A while ago, I found the utensil pictured above: a spork with a pivot.
At first glance, it’s hard to imagine that this spork would be an adequate eating utensil. For one thing, it’s a spork. Sporks are inherently flawed. They attempt to be both a fork and a spoon, but they don’t quite measure up at either task.
Here is how the typical spork does at both the tasks they are designed for:
- At being a spoon: Horribly. Sporks don’t hold much liquid, if at all, because the liquid easily spills between the prongs.
- At being a fork: Horribly. Sporks generally have short prongs, so attempts to skewer food with them typically don’t work well.
It’s quite obvious that sporks are inherently flawed. For one of the tasks that they are designed for, the prongs are too short, and for the other, the length of the prongs becomes a liability. Because of this, it’s easy to see why we have separate utensils for carrying out the functions of a fork and a spoon.
In the case of this pivoting spork, the typical problems associated with sporks are aggravated by some serious design flaws, which become apparent with close observation:
The prongs are dull, so this spork isn’t going to do well at skewering much. And if a person does succeed in skewering a piece of beef with these prongs, they aren’t likely to stay in place, not only due to the fact that the prongs are short, but because the prongs narrow with a wide angle. This means that just about anything skewered with this spork would quickly slide right off.
But there’s more:
This picture might not be ideal, but does give an idea of the depth of the spork. Because of this, not only would we have the typical problem with liquid falling between the prongs, this spork is very shallow. Even if it weren’t pronged (and therefore were a spoon) it wouldn’t be holding much liquid.
As shown in the following picture, the handle is designed to fold back and snap into place:
The pivot is a thin layer of plastic that folds to snap the handle into place. Therefore, if the pivot were to snap, you probably won’t be getting much more use out of this spork than you would be to begin with. I would have preferred that this spork’s handle did not include a pivot, considering that, for most tools, the more moving parts it would have, the more potential it would have for failure.
So, why would someone design something like this? It would seem that the idea was to both save space and to be convenient, which is probably why a person would try to combine their utensils. Here is a picture of the spork with a ruler to give an idea of it’s size:
This thing isn’t going to take up much space. However, is this really much of an issue to begin with when it comes to spoons and forks? It’s hard to imagine a person having such a problem saving space in their travel pack that they have to take out a metal fork and spoon set to put this thing in there. A person might get the idea to make a mint tin kit of some sort that might include something like this, but they’d probably want to quickly replace this thing with another tool better suited to it’s purpose.
Looking at the picture above, it becomes apparent that the handle would only come to about seven-and-a-half centimeters long (about 3 inches), so it likely won’t rest comfortably on one’s hand as one holds it correctly. The tip of the handle might poke into the skin on the hand between the thumb and index finger, which would probably be uncomfortable. In this position, it’s easy to imagine that the pivot would snap out of place. I haven’t used this spork yet, so I don’t know for sure.
One positive thing about this spork is that it’s made of plastic. This is positive because after a person gives this thing a try and discovers that it doesn’t perform it’s task as a utensil well, there wouldn’t be much in terms of waste when it is simply thrown away. That might not be an expression of confidence in the utensil on the part of its designer, but it does show some foresight on his part. He probably knew that people would just want to throw it away.
This pivoting spork seems like something that a cheap fast-food restaurant would include with their drive-thru meals in an attempt to save money, and because they wouldn’t care very much about how their customers or employees felt. It’s easy to imagine that such a company is also attempting to save money with abrasive dollar store cleaning detergent and one-ply toilet paper. This is the kind of utensil that says “This company is pinching pennies and doesn’t care what you or our hundreds of thousands of other customers like you think. Also, we pay our staff minimum wage.”
This might be the worst utensil I have ever found. How about you? Have you found any utensils that are objectively bad at what they do?