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Carbon steel vs Stainless Steel


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#1 tss1065

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 08:35 PM

Just what the Title says


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#2 drewspin

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 09:41 PM

Carbon Steels

C-1018 Cold Finished Steel
A low carbon steel available in the largest selection of sizes, usually used as a general purpose steel as it is readily formed, welded, forged for machinability and good bending and forming qualities.

C-11L17 Cold Finished and Hot Rolled Steel
A low carbon, high manganese resulphurized steel with lead added for better machinability and surface finish. The higher manganese content makes it especially good for case hardening applications, with excellent core properties.

C-1045 Cold Finished and Hot Rolled Steel
A medium carbon steel that may be used where greater strength and hardness is required. C-1045 will respond to heat treatment and is suitable for both flame and induction hardening for a variety of high-strength applications.

Stainless steels

Grade 303 represents the optimum in machinability among the austenitic stainless steels. It is primarily used when production involves extensive machining in automatic screw machines. Machinability Rating (compared to B1212) is approximately 78%.

303 is also available as a "Ugima" Improved Machinability grade, with machinability even higher than that of the standard 303.

The sulphur addition which is responsible for the improved machining and galling characteristics of Grade 303 lowers its corrosion resistance to below that of Grade 304. As for other austenitic grades the structure gives 303 excellent toughness, although the sulphur in 303 reduces its toughness slightly.

Grade 303Se (UNS S30323) has a selenium rather than sulphur addition, improving the hot and cold forming characteristics over those of 303 and providing a smoother machined surface finish. The machinability rate is also slightly reduced.


Type 304 Stainless Steel is a variation of the basic 18-8
grade, Type 302, with a higher chromium and lower
carbon content. Its lower carbon minimizes chromium
carbide precipitation due to welding and its susceptibil-
ity to intergranular corrosion. In many instances, Type
304 can be used in the “as-welded” condition, while
Type 302 must be annealed in order to retain adequate
corrosion resistance.

Type 304L is an extra low-carbon variation of Type 304
with a 0.03% maximum carbon content that eliminates
carbide precipitation due to welding. As a result, this
alloy can be used in the “as welded” condition, even in
severe corrosive conditions. In many cases it eliminates
the necessity of annealing weldments except for appli-
cations specifying stress relief. Type 304L has slightly
lower mechanical properties than Type 304.

#3 tss1065

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 09:44 PM

Thanks, does that mean that 303 should feel softer than carbon?

#4 rudtf

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 11:36 PM

my carbon putter is def softer than my stainless
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#5 gxDD

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 11:43 PM

View Postrudtf, on 04 February 2010 - 11:36 PM, said:

my carbon putter is def softer than my stainless


Agree 100%.

For feel purposes, if it helps, I play a PROV1 with my SS putter and a PROV1x with my Carbon putter.  It's all about feel.

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#6 JTI

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 05:20 AM

View Posttss1065, on 04 February 2010 - 09:44 PM, said:

Thanks, does that mean that 303 should feel softer than carbon?

The softness depends on the carbon content of carbon steel....1018 Carbon steel and 1020 are usually most prevelant in golf and are softer than Stainless Steel. The stainless steel has a finish that is harder than Carbon Steel.

BUT with putters its all about invidivual preference and i think sound off the putter face has also been proven to alter peoples perspectives as to what is 'hard' and 'soft. BUT in metal terms, carbon steel used in golf i.e. 1018 and 1020 is softer, but whether it 'feels' softer depends on who is hitting them.

#7 drewspin

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 11:11 AM

View PostJamesTimothy, on 05 February 2010 - 05:20 AM, said:

View Posttss1065, on 04 February 2010 - 09:44 PM, said:

Thanks, does that mean that 303 should feel softer than carbon?

The softness depends on the carbon content of carbon steel....1018 Carbon steel and 1020 are usually most prevelant in golf and are softer than Stainless Steel. The stainless steel has a finish that is harder than Carbon Steel.

BUT with putters its all about invidivual preference and i think sound off the putter face has also been proven to alter peoples perspectives as to what is 'hard' and 'soft. BUT in metal terms, carbon steel used in golf i.e. 1018 and 1020 is softer, but whether it 'feels' softer depends on who is hitting them.

I agree with the above. The weight of the putter will also affect the perception of feel... with the heavier putters generally feeling "softer."  For the most part, "feel" = sound.

11L17 steel is also popular for CNC-milled carbon steel putters.

#8 mattl2787

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:22 PM

Stainless = firmer, sometimes clicky

Carbon = softer, sometimes muted




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