As I mentioned above a couple of years ago I have mostly used Online Metals in the past for both my personal and our robotics team raw metal stock needs. Today I needed to order a few brick sized chunks of 1018 steel and a little bit of 6061 flat stock for a personal project and as usual started at www.onlinemetals.com. After finding most of what I needed the order seemed to total quite a bit more than I thought it should. I know metal prices have been on the rise but I wondered if I could get what I need cheaper somewhere else. I searched around and found the following list of online suppliers of metal that have a good selection and will allow small orders:
and of course http://www.onlinemetals.com/
After searching each of the above online metal suppliers for my list of needed materials and also comparing their prices on other metal stock we typically use on our FIRST robots I found Speedy Metals to be quite a bit cheaper than the other 3 suppliers in every case. Their shipping rates were reasonable as well.
I searched on CD for Speedy Metals and didn’t find any references so I thought I would let everyone know what I found. As far as I can tell Speedy Metals is a good source for metal at reasonable prices and shipping costs. They are by far cheaper than any other source I have found online and have a very good selection including sizes and types of metal I couldn’t even find at some of the other suppliers.
I would also like to mention that 80/20 gives all FIRST teams a substantial discount on all of their products. Many teams use quite a bit of 6061 aluminum 1” thin walled box tubing. It has been our experience that the 80/20 QuickFrame part number 9000 can be purchase through our 80/20 distributor much more cheaply than standard 1” 6061 from any online metal supplier due to the substantial FIRST discount. 80/20 QuickFrame part number 9000 is a 1” square thin walled (.060) box tubing made from 6105-T5 aluminum. It has nice rounded corners/edges and is clear anodized so it has a nicer finish than standard 6061 extruded box tubing. If you are using 1” 6061 thin walled box tubing (welded, riveted, bolted, whatever) look into the 80/20 QuickFrame tubing. You can probably get it cheaper than what you are currently paying for your 6061 and it can do everything standard 6061 1” thin walled box tubing does for you and more. We have made extensive use of the 80/20 QuickFrame products for 3-4 years now.