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Does Black Stainless Steel Scratch? [Video Test]

Steve Sheinkopf  |  October 30, 2017  |  2 Min. Read

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Black Stainless steel is incredibly popular. Its dark hue is a viable alternative to the shinier stainless steel we are used to. In fact, the popular brands like LG, Samsung, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, and KitchenAid report Black Steel is now 30% of their kitchen package sales.

Samsung Black Stainless Steel kitchen, Framingham Showroom.jpg

In 30 years, I have seen "White Ice," "Black Ice," "Slate," "Carbon," "Avocado," "Coffee," "Platinum," and "Harvest Gold" be a fad in finishes then dramatically fall off. 

In my opinion, Black Steel, or at least the finish, can be more of a trend than any of the above colors. However, unlike other finishes, black steel is an oxide applied to stainless steel.

In other words, the finish can be scratched revealing the stainless steel underneath. As you have read on the internet, it looks bad with a black hue and a contrasting, shinier scratch. 

We wanted to know how easy or hard it is to scratch a black stainless steel refrigerator. It became the basis our first scratch test. 

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The Black Steel Scratch Test

We wanted to scratch Black Steel refrigerators like you might at home. We tested the most popular French door black steel refrigerators from LG, Samsung, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, and KitchenAid. We used fingernails, keys, a tray, and spatula under normal circumstances. 

Then we tried harder to scratch each surface using a fork. I have a baby at home - put a utensil in her hand and, who knows what could happen! (I probably should have used her for the test.)

The results were very interesting. 

Does Black Stainless Steel Scratch?

Video Thumbnail


The final results of our black stainless steel scratch test.jpg

I think all performed fairly well in the other tests not using a fork. In normal use, they did not scratch very easily. We cut all the tests except for the fork so you would not have to watch a 10-minute video. However, under duress, almost all of them left a shiny scratch from the stainless steel underneath. It reminded me of peeling tape because the black finish is not a part of the metal. 

However, if you look closely at the fork test, Samsung clearly outperformed the others. You can scratch Samsung, but there is more Black Steel underneath. In fact, it looked unscathed after all the tests, unlike all the other brands. 

Without question, if you are worried about scratching Black Steel, then Samsung is your best choice. 

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A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

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