Flatware is an investment for any restaurant, and the higher the quality, the greater the expense. Still, flatware is what your guests use to enjoy their meals, and quality flatware will make a good impression. If you're purchasing new flatware for your restaurant, you may be asking questions like "what is the best stainless steel flatware?" and "what are stainless steel grades?"

Here's what you need to know about stainless steel grades and flatware.

What Is A Good Quality Stainless Steel Flatware?

The best stainless steel flatware is durable, corrosion-resistant, and develops a beautiful shiny patina over time. But you don't necessarily need to invest in the most expensive and highest quality flatware to impress your guests and get the most use out of your flatware.

18/10 stainless steel flatware

Understanding the grades for stainless steel flatware will make it easier to find the right one for your restaurant.

To find the right stainless steel flatware for your restaurant, it's important to understand the different grades and what they mean.

Understanding Stainless Steel Flatware Grade

Modern stainless steel flatware is graded to help restaurants find the best options for their establishments. The right one for your eatery will depend on your:

  •         Customer volume
  •         Budget
  •         Restaurant style

Let's take a closer look at these grades and what they mean.

Chromium and Nickel Content

Flatware is typically made from composite steel. Chromium and nickel are the primary components.

Flatware grades let you know the chromium percentage (the first number in the grade) and the nickel content (the second number in the grade). The greater the nickel content, the greater the shine and corrosion resistance.

Stainless steel flatware grades are as follows:


13/0 flatware is 13% chromium and 0% nickel, which is the minimum amount of chrome that can be found in stainless steel. It's the least expensive grade and often the preferred choice for institutions and other facilities where quantity is the top priority.

This grade of flatware is commonly used for dessert and dinner knives. It's still resistant to rust and corrosion, but it helps produce a sharp cutting edge that makes it suitable for knives.


18/0 flatware contains 18% chromium and no nickel. Flatware of this grade is commonly found in cafeterias and casual restaurants. It offers several beneficial properties, including:

  •         Rust and corrosion resistance
  •         Ability to withstand high and low temperatures
  •         A pleasing luster

Additionally, 18/0 flatware is magnetic, so it's a great option if your restaurant uses magnetic flatware retrievers.

modern stainless steel flatware


18/8 stainless steel flatware contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Flatware of this grade has a more distinctive shine and greater resistance to corrosion.

Because it contains nickel, this flatware won't work with magnetic retrievers.


18/10 stainless steel flatware is comprised of 18% chromium and 10% nickel. It offers even greater corrosion and rust resistance, although the presence of nickel causes it to lose its magnetism.

This grade of flatware is the most expensive, but its quality only improves over time. With age, this type of flatware will develop a shiny patina, making it an excellent choice for high-end restaurants.

Which Is Better 18/8 Or 18/10 Stainless Steel Flatware?

When it comes to quality, 18 10 stainless steel flatware is better than 18/8.

  •         18/10 flatware contains a higher concentration of chromium and nickel. It's exceptionally resistant to corrosion, and it develops a beautiful shine over time. High-end restaurants typically use this flatware, and it is the most expensive option available.
  •         18/8 flatware contains 18% chromium and just 8% nickel. It also has great corrosion resistance, but is not quite on the same level as 18/10 flatware.

While 18/10 flatware is the best option in terms of quality, 18/8 isn't too far behind. For casual and mid-range restaurants, 18/8 may be the better option because it offers the best compromise of budget and quality.

For higher-end restaurants and eateries with a budget, 18/10 flatware is worth the investment. Flatware of this grade feels sturdier in the hand, is less likely to bend, and overall, longer lasting.

Forged and Stamped Flatware

When deciding on which flatware to buy, another important thing to consider is whether the stainless steel is stamped or forged.

  •         Stamped flatware is cut out of a piece of stainless steel.
  •         Forged flatware is created using a thick piece of stainless steel that's heated and cut to form each individual piece of cutlery.

stainless steel flatware grade

Generally, forged flatware is stronger and more durable than stamped flatware. Stamped flatware has more flexibility.

Final Thoughts

When choosing stainless steel flatware for your restaurant, it's important to consider your style, customer volume, and budget.

If you're running a fine dining restaurant, then 18/10 should be your choice for flatware. But for more casual and mid-range restaurants, you have more flexibility. A set of 18/8 flatware may work just as nicely or even 18/0. While 13/0 may be the most affordable option, it's generally best suited for cafeterias and institutions.