Posted: 07-20-2020

Material Selection – Which Metal Do I Need?

Selecting the base material for your wire mesh basket

Material selection will be a core decision in designing your specific wire mesh basket. offers three base materials: Carbon Steel, 304 Stainless Steel, and 316 Stainless Steel.   The Material selected dictates the base material for the entire construction of the basket including all mesh and rod for the basket, handle(s), and any attaching lid.  So, which material do you choose?

Least expensive:
Carbon Steel, Natural Finish is the cheapest material.  316 Stainless Steel is the most expensive.

Best value:
304 Stainless gives good strength and corrosion protection with clean rust-resistant finish.  The cost of the material gives you greater life and aesthetic longevity.

Strongest material:
316 Stainless Steel is slightly stronger than 304 Stainless Steel.

Most corrosive protection:
316 Stainless Steel has more resistance to corrosion in acidic, chemical, and saltwater environments.

Most commonly purchased:
304 Stainless Steel is the material chosen on the majority of baskets purchased on

The best material for your basket will depends most on the use environment of the wire basket.  Every basket on is made with top workmanship and high-quality materials producing a durable basket.   However, the working environment will have a great effect on the baskets longevity if the wrong material is chosen.

Carbon Steel, Natural Finish:
Strong and inexpensive.   Very limited corrosion resistance in natural finish. Baskets made from carbon steel are a great choice for manual solvent cleaning, oil dipping and indoor material handling applications where light rusting will not stain or contaminate parts.

Carbon steel wire mesh baskets should not be used without a surface coating for any long-term outdoor applications, in any aqueous (water-based) dipping or cleaning applications, or in any caustic environments.

304 SS, Natural Finish:
304 Stainless Steel is the most common of the industrial stainless steel grades with properties of:  good corrosion resistance in wet and mildly caustic environments, high temperature strength. The accepted service temperature is up to 1700°F (925°C).  304 SS is slightly stronger than carbon steel.

80% of basket made by AnySizeBasket are 304 Stainless Steel.  This is a common choice since the metal resists rusting and does not need a surface finish to protect the life and look of the basket.

316 SS, Natural Finish:
316 Stainless Steel provides superior corrosion resistance.  This is the better choice for use in acidic, chemical, and saltwater environments.   The Melting point of 316 SS is slightly less than 304 SS although it has the same generally accepted service temperature range, up to 1700°F (925°C).