Shopping for skid plates is a very straight-forward process. Really all that needs to be taken into consideration is what you are trying to protect and how much abuse you need it to take. Skid plates are constructed from metal and naturally, you will have some choices in the type of metal used.
You have steel, case hardened steel, aluminum, and water jet aluminum. As far finishes go, you will primarily have two choices: bare metal and powder coated. Powder coated should be the choice for those who have longevity in mind because it is a thick durable coating resistant to rust that won’t easily strip away.
Steel: Steel is an obvious material for a shield. It can take a lot of abuse before needing to be replaced and is considerably cheaper than aluminum.
Aluminum: Aluminum is a great lightweight option for skid plate material. They may not stand up to the abuse that steel will, but considering both will eventually need to be replaced, sacrificing longevity for weight savings is deemed worthy by many.
Case Hardened Steel: This steel finish is separated from standard steel as carbon is introduced to the outer layer of the product. This gives added strength to the already rugged material.
Water Jet Aluminum: Water Jet Aluminum isn’t separated from standard aluminum in terms of material strength. It is simply a reference to the way that the aluminum is cut.