Stainless vs Nitrided Steel - What's The Difference?

We explain some of the main differences and charachteristics

This is a short guide explaining the key characteristics of the two most prolific materials in Handpan making. Both materials offer something unique in terms of sound and appearance.

Stainless Steel

The Modern Standard in Handpan Making

Stainless Steel is a relatively new material in the Handpan world, but it is fast becoming the most popular steel among players. This is due to both the stunning sound and appearance of a Stainless Handpan.

The sound of Stainless Steel can be described as Cathedral esque, due to the very high resonance and sustain. Stainless has a beautifully open sound and very unique sonic profile.

• Colour: Brushed Silver, Gold, Rose Gold
• Rust Protection: Naturally Protective Properties
• Thickness: 1mm
• Forming Method: Deep Drawn
• Tone: Cathedral Esque Timbre, Very High Sustain and Resonance

Colour After Annealing: Depending on the annealing process, cooking temperatures and polishing techniques that are used, the final colour of the each shell may differ. We can however work towards replicating a certain finish if requested.

Nitrided Steel

The Traditional Steel Used For Handpans

Nitrided Steel is the traditional material used to make Handpans since the early 2000’s. The sound of this steel can be described as “earthy”, producing beautifully warm tones with an abundance of resonance and sustain.

The steel goes through a case hardening process which provides a layer of Nitrogen for protection against rust and corrosion. However, it is still recommended to oil your nitrided instrument regularly.

• Colour: Dark Blue to Charcoal Black
• Rust Protection: Case Hardened with Nitrogen
• Thickness: 1mm
• Forming Method: Deep Drawn
• Tone: Earthy Timbre, High Sustain and Resonance