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Flatware & Silverware Quick Tips
1. The numbers 18/10 and 18/0 indicate the chrome and nickel percentages found in a stainless steel alloy. Chromium makes it metal-, rust-, and stain-resistant, while nickel gives it luster and shine. The rest of the metal is composite steel, which makes the flatware strong.
2. The highest quality flatware
uses 18/10 (18% chromium, 10% nickel) stainless steel that is rust-resistant, durable, easy to maintain, and has a brilliant luster. For an economical option that is great for casual, everyday use, choose 18/0 (18% chromium, 0% nickel) stainless steel, which has a soft shine and is subject to staining.
3. Silver flatware is more expensive than stainless steel and requires more care, meaning it's often trotted out only on special occasions. Store your silverware in a case lined with an anti-tarnish material, and polish occasionally with silver polish.
4. European flatware is generally three times larger than the standard, and therefore weighs and costs more. The regal look of European flatware is perfect for your formal table setting.
5. We recommend getting enough flatware to serve 8 to 12 people, plus a few more in case a guest drops a fork and needs a replacement or you accidentally grind up a spoon in the garbage disposal.
6. The army of flatware guarding your plate at a fancy restaurant can be intimidating, but you won't need lemon forks or chocolate spoons on hand in your home silverware drawer. Stick with a 5-piece setting
: dinner fork, salad fork, dinner knife, teaspoon, and dinner spoon.
7. Choose a flatware style that complements your home decor and the design on your dinnerware, but strike a balance. Plain white plates with basic flatware could be boring, but ornate silverware paired with intricate plates could be too busy.
8. Heft refers to the weight of the flatware. Some sets will be heavy and some light, but which you prefer comes down to personal preference. You want at least a little heft, though - thin pieces are likely to bend or break.
9. Standard serving pieces that often come with a flatware set or can be purchased as a matching accessory set include a soup ladle, large serving spoon, large serving fork, pie or cake wedge, and cheese knife. Just be sure you have the correct serving utensils for the foods you often serve!
10. Just as many people have two sets of dinnerware, many people also have two sets of flatware: a stainless steel set with a simple design for everyday use, and an ornate silver set for special occasions. Make sure each set coordinates with its designated dinnerware partner.