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Beware of 'stainless' 18/0 flatware sets - zero nickel content means items rust within first month

Thursday, March 22, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: flatware, stainless steel, rust

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(NaturalNews) If you are in the market for a new stainless steel flatware set, beware of all sets designated as "18/0," which means they have zero nickel content. Contrary to what their manufacturers may claim about such sets being stainless and rust-proof, 18/0 flatware sets can hardly be considered stainless, as many of them end up rusting within the first month of use, and sometimes even after their first run through the dishwasher.

Perhaps you have always wondered what those numbers on flatware sets actually mean in the first place. Well, an 18/0 designation means that a flatware set contains 18 percent chromium content and zero percent nickel content, while an 18/10 flatware set contains 18 percent chromium content and ten percent nickel content -- the first number represents chromium content, while the second indicates nickel content (http://www.silversuperstore.com/stainless_quality.html).

Both chromium and nickel have stain-resistant properties, which is why they are used in many flatware sets produced today. But chromium by itself does not appear to be a reliable rust-resistant material, as has been noted by many unhappy customers that have been duped into buying 18/0 flatware sets. The Oneida Mooncrest 45-Piece Flatware Set sold at Amazon.com, for instance, has many negative reviews from unhappy customers complaining about rust spots that quickly developed after purchase:

"[...] I received this set in early April and less than two months later the majority of the pieces have rust spots -- which only continue to appear," writes one reviewer named "Barbara Walden" from Dallas, Texas. "The flatware does look nice and it is sturdy and solid, but it rusts, which far outweighs any positive aspect."

Barbara is not alone, as many other customers who purchased this particular product have complained about the very same problem. And rapid rusting is not limited just to Oneida's 18/0 flatware sets -- zero nickel content flatware from all brands is not only more prone to rust, but it is also of a far less quality than 18/8 and 18/10 flatware that contains nickel, and natural, rust-resistant material that also prolongs the "shine" factor of flatware.

However, the Oneida brand appears to be of particular concern, as is noted in the following eBay guide about flatware brands. Its overall rating as a brand appears to have gone downhill over the years, with its 18/0 flatware sets, in terms of quality and durability:

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