What are the Different Types of Wood Flatware?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

The two main kinds of wood flatware are flatware that is meant for multiple use and disposable flatware. While most people think of disposable flatware as being made of plastic, a number of companies sell disposable wood flatware that is used in private and commercial settings. Some restaurants that offer takeout service offer wood forks, knives, and spoons instead of plastic cutlery. There are also pieces of wood flatware that are used over and over again for many years. While forks, knives, and spoons that are made with wood usually have metal tips for the bowls of the spoons, heads of the knives, and prongs of the fork, the handles are made of wood.

Woman posing
Woman posing

These kinds of wood flatware may be made with a number of kinds of wood that may be carved, embellished, or very plain. Wood flatware also varies in terms of the stain that is used to color the wood. Many people who use or design this kind of flatware enjoy the many kinds of aesthetic sensibilities that can be expressed in wood. These kinds of spoons, forks, knives are often chosen in order to match an overall look that is being created for a dining room.

Depending on the way that the flatware manufacturer prepares and treats the wood, it may or may not be possible to clean the flatware in a dishwasher. Before purchasing wood flatware, it is important to find out if it will be convenient to clean. It is also important to find out if it will be necessary to give the wood special treatment to keep it nice for many years.

Wood flatware used for serving may or may not have some kind of metal incorporated into the design. Serving spoons and tongs in particular are commonly made entirely out of wood. These pieces of flatware can also be part of a larger set of flatware and service items that are made with wood handles and metal tops. These kinds of flatware may require special cleaning processes.

Much like flatware made entirely with metal, there is a wide range of prices for wood flatware. Some sets are made with very fine wood and expensive metals and are designed by accomplished flatware designers. These sorts of sets can be quite expensive. Others are made in basic designs out of rather affordable materials, which means that their retail price is much lower.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


I love to use large wood spoons when I cook. Not only do they have less chemicals that plastic spoons, but they are also less damaging to cookware. Wood spoons are great for stirring as you cook, because they will not chip or scratch pots and pans that have non-stick coatings.


@raynbow- When I think of wood flatware, I think of large pieces used for stirring and preparing food. My parents had this type of kitchenware when I was a kid, and they are still using it today.

So yes, in my opinion, wood flatware is very durable.


You don't see people using wood flatware like they use to. Is it really durable, or is it best to stick to plastic and metal flatware?

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