7 Parts of a Fork: Their Names and Functions?

Here are the 7 parts of a fork:

  • Handle
  • Neck
  • Back
  • Roots
  • Tines
  • Slots
  • Point

So if you want to learn all about the parts of a fork, their names, and their functions, then this article is for you.

Let’s jump right in!

Table of Contents

Parts of a Fork.
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#1 Handle

The first part of the fork is the most obvious part, which is the handle. It’s the long, often flat part where the fork is held.

While most forks are solid metal, fork handles can be made from plastic, wood, acrylic, or resin. Forks made for children may also be made from rubber or silicon.

People dealing with reduced range of motion due to health issues such as arthritis can find forks on the market that are made with a large grip on the handle for easier management, as well as bendable handles to facilitate picking up food at an angle.

#2 Neck

Fork necks weren’t always there; fork designs in ancient Chinese and Egyptian civilization didn’t have the bent necks we’re very familiar with nowadays.

The neck of a fork is the part that bends downwards, which connects the handle with the rest of the fork. It’s often the thinnest part of the fork and adds a bend to the fork’s base, which stops any juices from dripping onto the holder’s hand.

#3 Back

This part is the section of flat metal that connects the neck of the fork to its tines or prongs. It’s often slightly curved, like the neck, but in the opposite direction.

Fork backs were originally designed this way to contain or slow down any dripping from the food the fork is holding.

#4 Roots

The roots, which lay on the back of the fork, are the empty spaces at the base of the prongs.

Depending on the type of fork and its intended use, these empty spaces could either be a solid extension of the back or have sharper ends to cut through the food it’s holding.

#5 Tines

Tines are the pointed arms or prongs that actually cut through the food. They’re often long, narrow, and thick, but this is different depending on what type of fork you’re looking at.

Dining, table, and lunch forks have four tines, and these are the most common. There are also dessert forks that have three wide, short tines, and serving forks that have only two long, sharp, and solid tines—think the big fork used when cutting a turkey.

The outermost tines of a salad fork are often wide and sharper on the outer edge to cut through large pieces of vegetables in the salad.

#6 Slots

The slots are the spaces between the tines, and they’re often even in length and quite narrow.

However, forks intended for fish, pickles, and cocktails don’t fit that description.

For example, a fish fork has a longer middle slot to facilitate removing fish spines. Pickle forks have a half-oval slot designed to let any pickling water go through easily.

#7 Point

The points of a fork are the ends of its tines. In most cases, fork points aren’t sharp at all. This is to make sure there are no accidents or injuries at dinner.

One type of fork that has a peculiar shape point is the pie or pastry fork. These forks’ left tines are considerably wider, have a sharp edge, and have a pointy end.

This design was developed around the end of the 19th century when high-society parties commonly included a segment where people kept their dessert plates while walking around and socializing. This meant that they needed to hold the plate with their left hand and cut through the pastry with their right.