plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Stainless steel BBQ grills: is 304 or 420 better?
January 12, 2012
Q. I'm looking at replacing my outdoor grill due to rusting, (it was stainless, and looks great, but the guts are destroyed) and am looking at all the stainless steel grills on the market. Some brag about their 304 SS and others simply say stainless without much fanfare. Which is better 304 or 420? Should each be expected to wear well over the long term?Barry St.Pierre
- Burlington, Connecticut, USA
January 13, 2012
304 stainless steel has about 8% nickel in it, which makes it more expensive and more corrosion resistant that type 420. You can tell the difference with a magnet; 304 is non magnetic, 420 is strongly magnetic.
But my own experience as an engineer with some experience in metal finishing, is that I can't tell the quality of a consumer items from its specifications. You can try, but I think experience with a brand, or an evaluation by Consumer Reports, will be a more reliable indication of probably satisfaction than the specifications. Good luck.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey