UNDERSTANDING STAINLESS STEEL GRADES FOR TUMBLERS AND WATER BOTTLES
Custom Stainless Steel Tumblers and Water Bottles, Vacuum insulated stainless steel drinkware has become insanely popular in both the retail sector and in the promotional products industry. Once you actually use one of these high quality drinking vessels, you quickly understand why. They work and they work well.
Most of the vacuum insulated stainless steel tumblers will keep ice in your drink for at least 24 hours. They typically keep your coffee hot for 4-6 hours. The vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottles work even better! Some of these water bottles boast 48 hours of cold retention and heat retention for up to 12 hours.
When shopping for stainless steel tumblers and bottles, you’ll notice huge differences in pricing. Here’s why. Some brand names such as Yeti and RTIC charge much higher prices over “generic” versions. But are these brand names actually better quality? The quick answer is, “No they are not.”
The biggest differentiating factor in the quality of stainless steel drinkware is the steel grade used in manufacturing. You’ll see descriptions tossed around such as “food grade”, “18/8 gauge”, “300 grade’, and other industry jargon describing the quality of the stainless steel.
But what does that really mean?
Are these designations actually different or the same? Are they simply advertising tactics to make you think a product is better than others?
See the chart below to quickly see the differences in stainless steel grades along with more detailed descriptions below that.
STAINLESS STEEL GRADE CHART
GRADE STRENGTH CORROSION RESISTANCE NOTES
200 Series GOOD POOR Not as resistant to corrosion and seen in lower quality (and lower cost) stainless steel drinkware.
304 BEST GOOD Higher quality stainless steel drinkware. Also known as 18/8 (18% chromium and 8% nickel).
Good corrosion resistance due to the nickel. Most common.
316 GOOD BEST Best for extreme environments such as marine use. Rarely seen for drinkware.
Basically, cheap stainless steel tumblers and water bottles are most likely made out of a 200 grade stainless steel, while most higher quality stainless steel drinkware will be made out of a 304 grade stainless steel. 18/8 gauge is used interchangeably with “304 grade” or “300 grade” or “food grade.” It’s all the same and very high quality. This is the most popular grade of stainless steel used with vacuum insulated tumblers and water bottles. The big brand name tumblers and bottles use the exact same stainless steel grade as the off-brand and promotional options.
You get what you pay for, so if you want it to last, get the 304 grade (18/8) stainless steel and skip any drinkware made out of 200 series stainless steel. Chances are, if the type of stainless steel used to manufacture the tumbler of bottle isn’t listed in the description, it’s probably NOT the good kind (300 series).
While the quality of the stainless steel is one factor determining the effectiveness of heat and cold retention, another major factor is the type of insulation used. Vacuum insulation and copper vacuum insulation are hands down the best two options. You can read about what vacuum insulation means here.
Therefore, when thinking about buying branded tumblers and bottles for your company, don’t spend the extra amount buying a brand name because they are NOT any better. In fact, the brand names take away from your opportunity to brand your own company on the drinkware. If you have questions about the best stainless steel tumbler and water bottle options for your budget, we can certainly point you in the right direction.
Insulated Drinkware Explained
UNDERSTANDING WHAT VACUUM SEALED MEANS FOR STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLES & TUMBLERS
Stainless steel drinkware is not a trend. It is a movement toward drinkware that is far superior to plastic drinkware. It’s not a fad that will fade. Stainless steel tumblers and water bottles have become so popular because they work so well to keep your drinks hot or cold for many hours.
All the popular name brand stainless steel tumblers such as RTIC or Yeti as well as many of the high-quality off-brand tumblers and water bottles are manufactured with vacuum sealed double wall insulation technology. All vacuum sealed tumblers and bottles are double walled, but all double wall tumblers and bottles are NOT vacuum sealed.
WHAT DOES VACUUM SEALED INSULATION MEAN?
But what does “vacuum sealed” mean? Not only is it double walled, meaning a different layer on the inside and the outside, but it also has a layer of space (insulation) in between the two layers which are airtight (sealed). With the air vacuumed from between the two layers, the heat or cold is minimally transmitted through to the next layer, keeping the desired temperature inside the drinking vessel.
Don’t be confused by double wall tumblers or mugs made out of plastic or other materials, which are most likely NOT vacuum sealed. Most plastic double walled drinkware has either air insulation (between the two walls) or foam insulation, but they are not nearly as effective as vacuum insulation.
WHAT’S BETTER THAN VACUUM SEALED?
There is a step up from vacuum sealed and that is copper vacuum insulated. This manufacturing process adds a copper lining to the inner side of the inside layer. Just to be clear, the copper lining is on the opposite side of where your drink comes in contact. This copper lining helps distribute the heat/cold more evenly across the entire surface allowing it to retain its temperature for much longer periods of time over standard vacuum sealed stainless steel. The great thing about the copper lining is that the cost difference with or without is minimal, so if you want the best temperature retention, go for the copper vacuum sealed options.
You don’t have to buy high priced brand names to get a good quality insulated beverage travel container. We have a huge selection of stainless steel tumblers, mugs and insulated water bottles, some are a better quality than the big brand names.
Best of all, the pricing of our tumblers and water bottles are MUCH LOWER. Additionally, the main branding on the items will be YOUR logo and not someone else’s logo. Why pay big money to promote someone else’s logo?