Food Grade 304, 18/8, and 18/10 Stainless Steel

What is the distinction between stainless steel grades (304, 430, 220, etc.)? What do the various numbers (18/8, 18/10, 18/0, etc.) mean? These are often asked questions at MightyNest, and we hope this page helps to address them.

Stainless steel’s “grade” relates to its quality, durability, and temperature resistance. The figures (18/8, 18/10, etc.) represent the stainless steel composition and the quantity of chromium and nickel (respectively) in the product.

Stainless steel cutlery


So, what do the statistics indicate?

The two most prevalent types of stainless steel used for food preparation and eating are 18/8 and 18/10, also known as Type 304 (304 Grade) and part of the 300 series. The first value, 18, reflects the quantity of chromium present, and the second, nickel.  18/8 stainless steel, for example, has 18% chromium and 8% nickel.

304 stainless steel has no more than 0.8% carbon and at least 50% iron. The chromium binds oxygen to the product’s surface, protecting the iron from oxidation (rust). Nickel additionally improves stainless steel’s corrosion resistance.As a result, the higher the nickel concentration, the more corrosion resistant the stainless steel.

18/0 – Has a minimal quantity of nickel (0.75%), and so has a lower corrosion resistance (rusts more easily than 18/8 or 18/10, but is still of good quality). 18/0 stainless steel, commonly known as Type 430, is a member of the 400 series and, unlike 300 series stainless steel, is magnetic.

200 series: Stainless steel food containers constructed of 200 series stainless steel are common.  Because producers effectively swap manganese for nickel, they are often less expensive than 304 grade.  Although they are food safe, they are not as corrosion resistant and of higher quality as 304 grade.

Stainless steel cutlery


What about cutlery made of stainless steel?

People frequently presume that 18/10 cutlery is heavier in weight. When it comes to weight, there is no difference between 18/8 and 18/10 cutlery. The extra nickel in 18/10 cutlery makes it sturdier (fork tines are somewhat more difficult to bend back and forth). The extra nickel also contributes to a shinier finish.


Is stainless steel safe to use?

Stainless steel is one of the most often used materials in modern kitchens.Because it is sturdy, simple to sanitise, and corrosion resistant to numerous acids present in meats, milk, fruits, and vegetables, it is utilised in everything from appliances to cookware, dishware, cutlery, and utensils. Most importantly, stainless steel is a safe material to use with food and beverages since it has no toxins that can leach into your food.

We feel that the safest materials to use in the kitchen are stainless steel, glass, cast iron, wood, ceramics with lead-free glaze, and bamboo. MightyNest sells 18/8 stainless steel water bottles, bowls, food storage containers, and dishware, as well as 18/10 pots and pans, bakeware, wine glasses, and children’s utensils.