How to Fix Sterling Silver Fork Tines

by Katy on March 7, 2015 · 15 comments


Like my mother, I use my sterling silver flatware on a daily basis. It’s how I grew up, and I truly feel that it’s pointless to own beautiful things if they’re shut away from actual usage. I don’t worry too much about keeping it polished, although I do shine it up for special occasions.

But sterling silver is a soft metal, and unlike stainless steel, it can be a bit bendy. This particular fork had tines that had pinched in to the level of becoming an essentially pointless tool. I dare you to pick up a lettuce leaf in the before incarnation. Go ahead and picture what a frustrating endeavor it had become.

So I did an internet search on how to fix the tines on a sterling silver fork and immediately found this wikihow piece that required nothing more than hot water and a ruler.

Umm . . . I’ve got those on hand!

All I did was to set the fork in a mug of freshly boiled water and then jiggle the ruler between the pinched tines to open them up. It took a couple of times of reheating the tines, but I would estimate that this project took three minutes, tops.

fork with ruler

Others might have just set this fork aside as unusable, but I believe in putting the work into fixing and repairing my belongings to make them last as long as possible. Whether it’s repairing furniture, mending clothes and linens or figuring out how to fix a fork.

I refuse to be part of the disposable culture.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen March 7, 2015 at 12:33 pm

I think I see PicMonkey usage! Woohoo!


Katy March 7, 2015 at 1:06 pm

Nope. Ribbet.


Gretchen March 7, 2015 at 5:30 pm

I don’t mean to sound like the princess and the pea here but here goes…I have some sterling but hate to use it because I think it tastes funny, despite washing, polishing, etc. Any ideas?


Gina March 7, 2015 at 5:41 pm

My sister says the same thing and refuses to eat with my flatware when she has been invited to dinner. I had to pull out the stainless picnic ware for her. I don’t taste anything odd or off. I think it must be individual tastebuds or chemical makeup or something.


Rebekah Jaunty March 10, 2015 at 1:11 am

I have the same problem with some flatware… sometimes I stand in a thrift store staring at the silverware and thinking “don’t lick it, don’t lick it.”


CW March 7, 2015 at 10:10 pm

No expert here, but I think that can happen with old or “well used” silverware. I remember silver spoons of my great-grandmother’s that my sisters and I said tasted funny, especially when eating eggs. I don’t use silverware everyday, but I do use it. I haven’t noticed the funny taste on ours which is between 30 and 70 + years old!


Katy March 7, 2015 at 10:27 pm

Would that have been silver plate?


CW March 8, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Not sure about Great-Grandmother’s spoons, but what we have now is real. Maybe that is the difference..


emmer March 8, 2015 at 8:34 am

interesting–i like the taste of food eaten on with silverware. i could not afford sterling, so saved up betty crocker coupons (remember those?) and bought silver plate. plate is silver over steel–less precious metal, but what there is, is on the outside (not a mixture of the 2 throughout). I did come across an antique table knife that never shined up and I was never clear what it was made of, but it tasted nasty.
if your flatware is sterling, you might be eating on about a year of college education! check the prices at


Laura March 8, 2015 at 12:19 pm

Good on you for using the “good stuff” everyday. Use it up and wear it out in action! And bonus extra cupboard space due to not have two sets of everything.


Kathleen May 10, 2015 at 3:14 am

I have some old sterling and the tines on the forks have become dull — same problem — won’t pick up lettuce!!! Can they be sharpened?


Pamela Berg March 29, 2017 at 12:45 pm

I have a silver baby fork (for a less than 1 year old) & a junior fork (for a less than 6-7 year old) that have tines than not only need to be straightened, but the junio fork’s tines are also curled under (some child really went to work on this fork). This particular fork is 1828 Wm. Rogers First Love & has an “IS” marking on the back, too (not sure what “IS” stands for). The General ruler be too big to fix these forks & the smaller rulers are generally plastic & won’t work either; not sure what to do about the tines that are slightly curled under. I’ve looked for “Silver Service Repair” in San Antonio & all I get are 2 hits on Google where I would need to send them out of state. Do you think a jeweler could fix these 2 forks. I’m fine with polishing them myselves, but am also looking for the silver cloth lined velvet bags to put each piece in (a baby fork & spoon; a junior fork, spoon & knife). Any ideas where to find those? I called Neiman Marcus Fine Silver last week & the guy in charge of that department suggested a local (very expensive) jeweler (if they weren’t heirlooms, they definitely wouldn’t be worth the price of this particular jeweler doing repairs). Any suggestions?
Thank you.


mb November 24, 2017 at 11:59 am

Go to (Replacements, Ltd.). They have all kinds of stuff. You probably will find your bliss there. mb


Kay November 26, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Hello — I too use my (Mother in laws antique sterling flatware) any idea about fixing dulled sterling fork tines that won’t pierce lettuce.


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