The Various Types of Stainless Steel Flatware

By Fable Staff
The Various Types of Stainless Steel Flatware

It’s no secret that flatware is one of the most commonly used items in everyone's kitchen. Whether you are buying flatware for yourself or as a gift for someone you care about, there are a few important things to consider.

A premium quality set may be an investment, but it can also be used and passed down for generations. However, if you want a long-lasting set, you need to consider the specific material it's made with and how it is forged. 

At Fable, we intentionally design our pieces to transcend fashionable trends, creating pieces that are as timeless as they are elegant. Read on for our helpful guide to understanding stainless steel flatware.

 

The Difference Between 18/8, 18/10, and 18/0 Stainless Steel

One of the first things you may notice when purchasing stainless steel flatware is a few numbers underneath the description. However, what do these numbers even mean? 

Flatware generally comes in three different materials, stainless steel, sterling silver, or silver plated. Stainless steel flatware is the one that is used most often and is best for everyday use. It is made with chromium and nickel, which are represented by these numbers: 18/10, 18/8, 18/0. 

The first number, 18, represents the chromium content, which tells you how much it's resistant to rust and stain. The second number, 10, 8, or 0, represents the amount of nickel. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of what each of these means. 

  • 18/0 Stainless Steel: This the lowest grade of stainless steel flatware and is not made to last. The lack of nickel means that the steel doesn't have the same anti-corrosive properties as 18/8 and 18/10.
  • 18/8 Stainless Steel: This type of stainless steel flatware is not the highest grade, but is food-safe and durable. You can find this type in most restaurants and commercial kitchens. While 18/0 can crack, chip, warp, or rust relatively easily, grade 18/8 will last a lot longer.
  • 18/10 Stainless Steel: This type meets the top quality industry standards for stainless steel used in making flatware. It has the highest level of nickel. The percent of nickel relates to the overall durability of this grade of stainless steel. So the more nickel in the stainless steel flatware, the sturdier the steel. 

At Fable, our flatware is 18/10 stainless steel, and created to last a lifetime. It is also has a unique history. Our flatware is crafted by Herdmar in Caldas das Taipas, Northern Portugal. This family-owned company has been producing cutlery since 1911, passing down time-honored traditions and skills to the family members who work there today. It is also treated to last years of dishwasher cycles—but more on that later. 

 

A Breakdown of Different Flatware Pieces

Typically, several different kinds of flatware come in a set. At Fable, we have a 20-piece Flatware Set for four place settings. While some of these descriptions may seem obvious, you just may pick up some unexpected tips.

  • Dinner Forks: The dinner fork is the primary  fork used for eating main courses. You will want to have a decent amount of dinner forks in your kitchen since this piece is used most often.
  • Salad Forks: There are smaller forks in a set, and according to fine dining etiquette principles, you use these forks for salads and desserts. You may think you don't need a smaller fork, but they prove useful for dishes. 
  • Large Spoons: The larger spoon is a utensil that you will also use on a regular basis, like a dinner fork. This is the spoon people can use for meals like soup, chili, or oatmeal. 
  • Small Spoons: Similar to smaller forks, smaller spoons are great for eating desserts, spooning out sauces or condiments, or stirring drinks like tea and coffee. 
  • Knives: Knives are another essential utensil. Having a quality dinner knife for everyday use is convenient when eating meat, proteins, and other foods. 

At Fable, we offer premium flatware sets that have 3.5mm thickness, which is a high-quality weight for stainless steel flatware—and translates into a perfect feel in the hand.

 

Stainless Steel Flatware Care

Once you’ve acquired a collection of high-quality flatware, you’ll want to take care of it so it lasts for a long time. 

When you use your new stainless steel silverware, you can handwash it in hot water using a mild soap or place it in your dishwasher if it is dishwasher safe. If you are handwashing, rinse it thoroughly after use and then dry it immediately with a dish towel. 

At Fable, our flatware is dishwasher safe. To keep cutlery in the best possible shape, we recommend avoiding loading too many pieces  into any one basket and using a rinse aid to prevent water spots. If your silverware does get discoloration or water spots, you can use premium stainless steel polish to remove them as well. Try not to use strong cleaners or heavily chlorinated products on your utensils because these can cause corrosion.  

When loading the dishwasher, always place the knives in a separate basket with the sharp ends down to prevent them from scratching your other pieces. 

 

Other Helpful Tips

Pre-soak your flatware before washing for several minutes before placing it in the dishwasher for any stubborn stuck-on food. By breaking down the food residue that sticks to the crevices, you will help your dishwasher fully remove all mess. However, try not to soak your stainless steel for long periods of time because it may result in corrosion.

Stay away from using metal scrub brushes because they can also cause corrosion and result in scratches or scuff marks.

Don't mix stainless and aluminum or copper in the same load or soak it in containers made from these materials. Use either plastic containers or stainless steel containers because other materials may have chlorine, which speeds up stainless steel oxidation.

Try to dry your flatware as soon as possible, even when using the dishwasher. Remove it as soon as the dishwasher is done and dry each piece with a soft dish towel.

 

Gorgeous Pieces—They’re Worth It 

Purchasing a premium stainless steel flatware set can be a great investment for years to come. 

A high-quality set adequately cared for will stay looking like new. 

At Fable, we offer 20-piece Flatware Sets that provide four place settings. Each set includes dinner forks, salad forks, large spoons, small spoons, and knives, all made from the highest quality stainless steel—and, if properly cared for, designed to last a lifetime.



 

 

Sources:

Grades of Stainless Steel & What They Mean for Your Foodservice Operation | Get Melamine

Table Manners - Dining Etiquette | Etiquette Scholar 

Unsightly Rust Stains On Flatware Can Be Removed | The Orange County Register