302 Stainless Steel vs 304 – What’s the Difference

302 Stainless Steel vs 304

Stainless steel is an alloy widely used in various industries due to its qualities, such as high corrosion resistance, durability, and overall strength. It is a popular material option for industrial and household applications. However, several different types of stainless steel can be overwhelming when choosing the right one for a particular job. Two of the most commonly used are the 302 and 304 grades. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between the two types of stainless steel so you can determine the best option for your needs.

Difference Between 302 Stainless steel and 304


The primary difference between 302 and 304 stainless steel lies in their composition. 302 stainless steel comprises 18% chromium and 8% nickel, while 304 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. The nickel content of 304 stainless steel increases corrosion resistance, making it more durable.


Regarding strength, 302 stainless steel has a slightly higher tensile strength than 304 stainless steel. This makes it suitable for applications requiring high tensile strength, such as surgical tools, springs, or cables. However, 304 stainless steel is also a strong material rated for heavy use, making it a popular choice for industrial and household applications.

Corrosion Resistance

One of the most significant differences between the two types of stainless steel is their corrosion resistance. Due to its higher nickel content, 304 stainless steel is more corrosion-resistant than 302 stainless steel. It can withstand exposure to corrosive elements such as saltwater, acid, and high humidity better than 302 stainless steel.


Depending on the specific use of stainless steel, magnetism may play a role in selecting the right type. While 302 and 304 stainless steel are non-magnetic in their annealed state, 302 stainless steel can be slightly magnetic after being cold-worked. In contrast, 304 stainless steel remains non-magnetic even after cold-working, making it the better option for applications that require non-magnetic material.


When it comes to cost, 302 stainless steel is generally considered to be a more economical option compared to 304 stainless steel. This can make it an attractive option for applications where cost is a significant factor.


In summary, the differences between 302 and 304 stainless steel are composed, strength, corrosion resistance, magnetism, and cost. While 302 stainless steel is more affordable, 304 stainless steel is generally more durable and corrosion-resistant. If you require non-magnetic material, 304 stainless steel may be better. Ultimately, the choice will depend on the specific application and the qualities needed for the job. We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the differences between these two types of stainless steel to make an informed decision.

Minal Jogale

Minal Jogale

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