First and foremost, utensils are for eating. We flushed out the idiosyncrasies of each product by consuming a variety of different food types, from ramen noodles to scrambled eggs to almond butter to steak, to see how well they handled. We evaluated them for their comfort in the hand and mouth. We also used a syringe to fill the bowl of each product with a measured amount of ccs until the surface tension broke to flush out the maximum liquid carrying capacity of each model.
Cooking becomes a necessary function for these utensils when in the backcountry. We took them on ski tours and backpacking trips and used them to prepare meals over a camp stove. We tested them with dehydrated food bags, a JetBoil stove, and an MSR Whisperlite. We also used them to saute in a GSI Pinnacle Frypan which has a Teflon coating and evaluated their ability to scratch the non-stick coat.
Cleaning doesn't necessarily equate to washing, so we wiped each product clean after a meal using only a mouth and again with a dry paper towel to check their ability to be cleaned on the go. We then tried to clean them with cold running water and finger friction. If that didn't do the job, we broke out warm soapy water and a sponge.
To find out how they handled with regular use, we used them a lot. For many meals and many miles, we used each model to assess the wear and tear caused by normal use. We then set up a break-test to help find the limit to their strength. We clamped each spork to a table using a c-clamp. The clamp was positioned on the handle where you would normally grasp it with your hand, leaving the bowl hanging over the edge of the table. We then hung a water jug with 1 to 10 lbs of weight on the bowl and assessed the model for folding, bending, or breaking.