Flatware

familyman

Super Member
I've made it 6 years out of college with a collection of flatware that is stolen dorm, donated parent and pilfered roomate. It has recently occured to me that it might be nice to look into a matching set, if for no other reason than for when company visits. The problem is that I know nothing about flatware. My brain associates Oneida as good, I really enjoy the heavy indestructable flatware that you can still find in really old diners. Other than that I'm clueless.
Does anybody have any knowledge of flatware that might be useful? Particular brands that you have or know about that are good or a good value? I don't really even know where to start.

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I am no enemy of elegance, but I say no man has a right to think of elegance till he has secured substance, nor then, to seek more of it than he can afford.

John Adams
 

The Gabba Goul

Elite Member
I'd look into getting two sets, one for everyday use, and one for special occasions, for the everyday ones, I dont see any problem with Oneida...but, for something a bit better, I'd check out Horchow (NM housewares offshoot)...they have all different varieties made by all different manufacturers...

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rojo

Super Member
My advice is to pick one of the Gorham sterling patterns from the Edwardian period and start collecting from ebay. The Edwardians were serious about silverware. You don't need to spring for complete 36-piece place settings. Pick what you use the most. I use my grapefruit spoons, chocolate spoons, sorbet spoons, pie forks, and fruit knives all the time. And of course table forks, soup spoons, dessert spoons, and medium knives. Some things I use only rarely, like tea spoons, but that's because I drink my tea "black."
 

Vettriano Man

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I recommend investing in a good old silver plated set from 50 - 100 years ago - they are far better made than modern plate and will last another 50 - 100 years and are durable for the dish washer. They can be found in local house auctions and are far cheaper than new. I grew up with 'Kings Pattern' as a child and have continued with it all my 52 years. [^]
 

DocHolliday

Honors Member
For your purposes, I'd suggest visiting your nearest Marshall's/TJ Maxx-type store. They often carry heavyweight flatware for $20-$30 for a setting for four. It's a good deal for everyday use, without the hassle of silver.
 

globetrotter

Super Member
I got an everyday set from ikea for pretty much nothing, and it is very nice. I inherited a nicer family set, but we don't use that much. I like the idea of buying on ebay, I just looked and there is some very nice early 20th century stuff there for pretty good prices.
 

Badrabbit

Super Member
quote:Originally posted by familyman

I've made it 6 years out of college with a collection of flatware that is stolen dorm, donated parent and pilfered roomate. It has recently occured to me that it might be nice to look into a matching set, if for no other reason than for when company visits. The problem is that I know nothing about flatware. My brain associates Oneida as good, I really enjoy the heavy indestructable flatware that you can still find in really old diners. Other than that I'm clueless.
Does anybody have any knowledge of flatware that might be useful? Particular brands that you have or know about that are good or a good value? I don't really even know where to start.

_____________________________________________________________________________
I am no enemy of elegance, but I say no man has a right to think of elegance till he has secured substance, nor then, to seek more of it than he can afford.

John Adams

I have the Michelangelo pattern from Oneida and IMO it is really quite stunning. It has good weight and feels good in your hand. Michelangelo is one of the more expensive patterns from Oneida (if not the most expensive) but I find that it looks good for nearly any occasion. It is stainless steel so it is fine for everyday wear but its ornate styling makes it nice for the more formal occasions (if you entertain, this versatility will come in handy until you can buy some real silver).


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If you are not ready to spend that kind of money on a set yet, I have to agree with the TJ Maxx recommendation. I have found some really good deals there. IF you have a Tuesday Morning store near you, they have a better selection than most TJ Maxxs and often for a better price.

I have also found some really good prices from this online dealer and the shipping was very quick.



While you are at it, you should really look for a nice set of forged knives as well. For knives, you can't go wrong with a set of forged Wusthofs (i.e. Classic, Grand Prix, or Grand Prix II). You can often pick them up piece meal at one of the aforementioned stores but you will usually get a better deal buying a set. If you don't cook a lot, a 5 pc set should suit your purposes. They are also often available at good prices on eBay.


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Women thrive on novelty and are easy meat for the commerce of fashion. Men prefer old pipes and torn jackets.
Anthony Burgess
 

VS

Super Member
If you're looking for a set with "diner heft", I have JA Henckels flatware which fits the bill. (Not all of theirs does, so buy this in the "meat world", not online. Hoteliers' supply houses also have heavy flatware.

I love silver, but I love my dishwasher too.
 

ChubbyTiger

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
quote:Originally posted by VS

If you're looking for a set with "diner heft", I have JA Henckels flatware which fits the bill. (Not all of theirs does, so buy this in the "meat world", not online. Hoteliers' supply houses also have heavy flatware.

I love silver, but I love my dishwasher too.

I agree. We have Henckles stuff, too. I'd also try looking at Mikasa (an outlet, if possible). Not the best stuff ever, but it's solid and will last a good long time. And it's cheap.

CT
 

Concordia

Elite Member
For a long time we had mixed sets of Crate&Barrel and similar OK /not great flatware, but had nothing between that and the good silver. So we went to Williams-Sonoma, which has some really nice patterns made from good quality stainless. They also have some good serving utensils in the pattern we eventually selected.



One tip when choosing a pattern-- try the fork, both in the eating mode and also the cutting position. Some fork designs just don't work very well.
 

tom22

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Oneida is a great answer. Polishing silver is exciting as polishing silver. But there are great bargains in old silver plate sets out there. Tiffany is Tiffany but at plus $500 a place setting wait for the marriage gifts.
 

ChubbyTiger

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Polish silver? Whyever would one do that? Here, my electrochemically challenged compatriots, I shall regale you with a method both quick and painless for turning tarnished silver into untarnished silver without stripping any of the silver away (which polishes do). ;)

Seriously, line a pan with aluminium foil. Add enough water that it will cover the silverware (one layer, please) and put in some salt and baking soda, maybe a tsp or two of each. Heat to almost boiling and add silverware. If you've got silver knives which have glued handles, don't get the water all that hot, it just makes the reaction faster. Anyway, watch the black stuff go bye-bye. Give everything a quick rinse so the salt doesn't leave marks all over the silverware. Voila.

CT

In case you're interested, you are causing an electrochemical reacion whereby the silver gets reduced from Ag(I) (silver missing one electron) to Ag(0) (silver metal) and oxidising the aluminium foil in the process. Oh, you'll likely see some bubbles, that's hydrogen gas and no big deal. You may also smell something akin to rotten eggs. That's hydrogen sulphide forming. The black tarnish is silver sulphide and the sulphur has to go somewhere, too, hence hydrogen sulphide and the faint stink.
 

familyman

Super Member
Thanks for all the comments, I've got a few things to think about now. Most importantly I've shown this thread to my wife and that's opened a dialoge about possibly getting new flatware. That in itself was a mojor accomplishment. Now for the searching and looking, the fun part.

_____________________________________________________________________________
I am no enemy of elegance, but I say no man has a right to think of elegance till he has secured substance, nor then, to seek more of it than he can afford.

John Adams
 

irishboy

New Member
We have two sets as well. Our everyday set is Oneida community stainless and has held up very nicely for over 10 years in the dishwasher. It can be purchased reasonably in the Betty Crocker Catalog at a discounted rate using points from cereal boxes, etc. (I thought you might appreciate this family man as a family man myself :) We have an inherited set of Westmorland Sterling from the 40's that is beautiful, but a lot of work when it's time to use it. However, I may try CT's method. It's a lot easier than polishing every piece. By the way, the Betty Crocker thing is a catalog (also with a website) from General Mills.

https://www.bettycrocker.com
 

rojo

Super Member
The more often you use sterling, the less often you have to polish it (or "clean" it using our friend the Chubby Tiger's method, but I am afraid that any pieces with oxidizing applied at the factory to enhance the pattern would be in danger of losing it). The only places I have trouble with tarnish are the bowls of the soup spoons (presumably because of the sulfurous onions in most of the soups I make) and the very tips of the tines on the table forks. It's certainly not necessary to polish every piece. Pieces that aren't in regular use do need to be stored properly to prevent tarnish.
 

richinflux

Starting Member
Since you've mentioned that you were looking for the kind of heavyweight flatware found in diners, I'll assume what you are looking for is stainless and not sterling. Diners get their flatware from restaurant supply dealers and that's where you should look. I prefer very heavy weight flatware. It just feels better in my hand. Most of the stuff sold in stores as "heavyweight" wasn't heavy enough for me.

Here's one collection:



I'm sure you could find others. Go to restaurants and diners, check out their flatware and if you see something you like, ask them where they buy their stuff. Many suppliers only want to sell by the gross, but some will take smaller orders. Good luck.

-Rich

--
Everything should be first-rate in a person, his face, clothes, soul and thoughts. (Anton Chekhov)
 
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