Do I Really Need Mil-Spec Hardware?

When building a project at home or manufacturing goods in a factory setting, most professionals want to use the best materials. While there are varying degrees of quality and performance out there, materials and hardware manufactured to military specifications (mil-spec) are often considered to be the best of the best, but do you really need to use mil-spec hardware?

The Benefits Of Mil-Spec Hardware

Mil-spec hardware, including mil-spec washers found at sites like, can provide extra peace of mind. When hardware is manufactured to military specifications, this usually means that it is designed to stand up to the toughest conditions. Additionally, purchasing things like military flat washers from a military washer manufacturer like Superior Washer offers assurance that your hardware adheres to ISO-9001 certification standards.

Mil-spec hardware also tends to last longer due to the rigorous standards it must adhere to. This isn’t always the case, but depending on the type of hardware you’re purchasing, you can usually expect mil-spec items to last longer than standard consumer-grade items. Mil-spec hardware also tends to stand up to environmental hazards better. This means that threats like corrosion and discoloration may be easier to ward off when using something built to military specifications.

You may also be able to enjoy additional compatibility benefits when using mil-spec hardware. While consumer-grade hardware components are usually manufactured to match standard sizes, you may find that you have a mismatch when trying to use hardware components from different manufacturers. Even small differences can create big problems. When you use mil-spec hardware, this is less of a concern due to the exacting nature of mil-spec design and manufacturing processes.

The Disadvantages Of Mil-Spec Hardware

Although buying items built to military specifications offers some advantages, this type of hardware is not necessary for all situations. Mil-spec hardware tends to be more expensive in many cases compared to items built to consumer specifications. Spending the extra money on mil-spec hardware may be overkill when you’re buying hardware for a simple home repair, and you may save money by going with an off-the-shelf alternative.

Mil-spec items may also be in shorter supply or take longer to order. Because these items are built to such high standards, hardware may not be readily available when you need it. For instance, you’re likely going to need to order mil-spec washers from a dedicated washer manufacturer whereas standard washers, nuts and bolts can usually be purchased from your local retail outlet. Having to wait to get your items can delay simple projects that you want to get done in the same day.

Should You Purchase Mil-Spec Hardware?

Because of the advantages and disadvantages of buying mil-spec hardware, you’re going to need to weigh your requirements against the pros and cons to determine whether mil-spec is right for you. If you represent a manufacturer that produces products for other businesses and your products need to be built for long-lasting durability, mil-spec may be the way to go. You may also want to go with mil-spec hardware if your project involves parts that operate in tough conditions for long periods of time.

If, on the other hand, you’re completing some repairs around your home or working on general home improvement projects, you may end up paying too much and waiting too long for mil-spec hardware. You can often just as easily complete your project by buying consumer-grade hardware that will provide the durability your project requires without the added expense of mil-spec. Once again, your decision really comes down to balancing the needs of your project and your budget against the items that are available to you.

Latest Posts