is more cost effective due to its weaker design, so it works best for smaller-budget projects. One of its best uses is for fittings and pipes in homes.

Because stainless steel is more substantial and expensive, on the other hand, it works best for higher-budget demands that require thicker components and heavy-duty lifting. Stainless steel finds many uses in bridges, sculptures, skyscrapers, railways, and many other structurally sound features.

Even though they’re similar in appearance, the differences between these two types of steel are quite vast. Each has its own advantages that make it suitable in a diverse range of functions.

For a railing project with the highest-quality metals, view our selection of cable rail tools. Reach out to American Cable Rigging today with questions or equipment needs!

1 Comment

  • The Role of Steel in the Railroad Industry

    […] difference between galvanized and stainless steel resides in their usability. But the differences in stainless and alloy steel can be found in their […]

  • Comments for this post are closed.