Stainless steel is commonly misunderstood as either a magnetic or a non-magnetic metal. However, there is no single solution or answer to this question because traces of iron can be found in many alloys. Not all stainless steel utensils are magnetic, either.
Steel is the most common element in stainless steel and other metals of the same name. As a result, iron is a component of their chemical makeup. Consequently, electromagnetism can be found in most stainless steel that contains iron in its composition.
A material’s intended purpose and performance are affected by magnetism during application. Therefore, utensils that come into contact with magnetic materials will react differently.
Discarded food is scraped into the trash at the dish pit area after guests have finished their meals at a restaurant. The substantial plastic lids on the trash cans and compost bins are magnetically sealed.
This powerful magnet can catch silverware scraped into the food, saving money on lost cutlery. However, the forks, knives, and spoons must be yanked out of this magnet with much force.
Ferrite, a combination of iron and other elements, dominates ferritic stainless steels, making them magnetic. These stainless steels are magnetic due to the ferrite and iron crystal structure.
Are Utensils Magnetic?
Most kitchen utensils are stainless steel and other metallic compounds like copper, gold, and silver elements. With various magnetic properties, your utensil may or may not be magnetic.
If you’ve never seen one before, a flatware retriever is a clever piece of kitchen equipment. A strong magnet can be incorporated into a garbage can lid to serve as a flatware retriever.
Throwing away flatware is a standard method through which eateries lose it. Customers schlepping their tables or a busboy clearing tables can cause this.
Ignoring a knife, fork, or spoon is easy when scrubbing plates and trays. This is so that restaurant managers can easily remove cutlery that has been magnetically caught in the garbage opening.
Flatware at most restaurants comes in various metallic characteristics, as previously mentioned. However, stainless steel alloys are the most common flatware used in restaurants.
Utensils marked 18/0 are required for magnetic goods like flatware retrievers to work. Because the flatware is nickel-free, it will be magnetically drawn to a flatware retriever.
As a result of this preference, some restaurants use cutlery with an 18/10 grade of well-shiny. It’s worth noting that this type of flatware is a lot less expensive, but it won’t have the same polish.
Why Are My Restaurant Utensils Magnetic?
If you wonder why your restaurant utensils are attracted to magnets, you may have neglected to check their magnetic properties. Stainless steels with a grade of 410, 420, or 440 are considered martensitic known for their magnetism.
Magnetism is a common property of martensitic stainless steel. In martensitic stainless steel, the crystal structure can be ferromagnetic if iron is present. Martensitic steels exhibit magnetic characteristics because iron is the primary metal in stainless steel.
These steels may deliver a wide variety of valuable strengths and durability due to their heat resistance. It is possible to heat treat martensitic steel; however, welding is challenging.
Martensitic stainless steel type 420 has better corrosion resistance than 410, but it’s also more robust and complex than that material. In addition, in both annealed and hardened states, it is magnetic.
To achieve high hardness, martensitic stainless steels may sacrifice some other qualities. Knives, needle valves, scissors, and other cutlery are all made of stainless steel, also utilized in medical equipment.
Why Are Stainless Knives Magnetic?
If your stainless steel knives are magnetic, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be prone to rust. This is because specific stainless steel grades used in knives and kitchen toolmaking are classified under martensitic, which gave them a capacity to be attracted to magnets.
Cutlery’s daily demands necessitate a material with exceptional strength, long-term durability, and corrosion resistance. Therefore, it is good that martensitic stainless steel is ductile and easy to machine, making it a good fabrication material.
Knives and flatware made of 410, 420, or 440 stainless steels are now standard issues. These stainless steel grades are used in cutting applications in the food industry. In addition, the material’s high hardness and strength make it a perfect material for various mechanical applications, while alloy’s chromium content protects surfaces from acidity and water corrosion.
Fabrication of martensitic stainless steel necessitates a final heat treatment. When compared to austenitic grades, these are less corrosion resistant.
Since it has these properties, it is frequently utilized in cutlery production. This martensitic stainless steel is less corrosion-resistant than austenitic grades of stainless steel, yet it has been shown to tolerate weather systems, moisture, mild solvents, and food acids.
Can Cutlery Be Magnetic?
Restaurant operators are careful to utilize stainless steel that is magnetic to avoid unnecessary costs due to misplaced silverware. In addition, special cutlery’s magnetic characteristics can save your life if used correctly.
Steel or stainless steel are the most common metals used in restaurant tableware. In addition, the austenitic crystal structure of 18/10 stainless steel is commonly utilized in cutlery. In general, austenitic steel is non-magnetic, so most stainless steel objects are not attracted to magnets.
There are four stainless steel flatware grades for restaurant owners: 13/0, 18/0, 18/8, and 18/10. A combination of chromium and nickel is utilized in stainless steel for its durability and rust and corrosion resistance.
13/0 stainless steel is the most common material for dinner and dessert knives. This steel is suitable for blade forging to provide a crisp cutting surface while maintaining rust and corrosion resistance. If you utilize magnetic flatware retrievers at your business, 18/0 flatware is an intelligent choice. This will make your cooking easier since you can use a heavy-duty magnet to back up your utensils.
Types of flatware
- The lightest flatware we carry is medium weight. The term “economy weight” is also used to describe this type of flatware, popular among consumers looking for a good deal.
- Medium-weight flatware bends more easily than heavy-weight flatware, so heavy-weight flatware is used for special occasions. In addition, fast-casual restaurants and other venues of a similar caliber frequently employ it as a noticeable improvement in quality from the medium weight.
- Flatware made from forged metal is the thickest and sturdiest. The pattern is created on both sides of the handle instead of stamped on the top, thanks to a single sheet of thick stainless steel.