The “18” refers to the fact that it is made of 18 percent chromium, while the second number is the percentage of nickel. More nickel means added shine and sturdiness, which is why sterling silver sets typically have a heavier price tag and require extra care.
Our product reviewer appreciates the flatware's high-quality feel and minimalist but beautiful detailing. She also awarded the set points for being dishwasher safe and tarnish-resistant, but notes the importance of keeping the utensils dry to prevent rust.
Whether you’re just starting out or want extra flatware for an upcoming dinner, you can’t go wrong with this affordable set. The set comes in five different colors, in case you're looking for something with a little more personality than basic stainless steel.
While reviewers do note that the stainless steel utensils are lightweight, many also mention that the pieces are durable and hold up well after multiple rounds in the dishwasher. Knock flatware's lauded design was the invention of the brand’s founder Michael D. Miller who, while struggling to eat a slice of pizza with a fork, was inspired to create a fork that’s more like a pizza slicer.
Our product tester likes that each utensil is ergonomically designed with noticeably balanced weight. Plus, the utensils feature a wide, flat finger platform for comfort and are designed to fit the contours of your hand.
It's 18/0, which means it has 18 percent chrome to prevent rusting and wear and tear over time. Reviewers note that the flatware feels sturdy, so you won't have to worry about it warping with continued use.
One thing to note: Oneida no longer sells this pattern on their website, so if you fall in love with it, you may want to buy two sets just in case. “If you’re simply looking for an affordable starter collection, the Oneida Moon crest 45-Piece Flatware Set has much to offer.
The larger setting sizes also include steak knives and serving pieces so that everything on your table matches. The slender, minimalist pieces feel modern, and the matte metallic will add a pop of glamour to any tables cape.
In fact, several reviewers rave about how many compliments they get on the set's elegant, unique design. The 18/10 stainless steel has a heat-treated black satin PVD finish that won’t flake or tarnish.
A note on washing this dramatic flatware : While you can toss these utensils in the dishwasher, you’ll need to avoid citrus-scented detergents, and when hand-washing, don't use a scouring pad or metal polish. When she's not covering kitchen gadgets and home accessories for us, she loves cooking up new recipes for her family, so she knows the value of finding the right flatware set to dine in comfort and style.
While many kitchen items, like drink ware or knives, are collections that grow slowly over time, flatware tends to be a one-and-done purchase. You can certainly get cheap flatware that will let you down after a few years, but it’s possible to make even an inexpensive but well-made set last a lifetime.
The rich showed off their wealth with elaborate table settings (hence the oyster fork) while the poorer classes made do with pewter or even wood cutlery. These days, you can find stainless steel in the finest restaurants and homes, but sterling silver flatware is still very much around.
That means a full table setting of sterling silver flatware can easily be thousands of dollars. Plated: Silver-plated flatware is another option, but it can feel like a “worst of both worlds” scenarios.
Plated flatware can chip and wear over time and requires greater care than stainless steel. While stainless steel made bright, shiny cutlery more affordable, it is also far easier to care for than silver.
Long gone are the days of endless polishing; stainless steel flatware can just be thrown in the dishwasher, dried off, and put away, over and over again. Good stainless steel will show a grade on the packaging or product page that looks like a fraction, usually 18/10, 18/8, and 18/0.
18/10 flatware is the highest quality: It will feel a bit more weighted in the hand, and the 10 percent nickel gives it more shine and more protection from corrosion. In general, it’s easy to find a wide variety of styles and designs in 18/10 stainless steel, but lower grades are still a good option if you need to save money.
The Spruce Eats / Sage McHugh Typically, higher-quality stainless steel with an 18/10 grade is going to be shiner because of the higher quantity of nickel. Some larger sets will also include steak knives and serving utensils for those who like everything to match.
How big a set you buy is totally personal and can be informed by your kitchen size, number of housemates or family members, and how often you run the dishwasher. More modern sets typically pare down details with a more streamlined appearance: a straight, thin handle with no major elements.
Many contemporary options also straddle these two worlds: Subtle shaping at the end of the handle, for example, will give it a traditional feel without other elements. Your choice comes down purely to taste: Both traditional and modern styles are made from stainless steel.
Black and gold flatware has become increasingly popular in recent years, largely because it’s such a striking contrast to the bright silver cutlery we use almost everywhere and every day. The Spruce Eats / Elizabeth Ago Sometimes you’ll see handles made from another material, like wood or plastic.
This is reminiscent of a tradition even older than silverware: handles for knives made from materials like bone. While the look can be impressive, it offers some drawbacks: A separate handle can loosen over time, especially if you’re tossing it in the dishwasher.
Do you prefer utensils with skinny stems, or perhaps longer fork tines for more European-style dining ? Design and stainless steel grades will have the biggest effects on price, with 18/10 being the highest quality and most expensive.
Pricier silverware is rarely sold in open stock: You’ll have to purchase additional full settings if you realize you need more spoons or forks. The typical takeout set isn’t great at piercing, cutting, or ladling food.
Portable sets can be made of lightweight stainless steel, bamboo, or reusable plastic. If you want to get a travel set, look for one that comes with a carrying case: You’re more likely to actually take it with you if it’s easy and convenient to do so.
Leno is perhaps best known for its china, and for good reason: The brand has made dinnerware for the White House and the Met Gala. But don’t be fooled by its storied past: These days, Leno also sells unfussy, modern flatware and dinnerware.
The Spruce Eats / Elizabeth Ago Oneida is another American flatware company. Like Leno, Oneida has well over a century of experience, but its backstory is fairly unique.
There are a few simple rules to taking care of stainless steel, and most are pretty intuitive. If food dries on your silverware and can’t be gently scrubbed away, let it soak for a bit or try the more abrasive side of a soft sponge.
If you have a color-plated flatware set, like matte black or gold, you’ll want to be extra careful about abrasive cleaners or sponges, as it could strip the finish. Even when we don’t cook, we’re likely to use a knife, fork, or spoon at some point during the meal.
When you’re just grabbing a spoon to make a bowl of cereal, it can be easy to forget this relatively humble little piece of cutlery derives much of its look from traditional silverware. But these stainless steel implements aren’t just about affordability: They’re durable and easy to clean, too.
Handcrafted in Hears, France, the Lagoon 24-piece flatware set is durable, visually appealing, and will last you for years to come. The utensils are phthalate-, BPA-, and latex-free, and made from durable stainless steel with resin handles and a polished finish for a one-of-a-kind look.
Heckles is one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of kitchen flatware, knives, and cookware. The pieces are made from durable 18/10 stainless steel and feature simple slender handles with a curve for an eye-catching and timeless look.
The forged 18/10 stainless steel knife blades provide easy, precise cutting. Many customer reviews stated that the utensils are heavy and well-made, and at just about $1.50 per piece, we think this set is a great buy if you want quality on a budget.
There are many circumstances where you'd opt for open stock flatware, which allows you to pick and buy only the individual utensils you need. Open stock is a great option if you're living alone and just need kitchen staples for one person, if you're a college student looking for a few basics, if you need to replace a few lost or broken utensils, or if you're looking to outfit a rental property with inexpensive, easily replaceable pieces.
Chef's Table is a reputable product line from trusted flatware manufacturer Oneida that offers individual pieces and replacements. However, reviewers haven't reported any issues with rust, and many mentioned they like the shape and durability of the pieces.
Newman Marcus Pros: Timeless design, made from durable 18/10 stainless steel, comes with serve ware, reputable brand The dual silver and gold coloring blends well with any table setting or showpiece dinnerware, and comes with matching serve ware to make your next occasion truly special.
You should expect to pay upwards of $300 to outfit your home with a high-quality set with many pieces, but you can go as low as $30 if you're selective about the number and type of utensils you need. It's also a great option if you're looking for a temporary or easily replaceable flatware, like if you need to stock a rental property you own or if you have extra mouths to feed for a special occasion.
By the place setting : If you buy flatware by the place setting, each box usually comes with five pieces: a dinner fork, salad fork, a dessert spoon, a soup spoon, and a dinner knife. A box set is especially useful if you have a family of at least four people or often host dinner for many guests.
Regardless of whether you opt for open stock or box sets, experts said you'll get best results by selecting products from a known brand. These companies are also usually forthcoming about materials and manufacturing methods, offer longer warranties, and have robust customer service.
All the picks in our guide are vetted by experts, come with at least a 25-year warranty, or are produced by a well-known flatware brand that has been in business at least 50 years. To get a good feel for flatware, it's best if you can check out sets in person to see if the pieces are comfortable to hold and fit your aesthetic.
“I have found that many modern patterns can have huge dinner forks and spoons,” said Marian Parsons, artist and founder of Mustard Seed Interiors. If you do decide to shop online, make sure you buy from a reputable retailer that has a robust return policy, since you won't be able to evaluate the comfort and weight of your flatware until you try it out.
Jamie Grill/Getty Images If you're setting the table for a formal dinner with the family using your new flatware, knowing where to place everything will elevate the dining experience. “If a flatware set isn't dishwasher-safe, it's because of the high temperature of the water mixed with the dishwasher detergent,” Mack said.
The high temperature and detergent will get rid of the natural patina of the flatware and will discolor it.” Place knives in a separate basket with the sharp side down to avoid potential scratching Remove flatware after the last rinse cycle and hand dry, since hot air can cause corrosion over time.
If your flatware has any discolorations from hard water, use and follow the instructions on a high-quality stainless polish. According to Oneida, you shouldn't soak flatware in water for long periods of time, and avoid prolonged contact with tea, coffee, eggs, mayo, vinegar, and salt, since acids and proteins in these foods can erode the flatware.