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Brass vs Stainless Steel

What’s the difference between stainless steel and brass? Which is better, brass or stainless steel? Here at Buckleguy we know the answer. Read on to learn which metal wins.  

Brass Versus Stainless Steel: What's the Difference?

Brass or steel? You may be surprised at the results.

Stainless Steel is everywhere and has many every-day uses. Brass is a classic metal that adds a beautiful touch to products, and is stronger than you may think. How do the two compare?


Brass is an alloy, or a mixture of mostly two metals: copper and zinc. The color and properties of the brass will vary depending on the amount of each metal in the mixture. Brass can be forged, stamped, cast, wrought, or die-cut, but the products we carry are typically sand cast. The reason solid brass is strong is this perfect mixture of durability and flexibility.

See the types of hardware designer bags are made from and how to find replacements.


After production, brass items are either left raw, lacquered, or plated. Not all brass products are what they seem, however. While solid brass is pure brass and nothing else, some products may not be solid brass, but brass-plated. In this case, the item is composed of brass on the outside, but not on the inside. Brass-plating typically means that the product is made out of zinc or steel, but has a thin layer of brass on the exterior, and it is then finished with a lacquer to maintain its color and protect its brass shell. While brass-plated items may look just as good as solid brass when new, they break or wear easily and lose their luster.


Like brass, stainless steel is also an alloy, composed of iron, carbon, and chromium. This composition leads stainless steel to have great strength too, but a much different appearance than brass. It is a strong and functional metal, but lacks the visual appeal of solid brass. Stainless steel’s strength and corrosion-resistance make it well-suited for tools and industrial uses, such as appliances, surgical uses, and machinery.

Brass hardware can be finished in a variety of rich styles while still retaining the benefits of being made from solid brass.


Solid brass! When it comes to leather goods and fashion accessories, brass is the best. It is stronger than metals like zinc that are more common and affordable, but flashier and more versatile than stainless steel.  

This is why brass is the preferred choice here at Buckleguy, and you’ll find when browsing our catalog that most of the hardware we carry is made of solid brass. Nothing beats brass for belt buckles, handbags, purses, travel bags, dog collars, dog leashes, and a lot more. Take a closer look and see for yourself why brass is the best metal for the fashion industry.