What Is A "Billet Grille," And Do You Really Want One?

If you're shopping around for a new grille, you may have seen billet grilles. Are you considering getting a billet grille? Or do you want to learn more about billet grilles? Either way, you came to the right place.

In this post, you’ll find an explanation of what a billet grille is. We'll also go over the pros and cons of having one of those grilles on your truck.

What Is A Billet Grille?

Billet aluminum

First, let's go over what billet aluminum is. It's a block of pure (or mostly pure) aluminum. A billet grille is made from - you guessed it - billet aluminum.

Billet grilles usually have a common design. The design is somewhat mesh-like, but not quite. A typical billet grille comes with stacked bars in a horizontal or vertical pattern. There are three different types of billet grilles:

  1. Replacement (which replaces a whole stock grille)
  2. Insert (which replaces only the central part of a stock grille)
  3. Overlay (which bolts on top of a stock grille)

Why A Billet Grille Isn’t Always A Good Investment

Billet grilles are one of the most common types of grilles. It doesn't mean that billet grilles are the best choice. It's actually not a good choice. The reason billet grilles are so popular with grille manufacturers is because:

  • Billet aluminum grilles are lightweight
  • Billet aluminum is easy to machine
  • Billet aluminum can be inexpensive

Using billet to manufacture grilles makes sense from a financial standpoint. Yet, billet aluminum is not always the best material for a truck grille.

Aluminum Can Pit Very Easily

Pitted aluminum

Many truck parts (like headache racks) are made out of aluminum. The material works great for these parts. Yet, aluminum isn't the best choice of material for grilles. The reason is simple: Aluminum can pit very easily.

When you drive down the road, any bit of gravel or hunk of ice that flies up into your aluminum grille can cause it to pit. Aluminum is a relatively soft metal, so it pits easily. Aluminum is not as susceptible to corrosion as steel, but it will still corrode if unprotected. Any pitting compromises the finish on the grille, and corrosion can set in.

While pitting can happen to any surface, aluminum is particularly vulnerable to pitting. Steel is much less likely to pit because it is so much harder.

Stainless Steel Is The Best Material For Grilles

Royalty stainless grilles

Do you want a grille that will last long and stay looking good? Get a stainless steel grille from a reputable manufacturer. Stainless steel should be your first material of choice in grilles. In fact, stainless steel is one of the seven hallmarks of a quality grille.

It's because stainless steel is the strongest and most durable material out of all the grille materials. This is important if you want to keep your truck looking good for a long time. A stainless steel grille will look great even after years of heavy use. You can't say the same about billet aluminum grilles. If you're looking for a strong and durable grille, get one made from stainless steel.

Royalty Core is a leading brand for stainless steel grilles. All Royalty Core grilles are made of T304 stainless steel and mesh. The material is not only strong, but it's also very resistant to corrosion. There are many more reasons why Royalty Core is a leading brand. You can read about some of those reasons here.