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What should I know about stainless flatware

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My old stainless flatware, Easton by Oneida, has become worn and I have lost pieces after the roughly 15 years I have owned it. I am pretty happy with its service, but I am ready for a new pattern. I found an online retailer, http://www.onlinestainless.com/ that has very extensive offerings and what seem to be good prices.

I understand that stainless flatware can be 18/0, 18/8 or 18/10, with the last ratio being the hardest. Does anyone who has 18/0 or 18/8 stainless flatware have probs with these metal blends? I can't help noticing that Henckels and Cuisinart carry lower priced sets and place settings. How do they do that? Is the quality that low?

I am interested in good stuff at a good price. I would like to hear from anyone who had good knowledge along these lines. And if you've bought from onlinestainless, I'd like to hear from you too!

Thanks in advance.

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  1. 18/10 means 18% chromium and 10% nickel. The 18% chromium is what makes stainless steel - stainless. Without chromium, the steel can oxidize and rust. I don't know if the nickel is supposed to make the flatware hard. My understanding is that the primary purpose for nickel is to make the stainless steel bright and shiny and maybe even a bit more stainless. If anything high nickel actually makes the steel soft, not harder. A good example is the knife. Even when you buy a 18/10 stainless steel flatware set, the blade of the knife is not 18/10 because that would make the knife blade too soft for cutting. Try this. Get a refrigator magnet, and test your 18/10 Oneida flatware. What you will probably find is that most of the flatware are nonmagnetic, except the knife blades. I am guessing your knife blades response to the magnet.

    18/0 stainless steel is the cheapest and 18/8 is in the middle. Any stainless steel flatware you find in Walmart or K-Mart is likely to be 18/0.

    In term of just pure functionality, they all work fine really. I have cheap 18/0 flatware from Walmart and Target and I have 18/10 Oneida Stiletto and they all work. Yes, the cheap flatware from Walmart and Target seem to be a bit easier to blend, but that is because they are much thinner. The 18/0 fork is less than half as thick as the 18/10 fork, maybe only a-third as thick. So I don't believe it is the grade of the metal makes it soft.

    1. Look at overstocks.com. I got a very nice set of Hampton Forge 18/10 last year. I don't see the exact set I got, but some similar ones. They also have some nice Oneida, Villeroy & Bach, and others.

      1. George Jensen makes superb ss flatware. I've had mine for 30 years, use it daily, have never gotten bored with the style & the lasting-quality is unimpeachable. It is expensive but imo completely worth every penny.

        http://tinyurl.com/2bkl2l2

        3 Replies
        1. re: fauchon

          Georg Jensen stuff looks wonderful, but I think it is more than I want to pay. I need around 8 place settings plus serving pieces. If you know of an Georg Jensen outlet. . .

          1. re: sueatmo

            An outlet? I wish...

            But try ebay + estate sales...

            OTOH if you only "think" it's more than want to pay, maybe you could start with 4 settings, then add as you go along. I don't think you'll regret your purchase. I certainly haven't & if my GJ ss should somehow disappear, I'd replace it in a heartbeat & use the "go slow & gradual" approach. It was MUCH cheaper when I bought it so many years ago but those days are gone...

            1. re: sueatmo

              Its math. If the set lasts 30+ without rusting or getting bored, at euros 290, 16 piece set (4 servings) equals 9.67 euros per year for a high quality elegant set. Double that and it is 20/year. Not bad at all, especially when most things are made in China now and are not the quality we are paying for….replacements regularly.

          2. Maybe someone can fill in the details of what happened to me? I'm horrible at chemistry and reactions with steel and soap and whatever.

            When I tried to get by on cheap flatware, like $20-25 for four place settings, it got rust stains out of the dishwasher. The worst was in between the serrated ridges of the knives, they took forever to get out. But they'd get random stains on the handle or something too.

            I got fed up and threw that set out. I've since upgraded to Oneida's Juilliard and have no stains at all, even when I leave them wet in the sink for days.

            Anyway, if someone knows what kind of steel I bought that rusts so easily, I'd obviously recommend not getting that kind. It's not even worth using the dishwasher since inspecting each individual piece for stains is more work than just hand washing them.

            9 Replies
            1. re: suigeneris

              Maybe Chemicalkinetics will fill us in, but I'm guessing there wasn't enough nickel in the steel. The nickel is supposed to prevent rusting, I think. Do you happen to remember the brand? Some of the stainless have lifetimes warranties against rusting or other inherent flaws, I think.

              There will be more staining in the immediate future because phosphates are not being used for dishwashing detergent any more. I think cleaning might get better in the next year or two, when the phosphate free formulas are improved.

              I was thinking that the prices of the Henckels and the Cuisinart looked just too good to be true.

              1. re: suigeneris

                I just bought a large amount of 18/10 Oneida and when reading the paperwork that came with it, it said not to use dishwasher detergent with lemon/citrus scent. Apparently, it can cause discoloration and pitting. That was news to me but I have been following the recommendation as I have a substantial amount invested.

                1. re: baseballfan

                  "it said not to use dishwasher detergent with lemon/citrus scent. Apparently, it can cause discoloration and pitting"

                  Yes. Several citings have mentioned this:

                  "I had the same problem & was told it is cause by using dishwasher soap with lemon (or citrus) in it, since I have stopped using it I have not had a problem."

                  http://www.thathomesite.com/forums/lo...

                  "The rust spots started to appear on the blades of my 18/10 knives from a set of Wallace flatware which I have had for a few years and never had a problem with . I tried to think of anything that may have changed. I started using a rinse agent a few months back and this is the problem. It's lemon scented and I know that lemon is bad for knife blades!"

                  http://www.finishing.com/184/86.shtml

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Thanks for the links. Like I said, it was something new for me but it makes sense. I'm glad to know now so I don't ruin my new flatware.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      ChemicalKinetics [quoting baselallfan]: "'it said not to use dishwasher detergent with lemon/citrus scent. Apparently, it can cause discoloration and pitting'
                      "Yes. Several citings have mentioned this"

                      Oh, good grief. And phases of the moon. And Tarot cards. The citrus scent in most consumer products comes from lemongrass, not from lemons.

                      We have very soft water, which should increase any effects from citrus scenting agents, and we have used Citrus Cascade Crystal Clear rinse agent in our dishwasher for years and years and years; and our stainless flatware never has shown rust or spots or ... anything other than shine.

                      Blaming fragrance agents (a tiny percentage of formulations that, in turn, are diluted many times by the wash water) is tilting at windmills.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I know that this is an old thread but one large point missing here is-----the quality of the S.S.. Just because it is marked 18-0, 18-8 or 18-10, there is no guarantee that the steel has been blended well and there are no hot spots of the constituent metals or impurities. The established makers, like Georg Jensen, W.M.F. , Oneida( likely) have a vested interest in using steel from a highly reputable supplier. Others , coming forward with budget lines are no doubt using the lowest priced raw stock ,they can get their hands on. These steels will pit and stain , react to salt and acids because they have impurity pockets. I've seen holes develop right through cheap chef's knives , supposedly made of 440 stainless.

                        1. re: omgivore

                          I haven't seen the weight or finish on Oneida or W.M.F. with 18/10 that I found on my Yamazaki. You're right that the numbers don't tell the whole tale.

                          1. re: omgivore

                            My final choice, Aquatique Ice by Yamazaki is performing very well. I am not sure why I need to worry about hot spots. But your concerns were not mine when I posted this. I was interested in buying better stuff, not budget stainless.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              So your ice finish didn't scratch up or off? NICE! I have the polished Aquatique, which is discontinued, so had to buy a few replacement pieces from replacements.com. I love how shiny mine is after more than a decade, and how the weight of it feels in hand.

                    2. You may want to check out Revolution by Sherrill which is made in the US at the old Oneida location in Sherrill, NY. Sad that Oneida moved everything out of the country.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: SanityRemoved

                        How about a link? I can't tell from your post if Sherrill is the mfg. or part of the name of the pattern?

                        Thanks for your post!

                        1. re: sueatmo

                          Sherrill is the manufacturer. http://www.sherrillmfg.com/index.asp
                          I can't figure out if they are currently manufacturing new stock at this time or not. They were an independent supplier to Oneida but that contract ended.
                          Their products can be found here: http://www.silversuperstore.com/revol...

                          Time will tell whether any Oneida pattern is safe in regards to future availability and quality. Many believe the quality has already suffered.

                          It's hard to tell if dish washing detergents are to blame or we are seeing a decrease in the quality of flatware.

                          1. re: SanityRemoved

                            They have removed phosphates from dishwasher detergent. I have noticed some staining on my old stainless. I don't know about Oneida, really. I bought my present flatware ages ago.

                            Thanks for the link and info. I do intend to buy a complete set though. I don't like to think of needing to buy more and it not being available, or available for more than what it is really worth.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              sueatmo: "They have removed phosphates from dishwasher detergent."

                              Not yet, but it is in process, and thank goodness.

                              "I have noticed some staining on my old stainless."

                              No relation to the removal of phosphates from dishwasher detergents.

                              1. re: Politeness

                                I don't actually know, but a story I heard on NPR very recently indicated that phosphates had been removed, at least in some areas of the country.And I agree--its about time. However dishes aren't getting as clean apparently. Frankly, I haven't noticed much difference here. So perhaps this hasn't reached MO yet.

                      2. I appreciate the info I received when I started this thread. I have looked at the Silver Superstore online, and I did order two pieces of Reed & Barton which are right in the top of my price range. I wanted to see how I liked the pieces before spending approx. $500 for 12 place settings + serving pieces. The shipping from Silver Superstore was fast. I got emails updating my shipment. i would feel fine about ordering from this company.

                        Howerver this rather pricey stainless flatware scratched the first time it was dishwashed! I realized later than we had placed it in the flatware basket handle down, instead of handle up. But neverthless, to scratch noticeably after one dishwash is disappointing. We are not spending $500 for stuff that is that fragile.

                        How do you care for your stainless flatware? Obviously it all scratches. My old stuff is scratched all over. But what is reasonable to expect? Any ideas?

                        37 Replies
                        1. re: sueatmo

                          A little scratch is expected. It is not going to look brand new forever. In my experience, high quality 18/10 stainless steel flatware remains their look better than cheaper 18/0 flatware. As mentioned, I do not use dishwasher, and certainly not these expensive flatware.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            We use a dishwasher. The scratches weren't little. They were noticeable. For 12 place settings + serving pieces $500 is not awful. You can pay more. But obviously you can pay less too. I don't like handling thin flatware with sharp edges. So the solid 18/0 with no nickel doesn't resist scratches better than the stuff with nickel? I noticed that the knife blade was solid stainless with no nickel.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              Let me back up. 18/0 is as functional as 18/10 and is probably no worse in term of scratch resistant, maybe even better. 18/10, however, is more corrosion resistant and it maintains a bright shiny look for a long time.

                              Yes, even the so called 18/10 or 18/8 stainless steel flatware knife blades are not made with those steel grade. Actually I mentioned this in my first response here too.

                          2. re: sueatmo

                            sueatmo: "I appreciate the info I received when I started this thread."

                            Returning to yoor thread-starting topic rather than your most reent inquiry on dishwasher marring of the pieces of flatware that you have sampled, I apologize for having been remiss in failing to raise a salient point at the top of the thread.

                            All -- or almost all -- of the great designs of stainless flatware were originally designed by Berndorf in southern Austria. Berndorf (one of the Krupp companies) was the inventor of stainless flatware, and is the spiritual progenitor of the entire industry. Some time, set aside an entire afternoon (or a large chunk of a couple of days) and read the multi-part history of Berndorf here: http://www.berndorf.at/_english/story... It is a gripping history, and the read will reward your time.

                            Most of the original Berndorf designs have been licensed to Guy Degrenne of France, and may be seen at http://www.guydegrenne.fr

                            The greatest of the Berndorf designs probably is Baguette, which has been copied by ALL (no exaggeration) of the great stainless flatware makers of the world (usually under names other than Baguette). Perhaps the two best realizations of Baguette today are (1) by Sambonet, http://www.125west.com/Sambonet_Dinin... http://www.125west.com/popup.aspx?src... and (2) the similar Scarlatti Pattern in Oneida's Sant'Andrea line: http://foodservice.oneida.com/index.c... http://www.silversuperstore.com/oneid...

                            Using any well implemented copy of Berndorf's Baguette, especially the Sambonet Baguette version or Oneida's Sant'Andrea Scarlatti, is a sensual experience. The balamce and heft will caress your hand.

                            1. re: Politeness

                              Well thanks Politeness for the good info. Except for the WMF version of Baguette, the others are too pricey for me. The Oneida pattern is no longer made. I want 12 place settings and some serving pieces, so I can rid myself of the old set completely, so that will be pricey. My upper limit is $500 or so.

                              I will have a look at the reference you provided on Berndorf. That's why I posted here--to learn more than I know about stainless flatware.

                              To CK, yes I have gathered that the nickel alloy in 18/10 or 18/8 stainless keeps the flatware looking more "silvery" longer. My problem is that the beautiful 18/10 pieces I ordered as samples scratched badly after one session in the dishwasher. If the stuff is going to scratch badly from the first day why am I looking at $500 sets when perhaps I might buy less expensive stuff. I mean if it all wears equally poorly--

                              I went through the listings at silver superstore again last night. I am thinking of trying a satin or brushed finish to see if the scratches are less bothersome.

                              I appreciate the posts and the links. Thanks.

                              1. re: sueatmo

                                "I am thinking of trying a satin or brushed finish to see if the scratches are less bothersome"

                                I have stain finish for that reason. I think it helps a little bit, but not a lot.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  Thanks CK.

                                2. re: sueatmo

                                  Hi, Sue - I looked at the Oneida Easton, and I wonder if you'd like anything by Thomas O'Brien from Reed & Barton. He has five different patterns on online stainless: http://www.onlinestainless.com/patter...

                                  Or you can order directly from Reed & Barton. I like the Austin and the Tiago (if I buy the Tiago dishes), but your Oneida Easton reminded me of the Elissa. https://www.reedandbarton.com/site/pr...

                                  1. re: Jay F

                                    Yes, I like Elissa. Too bad it isn't sold in sets! I need 12 place settings + serving pieces and at $65.00/ place setting it is out of my price range.

                                    Wow, you guys are leading me to so many new things! I had no idea Thomas O'Brien designed stainless.

                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                      Yes. Actually, I ended up ordering a set of Thomas O'Brien's Trefor. It's a 45-pc. set (8 x 5 pieces, plus 5 serving pieces), for which I paid $122 w/shipping.

                                      I first saw it on Amazon, where it is no longer available. It got a glowing review: http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-OBrien-S...

                                      I clicked my way here http://www.bizrate.com/flatware/oid21...

                                      where I found a link to a place called The Cozy Pineapple, where it sells for $107 plus shipping: http://www.thecozypineapple.com/thoma....

                                      It had been $200 at two other places, http://www.georgewatts.com/product/ca...

                                      http://www.fourcornershopping.com/xca...

                                      I didn't want to pay PA tax at the first place, so I kept looking, and that's when I found the Cozy Pineapple. $107 seemed like a no brainer, right? So I ordered it.

                                      THEN I googled the Cozy Pineapple, where I read some scandalous reviews. I'll let you google them yourself. "Cozy Pineapple complaints" comes up second on google, right after "Cozy Pineapple."

                                      So, I don't know what's going to happen. My CC has been charged. Cozy Pineapple states outright that they don't charge your card until after your item is shipped, so it should be here fairly soon. I hope.

                                      1. re: Jay F

                                        I hope you have no problems with your order. I hope it arrives soon.

                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                          Thanks. I'll let you know.

                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                            Hey, Sue - The place where it cost $122 just e-mailed me saying it's no longer available. There are other places where I can get it for $200, but I'm thinking I might go for some of the individual 5-pc. sets. I live alone, and eat alone 90% of the time, so I was thinking about buying some non-matching 5-pc. sets.

                                            Does anyone do this, buy different single-place settings of flatware and/or dinnerware? ( I already have enough matching flatware for 8 people.)

                                            1. re: Jay F

                                              I have actually thought of doing this, but I think I would do it with dinnerware. All different patterns of white is how I visualize it.

                                              There is at least one set of flatware that is made up of several different patterns. I've seen it offered by Crate and Barrel I believe, and it might have started with Horchows. The common denominator among the patterns seems to be that they are big and traditional in shape.

                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                I was going about the process. I was going to buy four different sets of TOB's flatware, when I discovered I could get four of the Tiago line for half price on Amazon Marketplace Warehouse Deals, i.e., $30 per place setting instead of $60. So I just bought four of those.

                                                Unfortunately, they're the most modern of the four, so I don't think they'd work for you.

                                                Anyway, I bought four that matched.

                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                  I've lost my heart to a Yamazaki pattern called Aquatique Ice, but I can't afford it! I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and handled every knife and a bunch of other piecesI like the way it feels in my hand better than any other I handled. I believe it is a baguette pattern as Politeness posted about.

                                                  I'm cooling my jets for a bit. I don't know what I'm going to do.

                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                    I like that, too.

                                                    Have you looked at the Reed & Barton website? They're having a few sales.

                                                    https://www.reedandbarton.com/site/su...

                                                    Plus 45-pc. and 65-pc sets. I like "Addison."

                                                    https://www.reedandbarton.com/site/su...

                                                    https://www.reedandbarton.com/site/su...

                                                    1. re: Jay F

                                                      I like Reed & Barton! I like Alfresco, a pattern which is on sale. Now to find some to hold in my hand! I will have to have a closer look. Price on this is quite good. I can't tell if it is shiny or matte from the description though. Thanks for the link.

                                                    2. re: sueatmo

                                                      Maybe it is again irrelevant to your search but did you check Macy's site?

                                                      It looks like they are now doing "buy 3sets, 1 set free" for the Yamazaki Aquiatique Ice pattern you mentioned. they also do 15% off promotion on top of it by using promo code "LoveHome". Shipping is free. All in all, my research lead me for 12 sets of the pattern for $ 507 including tax if I am correct. I think you mentioned your price point is around $500.

                                                      It is a big investment, so taking time is also a good idea. Rushing to buy something because of promotions is not a good way to go .

                                                      I myself looked for replacement on my old set a couple of years ago but ended up with inheriting silver plated Rogers pattern and gave up searching.

                                                      Lastly, GS, gourmet setting, has modern patterns in that price range for 18/8 or 18/10, too. www.gourmetsettings.com

                                                      Just wish you a good luck :)

                                                      1. re: hobbybaker

                                                        I checked Macy's in person a couple weeks ago, but found no specials and little inventory to examine. I'll check their website. Thanks for the info.

                                                        I also searched but I'm not sure if I searched the pattern name. Good thought HB. Thanks!

                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                          I think they do Home sale this weekend- "Lovehome" code.

                                                          When I looked for my replacement, I was dissapointed by my local Macy's stock of Flatware, too. They seem better for online.

                                                          I don't know how long the promotion lasts online so if you are sure of the set, it might be a good time.

                                                          Good luck :)

                                                          1. re: hobbybaker

                                                            The price is better at Silver Superstore. I can get an 8 pc service for about $355 and I don't have to pay shipping. I am moving toward doing that, and picking up a couple more place settings later. I do appreciate you looking for me. Thanks so much.

                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                              FYI, I separately bought steak knives for the Aquatique set I have, and they're just as gorgeous and wonderful feel in the hand. Definitely worth it if you have use for them. Be sure to read reviews of the Ice finish; I recall that when I bought mine, there were reviewers of another Yamazaki set who said the Ice finish on theirs scratched off and looked really bad really fast. My guess is they've fixed that by now, but it's worth researching thoroughly.

                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                OK. thanks. I haven't pulled the trigger yet.

                                                              2. re: sueatmo

                                                                My serach lead me to 8pc service for $339.85 at Macys ( 6set + 2set free + free Reed and Barton storage chest ), which is cheaper than $355, you mentioned. Also free shipping. I don't know you need a chest, or the store you mentioned offers the same chest but I find it is nice to have.

                                                                Did you put the promocode 'Lovehome"? if NOT, the price is $393, which is higher than $355. I paste the link so that you will see it directly.

                                                                Needless to say, I don't promote Macy's and I am not related to them either :)

                                                                Also, another thing is if in case you change you mind before actually use it, you can bring it back to the one of the store to return (not applicable to silver plated flatware) . . I think macys return period is very long, at least three month I guess but please confirm if you consider.

                                                                When I bought a pressure cooker on line and returned to the store, there was no hussle at all. I like their policy, otherwise, I couldn't see it in person and confirm if the cooker was what I really wanted or no.

                                                                Again, Good luck for your search.

                                                                http://www1.macys.com/bag/index.ognc

                                                                1. re: hobbybaker

                                                                  My sister has had good results buying things from Macy's. Here's the thing--I can get a service for 8 for $354.95. I don't have to pay sales tax or shipping. If I order from Macy's I have to pay sales tax, and probably shipping.

                                                                  But I have decided to first buy one place setting to make sure we both like it, and to make sure I like it with the china I will use it with. Previously, I ordered 2 pieces of a Reed & Barton pattern from the Silver Superstore, and I was impressed with their service. But I wasn't happy with the pattern because it scratched so badly after one dishwash. However, I think the flatware itself was extremely high quality. (Did you know that R & B also makes silverplate that is guarranteed for 100 years? It looks beautiful.)

                                                                  I do appreciate the information you have given me though. I hope you adore your new pattern and get many happy years of use with it.

                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                    Sue, I still see the price $339.85 INCLUDING TAX AND FREE SHIPPING ( Total $305.95 + TAX $33.90 + free shipping) at Macy's site. .. anyway I am not selling Macy's and it is good to take time to think it over when spending $$ .

                                                                    I am happy with the pattern I inherited - not too modern, not too classic. Very elegant. It is silver plated and not for a dishware. I only use them for weekend and dinners with friends/families to change mood :)

                                                                    Good luck for your search. I know it takes time.

                                        2. re: sueatmo

                                          sueatmo: "Except for the WMF version of Baguette, the others are too pricey for me."

                                          I do not know what prices you have looked at (many versions of Baguette are not called Baguette); here is the Guy Degrenne version, called "Beau Manoir": http://www.amazon.com/Beau-Manoir-Fla...

                                          I did not mention in my earlier post that Sambonet Baguette was the only flatware used in the first class dining car of the fabled Orient Express luxury train (and continues to be used there).

                                          FWIW, the stainless flatware that we use in our home is a slavish copy of another Berndorf design, Berndorf Avant Garde: http://www.besteckliste.de/c_shop/mod...
                                          Ours, however, was made in Korea, and was a Pottery Barn exclusive called (at Pottery Barn) Willow. It has a satin finish on the perfectly balanced handles.

                                          1. re: Politeness

                                            The stuff on The Berndorf site is gorgeous, but way out of my league pricewise. The pattern I would buy if I could is Memory. Here is a similar pattern I wish I could afford:

                                            http://www.silversuperstore.com/yamaz...

                                            Or, looking for a matte finish, I might buy this:

                                            http://www.silversuperstore.com/yamaz...

                                            I am surprised at how much I like both patterns, and I never heard of Yamazaki before. But then that's why I wrote the original post.

                                            Perhaps I need to look at the offerings of Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel.

                                            I've eliminated the offerings of Gorham, Oneida and Wallace. Thanks for you input.

                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                              How about this one? A bit higher price but 18/10 in stead of 18/8 and dishwasher safe. Because of the design, I don't think they will be scratched easily at least for the handles. One of my friends got a good deal on this set at Macy's over the holiday because this pattern is closeout. Maybe you can ask your local Macy's if you like the pattern. I am quite sure that they have a serving set, too.

                                              http://www.neimanmarcus.com/store/cat...

                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                sueatmo: "I never heard of Yamazaki before."

                                                Yamazaki has been a major player in the industry since, like, forever. In fact, Yamazaki makes a clone of Berndorf Aquatique: http://reviews.macys.com/7129/66926/y... (Another Japanese marque, Sasaki, also is well worth looking into.)

                                                If I may presume, it seems to me that the wonderful panorama of diverse flatware patters is just now opening to you. If my overreaching presumption is correct, you are still merely peeking through the door. Please, take the time to see the full scope of the variety before you spend your money.

                                                For instance, have you looked at the wonderful and innovative Nambé designs?: http://www.nambe.com/edealinv/servlet...

                                                Or the special collections from Dalia?: http://www.dalia.co.uk/

                                                Or Gense Figura?: http://www.gense.se/index.php?id=441

                                                Take the time. Learn what floats your boat, what you really lust after. There's a whole wide world out there.

                                                1. re: Politeness

                                                  Politeness, I could be _such_ a dish queen. So many nice things.

                                                  1. re: Politeness

                                                    I've looked at Nambe patterns, and I believe they were innovative and quite modern. I admire those sorts of patterns, but the china I will use with the stainless isn't modern and it isn't going anyplace. It was bought specifically for my redone kitchen, and it is perfect. I do like the Yamazaki aquatique ice pattern. I don't remember if I checked the price point. I will look at Dalia, and Gense Figura. Yes this is interesting. But it is unlikely that I will be ordering European stainless, much as I love much of it. My price point for 12 place settings is around $500. I don't want to spend much more. And I also want service pieces, so I can get rid of all the old stuff.

                                                    I agree about taking my time. So far I like browsing the Stainless Superstore site the best. It is organized well, offers pics and views of the product, and describes the product well. You almost always know if the stainless is 18/10 or something else. There are other informational pages on the site as well. Other sites seem fragmented and are not descriptive enough to be helpful.

                                                    Thanks for all the links, Politeness. This is interesting. I haven't bought flatware in around 20 years, and even then I just bought something I found. It is too bad about Oneida.

                                                    1. re: Politeness

                                                      Aquatique polished, not ice, is my every day set. Just love the feel of it, and its beauty after all these years.

                                                    2. re: sueatmo

                                                      Sue, here's something from Reed & Barton, a 65-pc. set called Cole, for $106.66: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003...

                                                      If my Thomas O'Brien flatware is a bust chez Pineapple, I think I'll buy these.

                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                        http://www.silversuperstore.com/reed_...

                                                        Here is a link to that pattern at the Silver Superstore. I note that the Amazon price is very good comparatively. I believe you have to pay $199 on an order to receive free shipping here, so the Amazon deal looks good. But on this site, there are 2 links to better pics of the pattern. You can also find a link to info about Reed & Barton, which this vendor respects regarding quality.

                                                        This is actually quite handsome for the price. It does appear to be a one piece knife, but still nice looking.

                                                      2. re: sueatmo

                                                        I upgraded to Yamazaki from there or someplace like it years ago, and I've never regretted it. The pieces are much, much heavier than 18/10 bought for less, feel great in your hand and don't stain, pit or scratch easily. It's been about ten years, and I'll never have to replace them. They had an amazing offer of a twofer or 50% off a second set back then, and I got an amazing deal on service for 16.

                                              2. If I can stray back to some of the basic questions in the OP. 18/0 is great stuff if you're trying to avoid leaving black marks on your dinnerware. It's the nickel in the last number that marks your plates, that's why you see flatware where the knife blade is 18/0 when the remainder of the set is something different. The problem with 18/0 is that you will not find good sets, sets with some heft and sturdyness, made from 18/0. It's used mostly in the thin inexpensive flatware, what you get a Ray's Dinner, not at Chez Robbert.

                                                18/8 and 18/10 can leave horrible scratch marks on white plates (I've found this to be a serious problem with Pfaltzgraff as have others). I learned of all this when I bought new Lennox flatware and the Mrs. accused me of getting junk because of the black marks on the plates that haden't been there with the previous flatware. More often than not you will not notice a difference between 18/8 and 18/10 either in glow or performance. And both will be corrosion resistant enough for daily use in a normal environment.

                                                Asside from looks, the most important thing with flatware is flexural strength. You don't want spoons and forks to bend in use, and they take more abuse than you might think. I like the consummer roports ice cream scoop test. If you can't scoop a spoon full of ice cream without bending the spoon, you don't want it.

                                                I picked up the Lennox at an outlet on sale for a rediclously low price, got service for 12 and serving pieces for under $50 and this stuff is way better than the expensive stuff we bought for finer dinning.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: mikie

                                                  I have been looking at a Lennox set with interest. This is the old Kirk-Steiff, the maker of my sterling flatware. The Silver Superstore talks a lot about dishing hard ice cream, and notes with approval if pieces in the set can do this. It also rates the weight of the pieces. For me the big thing is the feel in my hand for every day use. I hate the thin edges of cheaper pieces, and I want balance. This is for everyday use, and I want it to function well and look nice for the balance of my life. If I was 10 years younger, I might feel justified in finding the pattern I want at a bigger price, but it is hard to justify spending more than $500 in my circumstances.

                                                  But I do need a new set, and I need 12 place settings.

                                                  I can relate about the marks on Pfaltzgraff plates! I am not happy with the condition of my Pfaltzgraff china! I love the pattern, but hate the way it looks after about a decade of use.

                                                  Did you pick up your Lennox stainless set at an outlet store in an outlet mall? Some other sort of outlet? Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.

                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                    It was an outlet store north of Dallas, I guess it was an outlet mall, but it was at a Lennox store. I actually went in because we were collecting the Lennox Nativity pieces. They didn't have any new pieces for that so I was just looking around and the clearance table had this nice looking flatware for something like $2.50 a place setting, it's been a while, it could have been more but I don't think so, and they had serving pieces to match. It was all something like 50% off of the already 70% off price or something like that. It's been our everyday flatware ever since.

                                                    Funny, the store clerk was telling me what a great deal this was, no argument there, but I replied, you're still making money on it, and she concured. Talk about mark up. As a shopper, I've been lucky more often than I've been good. But I've found some really great deals over the past few years.

                                                    We sold the Pfaltzgraff, service for 12 and a number of serving pieces in a garage sale for about $20. I just hope the lady that bought it has 18/0 flatware. One of my girls has some we bought her and some old cheep flatware, until she got married and bought some better flatware, there was never a mark on it. Now, well that's a different story.

                                                2. What's the difference between
                                                  18/0, 18/8, and 18/10 flatware?

                                                  http://www.silversuperstore.com/stain...

                                                  Interesting little article.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                    Confirms what I discovered when shopping; there was a lot of crappy, lightweight 18/10 and for more money, heavy, unbending stuff like the Yamazaki I ended up with.

                                                  2. GF and I ended up going non-name brand on our flatware. She had an incentive through work on Knorks, and we ended up buying a set of 12. Still need to get the serving pieces. We really like the weight and quality, but because they are so heavy, you do have to watch hanging part of it off your plate and walking with it or you'll be picking your flatware off the floor due to the balance.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: sumrtym

                                                      OK, I looked Knork up, and I have to say their website is not likely to sell too many units! I mean you can barely see the stuff. But it looks nice, and it has a simple modern look. It is supposed to be carried by Bed Bath and Beyond in my area, but I was at a Bed, Bath and Beyond today, and I did not see any Knork. It is nice to know about innovations. I'd definitely have a look at a set if I ran into one.

                                                      It looks like a real try for ergonomics in eating.

                                                      Did you get matte or glossy?

                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                        We got the matte as the glossy wasn't on incentive. They also make a mixed. I've always had glossy flatware and was worried about scratches showing badly on the matte, but I guess scratches are actually supposed to be less noticeable on matte.

                                                        What I like most about the set:
                                                        1) Very heavy....you won't bend a spoon by dipping ice cream or cold peanut butter with one, or bend the tines on the forks,
                                                        2) The shape of the fork has a very good curve in it which allows it to function almost like a spoon if using to eat something like corn.

                                                        My least favorite thing is getting used to the weight if you're used to placing part of your fork or spoon off your plate, because it will fall off due to the balance. That just takes getting used to.

                                                        As far as it being a "new" idea, I don't know about that....it's kind of like taking the slightly sharper designs for cuttings of dessert forks and applying it across all the forks, but it does work better to cut with than a normal fork, not that I"ll be giving up my knife on steaks or anything.

                                                        All in all, I REALLY like them. They are being used on the new Top Chef All-Stars Season 8

                                                    2. Sue, I just got off the phone with the Reed & Barton factory store. I found a $130 china placesetting for $40, one I really wanted, not just because of the price. Maybe you could find your flatware for 12 there.

                                                      It's the one in Taunton, MA: https://www.reedandbarton.com/site/St...

                                                      1. I want to thank everyone for giving me advice, links, tips and other input. I have ordered 10 place settings of Yamazaki's Aquatique Ice. Politeness mentioned a pattern and also mentioned some modern clones. I believe this is one of those. SanityRemoved gave me a link to Silver SuperStore, and that is the best! Thanks SR, and if any of you want to buy stainless, or sterling, that is a very good resource. http://www.silversuperstore.com/ I've placed to orders, prior to placing the big order, and I was impressed with the way they do online business. Lucky you if you live in Seattle and can visit their store!

                                                        I was also reminded by several of you to check various big box retailers, and I did visit Bed Bath and Beyond, where I saw a place setting of my final pattern for the first time. I might have purchased it there, but SS's prices are better, I don't have to use coupons to get it, and I don't have to pay tax. (The BB & B I visited is in a special taxing district. ) Since shipping is free, I decided to buy from Silver Superstore. Here is a link to the pattern I chose: http://www.silversuperstore.com/yamaz...

                                                        Many thanks to all who posted.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                                          Congratulations, you're going to love it for years! Same pattern I've had for a decade, only mine is a shiny finish. The ice finish looks beautiful.

                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                            Thanks, mcf. I guess we have good taste! I think these are made in Japan--at least that is what the pieces have stamped on them. If they are not made in China, I am not unhappy about that.

                                                        2. Find a line that feels good in your hands. Doesn't matter what it is made of, or how it looks if it is uncomfortable to use.

                                                          Some folks are quite allergic to nickle, so high nickle content flatware may be an issue.

                                                          We send stainless parts out for passivation which is a process that eats away any iron that may be present on the surface from manufacturing, and increases the anit rusting properties of the alloy used. The passivation we get is done with either nitric acid, or citric acid depending on the customer's requirements.

                                                          The term stainless is actually due to the fact that it stains-less than regular steels due to the high chrome, and nickle contents. It will rust, but to find rusted stainless you are usually in some pretty harsh environments.

                                                          But in the end it all comes down to how it feels in the hand, and mouth when you use it. I have used flatware that had sharp edges on spoons, and the areas where you held. So, in my opinion, don't get all wrapped up about stuff that doesn't really make a difference except to a marketing agent, and just get what feels right to you.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                                            OK. Hey I bought my new flatware in 2011. I got lots of good tips and good advice from many posters. I agree that the flatware needs to feel good in my hands.

                                                            If you are interested, you can read the thread for tips.

                                                            But, I won't be posting here anymore, unless there is a new issue or question posed.

                                                            1. re: sueatmo

                                                              Haha! I didn't realize how old the thread was.

                                                          2. I understand that you are ready to replace your current flatware, but I have found eBay invaluable in filling in missing pieces, although not quick. Just be sure to keep the manufacturer's name and specific product name to help you search.
                                                            I have a Cuisinart set I use for summer tenants. I got the first lot at HomeGoods, and augmented it through eBay. This was to replace the set I got at Crate & Barrel,which was discontinued just before a summer tenant disposed of a soup spoon. Fortunately, eBay helped here too.

                                                            1. It seems most of your queries have been addressed in the posts below, but I would add just one more thing. Part of the price of flatware will be reflected in how the handle was constructed. Most flatware is what is called "punched". That means the stainless (18/0, 18/8, 18/10) is rolled out into sheets and the shapes are then "punched out". It's what's called a subtractive process because the sheets from which the flatware or "punched" are not used entirely and often recycled. This is the cheapest way of producing flatware and gives you the familiar, flat handled forks, knives, spoons most of us use. Because its the cheapest way to produce, its what's most prevalent.

                                                              There's another kind of production that gives a more rounded, attractive and ergonomic handfeel. These handles are most often injection molded. This process can add to the cost regardless of the nickel and/or chrome content.

                                                              personally, I like the feel of the thick handle. More weight, softer feel in the hand and easier to use.

                                                              1. One of the reasons for the injection molded handle is to provide a broader handle that feels good in the hand but traditionally, they were also hollow. In the days of sterling silver, after stainless had arrived, the stainless blades were set in hollow sterling handles. This continued with solid stainless flatware, where the better makers continued making molded hollow handles. This allows the balance of the knife to be focused on the blade, contributing to an ergonomic feel .
                                                                Going back to the discussion regarding the alloys used, there are several other points that bear note. Even though the alloy has been blended with the correct percentage of chromium and nickel, the raw steel stock used for most of this type of product is recycled and varies in the degree to which it has been re-refined, so impurity pockets abound in some of the cheaper stuff, despite the "grade" of stainless claimed. One brand( which I own--for 40 years now), that would show up on ebay or other second hand venues, is Dalia. This was a Spanish brand , who made a product for W.M.F. as well as self branded. It was fully the quality, finish and feel of the renowned W.M.F. of the 60's and 70's but at a fraction of the cost. At the time I bought it ,it was about 1/2 the cost of Oneida.
                                                                The issue of steel recycling, while environmentally, necessary , creeps into almost all of our consumer steel based products anymore. I have heard that , even high end culinary knives ,are mostly from recycled steel, now. I have to say, I have found no modern knife I have used( less than 30 years old) to be the equal of the 50 year and older carbon steel knives I regularly use.

                                                                1. Hey thanks for the input. I replaced all my old stuff in 2011, which was pretty beat up, and got Yamazaki's Aquatique Ice from Silver Superstore. I learned lots of stuff about flatware, and got lots of appreciated info and input from many posters.

                                                                  There was no way I was keeping my old stuff though. But I washed it really well and shined it up as much as I could, bundled it up and took it to the food pantry I volunteered at, to see if anyone would want it. It was gone during the first hour of my shift.

                                                                  I really like my current stainless pattern. And I recommend Silver Superstore for flatware unreservedly.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: sueatmo

                                                                    sueatmo, did silversuperstore give you a receipt/certificate of purchase that allows for a discount off new set after a few years with proof of donation to charity?

                                                                    Thing is, I love my Aquatique so much, I'm never going to part with it.

                                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                                      No. They just did exactly as they promised, sent my purchase without charging shipping very promptly. Its a great company. I do wish they would improve their selection of dinnerware, and how you search for it. Otherwise, for flatware, they're the best.