what flatware should i register for

Michael Sullivan was an editor at the International Culinary Center in NYC before joining Wirecutter in 2015.

One of our picks, the Reed & Barton Dalton 5pc Flatware Place Setting, is currently unavailable. A representative from the company said it will be back in stock by late November.

Flatware should be anything but flat, and a good set can enhance your table at every meal, whether it’s a weekday dinner or a special occasion.

After handling over 300 forks, knives, and spoons over the years, we now recommend 11 sets in a variety of styles—modern, retro, classic, or formal.

Our picks meet our strict quality standards, but they also cover a variety of weights and prices, so you can find the best flatware for your lifestyle and budget.

Our picks will appeal to a wide range of people, but we know that choosing cutlery is a very personal decision. If none of our picks are to your liking, we’ve created a buying guide to help you confidently shop for a great set of utensils.

Regardless of what you decide on, we recommend purchasing a single five-piece place setting first to test a style out before committing to an entire set. We also have guides to chopsticks and steak knives if you’re looking to supplement your table settings.

Nickel is best, because it’s harder than brass and silver adheres to it well. The thicker the silver layer, the better the quality. Stainless Steel: Most everyday flatware is stainless steel, which doesn’t rust, tarnish, chip, or wear out. The best grades are 18/8 and 18/10.
what flatware should i register for

Muji Stainless Steel Cutlery

what flatware should i register for

what flatware should i register for

This affordable, well-made flatware can be bought open stock, so you can pick and choose only what you need.

It’s an affordable set. Muji Stainless Steel Cutlery is a good choice if you want a simple but durable set of flatware and don’t want to spend too much; these are roughly $7 per piece. The only set we recommend that’s cheaper is the IKEA Dragon 20-Piece Flatware Set, but the Muji set is heavier, thicker, and more durable; it’s made of 18/8 stainless steel, unlike the IKEA set, which is 18/0. It would be difficult to bend the Muji utensils with force.

Its pieces are well proportioned, with a clean, simple style. The rounded handles and slight taper towards the neck give this collection a classic look. The fork tines aren’t too long, and the bowls of the spoons hold a generous amount of liquid. The rounded knife blade was polarizing because it looks more like a butter knife than a dinner knife, but some testers noted that it would be a safer option for kids.

The pieces are sold individually, so you can pick and choose what you need. For instance, if you never use salad forks or teaspoons, you can create a set without them.

This set is only available in a matte finish. It’s still prone to developing the same patina as polished flatware, however, some people may prefer the muted finish and the lack of branding on the utensils.

Besides looking a bit too much like a butter knife, the knife blade required more effort to cut through chicken than others we tested.

The dessert fork and spoon are very small, so buying just three pieces—the dinner fork, dinner knife, and dinner spoon—may be more practical for some people.

This set felt very utilitarian to some testers, who wished it had a stronger design aesthetic.

  • Pricing: sold open stock, about $7 per piece
  • Finish: matte
  • Serving utensils: yes
  • Where it’s made: Vietnam

Heath Ceramics Muir Flatware

what flatware should i register for

what flatware should i register for

what flatware should i register for

This modern flatware set is made by an American manufacturer. Some testers loved the industrial-inspired design aesthetic, but it may not be for everyone.

This set has a strong design aesthetic. The Heath Ceramics Muir Flatware in Polished (5 piece setting) looks like it could be featured on the cover of a modern design magazine. Although it’s somewhat similar to the IKEA Dragon cutlery, the pieces are weightier and feel much more refined due to the subtle upward flare at the base of the fork and spoon handles. The set is polished to a brilliant shine (though it’s available in other finishes too) and has a substantial thickness the IKEA set lacks—you can’t bend this set, even if you tried.

You can’t deny the quality. It was designed in 2018 in partnership with Sherrill Manufacturing, America’s last remaining flatware producer (whose factory we’ve toured), and each piece is carefully hand-tooled. The weight and smooth surfaces on each piece make them a pleasure to hold.

The utensils are quite wide, which gives this set a cohesive look. Those who prefer large, wide cutlery will appreciate this collection. Many of our testers liked the flat handles because they rested nicely in their hands.

This set was more polarizing than most—some felt it reminded them of airplane cutlery or disposable to-go utensils. Others loved this set and said they’d be excited to eat with it.

The size and shape of the utensils aren’t the most practical, and if you like smaller utensils, these aren’t for you. Most testers said they’d use the smaller teaspoon as their go-to spoon. The spoon bowls are a bit shallow and don’t hold as much liquid as others we tested. The wide-set fork tines may make it more difficult to eat certain foods, like quinoa, which could slip right through the gaps. But we had no issue eating rice with either fork in this set.

The knife and soup spoon are a bit heavy, so these utensils aren’t as evenly balanced from piece to piece as others we tried.

The knife also required more effort to cut through a chicken breast.

Though this collection comes in amber and onyx finishes, we’ve seen how that type of coated flatware fades with use—and they’re over $30 more per set. If you’re spending this much for flatware, we’d stick to the polished or tumbled finishes—they develop a patina over time, but the finish will be more resilient than coated flatware.

  • Pricing: $82 for polished and tumbled five-piece place settings (color-coated sets cost more)
  • Finishes: polished, tumbled, amber, and onyx
  • Serving utensils: none
  • Where it’s made: Sherrill, New York

You may also like: IKEA Dragon 20-Piece Flatware Set

Wedding Registry Essentials – Things I Added To Our Registry


How many flatware sets do I need to register for?

How many place settings do we need? Start with enough to match the number of dinnerware place settings you registered for—usually eight to twelve. Choose five-piece sets, a collection with multiple place settings, or open stock, a la cart flatware pieces.

How much silverware to put on registry?

A basic flatware set commonly includes five pieces: a dinner fork, salad fork, dinner knife, tablespoon and teaspoon. Register for at least eight sets (more if you and your partner have an affinity for entertaining).

Is 18 0 or 18 10 better?

18/10 provides a brilliant lustre and a rust-resistant durable product which is easy to maintain. Whereas 18/0 offers an economical design with a short soft shine and zero nickel content; however, a zero nickel content means it can be prone to staining.

Do brides still register for silver?

If you do not have a silver pattern that may be passed down through your families, it is worth registering for silver,” says Augusta Cole, a wedding and event planner.

How many sets of flatware do I Need?

Flatware should be anything but flat, and a good set can enhance your table at every meal, whether it’s a weekday dinner or a special occasion. After handling over 300 forks, knives, and spoons over the years, we now recommend 11 sets in a variety of styles—modern, retro, classic, or formal.

How do I buy flatware?

Determining how many settings you need and how much you want to spend is the first step to buying flatware. Utensils are sold piece by piece (open stock), in preassembled box sets, or as individual place settings. Here’s how much you should expect to pay for each.

Should you buy a colored flatware set or an electroplated set?

If you’re smitten with the idea of owning a set of colored flatware, opt for a PVD-coated set rather than an electroplated set, because the coating is more durable. Flatware can also be electroplated, which means the pieces went through a process of chemically bonding one metal onto the surface of another by way of an electric current.

What should you consider when buying dinnerware?

Another consideration is how the flatware will look with your existing dinnerware: If your plates have a busy pattern, you may want to opt for flatware with simple, clean lines that won’t compete. Unless you’re getting two sets of flatware—one casual and one formal—try to find a single set that’s versatile for all occasions.

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