How Thick Should A Steel Bumper Be?

When you’re in the market for a steel bumper, you’ll find a lot of choices available. Where do you start? You’ll be on the right track if you make a decision based on the bumper’s ability to provide protection.

You may have noticed that some steel bumper manufacturers list thickness as one of their selling points. Some steel bumpers are very thick, and others are not so thick. How thick should a steel bumper be? What is considered too thick, or too thin?

The short answer? In order for a steel bumper to provide adequate protection, it should be between 3/16” and 1/4” thick. It depends on which part of the bumper you’re talking about. Some parts of the bumper have to be thicker than other parts. At Throttle Down Kustoms, we a combination of 3/16″ and 1/4″ plate steel to make the shell of our bumpers. The shackle mounts are made from 3/4″ steel.

Does The Steel Thickness Really Matter In Terms Of Protection?

Thick steel bumper

It doesn’t matter what aftermarket bumper manufacturers claim. The steel thickness doesn’t single-handedly determine how much protection a bumper is going to offer. You could use high-quality steel plate that has the right thickness, and your bumper would still provide little to no protection. Why is that?

It’s because the thickness of the steel doesn’t matter as much as:

  • The quality of the welds
  • The internal support inside the bumper
  • Rust protection

Many aftermarket steel bumper manufacturers advertise the thickness of their steel. They don’t want you to know that a steel bumper is only as strong as its weakest weld. For example, if you have a 1/2” steel plate bumper barely welded together, it will be weaker than a 1/4” steel plate bumper with good quality welds.

Likewise, you can have a thick steel plate and great welds. But what if you don’t have any internal supports? Your bumper will be weaker than a thinner bumper with better support. If your steel bumper doesn’t come with rust protection, it’ll become weak over time. Rust will weaken even the thickest steel.

Why Is There So Much Focus On How Thick The Steel Is?

When it comes to making a high-quality bumper, steel is the inexpensive component. A big chunk of the expense comes from having experienced welders and fabricators make the bumper. Another thing that adds cost are multiple supports inside the bumper. They are cut by fabricators and are, of course, welded in place. So in short, more welding and more fabricating are the big cost factors in a quality bumper, not the steel.

But to minimize cost, some manufacturers do as little welding and fabricating as possible. Instead, they market their bumpers based on the thickness of the steel they use. The numbers are easy to hype, but they don’t really mean much.

TDK Steel Bumpers Meet All The Criteria For Superior Protection

TDK thick bumpers

At Throttle Down Kustoms, we value quality and safety above all else. So if you’re looking for a high quality steel bumper, look no further than TDK steel bumpers. Our rugged bumpers are among the best on the market because:

  • We work with high-quality PNO steel plate that’s CNC laser cut for precise fitment
  • Our team of certified welders make high-quality welds that ensure extreme strength
  • All our bumpers come with sturdy internal supports built to reinforce the bumper in a collision
  • All our bumpers come with superior rust protection
  • We make our bumpers in the USA with USA-sourced materials

Check out all the different bumper styles we have to see which one is right for your truck!

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