Metal of a Stainless-Steel Kitchen Sink
Photo: Alison Rosa
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Gauge Its Metal

You want the strong, silent type, which is characteristic—counterintuitively—of the lowest and thus best gauges. No need to lose sleep over 16- versus 18-gauge, but when you get up to 22-gauge the metal is more prone to denting and vibrating, and less able to handle a garbage disposer. High-gauge drop-ins can be especially thin around the edges, making them ill equipped to support the heavier weight of a quality faucet.
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