Spork or Sticks

amanky 8:22am, 8 March 2007
Quick question/observance...

Amazon shows MrB with a spork... elsewhere/eBay he always sports sticks. is this the only difference between the two? is this a Japan vs. USA release issue? what the dealio?
stinky_harriet PRO 11 years ago
I got the spork with my Mr. Bento from Amazon. I was hoping for the spork, because I have not yet developed the fine motor skills necessary for using chopsticks.
nicoteena Posted 11 years ago. Edited by nicoteena (member) 11 years ago
I got the spork with my Mr. Bento SL-JAE14 from J&R Computer and Music World, and the only difference I can see is the spork and the sticker on the jar.

I'm pretty convinced this new model was made for an American -- or at least English-speaking -- market. The box, label on the actual jar (explaining features/functions), and the instructions were all in English. The old SL-JA14 had everything in Japanese.

If you do want the spork, be wary because I emailed the sellers on the Amazon marketplace and they have the SL-JA14 model with chopsticks, not the spork.
guinnevere 11 years ago
wow, crazy. i never even noticed, and i bought mine on amazon and it arrived with japanese instructions and 'sticks. i'm glad.
stinky_harriet PRO 11 years ago
Mine came with two sets of instructions. One is a larger, folded sheet with English on one side and Japanese on the other. Then there was an additional 1 page xeroxed sheet with only English. I guess that was left over from when the official instruction sheet was only in Japanese.
KJF916 Posted 11 years ago. Edited by KJF916 (member) 11 years ago
My vintage / early model of Mr. Bento came from eBay, with both a spork, and, chopsticks, which both fit in a case. In fact, the spork had a cover for its tines (tossed out).

My version of Mr. B purchased from Amazon in 2006, came with chopsticks in a case.

Personally, I'd prefer the spork in a new kit, for the simple reason that chopsticks are not a hard to find item -- you can find them everywhere (including disposables from your take out place). So, because I can easily stick some sticks in my Mr. Bento, I'd rather have the spork included in a new purchase, so that I have options. Especially on soup or chili / runny /wet food day.
amanky 11 years ago
my thoughts exactly Kate... (on the spork pref!) I was concerned perhaps there were other differing/improvement factors between the two releases... good info *possibly off to buy via amazon vs. waiting for ebay*

but wait, which sellers did you contact nicoteena?
stinky_harriet PRO Posted 11 years ago. Edited by stinky_harriet (member) 11 years ago

My spork also came with a plastic cover. I like it! It's not really necessary, since I wash everything after I eat and pack it up clean to take back home. I guess the tines could eventually snag/wear away the inside of the carrying case, though.

I would actually prefer a separate fork & spoon. I find it hard to eat my yogurt with the spork.
nicoteena 11 years ago
I don't remember all of them, but I know for sure I contacted homeaid and fast_nickel, neither of which had the spork. I also contacted Chef's Corner Store, but they didn't respond.

I contacted sellers on eBay also, and none of them had it. I don't remember which ones.

Hope that helps.
amanky 11 years ago
it does... the company I'm going to go through isn't on your list... so I may just "risk" it and possibly contact them should it appear sans spork... and see how they reply, as it's listed at such on amazon!?
nicoteena 11 years ago
I don't think they have control over the product page; I think it's updated by Amazon. I contacted before I bought from them because the model is new and I figured the sellers probably have the older version.

I also wanted to avoid crushing disappointment ~_^
amanky Posted 11 years ago. Edited by amanky (admin) 11 years ago
ah, but there is an amazon listing/page seperate form that the is the (I dug further!)

So, essentially they should have it listed in the right model/release!
nicoteena 11 years ago
They should, but they don't... I think they were originally listed on the page that has the new model and Amazon changed it.
Lalalaa Dolce Vita PRO 11 years ago
I pack my own spork:
You can get this one for less than $9 at
Titanium, it's the way of the future! And spork, of course is the greatest sniglet of all time!
NoriRapHowlee 11 years ago
hi everyone.
the new model is SL-JAE14 while the old model is SL-JA14. The extra 'E' stands for 'English'. The new model has an English box, instructions in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, and features a forked spoon in place of the chopsticks that previously shipped with the older model. The rest of the unit is exactly the same. Same bowls, same vacuum insulated main container, same bag, same price - even the same UPC number.

We call the utensil a 'forked spoon' due to trademarks on the word 'spork' being owned by another company.

If you wanted chopsticks with your unit instead of the forked spoon, i can arrange to get you a set with the plastic container that they come in. I have about 20 sets myself and don't want to make any money on them. If you pay postage (actual cost - no markups) the first 20 or so peeps that say go can have them.

But the new utensil is pretty good, especially if your chopstick skills are somewhat lacking (like mine!).

Also, we came out with the updated model to appeal to the US market on a larger scale. Some stores won't talk to me unless the box is in English. So rest assured that Mr. Bento is the same in size, color and quality. He just changed a wee bit to try and make more friends.

FYI - all of the other members of the bento family are still in Japanese boxes, with chopsticks, etc. There's even the new 'mini bento' that looks like it's going to be pretty cool.

Hope you all have a happy bento kind of day.

'the other white meat'
from Zojirushi America Corp.

post here for chopsticks requests - mods: if posting an email addy is cool for his purpose, pleeze say so and i'll put it up here.
mahalo plenny!
amanky 11 years ago
I'd possibly go for a set of sticks, just in case, depending on shipping cost (I'm still hoping I get the spork, for the variety!)

you can post an email, that's up to you... but flickr mail is a bit safer!
.ams PRO 11 years ago
Morgan, thanks for dropping by to give us the official news! Is this the new mini bento?
stinky_harriet PRO 11 years ago
I might like a set of chopsticks. I feel stupid that I've never even really tried to use them. I'm not the most coordinated person in the world, but I'd like to give it a try.
amanky 11 years ago
@harriet: *laughing* I'm sure you can figure it out! there are plenty of online diagrams, tutorials, etc... have fun!
nicoteena 11 years ago
Morgan, I second what .Ariel said. I really love the interaction this community has had with Zojirushi and I can't wait to start contributing more (when I finally have a kitchen I can cook in). ^_^
NoriRapHowlee 11 years ago
hello again. Ariel - yep, that's the new mini bento. it comes in 2 sizes with the green one a bit smaller than the blue one. both are pretty cool as all the containers will fit in the stainless vacuum insulated main container when you are done eating (or when empty) then you cinch up the bag and it takes only half the space as when the containers are full of yummy stuff.
for those brave enough to try the chopsticks, drop me an email at to tell me you would like a set. i'll need your ship to addy or p.o. box in order to get them to you, as my carrier pigeons are a bit tired from reading my previous posts.
tips on chopstick use: always have a fork nearby to faciliate the food eating process. nobody likes to wait for someone too long while they flounder with the ohashi (i think that means 'chopsticks' in japanese). but kidding aside, tie the sticks with a rubber band about an inch from the non eating ends, then hold one stick like you would a pencil when writing, letting the other one go along with the flow. the rubber band pivot point will allow for easier use while still allowing you to learn how to use them correctly someday, without the rubber band crutch. happy eating!

don't forget that you can always use the 'karmen method' and just stab the food with one stick. works well on almost everything! :-)

towm zac
amanky 11 years ago
*growl* he came with sticks... I was sorta hoping for the cute elephant addition on the label as well!
plantsareneat PRO 11 years ago
Hi folks -

My Mr B came with the sticks, and I was excited because I like using them and it felt more authentic. I also have a stainless steel mini set of fork, spoon & spreading knife that hang together on a ring that I carry in the bag pocket for things like soup, yogurt, and non-stick-friendly lunches. I find ravioli a challenge with the sticks, for instance. I got the silverware at my local Eastern Mountain Sports for five bucks, but any camping store would likely have similar, I expect. I also pack a cloth napkin in the pocket.
amanky 11 years ago
good news, I sent a response/issue through amazon. Explaing the slight differences between the SL-JAE14 & the SL-JA14 (noting they have them both listed speerately in the site.)

I said I honestly just wanted a refund sufficient enough to acquire and adequate replacement of this coverted "forked spoon"...

so I'm getting a partial refund!

now. Morgan: any way I can get hooked up with an official Zojirushi forked spoon? *may call Z herself today if she has time*
mlouise007 11 years ago
Did yours come with the carrying bag? I was in Chinatown, Oakland, yesterday at Lee's @ 8th /Harrison and they had Mr. Bento for $39.99 with chopstick case. (Ms for $31.99.) After wards I wondered if it was the "Classic Lunch Jar" with chopsticks, a strap and no carrying bag.
amanky 11 years ago
mine came with the bag... you should be able to tell by the box, number of bowls, etc.
NoriRapHowlee 11 years ago
hello all. sorry to amanky for my 2 week lag-o-saurus on getting back to you. i'm sure i could find a spare forked spoon around here somewhere. if you are still interested, let me know where you would like it sent and i'll get it to you faster than you can say 'mr. bento!'..... million times....

coolness. you are all very inspiring and i thank you for your enthusiasm and naturally for your support of a ZO product! muchas arigatos!

amanky 11 years ago
NoriRapHowlee ooo yay! *sending you flickr mail now!*
masa_pdx 11 years ago
Another alternative is the spork by light my fire. It's a bit different from the other sporks. It uses both ends of the utensil. One side is a spoon the other a fork with a knife type edge (think plastic knife). So this might be a good choice for those who don't like the one-sided fork/spoon combo. The spoon side is just a teaspoon size, not appropriate for soup. I usually get a 6-pack of japanese style plastic soup spoons to pack when needed. They're sustainable, but unbreakable (unlike the ceramic ones) and cheap to boot.
janetcinnc 10 years ago
If you don't mind having flatware that isn't quite as beautifully packed as the Zojirushi chopsticks, I found some "Zelco Mangia!" utensils at Just do a search on "Zelco Mangia" and you'll find several matches. You can buy an individual set of 18/8 stainless fork, spoon, and knife that nest together in a plastic cover that keeps them & your lunch bag clean. Those range in price from $10 to about $20, depending on the seller. You can also buy a box of 6 sets for about $45 to $60, depending on the seller.
DigitalAlan 10 years ago
I use a Spork by Light My Fire - Link Here....

I love this thing - Knife, Fork, and Spoon all in one. Works Very Well
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