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A pastry wheel, also called a pastry cutting wheel or pasta cutter, is a small kitchen tool that allows you to make bakery-worthy pies, pasta, and more at home. It’s like a pizza cutter but smaller, with either a single fluted wheel that makes a crimped pattern on dough or two wheels (one straight and one fluted) on a single handle. To use it, simply roll out your dough to the desired thickness, then roll the wheel across your dough in a single motion using medium pressure.
When shopping for a pastry wheel, think about what you’ll be using it for and whether you need a fluted edge, a straight edge, or both. For instance, are you simply looking have a handy tool to neatly cut your dough to fit into your pan? Or are you also looking to level up your pies with a lattice top, or make your own ravioli? Also important: Look for something that’s comfortable to hold and easy to clean.
The below products were chosen after consulting reviews and product information across a variety of retailers. I then put each of these pastry wheels to the test on store-bought and homemade pastry dough (and produced a delicious blueberry pie in the process). I made sure to keep in mind several things: how cleanly and precisely each wheel cut through the dough, how comfortable (or taxing) it was to use, how easy it was to clean, and more.
If you’re in the market for a pastry wheel, here are some of the best ones out there, along with my findings, to help you get started.
Best Overall: Williams Sonoma Olivewood Handle Fluted Pastry Cutter
What We Love: Sharp fluted blade, aesthetically pleasing, comfortable handle
What We Don't Love: Cost is on the higher end of the items in this roundup
This pastry cutter is lightweight and has a Mediterranean olivewood handle that not only looks beautiful, but is subtly curved and fits nicely into my hand and fingers. I also like that it's fairly light. And though this pastry wheel had a sophisticated look and feel, it didn't have the super-high cost of the most expensive wheel on this list that I tested.
In terms of performance, this cuts through pastry dough like a dream. It left behind an elegant ruffled edge that maintained its definition even while I manipulated the dough and put the cut section away from the rest of the dough. Furthermore, I had no issues hand washing it.
This pastry wheel checks all the boxes as far as aesthetics, function, and comfort. For someone looking to splurge a little, this is the option I’d recommend.
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Handle Material: Olivewood | Wheel Diameter: 2 inches | Weight: 2.5 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? No
Best Budget: Norpro Grip-EZ Pastry/Ravioli Wheel
What We Love: Good value, two wheels, hanging loop
What We Don't Love: Small particles of dust can stick to the handle
For an affordable pastry cutter that gets the job done, look no further than this option from Norpro. The rubber handle offers a non-slip grip (which is useful when handling buttery dough), and it comes with two pastry wheels that can be used for a variety of cutting tasks. Both the straight edge and fluted edge cut easily and cleanly through the dough in a single pass. The cut from the straight-edged wheel was straight and precise, and the crimped pattern from the fluted wheel kept its shape as I pulled away the excess dough.
The handle has a small divot on each side to rest your thumb and forefinger, which felt comfortable and secure in my hand. Plus, because the divots on the grip are identical, it can be used comfortably whether you’re left- or right-handed.
For the price and performance, this pastry wheel is definitely the best-value choice. It might not have a beautiful wooden handle like the more expensive options I tested, but it cuts nicely and hovers around $10.
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Handle Material: Santoprene | Wheel Diameter: 1.5 inches | Weight: 2.9 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes (top rack)
Best Splurge: QB Cucina Brass Fluted Pasta & Pastry Wheel
What We Love: Solid and sturdy, sharp blades
What We Don't Love: Extra care required in cleaning
Made of sturdy, heavy brass, this Italian-made pastry wheel cut sharp, frilled edges into my pie dough with the least amount of pressure required (compared to the other pastry wheels I tested)—due to it being the heaviest wheel I tested. It was also relatively comfortable to hold, though it wasn't the best in that category.
I found that some of the dough got stuck in the deep ridges of the wheel, particularly as the dough warmed up. But even with some sticking, this wheel made consistent, well-defined frilled cuts and was relatively easy to clean. The manufacturer recommends wiping down the brass blade with a rag dipped in water and baking soda or water and lemon juice rather than cleaning it with dish soap.
This was definitely the most beautiful of all the pastry wheels I reviewed. However, I thought the sharp crimped edge was a bit limiting (I only really associate that shape with ravioli), and for the price, I would have liked something a bit more versatile.
Blade Material: Brass | Handle Material: Beechwood | Wheel Diameter: 1.5 inches | Weight: 4.1 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? No
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Best Multipurpose: Sur La Table Stainless Steel Double Pastry Cutter
What We Love: 100% stainless steel, two wheels, hanging loop
What We Don't Love: Slippery handle
This sleek stainless steel pastry wheel is equipped with a fluted wheel and a straight-edge wheel, making it a versatile option. Cut sheets of homemade pasta dough to make lasagna with the straight edge wheel, then use the fluted edge for cutting strips of pie dough before weaving it into a lattice design. In my home test, I found that the straight edge left a precise cut in the dough, and the fluted edge left a nice scalloped pattern. I did notice that as the dough warmed, it started to curl a bit around the straight edge of the pastry wheel.
Though fairly easy to use, the stainless steel handle of this wheel felt slippery in my hand when handling my homemade buttery pastry dough, making me wish for a textured handle. Still, I was able to get consistent cuts.
Overall, I thought this was a solid option (despite the handle), and I like the sleek look of a fully stainless steel pastry wheel.
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Handle Material: Stainless steel | Wheel Diameter: 1.5 inches | Weight: 3.5 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? No
Related: The Best Pasta Makers
Best for Decorating: Ateco Ultra Fluted Pastry Cutter
What We Love: Ergonomic handle, detailed fluted edge
What We Don't Love: Wheel is slightly loose and rattles when you’re holding it
This fluted pastry wheel left the finest, most detailed, and most delicate frilled edge on my dough—with just a single pass. While the other fluted pastry cutters I reviewed yielded a similar look (except for the QB brass option, which left sharp edges), they were more subtle, making this wheel's design stand out. Not only that, but the detailed crimped pattern was also preserved as I moved the dough away from the cut edge.
Though the massive handle was designed to be comfortable and ergonomic, according to the manufacturer, this pastry wheel didn't necessarily stand out to me on that front. However, it did exceed in offering stability, feeling secure and steady in my hand; this helped me make straight cuts through the dough. And in terms of cleaning, all I needed was a sponge.
The only point I would knock off is from the fact that the wheel itself moved side to side a little (I believe the screw that secures it is left intentionally loose so it can rotate)—that said, it didn't interfere with the quality of my cuts.
Blade Material: Stainless steel | Handle Material: Plastic | Wheel Diameter: 2.5 inches | Weight: 4.1 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? No
Related: The Best Pie Pans
For a pastry wheel that has it all—comfort, quality, design, and comfort—the Williams Sonoma Olivewood Pastry Cutter can't be beat, which is why it's our best overall pick (view at Williams Sonoma). If you're both a fan of homemade pasta and pies, and you want something that will save you cupboard space, we recommend the multipurpose Sur La Table Stainless Steel Double Pastry Cutter (view at Sur La Table).
What Are the Other Options?
Cuisinox Pastry Wheel with Soft Touch Handle: This pastry wheel was in the running for Best Budget when I purchased it for under $6, but as the price is now closer to $16, it no longer makes the cut. In testing, the handle felt comfortable and secure in the hand; however, while both wheels cut through dough with just one pass, the fluted edge barely left a design, which was a bit of a letdown. Compared to the other pastry wheels tested, it left the most subtle pattern. For the current price, there are definitely better options out there.
What to Look for When Buying Pastry Wheels
Consider what you’ll be using your pastry wheel for. If you’re only interested in cutting decorative edges, go for a fluted pastry cutter. If you want something versatile that can make straight and crimped cuts, buy one with two wheels. As far as materials go, stainless steel and brass are go-tos for professional chefs like Alon Langleib, the chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education.
“I prefer a cutter that is made from a single material: brass or stainless steel. I want the tools that I work with every day to be made from the best material," Langleib says. "I personally prefer stainless steel or brass kitchen tools because they’re sturdier and they age better," he adds.
Ease of Use
Since you’ll be slicing through dough multiple times, choosing something that is easy to use and comfortable is important. When shopping for a pastry wheel, look for something with a sharp blade so that you don’t have to roll over the same section more than once to get a clean cut. Take a look at the handle to see if it has been designed with a comfortable grip in mind.
Since we’re dealing with spinning metal blades, it’s important to keep water away from pastry wheels as much as possible to prevent rust. Of course, they will come into contact with water when you’re cleaning them, but it’s important to dry them thoroughly and quickly after, paying close attention to where the pins meet the wheel and where the wheel meets the handle. Putting pastry wheels in the dishwasher is not recommended. Materials like stainless steel and brass will be more resistant to rusting, but for the longevity of the tool it’s best to keep it dry.
Are there other uses for a pastry wheel?
Pastry wheels can be used for more than just cutting pastry dough. They can also be used to cut pasta dough, cookie dough, cracker dough, or even pizza if you’re in a pinch.
“I use pastry wheels to cut tempered chocolate ribbons or any desired shapes of chocolate. I also use them when working with rolled fondant or gum paste, cutting puff pastry or croissant dough, and also to cut sheet cakes," says Langleib.
What else can I use besides a pastry wheel?
If you don’t have a pastry wheel and need to make straight cuts, a paring knife or pizza cutter should do the trick. The downside is that these tools won’t give the nice patterns that a fluted edge pastry wheel would.
How do I clean a rusty pastry wheel?
Try scrubbing it with a baking soda and vinegar solution. Or you can try Bar Keepers Friend, according to Caroline Schiff, the executive pastry chef of Gage & Tollner and the executive chef of Slow Up.
"It's affordable, easy to use, and just seems to always work like magic! To prevent rust in the first place, use as little water as possible on your wheel. I tend to wipe mine down with a damp cloth and not much else. Never run it through the dishwasher," advises Schiff, who's also the author of The Sweet Side of Sourdough.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Abigail Abesamis Demarest is a freelance journalist who specializes in food and drink content. She’s interviewed professional chefs to learn about pastry wheels and baking basics and share this knowledge with readers. Baking and watching The Great British Baking Show are some of her favorite ways to unwind.
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