How do I find silverware that won't rust?
November 8, 2005 7:02 AM   Subscribe

I'm putting together my wedding registry and need to add some everyday silverware/flatware. What should I look for to ensure they wont rust?

Also, any brand recommendations? Right now we're registered at Bed Bath & Beyond and Target, but I'm open to registering elsewhere.
posted by geeky to Shopping (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Oneida stainless. Lasts forever, comes in *lots* of styles and price ranges, doesn't discolor as long as you don't put it away wet. We have Oneida stainless that's got to be 50 years old, and it still looks nice, although the pattern is a little dated.
posted by jlkr at 7:19 AM on November 8, 2005

Sterling silver will tarnish but not rust.

Stainless won't rust or tarnish. (look for 18/10 grade)

Plated (silver or gold) may rust depending on what the underlying metal is. Good plate is on a nickel base, cheap plate might be on steel or brass. Gold is often plated onto sterling. Plated pieces will also tarnish no matter the base.

Crate and Barrel have some simple, utilitarian patterns that are durable and attractive.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:21 AM on November 8, 2005

oh, and another related follow up: does finish matter?
posted by geeky at 7:46 AM on November 8, 2005

Pollomacho: is 18/10 better or worse than 18/8? What exactly do those numbers mean?
posted by geeky at 7:47 AM on November 8, 2005

!8/10 is better than 18/8. The numbers refer to the proportion of iron, nickel and chromium in the alloy. 18/8 will rust in hostile conditions.
posted by Mitheral at 7:50 AM on November 8, 2005

I registered for flatware from crate&barrel and love it. very heavy and idea what kind it is but it definitely doesn't rust.
posted by miss tea at 8:13 AM on November 8, 2005

Good guide.
posted by agregoli at 8:20 AM on November 8, 2005

18 % Chromium / 10% Nickel

Metal manufacturers are permitted to call an alloy with anything more than 8% 18/10, that means to save money they will make 8.3% nickel and sell it to you as 18/10 for twice the price of the 18/8 flatware. If you are going to use the flatware for precise scientific experiments or an engineering project involving heavy corrosives it might make a difference, but for eating purposes there is going to be no noticeable difference (except in the bill). It's a sales gimmick for the most part.

Finish is more a matter of taste. Though, if you are going to get a satin or "brushed" finish it is going to show spotting and such far less than your shiny surfaces.

A tip I've heard to prevent some staining on stainless knife blades (which might be of a slightly different alloy if you get the type with a hollow handle) is to wash them together and all points down. That keeps all the metals the same and prevents galvanic action from pitting the chromium. I don't know if this actually does anything or not, just passing on what I heard when I was looking.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:27 AM on November 8, 2005 [1 favorite]

Don't get the knives with hollow handles.
posted by dame at 10:04 AM on November 8, 2005 [1 favorite]

Another vote for 18/8 flatware - I've had the same funky sleek-n-heavy set from Retroneu for more than 10 years and they still look great. I just wish I had bought an extra set because I keep losing forks and teaspoons and they don't make the pattern any more.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:04 AM on November 8, 2005

The besides the materials and the finish I think the key to this purchase is making sure these utensils feel good in your hands. These are things that you will use mutliple times per day for a long, long time (hopefully) and you will want something that not only looks good but feels comfortable to use.
posted by mmascolino at 10:08 AM on November 8, 2005

I personally have bought and still use the WMF flatware from Clean, modern German design on 18/10 stainless steel if you're into that.
posted by junesix at 1:55 PM on November 8, 2005 [1 favorite]

I second and third mmascolino. Please make sure they're comfortable to use.

Especially the forks. Hold them and make sure they feel okay when you use the side of the fork to press down and cut something like meatloaf or pie that requires a little pressure but often wouldn't use a knife to cut.

That's always the utensil I notice most when someone picks an attractive pattern, but completely overlooks the comfortable-to-use factor. You don't want the edge on the handle to be too narrow or thin, or it will feel like you're cutting your hand at the same time.
posted by marsha56 at 2:28 PM on November 8, 2005

I've used Oneida's stainless Colonial Boston pattern for - sheesh, a long time. A+++ WOULD FORK AGAIN
posted by ikkyu2 at 3:23 PM on November 8, 2005

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