Propeller Basics

There are two types of stainless steel props. One is polished stainless steel and the other is satin finished. Both give equally effective performance. Stainless steel propellers come in two, three and four blade versions. Complex prop shapes can be cast accurately when designers use stainless steel. Stainless steel is durable and power is driven through a stainless steel shaft so that electrolysis will not occur. Stainless steel props are used for outboard, inboard and stern drive motors.

Advantages of Stainless Steel

The benefits of stainless steel compared to other metals especially aluminum are that it is strong, thinner and lighter to cast. The strength and stiffness of the prop is not compromised after casting. It is damage and corrosion resistant and new designs can be evolved. The disadvantages are that stainless steel is expensive compared to its aluminum counterpart. When a stainless steel prop hits an obstacle, it is not capable of protecting the drive system. Since the cost of the stainless steel propeller is high, it cannot be carried as a spare emergency prop. Stainless steel props are difficult to fit and aluminum props are better emergency spares.