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Found in a drawer in nearly every kitchen, vegetable peelers are small kitchen tools with a big purpose. They’re key to making mashed potatoes that are fluffy and creamy, and sweet apple pies with the perfect texture. They’re also straightforward and require little by way of instruction, so they can be used by cooks of all levels. In addition to peeling vegetables and fruit, they can also be used to shave vegetables into ribbons or julienne produce into matchsticks.
A good vegetable peeler is lightweight enough to make peeling pounds of vegetables a quick task. It should be comfortable in the hand, with a blade that stays sharp over time. And ideally, it should be an affordable, accessible tool. With all these factors in mind, we looked at numerous vegetable peelers and asked two professional chefs for their opinions on what makes a good one.
Here, the best vegetable peelers in a variety of categories to help you find the perfect one for your peeling needs.
Best Overall, Straight Swivel: Kuhn Rikon Serrated Piranha Swivel Peeler
What We Love: Incredibly sharp, peels paper-thin
What We Don’t Love: Not available in black or neutral colors
This straight swivel vegetable peeler uses serrated blades to peel your produce paper-thin. The swivel blade allows for ease of movement and a range of motion that can help with long peeling projects, as well as with the difficult shapes of vegetables. The blades can peel even notoriously difficult thin-skinned foods like tomatoes and peaches. Plus, they stay sharp with continued use. The handle is non-slip and can be used by either hand.
Available in festive green and red colors, the Kuhn Rikon swivel peeler adds a fun touch to any kitchen decor. It’s also large enough to peel bigger items like butternut squash with fewer strokes than smaller peelers. Though it’s a few dollars more than a heavily budgeted option, it's still very affordable.
“When it comes to vegetable peelers, there are three things I look for: durability, sharpness of blade, and cost. Working in a busy kitchen, it's important to me to have a peeler that can get the job done easily and effectively without breaking the bank. Kuhn Rikon vegetable peelers fit the bill and are the No. 1 peeler you will see in my kitchen and with my staff. It's wide enough to handle a variety of vegetable shapes and light enough to use for an extended period of time without fatigue.” — Chef Tatiana Rosana, Executive Chef at The Envoy, Boston; two-time Chopped Champion
Weight: 0.1 pound | Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.25 x 0.75 x 1 inches | Blade: Stainless steel | Dishwasher-safe: Yes
Best Overall, Y-Shaped: Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler, 3-Piece Set
What We Love: Lasting sharpness, inexpensive
What We Don't Love: Will rust in the dishwasher (must be hand-washed)
A Y-shaped peeler, also known as a French peeler, has a blade sitting straight across the peeler horizontally, rather than lying along the peeler vertically. This shape is preferred for those who like to peel straight up and down with an item held directly in front of them. It has an appearance similar to a safety razor, with similar functionality. The Kuhn Rikon Swiss Peeler employs carbon steel for serious sharpness that doesn’t dull.
The funny-looking ring at the bottom of the peeler has a function: it is used to remove eyes from potatoes. This makes the peeler a two-in-one tool and speeds up time spent perfecting potatoes for boiling. The design of the peeler enables it to be used in either left or right hands. Reviewers say it even works to peel a lemon without any pith attached, and it's considered a favorite in the restaurant world.
"I prefer a Y peeler for speed and ease of grip. I keep a Kuhn Swiss Peeler in my chef kit at all times, with spares in my utensil drawer and my car! You never know when you’ll find something a-peeling.” — Nicole Poirier, Private Chef, Author of "The Intermittent Fasting Cookbook"
Weight: 0.5 lbs | Dimensions (LxWxH): 4 x 2.5 x 0.5 inches | Blade: Carbon steel | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best Julienne: OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler
What We Love: Makes even matchstick slices, dishwasher-safe, includes blade guard
What We Don't Love: Some say it cut their fingers, may be difficult to use
A julienne peeler can take the place of a mandolin for times when you need a vegetable formed into slender matchsticks, but in a quantity that would make cleaning a mandolin a waste of time. Using a blade with deep serrations, you swipe in the same motion as a regular vegetable peeler, but the julienne peeler gives you thin slices instead of a full peel. The OXO Good Grips julienne peeler comes with a blade guard to prevent nicks when removing it from the drawer or washing it, and it has a soft, non-slip handle.
The OXO julienne peeler is a Y-shaped peeler and can be used in either hand. It’s the perfect tool for creating thin strips of zested citrus, single servings of zucchini noodles, carrot sticks for a salad, or a festive garnish for an entree. It's significantly less expensive than other larger tools that fulfill a similar purpose, such as a mandolin, and it's much easier to clean. While it can’t replace those for large jobs, it’s a simple solution for small quantities.
"I love my Y peeler. Once it's so comfortable to use, and I can move through a pile of vegetables quickly." — Summer Miller, Senior Editor
Weight: 0.2 pound | Dimensions (LxWxH): 6 x 3 x 1 inches | Blade: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Mandolines
Best Electric: Starfrit Electric Rotato Express
What We Love: Fast, easy to use, lightweight
What We Don't Love: Doesn’t work as well with imperfectly shaped produce
Whether you’re cooking a holiday meal or are just not interested in taking on manual labor if it’s avoidable, this electric peeler has you covered. It’s a unique contraption that works automatically, with no effort on your part other than putting the ingredient into the machine unpeeled, then removing it fully peeled. It can peel a potato and similar vegetables in about 10 seconds, which makes it a timesaver, too.
Because of how the blades are placed on the machine, this electric peeler is safe for children to use. As blades wear out over time, replacement blades are available, and instructions are included about how to swap them out. This peeler can handle all sorts of vegetables and fruits, including difficult-to-peel ingredients such as peaches. At a reasonable cost that's usually the equivalent of two to three manual peelers, you’ll accomplish far more than you and another peeler could!
Weight: 1.9 pounds | Dimensions (LxWxH): 6 x 6 x 11 inches | Blade: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best Ergonomic: Chef'n PalmPeeler Vegetable Peeler
What We Love: Easy to hold, perfect for cooks with hand pain
What We Don't Love: Best for firm vegetables
Wholly different from the Y or standard vegetable peeler shape, the PalmPeeler slides onto your finger like you would wear a ring. The peeler underneath does the peeling work as you glide your hand alongside the vegetable. Because your hand is never anywhere near the blade, the peeler is particularly safe for people who tend to nick or cut themselves with peelers.
This peeler is an excellent choice for people who have issues with finger dexterity or deal with pain or stiffness in their hands. Reviewers find it very comfortable, and that it performs as quickly as standard-shaped peelers. Due to its shape, you’ll have an easier time peeling firm items like potatoes and carrots than softer ones. It’s one of the less expensive peeler choices on the market.
Weight: 0.1 pound | Dimensions (LxWxH): 1.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 inches | Blade: Stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes (top rack)
Related: The Best Garlic Presses
Best Budget: Farberware Euro Peeler
What We Love: Affordable, easy to use, lifetime warranty
What We Don't Love: Parts may break with time
Farberware is a trusted name in the home kitchen business, and the brand offers a highly affordable, dishwasher-safe swivel vegetable peeler. Employing carbon stainless as Kuhn Rikon uses, the peeler has an ergonomically sound handle for cushioned grip, along with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. It’s dishwasher-safe as well as rust-resistant.
If your vegetable peeling needs are straightforward, this peeler will get the job done comfortably, and at a price that can’t be beaten. It can be used by either hand, and some reviewers say that it lasts them for years. The blade swivels for ease of use and multidirectional peeling.
Weight: 2.4 ounces | Dimensions (LxWxH): 7.9 x 1.2 x 0.8 inches | Blade: High-carbon stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Cutting Boards
When it comes to vegetable peelers, Kuhn Rikon takes the lead in numerous categories. Its peelers use carbon stainless steel, peel produce paper-thin, are comfortable, and last for years. These attributes make its peeler a favorite of restaurant industry professionals (view at Amazon). For creating julienned vegetables with a peeler, we love OXO Good Grips’ julienne peeler (view at Amazon), and for an electric option, Starfrit (view at Amazon) will get the job done very quickly.
What to Look for in a Vegetable Peeler
The main options for peeler types include swivel, which has the blade positioned vertically along the peeler, Y type, which positions the blade horizontally, or electric, for which you’ll place the item into a peeling machine.
Blade Material and Sharpness
Carbon steel is a preferred material. It’s a form of stainless steel that stays sharp for a longer time than traditional stainless steel, but make sure to wash and dry it totally, so you avoid rusts and stains. Ceramic blades are another super-sharp alternative to steel that's extremely lightweight—but it's not the most durable.
Be sure to choose a handle that feels comfortable in your hand; plastic and rubberized handles are more comfortable than metal ones.
How do you sharpen a vegetable peeler?
Vegetable peelers can be sharpened with small tools like nail files. That said, they are inexpensive enough that you may be best served buying a new one when yours has dulled.
How do I make zoodles with a vegetable peeler?
To make zoodles with a peeler, you’ll use a julienne peeler. You’ll use the same motion as you would to peel the vegetable, but instead of a ribbon, your peeling motion will yield thin matchsticks.
How do I clean my vegetable peeler?
Vegetable peelers can be cleaned by hand with hot soapy water. If your peeler is dishwasher-safe, you can wash it in the dishwasher. They should never be soaked in water.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Special diet chef and certified nutritionist Ariane Resnick has been working creatively with produce for over two decades. Tasked with turning simple whole foods into complex-tasting meals by private clientele, she has been in the kitchens of countless mansions and has used nearly every brand of culinary equipment on the market. Though she remains faithful to the OXO Good Grips swivel peeler her mother gave her ages ago, she loves to test new equipment. For this piece, she consulted with chef colleagues, did considerable research, and checked in with past private clientele about the peelers she’d used in their homes.
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