Creating and enjoying delicious and decadent pastries requires care and control throughout the baking process. You’ll also need the right tools, including an effective pastry cutter, which maintains the texture of the dough, manipulates shortening and creates aesthetically pleasing designs.
Pastry cutters vary, with options differing in size, quality and usage. Our top pick is the SUMO Pastry Cutter, though you’re likely to need more than one if you’re a frequent or aspiring baker. Our guide details the various pastry cutters and how to find the right one for the job.
What to know before you buy a pastry cutter
Two main types of pastry cutters serve very different purposes. As such, most chefs prefer to have both options on hand.
The blending cutter features a handle attached to multiple u-shaped blades best used to cut butter or shorten to mix into dry ingredients. The thickness of the blades will vary across models, as well as the durability. As these often require a bit of force to use, the handle should be comfortable and easy to grip.
Cutting wheels are smaller, more intricate tools for cutting pastry and creating delicate designs. They may cut up pasta when preparing ravioli or create a lattice on a pie. These come in different sizes with one or two wheels included to offer cutting options. The handle should be comfortable, while the wheel should spin easily.
Most kitchens will be well served by having a blending pastry cutter on hand, while the wheels are more specialized, employed by more involved bakers and chefs.
A durable, easy-to-grip handle is just as important as the quality of blades. If you aren’t able to effectively wield the tool, it will serve little purpose. Handles may be made of wood, plastic or rubber. While wood is inexpensive, it’s not dishwasher safe and may be hard to get a firm grip when trying to exert more force. Plastic and rubber offer more secure handling at a higher price, though they may not last as long.
An ergonomic grip is worth considering, too, particularly for those who will be cooking or baking in bulk. You don’t want to strain your hand preparing pasta for an hour, repeating the same task again and again.
What to look for in a quality pastry cutter
Seek out blades made from stainless steel for best performance. Highly durable, they will cut through cold butter with ease and are typically dishwasher safe. Still, any metal blades are often preferred to wire options. Wire pastry blenders are standard and inexpensive, but they may struggle to get through some shortening. They are also harder to clean and may snap or break over time.
Some pastry cutters are designed with right-handers in mind, angled ever so slightly to favor those wielding the tool from that side. For those who primarily use their left hand, double-check to see that the tool caters to both sides or is efficiently utilized by left-handers without sacrificing results or comfort.
While it won’t affect functionality, some users may want to opt for a specific color when available on the handle. You can use color to create a slight accent in the kitchen or complement decor. In busy kitchens, color can serve a coding system so that different users have their own utensils, which is particularly useful for any specific diet or allergy.
How much you can expect to spend on a pastry cutter
Pastry cutters are relatively inexpensive, and both blending cutters and pastry wheels tend to cost around the same price. You can find quality options between $8-$12.
Pastry cutter FAQ
What’s the best way to cut and mix butter using a pastry cutter?
A. For best results, it’s recommended to use cold butter when baking. Frozen butter is too hard to slice through, while warmer butter may melt too quickly, particularly when you’re handling it frequently and creating friction.
In some cases, you may want to cut the butter with a knife before using a pastry cutter to make it more manageable. Once you notice the butter has a crumbly texture when mixed among dry ingredients, your blending process will be complete.
What else can I use the pastry cutter for?
A. A high-quality pastry blender can be used to mix and mash a variety of ingredients, including sides and dips such as mashed potatoes, guacamole and hummus. Any time you’re dealing with dough, a cutter will help separate it for easier use while also creating even lines and patterns.
What’s the best pastry cutter to buy?
Top pastry cutter
What you need to know: Durable and powerful pastry cutter that accomodates all users and provides plenty of convenience.
What you’ll love: Ergonomic grip offers comfort, while design caters to both righties and lefties. Dishwasher safe. Handle available in several colors.
What you should consider: The handle may be too large for some users.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top pastry cutter for the money
What you need to know: Quality, inexpensive pastry cutter that allows for both straight lines and fluted edges.
What you’ll love: Features two wheels on one end for diverse usage. Turns smoothly; sharp blades allow for quick, even cuts. Ideal for intricate designs. Comfortable handle.
What you should consider: Straight cuts may require some guidance.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Comfortable, smaller-sized pastry cutter that is sturdy and reliable in the kitchen.
What you’ll love: Affordable and durably-made pastry blender featuring thick blades and a rubber handle. Powerful but lightweight. Dishwasher safe.
What you should consider: Not ideal for larger hands.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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