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Stainless Steel Cutlery: What is the difference between 18/10 and 18/8 stainless steel?

When shopping for the perfect cutlery set for your home, you may have noticed a certain set of numbers used to describe the quality and grade of the stainless steel used to manufacture the cutlery. You may find yourself asking what the difference is between 18/10, 18/8 and 18/0 stainless steel, and why there are considerable price differences between different cutlery. These digits actually do matter when shopping for cutlery and it is important that you know what they mean.


What do the numbers mean?

The numbers used to label stainless steel are quite easy to interpret. The two main ingredients used to manufacture cutlery are chromium and nickel. The numbers simply illustrate the percentage of chromium and nickel content present in the stainless steel. For example, 18/10 stainless steel means there is 18% chromium and 8-10% nickel, whilst 18/8 means 18% chromium and 1-8% nickel.

Why do the numbers matter?

Knowing how much chromium and nickel is present in the stainless steel means nothing when you don’t know what the purpose of each metal is. Chromium is a metallic substance which gives the product its hardness as well as rust resistance properties. Nickel enhances the corrosion resistance, as well as providing a silver-like shine. Therefore with a higher the nickel content, the stainless steel is more rust resistant and has a shinier surface.

How to choose the right cutlery for you?

You should be cautious when selecting the right cutlery set to purchase. Some manufacturers produce stainless steel with less than 8% nickel and can still market their product as 18/8. Noritake ensures all its stainless steel is manufactured to the highest standards, and our cutlery collections are manufactured with 18% chromium and above 8% nickel based on the industry guideline to market your cutlery 18/10 stainless steel. You can select the right cutlery set for yourself by purchasing from a reputable company or brand.

High quality cutlery should have a good feel of weight and balance when held in your hand. The piece should also give a glowing, mirrored surface. Low quality cutlery on the other hand may feel light in weight, lack feeling of balance, and lack shine.

If you have ever wondered why some cutlery is so much pricier than other cutlery, we hope this information has helped you answer that question. It is important you think about your needs when shopping for a new cutlery set. A quality cutlery set is like a good friend – it will keep its shine and will last you many years.

Caring for your cutlery

It is important that you care for your cutlery well, as even high quality stainless steel can be subject to occasional rusting if not taken care of. Click here to see our current cutlery collections.