Looking for the best flatware set for your dinner table? We've researched 30 of the top-rated flatware sets and put the top 7 through our test metrics to help you find the best set for you and your lifestyle. We enlisted the help of our friends and family to help us evaluate the comfort of each set so we could more accurately determine the comfortability of the utensils in different sized hands. Next, we closely examined the finish on each set and used each set numerous times per day to mimic heavy use, including lots of hand washing and dishwasher cycles, evaluating the quality and durability of each set. Then we turned our attention to details such as each place setting's weight and how balanced it feels in our hands. Lastly, we considered each set's overall performance in each metric and compared it to the other sets of a similar price to determine its value.Setting the table looks different for everybody, which is why we have conducted in-depth testing on a range of kitchen and dining products. Whether you need a napkin holder, the best iced tea pitcher, a set of new top-rated cups, or the best pepper mill, we can help point you towards the best options for your personal needs.
Our Top Picks
With its distinctive spoons and knives, the Sharecook Matte Black 20-Piece is our favorite set. Each place setting has five pieces weighing a collective 9.5 ounces, and the utensils feel satisfying and uniform to many different hand sizes. With sleek edges that make gripping effortless, the handles of these utensils also measure in at five and a half inches and can fit both big and small hands quite well. The knife's serrated edge cleanly cuts through salads, avocado toast, and meats without tearing the food apart. The teaspoon and dinner spoons are shaped to fit easily in your mouth. To top it all off, the forks are curved and tapered enough to pick up most foods, including eggs, rice, and salads.
Unfortunately, the matte black finish tends to pick up oils from food and hands. Even when pulled fresh from the dishwasher, the finish has a lot of spots. Despite these shortcomings, the Sharecook still sports one of our favorite finishes out of all the models we tested. The spoon bowls and handles don't have bumpy sides or rough edges, and the fork tine insides are rather sleek and smooth compared to the competition. Overall, the quality, comfort, and design of the individual pieces in this flatware set are striking.
The Radley and Stowe 20-Piece is worth checking out if you're seeking a five-place setting on a budget. It comes with four five-piece place settings that have comfortable handles for a variety of different hand sizes. We appreciated the handles' thickness, with the lack of tapering on the neck. The weight of each piece feels nice and sturdy in our hands, and a set comes in at a total weight of 9.1 ounces. The soup and dinner spoons are great for cereal, oatmeal, and soups because of their good bowl capacity. The serrated blades of the knives slice into food with precision without ripping it up. One thing that stands out about this set is its flat fork tines; they allowed us to properly and effortlessly pick up food off the plate.
On the downside, the satin finish on the handles is prone to scratching. After only a few uses, the handles revealed scratches from rattling around in the dishwasher and from being stored together in the drawer. Moreover, the insides of the fork tines are rough, which means you may need to do a bit more scrubbing by hand to get off sticky food. However, the Radley and Stowe can compete with pricier sets in comfort, balance, and weight, making it a great buy.
The Amazon Basics Bistro 20-Piece flatware set has five pieces to each place setting, including a dinner spoon and a teaspoon, which our testers found to be the set's highlight. Both spoon bowls have a nice depth and shape, especially for eating things with liquids, such as soups and cereals. It's annoying when you can't quite get a good spoonful of soup, but that's not a problem with this set. The knife's serrated edge, however, is rather disappointing, and it tore our food more than it cut through it. The fork tines are fairly pointed and easily pick up food.
A five-piece place setting weighs 7.4 ounces, making it one of the lighter-weight sets we tested. This is evident in the handles that came out of the dishwasher bent, making these a poor choice for those wanting a spoon to scoop ice cream from the pint. We also noticed the stainless steel finish discolored after washing and developed darkened rings over our test period. This is a basic set and should be considered as such.
The Berglander 20-Piece rainbow color set was a top pick by parents in our test group for their kids — not only because of the fun colors but because of the weight of the pieces. A five-piece place setting weighs 7.7 ounces making it more manageable for kids' hands. The adults in our test group found the weight to be middle of the road; it's substantial enough that it doesn't feel super-lightweight in hand but lacks the extra ounces and ideal thickness found in other sets. However, we do like the size of the spoons and spoon bowls in this set, which comfortably fit into our mouths and whose capacity is the right amount.
Parents will enjoy that the fork tines are not super-pointy, nor are the serrations so sharp as to cut a child's hand easily. The knife's serrated edge is not as clean or crisp of a cut as some other knives tested. The handle edges on all the pieces are smooth in hand, but the inside of the fork tines are a bit rough. This set looked the best after washing, thanks to its finish that resists scratching and its rainbow color that hides water spots. If you're a parent looking for a way to make mealtime a bit more exciting, we highly recommend considering this set.
The LIANYU Black Stainless Steel five-piece flatware set strikes a good balance between being a comfortable weight without feeling too light in our hands. The shape of the handles is ergonomic; however, the handles' undersides are slightly concave, which takes a moment to get used to. The knife's serrated blade is sharp and does a great job of cleanly cutting through meats and other foods without tearing.
However, the dinner spoon bowl is quite large, and we found it to be much too large to eat from comfortably and preferred the teaspoon for eating. The finish of the edges on the spoon bowls and the fork tines are a bit rough and should be checked when purchased by running a finger or thumb over them. We also found the mirror finish to discolor easily from water spots and hand and food oils.
If you're looking for a basic three-piece flatware set with a knife, fork, and spoon with a nice weight and balance, we recommend the New Star Food Service Slimline 36-Piece set. With 12 place settings in this set, you'll have plenty of utensils for when you invite your friends over for dinner. Our testers liked the weight of the fork, knife, and spoon in this set, which is on par with the heavier sets we tested, and the weight feels comfortable and balanced in our hands. The knife did a great job easily cutting through various meats and vegetables.
The biggest design flaw is the short handles. During testing, our hands felt rather close to our food, leaving us to believe this set is best suited for kids or those with smaller hand sizes. Because the handles are shorter, the spoon bowls are smaller and more like a teaspoon than soup or dinner spoons. The handles are thick, rounded, and smooth; however, we found rough patches on the spoon bowl edges and the insides of the fork tines. The knife blades also scratched easily. Still, if you're looking for a set with many place settings at a reasonable price, the New Star is worth a look.
During testing, we found the Massugar 20-Piece Silverware Set stainless steel handles to scratch very easily, especially in comparison to the other sets. When looking at our set, it looked like it had been used for much longer than our two-week testing period. We also found rough patches along the edges of the spoon bowl and the inside of the fork tines.
The knife's serrated blade was the sharpest of all tested, and the parents in our group commented that they would not want their young children to use it, something worthy of consideration if you have kids in your home. However, the blade does cut very cleanly and quickly through foods. The dinner spoon has a huge bowl, and like other sets with large dinner spoons, we found it difficult to eat from because of its size and found the teaspoon to be a more comfortable size for eating. We do not recommend this set because of its quality issues.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our testers read reviews of the 30 highest-rated flatware sets and began to compare and contrast them to narrow our test group to 7 sets. We focused our testing on four metrics; comfort, balance and weight, quality and durability, and value. Our test sets were used at least three times per day and were washed daily to provide true head-to-head comparisons. Our test results aim to help you find the best flatware set for your lifestyle.
Cooking has become a major aspect of Tara Reddinger-Adams' life over the past twenty years, as she has continually worked on refining her cooking skills and frequently cooks up meals that get serious praise by clients on her all-inclusive mountain bike vacations. Tara enjoys extensively reading about and researching products before purchasing, bringing a critical yet practical perspective to her reviews.
Analysis and Test Results
When you think of flatware, a few characteristics stand out — how comfortable the pieces feel in your hand, how well the knife cuts, and how well the pieces stand up to daily use and washing. We began our flatware testing by first washing the place settings in the dishwasher to see if they were prone to discoloration, staining, or excessive spotting. Putting the pieces through the dishwasher also brought out some unexpected imperfections in our sets, such as bent handles and scratching. We then examined the finish of the edges, looking for rough spots on the handles, knife blades, fork tines, and heads of the spoons.
Hand size and shape are a factor in determining how comfortable the handle of a fork or spoon feels during use. Therefore, our testers enlisted the help of friends and family to help with testing. We considered both adult and child use and the factors that may make one set more desirable over another for parents. We considered how large the head of the spoons were and how comfortably they fit into our mouths. We also assessed how the comfort of the individual pieces in hand and how comfortable they were to eat with.
Next, we weighed each place setting. Eight of our nine sets included five pieces per place setting; one set had three pieces per place setting. Of those with five pieces per place setting, each set's weight ranged from 7.3 ounces to 9.5 ounces, which our testers found to affect the overall feel and balance of each piece in our hands. We then considered the weight of each piece and how balanced it felt in our hands.
Lastly, we noted how many place settings were included in each set and how many pieces were in a set, comparing the sets in terms of value. Many of the products we tested are priced similarly, which means differences in comfort and quality stand out when considering the set's value.
How a fork or spoon feels in your hand can impact your dining experience. For example, if the handle is short, you may feel like your fingers are too close to your food as you pick it up from your plate. Conversely, if the handles are awkwardly shaped, they may feel uncomfortable in your hand. For this metric, we assessed each set's overall comfort, considering how easy it is to use and how it feels in our hands.
We enlisted the help of friends and family members to give us a greater range of hand sizes for our testing. We found it interesting how quickly comfort can be determined and the consensus amongst testers.
To begin, we picked up the forks, spoons, and knives to determine how they felt in our hands. Some sets have rounded edges to the handles, while others have small lips on the underside. Our testing team agrees that the Radley and Stowe and the Sharecook Matte Black are the most comfortable sets in hand. The Radley and Stowe handles have a more rounded shape than the Sharecook set, whose handles are a bit flatter. The spoon handles of the Radley and Stowe measure 4 ⅛" and the Sharecook measure 4 ⅜", both of which comfortably fit large and small hands and provide enough space between our fingers and our food.
The 3 ⅞" handles of the New Star Food Service Slimline spoons feel too short for most hand sizes, and we feel like our hands are in the bowl instead of the spoon handle being in the bowl.
Next, we compared and contrasted each set's spoon capacity with cereal and soup. All the sets included soup spoons and teaspoons — except for the New Star set, which only included teaspoons. Among our test sets, there is a considerable difference in the size of bowls on the tea and soup spoons. The Radley and Stowe soup spoons have a medium-sized bowl, neither too small nor too large. The spoon bowls on the Massugar and LIANYU Black Stainless Steel sets are considerably larger than the other sets. Our testers consider them more of a serving spoon than a soup spoon because the spoon bowls are too large to fit comfortably in one's mouth.
Teaspoons can be used for stirring or eating, and their size, in part, determines how it is used. The New Star Food Service Slimline spoons have a narrower bowl than others, making their capacity smaller than others tested.
Fork tines can be used to scoop or spear food; our test sets have fairly blunt tines but could spear everything from salad to sweet potatoes to steaks. However, one set stood out due to the sharpness of the tines. The Amazon Basics Bistro's tines are fairly sharp to the touch, and the parents in our test group felt they were a bit too sharp to be used by small children. In comparison to curved tines, the tines of the Radley and Stowe are completely flat and blunt, but they surprised our testers with their ability to scoop and hold food despite their flatness.
The last test in this metric was how well the serrated blades of the knives cut through meat, avocado toast, and other foods. The serrated blade of the Sharecook Matte Black consistently had the cleanest cuts of all the sets tested. Where some knives tore more than cut our food, the Sharecook blade cleanly cut through the layers of avocado toast, chicken, salads, and more. The Massugar knives have a very sharp serrated blade, which cuts well through foods; however, our testers with children felt the edge was too sharp for their children to use.
Balance and Weight
Flatware can feel too light or heavy in your hand or unbalanced, negatively affecting your dining experience. For this metric, we assessed how balanced the pieces feel in our hands and where we hold them.
Our five-piece place settings range in weight from 7.3 ounces to 9.5 ounces, and our testing showed a definite preference for sets that weigh more. The Radley and Stowe five-piece place setting weighs 9.1 ounces and is a unanimous favorite regarding weight and balance. The pieces feel well balanced in hand and have a comfortable weight to them without being too heavy. The Sharecook Matte Black was another favorite, weighing 9.5 ounces. With a slightly longer and slimmer handle, we held each piece slightly higher up on the handle.
The LIANYU Black Stainless Steel also ranks high in this metric, with its five-piece place setting weighing 8.4 ounces. As with the sets that weigh slightly more, we welcome the weight in our hand, and the pieces feel well-balanced.
Quality and Durability
A flatware set that quickly discolors, stains, or scratches can, at best, be a mild annoyance and, at worst, make you feel like you wasted your money. To mimic heavy use, we put at least one place setting from each test set through at least one daily hand wash or dishwasher cycle. We also closely examined the finish on each set for this metric, carefully feeling the edges of the fork tines, spoon bowls, knife edges, and handles for rough spots.
Our test sets had at least mild discoloration, water spots, or scratching from the repeated wash cycles. Pieces were hand washed using a non-abrasive Scotch-Brite pad, and we used our regular powder dishwasher detergent with a liquid rinse aid on a non-heated drying cycle in our dishwasher. We're not the type to polish our flatware or rush to retrieve it from the dishwasher to hand-dry it, so please keep this in mind when considering how you care for your flatware.
After our testing, the Berglander rainbow color set showed the least amount of wear. Its surface resisted scratches and was less prone to water spots than other sets. However, its edges are not well polished, and you can feel rough spots along the handles and the inside of the fork tines.
We found the Sharecook Matte Black to have a smooth finish and relatively smooth edges on the fork tines and spoon bowls. Its matte finish helps to disguise scratches and water spots, but oils from our hands leave smudges on the surface, which we found mildly annoying.
After a few wash cycles, we noticed the handles on one of the spoons and one of the forks from the Amazon Basics Bistro were bent. The fork handles on this set also developed discoloration from water spots; however, the finish on the edges of the handles and fork tines are slightly more polished than other sets.
The Massugar utensils developed the most scratches during our test period, which are visible on all the handles and the knife blade. Despite being relatively new, this set looked like it had been through long-term use.
When considering a flatware set's value, we considered the number of place settings included and if it performed significantly better or worse than similarly priced sets.
Except for the New Star Food Service Slimline, all of our test sets included five-piece place settings: a dinner knife, dinner fork, salad or dessert fork, dinner spoon, and a teaspoon. The New Star set includes 12 three-piece place settings.
The Radley and Stowe utensils performed very well in our balance, weight, and comfort metrics. The inside of the fork tines are a bit rough, and the satin finish of the handles is prone to scratching. Another set that stands out for value is the Sharecook Matte Black, with nicely weighted and balanced pieces that are comfortable to use and wash well.
Flatware design can be a fairly personal preference, but our test team found that most people enjoy certain characteristics. We found heavier-weight pieces to be more desirable than lightweight pieces. When it came to handle length, there was a preference for pieces about 5 ¼" in length. Handles that are 4 ½" inches feel too small and short, and handles that are 5 ½" in length felt too long. We also found a handle's thickness and shape greatly affected the pieces' overall comfort in our hands, and we prefer handles with rounded edges compared to those with a lip on the underside.
While we are not particularly cautious about how we clean our flatware, we prefer pieces that resist water spots, scratching, or staining. However, we also know that some of these issues can be resolved with more care during the washing and drying process. We encourage you to consider how you plan to use and care for your flatware, which will help determine the most important factors for you. If you have children, we recommend considering the size of their hands and mouths and the amount of serration on the knife blade you're comfortable with. We hope our testing helps you narrow the search and helps you find your next flatware set.
— Tara Reddinger-Adams