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Thread: Price of steel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Price of steel

    Just talked to a local steel supplier this week, and asked about scraps/cutoffs for practice, and pricing. He said they run about $2.25/lb, and the new stuff runs around $2.75. Is this right, this seems real expensive to me, I was looking at tubing, and some angle, in the 1" range. I know from reading here that steel prices are pretty high, but that seems ridiculous. Am I off base on this one?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default way high!

    I work for a structural steel company 20 miles outside of Philadelphia, so I know prices are high here. Our wholesale cost is anywhere from .50-.65 cent per pound right now. Of course we are buying it by the truck load, but the prices you stated are crazy, even in small quantity. Also we have a scap dumpster which holds around 20,000 lbs of steel which we empty once or twice a week, we get around .15 cents a pound for that. Hopefully you can find someone near you that isn't trying to charge you full wallet for practice pieces.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Midland, Mi.


    Most steel yards hate when people come in asking about free or cheap scrap, especially if you are not a regular customer. Metal is money to them, none of it is scrap.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    Holy Hanna! I thought that was high, but I had no idea how much.. Guys, is snackers prices about the same as what you purchase yours at? I explained that I was just getting started welding, and didn't even mention what I was looking for, just was checking the price of steel. He was the one who suggested the 'bin in the back' to try to save a couple bucks. Ouch! I think I will check with local scrap yards and see if they'll sell me some scrap, .15-.30 per pound, even if it isn't in 'like new' condition sure sounds better to me than what he quoted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Ventura, California

    Default Material is pricey

    China's demand for metal has driven the price of metal through the roof, world-wide; so you aren't being picked on.

    However, like anything else, part of what determines the price you get is your relationship with the vendor. If they know you are a regular customer, then the price is more competitive. If you are a new guy, list price.

    Try to use whatever leverage you can. My welding instructor recommended a metal dealer in the next town over, since the ones in my town don't give much of a discount for small puchases. I tell them I'm a student (drop my instructor's name while I'm at it) looking for some scraps for practice. The best leverage is if you are recommended by someone who purchases on a regular basis, and they tell you to ask for a specific person than knows them. I made the mistake of NOT doing this and paid too much for some scraps off of the cutting room floor (with forklift tire marks on them and scratches galore), so I won't try that approach again. The bean-counter in the front office measured the material and charged me as if it was pristine metal. However, he mistakenly thought some 1/4" stainless rod was mild steel and charged me the lower price; so I called it even.

    Better yet, go with a regular customer when they go to buy metal. When my instructor goes, they tell him he can have (for FREE!) whatever he can carry from the scrap bins. Diamond plate, stainless sheet, tubular steel scraps, it's a feeding frenzy!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Vancouver BC Canada


    Holy chromemoly.....
    I can get Aluminu for 2 bucks a pound, sheet, tube, bars... thats really high for steel. Steel here is about 1.25 lb for shapes..or less... I was at the salvage yard today and I glanced at the price of steel as I have a job coming up.. I think i saw 1.27....i think. anyway 2bucks seems really high for steel..
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Bulverde, Tx


    My everyday price for small quantities of most any steel is around .56/lb.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Mpls, MN


    Stainless at that price is good...

    Who did you call to get that quote from?

    Discount Steel isn't the cheapest, but they have an online store that'll quote you prices for size and shape of pretty much anything they sell. In person is cheaper and they cut you a break for paying cash.

    I've been friendly to the cashiers there for a couple years now and they always knock off a few bucks depending how much I buy.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Lancaster, Pa


    alha, if you dont mind doing it. Take a walk the night everyone puts their trash out at the curb for pickup. You'll be amazed at the metal you can find to practice on. might be an old medicine cabinet to pie pans or cookie sheets.

    What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Dallas, Texas


    I've got a good friend that owns a metal scrap yard. He charges me the rate they used to charge 5 years ago. I pay $ .25 per pound. His normal rate is $ .50 per pound.

    I think these scrap guys are making a killing. They usually pay you pennies for scrap and sell it for much more.
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