ThePipingMart Blog Metals 301 vs. 308 Stainless Steel – What’s the Difference

301 vs. 308 Stainless Steel – What’s the Difference

301 vs. 308 Stainless Steel

When it comes to stainless steel, you have more than a few options. Two of the most popular are 301 and 308 stainless steel. Both of these steels offer incredible benefits, but it’s important to understand their differences in order to choose the right one for your project. Let’s take a closer look at how they compare.


The two steels are quite similar in terms of composition, but there are some key differences. The main difference between the two is that 301 has a higher chromium content than 308. This means that it is more corrosion-resistant and can be used in harsher environments than 308. It also has slightly better formability properties thanks to its increased chromium content.

Mechanical Properties

When it comes to mechanical properties, the two steels have very similar tensile strengths and yield strengths, but there is one key difference—301 has an elongation rating of 45%, while 308 only has an elongation rating of 40%. This means that 301 will stretch further before breaking than 308 when put under tension. This makes it ideal for applications where flexibility is key, such as forming wire or cable ties.

Cost Differences

When comparing costs, both steels come out fairly evenly matched—but there is one factor that could sway the debate: availability. Because 301 stainless steel is so widely used, it may be easier (and cheaper) to source than its counterpart, 308 stainless steel, which is not as commonly used. That said, if you need specific properties or characteristics from your material, then cost should not be your primary concern—you should prioritize finding steel that offers those features instead!


Both 301 and 308 stainless steels offer great benefits depending on what type of project you are working on and what characteristics you need from your material. Both have similar mechanical properties and costs; however, 301 offers superior corrosion resistance due to its higher chromium content and may be easier to source due to its wider availability. Ultimately, choosing the right steel for your application will depend on what specific features you need for your project—so make sure to do your research before committing!

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