Difference Between Steel and Stainless Steel

Steel vs Stainless Steel


Steel and Stainless steel are both alloys, meaning they are formed when metallic elements, two or more, are combined in order to enhance or further develop its properties such as but not limited to reactivity, density, thermal, and electrical conductivity, durability, and strength.


Steel, as a metal alloy that is common around the globe, is a combination of iron and carbon. The history of steel can be traced back as far as 1400 BC where it is made in eastern part of Africa. Currently, due to the fast developing of technology, other metals like chromium, vanadium, tungsten, and manganese are used in the steel making to broaden the mechanical properties of steel to cater specific industry applications.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is an alloy made from combining chromium into iron. The chromium content is generally between 10.5% to 30%. Other alloying elements like nickel, molybdenum, copper, titanium, aluminium, silicon, niobium, and nitrogen are added to enhance specific characteristics of stainless steel. It has a very popular property of anti-corrosiveness which means that it doesn’t rust, stain, or corrode easily compared to other metals. The anti corrosiveness can be contributed the chromium content, when reacted with air a chromium rich oxide film is formed on the surface of the steel that protect the steel from corroding.

Stainless steel can be seen in almost all of home kitchens in the world like frying pans, rice cooker, wok, and other kitchen utensils that can be found inside the kitchen.

Difference between Steel and Stainless Steel

Steel and Stainless steel are not that very far in comparison with each other. Steel is the by-product of combining iron and carbon in the same way stainless steel is made up of iron and chromium. Steels are generally used in railways, roads, subways, bridges, other huge buildings and modern skyscrapers, shipbuilding, cars, armoured vehicles, and bulldozers, while stainless steel due to its low cost and high resistance for corrosion and rust is normally used in small to medium objects like surgical instruments, cutlery, home appliances, cookware, storage tanks and even some handguns are made of stainless steel.

These two metals, steel and stainless steels, are regarded to be the most used metals and are the foundations of great skyscrapers and modern buildings. As the technology continues to develop further, more and more variants of steel and stainless steels can now be produced dependent on its specific application.

In brief:

• Steel is a combination of iron and carbon whereas stainless steel it’s the combination of chromium and carbon

• Steel can corrode fast whereas stainless steel is anti corrosive.

• Steel is highly used in large buildings and heavy equipments such as bulldozers for its strength.

• Due to its ease of fabrication, aesthetic appeal and hygienic properties stainless steel is commonly used in small objects like cookware, hospital appliances, surgical instruments, and pharmaceutical processing facilities.

  • Pimp

    A very good article

    • fatima naeem

      gggg blkul

  • Laura

    “• Steel is a combination of iron and carbon whereas stainless steel it’s the combination of chromium and carbon”

    Is this a mistake, as Stainless is also made of iron? As said previously:

    “Stainless steel is an alloy made from combining chromium into iron.”

    • fatima naeem

      hmmm thnx btany k lye

    • Rick Lane

      Yes…Steel an stainless steel both are made from Iron…the Chromium Content is what makes the two different

  • curt33

    I caught that too Laura, when i re-read it it stated that chromium is “combined” into iron so im a little confused myself

    • Rick Lane

      Stainless steel just has a Higher Content of Chromium..usually 10.5-30% of stainless steel is Chromium…now steel will have a very,very low amount of Chromium.if any

  • fatima naeem


    • fatima naeem

      allah ka shukr he mjy ye difference mil gya thnx

  • Shivarudra M Navi

    Nice Explanation

  • Conner Grob


    • Conner Grob


  • Dastgir

    this is a better article explaining in easy way, but i went through comment and as well as different sources to make it clear. i shall be thankful to someone who make me correct if needed:


    above statement shows that there is carbon percentage also present in stainless steel.