What Should I Consider When Buying Flatware?

Most brides register for it and everyone has to use it at some point. Flatware is an indispensable part of a table setting. It is comprised of those utensils we eat with: forks, spoons, knives and eventually, serving pieces.

Flatware is usually available wherever kitchen supplies are sold: department stores, discount stores and specialty shops. Many people buy it for the first time when they get an apartment of their own and need eating utensils. This type is usually inexpensive and utilitarian. Moms may buy a set of inexpensive forks and spoons that can be used, abused and otherwise mauled by children, then thrown away with little loss.

However, many people, especially brides, look for good quality flatware to adorn their tables. One good place to start is in the housewares section of a department store. These stores often have bridal registries and sell better-quality utensils.

Look for a reputable brand, such as Gorham or Oneida, and check the proportion of nickel to stainless steel. Most flatware is either 18/10 or 18/8. One rated 18/10 will have more luster than 18/8 flatware, because the proportion of nickel is higher.

Pattern is also a consideration. Those who will be using the flatware should go together to shop for it, since people have varying tastes when it comes to patterns and even the weight of utensils. Patterns come in all varieties, from the plain to the ornate. Most people like to hit a happy medium, choosing a pattern that works well for formal or informal dining. However, some people may want to choose two sets — one for each type of dining.

Most department stores display their flatware in such a way that buyers are able to pick it up and handle it before buying. This helps shoppers decide whether the patterns they like are really what they want in their homes to use on a daily basis. Flatware should always be rated dishwasher safe, and buyers may want to look for online reviews of their patterns, to see if the utensils are durable and still look bright after many washings. Utensils are sold online, but this may be a better option for those wishing to replace pieces in their pattern. It is difficult to get an idea of how flatware looks or feels online.

Prices also vary for flatware. Some patterns are sold by piece, some in place settings and some in sets. They can vary from as little as $25 US dollars (USD) per set to over $100 USD for a place setting. Typically, better items are priced higher. Buyers may also want to make sure the store has a return policy, so they can return it if they don’t like it or if it doesn’t match their china or other silverware patterns.

Written by A Kaminsky