McMaster-Carr Steel half as Strong as Stated!

This is pretty scary when you think about it. I knew what I was buying and what I was going to use it for so I’m ok. I knew I was purchasing mild steel and not something with a much higher yield strength. But what about the person that ordered based on the yield strength? The really scary part is that it took them two years to realize their mistake. I wonder who sued them? Could you imagine if you tubing used in the construction of your roll cage and then found out two years later it was shit steel? This is why you always order from a reputable well known steel supplier. If you don’t know one and are buying some steel for critical purposes send me an email caswellmotorsport at gmail and help you find one thats not too far from you. Anyway check out this letter McMaster-Carr just sent me.  I love how the letter says they stated the incorrect yield strength… oh just want to let you know its incorrect. They listed it as more than double the actual strength. The steel purchased wasn’t even close to what they advertised! No big warning. No “you might be in danger if the steel you purchase was used in a structural manner…” Just hey, we wanted to let you know it wasn’t listed right. Thanks again for shopping with McMaster-Carr. Again, buy your steel from the real steel house. I need some smaller tubing and only a little bit so I ordered from McMaster but next time maybe I’ll plan more ahead and make sure all my steel is the same and from the same steel house. 

Bill Caswell is a self-taught racing driver, mechanic, and fabricator, and rose to internet fame taking a $500 Craigslist BMW to a World Rally Championship event in Mexico in March of 2010. His exploits have featured in places like ESPN Magazine, Grassroots Motorsports, NPR Radio, Wired.com and Jalopnik.com. A lifelong fan of rally and motorsport, Caswell famously believes nothing to be impossible.

There is 1 comment for this article
  1. David knox at 4:31 pm

    McMaster is actually a pretty cool company and it may be that their supplier gave them the wrong spec- or even flat out deceived them. We’re finding that stainless steel in our belt furnaces from the late 90’s is many times stronger than supposedly identical spec’d steel in our furnace made 10 years later. Might be Chinese supplied stainless is simply an inferior raw material with phony specs given to the fabricators of the angle and tubes. I hear that from the tool and die guys too; something is not right.