Find elegant and practical cutlery sets

The right cutlery is solid, durable and pleasing to the hand and eye. High quality knives have a razor-sharp edge and bright shine. Flatware has a pleasing heft and intricate silver or stainless steel details. But not all kitchen cutlery and flatware is the same, so make sure that you follow some simple guidelines before making your purchase.

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Choosing Stainless Steel or Silver Cutlery and Flatware

The first choice you'll have to make before you purchase your new cutlery and flatware is whether you'd like stainless steel or silver. Silver is the traditional material used in making flatware, and it provides a beautiful shine and finish, as well as metallic details. However, silver can be difficult and time-consuming to clean and maintain, and you'll need to purchase a special cleaning agent to ensure that it doesn't stain or tarnish.

Stainless steel cutlery is considered by some to have advantages because it is durable, rustproof and can simply be thrown in the dishwasher when dirty. However, it may not have the intricate details and heft of silver.

Although silverware can be purchased by the piece, which is useful for completing a partial set, it is most economical to buy a whole set. Cutlery sets include a variable number of forks and spoons, depending on whether they are designed for a formal or informal dinner. Consult the manufacturer for more information.

Famous Silverware Brands

What brands should you consider when getting ready to make your silverware purchase? If you're looking for a high-quality, moderately priced set with full tang forged blades, Wusthof cutlery is the way to go. Wusthof is a famous brand in kitchen knives, and has been used on Emeril Lagasse's cooking show – there is even a special "Emirilware" Wusthof brand designed by the famous chef himself.

If you're looking for something a bit different, check out Henckels cutlery. Henckels carries several cutlery lines to fulfill your specific needs in the kitchen. The Eversharp line is great for the casual chef, because those knives never need sharpening. The Pro line, on the other hand, is made for professional chefs and features specially honed semi-serrated edges on the knives which only need to be sharpened occasionally for a razor-sharp blade. However, unlike micro-serrated knives, Pro line knives can be sharpened as often as you please, which means they will last for many years.