Suggestions for nice flatware set?

macthayerSeptember 29, 2007

Hubby & I have been married a while and the cheap flatware we started out with is starting to show its age. We'd like to replace it with a really nice set of flatware that we can use everyday and yet will still look nice when entertaining. I've been doing some research and know, for example, that we need at least an 18/10 ratio of chrome to nickel -- that sort of thing. Does anyone have a brand that has held up well over the years, through cleaning in a dishwasher, and still looks good? I'd appreciate any input as I suspect this will be an "investment" if you know what I mean. Thanks in advance! MacThayer

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Flatware that you use for your everyday usage isn't going to look pristine for entertaining. If that's OK, you probably want something that starts out with a satin rather that a polished finish, because that's more compatible with the patina of use.

I've been using Oneida's "Paul Revere" flatware for the last 30 years, and it has held up excellently. I still use it every day, and have no plans to retire it any time soon. I have, however, replaced quite a number of pieces as people have lost them over the years. Kaiser Crow "The Gatherings" sells sets and pieces at decent prices.

I note that the Paul Revere pattern is rather plain, so you might want something a bit fancier for entertaining purposes.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 8:43PM
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I have a set of Oneida stainless that is over 50 years old, and still looks great. I prefer the feel of the hollow ware handles on knifes instead of the flatwear. There are some very good sets out there if you look for a top brand. My daughter has a set of 18/10 stainless, and it is way too heavy as most of the people comment on that alone.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 4:03AM
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I may be confused on terms. The handles of the knives of the "Paul Revere" pattern are in fact hollow. Is "flatware" the wrong term to use for that pattern?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 10:45AM
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Hi Solarpowered! I don't know if it's the right or wrong term. I'm just looking for a decent set of flatware - silverware - utensils - whatever you want to call that set of knife, forks, spoons you use to eat with (and not one I have to polish!) that will hopefully continue to look good despite washing in a dishwasher because I just don't have time to do it by hand. Perhaps the real answer is to get a nice set and use that only for entertaining, which I wouldn't mind. It's just that when I pull out my lovely china, my every day flatware looks pretty "beaten up" next to it! And it should - it's a cheaper Oneida stainless and it's been used a lot. From what I've been reading on places like "E-pinions", I suppose I should be content that it hasn't rusted or something like that. I am still taking suggestions if anyone has one. MacThayer

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 1:34PM
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Oneida has several different levels of stainless. I'd look for a standard pattern that's been around for a long time so that you can buy replacement pieces in open stock when you need. The nice sets from Macy's or Crate and Barrel are meant to be tossed in a few years when you need to replace peieces because they won't be available. SO your set for 8 now has 6 tablespoons, 7 knives, and 6 forks and 8 salad forks.

Don't buy anything that you can't use for 30 years and replace pieces when needed.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 11:53AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I have Oneida Louisiana and it still looks great after 20 years of daily use. I have added to it over the years and am still happy with it. Mom picked it out for me because it coordinated with the sterling she gave me, Old Master. I can use both interchangeably when entertaining.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 12:17PM
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My Oneida Paul Revere is still going strong 38 years later, still looks good and I plan to use it as long as I can. I've always been very pleased with it, still has a nice finish and I like the "heft" of it - can't stand wimpy stainless. I like the plain pattern for everyday use, but you should really look at all their patterns if you plan to put some money into good stainless.

(My sterling is Reed & Barton's Classic Rose, another simple design.)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 2:18PM
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Do you guys ever wonder whether what you bought 38 years ago was better made than the "equivalent" now? I do.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 5:05PM
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"Do you guys ever wonder whether what you bought 38 years ago was better made than the "equivalent" now? I do."

Interestingly, I do actually have the answer to that question, as I bought a set of Oneida Paul Revere 30 years ago, and I bought replacements for some lost pieces about three years ago. The newer pieces are noticeably thicker than the pieces from 30 years ago.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 7:52PM
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Yes, I have the same Paul Revere pattern and the same experience with replacement pieces. I actually like the old forks better. The new ones feel thick. Strange, huh?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 11:24PM
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Oneida,,the heirloom collection patterns (someone else said different levels,,agree)

Reed and Barton I've used for everyday for a long time and just great. QVC has got everyone beat on the price and size of the their sets. I got a fantastic deal via Costco,, and was so nice and heavy etc. Don't know if it will stand the test of time but we'll see.

Oneida has outlets you know. If you are looking for the best deal on the best quality you might call one of their outlets and talk to a store person and see what you can get. That is how I got my Oneida set from the Heirloom category. Very heavy,,I like the continental size (bigger than the ordinary). Eventually it did discontinue but I haven't needed to replace any yet and one I happened to find on EBay and bought it anyway. Just a thought. can always get you what you want for replacing lost pieces.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 10:06PM
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Regarding those 30+ year old sets: I still have a fairly expensive stainless set of that vintage that was a gift and I don't like it because the knives are not serrated. I don't know if sets like that are still made, but who wants dinner knife size butter knives?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 11:11PM
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MaxMom, serrated knives are not much use, IMHO. My 35+ yr old set does have serrated knives, but it I'm cutting anything more than butter at a meal, I provide a steak knife (of another style) at the place setting.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 12:01AM
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