remember that it may be worth ordering some extra loose pieces in case
of inevitable losses, particularly of small items, at some future date.
Our order form allows for the ordering of loose extras.
FAQ - Your prices are lower than others. Would I be getting good quality?
Our prices are lower than our rivals because we trade exclusively on the Internet. Thus, we do not bear the burden of costs associated with High Street premises, brochures, offline advertising, etc. The cutlery that you will receive has been chosen for its high quality. Please review the Points of Excellence pages for more information (Ekington range). Or, please see the Customer feedback that we have received, unsolicited, over the years. (NB additional feedback comments may be found on dedicated sections of our site e.g. the Pocket Knife, Bowie Knife or Silver Re-plating pages)
FAQ - Can I have a Catalog sent to me?
Unfortunately, we do not have a cutlery/flatware catalog that we could send out. All information that we have is on our site. We can move much faster with updates by changing our web site rather than having to re-print expensive brochures. By avoiding costs associated with brochures and catalogs, we are able to keep our prices low.
FAQ - Do you have a shop local to me where I can view the goods?
Unfortunately, we are an Internet-only business and do not have any showrooms or other branches. We can only display the goods on our web site. High resolution photos are available and we will do our best to answer any of your questions, if the information is not already on the site. The savings that we make in not owning and running shop premises are passed on to you by way of low prices.
FAQ - What should I do if I have any problems?
Firstly, we should say that we can only assist with goods bought directly from this web site. If you experience problems with cutlery bought eleswhere then you should make your enquiries at the place where you bought them using your receipt and/or guarantee to reinforce your complaint. We have a link below concerning Viners should you wish to contact them - Contacting Viners. In the unlikely event that you experience problems with cutlery bought directly from us, please Contact Us to explain the problem. Please do not send us any goods until we have responded to your contact. We are not manufacturers ourselves. We do not have repair facilities here. We are retailers.
- Can I have my old set repaired/re-plated?
One of the manufacturers we deal with offer a repair and re-plating
service. Please see our Re-Plating
Service page to obtain a quotation. They will also renovate
FAQ - What are the sizes and shapes and what are the correct names for the pieces on site?
We have a page containing a table showing sizes and outline shapes of individual pieces from a number of the collections for sale on this web site. Please note that these sizes should be taken as approximate only. The same item in different pattern styles may vary slightly owing to individual pattern constraints but the charts will provide useful guides to what is available, and the images on it will give you clarification of what is meant by the names given to each piece.
Some size charts on our site may contains more items than are shown
as for sale e.g. sugar tongs, oyster forks, lobster crackers, and so on. If you need any of these extra items, please ask for a price quotation because some of these may be of very limited availability, or not available at all.
Click here for the Names, Sizes & Shapes Charts
FAQ - Can I buy replacements or loose pieces instead of a full setting?
If you are looking to extend your collection, or are missing a number
of items and you would like to replace them, then we can usually assist
you. So far as Sheffield cutlery, or Arthur Price brands are concerned, we can supply small numbers to top up your collection.
Elkington and James Dixon, however, will only supply full sets.
It is a wise move to order some extra pieces when ordering a set because people inevitably lose the odd teaspoon and small items in particular which can easily be thrown away by mistake. Our shopping cart has a section where additional loose pieces may be ordered so that you have exactly matching pieces now, in case you need to make up the numbers of missing pieces at some future date. Do remember that patterns can change slightly over the years. Ordering a few extra spare pieces now avoids the problem of finding good matches later.
FAQ - Will the extra pieces match my collection?
If you are concerned that the latest 'version' of the pattern may be slightly different to your existing collection please note that patterns can change slightly over the years, even from the same manufacturer. For this reason, we cannot guarantee 100% perfect matches to previously made items. Traditional patterns will always be close, if not exact matches, but these too can vary with time. See our Showroom for hi-res photos of the latest patterns that you can compare with your existing set.
Please note that we ask you to take responsibility for accepting that extra pieces may not be perfect matches to the pieces that you already own. If this is unacceptable to you, please defer ordering and ask us first. For example, you could send us photos of the pieces you are trying to match to, you can describe your set in detail e.g. whether your knives are solid or hollow handles, etc, etc. Because our cutlery is generally made to order, we will be unable to accept returns of cutlery if the reason is that there is not a good match to a previously-bought set. The way to ensure a good match is to ask first and we may possibly ask you to send us a sample piece for comparison. Your co-operation in this is appreciated.
FAQ - I am trying to find pieces to match a set originally made by your suppliers but I don't see the pattern in your Showroom.
It is possible that you have one of the older patterns that has been discontinued. Please check here for Rare Items to see whether your pattern is still made.
FAQ - Can I pay in my own currency?
Should you wish to send payment in your own currency (other than by credit card), please ask first but, in general terms, this is acceptable subject to a 2.5% surcharge. Our payment service providers, WorldPay, will allow you to select payment using your credit card in GB pounds, Euros or US dollars at the moment of payment without surcharge.
FAQ - Which credit cards can I use to pay?
You may use any of the ones shown here -
See our Privacy Page for more information on the security standards that are provided to you as a consumer via our payment service providers. If you prefer to pay by bank transfer rather than using a credit card online, our shopping cart now enables you to send payment bank-to-bank.
- What does "EPNS"/"EPSS" mean?
EPNS means Electro-Plated Nickel Silver. Despite its name, nickel silver
contains no silver at all, but is a base metal alloy of nickel, zinc
& copper. A layer of pure silver is deposited electrolytically on
this base metal to give a silver finish.
Sometimes, stainless steel is used for the base metal onto which silver
plating is applied. This is known as EPSS - Electroplated Stainless
Steel. If it is crucial to you that nickel silver is used rather than
stainless steel, or vice versa, please ask before placing an order.
- Silver Plate - how many microns thickness?
Silver plated cutlery on our web site is offered in a variety of thicknesses of silver (microns). Sheffield cutlery is 10, 20 or 30 microns which equates to the factory's estimate of 20, 30 or 40 years of life assuming good care and average use.
Arthur Price of England do 12/15 or 40 microns (called 25 year plate and Sovereign plate respectively. It is 35 microns for the Elkington
brands. Please see accompanying descriptions, or ask if it is not clear.
Do take note that other manufacturers, particularly those away from
Sheffield, may plate to much thinner micron depths. If you are comparing our prices on silver plate, ensure that you are comparing like-for-like.
From the CATRA web site:
"As a very approximate guide, work on at least 1 micron of silver thickness for every year of intended use".
On the internet, we have seen companies offering silver plate at only
3 microns thickness. Technically, these other companies' cutlery is
indeed "silver plated", but you should not expect it to last.
FAQ - What does "18/10 Stainless Steel" mean?
The first number relates to the chromium content within the stainless steel and the second to the nickel content. These elements give the steel its stainless properties. "18/10" is the typical composition of the alloy although it is not unusual to see 18/8 on sale.
Click here for more information on the History
of Stainless Steel.
FAQ - Solid Silver?
Please note that for silver or silverplated items which have a blade,
e.g. table knives or fruit knives, the blade itself will be made of
stainless steel. This is because silver is not a strong enough metal
to provide a cutting or sharp edge. This may result in a slight colour
difference. The use of stainless steel for blades is common practice
and will ensure a longer life for your cutlery.
Because knives are made from two pieces (the handle and the blade) it is industry standard procedure for the blade to be hollow but filled with a cement compound into which the blade slots. In former times, some manufacturers would fill the handle with lead to give the impression of heavy silver filling but this process has now been declared illegal and our suppliers follow standard practices. The outcome is a well balanced, ideal weighted knife that is perfect for everyday use. Knife weights will vary from pattern to pattern owing to design influences.
FAQ - Dishwasher Safe - What Does
Where indicated on our site (and this does not apply to every item that we sell) cutlery may be shown as "dishwasher safe". This means that it is safe to wash your cutlery in a dishwasher but only if you follow the dishwasher manufacturers'/detergent makers' recommendations fully, and take sensible precautions. For example, you should try to avoid sharp points or blades from being allowed to scratch on smooth or mirror surfaces. Cutlery should not be allowed to stand for a period in an un-washed state, nor to dry for a long time after the wash cycle has ended. If you do use a dishwasher, place knives blade-down in the cutlery basket. Some advise avoiding putting silver and stainless steel items together in the same basket due to a chemical reaction between stainless steel and some detergents which can leave stains on silverware. Note that silver and EPNS knives have stainless steel blades so you will appreciate that the two metals are already in close proximity. No material is truly "stainless" and cutlery is no exception. It is better to avoid dishwashers altogether and to wash cutlery by hand, as soon as possible after use, and to dry the pieces quickly with a soft cloth.
Customers with silver or silver plate cutlery should also see our section on Caring for Silver.
The Times - we spotted this reader's letter and response in The Times which goes some way to showing the potential problems that may occur when a dishwasher is used -
Q: Our silver-plated cutlery has suddenly taken on a bronze tarnish after being in the dishwasher. No other metal is put in, and I have cleaned that cutlery the same way for years, with no problem. What's going on?
A: Tarnishing can happen for a number of reasons, but it usually builds up slowly. The company that makes Sainsbury's dishwasher tablets tells me the formula hasn't changed. In fact, they contain a silver protector to reduce the rate of tarnishing.
One possibility is that the rubber door seal or hose pipe inside is starting to break down. This could cause sulphur from the rubber to be released into the wash water and get onto your cutlery. The discoloration should wipe off with a proprietary silver cleaner, but you may have the problem until you replace the dishwasher.
Another theory is that food residue is reacting with the cutlery. The usual suspects are eggs, green vegetables, olives, salad dressings, fish, onions, vinegar and juices. Maybe you've changed your diet? The discoloration should clean off with silver cleaner, but to stop it from happening, rinse plates and cutlery before loading.
And here's a timely reminder about what dishwashers can do, from a customer of ours discussing their previously-bought cutlery -
Our cutlery is made by Francis Greaves and Sons and is 18-8 stainless steel. I have examined it more closely and it apppears that the lightweight compound inside the handle has expanded more than the stainless outer coating and the subsequent gap allows capillary action to hold some water which releases when the knives are used. I suspect the dishwasher did the damage and now we know we will not use it for the cutlery.
- this is not meant to criticise the Francis Greaves & Sons product but just to warn that things can go wrong if you use dishwashers (maybe incorrectly??).
FAQ - Can I order a canteen/cabinet on its own?
Yes - there are various choices for sale - see them on display in the
FAQ - Can I get Queen Anne pattern?
Yes - Queen Anne is the name of the Rattail pattern when sold in the USA.
FAQ - Can you supply stag horn handled cutlery?
Stag handles are not available for regular cutlery pieces. However, we can supply you with stag-handled carving sets and steak knife sets as here - Stag Knife Sets.
Otherwise, we can only recommend alternative sources such as -
FAQ - Can you supply bone handled cutlery?
Bone is not available from our usual suppliers. Indeed, we are not sure if anyone is currently making cutlery with bone handles. We can offer the man-made synthetic bone handled cutlery (a substance which is a composite material). This is more expensive than standard metal handled cutlery on our web site. Please Contact Us specifying the precise nature of your possible order and we will check the latest prices.
FAQ - Can you supply mother of pearl handled cutlery?
Sorry, no, but click here to try:
Or, here is a book called "Caring For Your Cherished Possessions: The Experts Guide To Cleaning, Preserving And Protecting Your China, Silver, Furniture, Clothes, Paintings" (not the world's shortest titled book!). Click Here for Price and Ordering Info
Carbon Steel Blade Knives
Pocket knives, Bowie knives and similar sheath knives are usually made with carbon steel blades. Carbon steel is not stainless steel and will corrode if exposed to moisture. Even high humidity in your house can cause tarnishing. Cutting an apple with a knife will expose the blade to the acids in the apple juice and tarnish it. There are many similar contaminants that you should avoid. Always dry your knife after use and store in a dry location when not in use.
A carbon steel blade has the advantage of being a harder metal than stainless steel and thus it can be made sharper. However, the trade-off is the extra care required to avoid tarnishing.
FAQ - Do you recommend the use of Silver Dip?
We prefer not to take responsibility for recommending the use of silver dips because it is such a difficult cleaning agent to work with. For example, it should not be allowed to come into contact with stainless steel surfaces as they will be damaged as a result. If you do decide to use silver dip, you will need to take responsibility for this so be sure to check the makers' instructions carefully before use. We do have a section of our site where silver dip makers are listed but we take no responsibility for their products. See here - Silver Dip Suppliers.
FAQ - Can you supply me with splayds (splades) or sporks?
We can't offer you the original splayds but we have now been able to locate a supplier of similar items and we think that ours are better. We call them Party Forks and, like splayds or sporks, they are combined knife, fork and spoon items that are useful for eating in restricted circumstances e.g. at a buffet party, or maybe if you have physical problems in holding two pieces of cutlery at the same time.
Please click here for our page on Party Forks.
FAQ VINERS - How can I contact Viners (or Oneida)?
Please click here for our Viners Cutlery section: Contact links, Special Offers and Viners Discount Codes.