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A Guide To Choosing Beautiful Flatware Sets That Will Be Enjoyed For Years

Christine O'Kelly
Aug 8, 2008
A good flatware set will last nearly a lifetime, but how do you know how to choose a good one? If you're looking for new flatware, this guide will help you decide which is right for you.

Stainless Steel Flatware Vs Silver Flatware

One of the biggest questions is whether you'd like a stainless steel flatware set or a set of silverware. There are many differences between the two so it's important to know your needs and wants before trying to buy.

Silver is much more expensive than stainless steel flatware. Because silver is a softer metal than steel, it is also prone to bending, as well as scratching and staining. Silver also requires regular care and maintenance and will tarnish if not polished, buffed and cleaned on a regular basis with a special cleanser.

On the other hand, stainless steel flatware requires little maintenance and is easy to care for. The materials needed for stainless steel are significantly cheaper and stronger, making the flatware more affordable and durable than silver.

Everyday Vs Formal Flatware Sets

If you've decided on choosing a set of stainless steel flatware, the next decision is whether you need everyday or formal flatware sets. An everyday set is designed for everyday use in mind. They are contemporary designs that are chic, while remaining casual. Everyday flatware sets are designed to be used frequently. The styles are more modern and there are a variety of patterns that will match many different types of table settings.

Formal flatware sets are meant to coordinate with a more formal place setting. The styles are classic and often are in a continental, or European pattern. They are timeless and meant to last a lifetime.

What Pieces Of Stainless Steel Flatware Do You Need?

Once you've chosen a set, you'll need to decide which pieces you need. A 20 piece set will come with four, five piece place settings, A 45 piece set will have eight, five piece place settings, as well as a five piece serving set. If the design you like is sold as a 20 piece set, it's a good idea to buy two or three so that you don't have to leave your guests to wash dishes in the middle of a dinner party.

A five piece place setting comes with a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, tea spoon and tablespoon. A five piece service set typically comes with a large serving spoon, a large slotted spoon, a large serving fork, a small sugar spoon and a butter knife. Also available are steak knives, cocktail forks, mini spoons, spreading knives, tongs for serving pasta and salad and fun items like ice cream spoons and a paddle to scoop ice cream. If you entertain on a regular basis, you may find many of these pieces to be a must-have item in your home.

Because flatware sets can last a very long time, it's important to choose a style that you love that will coordinate with many styles of table settings.
About the Author
Christine O'Kelly is an author for Gourmet Settings, a leading designer of stainless steel flatware. Gourmet Settings flatware sets can be found at such fine retailers at Costco and Bed Bath & Beyond.
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