While surgical steel is a type of stainless steel, all stainless steels are not surgical steels. Surgical steels are those with the greatest amount of corrosion resistance and are designated for biomedical applications. When compared to other steel types, stainless steel is typically the most expensive. Then, among stainless steel, surgical steel is the most expensive.


Because of material expense, stainless steels are different from “general use” steels, like carbon steel and tool steel. Most often, stainless steels are used in culinary applications. Cutlery, cookware, appliances, and kitchen fixtures made of stainless steel are very popular and sought after. Stainless steel is also used for various components within the automotive and aerospace industries and in some construction applications.

Surgical steel’s uses are relegated to biomedical applications. Surgical instruments like forceps, retractors, and needle holders are made from surgical steel, but that’s not all. Surgical steel has a long history of use in orthopedic and dental implant devices.