A builder pal of mine once compared kitchen light fixtures and hardware to fine jewelry. I feel the same way about flatware, which is the table’s jewelry. I conducted a survey asking professionals from the hospitality industry about the design and maintenance of their everyday flatware.
I pondered the merits of each tool in my own extensive and varied (okay, chaotic) set of cooking implements. Even though many of them write about silver and silver plating, the flatware most of them use at home and in their restaurants is either antique or passed down through the generations.
Although many modern sets on the market are made from stainless steel, they are much more durable and easier to maintain than their vintage counterparts, many experts recommend going with a more classic set. What follows is a complete rundown of the best cutlery we could find.
Top 10 Flatware Consumer Reports: Editor Recommended
The 10 Best Flatware Consumer Reports Review:
1. Lenox 815486 Portola 65-Piece Flatware Set
- Service For 12
- Material: 18/10 stainless steel
- Mirror Finish
- Dishwasher safe
- Includes (12) 5-piece place settings and 5-piece serving set with serving spoon,...
The 18/10 stainless steel used to craft this set of Lenox flatware boasts a chrome concentration of 18% and a nickel level of 10%. Stainless steel relies on nickel to retain its luster via repeated uses in the oven, microwave, and dishwasher. (This set can go in the dishwasher.)
There are twelve 5-piece place settings and five serving tools in the set. The ergonomic shapes and understated beaded channel design of the bases make these serving dishes a pleasure to use. Our expert reviewer loves the flatware’s luxurious texture and simple elegance. She also liked that the set could be cleaned in the dishwasher without damaging the silverware and that it would not tarnish or corrode if kept dry.
- Sleek and sophisticated design
- Service for 12, plus hostess set
- Appropriate for casual and formal dining
- Possible issues with corrosion
- Only one finish option
2. LIANYU 20 Piece Silverware Flatware Cutlery Set
- Include 20 piece utensils, consist of 4 dinner knives, 4 dinner forks, 4 dinner...
- Durable, constructed by high quality rust-resistant stainless steel, durable for...
- Craft, mirror finished surface, simple appearance with no redundant annoying...
- Proper weight, proper gauge to hold comfortably, easy to clean by hand wash,...
- Useful, classic design to fit any tableware, perfect for daily use, gathering,...
This inexpensive set is perfect for everyone, from those just starting out to those who need a few extra pieces of flatware for a special supper. There are enough pieces to equip four people with a salad fork, dinner fork, soup spoon, teaspoon, and dinner knife. In case you’re in the market for something a little more interesting than standard stainless steel, the set is available in five distinct hues.
The stainless steel utensils are praised for their lightweight design and easy portability, but many reviewers also highlight the cutlery’ durability and ability to withstand many dishwasher washes. Not even a dishwasher? Because of the minimalist design, these can be cleaned in a flash by hand. Keep in mind that this knife is sharper than one might anticipate from a butter knife.
- Easy to clean
- Simple design
3. Knork Original Collection Cutlery Utensils
- Set includes Service for 4 (4 dinner forks 4 salad forks 4 dinner knives 4...
- Signature fork's Innovative design allows the user to cut through foods whether...
- Heavier weight balanced feel and a comfortable eating experience
- Modern sleek styling matte brushed finish, 18/10 hand forged stainless steel
- The ergonomic design of Knork contours to the natural grip of your hand and...
The founder of Knork, Michael D. Miller, was inspired to build the pizza slicer-like fork after a frustrating experience trying to eat a slice of pizza with a regular fork. He then created the distinctive Knork fork, which combines a knife and a fork, and can be used with either hand, thanks to its beveled outer tines and sharp points.
This set includes enough flatware to serve four people a complete five-course meal. They can be cleaned in the dishwasher. The ergonomic shape and well-balanced weight of each tool impressed our product tester. The flat, wide finger platform and ergonomic shape of the tools make them a pleasure to use. Each component is 18/10 stainless steel and is hand-forged using a 26-step process.
- High-end artisan appearance
- Ergonomically designed
- Beveled fork edge makes one-hand cutting easy
- Only serves four
4. Oneida B336045A Mooncrest 45-Piece Flatware Set
- 45-piece flatware set with service for 8; 8 each: salad/dessert fork, place...
- Also includes a serving spoon, pierced serving spoon, meat fork, butter knife,...
- Made of 18/0 stainless steel, the pieces are dishwasher safe
- Mooncrest pattern is understated and pairs with virtually any china and décor;...
- Backed by Oneida's 25-year warranty
Those who prefer a minimalist aesthetic will enjoy this flatware’s clean lines and understated design. This item is 18/0, which indicates that it contains 18% chromium to protect against corrosion and wear.
Reviewers agree that the flatware is well-made and won’t bend or break after repeated usage. There are enough forks, knives, and spoons in the set to service eight people during a sit-down meal.
- Outstanding price point
- Sleek design
- Rounded edges on handles
- Good for small hands
- Only one finish option
- Very casual
5. Robert Welch Radford Bright Cutlery Set
- BRITISH DESIGN - Radford Bright Cutlery Set, 24 Piece is formed from the highest...
- Set includes: 6 x Radford Bright Table Knife, 6 x Table Fork, 6 x Soup Spoon and...
- BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, ADDITIONAL CUTLERY PIECES AVAILABLE - The Radford Bright...
- LIFETIME GUARANTEE - All Robert Welch stainless steel cutlery comes with a...
- DISHWASHER SAFE.
This classic and refined cutlery is perfect for the minimalist who values simplicity. Some reviews have pointed out that its design will still look modern and classic in ten years, so you won’t regret buying it, and that the high quality will allow you to use it frequently. Its durability comes from the 18/10 stainless steel and careful forging technique.
You can acquire as many or as few place settings as you need with this flatware because it comes in five-piece, twenty-piece, forty-two-piece, and fifty-piece sets. The larger place settings come with matching steak knives and serving pieces.
- Classic design
- Comfortable to hold
- Nice weight
- Easy to clean
- Smudges easily
6. Ornative Rena 20-Piece Flatware Set For 4
【20 PIECE FLATWARE SET】: This set of high-quality, polished, dishwasher...
【HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL】: 20-piece dining silverware set is sturdy and...
【CONTEMPORARY AND FRESH LOOK】: Without any spots,smooth edges and nice...
【DISHWASHER SAFE & DURABLE】: This silverware set is dishwasher safe and...
【VERSATILE IN ANY OCCASION】: With delicate and elegant appearence,this...
This gold flatware set from Ornative has a clean, modern design that minimalists will like. The minimalist style and adaptability of this set make it a great addition to any table setting. And because it’s so cheap, you can get more than one set if you need to serve more than four people.
The forks and spoons in this set were praised by our reviewer for being exceptionally light. The tines of the fork are thin and robust enough to grip meat securely while you slice. The knife’s blade is slightly serrated, improving its cutting ability, and the handle is a little thicker than average, making it more comfortable to grasp. Some people may find it awkward to use the spoon because of the deep bowl and the large amount it can hold.
Even though our dishwasher-using tester reported that the pieces in this set still looked fantastic after being put through a cycle, the manufacturer does advise hand-washing in order to protect the set’s finish. Flatware that acquires water marks is readily cleaned with a dish towel or polishing cloth.
- Modern, minimalist design
- Gold color is eye-catching
- Extremely lightweight
- Soup spoon slightly uncomfortable to sip from
7. Hommaly Portable utensils silverware flatware set
- ✔8-piece Travel Silverware set with case- includes dinner knife, dinner fork,...
- ✔High Quality Utensil Set for Camping- Forget all those cheap plastic or...
- ✔Portable & Stylish - Not only design for convenience, but also with simple...
- ✔Eco-friendly & Easy to Clean- Say no to throwaway or single-use plastic...
- ✔Versatile - Stainless Steel Utensil Set for Camping, Travel, Office, College...
Those concerned about the environment may wince at the thought of eating their takeaway salad with a single-use plastic fork, but who wants to lug about a full set of silverware? Put to use this stainless steel set that can go wherever with you and be used again and again. Complete with two metal straws and a set of chopsticks for those sushi days at the office, this set has everything you need for a satisfying lunch at your desk.
The best part is that the bag the utensils come in is just as simple to clean as the utensils themselves, being waterproof and machine washable. Several reviewers praised this set, noting that the rainbow of colors was a welcome addition to their monotonous lunches at the office.
- Comes in fun colors
- Washable, waterproof carrying case
- Case has no loops or straps to hold silverware in place
8. Cambridge Silversmiths Poet Black Satin 20-Piece Flatware Set
- Made from 18/0 Stainless Steel
- Includes 4 each: salad forks, dinner forks, dinner knives, dinner spoons, and...
- Dishwasher safe. Avoid using abrasive cleaning agents such as steel wool and...
- 25-year limited warranty
This Cambridge flatware set’s satin finish will be a show-stopping addition to your dining room table. Each place setting comprises a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon constructed from 18/0 stainless steel that has been specifically treated to produce a flat black surface.
They are easy on the hands and don’t feel cheap, according to our tester. The knife’s serrated edge makes quick work of slicing through tough cuts of meat, and the soup spoon’s wide bowl can carry a lot of broth. Whether you’re eating salad, fish, or anything in between, you’ll have complete control thanks to the fork’s finely tapered tines.
You can clean them in the dishwasher, but citrus-scented detergents should be avoided, and a scouring pad or metal polish should be avoided when hand cleaning to protect the finish. Some spots remained after running the set through the dishwasher, but they wiped right off with a polishing cloth. The manufacturer recommends using white vinegar and rinsing the affected area with warm water to remove stubborn hard water stains.
- Sleek, modern design
- Dishwasher safe
- Cannot use citrus dish soap on them
9. Mepra Stiria Cutlery Set Brushed Stainless-Steel Finish
- DISHWASHER SAFE FLATWARE: Mepra cutlery is designed to be durable and completely...
- ITALIAN-MADE DESIGNS: Mepra is known for innovation in design, thanks to the...
- EXPERIENCE SOMETHING SPECIAL: The Studio Tecnico Mepra designed an elegant and...
- HIGH RESISTANCE CUTLERY: The dining cutlery set is made using Stainless-Steel...
- 20 PIECE CUTLERY SET INCLUDES: Available in brushed stainless steel finish, this...
Mepra is an Italian company that produces minimalist yet fashionable tableware. The Stiria collection is a sleek and contemporary set that feels great in the hand and shines brilliantly. There are 20-piece and 24-piece sets so you can choose the right amount for your family and friends.
These are made from 18/10 stainless steel, which makes them light and strong while maintaining a nice equilibrium. The included forks have slim, practical tines that are perfect for spearing salad leaves or holding meat in position for cutting with the serrated knives. The long, thin handles of both the soup spoon and the teaspoon were deemed a hit with our taste testers for their sophisticated feel and the comfort they provided during testing.
You can quickly return these high-quality items to their original condition by hand or in the dishwasher. A dish towel could be used to remove any stains. You can rest assured that this set will last you a long time because it is backed by Mepra’s limited lifetime warranty.
- Minimalist modern design
- Lightweight, but still feels like quality
- Dishwasher safe
10. Matte Black Silverware Set
- 【20 PCS FLATWARE SETS SERVICE FOR 4】:This silverware set includes 4 dessert...
- 【HIGH QUALITY MATERIAL】: Extra thick refine high quality stainless...
- 【SUPERIOR DESIGN】:Smooth surface and satin polish makes these tableware sets...
- 【DURABLE AND SAFE】:The silverware is dishwasher safe,also easy to hand...
- 【MULTI USE】: Modern and elegant flatware set perfect for wedding, Christmas...
This place setting combines modern finishes with a classic silhouette for a versatile blend of old and new. These attractive pieces, available in matte black or antique gold finishes, will look great with both sleek modern dinnerware and more traditional table settings.
Each set includes 20 pieces, including dinner and salad forks, tablespoons, teaspoons, and a dinner knife, for a four-person service. These are quite substantial in weight and feel balanced and comfortable to hold, according to our tester, though the knife edge is smooth and thus not quite sharp enough to cut through less tender meats. The tines on the fork are fairly thick, but they still spear well without feeling awkward. The spoons are comfortable in the hand and are ideal for soups and sauces.
This set is made of 18/10 stainless steel and comes with a 25-year limited warranty from the manufacturer. The gold finish on our tester’s pieces showed signs of wear after a run through the dishwasher, so hand washing (and drying immediately or else they will spot) will be the best way to preserve the finish on these pieces. In any case, the manufacturer does not recommend putting these in the dishwasher.
- Contemporary black and gold finish options
- Playful mashup of styles
- Stamped unibody construction
- Individual pieces aren’t available
- Hand wash strongly recommended
Buying Guide: What to Consider When Choosing Flatware
There are times when you need something more than a butter knife. Don’t be afraid to combine different pieces of flatware, such as a specialized steak knife. Nicole Paloux, whose home is sparse and decorated with Scandinavian accents, combines two sets: “Vintage Ekco Eterna Muffin Canoe that I slowly collected a complete set of on eBay, and a mix of colored Bon Appetit Single Steak Knives from Opinel (my husband is French so throwing some Opinel in the mix is obligatory).”
b) Storage and Quantity
My terrible habit of stuffing the utensil drawer to the point where it falls off the rails has forced me to hire TaskRabbits twice to fix it. You may want to ask yourself, “How many pieces of flatware do I really need?” if you have a lot of it but no place to put it. Is there a chance I’ll use all these salad forks? Rucker’s general rule is to stock the restaurant with enough items to fill it twice in one night, or “two turns.” This means that if I were to translate this to my home kitchen, I would have enough flatware to host two dinner parties in one night, with only one load of dishes needed from the dishwasher.
c) Material and Care
Stainless steel (typically 18/10 or 18/0, illustrating the percentage of chromium and nickel) is the material of choice for most contemporary flatware; however, several of the pieces featured here are hybrids, with stainless-steel heads and wooden handles. Mixed-media sets are typically more delicate, so they are best used at home rather than in a commercial setting. Having flatware that requires handwashing is inconvenient for me because I rarely wash anything by hand except the chopsticks that get stuck in the crevices of my dishwasher baskets, but I still wish for a full set of Langiole olivewood cutlery. Stainless steel flatware can be easily cleaned of any leftover soap residue by wiping it with a microfiber cloth. To restore the luster of silver and silver-plated flatware, you’ll need to put in a little extra effort or soak the pieces in baking soda. Think about how often you plan to clean your new flooring and select a material accordingly.
d) Ease of Use
You probably don’t think much about the forks and knives you use every day, but shopping for a new set brings new considerations: Do you want a heavier, high-quality 18/10 stainless steel, or something lighter? Is the handle comfortable? While most basic sets are ergonomically designed to be comfortably held and used, fancier and more design-forward sets may offer more to think about: Is a giant soup spoon, as striking as it is on your setting, something you (or your kids) will want to reach for? Do you prefer utensils with skinny stems, or perhaps longer fork tines for more European-style dining?
Even though most flatware sets are stainless steel, there’s still a considerable price range. Design and stainless steel grades have the biggest effects on price, with 18/10 being the highest quality and most expensive. But even an inexpensive set, with proper care, can last a long time. A basic set of stainless steel flatware can run as low as $20 for a set of six table settings and go up from there; unique finishes and designs can cause the price to jump to several hundred dollars for a table setting for six. But you can still pick up an investment-worthy setting for six for around $60 to $100.
i) What is in a 45-piece flatware set?
A 45-piece set of flatware typically includes eight salad forks, eight dinner forks, four soup spoons, four teaspoons, and eight knives. It also comes with a slotted serving spoon, meat fork, butter knife, sugar spoon, and a regular serving spoon.
ii) What does a five-piece flatware set include?
A salad fork, dinner fork, soup spoon, teaspoon, and knife make up a standard five-piece flatware set.
iii) How many flatware sets do you need?
As a rule of thumb, for everyday use at home, you should have twice as many flatware settings as there are people living in your household. A five-piece setting for four people is appropriate for a two-person household. That way, you can run the dishwasher without worrying about running out of anything to eat on.
Consider investing in a more comprehensive set, complete with serving pieces and extra place settings, if you intend to host dinner parties on a regular basis. If you plan on expanding or replacing some of the pieces of your set in the future, it makes sense to invest in a set that sells its extra settings separately.
iv) How do you set flatware on a table?
You may have noticed that the flatware is set out in a particular way in high-end restaurants, costume dramas on television, or at your cousin’s wedding. Setting a lovely table does not require a degree in table manners.
A person’s “daily” cutlery can look significantly different from one individual to the next. Though we still give some weight to how something looks when making a purchase, the importance of the material and the maintenance required for it have risen to the forefront when considering a new set of flatware.
Busy? In the food service industry, perhaps as a restaurateur or host of “pop-up” dinners? You’ll want a set that’s as durable as CB2’s and made of stainless steel. Having dozens of parties every weekend? You’ll want something durable and made of stainless steel, but you could also appreciate Kristina Brodie’s suggestion of a Jean Dubost Laguiole set to impress visitors with your masterful cooking.