There are several factors to consider when attempting to choose the best aluminum pulley for any application. The type of manufacturing process used to produce the aluminum pulley is one of the most important facts to consider. The type or grade of aluminum used, the protective coating used on the pulley and the weight of the pulley are all areas that should also be considered in a potential pulley purchase. Cost, owner testimonial and available warranty are some of the most important factors to consider whenever you are ready to purchase an aluminum pulley.
The reduction of rotating mass is often the reason for purchasing an aluminum pulley. The lightweight metal allows the pulley to accelerate faster and stop sooner than a comparable-sized steel or iron pulley, while the durability of the aluminum will typically outlast a nylon or plastic pulley. You may wish to choose only a forged aluminum pulley over a cast aluminum version to take advantage of the superior manufacturing process of the forged unit. A forged pulley typically outlasts and outperforms a cast pulley due to increased machining tolerances, better balancing and a truer diameter than a cast model.
Although aluminum will not rust, the metal is prone to some types of corrosion. You may find that the best aluminum pulley is anodized to protect against the formation of corrosion. This is especially important if the pulley will be used in, near or around water or a wet environment. Anodizing covers the surface of the aluminum with a colored protective layer that stops corrosion. If you would like the added protection of an anodized coating, however, you do not wish to have a colored pulley, you can choose a clear coating option to protect the aluminum.
One of the oldest and best methods of determining which product to use is to simply ask other users of the pulley as to their personal opinion of the product. Comparing other user's comments will often save you the time and expense of choosing an inferior product over that of a better version. The trial-and-error method of choosing a product, such as a pulley, can be a costly and time-consuming experience. In some instances, you will find two or more acceptable choices. In this scenario, you may wish to examine the warranty offered on each aluminum pulley and choose the one that has the best available coverage that will fit your needs.