How to Sell Scrap Stainless Steel, non magnetic 300 304 316 grades and magnetic grades

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First off, please be sure you are holding onto a piece of stainless steel and not a piece of aluminum. I have made this mistake before, and it can be quite embarrassing. You can also test stainless steel by checking sparks


What is Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel is a name given any steel alloy that contains the element chromium, or to be specific at least 9% Chromium. Other metals can be alloyed with stainless steel, the second most common being Nickel.

What is Chromium?

Chromium, colloquially called “Chrome”, is a metal that is worth about 6 dollars per pound by itself (but I have never been to a yard that buys pure chromium). Its primary use is in stainless steel due to its ability to resist corrosion, and as a plating on metal parts because it is shiny. It is basically never used by itself.

What causes some stainless steel to be non-magnetic?


Some stainless steel is magnetic, and some is not. This is because some stainless steel contains Nickel.
Nickel and chromium interact in a very special way, and the chrome negates the ferromagnetic proporties of the nickel and iron.

In general, alloys of nickel and chromium will not me magnetic, neither will alloys of nickel and copper.

What is the most valuable stainless steel?


Really, the value of your scrap is dependent on weather or not you have a buyer. If you have a whole lot of 200 grade stainless, but nobody to sell it to, you will be getting a much lower price than if you sell to a specialty buyer.

Non-magnetic stainless steel will usually be worth a little more than aluminum these days. And the great part is that the weight adds up much faster than aluminum per unit of volume.

What are the different grades of stainless steel?

The grades are numbered from 1xx-6xx. In general, the 400 series is the cheapest, and doesn’t normally contain nickel and is therefore magnetic. The 3xx series stainless is non magnetic and most commonly recycled at scrap yards. 304 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel (commonly called 18-8). The 316 grade stainless is more valuable as it contains 16% chromium, 10% nickel and 2% molybdenum.

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous May 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Great thread Irrationalist! This just cleared up my question posted in your other stainless thread.

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fettybord August 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I have a Stainless Steel table made for me by my brother who was a precision engineer, it is quite quirly, but i intend to move and it is to heavy to move. it tak two/three people to lift. Any ideas.

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ScrapMetalJunkie August 18, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Fettybord, I would first check to see if it is valuable non-magnetic stainless steel by touching a magnet to it. If it sticks, then it is not an expensive metal, and will fetch, at most, about 10-15 quid.

If you are wondering how to cut it up, then I would suggest you use a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade to cut the legs off from the top. A torch would work better, if you have one available. Then, maybe cut the top in half if necessarily.

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fettybord August 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

thanks for the reply, the top a magnet sticks, the stand wehich is a wine rack and the stand is is mad non stick stainless steel, i am ‘little ole pensioner ‘ female, so i do not poccess any tools, my dear brother has passed away.
i live in Londonderry, do you kn ow any scrap merchants or the best way to sell this. Thanklyou for your help.

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ScrapMetalJunkie August 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I’m not entirely sure of the best way to sell the table. You may want to try giving these guys a call. Click here. Explain to them your situation, and what you have. As a bit of a warning: many of the people in this business can be quite rough around the edges.

Thanks for the question by the way.

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Sue March 18, 2014 at 10:19 am

Better to sell it on Craigslist or other site, since the embedded energy of creating the table should fetch a much higher price than selling it as scrap.

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WC_Mutant October 31, 2011 at 12:07 am

ScrapMetalJunkie,

I have a Soloflex exercise machine that I am thinking about scrapping or selling outright. It’s heavy duty steel frame and attachments. The best price I could prob. get selling it to someone is $75-125 USD, depending on area market/sales.

How much do you think it would sell for as scrap? It weighs over 50lbs easily.

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ScrapMetalJunkie November 1, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Is it made of non-magnetic Stainless steel? Otherwise it is worth very very little as scrap steel. (Roughly $10)

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paulfrazz February 21, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Torch does not cut ss a plasma cutter will. torch melts ss but not cut smooth.

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Rajiv February 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Hi, I’m dealing with the metal scrap, I want to know, how can we examine visually the grades 306 and 304 of stainless steel.

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Christopher April 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

How much COPPER (in percentage) can be extracted from an armored cable?

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ScrapMetalJunkie April 24, 2012 at 2:12 am

It all depends on the type of wire. Armored wire encompasses a whole bunch of different types of wire.

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j. e. wolke May 19, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Are there any conditions to recycle stainless needles?

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ScrapMetalJunkie June 18, 2012 at 3:21 am

It depends on what type of needles you are talking about, but there is no immediate issue I can think of, no.

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Rick May 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm

My question here is on dinnerware utensils. The forks, spoons, and knives are mark “Stainless Steel” but they are magnetic. A junk yard attendant stated if it is magnetic, I need to take it to the “frag feed” scrap metal lot because it is not Stainless Steel; as Stainless Steel is not magnetic.

Question: Should I find a different Scrap Yard that will take this as Stainless Steel? What is the general rule in this situation on stamped Stainless Steel metals?

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adam July 4, 2012 at 2:30 am

Hi, i found a chunk of what looks like a piece of metal that has been melted down. It was not rusty, you cant carve it with a knife, and if you scrape it its becomes very shiny. I found it using a metal detector that classified it as silver or copper on an old homesite. Any help to see if it is really silver or something else?

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bill August 26, 2012 at 12:19 am

I have stainless thats called 20cp3 stainless. Whats its worth. I was told 3.50 lb

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2Sharp September 8, 2012 at 2:01 am

Not all stainless which is magnetic is inexpensive! There are stainless steel alloys which are magnetic and are quite valuable! Take CPM S30V for example, if you seen a billet of it you would think it’s just any other billet of stainless steel? However, a billet just 6″ x 1.5″ x .140 x .156 is at least $25 or more! So you can’t discount value just by whether a magnet sticks to it or not! Just something to think about next time you see a rectangular piece of metal? Adieu…

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bill September 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Any one home

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bryan September 17, 2012 at 12:41 am

I have a free weights system and its stainless as well as aluminum how much do u think its worth 250plus in weights not sure about the aluminum

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ScrapMetalJunkie October 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm

free weight systems are not worth much more than $25 in scrap, and thats assuming the weights are metal, not concrete filled. rarely are weight lifting systems made from non-magnetic stainless or aluminum, but if yours actually is, it would be worth considerably more. I suggest you read my ‘how-to’ about Scrap Metal Identification for more info.

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Andy September 27, 2012 at 1:19 am

I have a stainless steel (inside & out) dishwasher to scrap. Yard said they paid $.07 per pound as a unit. Do you think I would make more if I broke it into stainless, copper & brass components? Should I break the motor up or sell the whole unit? Thanks!

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ScrapMetalJunkie September 28, 2012 at 4:35 am

It would be worth much more as separated scrap. Breaking apart the motor, however would only be a few dollars at most.

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Andy September 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Thank you.

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Jason October 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Scrapmetaljunkie,

I have 3 pallets of 8×13 and about 3/8 thick of sheets of I dont know if its stainless steel or aluminum. if i had to guess its about 200lbs each sheet which comes to a guesstimate total 0f 6000lbs. I called a scrap yard and they said if its heavy like that then it is stainless steel. It is non-magnetic cause i tried the magnet. also has a dull gray cover but when i scratch it with a key theres a shine to it under it and scratches very easy. it was used in a factory but i am junking it because the company brought new machines. i would like to know is it stainless steel or aluminum. If it is either or what is the worth and would it be worth to junk it. Thank you

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Chris Swersey January 8, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Hello:

Brewers Association represents nearly 2,000 breweries in the US. We plan a keg scrapping page on our website KegReturn.com to inform our members about keg scrapping.
1. many states have laws about scrapping. Can you point me to a web page that has a summary of scrapping laws?
2. Can you tell me the highest recent price per pound say in the last 5-10 years for 304 or 18/8 stainless?
Thanks so much!

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Bonnie January 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi,
I am in Texas & I have 12 hospital sterilazation carts solid stainless steel, each one approx wt is 1200lb. What grade of stainless steel do you think these would be & about how much would they sell for scrap wise altho they do work.
Thank You
Bonnie

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jaypee March 20, 2013 at 4:07 am

hi all..
is anyone want to buy stainless steel 316 here in philippines ?

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Deb May 31, 2013 at 3:24 am

Do I put the stainless steel forks in with the stainless steel sink or not? Do not know much about metals. Thanks.

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ScrapMetalJunkie June 4, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Chances are, Yes; but only if they are “non-magnetic”. Call your local scrap yard and ask about their policies for more information.

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Allan Clark June 22, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I need magnetic steel scrap.

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boarwild July 22, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Hi – any idea what a stainless steel driveshaft (from a 65ft trawler) might fetch? It’s unbelievably heavy. Fortunately it’s split up into three parts but the three parts make the whole.

Thanks in advance!

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Brian August 4, 2013 at 2:18 am

Hi, I have these 1.5″x3″cylinder (around one point each) around 500 lbs. I’m not sure what type of steel it is, but was told it was made for factories. How much do you think I can get for the whole pile? It had a bit of rust on it.

Brian

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Jake November 20, 2013 at 1:39 am

I have 1000 lbs of 316 parker and Allan Aircraft JIC stainless fittings new out of box from 1/8 to 2-3/4 in tube 37 degree flare fittings. The Parkers are Tripple-Lok. Tees, Union Straights, Union Elbows, Crosses, Bulkhead Tees Bulkhead Elbows and straights, Reducers, Reducer Inserts, Hex nuts, inner Sleeves, caps, Diagnostics, Swivels on and on. 90% of all fittings come complete with Hex nuts, lock nuts and sleeves. Clean, new and came off the shelves from Northrope Aerospace in California. Have a lot more hydraulic surplus fittings, slynoids ect. Can’t seem to find a buyer beside selling piece meal. Any suggestions? Trying to start over in surplus sales but now just to supplement income since coming home from Iraq. All fittings and parts sorted by part catalog ID and inventoried.

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Suresh Jain December 3, 2013 at 7:12 am

service of stainless steel of BY :- making export polish,bright ,allumium ect ………..
my qustion is that i want 2 supply in small qantity all stainless steel , so that i can start my own business by service my own product and then suppy it … so i need good customer plzz help me out

thnx hope full waiting………

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alegra April 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm

I found some type of stainless steel dish from Royal industries in Chicago. 18/8 stainless steel. Could I pawn this for money??

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kenny April 27, 2014 at 1:06 am

I was wondering,because you mentioned in one of the comments for a gentlemen to cut stainless with a torch? Its been my expieriance,that a torch in fact wouldn’t cut stainless steel, I had to actually use a plasma cutting torch,a regular torch just wasn’t hot enough, is there something I’m doing wronge?

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