Spoons, forks, and knives are the three basic types of flatware, but did you know that there are various types of each utensil for different applications? This buying guide will analyze various flatware purchase considerations, such as grades of stainless steel flatware, types of flatware, and the application of each type, so you can choose the best flatware for your establishment.
“Flatware” is a term used to group different utensils, including spoons, forks, and knives, which are used on the table for eating and serving instead of kitchen tools. Flatware is commonly made with stainless steel, which is the best choice for everyday use as it is affordable, durable, and easy to care for. Flatware can also be made of sterling silver, but these utensils are not recommended for commercial use due to their high maintenance and high cost.
Types of Stainless Steel Flatware
There are four different grades of stainless steel flatware: 18/0, 18/8, 18/10, and 13/0. These designations refer to the percentages of chromium and nickel in the stainless steel alloy. Chromium is used in stainless steel to provide durability and resistance to oxidation and corrosion, while nickel is used to give shine to the flatware.
What does 18/10 stainless steel mean?
18/10 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel.
What does 18/8 stainless steel mean?
18/8 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
What does 18/0 stainless steel mean?
18/0 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 0% nickel. 18/0 flatware is magnetic, making it a good choice if you use magnetic flatware retrievers in your business.
What does 13/0 stainless steel mean?
13/0 stainless steel contains 13% chromium and 0% nickel. Most dinner and dessert knives are made with 13/0 stainless steel. This steel is ideal for forging blades to produce a sharp cutting surface while maintaining resistance to oxidation and corrosion properties.
The Weight of the Flatware
Restaurant flatware comes in four different weights: forged, extra heavy, heavy, and medium. Keep reading for information about the weight of each flatware type, so you can decide which is best for your business.
1. Forged Flatware:
Forged flatware is the thickest and most robust type of flatware. It is made from a single piece of thick stainless steel, creating the pattern on all sides of the handle instead of just stamped on the top. It is extremely durable and built to withstand any commercial environment while also fitting well in upscale restaurants.
2. Extra-heavyweight Flatware:
As our premium grade of flatware, extra-heavyweight utensils exude a level of quality commonly found in the finest restaurants and hotels. They feel exceptionally sturdy in the hand and are highly resistant to bending, in comparison to medium or even heavyweight flatware.
3. Heavy-weight Flatware:
Heavyweight flatware is more durable than medium-weight, doesn’t easily bend, and presents well. As a definite step up in quality from medium-weight, it is commonly used in casual fast-food establishments and many other mid-range restaurants.
4. Medium-weight Flatware:
Medium-weight flatware is the lightest among our utensils. It is primarily referred to as medium-weight in the industry but can also be called economy-weight and is commonly sought after by value-conscious buyers. Medium-weight flatware often bends easily in the hand and is commonly found in cafeterias, schools, and other institutional settings.
Types of Flatware and Their Uses
Now that you understand the quality and weight of flatware, the next step in choosing them is to learn the types of flatware and their uses. There are various sizes and styles of spoons, forks, and knives; and the chart below will guide you through each type that we have available.