The Surprisingly Frustrating Quest for Good Silverware

published Sep 10, 2013
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(Image credit: Gabriela Herman)

I didn’t give much thought to my flatware set until I realized, quite suddenly, that I really disliked it. The dull forks do a terrible job of spearing food, the knives are bottom-heavy and always fall off the plate, and the spoons… well, the spoons are okay. After talking to my fellow editors about this problem, I realized this is a common complaint. It’s really hard to find a good set of silverware.

I got my Gourmet Settings silverware set from Target 10 years ago. It’s made of 18/10 stainless steel, which is good, but the design and functionality is off. Lest you think it’s just the cheap stuff that annoys, think again. “I have a set from Williams-Sonoma — it’s really beautiful and I use it for dinner parties and photoshoots, but it’s not my favorite,” says Emma. “It’s heavy and the wells on the spoons are too deep, which makes it hard to actually eat with them. The forks are too skinny, which makes it hard to scoop anything. Also, the small forks are too dainty while the big dinner forks make me feel like a caveman.”

That’s Emma — speaking truth to silverware, and she’s totally right. It’s the little things that really start to bug you after awhile: the uncomfortable hold, the too wide or too narrow wells, the dull edge, the unbalanced weight. Who knew silverware could be so troublesome!

There are a few sets our editors have found that they really like, though. Faith has and recommends this 5-piece set from Gorham. “It’s weighted right and comfortable to hold,” she says. Emma also has a set similar to Oneida’s Marquette set that she uses everyday, and loves. “The spoons are an appropriate well-size, they’re not too heavy or too light.”

But even that set doesn’t compare to the spoon. (I’m sorry —THE spoon.) “My absolute favorite spoon is an Oneida one [from this Julliard set] that I accidentally stole from the lunchroom at an old job and love so much that… I kept it,” says Emma. “There I said it. I kept a stolen spoon.”

The things we do for flatware.

Are you super frustrated with your silverware? Or do you have a set that you absolutely love? Since I’m on the hunt for new flatware now, I’d love to hear your recommendations!

(Image: Gabriela Herman)