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New to Buying Metals? Learn more below! New to Buying Metals? Learn more below!

Buying Metals Online for Beginners

If you're new to working with metals, buying the right kind can seem complicated. Here’s a straightforward guide to help you get started on your metals journey with Online Metals. If you still have questions, we are available through chat or phone (888-527-3331) so be sure to reach out!

Educational Resources

When beginning your metals journey, you don’t know what you don’t know. That is why Online Metals created a vast knowledge hub, offering everything from informative articles to tools and guides, allowing you to enhance your understanding of different metals and their applications. Maybe even get a little inspired with build videos!

Understanding Alloys and Grades

Now that you’ve gotten a taste, let’s dive a little deeper into your specific project or application. The metals necessary for a high school robotics team can be drastically different from those working in aerospace. Head to our Product Guides or Applications Hub and learn more about alloy chemical makeup or actual use cases. We're here to help you find the right metal for your project.

Let us help you understand more about metal

Various Shapes and Forms

Generally, you don’t buy metal just to have it lying around. You buy with the end in mind. You may need steel tubing for a structure or plate material to be machined into a part. Whether you need metal in round, square, rectangle shapes, or as pipes, sheets, and plates, we have it all. And we have a handy page to help you better understand shapes and their uses. 

Learn about the various shapes and forms of metals

Widest Selection of Metals Online

We offer a massive catalog of metals and other materials, and the choices can be daunting. For a quick visual of our metal offering, we have a simple to read product grid with links to everything from Aluminum to Zinc! Don’t need a full-length material, we also offer cut-to-size options to get you the exact dimensions you need!

Shipping and Pickup Options

Now you know exactly what you need and when you need it. We offer fast shipping options and have 7 online order pickup locations across the US giving you flexibility on how to save time and money. Smaller items are usually sent via UPS, and larger orders are shipped with R&L Carriers.

No Minimum Orders

One of the advantages of shopping at is the absence of minimum order requirements. This is something you can’t get from most larger metal distributors. Whether you need a small amount or a larger quantity of metal, you can order without worrying about meeting minimum thresholds.

Customer Service

While it is a rarity, things can and will go wrong in the buying process. We pride ourselves on our customer service and making things right. Every order is important to us, no matter the size. If you have questions, our US-based agents are ready to assist you via phone, chat, or email – and don’t worry if you are not a metals expert – we will help you in a friendly and professional manner.

Quick Quotes 

While our live pricing is great, there is a possibility you are looking for larger quantities, low stock items, or products you may not see on our site. If you need to get a quick response on a quote for metal, send it to us. We’ll turn it around fast, and if you like the quote – you can simply click to purchase it online in your My Account!

Quality Assurance guarantees high-quality materials and offers free MTRs. We take great care to make sure that you get the correct metal you want, and we will provide you with the mill test report for free to prove it!

Deals and Specials

Sign up to be the first to hear about deals and exclusive products available on the website. Check for new categories, lower pricing, and exclusive products that may align with your project requirements.

We Feature Your Projects

When your project is completed, we’d love to see it. And if you let us, we’d also like to share it with our other customers in our Made with Metals Gallery.

Get YOUR projects featured

As a beginner in metalwork, starting with the right information and resources is key. At, we’re here to support you at every step, from selecting the right materials to showcasing your finished project.

About Online Metals

Online Metals round logo

Online Metals is the world’s leading eCommerce metal supplier, specializing in small quantity cut-to-size metals and plastics, delivered in a fast and reliable manner.

Since 1998, Online Metals has expanded our catalog to over 85,000 different cut sizes, grown our national footprint to Seven pickup locations across the U.S., and continued to improve upon our best-in-class customer experience.

Check out our materials: Alloy Steel, Aluminum, Anodized Aluminum, Beryllium Copper, Brass, Bronze, Carbon Steel, Copper, Cast Iron, Nickel, Nickel Silver, Plastic, Stainless Steel, Titanium, Tool Steel, Unistrut®, Wrought Iron, & Zinc

Shop by shape: Bars, Tubes, Sheets, Plates, and More.

Can't find what you're looking for? Submit a quote or contact our support team.