There are too many introductions of stainless steel grades and sometimes it is too professional, they would group or introduce the material from the inner structure or the principle, element content or mechanical and chemical property. It is great science article, but too complicated for normal people, people who just want to know some common sense of stainless steel grades, which would be helpful to them while shopping or working.
The most popular stainless steel grades are 201, 304, and 316. Forget about others and no need to care about them if it is not your professional field and you just want to know what they have and which is better. That’s enough for most ones; just know it as the common sense and regular knowledge of metals.
The most important rule among this three stainless steel grades is “the higher, the better”. 316 is the best and 304 is better than 201. And this rule is workable in stainless steel filed for other grades even your never hear them before, higher ones are better, the price is higher for same product with 304 than the ones with 201.
The main feature of stainless steel is the anti rust property, and this feature is also can be seen on stainless steel grades. 201 is okay for most items but if the working environment is close to sea or you want longer life of them, would be necessary to use 304. And 316 is workable for most conditions. If still there are more requirements, just choose the higher one than 316, the stainless steel grades start with 4, 5, 6, or just ones higher than 316.