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Silverware, also known as flatware, is often expensive. Thus, discount silverware can be a great deal -- if you know what to look for. While some discount flatware stores offer great deals, other stores may be selling wares that are far from ideal. Before you begin to shop for your discount flatware set, take a look at these helpful tips.
First, make sure that you know what you are buying. Almost all flatware is made from stainless steel, but not all stainless steel is created equal. If you look at the description for a set of stainless steel silverware, you will notice that each set has a different number next to it. The numbers 14/1, 21/0, 18/0, 18/8, and 18/10 are commonly associated with stainless steel.
Understanding what these numbers mean is rather straightforward. Essentially, the number "18" refers to the amount of chromium in each piece, while the lower number refers to the amount of nickel in a piece. Nickel gives a piece of stainless steel flatware shine, while chromium is important for rust resistance. The best flatware will have an 18/8 or 18/10 rating.
Next, keep in mind that a discount silverware set should be heavy, though this is hard to determine if you are shopping online. In addition, only purchase flatware that is made from one single piece of steel. While forks, knives, and spoon that have been pieced together from many different pieces of steel may be cost-effective, most of these piece will break easily.
Also, do not choose any sets that are plated in stainless steel. The term plated means that a set has been covered in steel, though it is probably made from another material. The problem with stainless steel plating is that this type of coating can easily chip. Stainless steel chips can easily contaminate food, so this is something that you really want to stay away from.
Lastly, try and find a pattern that will withstand the test of time. While many discount silverware retailers may offer modern sets that look great now, these designs probably won't have the same appeal in the future. A quality stainless steel flatware set can be passed down from generation to generation, while a cheaper set will break within a year or two.
It is highly recommended that you purchase discount silverware from brick and mortar retailers. Alternately, visit a local retailer, look closely at the silverware that you want to buy, and then search for a discount silverware online. This way, you can determine the pattern, quality, and weight of a set before purchase.