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Stainless steel flatware


#1

ss Steel flatware? Mine has turned dark and dull-especially the
spoons, and they look awful, and I wonder if they are safe to use.
Could it be caused by dishwasher detergents? Any suggestions would be
very welcome.

Thanks
Sandra
Elegant Insects Jewelry


#2

The best SS flatware is made from 18/8 s/steel, sometimes called 316
grade, and should be stamped as such on the back of each piece.

The best test is to put a magnet on yours, if it picks it up or
sticks to it, its whats called chrome iron.

Thats a really cheap grade, and not worthy of a place in a
metalworkers home. If it was mine Id scrap it.

If, like me your fussy about all the tools you use in your life, get
yourself some really nice quality plated Tiffany tableware or even
earlier bone handled 2 pronged forks and knives to match, which are
proper carbon steel. Beautiful to cut through that tender fillet
steak BUT NO dishwasher use!! and need careful maintenance. IE hand
wash, no soaking, properly dry and then not just chucked into a
cutlery drawer along with everything else.

To give you another example, at our localcar boot on Sunday I picked
up a set of 6 ivory handled desert knives and forks (12 pieces in
all) for just under $10.00 the metal on these is EPNS. When I find
another set, ill cut up the ivory to make into a necklace with silver
mounts. Ivory is lovely to work.

But im digessing.


#3
The best SS flatware is made from 18/8 s/steel, sometimes called
316 grade, and should be stamped as such on the back of each piece. 

18/8 is 304 stainless steel. 316 is a different alloy.

FWIW, Wikipedia has good articles on steel grades, including
stainless, and their makeup.

Elliot Nesterman


#4
The best SS flatware is made from 18/8 s/steel, sometimes called
316 grade, and should be stamped as such on the back of each piece. 

The term 18/8 refers to the chromium and nickel percentage in the
stainless, 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel. This is the
basic composition of 304. However 304 is a SAE specification and has
to meet a couple of other specs that 18/8 doesn’t. So you could call
304 18/8 but 18/8 is not necessarily 304. This makes 18/8 cheaper to
produce which is why it is often used for items like kitchen
utensils and flatware. Alloy 316 is actually 18/10 stainless and
also finds use as flatware and utensils.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#5

Hi Ted,

Don’t be so quick to assume that all magnetic stainless is crap.
I’vebeen doing some work with 630 (17-4). It’s both hardenable, and
magnetic.

As well as tough enough to keep the best surface grinder guy I know
from being able to grind it. I’ve got a whole variety of scrapped
parts because the stuff ate his wheels. So the magnet isn’t the
ultimate answer. A good first guess, but not the whole story.

The best flatware may be made from 304 (AKA 18/8) (not 316) but
the blades on the knives should be 440C. That stuff is pretty
decent, and can stand more than a little abuse.

Regards,
Brian