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What Is Flatware?

What is Flatware?

By George Steckel
May 4, 2021
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The days of disregarding silverware etiquette and not knowing how to set a table are over. If you’re going to have the same types of plates, glasses, and napkins, it only makes sense to keep your forks, spoons, and knives consistent. There are many different types of flatware out there, whether it be stainless steel, gold, silver-plated, or bronze. Made In recommends buying a set of flatware that you can dress up or down, no matter the occasion. While having special cutlery passed down to you is very special and can be used for meaningful events, having a go-to everyday collection of forks, spoons, and knives is essential, making our cutlery from our tabletop set the perfect addition to your kitchen. 

Before we get started, let’s cover the contents in flatware sets. Most sets will come with five unique pieces: two forks, two spoons, and one dinner knife. Manufacturers or companies will most commonly sell them in place settings so that you can buy flatware sets in, say, four-place or eight-place settings. For a four-place setting, you will most commonly receive 20 individual pieces. It is also customary to see flatware sets contain a few serving pieces, which would be larger spoons and forks.

What Should I Look for in Quality Flatware?

High-quality flatware should have two distinctive qualities. The first is the aesthetic, touching on how it looks, feels, and functions. Second is the materials used to make flatware.

While we’re all for funky flatware, there is a time and place for it. Whether it’s your first time buying flatware or you’re simply looking to upgrade, we suggest going with a timeless design. Flatware should feel balanced in your hand and fit comfortably. A set of flatware should have at least two spoons, two forks, and one dinner knife. The shorter fork, often called a salad fork, should be around seven inches long, while the longer fork, called a dinner fork or place fork, should be approximately eight inches long. Your two spoons should have almost identical measurements to the forks, with the table spoon measuring smaller than the dessert spoon. Lastly, the knife will probably be the longest item in your flatware set, measuring just over nine inches long.

What is the Best Grade of Stainless Steel for Flatware?

Stainless steel flatware should have a grade of 18/10 for forks and spoons and 18/0 for knives. An 18/10 grade is best for stainless steel cutlery because it prevents corrosion and keeps your silverware spotless and timeless. The 18 is the percent of chromium, and the 10 is the percent of nickel included in the pieces.

The knives within an 18/0 stainless steel flatware set don't include any nickel, but this makes for a stronger blade, so you’ll have a much easier time cutting through your food.

How do you Match Flatware to Dinnerware?

While matching your flatware to your dinnerware is a well-appreciated touch, it isn’t always necessary. If you’re hosting a dinner party, celebrating an important milestone, or simply want to elevate the feel of your dining room, then matching flatware to your favorite types of drinking glasses and plates is the way to go. Look for similar styles and colors. If your plateware is elegant and your glassware is timeless, then going for a classic flatware look is the way to go. 

However, if you feel like having a bit of fun, then you can definitely go with something a bit more out of the ordinary. In the end, the most important thing is that you are happy with the way your table looks.

How to Buy Flatware

Look for something that speaks to you and that you would feel comfortable using for your morning cereal and a family celebration. For smaller families or people living alone, four-place settings are a great starting point, but if you have a larger family and often host, we recommend going with at least ten-place settings. Searching for more information on how to choose the proper place setting dishes for your dining room? Luckily, our tabletop collections have some of the best dinnerware sets for everyday use. 

Ready to Host?

Once you choose your favorite flatware, it’s time to host! When getting ready for your next dinner party, make sure you’re equipped with all the best appetizer recipes, dinner ideas, and delicious desserts. Most importantly, set a beautiful table for your guests using your new flatware from Made In.