How to Tell If Something is Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a fantastic, durable material that is often used in kitchenware. If you consider getting stainless steel cutlery, pots, or pans, you may be wondering how to tell if something is stainless steel. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways to tell if something is stainless steel! Before learning about those ways, let’s have a look at its composition.

Composition of stainless steel

Stainless steel is commonly utilized in a wide range of industries such as food, petrochemical, chemical, oil and gas, etc. and you can buy stainless steel online from FastMetals. Stainless Steel has been used in industrial applications for a long time, and it is often used to make cookware and appliances. It is an alloy of iron, chromium, and nickel. The chromium gives the steel its hardness that has an excellent strength to withstand wear and tear. 

The nickel gives the steel its strength and excellent malleability. It is also highly resistant to corrosion. These two elements make stainless steel a good choice for all kinds of kitchenware and appliances. 

Stainless Steel gets scratches easily to prevent corrosion; that’s why How to Get Scratches Out of Coated Stainless Steel Appliances has become the frequently asked question. Well, now let’s move to the main topic.

Stainless steel and silver-coloured items look very similar, but how do you tell the two apart? If you just got a new silver-coloured item, you might be wondering what it really is.

How to Tell If Something is Stainless Steel

With the rise in popularity of stainless steel in kitchen appliances, tools, and home fixtures, it’s important to know how to tell if something is made from stainless steel or not. 

Stainless steel is a great, durable material that can be used for many different things. While it’s easy to tell if something is made from plastic or metal, it can be more difficult to tell if something is made from stainless steel. Below are some ways to test if something is stainless steel, 

Attaching a magnate 

Attaching a magnet to check the magnetic field

Iron in stainless steel results in a magnetic field inside the metal. You can easily find out if it’s stainless steel by using any magnet and seeing if it holds. If it does, then congratulations, you have a stainless steel item! It’s that easy!

Ensure that the magnet is firmly attached to the metal. Iron oxide present on aluminium can cause a slight magnet attraction due to the small amount of iron present—That’s why it is important to have a firm hold, determine the metal type.

How to Tell If Something is Stainless Steel
How to Tell If Something is Stainless Steel

 Check the Weight 

Aluminium is typically lighter and less dense than stainless steel. When you hold it in stainless steel, it will feel heavier than aluminium.

Closely look at the label

If you’re working on renovating a home and wish to determine the type of its rods to decide what material they’re composed of, then you can try using this method. 

Look for the number labels located on your rods and see if any of them has an ‘S’ marking on them or not. If the label says ‘S’ or any other lettering indicating that the rod is made of stainless steel, then this is a good indication that these rods will not rust no matter how much moisture you introduce into them as one works with them.

Chip the metal to determine

Use clamps to hold the metal you have still, then use a hammer and a chisel to break off a small piece of it. If you see the light grey or shiny exterior on the stainless steel metal polish, then the metal is stainless steel. 

Spark test

One can also use this method to check the metals used in construction areas. In order to do so, you will need a bench grinder and a piece of metal you want to test.

Turn the machine on and place it on one corner of the metal. If the metal emits long and even sparks, it is made of stainless steel.

Hardness check process by filing

File the metal piece with a buffer to test its type. Buffing is a way to learn about the material you’re working with. If rubbing the buffer on the metal does not remove some of the shiny residues, it is stainless steel.

Acid Test

Pour muriatic acid and eyedropper into a container and drop a few drops on the metal. Let it sit for a few hours.

Check the metal after one hour to see if it became discoloured or not. If it is discoloured, then it is stainless steel or else not.

Properties of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is resistant to rust and corrosion. It is composed of iron, chromium and nickel. The majority of these stainless steels are magnetic, non-magnetic, or have magnetic properties. It has a minimum of 18 per cent chromium. The higher the amount of chromium, the lower the risk of corrosion.

Stainless steel has some very unique properties, especially when it comes to cooking. The most notable is that it does not react with food or drinks other than merely heating up. That’s why it’s been popular for decades for its durability and its ability to conduct heat evenly. 

Stainless steel pots and pans can be used on the stovetop, in an oven and even in the refrigerator! People mainly use stainless steel pots, pans, and bowls because of how durable they are. They can withstand high temperatures.


Stainless steel is a very popular material for office furniture for several reasons: Durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean. With all of these simple benefits, many have come to wonder how to know if something is stainless steel? So to relieve your worries, this is written.


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