i just laced a wheel using sapim steel nipples in black using a spokey nipple wrench. i was careful but i still got some scratch marks/abrasions on the nipples. it is nothing to warrant chnaging them out, but after shelling out the extra $$$ for black, and then to have them scratch by simply installing, i am a bit disappointed.
so my question is, are anodized alloy nipples more scratch resistant than steel? i don't know the process of coloring a steel nipple, but i am thinking anodizing is better.
on another note, can nipples differ in outside diameter? i compared a 1.8 vs 2.0 and the outside diameters are pretty much the same. i only ask because the sapim nipples were a tight fit in the semi-aero rim.