ThePipingMart Blog Metals 18-8 vs 304 Stainless Steel – What’s the Difference

18-8 vs 304 Stainless Steel – What’s the Difference

18 8 Stainless Steel vs 304 Steel

Are you considering adding stainless steel to your project? If so, you might be wondering what type of stainless steel you should use. You may have heard of 18 8 stainless steel and 304 steel, but do you know how they differ from each other? In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between 304 stainless steel vs 18/8 to help you decide which is right for your project.


What is 18/8 Stainless Steel?

18-8 stainless steel is an alloy made from 18% chromium and 8% nickel. It is popularly used for many applications, which include cookware, flatware, and medical instruments. This type of steel provides corrosion resistance due to its high chromium content and is also known to be relatively durable and highly resistant to damage from scratches or other abrasive materials. It has superior heat conductivity as well compared to other types of steel. Whether 18-10 stainless steel is good or bad depends on the application; it’s generally a better choice than 18/8 if you are looking for increased durability in your cookware but some people find that it isn’t necessarily worth the extra cost associated with it.

What is 304 Stainless Steel?

304 stainless steel is an alloy of iron, chromium, and nickel with a minimum of 18% chromium content. It is the most widely used type of stainless steel in the world because it is highly corrosion resistant and has a wide range of desirable properties. As such, 304 stainless steel can be considered good for many applications because its makeup makes it strong and durable while still being relatively inexpensive when compared to other grades.

Difference between 304 and 18-8 stainless steel

18-8 vs 304 Composition and Corrosion Resistance

18/8 steel is a type of grade that has 18% chromium and 8% nickel in its composition. This type of grade is also referred to as “304” or “304L” (low carbon version). It is the most widely used grade due to its excellent formability and corrosion resistance. This type of grade is not magnetic, so it can be used in applications where magnetism is not desirable.

On the other hand, 304 steel is an austenitic alloy that contains chromium, nickel, and manganese. This type of grade has higher levels of corrosion resistance than stainless steel 18/8 due to its higher levels of chromium content. Additionally, it has better formability than 18 8 due to its higher levels of manganese content. It also offers increased strength at elevated temperatures compared to other grades. However, this type of grade can be slightly magnetic due to the presence of iron in its composition.

18-8 vs 304 Strength

Both are considered high-quality materials, 304 stainless steel is generally stronger due to its additional components. This added strength makes 304 ideal for use in applications that require high resistance to corrosion, heat, and impact. Ultimately, the choice between 18-8 and 304 stainless steel will depend on the specific needs and requirements of your project.

18-8 Stainless Steel vs 304 Uses and Price

18-8 steel is often used in food preparation tools such as kitchen utensils, cutlery sets, cookware, baking sheets and more. It’s also often used for decorative purposes, such as wall panels or trim for cabinetry and furniture pieces. This type of grade tends to be a more affordable option compared to 304 steel when it comes to price points.

Meanwhile, 304 stainless steel is often used in industrial applications such as pipe fittings or machinery parts due to its superior corrosion resistance properties compared with 18 8 grades. It can also be used for food preparation tools like kitchen sinks since it does not corrode easily with exposure to water or acids found in foods like tomatoes or wine, making it ideal for these types of applications. However, because this grade offers superior corrosion resistance properties compared with 18/8 grades, it usually comes at a higher price point than other grades available on the market today.



Ultimately when deciding between using 18-8 vs 304 ss, it’s important to consider your intended application as well as budget constraints before making a decision on which one will work best for your specific project needs. The benefits offered by each grade are different, so make sure you understand them before selecting either one! For those looking for an affordable option without sacrificing quality then 18/8 SS would likely be the best choice, whereas for those looking for superior corrosion resistance at an increased cost, then 304 SUS would likely provide that benefit instead! Whatever option you decide on, make sure you thoroughly research all materials involved before beginning any construction projects! Good luck!

2 thoughts on “18-8 vs 304 Stainless Steel – What’s the Difference”

    1. Yes, both 18-8 and 304 stainless steel alloys exhibit magnetic properties, but they are not strongly magnetic. They are considered to be “non-magnetic” in the sense that they do not attract magnets strongly like materials such as iron or nickel.

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