Increasingly, American consumers are questioning the quality of the products they use every day. This builds upon awareness of food, what goes into manufactured products, where they came from and who made them. The same is now true of everyday items such as flatware. Finding quality 18/10 flatware is growing ever more important as consumers look for long lasting products that do not need to be regularly replaced or scrubbed clean of rust and stains. Liberty Tabletop produce beautifully crafted 18/10 steel flatware. Not only that, but it is the only flatware to be made in America. This goes to the core product, the stainless steel itself, 18/10 is a hallmark of top quality stainless steel that is also Made in America.
What Does 18/10 Mean?
An 18/10 flatware set contains stainless steel made from 16%-18% chromium and 8%-10% nickel. These are the top quality industry standards for stainless steel used in making flatware.The main problem with steel products throughout history was the ferrous nature of iron, steel’s base material. As steel is an alloy of iron. If- other elements such as Chrome and Nickel are not added to make it “stainless steel” it too is prone to rusting. -. Staining and rusting are prevented by the formation of a chromium oxide layer on the surface of the steel. Nickel also plays a key role in the long term prevention of corrosion and promotes long lasting luster. This is why 18-10 ratios for chromium and nickel are chosen for stainless steel flatware of the highest quality.
What about 18/8 Flatware?
18/8 stainless steel flatware is almost on a par in terms of quality with 18/10. The main difference is that in this case, the nickel content level is two percentage points lower at 6-8%. This is done to lower cost as nickel is an expensive alloying element. To be considered a truly “highest quality product within the industry standards, the flatware must be 18-10 and contain 8-10% nickel as well as 16-18% chromium. The only flatware to be manufactured in the United States, here at Liberty Tabletop, is guaranteed to be 18/10.
Is 18/0 Flatware High Quality?
The short answer is no. While it constitutes stainless steel due to its 18% chromium content, exceeding the 10.5 % minimum with ease, it is nickel free. There are several easy ways to determine whether your flatware is 18/0. The first is to see if the piece sticks to a magnet. This is a classic demonstration of its lack of nickel content. If you can lift the spoon or fork with a magnet thein it is likely 18-0 or some lower grade of stainless steel. A second is to see where it is made..’ The majority of cheap, imported flatware are made in China, Vietnam and Indonesia.. To keep costs down most overseas production is made with the cheaper 18-0 grade of stainless. The result of low quality 18/0 stainless steel flatware is a tendency to dull and loos it’s luster early. Consumer reviews of such low grade products often point to early pitting and staining after only a few washes, even if instructions on keeping flatware stain free are followed.
Solid forged knives and knife blades need to be hardened to keep their edge and shape over the lifetime of your flatware. Liberty Tabletop uses high quality 400 series stainless for the blades or our hollow handle patterns and our solid forged knives. In addition to the high quality American made steel, proper hardening and surface finishing are key in promoting a pit free surface and a well formed chrome oxide layer to prevent rusting of blades. The handles in our hollow handle knives are made from the same high quality 18-10 stainless used in making the forks and spoons. This means even when patterns have intricate pattern detail handles will never be subject to rusting as many imported forged knives are.
Long Lasting, Quality Flatware
Flatware produced by Liberty Tabletop is guaranteed to be of the highest quality. Manufactured in Sherrill, New York State, Liberty uses steel only from American steel mills. As is typical in the industry these mills use about 85% recycled steel in their melts. They then add alloying elements to the melt in order to guarantee a chromium and nickel content within the specification of 18-10 stainless steel. They provide us with mill certification in the form of a test report which includes the country of origin of melt (we require this to be U.S.A.), the exact chemical content of the melt, as well as other mechanical properties of the metal. In addition, other trace elements such as lead and mercury are also tested and certified to be below acceptable standards as part of the strict AISI, ASME & ASTM standards. Unfortunately, many foreign steel mills do not produce to the same standards and to not test for the presence of undesirable contaminants in the steel. This is why we only buy American made 18-10 stainless steel.