Selecting and using stainless steel fasteners

October 1, 2011 | By Richard Prince


Do you know of any product that will help prevent thread galling on stainless steel hardware? We’re putting a 1980 model Bronco back on the road and many of the stainless steel bolts we’ve bought have galled up and broken when we tried to remove them later. I’m planning on bolting the bed together on my 1974 Ford F-100 with stainless steel hardware and I don’t want to have to deal with the same issue.


First of all, I question the quality of the stainless steel hardware that you have used in the past.

High quality stainless bolts normally will not gall up and break unless they are subjected to extremely caustic materials and extraordinarily high loads.

There are many different types of stainless steel and within each type there are different grades.

The formulation of the stainless steel and the way in which it is manufactured will determine its properties and the properties, of course, should be matched to the intended use. Some types and grades are easy to weld or easy to machine, some are especially suited for use in salt water or in highly acidic environments, and others are remarkably strong or are especially heat-resistant.

You are, in my opinion, better off buying stainless steel bolts and other hardware from a specialty supplier of these materials rather than from auto parts sellers. The fastener kits auto parts vendors sell often contain lower grade metals. You can usually buy much higher quality fasteners from a specialty supplier such as Hercules Fasteners (, Marine Fasteners, Inc. (, or The Fastener SuperStore (

Now to your question: the Permatex Anti-Seize Lubricant best suited to your particular use (some are specifically formulated for high-pressure environments, caustic environments, high temperature resistance, etc.) is an excellent choice to help prevent thread galling and corrosion, thereby ensuring that you will be able to remove the fastener years down the road.

I have used Permatex 77124 Nickel Anti-Seize for stainless steel fasteners for many years with excellent results. (It’s especially suited for use with stainless.)