Wagner Pie Logo ~ 1915 -1934It is probably safe to bet that the 10.25" skillet would be the most commonly found size in people's kitchens. Number 8s are certainly a useful size when cooking for two. 12" (and larger) skillets are impressive in their size, weight and capacity. I wouldn't want to be without either size (or drop them on my foot) but I've grown to appreciate the smaller skillets.
A number 3 is usually 6.5" and these are perfect for cooking a single burger or egg. They also work very well as a baking dish when heating up leftovers.
A number 5 skillet is usually 8" and I find these to be a great size for cooking breakfast sausage or sauteing some carrots.
Favorite "smile" logo - 1916 -1934Both of the picture skillets are at least 74 years old and get regular use.
These smaller skillets are often found in excellent condition because they received less use and therefore have fewer utensil marks. The prices on the smaller skillets are usually lower than the larger frying pans. This is not always true as Griswold #4s and Wapak Indian Head #4s can fetch very high prices.
If you are considering purchasing an old skillet to see why goofballs like me make a fuss over them consider a small one.
Do you have a favorite skillet size?