1. How much cutlery do you need?
With this in mind, a good rule of thumb to follow is that you should buy a little more cutlery than you would usually require as back-up for any scenario.
2. What's your budget for a cutlery set?
Before you begin to start looking at cutlery sets, it’s advisable that you set a budget beforehand, and stick to it as closely as possible. Some sets of cutlery will be well within your price range, whereas other, high-end examples crafted from silver and ivory may be beyond your means. However, because there is such an enormous range of good quality cutlery sets out there, choosing one that matches both your purposes and budget shouldn’t be too difficult.
3. What should you look for in a cutlery set style?
Any good piece of cutlery should be naturally comfortable to hold and eat with. This means that it will be well balanced as it sits in the hand with a weight that’s not too heavy, nor too light.
Depending upon the style of cutlery that you’re after, you’ll come across a broad range of intricate shapes, patterns and designs, each of which will offer a different perspective of the dining experience. It really is completely up to you with regards to which to go for, but it’s important to bear in mind that you’ll likely be holding these pieces several times a day for years to come. Therefore, simple is sometimes the better option.
There are many effective designs that are friendly on the wallet as well as the eye, often in full 56-piece sets. Additionally, because almost all household cutlery is made from at least 18/8 stainless steel these days, with a great deal of it a perfect 18/10, you can buy safe in the knowledge that the durability of your purchase will not be brought into question, no matter how low your budget.
4. Types of cutlery
Depending on the size of the cutlery set, you can expect to find anything from as little as the basic starter kit comprised of a spoon, knife and fork, right through to the bells and whistles of a 56-piece cutlery extravaganza. In the larger cutlery sets, you’ll find entree and main course knives and forks, salad spoons and forks, serving spoons, steak knives, cake servers and many others that you may well have never even heard of – but they all have a specialist use. Often, larger sets are presented in their own box, which not only adds to their elegance, but also offers a handy place to keep your cutlery to ensure it remains in top-notch condition.
5. How to care for your cutlery
Most cutlery is crafted in stainless steel, meaning that it’s built to last. However, it’s still important that you look after your cutlery to keep it in optimum condition for years to come. As cutlery is in constant use, proper care and attention can go a long way to ensuring that it is in as fine a shape as possible. Here’s how:
When you’ve finished eating with your cutlery, try and wash it as soon as possible afterwards. This will help prevent acidic foods from staining blades, tines or bowls. Dry them straight after washing to ensure watermarks are kept to a minimum, as well as stopping potential corrosion due to hard water or harsh detergents. Most modern cutlery is perfectly dishwasher-safe, but it’s still best that you dry it with a tea towel afterwards – though this may seem cumbersome, dishwashers can often leave your cutlery spotted.
Keep your cutlery in a tray lined with soft fabric to avoid scratches. Additionally, if you’re storing excess cutlery away for a special occasion, wrap it in tissue paper and then tie it in a plastic bag – this can help halt oxidisation.