27 Different Types of Forks

Choosing a fork can be tricky. You have to choose between the different designs and types of forks on the market and find something that matches your budget.

Whether you’re looking for a durable fork for everyday use or a high-end fork for special occasions, we’ve researched the best fork types to help you dine in style. Let’s explore! 

Table of Contents

Different Types of Forks

Dessert Fork

The dessert fork is shorter than both a fruit fork and a table fork. It has a slightly slimmer head and three elongated prongs. You’ll commonly see dessert forks at fine dining restaurants. They are also essential for proper presentation at formal dinner parties. This fork is perfect for desserts such as tarts, pies, cakes, and other sweet dishes. If you buy a large flatware set, it will definitely include dessert forks. That’s because dessert forks are one of the more common fork types. 

Spaghetti Fork

Spaghetti forks are ideal for eating all sorts of long pasta, such as fettuccine, linguine, and tagliatelle. These forks have three tines, and each tine has grooves for better grip. This means you can easily grip the pasta and wrap it around the fork.

These forks aren’t common for home use, so you’ll find them in fine dining restaurants. If you love pasta and want to invest in spaghetti forks, consider buying one online from Amazon.

Fish Fork

A fish fork resembles a standard table fork. It has thicker tines to help pull the flesh away from the fishbone. This type of fork helps make eating fish more effortless. Also, you might find this fork on your table at most high-end seafood restaurants. You could also use this fork at home when serving whole fish to impress your guests, but remember that a regular table fork would be more suitable if you’re serving a fish fillet.

Oyster Fork

An oyster fork features three tines but is narrower than most other fork types. You can use it to pull an oyster from the shell, and it is also suitable for eating other types of seafood. Its small size can help pick up shrimps or pull claw meat out of lobsters. This type of fork has an elegant and attractive look and will enhance the feel of any dinner party. This fork is the only fork that should ever be placed at the right side of a table setting to follow formal dining rules.

Dinner Fork

Dinner forks are ideal for eating the main course of your meal, such as meat dishes and rice. They have four wide tines and a well-balanced shape. While some people may argue that a table fork and dinner fork are the same things, there is usually a slight difference in size. Dinner forks are larger than standard table forks, and you can easily find them in fine dining restaurants. They are the largest of all the standard forks, generally measuring eight inches in length.

Salad Fork

Salad forks are slightly shorter in length than dinner forks, and the tine on the left has a flat edge to help chop lettuce or other ingredients of a salad. It can easily cut thick leafy vegetables and has thicker edges. If you serve salad after the main course, place this fork on the left side of the plate.

Fruit Fork

This type of fork comes in a smaller size, approximately 6-inches long. It has a squat shape to pick up fruits such as melons, grapes, and strawberries. The fruit fork is all you need to impress your guests if you’re serving a fruit cup or a large plate of fruits. 

 Fruit forks make eating fruit as easy as it can be. They are most popular in Europe, but you will also find them at fine dining restaurants in North America. If you’re looking for a nice fruit fork, you can find many great options. Buying fruit forks that look nice on your dinner table will make you feel proud of your dining settings.

Table Fork

Almost everyone has a table fork in their kitchen. This type of fork comes in several different sizes and is a multi-purpose fork used in a wide variety of settings. Most flatware and dinnerware sets include a table fork as the standard fork. But, you won’t find table forks at fine dining restaurants because they have specialty forks for different foods.  

Toasting Fork

Toasting forks are suitable for holding food over an open flame. They usually feature two tines, but some fork types have three. The tines are sharp and help secure the food over the flame. If you want to prevent food from falling into the fire and being wasted, consider buying a toasting fork.

Another important feature of a toasting fork is the long handle. The handle has a wooden covering near the end for easy holding. This handle also prevents the user from getting close to the flame, keeping them safe against accidental burns. These forks are easily available for purchase in homeware stores and often come as part of a grilling set. They are useful for cooking barbecue meat or toasting marshmallows.Cocktail Fork

These are small forks with two sharp tines and are perfect for handling small garnishes like olives. They are also suitable for eating seafood. If you want to add a professional touch to any cocktails you make, then this fork will be a great addition to your collection. A great bonus is that it doubles up for eating shellfish. The tines are perfect for spearing small shrimp in shrimp cocktails, as well as pulling the meat out of crab claws.

Beef Fork

This fork is perfect for picking up meat. It’s shaped like a regular fork, but it is slightly bigger and features outward-facing curved tines.      

Disposable Fork

Disposable forks are made from plastic, and they are useful if you frequently buy takeout meals. You’ll find disposable forks in pre-prepared salad and fruit boxes in grocery stores or cafes. Nowadays, many retailers avoid stocking disposable forks to help reduce the amount of single-use plastic. 

These forks are also a common feature of birthday parties, as they are inexpensive and can be discarded after use.


A spork is a cross between a fork and a spoon. It has four tines and is useful for stabbing and picking up food. The tines are rounded and form a subtle spoon shape. This combination of two utensils saves on space and reduces plastic consumption. That’s because sporks commonly feature single-use plastic and are handed out in takeaway cafes. Some sporks have reusable material, making them ideal for camping trips. This type of fork has multiple uses and saves campers from packing several utensils.

Snail Fork

Snail forks have a similar design to cocktail forks, with a small handle and two slender tines. The tines of snail forks curve inwards, making them useful when eating snails. This type of form helps the user pull the snail from its shell. You can also use snail forks to eat canapes and appetizers. That’s because using a large table fork to eat small portions would seem inappropriate.

Ice Cream Fork

 While most people use a spoon to eat ice cream, this fork is popular in fancy restaurants. Ice-cream fork has a wide and rounded shape similar to a soup spoon. It also has segments cut out to create a central tine, giving it the appearance of a fork. These forks have intricate designs and are nice to use on special occasions like engagement parties and weddings. The spoon part of the fork is ideal for scooping and eating ice cream, while the fork part of it is useful to cut and spear more firm types of ice cream.

Lunch Fork

A lunch fork is like a dinner fork but smaller. It’s an all-purpose fork used to eat different types of food. It has a smaller size so that it matches the smaller size of a lunch plate. Fine dining restaurants would never use a dinner fork while serving lunch. That’s because the size would look enormous when kept alongside a lunch plate. A lunch fork typically measures around five inches in length.

Deli Fork

A deli fork resembles a cocktail fork or snail fork, but this type of fork was specifically made for eating prosciutto meat or thinly sliced Italian ham. It has a medium-sized handle and two sharp tines to poke into the prosciutto for easy handling. 

Deli fork can also double up as an oyster fork or cocktail fork.

Serving Fork

Serving forks are bigger than dinner forks, and you can buy them in pairs with matching serving spoons. You can use these two items together to dish out a big plate of food, such as a large pasta bowl or side salad. 

Serving forks and spoons are nice utensils to have at a potluck dinner so that guests can serve themselves with ease and in style. If you frequently host summer barbecues and dinner parties, then serving forks will get used often.

Pastry Fork

A pastry fork is perfect for eating pastry. These forks have three flattened tines with a beveled edge, allowing them to double up as a knife for slicing pastries into smaller, bite-sized portions. This fork can also double up as a cake fork or dessert fork, but in fine dining restaurants, a pastry fork will be separate from a cake or dessert fork. Pastry forks are very small and elegant to hold.

Chip Fork

A chip fork is a single-use eating utensil and is popular in fish and chip restaurants. These takeaway restaurants provide chip forks to their customers so that they can eat their meals on the go. Often, these restaurants are located along the coast, and people buy fish and chips and then sit on the beach to eat their food. A chip fork features thin wood and has two tines. These forks are useful because they prevent your hands from getting greasy when eating the food.

Cheese Fork

Cheese forks feature chunky wooden handles with two tines at the opposite end. These forks are short and have straight-edged tines. This means they are ideal for cutting and serving cheeses. You can purchase cheese forks as part of a set when you buy a cheese board. This fork type is strong enough to slice brie, feta, Camembert, gouda, and provolone.

Crab Fork

These forks are also known as shrimp forks or lobster forks. They are very short, usually measuring between four and five inches long. They are slender in design with a thin metal handle at the end. Crab forks are fine and sharp so that they can easily reach into the crevices of shellfish to pull out the meat. These types of forks are special-purpose food utensils and aren’t a part of dinnerware sets.

You’ll most commonly see crab forks in shops along coastlines where seafood is popular. These forks are usually inexpensive, and they can make eating seafood a much easier and less messy experience, so they’re a great investment if you enjoy eating this type of food.

Pickle Fork

This fork is suitable for getting pickles out of a jar. It has a long and thin handle so that you can poke inside the jar with ease and two sharp tines to help you pierce pickles and pick them up. If you regularly eat pickles, then this fork will be a great addition to your cutlery draw. It makes removing pickles from the jar so much easier and more hygienic. 

These forks are larger cocktail and seafood forks but smaller than standard table forks. Using pickle forks prevents you from having to get the brine on your hands. If you have ever used a table fork to remove pickles from a jar, you’ll know the fork’s large size can make this problematic. A pickle fork has sharper tines for a secure maneuver.

Granny Fork

Granny forks aren’t very common in modern kitchens. Many people don’t even know granny forks exist. You may never come across granny forks in a normal dining setting, but they can be useful in certain scenarios. For example, a granny fork is a multi-purpose tool that can help you prepare pasta.

You can make good use of granny forks to stir, toss, and drain your pasta. Granny forks feature tines, make them ideal for turning pasta. If you want to purchase granny forks, consider looking online. You might find some granny forks that come with two tines and others that have as many as six. 

Fondue Fork

There are many different types of fondue fork, depending on the type of fondue you’re serving. Cheese fondue forks have three tines, and broth-based fondue forks have two tines. Forks for chocolate fondue are shorter than regular fondue forks and make it easier to dip in smaller chocolate fondue pots.

There are also disposable plastic fondue forks and wooden fondue skewers. They are only suitable for dessert fondue because excessive heat can melt the plastic. You can also use fondue forks for spearing fruits to dip into a salted caramel fondue. Alternatively, a fruit fork would also be suitable for this.  

Carving Fork

Buying a specialty fork for carving meat may seem unusual to people who aren’t used to fine dining. However, carving forks are quite useful as they can simplify carving meat slices.

It’s a great idea to keep one of these carving forks around your kitchen for certain occasions. It will make carving your turkey for special dinners a breeze. You can also bring it out when you need to carve a larger piece of meat, making the process simpler.

If you’re looking for a good carving fork, it’s easier to buy one individually. You can sometimes find carving forks that come with a dinner set, but this isn’t very common. These forks come in a wide array of designs, including classic and decorative designs. High-quality carving forks can be very expensive, but these are nice utensils to use.

Extendable Fork

Extendable forks aren’t suitable for a fine dining experience. This novelty fork is a great conversation starter. Plus, this fork has an extendable shaft that allows people to reach further on the table. And that means you can use this fork to steal food off of your friend’s plate! 

 It’s easy to tell that this idea is a joke idea, but people with a good sense of humor might want to buy a funny piece of silverware. 

Related Questions

How are forks different from knives or spoons?

Forks are used for poking, stabbing, and cutting soft foods. You can use forks for splitting food into smaller pieces as well as for eating. Many people believe that forks are versatile, making them better than spoons and knives. Spoons are mostly used for scooping unless you’re eating pie with one. And knives are strictly for cutting, dicing, and slicing food.

Who invented the fork?

We know that the Chinese use chopsticks to eat, but they also invented the fork! The oldest known traces of fork were found during reign of Xia dynasty (2100 BC – 1600 BC).

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