Flatware to complement any table

The perfect complement to any dinnerware set is a high-quality cutlery set. The term cutlery includes the basic utensils you use to eat or serve food – namely forks, knives and spoons. You might find cutlery sets under a different name, such as flatware or silverware, but there is no significant difference between cutlery sets, flatware sets or even silverware sets. The only differences you need to be aware of when choosing your flatware are listed below.

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Flatware Cost and Composition

There is nothing more elegant than a set of authentic sterling silverware, particularly if it's a set of antique silverware passed down through the generations. Unfortunately, if you don't have your great-grandmother's coveted silverware chest at your disposal, purchasing new sterling silver flatware may not be in the budget.

But don't despair! There are numerous discount flatware options that don't leave you stranded when it comes to style. Stainless steel silverware can be just as elegant as sterling silverware, but for a much more reasonable cost. And you certainly won't have to compromise on design if you're buying new stainless steel silverware sets. These days, styles range from classic antique sterling flatware patterns to oversized and simplistic modern silverware patterns that suit a less traditional dining room table spread.

If you're really concerned about getting the traditional look, many middle-priced cutlery sets come in elegant flatware chests, so you can have all the look of an authentic antique set. And best of all, unlike Grandma's silverware, these pieces can go in the dishwasher!

While discount silverware can be a lifesaver, remember, it never pays to go too cheap. Be sure to test flatware in the store by picking it up to feel its weight. Stainless steel flatware comes in different thicknesses, and something that is too flimsy will bend easily. You may find yourself having to replace it sooner than you'd like.

Additional Pieces

Your cutlery needs don't have to stop at forks, knives and spoons. Other essential pieces you might include are soup spoons (which are included in some but not all flatware set options), specialty items such as a silverware caddy, shellfish forks or butter spreaders, and of course, a set of quality steak knives.

Keep in mind, when buying your steak knife set, the same rules apply as with a flatware set. A good steak knife will be heavy in weight with a sturdy blade that won't bend when cutting into tougher meat. Stainless steel is known for its durability, which makes it an excellent composition material for a steak knife. Look for designs with comfortable handles for an easy grip and a slightly serrated blade for precise cutting and easy slicing. You'll also want a knife block so your knives stay sharp and protected.