A Complete Guide To All Things Stainless Steel
May 10, 2022
The Ultimate Handbook on Everything You Need to Know About Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is one of the most common and popular finishes for handles and hardware. Whether you are looking for kitchen handles, entrance handles, knobs, levers, barn door tracks, or hardware, we have an extensive range of the best graded stainless steel to suit whatever your needs.
Below is the ultimate guide to all things stainless steel:
Stainless steel is made up of basic iron and carbon composition as well as an alloy called chromium which prevents corrosion. There are multiple grades and depending on which grade it is, it determines how high the chromium level is along, with other ingredients such as molybdenum, nickel, titanium, copper, nitrogen, phosphorus, aluminium, and selenium. The most popular grades of stainless steel that we sell here at Handle House are 304 and 316. The key difference between these two grades is an ingredient called molybdenum which is present in 316 graded stainless steel but not in 304 stainless steel.
304 graded stainless steel is one of the most popular grades used and this is because of its ability to resist corrosion from most acids that oxidize. 304 stainless steel is made up of small amounts of carbon and manganese, about 35% nickel and between 16-24% chromium. These components make the 304 grade the most economical and practical choice for areas such as kitchens because of how easy it is to clean and sanitize. However, molybdenum isn’t present in this grade meaning it can corrode when exposed to high chloride environments so if you live near the beach, be aware of this. This type of corrosion is caused when cavities begin to form, otherwise known as pitting.
Along with 304-grade stainless steel, 316 is the second most common grade used for stainless steel handles. Just like 304, 316 is made up of the same properties with the biggest key difference being the material molybdenum. This grade holds about 2 – 3% of the element compared to 304 which holds zero. The benefits include withstanding locations with a high exposure count of chloride, like the beach. Salt air is concentrated with chloride meaning those particles can cause corrosion. So, if you live anywhere near the beach, we suggest these handles for your home.
How to clean your handles:
To avoid your handles from any sort of rusting or pitting, we suggest for the first year, applying a thin coat of baby oil, three times a year, making sure to leave it on for roughly an hour before wiping off. Baby oil is great for preventing corrosion and rust with the added benefit of leaving your handles looking shiny and new!
Pros and Cons:
Below are the pros and cons of stainless-steel handles to help with your decision.
Stainless steel handles have proven to be more durable than most standard door handles and last much longer due to their corrosive resistance. Meaning, that it will get a lot of use before any signs of wear and tear even start to show.
Stainless steel is much stronger compared to other materials so, therefore, it can withstand any harsh impacts and weather events.
Hospitals and restaurants use stainless handles because they can be sterilized, don’t hold dirt or bacteria, and don’t have micro-holes that could potentially cause chemicals and bacteria to get stuck or transferred when contact is made.
Our environment is so important for many reasons, so we should do everything we can to maintain and care for it. To play your part, you can purchase stainless steel door handles as they are friendly to our environment and recyclable, unlike other door handles.
Stainless steel is the most timeless finish that will not date and will last for years! Whether your style is industrial, modern, or transitional then stainless steel handles are the perfect choice for you.
One thing that you will notice with these handles is the price tag. Stainless steel can be more expensive than regular handles as it is of higher quality than regular handles, but you are paying for what you get.
Another downfall of stainless steel handles is that they easily show fingerprints and smudges. But as mentioned earlier it’s nothing a clean, soft cloth and some baby oil can’t fix. They also develop a discoloration called tea staining which is a natural process that occurs, however, using a metal cleaner will bring it back to looking brand new!