Flatware Buying Guide

Need help making a purchase? Flatware Catalog brings you one of the most comprehensive and detailed flatware buying guides. So, whether you are in search of buying sterling silver flatware or looking for silverware buying guide? Searching for a good wedding gift for your friend or grandma or moving to new home? All these queries are answered in well manner Q&A style.

So, you will be going to love this flatware buying guide more than ever. I have even ensured that whenever any further explanation is required, I have provided infographics and colorful pictures to elucidate somewhat more interesting to read.

The following flatware buying guide will provide you the essential information to make an educated decision that suits your kitchen and budget.

What is Flatware?

Flatware is a term rarely used in this day and age in kitchen and dining region. It is nothing but utensils, which are used for eating, holding and cutting food at dining table, i.e., spoons, forks and knives. It is a requisite and most vital part of a table setting. An elegant and stylish set will brighten up your boring dinner party.

Flatware Buying Guide

Flatware Buying Guide

What is the difference between flatware and hollowware or holloware?

Flatware is fairly flat in design whereas holloware has hollow shape. Some of the examples of holloware are sugar bowls, teapots, creamers, coffee pots, teapots, soup casseroles, crockpots, containers, salt and pepper shakers, hot food covers, cream pitchers, water jugs, bowls, platters, etc.

 How many types of flatware are there? (Regarding Material)

  • Sterling Silver
  • China
  • Stainless Steel
  • Wooden
  • Gold
  • Silverware
  • Silver-Plated
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain
  • Melamine
  • Crystal
  • Pewter
  • Aluminum
  • Bone China

How many types of flatware designs and styles are there?

You can use diverse styles of flatware on different occasions. While some of them are specific, many other are vague. However, some of the types are:

  • Everyday flatware: Casual and generally stainless steel
  • Formal Flatware: Elegant, silver-plated and sterling silver

How do people use flatware?

Many people houses two flatware sets, one for daily use and other for special gatherings. The former is used to be inexpensive such as stainless steel while the latter is somewhat expensive such as sterling silver, silver plated or china.

What are the recognized brands of flatware in the market?

 Some of the most recognized and renowned brand names of flatware, like

Can I buy single utensil?

Yes, you can buy single utensil such as fork or spoon, but buying a set is highly recommended because it will saves you money and offer exciting table setting and decor. Just imagine having plastic spoon, silver fork and stainless steel knife at your table 🙂

What is the best place to buy flatware?

Since there are many retail and physical stores, the best place to buy is online because at your nearest store, there will be limited brands and designs; whereas online, you can shop from varied designs, different brands, see reviews and get the products cheaply with the stroke of just single click. It’s dead simple.

What should I look for in best flatware?

Quality, material and design are the vital components in choosing best flatware. However, it also depends on personal preference, budget and your kitchen’s theme.

Flatware Buying Guide

Flatware LookStyleMaintenance
Sterling Silver
sterling silver flatware

You cannot doubt the quality of sterling silver, whose standard is set by US Government. The royal flatware is elegant, heavy weight and durable.

Used for formal dinners and special gatherings.

Even though, they are dishwasher safe, but they will lose luster, if washed with other metal flatware. So, hand wash as well as hand dry for better durability. Needs polishing to retail the elegance. Soaking the flatware overnight will damage the utensils.

stainless steel flatware

Silverplate flatware is not as elegant as sterling silver but they are lightweight and less durable. This flatware is made by electro coating silver over metal alloy like copper.

Used for formal dinners, events and special gatherings.

Even though, they are dishwasher safe, but they will lose luster, if washed with other metal flatware. So, hand wash as well as hand dry for better durability. Needs polishing to retail the elegance. Soaking the flatware overnight will damage the utensils.

Stainless Steel
stainless steel flatware

Stainless Steel flatware is most commonly used and comes in three vat\variables: 18/10, 18/8 and 18/0. 18 refers to chromium, which provides rust resistance and 10,8 &0 refers to nickel, which provides sheen and gloss to the flatware. Durable and heavy duty flatware.

Used for both: formal dinners and casual dinners. Great for everyday use.

Dishwasher-safe but avoid using lemon detergent and soaking for longer times.

What material should I look before buying flatware?

If you want to buy for regular use, then go for stainless steel because they are sturdy, durable and often comes with +25 years warranty. For party or special occasions, lookout for expensive ones such as silver plated flatware or sterling silver flatware.

What should I do after zeroing in the best flatware? 

Check whether the flatware is crafted by reputable manufacturers and the metal used should be exactly what that is being described on the product catalog. Read the reviews and just click the buy now button. It will be delivered straight to your home before one week. For more information about the products, you need to look for their specific flatware buying guide.

What is stainless steel flatware?

Stainless steel is a metal alloy combined with partial additions of chromium and nickel to strengthen and toughens the metal. The stainless steel flatware is generally dishwasher safe and lasts for longer times than other flatware. The stainless steel is stain resistant, rust resistant and dust resistant.

I have seen 18/10 and 18/0 on some stainless steel flatware? What does the labels refers to?

The label provides the ratio of chromium (18%) to nickel (10%) that are integrated in steel to make it called “stainless steel.” 18/10 stainless steel is tougher and durable than 18/0 stainless steel.

What are silver-plated flatware?

Silver plated flatware are electro coated with pure silver on metal alloy base. Since silver do not react with oxygen easily, the flatware will be easy to wash and maintain for long period.

What are sterling silver flatware?

Sterling silver flatware are made from 92.5% of pure silver and 7.5% of any alloy (generally copper).  The label “Sterling” is actually the mark of authenticity and purity. The standard of sterling is set by the Government of United States of America to ensure pureness and genuineness.

 Are there only standard sized flatware or else?

Flatware are available in three sizes: place size, dinner size and continental sizes around the world. The standard sizes and place sizes are commonly used with American table setting while continental sizes are used with European table settings.

Flatware Sizes

 Place Size Flatware
Dinner Size Flatware
Continental Size Flatware
Most popular size in America and historically the luncheon-size flatware. Dinner size was used for formal dinners. Continental size flatware is becoming popular day by day.
9 3/4"
10 1/2"
Fork7 1/2""
8 1/2"
Salad fork6 1/2"
6 1/2"
6 1/2"
Soup spoon7"
7 5/8"
Teaspoon6 1/4"
6 1/4"
6 1/4"

Which is the basic and appropriate way of placing flatware on the table?

flatware table setting

Flatware Buying Guide

In a basic 5-piece table setting, knife and spoons are placed to the right side of the plate, while the forks are placed on the left side of the plate. The sharp edge of the knife should be pointed towards the plate and they should be placed with a space of one inch from the plate in an even line.

What does the flatware set consist of?

The basic 5 piece set consists of

  • Dinner fork
  • Salad fork
  • Teaspoon
  • Soup spoon
  • Knife

What type of flatware is right for me to buy now?

It really depends on your needs and requirements. If you are using for daily use, stainless steel is appropriate while for special occasions, silver-plated or sterling silver is superb match.

Can I have more than two flatware collections?

Yes! You can have any number of flatware collections at your house. It you organize gatherings at regular periods, then you will get bored and jaded with the same collection. So, buying stylish and elegant flatware according to your occasion and guests will surely bring you compliments and praises.

What is the general preference of people regarding several flatware?

As already mentioned above, it’s really a matter of personal style and preferences. People generally use inexpensive ones such as stainless steel flatware for regular use and for special occasions, they prefer to use expensive ones like sterling silver flatware or silver plated.

How should I maintain the style and elegance of my flatware?

Ensure you read all the details provided by the flatware manufacturer. Since every utensil is dishwasher safe but some will last long with hand wash. Read the use and care guidelines keenly.

How should I care for stainless steel flatware?

All the stainless steel flatware are dishwasher safe. You can even enhance the durability and life with handwashing and hand drying. It can even curtail any chances of water spots on the utensils.

Flatware Buying Guide

Flatware Buying Guide

How should I care for silver plated flatware?

By using silver plated flatware on a regular basis, you can preserve the shine and elegance. However, washing them in warm water with mild soap is recommended but should be dried immediately with a soft cloth. Never soak them for extended periods or overnight.

How should I care for sterling silver flatware?

Ensure you do not wash the flatware of sterling silver with stainless steel; otherwise, the interaction between the two metals with damage the utensils. While cleaning many utensils altogether, pour hot water on the utensils after placing flatly on the aluminum pan. You can even add baking soda to completely eliminate the tarnish spontaneously.

Where should I store my flatware, when not in use?

Since expensive flatware are being used on important occasions, they should be kept safely in kitchen drawer or flatware chests. This way, you can avoid any scratch or damage to the utensils.

Note: Never soak utensils for extended periods or overnight. This applies to each and every flatware out there in green planet.

Leave a Reply

  1. Very helpful post for those who wants to buy different types of silver plated flatware. They should come to know about various types of flatware.

  2. Thank you, I was debating about buying a Silver Plated Bowl and think I should pass since it will be used often. You saved me a lot of money.. Many Thanks