The Difference Between 18/10 and 18/0 Stainless Steel Flatware

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If you’re shopping for stainless steel flatware, it’s important to understand the difference between 18/10 and 18/0 grade stainless steel. If you’re scratching your head and wondering – “What do these mysterious numbers mean?” Please, do not despair. It’s not at all as puzzling or technical as it might seem.

Know The Numbers

18/10 flatware18/10

    • Brilliant luster
    • Rust-resistant material
    • Durable construction
    • Easy to maintain

18/0 flatware18/0

    • Soft shine
    • Zero nickel content
    • Economical design
    • Prone to staining

The numbers “18/10” and “18/0” are simply figures that illustrate the amount of chromium and nickel content present in stainless steel.

  • Chromium, or chrome, is a tough white metal, used in stainless steel and other alloys, because of how hard it is and its stain-resistant properties
  • Nickel is a corrosion-resistant silvery-white metal, often used for its shine to coat other metals
  • 18/10 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel content.
  • 18/0 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 0% nickel matter.

Understand The Difference

So, one has nickel and the other doesn’t? What’s the real difference?

Two of the main differences you’ll notice between 18/10 and 18/0 flatware is the luster and economic value. Chromium and nickel both contain stain-resistant properties. Chromium, by itself, is not a reliable rust-resistant material. Combined with nickel, it takes on more hard-wearing properties. The combination of nickel also creates a brighter, polished look. Because of this, 18/10 products generally cost more. With or without nickel, stainless steel is a highly durable flatware material. The soft sheen and economic value of 18/0 products is an excellent choice for casual restaurants and many high-volume eateries.

Overall, we recommend evaluating your business needs and how often the products are going to be used before deciding which chrome/nickel combination is right for you.

Standard vs European Model Sizes

When purchasing flatware, be aware of both standard and European model sizes. The only differences between the two are that European flatware is generally three times bigger and heavier than standards silverware. In addition, European flatware is generally more expensive and is used on more formal tabletop settings.

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