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Plastic Cutlery - How to Choose the Best One

Plastic cutlery can be a colorful way to decorate almost any table. Although it is usually used for informal dining, even some fancier table settings can be enhanced by plastic-handled eating utensils if they are made in an elegant style such as to look like animal bone or natural stone. This type of dining table cutlery can be a practical choice for a family, as the plastic handles may be easier for small children to hold than regular, all stainless steel flatware.

It's best to buy plastic flatware sets in person so you can feel the weight of the eating pieces. A heavier weight in stainless steel signals quality, but with this type of flatware, it's important to make sure the heaviness isn't due to the plastic handle only. You should examine the metal portions and look for rounded, well-formed eating utensils, since cheaper quality stainless steel is merely stamped out and is much flatter. Another telltale sign of low quality plastic cutlery sets is that the handle and metal eating utensil tend to detach easily. Although they can often be repaired with glue, the result may look messy and having to do this can be avoided by choosing good quality plastic-handled flatware in the first place.

In terms of color and design, the easiest way to pick out plastic-handled cutlery is to consider your dishware. If you have translucent, or semi-transparent, colored dishes, there are plastic cutlery sets available in the same style. You don't have to match the color exactly, but you could either keep it in the same tone or use colors as well as patterns that work well with your dishes.

Keep the overall look of your flatware coordinated to that of your dishware. If the theme in your dishes is casual or whimsical, that flavor should be kept. If instead, your dishware is elegant, whimsical cutlery won't enhance it. You may want to choose plastic cutlery in sophisticated finishes that resemble ivory, wood, metal or marble. As a general guideline to make selecting colored or patterned flatware simple, if the dishes are plain, the eating utensils can be more graphic and vice versa.

When choosing plastic handled cutlery, also think of the convenience of storage. For example, some plastic cutlery sets are sold with a caddy to hold all of the pieces. This makes it easy to store the cutlery set either near the table or inside a cupboard. This way, you can still store other cutlery in a kitchen drawer. Then, if you're looking for dishwasher safe cutlery, be sure to read the label, as many plastic cutlery will fade under high temperature.

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