Both of mine used them around a year old. But they didn't eat much for regular food until then. It didn't seem to make a difference which one they used- still made a mess!
We have been giving Hunter a fork/spoon for awhile now, he is 16months so I would say since 13-14months. Now he wouldnt even eat unless he has one!! He trys his best but most of the time he makes a mess. But practice makes prefect!! and I think a fork is a little easier to pick up things with......
we introduced utensils as soon as she was eating food (12 or 13 months). she quickly picked up on it and everyone was amazed. i'd say give it a try. they do make special blunt forks for babies, and with some foods it's easier to eat with a fork.
i think we're going to invest in some baby forks/sporks when we go shopping.
Jillian has been using both the fork and spoon since shortly after starting on big girl foods. She does better with the fork than the spoon when she can figure out how to stab something. This morning DH fed her a waffle for breakfast and she refused it until he gave her a fork! She's far from a pro...but she tries and is interested!