TYPES OF STAINLESS STEEL
Types of Stainless Steel:
Choosing the right standard of cutlery is important. Generally, there are two types of steel used in cutlery manufacture: 18/10 (304) and 18/0 (430), with knives always made from 13/0 (420).
In its most basic form, steel is just iron and carbon. Chromium is added to the iron to make it resistant to rust. When the chromium content is higher than 11%, the steel is referred to as ‘stainless steel’, i.e. the steel will not naturally rust. A higher chromium content will make the steel more resistant to rust.
18/10 Steel (304) – Steel containing ~18% Chromium and ~10% Nickel. The steel most highly resistant to corrosion and to wear and tear. The nickel however adds a price premium to the steel.
18/0 Steel (430) – Steel containing ~18% Chromium, which is very resistant to corrosion. Typically 18/0 is cheaper than 18/10 due to the lack of Nickel in the steel, however this comes at a cost of stain resistance.
13/0 (420) – Steel containing ~13% Chromium, which makes the steel less resistant to corrosion, although the low alloy allows the steel to be hardened, which makes it suitable for use as a knife. All patterns referred to as 18/10 actually use 13/0 for the table and dessert knives.
Thickness and Gauge
Our patterns of cutlery are separated by the thickness of the steel (gauge). The thicker or heavier the pattern of cutlery is, the more steel is used and the prices are higher.
Forged and stamped cutlery are made in fundamentally different ways which further affects the pricing.
Forged cutlery is made from metal blocks that are heated then pressed into shape. Bigger pieces of steel are used, which, added to the need to heat the steel to maleable temperatures during production, significantly adds to the costs of manufacturing. The advantage of forged cutlery is that the knives, spoons and forks all have lovely, rounded handles and very heavy weights.
Stamped cutlery, is cut and pressed out of rolls of sheet steel. It is the most common and easiest way to make cutlery. We delineate our cutlery by the thickness of the steel. 2.5mm for the thinnest and 3.5mm for more deluxe patterns.