Looking for a stainless steel work table, and need help deciphering between the gauge and series assigned to the tables? Don’t feel lost; some people say that stainless steel is magnetic, while some say it’s not. The truth is, both statements are correct, but it depends on what series the equipment was made with.
The series of a stainless steel work table refers to the type of material that was used to form it. 300 series tables are composed of nickel and chromium, which make it one of the most durable and corrosion resistant series. While the 300 series is not magnetic, it does account for 50% of the world’s production of stainless steel. The 400 series is composed of low carbon steels, making it less durable than the 300 series. However, it is magnetic and resistant to corrosion (although not as resistant as the 300 series). When you’re shopping for work tables, like Elkay’s, you’ll see the 300 and 400 series most commonly. Don’t be mistaken though, there are 5 major classes of stainless steel, which are then broken down even further into 250 different grades.
The gauge of the stainless steel identifies the thickness of the metal – the larger the gauge, the thinner the metal. For example, a 22 gauge will be thinner than an 18 gauge. A 16 or 18 gauge steel is generally appropriate for a commercial kitchen working table, while a 22 or 23 gauge table will be easily damaged and dented.