Best Nerf Bars: Improve Your Truck’s Style and Function
Use these Nerf bars to give your truck a sporty look while protecting it and making it more functional
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BY Andra DelMonico / LAST UPDATED ON July 15, 2021
Owning a big truck is great, but there’s one big caveat: ease of getting in and out of the truck. It can be a pain, especially if you have little ones or elderly passengers that you’re driving around. Nerf bars can give your truck an extra step that will make it easier to get in and out. They also give your truck a sporty look. Try one of these sets of Nerf bars on your truck.
These curved tubes enhance the look of your truck with shiny stainless steel. The 5-inch non-slip step pads make them functional.
- These tubes are durable and made out of 304 marine grade stainless steel
- This makes them resistant to corrosion
- The step pads have internal reinforcement to make them structurally stronger
- These only fit particular models of trucks, so make sure they fit yours before you order them
- They also need to be carefully installed, or they won’t feel so secure when you step on them
These Nerf bars have a sleek and shiny look. Two black rubber step pads blend in to make the bars look sleek and continuous.
- To get the black look, a heavy-duty black powder coating finish is used
- This improves the bar’s looks and protects them from corrosion
- They’re also easy to install
- Make sure you confirm the actual measurements of the bars to verify that they will actually fit your truck
- You may notice some bend or flex when standing on them
These black Nerf bars are powder-coated to make them corrosion-resistant. They feature a straight design with curved ends. There are two non-slip rubber steps.
- The stepping pads on these bars are extra wide to give you more foot room and increased stability
- They also come pre-assembled, so they’re easier to install
- These bars will begin rusting despite the powder coating finish
- You may also have some problems with pitting
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Benefits of Nerf Bars
- Protection. The original use of nerf bars was to provide protection for your truck. The rails extend between the front and back tires to protect the side body of your truck. They can still do this for you in parking lots or from road debris.
- Style. Choosing the right set of nerf bars means you can enhance the look of your truck. If you have other chrome accents on your truck, then a set of chrome nerf bars are the perfect accent. Or you could go for a tougher look and choose black powder-coated nerf bars.
- Safety. When people get in and out of your truck, it can help to have an additional step. This is especially true for children and the elderly. Having an extra step increases stability and reduces the risk of slipping or falling.
Types of Nerf Bars
These nerf bars add both style and function to your truck. They’re best for a truck that is used as a daily driver or for carting the family around. The steps only extend the length of the cab. This puts the steps right where you need them to be when getting in and out of the truck. They also work well for off-road trucks because their shorter length gives them more flexibility and clearance.
Wheel to Wheel
These nerf bars extend from just behind the front wheel to just in front of the rear wheel. These are perfect for trucks that have a front and back seat. The extra length means you can use the back end of them as a step to reach into the bed of the truck or up to a roof rack. You’ll find that there are two built-in step pads for the two doors.
This halfway shape between round and flat gives them a style that complements your truck. The oval shape will give you more space for your foot on the pads. They’re bolt-on, which makes for easy installation and no drilling. They come in a wide variety of designs and finishes, so you can purchase a set to match your truck.
These nerf bars are meant more for looks and decoration than for use. They’re thinner and lack the flat footsteps that oval bars have. Their weight capacity is also lower. You’ll find that they are smooth, straight tubing that will extend along the length of the truck. The ends are then curved in towards the truck. You’ll mount them on the rocker panel, which makes them perfect for lower-sitting trucks.
Founded in 1965, Lund produces high-quality fiberglass products. It began with making exterior sun visors for heavy-duty trucks. Today, though, one of its most well-known products are nerf bars. Check out the Lund Polished Stainless Steel Oval Curved Nerf Bars for your Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra.
The Truck Accessories Company is one of the top suppliers in America for aftermarket accessories. The company has over 20 years of experience, giving them the knowledge necessary to instill unparalleled quality in their products. The TAC Side Steps are the perfect accent for your Sierra or Silverado.
For just over 10 years, N-Fab has produced the best looking and most durable off-roading and truck accessories. The company is committed to crafting durable accessories that will last. The N-FAB Dodge Ram Textured Black Nerf Step set is the perfect addition to your Dodge Ram.
Based out of San Dimas, California, Westin produces high-quality aftermarket truck accessories. Its goal is to combine form and function to create unique accessories. Check out the Westin Pro Traxx Oval Step Bar-set for a rugged-looking set of bars.
Nerf Bars Pricing
- Under $200: These are the most basic of nerf bars. They’ll have features like curves and rubber footsteps. The metal used will be thinner and lighter. You’ll also find the smallest sets for smaller trucks in this price range.
- $200 to $300: Most nerf bars fall into this range. You’ll find chrome and powder coating finishes. The tubing will vary in diameter, but is typically between three and five inches.
- $300 and up: These are the largest sets of nerf bars and the highest quality bars. Trucks that are extended cabs need longer bars, and this is the price range they fall in. You’ll also find shorter sets that have more features, such as a special finish, additional steps, or fancy designs.
Start by measuring your truck and choosing the length. Decide if you want bars that extend from wheel to wheel or just under the cab. Cab length bars are perfect if you like to go off-roading. Wheel length bars are better for work trucks. You also need to look at the diameter of the metal tubing. This will change how the bars impact the look of your truck. Larger tubing makes a bolder statement.
There are three basic shapes to choose from: flat, round, and oval. Flat nerf bars are commonly called running boards and create a solid flat platform the entire length of the cab. Round nerf bars are sleeker and more low-profile. Oval bars give you a nice balance between the flat and round options.
Choosing a finish is about enhancing the look and style of your truck. The two most common finishes are chrome and powder-coated black. If you have other chrome accents on your truck, then the chrome will look beautiful. The black works well for all other trucks that don’t have chrome anywhere else. A third option is a polished metal, but it lacks the shine and impressive looks that the other two options have.
- Material. High quality nerf bars are made out of steel. Lower quality bars will be made out of aluminum. When looking at steel bars, you’ll notice that there are several different types of steel used. The highest quality will use marine-grade steel. This will make them corrosion-resistant, despite their exposure to water.
- Running Boards vs. Nerf Bars: While both options will provide you with a stable surface to place your foot when getting in and out of the truck, they create very different looks. Think about which will enhance the look of your truck more and give you the platform necessary for your passengers to feel secure.
- Platform Size: Look at the platform where your foot will land. The larger this flat area is, the easier it will be to place your foot onto it. You also need to look at the traction level. Some cheaper nerf bars just create a rough spot or use a plastic insert. Higher quality bars will have a rubber insert.
Best Nerf Bars Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Think about the look that you want to create for your truck. This will help you decide on the perfect finish. They typically come in black powder-coated, polished, chrome, texture powder-coated, black, painted, and anodized aluminum.
- You’ll need to choose between a textured spot on the bar or a rubberized pad. This is when you balance looks and safety. The rubber may be more noticeable and disrupt the looks, but it’s safer than having just the texture.
- Make sure you buy the right length of bars. They need to run the entire length of the cab, or from wheel to wheel. You also want the step areas to line up with where the doors are on your truck.
Q: Are there any other options besides Nerf bars?
A: You could also install running boards or side steps onto your truck. Running boards are the wide, flat steps that run along the bottom of the truck. Nerf bars were originally installed to protect the undercarriage of trucks, but today, they also serve as a step. Side steps are a small step right at the door of the cab. They can be a challenge to use and can cause injury if you miss while getting out.
Q: How do I know what size to buy?
A: There are two sizes you’ll need to look at when buying Nerf bars. First is the length. Cab-length bars will extend the length of the cab. Wheel-to-wheel bars are slightly longer and will run from just behind the front wheel to just in front of the back wheel. The length you choose will depend on the look you’re going for. The other size to look at is the diameter. Larger tubes give you a bolder look and more space for your foot on the bar.
Q: How do I install Nerf bars?
A: The good news is that many vehicles come from the factory with the holes pre-drilled for Nerf bars. If this is the case for you, then you just have to bolt the bars through these holes. If you don’t have these holes, then you’ll need to drill holes in your truck’s frame. The bars should be centered with the cockpit of the truck. Tighten the bolts and check each bar to confirm they’re secure before you start using them.
The Ionic 5-Inch Stainless Steel Curved Nerf Bars give your truck a sporty look while protecting your truck and making it easier to get in and out.
The budget-friendly TAC Side Bars Nerf Bars give your truck a sleek look with beautiful black bars.