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Different Types of Flatware

Simplify the challenge of shopping for restaurant flatware with this handy guide!

Reading this flatware buying guide, you’ll learn about some common terms related to commercial flatware to help you make an educated decision in choosing the right flatware that's best suited for your establishment. It's important to know the differences between the various styles, because, with all the different types of flatware available in the market, the decision making process can become extremely overwhelming! We've even made it easier by including a comparison guide so you can view each pattern we offer, and compare it in style to similar patterns from other manufacturers to ensure your new flatware matches your existing collection.

Flatware Quality: 18/10 Vs. 18/0 Vs. 13/0

Stainless steel flatware is available in three qualities: 18/0, 18/10, or 13/0. You may come across another one called 18/8, but this is virtually identical to 18/10 stainless steel. These designations refer to the percentages of chromium and nickel in the stainless steel alloy. Chromium is used in stainless steel to provide durability as well as rust and corrosion resistance, while nickel is used to give flatware its luster.

18/10 (304 stainless steel) - Contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel.

18/0 (420 stainless steel) - Contains 18% chromium and 0% nickel.

13/0 (410 stainless steel) - Contains 13% chromium and 0% nickel.

Most dinner and dessert knives are made with 13/0 stainless steel. This steel is ideal for blade forging to produce a sharp cutting surface, while still maintaining rust and corrosion resistance properties.

18/0 flatware is magnetic, which makes it a good choice if you use magnetic flatware retrievers at your business.

Keep in mind that these materials do not refer to the thickness, or gauge, of the flatware, which is what determines the weight. The higher the gauge number is, the thicker/heavier the flatware is.

The Difference Between 18/10 and 18/0 Stainless Steel



  • Shiny Luster
  • Rust-resistant
  • Durable construction
  • Soft shine
  • No nickel content
  • Economical composition

Flatware Weight: Understanding the Terms

Medium Weight Flatware: Medium weight flatware is the lightest flatware that we carry. This is primarily called medium weight flatware in the industry but it can also be called economy weight, and is commonly sought by the value minded buyer. Medium weight flatware is often bendable in your hand and commonly found in cafeterias, schools, and other institutional settings.

Heavy Weight Flatware: Heavy weight flatware is more durable than medium weight flatware, not easily bent, and makes for a nice presentation. As a definitive step up in quality from medium weight, it is commonly used in fast casual dining establishments and many other mid-level eateries.

Extra Heavy Weight Flatware: As our premium grade of flatware, extra heavy weight flatware exudes a level of quality that you will see at most finer restaurants and hotels. It feels very sturdy in your hand and is very difficult to bend, compared to medium or even heavy weight flatware.

Now that you understand quality and weight, the process of choosing flatware should be much simpler, right? The next step is to actually recognize the types of flatware and what meal or food each is used for. There are multiple sizes and styles of spoons, forks, and knives; and the chart below will walk you through each type we have available!
Teaspoon The classic teaspoon is part of most traditional place settings. It is used for a wide variety of items from coffee and tea, to desserts, cereal, and soup. It is what most people envision when they think of a spoon.
Dessert Spoon A dessert spoon is similar in size and shape to a soup spoon (often larger than a teaspoon, too). It has a wide, deep, oval-shaped bowl.
Tablespoon A tablespoon resembles a traditional teaspoon in shape, but is much larger. Tablespoons are mainly used as serving utensils for bowls placed in the middle of the table.
Soup Spoon A soup spoon has a wider and deeper oval-shaped bowl than a tablespoon, so it can hold more liquid. It has a similar overall shape.
Demitasse Spoon A demitasse spoon is similar in shape to a standard teaspoon, but generally has a longer handle and a slightly smaller bowl. It's designed to stir coffee drinks served in small quantities such as espresso or cappuccino.
Bouillon Spoon A bouillon spoon is another type of soup spoon. Bouillon spoons are generally smaller than a regular soup spoon and have a round bowl.
Iced Tea Spoon / Soda Spoon This spoon generally has a long, thin handle and a small, oval-shaped bowl. It's great for stirring tall drinks, milk shakes, and root beer floats.
Grapefruit spoon/Citrus Spoon A grapefruit spoon is similar in design to a teaspoon, but features an elongated bowl and a rigid serrated edge to easily separate the fruit from the rind. This spoon can also be used for other fruits such as oranges and melons.
Dinner Fork The all-purpose dinner fork is part of almost all traditional place settings. It is usually used for the main course. In many casual or quick-serve restaurants, this may be the only fork used. Most dinner forks have four tines, but some only have three, depending on the pattern.
Cocktail / Oyster Fork This small fork is suitable for small appetizers such as cheese cubes, olives, and oysters.
Dessert Fork A dessert fork and a salad fork are sometimes used interchangeably, even though true dessert forks are slightly smaller and thinner than a salad fork. It is mainly used for eating desserts such as cake or pie.
Salad Fork A salad fork is smaller than a traditional dinner fork, and is most often used for eating salads or smaller items such as sliced fruit. It may also be used as a dessert fork, even though a true dessert fork is even smaller and more thinly-built.
European Dinner Fork A European dinner fork is generally larger and heavier than a traditional dinner fork. It is usually used during formal occasions and can be found in many higher-end restaurants.
Snail fork A snail fork traditionally features two long, pointed tines and is used to gently pry the meat from the snail shell.
European Dinner Knife A European dinner knife is nearly a third larger and heavier than a traditional dinner knife. It is most often used in formal occasions and is found in many higher-end restaurants.
Dinner Knife A dinner knife traditionally has a rounded tip and slightly longer blade than the butter knife. It is used for cutting slightly rougher foods such as vegetables and soft meats, and is one of the more common pieces of flatware on the dinner table.
Butter Knife A butter knife typically has a dull edge with a rounded point. This design makes it suitable for spreading jam or butter onto soft foods like rolls, muffins, or toast.
Butter spreader A butter spreader is typically the smallest knife in a set of flatware, and features a rounded tip and flat blade. It is used to spread butter, jelly and other toppings.

Stainless Steel Flatware Care

Stainless steel flatware will last longer and look better if you keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Remove all food remnants from your flatware as soon as possible.
  2. Sort and handle properly. It's a good idea to sort the tines, blades and bowls down if you transport and wash flatware in the same cylinders. When washing in the flatware cylinders, it's a good idea to mix up the flatware so forks and spoons don't "nest", and wash with the business end up.
  3. Presoak for approximately 20 minutes. Noble Chemical's Silva Soak Presoak Powder is a great choice for presoaking your stainless steel flatware. This concentrated powder (a little goes a long way) penetrates and saturates soils for more effective removal in your wash cycle.
    • Don't forget to change your soaking solution after a few cycles; otherwise chemicals and food particles will accumulate and reduce its effectiveness.

  4. Like all stainless steel, hard water and detergents high in chlorides will eventually break down the protective film. As long as you follow proper presoaking and drying procedures and your dish machine is rinsing correctly, any high quality detergent and sanitizer should not harm your flatware.
  5. To ensure your flatware always looks its best, be sure to polish immediately with a microfiber cloth or mitt, eliminating any water spots or smudges.

Calculate Standard Usage Quantities

Use the chart below to calculate the appropriate amount of flatware needed based on the type of operation and seating capacity of your establishment or catering service's next event.

To calculate standard usage quantities:

  1. Choose the column most applicable to your establishment.
  2. Multiply your number of seats by the number listed in the column chosen in step 1 for each type of flatware needed.

For example, The amount of teaspoons needed for a Fine Dining restaurant with 125 seats would be 125 x 5 = 625 teaspoons recommended.

Item Fine Dining Upscale Casual Banquet
Teaspoon 5 3 3
Dessert or Soup Spoon 2 2 2
Tablespoon 1/4 1/4 0
Iced Tea Spoon 1 1/2 1 1/2 1 1/2
Demitasse Spoon 2 0 0
Dessert Fork 3 3 3
Dinner Fork 2 0 0
Oyster or Cocktail Fork 1 1/2 1 1/2 1 1/2
Dinner Knife 2 1 1/2 3
Utility / Dessert Knife 2 1 1/2 0
B&B Knife or Butter Spreader 2 0 0
Salad Fork 2 2 2

With the convenient comparison chart below, you are able to find the perfect flatware pattern to suit your establishment’s needs, or to match your existing flatware to other similar manufacturers’ lines. Simply click through the patterns, and check out all the different styles for yourself!

Flatware Comparison

Windsor MD 18/0
Shop Windsor Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
ABC ABC Windsor
Bon Chef
Halco-Browne Halco-Browne Windsor
Libertyware Libertyware Windsor
Oneida Oneida-Delco Windsor III
Superior Products Superior Products Windsor
Sysco Sysco Windsor
Thunder Group Thunder Group Windsor
Update International Update Windsor - Medium
US Foods US Foods Windsor Medium
Walco Walco Economy Windsor
Winco Winco Windsor
World Tableware World Tableware Medium Windsor
Dominion MD 18/0
Shop Dominion Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
ABC ABC Dominion
Bon Chef
Halco-Browne Halco-Browne Dominion
Libertyware Libertyware Dominion
Oneida Oneida-Delco- Dominion
Superior Products Superior Products Dominion
Sysco Sysco Dominion
Thunder Group Thunder Group Domilion
Update International Update International Dominion
US Foods
Vollrath US Foods Dominion
Walco Walco Dominion
Winco Winco Dominion
World Tableware World Tableware Dominion
Acopa Midland 18/0
Shop Acopa Midland Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
ABC ABC Queen Anne
Bon Chef
Halco-Browne Halco-Browne Notting Hill
Libertyware Libertyware Old Oxford
Oneida Oneida-Delco Old English
Superior Products Superior Products Freedom
Sysco Sysco Millcroft
Thunder Group Thunder Group Dakota
Update International Update International Chelsea
US Foods US Foods Hightower
Vollrath Vollrath Queen Ann
Walco Walco Royal Bristol
Winco Winco Lafayete
World Tableware World Tableware Freedom
Acopa Tableware Acopa Midland 18/0
Acopa Milton 18/0
Shop Acopa Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
ABC ABC Beaded
Bon Chef
Halco-Browne Halco-Browne Contour
Libertyware Libertyware Crosspoint 18/0
Oneida Oneida-Delco Belmore
Superior Products Superior Products Harbor
Sysco Sysco Winchester and Harbour
Thunder Group Thunder Group Jewel
Update International Update International Harbor-Lite
US Foods US Foods Pebbles
Vollrath Vollrath Brocade
Walco Walco Colgate
Walco Accolade 18/0
Winco Winco Dots
World Tableware World Tableware Harbour
Acopa Tableware Acopa Milton 18/0
Bellwood 18/0
Shop Bellwood Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
ABC ABC New Colonial
Bon Chef Bon Chef Liberty
Libertyware Libertyware Independence
Oneida Oneida-Delco Concord
Superior Products
Sysco Sysco Brookhollow
Thunder Group Thunder Group Salem 18/0
Update International Update International Conrad
US Foods US Foods Plymouth
Walco Walco Monterey
Winco Winco Houston
World Tableware World Tableware Boston Common Colony
Acopa Tableware Acopa Bellwood 18/0
Acopa Atglen 18/0
Shop Acopa Atglen Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
Bon Chef Bon Chef Shell
Libertyware Libertyware Oceans
Oneida Oneida-Delco Laguna
Superior Products
Sysco Sysco Coral
Thunder Group Thunder Group Sea Shell
Update International Update International Shelley
US Foods US Foods Shell
Vollrath Vollrath Mariner
Walco Walco Fanfare
Winco Winco Toulouse
World Tableware World Tableware Coral / Coquille
Acopa Tableware Acopa Atglen 18/0
Melinda HVY 18/0
Shop Melinda Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
ABC ABC Elegance
Bon Chef Bon Chef Queen Anne
Libertyware Libertyware Rosa Linda
Oneida Oneida-Delco- Melinda III
Superior Products Superior Products Melinda
Sysco Sysco Melissa and Linda
Thunder Group Thunder Group Sunflower
Thunder Group Elizabeth
Update International Update International Claridge
US Foods US Foods Dubois
Vollrath Vollrath Thornhill
Walco Walco Barclay
Winco Winco Elegance
World Tableware World Tableware Linda
Regal 18/0
Shop Regal Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
Bon Chef Bon Chef Tuscany
Libertyware Libertyware Stansbury
Oneida Oneida Barcelona
Superior Products
Sysco Sysco Palais and Classic Rim
Thunder Group Thunder Group Legend
Update International Update International Regal
US Foods US Foods Columbia
Walco Walco Balance
Winco Winco Continental
World Tableware Libbey World Tableware Classic Rim
Regency 18/8
Shop Regency Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
ABC ABC Regency
Bon Chef Bon Chef Tuscany
Oneida Oneida New Rim
Superior Products Superior Products New Rim or Tuscany
Sysco Sysco Palais / Classic Rim
Update International Update Regency
US Foods US Foods Reflections
Walco Walco Napa
Winco Winco Shangri-La Heavy Weight
World Tableware World Tableware Geneva / Classic Rim
Marquis EX-HVY 18/10
Shop Marquis Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
ABC ABC Metropolis
Bon Chef Bon Chef Nile
Oneida Oneida-Delco New York
Superior Products Superior Products New York
Thunder Group
Update International Update International Marquis
US Foods US Foods Riverside
Walco Walco Art Deco
Winco Winco Peacock
Imperial 18/8
Shop Imperial Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
Bon Chef Bon Chef Prism
Halco-Browne Halco-Browne Oxford
Oneida Oneida Lido
Superior Products
Sysco Sysco Black Diamond
Thunder Group Thunder Group Wilshire
Update International Update International Imperial
US Foods US Foods Prism
Winco Winco Victoria
World Tableware World Tableware Pinnacle
Bague 18/0
Shop Bague Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
Bon Chef Bon Chef Monroe
Cardinal Cardinal Renzo
Oneida Oneida Bague
Superior Products
Thunder Group Thunder Group Diamond 18/10
Update International
US Foods
Walco Walco Parisian 18/0
Winco Winco Stanford
World Tableware World Tableware Baguette II
Stanford 18/0
Shop Stanford Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
Bon Chef
Oneida Oneida Stanford
Superior Products
Thunder Group Thunder Group Simplicity
Update International Update International Stanford
US Foods US Foods Deville
Walco Walco Saville
Winco Winco Oxford
World Tableware World Tableware Deerfield
Unity EX HVY 18/0
Shop Unity Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
Bon Chef Bon Chef Britany
Oneida Oneida Unity
Superior Products
Sysco Sysco Tosca
Thunder Group
Update International
US Foods US Foods Unity
World Tableware Libbey World Tableware Gothic
Rosewood EX HVY 18/0
Shop Rosewood Flatware Now!
10 Strawberry Street
Bon Chef
Oneida Oneida Rosewood
Superior Products
Thunder Group
Update International
US Foods
World Tableware

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