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Make Money Scrapping by Learning the Difference Between Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Scrap Metal

Scrap Metal

One of the most common questions posed by newcomers to the scrap industry is about the differences between ferrous and non-ferrous metals. While there is – as with most things – a long and convoluted answer that is accepted in the industry, there’s a much shorter, sweeter version that can help you make more money when you’re searching for scrap materials. In short, ferrous metals contain iron and non-ferrous metals don’t. Now, because of this, ferrous metals are more common and lower-priced than non-ferrous metals.

See, easy, right? But not so fast! Let’s go into a little more depth about the differences and, more importantly, what you should look for when you’re out searching for scrap.


Ferrous metals, like stainless steel, cast iron and carbon steel, are utilized when strength is an important factor. Because of this, you’ll commonly find ferrous metals used in bridges, buildings, cars, railroads and household tools.

Non-ferrous metals, on the other hand, include aluminum, lead, nickel, tin and copper. With higher malleability and lower weight, non-ferrous metals are used to construct airplanes, gutter systems, road signs and – of course – tin cans.


Due to rarity – and scrap volume – non-ferrous scrap typically commands a higher price than ferrous scrap. As a result of this, the market for non-ferrous materials is often more volatile and – for savvy scrappers – can yield a more rewarding payout if cashed in at the right time.  In the end, however, it’s best to take your scrap metal to a reputable, trustworthy dealer who can evaluate exactly what you have and offer advice – and a fair price – for all of your materials.

At Iron Mike, we are the most trusted scrap metal buyer in Detroit. With years of experience and the ability to determine the characteristics, quality and pricing of your scrap metal, we can ensure that you get the most out of your materials. If you’ve been looking for a reliable, proven buyer that will work with you to ensure the biggest payday possible, contact Iron Mike today!

Tags: scrap metal

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