A good set of stainless-steel silverware is one of first things you buy for your kitchen, and most people rarely, if ever, replace it.
Whether you are purchasing a set of silverware for your new home, or looking for the perfect wedding gift for a friend, silverware is one of the most commonly used items in your household—a high-quality set is an investment that can last you a lifetime.
There are a few things to consider when buying silverware.
Here is a helpful guide to use when deciding which silverware set to purchase.
1.Deciding how many pieces to buy
Flatware can be sold as boxed sets or individual pieces, usually called open stock, which is convenient if you need to replace one or two pieces in your set.
Deciding how many pieces you should purchase depends on the size of your household.
A good rule of thumb is to have one set of flatware for every dinnerware place setting—12 is a commonly recommended number to have on hand to account for your household and any guests you’re entertaining.
It’s also best to have more flatware than you need in case a few forks and spoons become dirty throughout the evening and need to be replaced.
Most standard boxed sets sold at retailers include five pieces (a salad fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon, and teaspoon) and are packaged in five- or 20-piece sets, making them good for one or four place settings, respectively.
Serving pieces such as butter knives, cake servers, and pierced spoons are often sold separately.
2. Chromium and nickel percentages
Most silverware is made from a composite steel material; chromium and nickel are usually the main ingredients.
When determining a set of silverware's quality, you'll want to look at the chromium and nickel percentages, the latter of which adds luster and provides resistance to corrosion.
Stainless steel silverware sets are labeled with one of three ratios indicating the amount of chromium and nickel: 18/10, 18/8, or 18/0.
The highest quality is 18/10 (18% chromium, 10% nickel), and the lowest is 18/0, which has a negligible amount of nickel and is thus more prone to rust.
3. Is it forged or stamped?
There are two primary ways of turning stainless steel into cutlery: forging or stamping.
Forged silverware is made from a thick piece of stainless steel that's heated and cut to form each utensil.
Stamped silverware is cut like a stamp out of a piece of stainless steel.
Because of the heating process, forged silverware is stronger than stamped silverware, which is more flexible.
You shouldn't necessarily only buy forged silverware, but the difference (especially for knives) is something to take into consideration.
4. Selecting the type of finish
Selecting a finish is a personal preference.
In general, there are two main types of silverware finishes: satin and mirror.
A satin finish, also called matte, is less likely to show fingerprints and creates a more casual appearance.
A mirror finish has more shine than a brushed or matte finish, which gives it a more formal and classic appearance—perfect for dinner parties.
Finally, you should buy silverware that can be used in a variety of dining situations.
It is necessary to buy a silverware set that suits every occasion at home.
It is best to choose simple and elegant styles, and choose better quality, which means you will be able to use this set of silverware for many years.