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Your preference in Tines?

My husband laughs at me because at home, there is one specific fork I like to use all the time. It is actually a salad fork i.e. slightly shorter than an entree fork and it has narrow tines. His name is Small Tines.

I detest beyond all reason forks with wide short tines, esp when there are only three tines and forks that are wider than they are long. So imagine how I feel about sporks.

My ideal fork is:
- 5 narrow tines on a narrow fork (4 times will do)
- tines 4-5 times as long as the back of the fork (the bit between the tines and the handle).
- a flat handle (not a round, square or significantly 3-D shape of any sort)
- pointy not dull tines

Only my husband knows of my weird fork issues. But I got to wondering, does anyone else have strong feelings about the shape of their fork and what are your preferences. And who on earth does like those 'modern' forks that are all back and 3 blunt tines with a piece of twig shaped metal for a handle?

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  1. I hate three-tined forks. I don't really know why, but I have an overwhelming preference for a four-tiner.

    1. What a hilarious post! I too have fork "issues" but I think they are somewhat opposite to yours. I much prefer 3 tines -- but long thin ones (no, I don't like those ones with the fake twigs either). I definitely agree that they should be longer rather than wide and I too prefer a flat handle. When we were buying flatware, we found it difficult to find anything reasonably priced that had the forks I desired. So we settled for regular old long, thin 4-tined forks. To this day whenever we are at a restaurant that uses 3-tine forks, the H warns me that I'm not allowed to take one! :)

      1. The best thing about Chowhound is you realize there are others just like you out there. I too prefer salad forks, 4 tines and not too big. I even keep one in my desk drawer at work since everything in our shared kitchen are huge dinner forks or plastic. I think my husband is the only other person who knows this about me. Since we have more dinner forks than salad (where do they disappear to?) he calmly pulls a dirty one from the dishwasher and hand washes one for me whenever the drawer is empty.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Paladar

          <he calmly pulls a dirty one . . . >

          heehee, isn't it great to have a husband who understands.

          The "where is small tines" hunt is the last thing my husband does after he puts the food on the table for us. The little fella does get handwashed a lot!

          1. re: orangewasabi

            Oh orangewasabi, thank you for this post! I am so happy that others share my neurosis, I have always felt like such a weirdo, ha ha. When I was about 15 or 16, our family somehow wound up with three (and only three) of a certain type of fork. I found that these were the best forks I ever used in my life, and I only used those when I was at home. If they were all dirty, I'd wash one. The fork was smallish, with four NARROW tines, just shorter than a regular dinner fork. I, too, hate wide tines on a fork. Well, by the time I moved out for college, there were only two forks remaining, and mom let me take them with me. She would joke about my "little friend fork" which was, of course, embarrassing, and perpetuated my feeling that I was somehow batty for having a favorite fork. That was about ten years ago, and up until last month, I had one of those forks remaining. I am sorry to say that it was so short, I did not see it when I turned on the garbage disposal, and my favorite fork met its untimely death. It was all mangled when I pulled it out. Alas, i guess I'll have to live with the flatware I have now until I run across the perfect fork again, sigh.

            1. re: femmenikita

              I prefer long and narrow, flat handled, but what I really want is small. Husband and son get the dinner forks and I eat everything with the salad fork. I mean, it's going in my MOUTH, for Pete' sake.

              And in our house, forks are like socks in the laundry: always going missing.

          2. re: Paladar

            Count me in the school of people who prefer salad forks. At dinner I always set my place with the shorter four tined flat handled fork and my SO gets the longer version. He teases me and says I am selfish because I don't set his place with a short fork EVER for fear we will run out of cleans ones for my use before we need to run the dishwasher thus putting me in the position of eating with a long tined fork or washing a short one by hand. Obviously both options unthinkable, haha.
            Also, when at home, I use a teaspoon for consuming anything even remotely spoonable. I don't care for any larger spoons.

          3. After I moved to my new place last year I could not find my silverware. For the first couple days this wasn't an issue as fast food sustained me but heck, I had food in the fridge that needed to be eaten and I could not bear the thought of buying plastic.

            The one set of silverware I could lay my hands on was my grandmother's wedding silver. I'd never eaten with this silverware before but I polished one place setting and used it for dinner. It was a revelation in comfort and ease of use. The slightly curved fork handle lays perfectly in my pudgy hand and the 'stabbiness' of the tines is such that not an errant pea can roll without my catching it.

            Before unearthing the silver I'd preferred flat 5 tined salad forks for my meals but now my silverware is really silver. I love that it's my everyday set and I know my grandmother would be pleased even though it goes into the dishwasher.

            My forks, both dinner and salad are all named 'stabby.'

            1. I was grinning as I read this thread. I had to get up to go look at my everyday silverware, and realized when I looked at the dinner fork that it was specifically because of the design of the handle and the # of tines that I purchased this set.

              4 tines, which are two times as long as the back of the fork, narrow tines (which were an absolute MUST) and a flat handle - I detest round handles (but obviously use them in when in friends' homes).

              My stepfather had the same feeling (fetish? LOL) about an old set of my Grandma's knives - they were definite butter knives - long oval-shaped blades, with a bakelite handle (all of which had seen better days after being left in dishwater for too long over the years, and most of which ended up eventually cracking and being disposed of after he passed away). But if I was setting the table, he always had to have one of these knives, even if I was using the "other silverware". :-)