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Steel is durable and resistant to rust and tarnishing. Includes a hostess set and 12 place settings. Detail and tooling are simple with beading, yet the set exudes elegance and is ideal for formal dining.
Some reports of discoloration in the larger hostess set pieces.
Included are eight each of small and large forks, small and large spoons, butter knives, and steak knives. The 49th piece is a slotted serving spoon. Color options are natural stainless steel, black, or gold.
Some reported the colors fade with enough rounds in a dishwasher.
Provides full service for 12 and includes serving ware. Customers love the flatware's high-shine finish. One of the heavier sets; you can just feel the quality.
Nooks and crannies can attract residue, which may accumulate and discolor it.
Full set includes 48 pieces, including dinner forks, salad forks, dinner knives, steak knives, dinner spoons, and teaspoons. Composed of high-quality stainless steel. Dishwasher-safe, making it effortless to clean.
Some reports of rusting over time.
Set includes a five-piece hostess set for serving. Made with superior 18/0 stainless steel and doesn't require polishing. Textured handles make the grips easy to hold. Dishwasher-safe.
Some reports of rust or damage when they're washed in the dishwasher.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Along with dinnerware, you use your flatware daily — sometimes several times a day. So when it’s time to buy a new flatware set, it's worth putting the time and effort into finding one that you love.
Modern flatware is usually made from stainless steel, but not all stainless steel flatware is of the same quality. Stainless steel flatware should be marked 18/10, 18/8 or 18/0. The first number is the percentage of chromium in the flatware; the second is the percentage of nickel. The higher the percentage of nickel, the more resistant the flatware is to corrosion. While 18/10 stainless steel flatware sets are the most resistant to corrosion, you can still find some quality 18/8 and 18/0 sets.
You'll also want to consider the number of place settings required. Most sets contain four, eight or 12 place settings. How many place settings you need depends on your circumstances. In a household with just one or two people, a set of four place settings might be enough. A family of six, however, would need at least eight place settings.
Whether you're buying your first set of flatware or want to upgrade an old, tired set, we think the Lenox Portola Flatware Set is a great all-around choice. It has a classic design and is available as a 65-piece set, offering 12 place settings along with serving pieces. For a beautiful but more affordable option, the Pfaltzgraff Garland Frost Stainless Steel Set is a standout.
This is an excellent set for entertaining, so social butterflies, take note! With a design that bridges traditional and contemporary, it’s perfect if you want something that's neither too modern nor too conservative. Made with 18/10 stainless steel, it feels nicely heavy and well-balanced, making it a joy to eat with.
If you like these Lenox Portola pieces and want them for your dining table, you may appreciate the fact that you can choose from a range of options. For example, the 65-piece set comes in silver and contains 12 place settings consisting of a dinner knife, dinner fork, salad fork, dinner spoon and teaspoon, along with a five-piece serving set.
If you want a smaller Portola set, however, you could also choose from among several. For example, Lenox makes a 20-piece Portola set containing four standard place settings and a 24-piece set with steak knives. All are safe to go in the dishwasher.
In this budget-friendly 53-piece flatware set, you get eight place settings consisting of dinner knives, steak knives, dinner forks, salad forks, dinner spoons and teaspoons. It's an apt choice for those who entertain a lot because, alongside this, it features a five-piece serving set with a tablespoon, pierced tablespoon, cold meat fork, sugar spoon and butter knife (everything is 18/0 stainless steel).
The garland frost design features attractive patterns on the handles that are great for people who don't like plain flatware. Chore-avoiders rejoice: They're dishwasher-safe and never need polishing.
If you're looking for flatware with a classic design, this Mikasa set has gorgeous beading detail on the handles that makes it stand out. It comes in either all silver or a silver version with contrasting gold beading.
As a 65-piece flatware set for 12, it includes a dozen standard place settings plus a serving set. The quality 18/10 stainless steel is durable and heavy but not uncomfortably so. It might look fancy, but this set is dishwasher-safe, so you won't be stuck washing it by hand.
You have a number of options with this Oneida flatware set, including 65-piece, 45-piece and 20-piece versions. Think about how many place settings you need and whether you want a serving set. You can also buy dinner forks and teaspoons separately, which is good to know if you want to top up a set or replace lost pieces.
The high-shine finish on the 18/0 stainless steel looks great, and the dishwasher-safe pieces feel solid, so you won't have to worry about bending your spoon when digging into a hard tub of ice cream.
Fancy flatware sets aren't for everyone. This Pflatzgraff set is plain and simple — a good choice if you want something understated. It's made from 18/0 stainless steel with a polished finish that doesn't tarnish, so taking care of it is a breeze.
This is a 53-piece dishwasher-safe set with eight salad forks, dinner forks, dinner knives, steak knives, dinner spoons and teaspoons. If you like to host, you might also be pleased with the five-piece serving set.
Although it may seem simple at first glance, this set from a trusted German brand is anything but boring. It features an original standing knife design, contoured handles and gorgeous mirror finish to give your table a contemporary look. All pieces are forged from 18/10 stainless steel, making it a heavy, durable, well-balanced set that is bound to last.
It includes a standard service for eight plus a five-piece serving set with a serving fork, serving spoon, slotted spoon, butter knife and scalloped sugar spoon. It's dishwasher-safe, so there's no need to do the dishes by hand.
Simple yet contemporary, this set comes in three finishes: gold, black and copper. The pieces have a slight shine to them, but they are lightly brushed rather than being totally shiny or fully matte. They're made from 18/0 stainless steel and have a rugged titanium coating to help them last even longer.
The set contains four standard place settings, consisting of 20 pieces of flatware in total. Despite its striking good looks, you can pick it up for less than you might imagine. And it’s dishwasher-safe.
Designed for those who like flatware they can get a good grip on, these pieces have chunkier handles than many alternatives. The handles come in black, red, wood effect or multicolored, so whether you want something simple or whimsical, you have options.
This set cuts back to the basics: Each place setting includes a dinner knife, dinner fork, dinner spoon and teaspoon. You get eight place settings in total. The 18/0 stainless steel set also comes with a wooden flatware organizer that fits in a kitchen drawer. It’s dishwasher-safe but hand-washing is recommended.
With continental-style beading around the handles, this is the kind of classically beautiful flatware that wouldn't look out of place at the fanciest of dinner parties. It's made from high-quality, rust-resistant 18/10 stainless steel that feels weighty and nicely balanced in the hand.
The 65-piece dishwasher-safe set features 12 dinner knives, dinner forks, salad forks, soup spoons and teaspoons. It also comes with a five-piece serving set with a tablespoon, pierced tablespoon, cold meat fork, butter serving knife and sugar spoon.
Buyers who want something that stands out will love that this 18/0 stainless steel set comes in polished gold and copper finishes in addition to standard silver. It adds a touch of contemporary style to any dinner table.
The dishwasher-safe set includes four standard place settings, so it's great for small households and people who don't entertain much. And if you need flatware for more people, you could simply buy two sets.
Its modern, minimal design with heavily rounded spoons makes this set stand out from more conventional choices. If you're bored by basic silver utensils, you might be pleased to know this unique 18/10 stainless steel set also comes in a gold finish.
It doesn't just look good, it also feels heavy and balanced for a pleasant eating experience. Each set includes four dinner forks, dinner knives, salad forks, soup spoons and teaspoons. It's forged for increased strength and durability, and it’s dishwasher-safe.
Polishing flatware to a high shine may not be your idea of fun. As such, you might be interested in the matte finish options of this flatware set. It comes in matte gold, matte black and matte silver. However, if you don't mind the occasional polishing session, you can also pick mirror gold and mirror silver finishes.
The 18/10 stainless steel is durable and heavy, and the pieces are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. With 20 pieces in a set, you get four standard place settings.
Thanks to the eye-catching twisted handles and a mirror shine finish, you're sure to get compliments on this flatware set. Although it might look like the kind of flatware that needs careful hand washing, it's actually dishwasher-safe, so you can put away the dishrag.
This 18/10 stainless steel set contains four standard place settings consisting of a dinner knife, dinner fork, salad fork, dinner spoon and teaspoon. The utensils have a decent weight to them and are durable enough for everyday use.
With a choice of black or copper handles, this Ivy Bronx flatware is a striking investment. The 18/8 stainless steel pieces have contemporary designs, and the forks have just three tines, so they look different from many on the market.
The pieces are clearly beautiful, and they feel heavy and well-balanced — so you know you’re getting style as well as substance. The set is also dishwasher-safe, so daily cleanup isn't an issue. With this purchase, you get standard place settings for four.
Made from stainless steel with contrasting gold beading, these utensils have a traditional look with a European twist. The heavy 18/10 stainless steel feels nice and heavy while remaining well-balanced, so you can tell this is quality flatware as soon as you pick it up.
The 65-piece set includes 12 standard place settings alongside a five-piece serving set. If you entertain guests often, you’ll be well prepared; however, hand-washing this set is recommended.
Traditional flatware sets contain seven pieces for each place setting, but modern sets tend to contain five or fewer.
Here's what you would get in a traditional flatware set:
Of these seven pieces, most modern flatware sets only contain the dinner knife, dinner fork, salad fork, soup spoon and teaspoon. Some only contain four pieces per place setting, abandoning the salad fork. The soup spoon in modern sets is often referred to as a dinner spoon and is a multifunctional utensil you can use for soup, dinner and dessert.
If you want matching serving utensils, it's best to look for a flatware set that includes a serving set. You may also be able to find specialty pieces to match your flatware set, such as grapefruit spoons, demitasse spoons or crab forks, but you'd need to purchase these separately.
As mentioned, this guide focuses on stainless steel flatware because it's by far the most popular contemporary choice. However, there are a few other material options to consider.
While much less common today, mostly because of its price, silver flatware (or "silverware") is an elegant choice for formal dining.
Silverplate flatware looks similar to silver but is significantly cheaper, as there's only a thin layer of silver coating over a cheaper metal, such as nickel.
Pewter was a common choice for flatware in colonial America due to its strength and durability. Although seldom used today, some collectors love it for its attractive patina.
You might not have thought much about how your flatware is made, but there are two main construction types: stamped and forged. It's good to know the difference between the two, though it shouldn't be a major consideration when buying.
Weight is a great divider in the world of flatware. Some people love heavy, sturdy flatware, whereas others favor lightweight pieces.
If you're unsure about your preference, it's worth trying out some different options before you buy. If you like weighty flatware, forged pieces tend to be the heaviest, followed by stamped and, finally, those with hollowed handles.
To some extent, weight is also a sign of quality. While there is some sturdy lightweight cutlery, heavier pieces are often more durable. Expensive flatware is usually heavier, offering the same kind of feel in the hand as utensils used in a fancy restaurant.
Consider what kind of finish you'd like your flatware to have. Some flatware sets have a high-shine, mirrored finish. Some are completely matte. The rest fall somewhere in between these extremes.
There's no right or wrong choice, so choose whichever finish you prefer aesthetically. Keep in mind, however, that matte flatware has a slightly more contemporary look to it. So, if you're searching for something with a high-end-looking finish to wow your guests, you may wish to go with matte.
That said, highly mirrored flatware is also a striking choice. But, consider the downside: It will show smudges and watermarks much more clearly, so you'd probably need to polish it before company comes over.
While most utensils have a standard silver stainless steel finish, you can also find some with specialty finishes. Black, gold and copper are the most common, but you can find other color options as well, including bronze, rose gold and even rainbow finishes.
If you're bored of basic silver flatware, you might like to try an alternative color. Note, however, that color is added as an extra coating over stainless steel. As such, it can wear off over time, especially if you choose cheap flatware.
Looks aren't everything, but you'll be seeing a lot of your new flatware set, so it's worth spending the time to find a design you love. You can find everything from classic traditional sets to sleek modern ones.
If you're unsure what you want, you might prefer something simple with a standard shape and no engraving or embellishment. This type of flatware is timeless and unlikely to become dated or go out of fashion.
Traditional pieces are more likely to have embellishments, such as beading on the handles. If you know you like a classic style, this is a safe bet that wouldn't look too basic for a formal dinner. Modern designs often have non-standard shapes, such as slim, elongated knives and notably rounded spoons.
Most flatware is one piece; that is, the handles along with the tines of the forks, bowls of the spoons or blades of the knives are made from one piece of metal. However, some have handles made from plastic, resin or wood.
In most cases, one-piece flatware is more durable, but that's not to say you can't find flimsy one-piece options.
If you like the feeling of a bulkier handle, you might prefer wood, resin or plastic handles. However, flatware with wooden handles usually must be hand washed, which is bad news for anyone attached to using their dishwasher.
You might like the look of engraved or embossed handles, but bear in mind that dirt can get lodged in crevices over time, so these pieces would need more thorough cleaning.
Most forks have four tines, but occasionally, you'll find ones with three tines. This doesn't make any marked difference in how they pick up food. The primary difference is the appearance. If you like the look of three-tined forks, you have fewer options, but there are still plenty of great flatware sets that feature this fork style.
Don't leave your flatware soaking in water for long periods of time. Over time, this practice could lead to corrosion.
Acidic foods and liquids can gradually corrode your flatware. This doesn't mean you should avoid vinegar and tomatoes; just try not to leave dirty flatware sitting for days, covered in food.
Washing flatware by hand can help preserve its finish. Flatware with specialty finishes, such as gold or black, might be advertised as dishwasher-safe. Nevertheless, the finish lasts longer if washed by hand.
Dry your flatware as soon as possible after washing it. This helps avoid streaks and watermarks.
A. The price of a flatware set depends on factors such as the material and how many place settings are included.
$15-$30 will get you a basic stainless steel flatware set with four place settings.
$30-$50 can purchase anything from a single place setting of high-end 18/10 flatware to a basic 18/0 flatware set with 12 place settings and a hostess set.
$50-$100 gets you a good quality flatware set with 8 to 12 place settings. You might not find designer brands, but you are likely to get sturdy, long-lasting pieces.
$100-$500 buys a high-end 18/10 or 18/8 flatware set with 12 place settings and, usually, a hostess set. At the top of this price range, you find options from designer homeware brands. Here, the cost may have more to do with the manufacturer than a marked increase in quality.
A. A serving set (also sometimes called a "hostess set") is the name given to a collection of serving flatware that sometimes comes with a flatware set. A five-piece serving set usually includes a tablespoon, slotted tablespoon, butter knife, serving fork and sugar spoon, although this can vary.
A. Once you've got a decent set of flatware, display it by positioning the utensils correctly on the dinner table, particularly if you're having guests. With standard five-piece flatware service, the dinner fork goes to the left of the plate, the salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork, the dinner knife goes to the right of the plate, the soup spoon goes to the right of the dinner fork and (where applicable) the teaspoon goes to the right of the cup and saucer.
A. Yes, stainless steel flatware is dishwasher-safe, though it's best not to use citrus-based detergents.
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