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How can I test a stainless steel product such as a sink to see if it is truly 18g?

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The gauge refers to the thickness of the steel, which is but one measurement of the quality of the stainless steel (the other main factor is the grade of stainless steel it's using) see: Steel Grades on Wikipedia.

As for measuring the gauge , you can get a Sheet Metal Gauge online, or from your local hardware store. Sheet Metal Gauge

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