The gauge in stainless steel pertains to its thickness. Generally, stainless steel products with lower gauge numbers are thicker and of better quality compared to those with higher gauge numbers.
The gauge number is an important indicator of whether a stainless steel product is prone to denting when subject to pressure. The thickness can also suggest if the product is likely to cause dinging noises when other metallic objects strike its surface.
The 16-gauge stainless steel is considered to be the standard in the steel industry. This gauge measures approximately 0.0598 inch in thickness. In terms of stainless steel sinks, the 18-gauge or 20-gauge steel is commonly sold. The 18-gauge steel measures around 0.0478 inch thick, while the 20-gauge steel measures about 0.0359 inch thick.