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

18-8 Stainless Steel vs 304 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 these two types of stainless steel to help you decide which is right for your project.


Differences Between 18 8 Stainless Steel and 304 Steel

Composition and Corrosion Resistance

18-8 stainless 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 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.

Uses and Price Points

18-8 stainless 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 stainless steel vs 304 steel, 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 would likely be the best choice, whereas for those looking for superior corrosion resistance at an increased cost, then 304 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!

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

by Abhishek Modak time to read: 2 min