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topic 29294

18/10 vs. 18/8 and 18/0 stainless steel for flatware and pots & pans


A discussion started in 2004 but continuing through 2018

2004

Q. Which metal is more durable: 18/10 or 18/8 stainless steel? I am considering purchasing some flatware that is 18/8 stainless, and wonder how strong it will be.

Thanks,

H Dawson
homemaker - Dallas, Texas


2004

A. Previously on another Internet forum:

Question
I would like to know about stainless steel , specifically which is stronger and will last longer 18/10 or 18/8. which would make a heavier weight flatware ? I can't find these answers anywhere. thank you so much.

Answer
Hello Shelly! Let me start with a few basics, OK? The 18/8 and 18/10 designations are older terms, and refer to the amount of chromium and nickel alloyed with the iron, to comprise the stainless steel. The 18/8 name has been pretty much replaced, in the States at least, by several other designations. 301 stainless steel has 16-18% Cr, and 6-8% Ni 302 stainless steel has 17-19% Cr, and 8-10% Ni 304 stainless steel has 18-20% Cr, and 8-10.5% Ni. That may explain your difficulty in finding information on these alloys. Similarly, 18/10 is usually referred to as 316 stainless steel, with 16-18% Cr, 10-14% Ni, and also 2-3% molybdenum, which greatly increases the resistance to pitting corrosion in seawater. Good stuff, that moly.

Now the mechanical properties these 300 series stainless steels are all the same! In the annealed condition, they are all listed at 75 ksi tensile strength, 30 ksi yield strength. The slight difference in Cr and Ni isn't enough to cause a difference in the strength by themselves. These alloys can be made harder, however, by cold working, i.e. rolling or drawing through a die or extruding through a die or some other such process which will deform the metal, while it is at most a few hundred degrees F. Here, too, the mechanical properties are the same: half-hard stock, for example, has 150 ksi tensile, 110 ksi yield strength, no matter if it is 301, 302, 304, 316, etc.

The difference is in the corrosion resistance (which I assume you're not interested in, since all will be fine for flatware) and in the ductility. A lower alloyed 301 has more ductility when work hardened than the higher alloyed 316. So after you stamp out your quarter hard sheet into forks, you can bend one of the tines more often, or farther, if it is of 301 rather than if it is made of 304 or 316, before it will crack. The weight of the flatware will depend on geometry, since the densities of the stainless steel grades are identical, for practical purposes. Iron, chromium, and nickel all weigh about the same. A splendid source of information on stainless steels is the Nickel Development Institute, at www.nidi.org, which offers a lot of FREE literature they are glad to send. And please don't hesitate to ask here again! (Gosh, I hope I answered your question in all this rambling!) Take care!

lee gearhart
Lee Gearhart
metallurgist



2006

Q. Very informative answer. Now I'm wondering about 18/0. I've seen a number of flatware sets listed as such. Does the 0 indicate lower quality, less corrosion protection, what not?

Amanda G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Jetmore, Kansas


2006

A. Hi, Amanda.

Because nickel costs about $17 per pound, much more than steel or chromium, flatware which contains none would be less expensive than flatware which contains 8 or 10 percent nickel.

While 18/0 is not necessarily unsatisfactory (and some people who are concerned about nickel even feel it is better), it is more prone to rusting as it is not as corrosion resistant.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


sidebar 2006

Q. Is any grade better for one's health than another? I'm particularly interested in stainless steel cooking ware.

Clarissa D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Social Worker - New Mexico


January 29, 2007

Q. Now that I understand about 18/8 and 18/10 - what about flatware that doesn't bend?

Laurie B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Wellsville, Utah


A. Hi, Clarissa. Sorry I have no answer except that all of these stainless steels are considered safe, and it seems to me that what your pot is made of is inconsequential to your health compared to what is in the pot :-)

Hello, Laurie. All stainless is of about the same strength for your purposes, so it has much more to do with the dimensions (and consequently the weight) than the type of material. In this context the resistance to permanent bending is proportional to the second power of the thickness. As a slight simplification, flatware that is 40 percent thicker will be 40 percent heavier and twice as strong. So flatware, like produce, should be "heavy in the hand" :-)

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


(2007)

Q. Is it true that type 304 surgical stainless steel cookware will react on food while 316L will not? They said this kind of stainless steel (316L) is what surgeons use for hip, knee replacement and others.

I attended a cookware demonstration where they boiled water on each different cookware (aluminum, copper, stainless steel and 316L stainless steel) and put a teaspoon of baking soda and all the cookware has a yucky taste including the regular stainless steel except for the 316L, no reaction at all, why is that?

I've been surfing the internet, couldn't find the answer.

Gabriel D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
amateur - Dallas, Texas


(2007)

Q. I also have the same question. A lot of waterless cookwares are using 304 stainless steel and only SaladMaster is using 316L. Is 316L really a lot better than 304? I have heard that 304 has pores when heat up, but not 316L. Is it true?

Elena Au
- Irvine, California


A. Gabriel,
The demo you saw was no doubt carefully configured to show the seller's cookware in the best light. Still, 316L is more corrosion resistant, although probably no "safer", than the other stainless steels mentioned on this page.

Elena,
Although I doubt the "pores" theory per se, it is true that some stainless steel is electropolished rather than mechanically polished. When something is mechanically polished, under magnification it looks like a plowed field, whereas when electropolished the burrs are dissolved away, resulting in looking under magnification like ocean swells. 316L is a very good grade of stainless steel. It means type 316 (sometimes called 18/10) "L"ow carbon.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


(2007)

A. I have found a number of third-party sources that verify the superiority of 316 steel, versus lower grades of stainless steel on the market such as 304 and 18/8.

Here is some very interesting data on 316 steel, according to the Sandmeyer Steel Company:
http://www.sandmeyersteel.com/316-316L.html

Here is a quote from this page:

316 steel is used in the "manufacture and handling of certain food and pharmaceutical products where the molybdenum-containing stainless steels are often required in order to minimize metallic contamination."


Here is a website where I found that Pharmaceutical companies use 316 steel for purposes of high purity in their products:
http://www.arcmachines.com/appPages/weldspec02.html
Ed. note Dec 2013: that link is now broken

Here is a quote from this page:

"The Baseline series of PHARMACEUTICAL ENGINEERING GUIDES was developed by ISPE in cooperation with the FDA to establish a baseline approach to new and renovated facility design, construction commissioning and qualification. . . . discusses material selection for piping systems and recommends type 316L as the preferred steel for a High Purity Water generation and distribution system. "

I also have data from multiple Allegheny Ludlum metallurgical studies that demonstrates the differences between 304 steel and 316 steel.

Joseph Matthew Gleason
- Anna, Texas


September 20, 2012

Hi Joseph. Thanks. Yes, 316 is more corrosion resistant than 304, and yes, in limited circumstances (when welded) 316L is more corrosion resistant than type 316 (because during welding at white hot temperatures the carbon tends to migrate causing corrosion-prone accumulations and the lower carbon content of 316L minimizes that issue). But out-of-context quotes might add more confusion than clarification :-)

For example, minimizing metallic contamination may be of significance for electronics manufactured in a cleanroom if strong acids are used which can dissolve stainless steel; much less so with food, which is not a strong acid. And the fact that 316L is used in manufacturing has to do with the fact that the machinery is welded, and 316L is a tiny variation of 316 tailored specifically for welding; cookware is not welded. And when they speak of "High Purity Water", they don't mean "clean" water, they mean mixed-bed de-ionized water, an aggressive fluid used in semi-conductor manufacturing which is too pure to safely drink. Thanks again.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


November 16, 2008

A. OK, back to the original question -- what grade of stainless steel should I use for cooking utensils?

I work for a company that fabricates carbon steel and stainless steel piping systems for food processing plants, water treatment plants and industrial users. My job is to help with selecting the best (most cost-effective) materials for our customer's specific applications.

18-8 stainless steel -- now most often referred to as 304 or UNS S30400. -- Good, general purpose stainless steel. Used for some drinking water plants, petrochemical plants, lots of structural uses. If you want to make transit bus handrails, use 304. It's resistant to most chemicals, and won't pit or corrode from people's sweaty hands. Good for cooking utensils, but not as goods as 316.

18-10 stainless steel - now most often referred to as 302 or UNS S30200. About the same for food use as 18-8. Lots of good, inexpensive cookware is made with this alloy.

18-10MO - now most often referred to as 316 or UNS S31600. This is the alloy of choice for food processing equipment and applications requiring excellent corrosion resistance to most chemicals. 316 has 18% chrome, 10% nickel and 3% molybdenum. The molybdenum has a major effect on resisting acidic and chloride corrosion. Lots of foods are acidic -- tomato sauce is one that will pit 304 but not 316. Just about everything you cook has salt in it, and salt (especially sea salt) has high chloride levels.

However, most if this is irrelevant. Unless you're running a meat packing plant next to the ocean (and they all use 316), any of these grades of stainless will work just fine.

How to destroy stainless steel cookware:

> Use with plain steel items. In our plant, we carefully segregate stainless steel from plain carbon steel. All of our shelves are coated with plastic so the stainless steel never touches carbon steel. Having both types of steel in contact may cause the stainless steel to develop surface rust. Using stainless steel spatulas on cast iron frypans may cause rust marks to develop on the spatula. Don't use plain steel wool to clean your stainless steel pots -- use a Scotch-Brite pad or stainless steel wool.

> Let them soak for hours. Leaving your spaghetti sauce pot in the sink full of tomato-ey water is the perfect way to start pitting. Stagnant acidic water is the worst thing you can do. When we design tanks for food processing plants, we take special care to make sure the tanks can completely drain and there are no crevices to collect stagnant water.

Bottom line, any good-quality 18-8, 18-10, 302, 304 or 316 stainless cooking utensils will be head and shoulders beyond most of the other available materials. Teflon-coated pots chip and flake, glass breaks and discolours, copper tarnishes and often contains lead, strong detergents dissolve aluminum.

As for the SaladMaster demo, it's a trick. When the nice SaladMaster salespeople boil water in your pots and pans, you're comparing the results against the brand new, never-been-used SaladMaster pots they brought with and unwrapped in front of you. Your pots and pans have millions of microscopic surface cracks that may trap equally microscopic food particles. That's what you taste -- the boiling water and baking soda leaches out some of the food particles, causing the yucky taste. The brand new SaladMaster pots have never been used, so no food in THEIR microscopic cracks, so no taste.

Sheldon Jaffe
- Langley, B.C., Canada



sidebar (2007)

Q. My son struggles with metal toxins, and I am at a loss as to which brand of flatware would be the least toxic for him. He is now in a treatment program to detoxify his body of metal toxins, and I don't want to put toxins back into his system. I have read this and that about 316 steel etc, but I am still unsure as to what flatware to get. Please help by sharing a brand(s)of non-toxin quality flatware. Thanks so much!

Deborah Jan Evgenikos
- Placerville, California


(2007)

A. In answer To:

"My son struggles with metal toxins . . ."

Sterling silver would be your best choice,as there is no documented cases of allergies or toxic effects by silver. You may not be able to use a commercial polish to keep it clean looking.

Russ Goodrich
- Santa Clara, California

Ed. note: If unable to use commercial silver polish, then see letter 4785 for removing tarnish from silver with baking soda.


(2007)

Q. re:
"Sterling silver would be your best choice,as there is no documented cases of allergies or toxic effects by silver. You may not be able to use a commercial polish to keep it clean looking".

Can anyone tell me why there is no documented cases of allergies to this, when there is apparently nickel in sterling or most sterlings? I may have misunderstood though. Just wondering as I have a bad allergy to nickel. Seems the only cookware I do not have a reaction to is a 316L type.What should I use for flatware?

Linda Fischer
- Pt Alberni, B.C., Canada


September 19, 2007

A. I don't think that that is quite accurate, Linda. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver, and 7.5% something else -- but the usual alloying material in sterling silver is copper. Silver plate would probably be the least allergenic because it is almost 100% pure silver.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


May 20, 2008

The safest metal for your son to use would be titanium.
Titanium forms an oxide layer that is extremely inert and non-reactive. This is the reason titanium is one of the most commonly used metals for surgical implants.

Camping stores (such as REI) sell titanium forks and spoons.

Keith Savage
- Austin, Texas



January 1, 2008

Q. As I read through all the answers I got more confused! Which is the better flatware? Is more nickel better? heavier? pricier? I need high quality, pit and corrosion resistant, heavy flatware in my hand. What is the very best? Which should I buy if price is not a consideration only quality,durability and beautiful finish are the criteria? Help! I hate cheap flatware so much I can't eat with it, it literally hurts my hand!

Gail Robinson
buyer - Willimantic, Connecticut


Yamazaki flatware

January 11, 2008

A. Hi, Gail. Please try to read the replies slowly and ask for clarification on any specific points you didn't understand. Repeating what has been asked and answered doesn't eliminate the confusion -- it just makes it progressively worse for each subsequent reader :-)   

All stainless is about the same density and unit strength, but thicker flatware is heavier and stiffer. More nickel is more corrosion resistant, and more expensive. 316 (sometimes called 18/10) stainless steel is best, and 304 (sometimes called 18/8) is almost as good. But I don't think you can really select flatware on this basis, because there is more to the process of manufacturing good stainless steel than just the alloy composition. I think you can go only by the reputation of the maker and their guarantees.

Although I am a proponent of "Buy American", I believe that no stainless flatware is made in the USA^See entry of July 19, 2012 for update. It's almost all made in China today, and I have zero confidence in the American companies selling it. If anybody knows of American-made place service, please pipe in.

I have little experience with Japanese flatware but, unlike so many American companies today, Japanese companies don't seem to engage in "meatball whoring" (the deceitful practice of selling their meatball logo to any schlock outfit to slap on their low quality product in exchange for licensing fees) -- so if it's got a Japanese name, I'd be more likely to trust it wherever it's made.

Based on what I can see, their lifetime guarantee, and customer reviews, my guess is that Yamakazi is one of the better flatwares today. If anyone has personal experience with it, please chime in; meanwhile we've linked to reviews on Amazon where the customers rated it "5-star".

Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

P.S. -- Update Sept. 2012: We bought French-made Guy Degrenne stainless flatware from Williams-Sonoma last Christmas, and are happy with it.


May 5, 2008

! This is very helpful and informative reading. Thanks everyone. I am replacing my Reed & Barton 18/10 flatware after 11 years due to staining and pitting. Nothing lasts forever. And it look as though the standard is still 18/10 (316). Considering Oneida or Yamazaki...

Maureen Moylan
- Northridge, California


January 31, 2009

A. I just bought a set of Yamazaki and all I can say is that I think it is very important to have flatware that feels good in the hand, has a good weight and looks beautiful...and this brand delivers on all counts. It is marked 18/8 and "made in China", and while I don't know how it will wear, my initial impression is that it is well designed, well made, and that the company pays attention to quality. No small thing these days!

Rhonda Shaw
- Chappaqua, New York


(2007)

Q. Hi. I just came across a 21/0 stainless steel flatware which I am considering purchasing. According to what I've learned here, this signifies 21 percent chromium and 0 percent nickel. Is this better or worse, lighter or heavier than 18/10 stainless steel flatware? Thanks!

Beatrice Finkelstein
- Chicago, Illinois


January 31, 2008

Q. I am also curious about the 21/0 stainless steel flatware I see advertised. Is anyone able to offer an explanation on the durability or quality of 21/0?

Jacque Perry
- Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania


March 8, 2008

A. If you read between the lines, the key factor in the ratings is the amount of Nickel in the item. The Nickel is the metal that reduces the rust and pitting of the base metal, being Stainless Steel. Stainless Steel is a combined metal of steel, nickel, chromium, titanium and others. The SS rating also indicates a hardness, as 21 will be harder and stronger than 14, though less flexible, meaning it should last longer in use. The second number in the equation for flatware as in 18/10, being the 10, indicates the percentage of nickel being used. Most common ratings as in 18/8 - 18/10 are the basic and accepted range for flatware. A 21/0 therefore is a strong SS with minimal nickel content. Most of these utensils have been polished. With minimum nickel content, the polish will not hold up very long and will lend itself to staining long term.

Dell Wood
- Windsor, Ontario, Canada


April 13, 2008

Q. I would like to know if lead is ever used in making flatware. I am concerned because of China's deceptive use of lead in products.

Barbara McBroom
- Hillside, Illinois


April 14, 2008

A. Hi, Barbara. I can't see any reason a manufacturer would put lead into a stainless steel product. However, if you were talking silver plated flatware, there probably are some machinability advantages to making it from leaded brass rather than nickel silver.

That doesn't mean I personally believe there will be lead in a piece of silverplate, but based on the news, I'm making no promises on behalf of Chinese manufacturers :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


October 29, 2008

Q. Can you tell me if there is any aluminum in 18/8 stainless?

Thank you,

bjh

Barbara Hammar
- Corvallis, Oregon


A. Hi, Barbara. No, there is no aluminum in 18/8 stainless.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


sidebar October 23, 2008

Q. Thanks for the interesting discussion. I want to buy a steam cleaner, and have been looking at different models that have stainless steel boilers. Most of the boilers are 18/10 steel, but one somewhat less expensive one is made of 12/10 steel. If this means the amount of chromium is lower in the steel, will the boiler be less durable over time?

Thanks,

Janine Polk
- Eau Claire, Wisconsin


October 27, 2008

A. Hi, Janine. I've never heard of type 1210 stainless steel, and a quick check of google didn't reveal any such thing either. Are you sure the "1210" isn't simply a model number as opposed to a type of stainless steel?

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


November 1, 2008

No, the machine is always listed as having a 12/10 stainless boiler. It is the Unilux 3000--here are a couple links for it. In the second link check the comparison chart a little ways down the page.

www.allbrands.com/products/abp13897.html?ovchn=SPRI&ovcpn=Froogle&ovcrn=Froogle&ovtac=CMP#

www.smart-cleaning-solutions.com/site/1426224/page/825600
Ed. note Dec. 2013: that link is now broken

Actually, in the bottom chart (steam cleaners with extractors) I see there are several models with 12/10 boilers also.

Is this just a mistake, and they actually all have 18/10 stainless boilers?

Janine Polk
- Eau Claire, Wisconsin


November 1, 2008

Hi, Janine. Catalogs are not written by metallurgists but by marketing people, and errors creep in. In this particular case it says the boilers are made of type 304 stainless steel (which is an 18/8 stainless steel); I believe they are trying to say that the thickness of the steel is 12 gauge in the cylindrical shell and 10 gauge in the top and bottom plate/bell.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



December 15, 2008

Q. I am about to buy a very very large quantity of stainless steel tableware for a huge dining facility I will be moving my current facility to. We serve meals to over a thousand people 3 times a day and the tableware gets a lot of use. What I have been using is 18/10, and we have specifically gotten this because it is very durable. I am trying to save money and so I am considering buying 18/8 instead. I guess I wanted some opinion on whether I should save the money buying a lower grade, or save money by having a more durable 18/10 which lasts longer. But my question is, is it really worth the difference, and based on your experience with the metals, what do you think would work better for me? Also, is 18/8 magnetic like 18/10 is.

Thank you!

Rosemary Johnson
buyer Tampa, Florida


December 16, 2008

A. Hi, Rosemary. 18/8 is not magnetic and neither is 18/10. 18/10 is better and more expensive but I think it's unlikely that a quality brand of 18/8 would be unsatisfactory.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


January 23, 2009

Q. I have an 18/8 stainless steel sports bottle that is magnetic as well. If 18/8 is not supposed to be magnetic, what would cause it to be so?

Patti Douglas
buyer - Portland, Oregon


January 26, 2009

A. Hi, Patti. Cold working during manufacture can leave 18/8 with some magnetic attraction. But if it's highly magnetic, the same as regular steel, I'd say it probably is not 18/8.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


February 8, 2009

Q. Hi...good info here. I am looking at purchasing a new set of pots and pans..the description says 18/10 lids
Ok, what are the pots made from, or are they saying lids and not addressing pots, because of the copper bottoms?
at a loss...

J FRED MUGGS
- Meadville, Mississippi


February 28, 2009

A. silly :-) Hi, J Fred Muggs. My sympathies that your parents made a monkey out of you!

Don't let the manufacturer do the same. If he doesn't claim 18/10 I think it would be a big leap of faith to assume it.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


March 11, 2009

Q. Great to see all of this chat on Stainless. I'd like to add one factor - the higher nickel content allow a much brighter and whiter shine. It's apparent in cookware as well. If you use 18/0 which I think is also 201 (not sure) in flatware and cookware it dulls quickly over time. It's still food safe just not as nice to look at after a few uses.

Bradley Smith
- Sacramento, California


March 26, 2009

Q. The debate between 304 and 316 on leaching metal toxins is fascinating. I understand they are both inert.
I am making Kombucha tea, which is a highly acidic fermented tea. Would 304 or 316 be more suited, for continuous repeated home use. Better than glass even? The culture would ferment for up to 30 days in the vessel in black tea and sugar. Any help would be great don't want to make family sick.

chad york
- puyallup, Washington


April 23, 2009

Hi, Chad. Type 304 and 316 stainless are quite similar, but type 316 is more corrosion resistant. I think that is all that could be said short of retaining a laboratory to ferment the mixture for 30 days and then testing for dissolved metals.

But glass is completely inert to food products.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


April 4, 2009

Q. We need to replace a 28-yr old kitchen sink. Which would be more durable and best:

"20 gauge, Type 304 Series stainless steel w/satin finish 18/10 chrome-nickel content"
or
"18 gauge, 18/10 stainless steel"

We've always thought the lower gauge was better, but the Type 304 is a new wrinkle since we bought last.

Thank you.

Bobbie Cavano
consumer/buyer - Rome, New York


April 9, 2009

A. Hi, Bobbie. 18 gauge is heavier than 20 gauge. Type 304 and 18/10 could be essentially the same thing. The wording "type 304" is just a little more exacting about the composition than the more generic 18 percent chrome 10 percent nickel.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


April 10, 2009

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Bobbie Cavano
consumer/buyer - Rome, New York



Q. I was recently in India and a lot of the factories are using 14/1 and 14/04 stainless instead of 18/10. The price is reduced and the factories are saying that products manufactured from 14/1 and 14/04 pass all tests for corrosion and rust.

I would like to know more about this type of stainless steel, the strength and what defects can we expect to encounter if we use this material to manufacture giftware products.

Thanks

Diane Stevens
- Eatontown, New Jersey


June 18, 2009

A. Hi, Diane. I can't comment because I've never heard of it. Sorry. Does anyone know the composition or anything else about it beyond that they call it "14/1"?

If it's 14 percent chrome and 1 or 4 percent nickel, someone is counting fractions of pennies in their cost-cutting programs. How did that work out for American car makers whose mantra was "If G.M. can save 1/10¢ each on a hundred billion screws ..." just before the Japanese penchant for quality savaged our domestic auto industry?

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


June 15, 2009

Q. I'm a sales man of a stainless steel tableware factory from mainland china, so great to learn so much from those interesting discussions. However I still have a question here: in our country,we usually apply the 420 type of SS to make knife items of a tableware set. As far as I know, it's much harder but less corrosion resistance, is that due to the less nickel added to the alloy? what's more,I haven't seen any discussions about this kind of SS, while it's widely used in our country in such field, how do you name it in your country. thanks.

Tobby.Xiao
trade company - Guangzhou, China


A. Hi Tobby. The stainless steel used for flatware cannot hold a sharp edge. Knives used for cutting must be made of series 400, i.e., 4xx stainless steel. It will get rust pots much more readily than the 300 series, i.e., 3xx but it's a necessary thing is we want sharp knives :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


July 2, 2009

A. I did some sleuthing and found out the following. The opinions stated below are from a kitchenware manufacturer. Does anyone know more about patta and if J4 is better then J7 or anything on the coil vs patta quality?
Thanks!

Begin Quote ->
Coil is a industrial form of making steel....and comes in the form of coil (sheet rolled in coil)....Jindal steel is famous for this....this grade is known as J7 in Jindal... whereas patta steel....is a brick steel and flattened in small units to make sheet... these are like 6 feet x 4 feet coil flattened... so it doesn't have consistency in quality.... and the price difference in patta 14/1 and coil 14/1 is almost 30%

14/1 Stainless steel is 14% chromium and 1% nickel. This is the highest selling material in kitchen utensils from India. We are not using J7 coil or patta, both have nickel content of 0.25 % and chromium 14%

We are using J4 patta, that is re-rolled sheets, they have nickel content of 1% and chromium 14%.

J4 is much better then J7.
<- End Quote.

Andrea Thien
- Santa Barbara, California


January 26, 2010

Q. Can someone comment on which type is least reactive with food? 18/10, (316) or 14/1. The information out there is confusing.

First of all, does 14/1 react with food? I have read that 18/10 is the least reactive with food. But now manufacturers of 14/1 also says it is least reactive with food because it is low in nickel and won't leach. Which is true? Or maybe both?
It's really confusing trying to sort this out without a technical background.
Thanks,
Jane

Jane Jeanni
- New York, New York


January 2010

A. Hi, Jane. There are multiple systems for grading or identifying stainless steel; 18/10 is one system and 316 is another. These are the best stainless steels used in consumer items and 18/10 and 316 are essentially the same thing.

I don't think 14/1 is a problem, because all stainless steels are essentially non-reactive to foods. But it is a cheaper grade because of the limited nickel content and the "low in nickel so it won't leach into foods" stuff strikes me personally as silly.

I've expressed my opinion that there is more to it than alloy composition, so as a consumer you are pretty much limited to trying to find a reliable brand. In my opinion your best guideline is to find a company which never licenses their logo. In my limited experience, most Japanese brands don't, but most American brands do.

Try to find the owners' instructions, the registration card and the warranty instructions and look for any reference to a company name or service outlet other than the brand name in question. Any company that is into "meatball whoring" in this way is, in my personal opinion, not to be trusted. I once bought an answering machine with the "IBM" meatball on all 6 faces of the box, only to discover when the piece of garbage didn't last 2 weeks, that IBM apparently had absolutely nothing to do with it and simply sold their hard-earned reputation for quick cash :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


February 25, 2010

Q. I am searching for a great stainless steel flatware set without breaking the bank.
I found for the first time a 21/10 listing - Steel alloyed with chrome, titanium and brass.
Could this be considered the 'top of the line'?

Please help.
Thank you,

s Heidi Oel
customer - Sun City Center, Florida


February 25, 2010

A. Hi, Heidi. Here's the main problem to me: 18/8 and 18/10 have an established meaning and 21/10 doesn't.

If someone advertises 18/10 flatware and then ships you junk, claiming 18/10 meant 18 percent bent and 10 percent missing, no judge or arbitrator in the world would accept it because 18/10 has a universally accepted meaning.

What does 21/10 mean? 21 percent chrome and 10 percent nickel? Maybe, but who says? Google it and you'll see. Brass is not an element that you can have a certain percentage of; rather, it's an alloy itself that has some percentage of zinc and some percentage of copper, and possibly some percentage of tin. I would pay little attention to the "21/10" phrase, and judge whether to buy it by the rest of the description and circumstances. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


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