Buying Guide: Cutlery
When looking to invest in cutlery the best starting point is a set.
You will need to consider the size of your family or the number of people that you are most likely to be catering for in one sitting to ensure that you are buying enough pieces to meet your needs.
A basic starter set would start at 24 pieces and would typically include a setting for 6 people with knife, fork, spoon and teaspoon for each.
Our most popular set would be the 56 piece set which typically includes a setting for 8 people and includes a dinner fork, knife, spoon, dessert spoon and teaspoon.
More often than not loose pieces are also available in major designs to that you are able to add/ replace as you need.
What to look for:
When choosing a cutlery set each piece should feel pleasant to hold and eat with. It should have good balance in the hand, a comfortable weight and shouldn’t be too big.
There are three main materials used in the production of cutlery;
Sterling Silver: traditionally used for formal dining, can also be used every day to transform any meal into a special occasion. Composed of more than 90% silver, this valuable cutlery option resists scratching and breaking, and is designed to last a lifetime.
Silver Plated: a cost effective production material and method. Silver plated cutlery is usually made of brass, nickel or stainless steel and finished with silver plating. The thickness of the plating will vary from pattern to pattern.
Stainless Steel: The common forms of stainless steel used in cutlery include 18/10, 18/8 and 18/0 and this refers to the percentage of chrome and nickel in the alloy. The first number refers to the percentage of chrome, added for durability and greater resistance to corrosion. The second number refers to the percentage of nickel, used to give cutlery a soft sheen similar to silver. 18/10 is considered the most hard wearing and luminous or these three options.
What type of design are you looking for?
Keep these basics in mind to make narrowing down your choice a little bit easier: Pair simple cutlery with casual dinnerware and more intricately designed sets with formal diningware. Modern dinnerware sets deserve sleek forks and knives, while classic patterns beg for more traditionally designed flatware like those with swirls or floral filigree designs.
Hollow Handled – made from three pieces, hollow handled cutlery offers excellent balance and a lightweight feel when in use.
Stamped – these handles are produced when a pattern is stamped onto a single piece of metal, resulting in flatware with a solid, hefty weight.
Forged – this cutlery is heated and then struck to produce simple, clean patterns. Similar to stamped handled cutlery, forged pieces are comprised of one piece of metal and have a heavier feel.
Ideally pieces should be rinsed as soon as possible after use. This will help to prevent and staining or acid build up. Drying right away will also help prevent spotting on the pieces.
For stainless steel cutlery, dishwasher cleaning is more than OK. The only challenge with this method of cleaning is that there may be some spotting on the pieces as they are not dried straight away after cleaning. To avoid this wipe your cutlery with a tea towel when removing from the dishwasher or hand wash and dry.
If you own silver plated cutlery then this should not be washed in the dishwasher. The silver will lose it’s shine and eventually wear off or even turn blackish.
If you have invested in expensive cutlery, storage is very important for these pieces. Ideally you will store these in a felt lined cutlery tray and even consider wrapping in acid free paper to prevent oxidising.