They go by a lot of names – nerf bars, running boards, side steps. No matter what you call them, these helpful platforms don’t just give you a step up into your high-off-the-ground vehicle. They’re also a literal bulwark against blunt or hard-edged off-road obstacles. But you take as much pride in your vehicle’s appearance as you do its overall toughness, which is why you want to invest in a set of bars that looks as good a few years in as they did on Day One.
Why painted-black or enameled nerf bars aren’t the way to go
While it takes far less time to apply, a simple coat of paint won’t suffice if you want your nerf bars’ coat to hold up over time. Not only will they start to chip or peel after enough love-taps from the odd boulder or branch, but a painted or enameled bar is more vulnerable to exogenous chemical reactions. You won’t want to accidentally spill lacquer thinner on your new nerfs if they’ve only been painted.
Why powder-coated nerf bars are what you want
By contrast, powder-coated nerf bars and running boards are much more robust – and they’re designed to be that way. The coating process, known as “e-coating,” involves electrically charging the media, or powder-coat material, and the item in question – in this case, your steel-crafted nerf bar. After the powder-coating has been shot into the part, the bar is then baked in an oven. The coating sticks to the bar much better than paint ever could on the molecular level, which means that the finished product will be more resistant to dings, scratches and cracks. Steelcraft is one brand that lives and dies by e-coating.
You won’t be surprised to find that such a high-level job and the guarantee that comes with it lead to a slightly higher price tag for powder-coated nerf bars. But it also means you’re investing in a far superior piece of equipment, so it’s well worth it.
Now that you have a better understanding of how much better a powder-coat will serve your nerf bars than a simple paintjob, you can both shop and face the off-road with greater confidence than when you started. Be sure to leave a comment below if you have any questions, recommendations or good things to say about our product line.