Complete Guide to Flatware

Complete guide to sterling silver flatware

Sterling silver is available in a wide assortment of practical utensils that make a statement on your table and provide the perfect serving solutions for every dining need. Each exquisitely crafted piece has intrinsic beauty, and serves a specific purpose—though most can perform multiple tasks. Not only are they useful for all of your entertaining needs, they are valuable collectibles and make wonderful gifts.

This comprehensive guide will help you identify the name and learn the role for each piece.

Placesetting Pieces

Place pieces include everything from the standard 5-piece place setting to all the other individual utensils used for specific purposes at each diner’s place.

Place Knife

Most popular size in America. Used for cutting or spreading; also known as a luncheon knife.

Dinner Knife

All-purpose cutting utensil.

Dinner Knife (Continental Size)

Based on larger European sizing and heavier weight than the standard dinner knives.

Fish Knife

Ideal for cutting delicate fish.

Butter Spreader, Paddle Blade

Ideal for butter spreads and patés. (Not usually used as a placesetting piece.)

Butter Spreader, Flat Handle

Features a heavier handle of solid sterling silver.

Fruit Knife

An excellent tool for slicing fruits and vegetables.

Butter Spreader, Hollow Handle

Ideal for specialty butter spreads and patés. Features a rounded hollow handle.

Place Knife, Old Style Blade

Has a longer blade than our standard place knife.

Dinner Knife, Old Style Blade

Features a longer blade than our standard dinner knife.

Individual Steak Knife

Ideal for cutting steak, ham, or turkey. Features a stainless steel serrated blade with a sterling silver rounded hollow handle.

Dinner Fork

All-purpose eating utensil for solid foods.

Dinner Fork (Continental Size)

Larger size and heavier weight than the standard dinner fork.

Cake Fork

Ideal for desserts, sized for eating delicate cakes and desserts without crushing them.

Fish Fork

Specially designed for eating grilled, baked, or fried fish.

Ice Cream Fork

Perfect for eating ice cream cakes and frozen desserts.

Place Fork

Slightly smaller than the dinner fork. Most popular size in America for standard placesettings.

Cocktail Fork

Essential for seafood, including shrimp and oysters.

Strawberry Fork

Long thin tines with a smaller proportion perfect for spearing soft fruits.

Salad Fork

Slightly smaller than the dinner fork; ideal for a variety of salads. One of the most universal pieces.

Place Spoon

Perfect for cereal, dessert, coffee, ice cream, and fruits.

Place Spoon (Continental Size)

Larger size and heavier weight than our standard place spoon.


Slightly smaller than the place spoon. One of the most universal pieces, designed for tea and coffee to stir in milk and sugar.

Teaspoon (Continental Size)

Larger size and heavier weight than the standard teaspoon.

Soup Spoon (Round Bowl)

Ideal for cream soups. Features a larger bowl than a cream soup spoon.

Dessert/Oval Spoon

Essential for puddings, ice cream cakes, and other soft desserts.

Grapefruit Spoon

Specially designed for eating grapefruit.

Cream Soup Spoon

Features a round bowl designed for bouillons, clear broth soups, and creamed soups.

Iced Beverage Spoon

Specifically designed for tall glasses.

Demitasse Spoon

Ideal for serving coffee, tea, or other after-dinner refreshments.

Child Fork

Fork sized for a child’s easy use.

Child Spoon

Spoon sized for a child’s easy use.

Child Knife

Knife sized for a child’s easy use.

Infant Feeding Spoon

Spoon specially tailored for an infant, 3-6 months.

Baby Spoon

Specially sized spoon tailored for a baby, 12-24 months.

Baby Pusher

Special eating utensil designed to ease a baby's transition from hand to fork/spoon. Used to push the soft food together to make it easier to pick up.

Sterling Utensils

Lifetime Sterling offers a wide variety of serving utensils to help with all of your serving needs, each historically designed with a particular purpose, though most can be used for multiple tasks.

Solid Sterling Silver

These standard pieces are the most popular and versatile serving utensils. Each one is finely crafted from solid sterling silver.

All Purpose, X-Large

Ideal for a variety of serving tasks.

Pie Server, X-Large

Serves larger pies.

Lg. Serving Fork, X-Large

Excellent for serving meats, poultry, and cold cuts.

Gravy Ladle

Suitable for gravies and sauces.

Pierced Serving Spoon, X-Large

Pair with large serving fork. The bowl is pierced so liquid flows through the bowl to avoid excess liquid on the dinner plate.

Cranberry, X-Large

Larger size and heavier weight than a tomato/cranberry server.

Lettuce Fork

Designed with wide-spread tongs for serving leafy greens.

Hostess Helpers

These useful serving utensils feature hollow sterling silver handles with stainless steel fittings.

Bottle Opener

Versatile bottle-opening utensil.

Pierced Serving Spoon

Suitable for vegetables and fruits. Features a pierced bowl so liquid flows through the bowl to avoid excess liquid on the dinner plate.

Salad Serving Fork

Pair with the Salad Serving Spoon. Similar in shape to the Salad Serving Spoon with a forked bowl.

Salad Serving Spoon

Pair with the Salad Serving Fork.

Double Jigger

Great for measuring liquor for mixed drinks.

Ice Scoop

This classic scoop with high sides is the proper way to scoop ice.

Bar Knife

Citrus fruit slicer with a lightly serrated blade featuring a forked tip end with a bottle opener/cap lifter on the blade.

Cheese Server

Appropriate for serving most cheeses.

Cake Knife

For cutting cakes and pastries. Features a long, wide serrated blade with a rounded tip.

Pasta Server

The best way to serve spaghetti, fettuccine, and fusilli.

Flat/Lasagna/Kugel Server

A large, rectangular flat server perfect for serving lasagna, raviolis, and casseroles.

Pie Server

Stylishly serves seasonal pies.

Serving/Rice Spoon

All purpose serving spoon with a large oval bowl.

Punch Ladle

The correct way to serve punch. Features pour spouts on either side of the bowl.

Soup Ladle

Ideal for serving soups and stews.

Fish Serving Knife

Essential for serving all types of fish.

Cheese Cleaver

Ideal for slicing large blocks of specialty cheeses.

Stuffing Spoon

Designed with a long handle for stuffing poultry and serving traditional stuffing or mashed potatoes.

Shell/Berry Spoon

Ice Cream Scoop

Equally good for serving sherbet, ice cream, or frozen yogurt.

Hooded Asparagus Server

Ideal for serving bunches of fresh asparagus.

Cheese Grater

Perfect for grating fresh cheeses.

Cake Breaker

Cuts and serves angel food cake.

Specialty Serving Utensils

Each of these pieces perform a special task, though most can serve multiple uses. Some are solid sterling silver, as noted below; the rest have hollow sterling silver handles with stainless steel fittings.

Tomato Server

Ideal for serving whole tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, or tomato wedges. A broad, flat server with a pierced design to allow liquid to remain in the serving dish.

Tea Strainer

Perfect for straining hot tea bags and holding loose tea. Designed to sit on top of a teapot or cup/mug.

Serving Tongs

Serves all kinds of long vegetables, fruits, and meat that has been rolled.

Dessert Server

Essential for serving most desserts including cakes, pies, and pastries.

Ice Cream Slicer

Ideal for slicing ice cream cakes as well as custard-filled cakes and pies.

Cracker Scoop

Perfect for serving oyster crackers for soups and salads.

Asparagus Server

This item is a place setting piece but is also used today for buffet serving. Designed for serving bunches of long fresh vegetables including asparagus, zucchini, celery, and carrot sticks.

Macaroni Server

Serves equally well for all pasta dishes, including spaghetti, baked ziti, and pasta salads.

Asparagus Tongs, Individual

Ideal for small servings of asparagus, zucchini, green beans, and eggplant.

Salt Spoon

Perfect for salting all entrees; typically used with a salt cellar that holds loose salt.

Butter Pick

Designed for individual servings of plain or flavored butter balls or butter pats.

Chocolate Spoon

For drizzling and serving all kinds of chocolate, including hot fudge and melted white chocolate.

Coffee Scoop

Perfect for measuring the freshest ground coffee.

Cheese Scoop

Ideal for soft cheese spreads.

Large Cheese Scoop

Designed for large rounds of Stilton cheese; also useful for soft cheese spreads, fondue cheeses, and shredded cheeses.

Napkin Clip

A handy clip that’s a wonderful way to hold a napkin in place.

Tomato/Cranberry Server

Perfect for serving cranberry slices and fresh tomato slices.

Steak Carving Knife

Carves steaks, turkey, tenderloins, or ham equally well.

Steak Carving Fork

For serving freshly carved meats and poultry.

Sardine Server

Ideal for serving small delicacies, including sardines, shrimp, and oysters.

Lemon/Cheese Server

Designed to serve small wedges of lemons, limes, and cheeses.