53 Best Flatware and Silverware Sets 2021 | The Strategist

Photo: Mark Mattock

Flatware is not especially easy to shop for online — or in general, for that matter. There is just a lot to consider: weight, style, materials, dishwashability … and much of it looks so similar. So we decided to piece together a guide that would both help a novice know where to start and surface unusual sets for those who want something beyond the basics for a wedding registry or cutlery-drawer refresh. Most modern flatware is made of stainless steel, making a lot of it more affordable than the silverware of yore. Dung Ngo, the editor-in-chief of August, a design-and-travel journal and small press, says that stainless steel actually “democratized cutlery for everyone.” Ngo, a flatware collector who runs an Instagram account dedicated to utensils, explains the change from silver to steel followed the advent of the Bauhaus and other early 20th-century design movements that celebrated everyday substances like plywood, plastic, and stainless steel. If you’re not going with actual silver, we found, it’s best to try pieces made with 18/10 stainless steel — “the safest option if you want heft and something that will stand up to daily abuse,” according to Kelsey Keith, the editorial director for Herman Miller. The 53 sets below include something for most everyone, from traditional silverware, to traditional-looking (silver-colored) flatware made of stainless steel, to some rainbow-colored utensils beloved by writer Chloe Malle, to the official flatware of the 1972 Munich Olympics, which Ngo calls “the Rolls-Royce of cutlery.” Beneath all the sets, there are also standout singles — from soup spoons to knives with circular heads — for those who like to mix and match.

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