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Flatware Buying Guide

Flatware Buying Guide

Choosing correctly the flatware to use on a special occasion may be exactly what you need to make your table decoration look perfect. Although originally they have always been utensils that we use to eat food, this has changed since the appearance of our table is as important as the food itself.

The initial impression we give our guests will probably be a hint at what comes next (delicious food!). In turn, apart from how they look, it is necessary to take into account the material, since we do not want our cutlery to look and feel cheap when taking them.

If you want your flatware to represent perfectly your taste in food, keep reading about the different aspects to take into account when buying a set. Whether for daily use or a special occasion, we assure you that there is the ideal flatware for you.


Table of Contents

Learn how to choose the best flatware

By design

From the most classic designs, such as those you can find in your grandparents' house, to modern and elegant flatware (with slightly eccentric shapes on some occasions), there is something for all tastes and styles.

A good way to choose the best flatware is to look at the plates you have in your kitchen. These can be a good starting point since, when decorating the table for your family or guests, both parties should look in harmony.

Many times, we say that less is more so if your style is elegant, you can opt for models with long and thin designs, with or without engravings on the handle.

Now, if the rest of your decoration is simple, and you prefer the flatware to be the icing on the cake on your table, there are some with innovative and modern designs, which will stand out above all else and completely transform your table.

However, be careful! You may be in love with cutlery with a highly artistic and modern design and style, but ask yourself before you buy: will it be functional?

Do not forget that after all, your guests and you will use them to taste some pleasant food.

So it is useless that they look splendid, but do not have the shape that provides ergonomics.

Think for example of spoons.

The design of these must be adequate to be able to collect the liquids properly from the bowls (You do not want to leave a little of that soup, or do you?).

You should also bear in mind that when you take it to your mouth you can take the liquids without being or look too uncomfortable because a meal does not taste the same with awkward moments in between.

And you may think, how will I know this without having tried it?

In this case, if you want an exotic design, but you are not sure if it will work, you can initially buy the pieces separately, before opting for a complete set.

If you prefer not to risk and go for the classic, there are dozens of beautiful options, which will give a special touch to your table.

What other things to consider regarding the design? There should be a balance regarding the weight of the flatware. None should be heavier or lighter than the other, as it will be noticeable and you will feel uncomfortable when using it.

Diners tend to prefer handles that are not too thin and have little grip. At the same time, it is preferable that the handles have a rounded edge and not pointed, so that they are more comfortable to hold.

Just remember, you use the flatware every day, at every meal, so functionality is an important factor. Besides, it is you and no one else who knows your style, you just have to choose a design according to this.

By occasion

If you are one of those people who love to decorate the table according to the event you are offering, then let's see some aspects to take into account when choosing the perfect flatware.

First, remember that the little details are important, and although the flatware you use daily could fulfill its function perfectly, your guests will also appreciate that you have has the detail to choose the flatware for the occasion.

And do not worry about storing them and thinking that you are wasting your money. If you choose quality material, you can use them without problems every time you have that special occasion.

Now, imagine that you organize a small party with your friends and co-workers, and at dinner, you put the most luxurious flatware you found. Probably it will be beautiful, but your guests may feel a bit uncomfortable with so much luxury in a more relaxed setting.

The same could be assumed if we imagine the opposite case. At weddings and formal dinners, it would be quite inappropriate to disregard basic etiquette when decorating the table.

This last-mentioned could be the key when choosing the ideal cutlery according to the occasion. Since we must not only take into account the design, but also the different types of flatware.

If you want to be up to up to the task, you should know that there are several types of forks (salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork, dessert fork), knives (dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife, butter knife), and spoons (dessert teaspoon, soup spoon), each with its specific function.

In formal dinners, more than three dishes are usually served, and the flatware that will be used is usually placed in the order in which they will be used (tip to organize your table).

If this is what you need, be sure to purchase a set that includes more than the essential flatware.

However, we are not saying that our casual dining cannot be stylish. there are some traditional flatware options with colored handles, which could match your décor, and that your guests will love.

By material

Let's be honest, if we going to invest in the flatware of your dreams, we want it to last in good condition for as long as possible.

A sturdy material allows utensils to be easily washed in the dishwasher, will prevent gouges or cracks from forming due to use, and will prevent easy bending and warping.

Besides, it will add more weight, so when we take it with our hand we will have the feeling of being grabbing something of quality.

The quintessential material for flatware (and other kitchen utensils) is stainless steel. When you go to buy the flatware, you will see in the description something similar to this: 18/10, 18/8, and 18/0. This represents the amount of chromium (first number) and nickel (second number) in the flatware.

What is the best combination? Keep in mind that chrome helps prevent wear and abrasion, preventing rust and stains from appearing in the flatware, and that nickel makes utensils acid-resistant and gives them an attractive shine.

Knowing this, we can ensure that the 18/10 combination is the one you should look for.

It does not mean that 18/8 and 18/0 are a terrible option, in fact, 18/0 is ideal for people allergic to nickel.

However, you will get a better quality in flatware made of 18/10 stainless steel. This type of flatware can be galvanized with a thin layer of some other material to give it color or a pearly appearance.

Find more information about the different stainless steel grades

It should be noted that there are also other options on the market, for example, there is silver-plated flatware (stainless steel covered by a thin layer of silver), solid silver flatware, gilded flatware (gold covered), and decorative flatware.

Regarding the latter, they are not usually made in one piece but have the handle made of a different material. This material can be wood, plastic, porcelain, ivory, and many more.

This gives flatware a different appeal, as they can come in different shapes, colors, and designs.

However, keep in mind that many may not be dishwasher safe, so you will have to sacrifice a bit of your time by washing them carefully by hand. If this detail does not matter to you, then these can be a great option to add a touch of color to your table decoration.

By number of pieces

Another important aspect when buying flatware (and almost anything), is, how many do you need to buy? To answer this, let's first see what options we have available, and the uses that we can give them.

The flatware can come either individually, or on a set. Sets generally have four basic utensils: a knife, a spoon, a teaspoon, and a fork. In theory, what we need for meals on one day at the table.

There are sets of 4, 16, 24, or 48 pieces. The ideal one to buy will depend on your needs when serving your guests.

However, we recommend avoiding what is fair for you and your family, since you do not want to run out of flatware when receiving your guests.

A 16-piece set would be equivalent to what is needed for a family of four, while a 48-piece set allows you to serve 12 people at a time. If you are planning a big event, or a family Christmas dinner, this would be your best option.

Do not worry if you do not get to use them all! Always keep in mind that a good flatware set will be an investment that will last for a long time.

How to extend the life of flatware

And talking about time, we know from experience that flatware (especially stainless steel) can easily be passed from generation to generation.

They are the longest-lasting utensils in kitchens. However, over time they may lose that initial shine that we liked so much (and one of the reasons why we chose them in the first place!).

Let's see then some tips so that the cutlery that you like so much shine for longer:

  • Use only soap and water with stainless steel flatware
  • Dry them immediately after removing them from the dishwasher
  • If the flatware has engravings, dry carefully to avoid stains
  • If washing by hand, better avoid abrasive sponges
  • Store in a dry place to avoid the proliferation of bacteria

Follow these tips and be gentle with your flatware, so they will be ready to decorate your table at your next event.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best quality flatware?

The 18/10 stainless steel flatware will provide you with the best quality and durability.

Should I buy individual items or a complete set?

If you think that you need to test the functionality of the flatware before purchasing the complete set, we recommend that you initially buy the individual flatware.

What kinds of designs and styles are recommended for an elegant dinner?

You may prefer both gold-plated flatware with engravings on the handle that feel heavy and quality, and smooth and elongated pieces that provide a more modern style.

What should I do to keep my flatware shiny for longer?

Mainly, wash with soap and water, and then dry to avoid water stains.

Should I buy steak knives separately?

Yes, these usually come in separate sets. It is also good to know that these cannot be sharpened.

As you may have noticed, there are many considerations you can take into account when choosing the flatware for your table.

We have already seen that to choose we can think about the event, the material, and of course, the design.

Whether you are looking for elegance, utility, or something modern that can fit well with any occasion, there are many options from which you can choose according to your style and budget.

Just remember that whether you are buying for the first time, or want to renew your old flatware for one that looks more adult and new, this will be an investment that will be worth it and will last you for a long, long time.

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