Flatware & Steak Knives
Recommended in Flatware & Steak Knives
What type of Flatware should I buy?
Flatware can be confusing to the uninitiated. Forks, knives, and spoons are all the same, right? Sadly, no. We carry two broad categories of flatware: plastic and stainless steel. Plastic flatware is just that, plastic. It’s a single-use dining room utensil, like what you’d get from the drive-thru line at your favorite fast-food restaurant. Stainless steel is where it gets a little more complex, but there are two elements to keep in mind: weight and steel composition.
Medium-weight flatware is the lightest weight and bends more easily than other weights and is generally used in schools, hospitals, and institutional settings with high flatware losses (pieces are stolen or accidentally thrown away). Heavyweight flatware doesn’t bend as easily and can have a better, more detailed finish than medium weight. It’s usually found at casual or fast-casual restaurants and cafes. Extra-heavy flatware is very difficult to bend and is notably heavy in your hand. It’s often used at fine dining establishments.
Even though all the forks, knives, and spoons are made of stainless steel, the exact composition of that steel varies. This is noted by either the grade or number of the steel. Stainless steel flatware is often made with 300- or 400-series metal. The most common types of 300-series utensils are 18/8 and 18/10. Those numbers refer to the amount of chromium and nickel in your fork. An 18/8 stainless steel dessert spoon has 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Both metals help prevent rusting, so the higher the nickel content, the more corrosion-resistant the flatware is. However, the nickel makes the flatware non-magnetic. If you use magnetic flatware retrievers, 18/0 flatware is the way to go. This flatware is made from 400-series stainless steel and contains little nickel. The negligible amount of nickel means it is more likely to rust than 18/8 or 18/10, but it’s still a high-quality metal. Forks, spoons, and knives with more nickel also have a shinier luster, while 18/0 flatware has a softer shine.