If you are in the scrapping business, you know that stainless steel is a very good metal to collect, not only for it’s stable prices between $0.30-0.75/lb. but also when you do come across it for scrap, it is usually in large quantities. That is usually because of where stainless steel is found and what places it is used. Below we have put together some common places you can expect to find stainless steel scrap.
Best Places to Find Stainless Steel
- Restaurants – Most of the time restaurants’ equipment and setups are stainless steel. Whether it is a counter top, the oven, refrigerator, or other appliances and equipment, stainless steel is very common in restaurants. The reason that stainless steel is used in environments with food, is because of the cleanliness and ease of use. Stainless steel allows restaurants an easy way to keep surfaces clean and prevent bacteria from growing. Usually the stainless steel being pulled from restaurants will be bulky but the amount from one kitchen can equal a few hundred, if not thousands of pounds.
- Bakeries – Similar to kitchens, bakeries rely a lot on the equipment that can remain clean and bacteria free. While bakeries will have similar appliances in their kitchens, you can also find that they have stainless steel shelving and racks. After the breads and rolls are baked, bakeries will usually have several racks to cool the food before packaging it. These racks could sometimes also be aluminum, so make sure to check out the difference between the stainless steel and aluminum.
- Aerospace – While it’s not very easy to get scrap from the aerospace industry, stainless steel is often used for equipment and parts in airplanes, engines, and other things. Stainless steel is used in this industry because of the heat resistance. Stainless steel is very strong and can withhold high temperatures so it is helpful for using when testing engines or when there is a lot of friction created.
- Kitchens – Other than restaurant kitchens, your kitchen may have some stainless steel lying around too. Many time people own stainless steel pots and pans, and those can be collected for scrap. Stainless steel is so easy to clean and it is affordable. So take a look around, your own cabinets may have some older pots that you no longer need that you can cash in on. This also includes the sink. If you are doing a renovation, scrap your stainless steel sink but be sure to remove the steel ring on the bottom, along with any brass fixtures. Also take a look at any cooking trays you have. Often times people bake with stainless steel because it can clean nicely and doesn’t allow food to stick to it very easily. Check your knives too, often time they are stainless steel too.
- Buildings – Before you even step inside a building, take a look around. There may be some stainless steel staring you in the face. Some structures and items outside buildings use stainless steel for things like benches, railings, door handles, and more. Because stainless steel does rust (because of the Nickel) and it is a strong metal, it can be used for structural items outside buildings.
- Machine Shops – If there are any machine shops in your area, you can ask them what they do with their stainless steel scrap. Often times machine shops are cutting stainless steel bits and pieces for equipment or machines. Some machines need specific parts that are made from stainless steel so the machine shops will often times have shavings from the parts they are cutting that are taken for scrap. Be aware though because these pieces of stainless steel from machine shops will often have oil and other residue on them. The oils are used to lubricate the material so it is easier to cut with less friction. You can expect to get a lower than clean stainless steel price at your scrap yard if there is oil or grease on the metal.
Remember that stainless steel will NOT be magnetic. This is due to the nickel that is mixed with the steel. If you have stainless steel that is magnetic, you can usually expect to get a much lower price for the material. It can sometimes be the same prices as regular steel.Whenever you can clean your stainless steel from magnetic steel, brass, aluminum, plastic, or other materials. You can make much more money.
Be sure to check what stainless steel prices your scrap yard is offering before you bring it in. There are several types of stainless steel and various prices for them depending on the percentage of nickel inside. The more nickel, the more money. It is not easy to tell the difference in types of stainless steel but ask your yard if they have an analyzer. That will allow them to determine the type of stainless steel you have.
Once you find a scrap yard in your area on the iScrap App be sure to report your scrap price for the yard your visited. Also check back to see what other metals are prices at, as well as what other yards are paying.