Stainless Steel 18-8 vs 304 – What’s the Difference

Stainless Steel 18-8 vs 304

If you’re in the manufacturing or construction industries, you’re likely working with stainless steel in your day-to-day operations. Among the most commonly used varieties are stainless steel 18-8 and 304. While they may seem interchangeable, some key differences between the two could impact your choice of material. In this blog post, we’ll review the main differences between these stainless steel types to help you make an informed decision.

Difference Between Stainless Steel 18-8 and Stainless Steel 304


While both stainless steel 18-8 and 304 are considered austenitic steel, 18-8 is comprised of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, while 304 contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel, but also includes up to 0.08% carbon. This small difference in composition results in a different molecular structure, which can affect the material’s properties.

Corrosion Resistance:

While both materials are corrosion-resistant, 304 is often considered the superior choice. This is because of its higher resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion, particularly in environments like saltwater exposure or high-temperature environments. That being said, both materials are still high-quality options for resisting corrosion.


304 is generally considered the stronger of the two materials, with a tensile strength (measured in psi) of 90,000 compared to 18-8’s 80,000. This can make a difference when strength is a key consideration, such as building construction.


For the most part, both materials are priced fairly similarly. However, 304 can be slightly more expensive due to its increased strength and corrosion resistance.


Both 18-8 and 304 have various applications. 18-8 is commonly used in the automotive, aerospace, and food industries, while 304 is used in building and construction, chemical processing, and medical equipment manufacturing.


While both stainless steel 18-8 and 304 are considered high-quality materials, they do have differences in composition, corrosion resistance, strength, and price. 304 is generally the stronger and more corrosion-resistant, though 18-8 is still a reliable option for various applications. By understanding the differences between these materials, you can make an informed decision when selecting stainless steel for your project.

Minal Jogale

Minal Jogale

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