Updated: Oct 12, 2016
Flatware Sets Reviews:
- What is flatware?
- Benefits of flatware sets
- How much do flatware sets cost? Which should I buy?
Everyone can use a good set of flatware (commonly known as silverware) and many of us get them as part of our wedding gifts. There's no sense in buying a good flatware set when you are single since you will probably never get much use out of it. Putting a quality flatware set on your wedding registry is a great way to get started as a married couple with the proper kitchen utensils. Flatware sets usually include what you would use to eat food with - butter knives, forks, spoons, etc.
We actually have 2 sets of flatware in our house, one nice set for formal dinners and parties and the other we use on a daily basis. The formal flatware set has sterling silver utensils and fine china while the lessor expensive everyday set has stainless steel silverware and ceramic plates. Flatware sets usually come in sets of five, although you can buy individual units if you need to replace one that broke.
The video below shows the basic functions of how flatware is made:
What to look for in a flatware set?
If you are buying a flatware set, start online to see the various patterns and styles that all the major manufacturers offer. Eventually go into a department store or a kitchen supplies shop to see and touch the actual flatware you plan on going with. You want to make sure the flatware is dishwasher safe so cleaning them is easy. We wanted to find the flatware sets in all price ranges so we read customer reviews on Cooking.com, Amazon.com, and in cooking forums on the Internet.
The top brands are Oneida, Wallace, Cambridge, Rogers, Reed & Barton, Gorham, Dansk, Lenox, Mikasa, Pfaltzgraff, Hampton, and Towle. You can find the everyday flatware sets priced at $50 or so at depepartment stores like Target and Wal-Mart but the more expensive flatware sets are sold through Macy's, Crate & Barrel and Williams Sonoma. Some of the older patterns can be found online for discount prices, but we found retailers selling cheap flatware sets as well.
If you do decide on a nicer flatware set, you may want to purchase a flatware caddy or chest to hold the silverware and store it properly. Below we discuss what consumers and experts think are the best flatware sets in all categories giving you prices, brand and model, and where to buy them. You can browse the up-to-date list of best-selling flatware here - we'll have links below to the recommended sets as well.
Best Casual Flatware Sets:
When you buy a casual flatware set it's really hard to go wrong with any of the brands you purchase. Oneida is the top seller in this category (and has long been the top name in flatware) with their stainless steel sets of 24-pieces, 53-pieces, or 65-pieces. When I lived in New England, we had a neighbor friend who worked for Oneida (New York) and got us started buying with them. We bought a fairly heavy, expensive set of silverware, which I think most people would have used for special occasions, but since we already had a "real" silver set for that, this Oneida set became our daily flatware.
Ten years later we still use the same set for everyday use (though a few pieces have been lost), though guests are sometimes surprised thinking it looks so nice. But hey, we paid for it, we may as well use it and enjoy it! It has held up well to countless dishwasher cycles and looks great. Flatware comes in many different styles, so we leave that up to you. You also have to decide how many place settings you need - usually, 4, 8, or 12. Go let's go with brands.
RECOMMENDED: Start with Oneida (see all selections and styles here). One option is the Oneida Satin Garnet Flatware for 12 (plus caddy), sells for about $120. These are oversize, heavy pieces, very elegant. Each setting includes the standard dinner fork, salad fork, spoon, knife, and teaspoon. It never needs polishing and is dishwasher safe, with lifetime warranty. Oneida offers other flatware sets for 8 for as little as $45, so browse the Oneida listing above if you want to see more.
RECOMMENDED: Our second choice in flatware is Henckels. More famous for their knives, they also make excellent silverware. The Henckels International Provence 45-Piece Flatware Set, Service for 8 sells for less than $100 -- excellent craftmanship and made of sturdy 18/10 stainless steel so you can use it everyday. To find the particular Henckel design you like best, browse the Henckel collection here (consider picking up a knife set - they are awesome).
To check out flatware sets and see what to look for - click the image below to go to video.
Formal/High End Flatware Set:
Fine flatware sets are more expensive than casual flatware sets and are often made with superior materials or offer more designs and accents to the pieces. Two of the better rated fine flatware sets per Amazon.com customer reviews are the Gorham Studio 5-Piece Stainless Flatware Set ($30 - 1 Setting) and the Lenox Eternal Gold 5-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Place Setting, Service for 1 ($44). I own an earlier version of the Lenox Gold set that is 18/8 stainless steel with 24-karat gold accents. You get the Lenox lifetime warranty, they are dishwasher safe, and it's easy to match this set with other Lenox dinnerware sets.
For a beautiful high end flatware set, we like the Reed & Barton Rathmore Silver plated 65-Piece Flatware Set with Wooden Storage Chest, Service for 12 ($420). This Reed & Barton flatware is elegant and very affordable when compared to other brands with similar features. Our last pick for formal flatware comes from Dansk. Their Torun flatware is absolutely gorgeous with a unique curved look. The Torun 5-Piece placesetting sells for $40 and is excellent for entertaining. You can find out more information on Dansk flatware online at Dansk.com.
Restaurant Flatware Sets:
We get lots of emails from people wanting to start a restaurant and they are looking for quality flatware sets that would look good in their restaurants. They are also concerned with price and flatware that can take a beating. For an excellent restaurant flatware set you should consider the Royal 20-Piece Flatware Set, 18/10 Stainless Steel. The mirror polished design will look great in any eating establishment. You will find this set in hotels and restaurants around America. The set includes 4 place settings - 4 dinner forks, 4 teaspoons, 4 tablespoons, 4 salad forks, and 4 knives. They are completely dishwasher safe and perfect for formal dining events or daily use. Lennox and Ikea also offer flatware that could easily be used in a restaurant environment.
More videos and resources are here on our Flatware Resource Page.
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