Sunday, January 15, 2017

Poorly Balanced Flatware

Flatware with heavy handles ends up on the floor all-too-often.

I hate my flatware - with a passion.  Why?  Well, it works well enough, and is stainless steel and is durable.   But it is very poorly balanced - the handles are large and round and solid metal and thus are very heavy.  As a result, if they are placed on a plate, and you go to clear the dishes, they tend to fall off and clatter to the floor, while your dinner guests (or even your spouse) ridicules you for "being clumsy".

If you look at the photo above, you can see that the handle is quite heavy, in that a very small portion of the handle is enough to balance the weight of the rest of the piece.  The balance point is nearly two inches from the "throat" of the flatware piece.

This commercial fork from a hotel has a far better balance than my hated fork.

Other brands and styles of flatware are better balanced.  This commercial restaurant piece has a balance point about one inch from the "throat" of the piece and the handle is thinner and flat.   As a result, if you carry a plate with this piece on it, it tends not to fall off, which is a handy thing if you are a waitress and are carrying an armload of dishes and flatware back to the kitchen to be washed.

So what's the point of all this?  Well, for starters, if you are buying flatware, be sure to take a few pieces out, balance them and get a feel for them, or be frustrated for years by the sound of clattering forks, knives, and spoons on the floor.  Sadly, many flatware sets are sold in sealed packages and are hard to open and study before you purchase.   

But if you can handle the goods ahead of time, check the balance point.  More than an inch from the throat of the piece and you will have a handle-heavy piece of stainless that will give you years of trouble and difficulty!