How is cutlery and crockery different

Identifying good cutlery: You should pay attention to this marking

Anyone who values ​​well-cared for table culture will also be happy to buy good cutlery. Stainless steel is far more popular with buyers than any other material, as it is easy to care for and robust. However, not every alloy is necessarily dishwasher safe. Here it depends on the nickel content. How to recognize long-lasting cutlery and what counts when it comes to knives, forks and spoons.

Whether oyster fork, espresso spoon or grapefruit knife - a knife, fork and spoon in the cutlery tray is no longer enough. "The range of other cutlery items is large and extremely suitable for making eating - not to say eating - more pleasant," says Jens-Heinrich Beckmann from the Industry Association for Cutlery and Household Goods in Solingen. After all, food is not only an essential part of our lives, but also of cultural importance.

This marking reveals good stainless steel

A classic cutlery set for six people comprises 24 pieces, each with six forks, knives, dinner spoons and coffee spoons. "Around 80 to 90 percent of all cutlery is off stainless steel", estimates the cutlery manufacturer Curt Mertens from Solingen. Here buyers should pay attention to the marking 18/10, which is an indication of dishwasher-safe, rustproof stainless steel with 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel." The addition of nickel increases the shine above all of the cutlery, but also its resistance to acids, "explains Beckmann.

What good cutlery can cost

Mertens advises budgeting between 300 and 600 euros for a good cutlery set. "Of course you can also buy cheap cutlery for 20 euros, but you have to make big compromises in terms of quality." This depends largely on the material and workmanship.

Pay attention to the spaces between the fork

Laypeople can tell just how high-quality cutlery is, even from small signs: The gaps in a fork should be ground and not roughly punched. The edge of the spoon must not injure the mouth and should be polished smooth. With the knife, buyers can test whether the blade is easy to bend.

How to recognize cheap cutlery

A distinction is also made between monoblock and hollow handle knives. The monoblock knife is made entirely of the same material as the fork and spoon. The blade of a hollow handle knife is made of a different, harder steel. As a result, the knife retains its sharpness significantly longer than the monoblock knife. Cheap cutlery can also be recognized by the fact that they are fully magnetic. They usually consist of chrome steel without the addition of nickel. The general rule is: The cutlery must be balanced in the hand, says Mertens.

Pay attention to the availability guarantee

Another decisive quality feature is whether individual parts can be purchased. Because what if extravagant cutlery such as mango forks or trimming knives are to be added to the standard version? Or is the budget just growing? "Cutlery lasts the longest, then comes the porcelain, then the glasses," says Thomas Grothkopp from the Federal Association for the Set Table, Household Goods and Home Decor (GPK).

"If it is a brand manufacturer that has been offering a model for a long time, it will probably still be offered in the future," explains Grothkopp. Some manufacturers give an availability guarantee. With a fashionable bargain, it is usually difficult to buy something later. Since people tend to dare fashionable experiments with short-lived objects, cutlery is hardly subject to trends. But what is spreading more and more on the market are horn and mother-of-pearl spoons and cutlery with wooden or plastic handles. Beckmann warns here, however: "All of these variants are mostly not suitable for them dishwasher and require more care in everyday life. "

Clear shapes are the trend

The style of the cutlery always depends on the porcelain on the table. "If I have large plates, I should use wide cutlery shapes," explains Mertens. After all, knives, forks and spoons shouldn't go under on the table. "The expert also observes that the Scandinavian style with clear, almost avant-garde shapes has prevailed in recent years.

What is important in the cutlery drawer

In order to preserve their smooth and easy-to-clean surface, cutlery made of stainless steel is kept on a surface in a shelf that does not rub against the parts, recommends Hans-Peter Wilbert from the stainless steel information center (ISER). Rust stains that occur during washing are mainly extraneous rust caused by particles in the drinking water or the washing of parts that are not rust-resistant.

Always remove leftovers from cutlery immediately

In addition, cutlery should never be left dirty. Because: "Mustard, ketchup, like all salty and acidic leftovers, can develop destructive forces," explains Beckmann. It also makes sense to put the cutlery in the dishwasher with the handles facing downwards. Water can then run off better. Silver or silver-plated cutlery, in particular, should be taken straight out of the machine after washing and dried with a cloth if necessary.