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Flatware vs Silverware: differences, pros & cons

The terms "flatware" and "silverware" are often used interchangeably, but they have both similarities and distinctive differences. Learn every feature and advantage with this handy guide by Sambonet!


Is there difference between flatware and silverware?

Flatware refers to eating utensils made of stainless steel, which is known for its durability and low maintenance. Silverware describes utensils made of, or coated with, a layer of silver. It is traditionally reserved for special occasions due to its elegant appearance. Choosing between them depends on your needs and preferences. 

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Why is silver so fascinating?

The objects shine with an exceptional and long-lasting mirror effect. Silver adds a touch of warmth typical of this noble metal, making the table unique and full of personality. The Sambonet collections are built on history, innovation, research and – like an artwork – originality. Silver and its charm of the past give a contemporary and timeless grace to the table.

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When and why is better to use flatware?

Stainless steel flatware is generally the better choice in most situations compared to silverware due to its practicality and durability. Here's a breakdown of when stainless steel flatware is great:

  • Casual gatherings: Flatware is the perfect choice for casual brunches, lunches, or dinners with friends and family. It creates a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
  • Informal dining: For buffets, potlucks, or picnics, flatware is the go-to option. It's portable, easy to use, and eliminates the need for disposable utensils.

Stainless steel flatware is perfect for everyday use:

  • Durability: Stainless steel flatware, the most common type of flatware, is built to withstand daily wear and tear. It resists scratches, dings, and rust, making it ideal for frequent use.
  • Dishwasher safe: Most stainless steel flatware sets are easy to clean and dishwasher safe, saving you time and effort on handwashing.
  • Affordability: Compared to silverware, flatware is generally more affordable. This makes it a practical choice for everyday meals without breaking the bank.
  • Variety of styles: Flatware comes in a wide range of styles, from classic and timeless to modern and trendy. You can find a set that complements your existing dinnerware and reflects your personal taste.

When and why is better to use silverware?

Silverware takes center stage for occasions where elegance and a touch of luxury are desired. Here's when silverware shines:

  • Formal events: Silverware elevates the ambiance of formal dinners, weddings, anniversary celebrations, or any event where you want to impress your guests. The weight, luster, and timeless designs of silverware exude sophistication.
  • Holiday feasts: Thanksgiving dinners, holiday gatherings, or special celebrations become even more memorable with a touch of silver on the table. It adds a sense of occasion and creates a more luxurious dining experience.
  • Fine dining: If you're hosting an intimate dinner party with a focus on gourmet food, silverware complements the culinary experience. It reflects the effort put into the meal and creates a refined atmosphere.

Silverware and silverplated items are great also as:

  • Heirloom pieces: Silverware is often passed down through generations, becoming cherished heirlooms. Using these special pieces adds a sentimental touch to your table and connects you to family history.
  • Investment pieces: High-quality silverware can be an investment, holding its value over time. Just keep it carefully, to be washed dry and polished regularly, as well as storage at its best. The timeless beauty and durability make it a worthwhile addition to your tableware collection.

Hard Sambonet Silverplating technique

In 1938 Sambonet developed the exclusive H§P Hard Sambonet Silverplating technique, thus becoming one of the first Italian companies to get sophisticated technologies for silver-plated metals. This technique includes an electroplating cycle and a subsequent polishing, carried out by highly qualified specialists. Flatware, cutlery, table accessories and furnishing accessories in AISI 304 stainless steel or in Alpacca, an alloy consisting of 66% copper, 13% nickel and 21% zinc, are embellished with 99.9% pure silver, acquiring great hardness and resistance to oxidation. Sambonet silverplating is a registered know-how, N. 114374.

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How to add a silver shine to your table

From flatware to centerpieces, coffee pot to water pitcher, candlesticks to photo frames: silver accessories bring a touch of sophistication and elegance to any room. A silver table accessory is a sure-fire gift for any occasion, from a wedding to a birthday. A precious gift that will last and always be appreciated.

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FAQ about flatware and silverware

Choosing the perfect flatware set can elevate your dining experience and add a touch of style to your table. But with terms like "flatware" and "silverware" floating around, confusion can arise. Sambonet here to help! Let's delve into these frequently asked questions:

Is silver or stainless steel better flatware?

It depends on your lifestyle and needs!

  • Stainless steel flatware: The champion of everyday use. Durable, affordable, dishwasher-safe, and comes in a variety of modern and classic designs. Ideal for busy households that value practicality.
  • Silverplated flatware: The epitome of elegance. Offers a timeless look and a luxurious feel. Requires more care (hand-washing and polishing) but develops a beautiful patina over time. Perfect for special occasions or as an heirloom set.

What grade of silverware is best?

For true silverware (sterling silver), the standard is .925 silver. This means 92.5% of the metal is pure silver, ensuring quality and durability. With the exclusive technology H§P Hard Sambonet SilverPlating, the purity of silver is 999,5‰, with silver layer hardness up to 2 times more than traditional silverplating (>180 Hcv) and sulphuration resistance up to 4 times more than traditional silverplating.

How can you tell if flatware is good quality?

Here are some telltale signs of good quality flatware:

  • Weight: Quality pieces have a satisfying heft. Lightweight flatware might bend easily.
  • Balance: Well-balanced flatware feels comfortable in your hand. A good knife should have a sharp, well-balanced blade.
  • Finish: Look for a smooth, polished finish on stainless steel and a lustrous finish on sterling silver.

What is the healthiest flatware to eat with?

Both high-quality stainless steel and sterling silver are safe for eating with. If you suffers because of nickel, consider PVD-colored stainless steel, which offers a superior "barrier effect."

What are the three types of silverware (flatware)?

Sambonet offers a wide range of flatware sets to suit your dining needs. Here are the three main categories:

  • Dinner Flatware: The essentials! Forks, knives, spoons (soup and teaspoons) used for the main course.
  • Serving Utensils: Spoons, forks, and spatulas designed for serving food from platters to individual plates.
  • Specialty Utensils: Salad forks, butter knives, fish forks, and seafood forks for specific culinary adventures.

Explore the Art of the Table with Sambonet

Sambonet means the best for your guest. We offer a curated selection of high-quality stainless steel flatware sets in various patterns, styles and colors, alongside exquisite sterling silver collections for those special occasions. Explore our flatware collections and get items will bring joy to your table!

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