Just as with knives, many sterling flatware patterns include at least three different sizes of "primary" forks. Below is an example of forks in the Buttercup pattern by Gorham, starting at the top:
- Dinner ............ 7 1/2 inches long
- Place ............... 7 1/2 inches long
- Luncheon ....... 7 inches long
You are probably asking yourself, "So, what's the difference between place and dinner forks in this pattern? They are the same length." In the case of Buttercup, there is a difference between the length ratio of handle-to-tines. The dinner fork has longer tines and a shorter handle. Also, the dinner fork is slightly wider at the base of the tines. The result is a more "hefty" feel for the dinner fork.
It should be noted that every pattern is different with respect to this type of fork. Some have three different lengths, some have two, etc. If you are buying a fork, you should verify these size parameters with the seller to make sure the fork matches your need:
- Overall length
- Length of tines and handle
- Width at the base of the tines
Don't judge the size by name alone. Buyers and sellers often are confused about nomenclature.
Salad forks also may come in different sizes. The picture below illustrates salad forks from the Buttercup pattern by Gorham, from top to bottom:
- Place salad fork ..... 6 3/4 inches long
- Salad fork ............... 6 3/8 inches long
You may sometimes see a salad fork identified as a dessert fork or fish fork. Again, always verify size and look at a picture before buying.
Click on any picture to see a larger version. By clicking on "Comments" below, you can see posted comments and add your own questions/comments.