Surgical Steel Vs. Stainless Steel – Which One Should You Choose

For most people, surgical steel and stainless steel are the same since they look almost alike.

However, the truth is that they are not the same, and we are here to show you that. Of course, the difference may not be as significant, but still, when you are in the jewelry industry, a simple variation creates a legit difference.

Also, I know you want to choose the best between these two. After all, we all want the best jewels to stand out. Before we go deep into it, you should know that both surgical steel and stainless steel are excellent choices for your ornaments.

So what is stainless steel?

This one often features the use of an alloy to make the perfect metal for cookware, jewelry, and many other things. The most common alloy includes chromium and iron.

Nonetheless, you may also have nickel, copper, titanium, and more types of metal in small amounts.

Stainless Steel chain 1

Surprisingly stainless steel will never corrode even though it has copper and iron. This happens because it has 10% chromium, which is fully responsible for corrosion resistance.

Remember, it will prevent the oxidation that would occur because of the iron presence. In the end, you will never experience corrosion with such metals.

Note that you will have the steel in four types; martensitic, austenitic, duplex, ferritic is the one with carbon, nickel, and chromium. Still, you must be careful where you put the stainless steel jewelry. If you put the jewel in a salty environment, it will corrode at some point.


  • It usually has a silvery finish, which makes it look more like an expensive metal. It will mostly look like the regular silver type of metal. The good thing is that it will stand out in the group of metals. It’s cheaper with the perfect aesthetic appeal.
  • These pieces are more affordable when you compare them with other metals you will use to make other jewels.
  • This metal is also durable; you can use it in a different environment but still, look as good as new.
  • These jewels are resistant to corrosion and scratches since they have a chromium layer, which is why most people prefer them over any other kind of jewel.
  • The metal is easy to clean. You just need to wipe out the grime and all forms of dirt.
  • Although some other metals will need a top polish, stainless steel will never require you to polish. It will keep the perfect shine, and it doesn’t tarnish unless you put it under harsh environmental conditions.


  • You won’t easily add the gemstone to the stainless steel just because the metal happens to be very hard too.
  • For those options with nickels, it may not be a good idea, especially for everyone with skin sensitivity.

Read more about Stainless Steel Jewelry.

How To Clean Stainless Steel Jewelry
Surgical Steel Vs Stainless Steel Earrings
Stainless Steel Jewelry Care
Stainless Steel Jewelry FAQ
Is Stainless Steel Hypoallergenic
Stainless Steel Jewelry Pros And Cons
Zinc Alloy Vs Stainless Steel Jewelry
Surgical Steel Vs. Stainless Steel

What is surgical steel?

This is another one of the stainless steel metals that have, over the years, been used for biomedical operations. The best feature about it is that it doesn’t corrode easily. Notice that this is the same option that surgeons use in body implants.

Surgical Steel jewelry

You can have 316 surgical steel or 420 surgical steel. But they mostly come in as 316 L and 316 LVM. So the 316 L has lesser carbon; however, the LVM is about Low Vacuum Carbon. Its essence is to keep off the air, thus getting rid of the oxidation possibility.


  • It’s hypoallergenic, and thus, even if you have sensitive skin, you can use it.
  • It’s versatile and therefore aside from the medical needs you may use to create all the different kinds of jewels
  • You will like the shine and aesthetic value.
  • You won’t scratch it, but it doesn’t corrode either since it’s a high form of stainless steel.
  • You don’t have to polish it since it never loses its shine.


  • It’s pricey especially compared to the regular stainless steel.

The differences

The quality

Sometimes the addition of the name surgical may just be a name addition. But when it’s the real surgical steel type of metal, you can be sure you have the molybdenum element to increase the corrosion resistance.

Also, the surgical steel will maintain the shine regardless of whether you wash it or not; it will keep shining. Now, if you choose the right surgical steel, then it’s hypoallergenic.

On the other hand, Stainless steel is great too since it contains chromium, which means it won’t corrode easily. The metal is further hard enough to make the different jewels. These pieces are also great since they don’t lose their shine.

Stainless steel contains nickel, and that’s why people say it causes a skin reaction. Notice that we use the 304 and 316L stainless steel for the jewel. It’s one of th3e highest quality pieces.

In this category, therefore, surgical steel has even high quality than regular stainless steel.

The price

Of course, the cost of the jewelry will depend more on where you source it. Stainless steel is more affordable than surgical steel. Remember, surgical steel is more corrosion resistant, and it’s safe to use in the body as it’s hypoallergenic.

Both metals have a high level of shine, but then the surgical type is also shiner. This is also the reason why they are pricy than others.


Both pieces are durable; they are both hard and perfect looking, which means they will last longer if you take proper care of them. Both options never tarnish either, which means they will maintain eh perfect shine and aesthetic appeal.

Whether you choose the surgical or the stainless steel one, you will have a return on investment for your jewels.

The application use

Stainless steel is a famous name in our households. You will find stainless steel in cookware, the automobile industry, and also jewels. They are both fashionable and attractive.

On the other hand, surgical steel is limited to the biomedical field, and now you can use it to create jewels.

Which one is better?

When you have broken down this topic, the remaining thing is to know which one works for you. Remember, we say that they are both great quality pieces.

However, if you are going to use the jewel on your new body piercings or are skin sensitive, use surgical steel. Otherwise, if you would like to save on cost, you can use regular stainless steel.

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