How Long Should I Expect My Cutlery Set To Last?

How long should I expect my cutlery set to last? If you take care of your cutlery set, it will last longer. Some high quality cutlery sets may last a lifetime if they are made of superior materials and with...

Some high quality cutlery sets may last a lifetime if they are made of superior materials and with excellent craftsmanship. Proper use, care and storage will also improve the longevity of your cutlery pieces.


Many manufacturers offer a warranty on the products they sell but often the fine print includes many exclusions and provisions that in many cases render them useless in your claim. Most warranties cover mainly the defects that may have occurred in the manufacturing process. In many cases, when high quality items are properly used, maintained and cared for they can last for decades. Many people have been know to pass sterling silver cutlery down from generation to generation and use it for over a great period of time.




It is recommended that cutlery be cleaned in hot soapy water as soon after its use as possible. The soap should be completely rinsed of and the item should be completely towel dried. Cutlery should never be soaked or left wet. Bleach, silver dips, or other harsh cleaners are not recommended for use on any cutlery pieces. If you choose to put cutlery in a dishwasher, never mix stainless steel pieces with silver-plated or sterling silver items in the same load. If using a dishwasher, always follow the manufacturer's suggestions and the specified type of detergent. Wrapping cutlery pieces with rubber bands will cause discoloration of the pieces. On occasion it is suggested that stainless steel and silver-plated cutlery be polished to keep it looking nice.

Karl Pfitzenreiter has been in the business of cutlery for 24 years. He is the president and CEO of J.A. Henckels, a position he has held for the last 20 years. Pfitzenreiter states, "They will last longer when you take care of your knives. They are going to last for a while, but professional chefs will go through their knives and they will get dull within several weeks. Even the highest end knives will get dull because they are used so much in their kitchens. You may notice that in a few months, maybe six months or so that you are going to need to take those in and get them sharpened. We've had customers that have had our knives six, seven, eight, nine years, before they need to send their knives in for re-sharpening."

He adds, "It's the hard material that provides the edge. Traditional steel knives will over time get worn down. That's why the knife tends to slide a little bit and be more slippery on material like tomato. It's a gradual process people don't realize. They tell me that is why an accident happened in the kitchen, because of the dull knife. You want to keep your knife as sharp as possible. You will actually have fewer accidents in the kitchen that way."

The key things to remember are clean cutlery immediately and don't allow it to be wet for extended times. Use and store cutlery items properly as well. It is quite possible that the cutlery you are using now may last a very long time but should it need to be replaced, make a wise decision to purchase quality items with your next purchase.

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