As a trained professional chef, I expected to arrive on my first day of work in a professional kitchen fully prepared with all the kitchen tools I'd need. Then, I was unceremoniously handed a 50-pound sack of potatoes. Wanting to prove myself, I hoped to speed-peel the bag so I could move on to a more exciting job. Sadly, I didn’t have a potato peeler in my knife bag and the house peeler was old, dull, and misshapen from too many years of use.
That experience proved that although a vegetable peeler might be a humble tool, it’s a crucially important one. A sharp blade, comfortable grip, and smooth movements can make the difference between hacking away at your vegetables and having an effortless peeling experience.
The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.
Kuhn Rikon 3-Set Original Swiss Peeler
Whether you’re a pro or a beginner in the kitchen, the Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler is the perfect peeler for you. And, you actually get three: This peeler set includes a green, red, and yellow peeler! This "three-for-one" price might have made me suspicious about the longevity of the peeler, but my personal Kohn Rikon peeler has held up for years after much restaurant use and abuse. It's a great tool for peeling fruits or vegetables.
The peeler is bright and attractive with a simple, super lightweight design. The low profile easily fits in any knife roll or gadget drawer, and when it comes to performance the Kuhn Rikon peeler aces every kitchen task. Its carbon steel blades were sharp and effortless to use. It moves through potatoes and lemon peels quickly and barely catches up on celeriac’s awkwardly bumpy surface. Of all the peelers we chose, this is the fastest and most comfortable to use, earning it our top spot for vegetable peelers.
Normally I wouldn’t have a “for professionals” recommendation, but the Precision Kitchenware Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Dual Julienne & Vegetable Peeler is a little bit special. First, true to its name, the stainless steel blades are super precise. Of all the peelers on our list, this one (by far) has the best yield, and creates the least amount of waste across the board. Super thin peels come off of the serrated blade with little effort, all while peeling just enough product so you won't have to go back for a repeat peel.
The other reason to love the Precision Kitchenware is that it also includes a julienne peeler. While the close proximity of the second blade does cause this peeler to clog from time to time, that second side makes perfect julienne slices. In a restaurant setting, this can cut your prep time down significantly (all without having to break out that dangerous mandoline). Because of these two unique factors, this peeler gets our pick for professionals.
I was surprised that I liked the OXO Good Grips Y Peeler better than the more expensive OXO “Pro” version, but it comes down to a few features that make all the difference. This peeler has a lightweight, simple design with a super sharp blade, making it surprisingly fast for such an inexpensive product. It's comfortable to hold, with a soft rubber handle and textured side grips. The thinner arch does lead it to clog a bit more easily than other peelers, but overall I have no complaints using this Y-peeler.
Although the less expensive OXO Y-peeler eked out the slight win, I really did enjoy using the OXO Good Grips Pro Y-Peeler. The contoured handle was coated with some kind of cushioned rubber material that feels good in my hands, and it's in the top of the class when it comes to peeling potatoes. Unfortunately, since it is a heavy peeler, it struggles a little bit on the fragile items, and is hard to hold comfortably when working with delicate parmesan cheese twills and perfect lemon rinds.
We tested four Y-peelers and four swivel peelers, all varying in size and shape. No matter the format, each peeler needed to pass our tests for blade sharpness, overall performance, and design by peeling smooth potatoes, bumpy and odd-shaped celeriac, removing delicate lemon zest without all that bitter pith, and the precision task of creating perfect parmesan cheese shavings.
The most important factor in a peeler is the blade sharpness. A sharp blade allows you to smoothly and effortlessly cut into the vegetable. It also affects how consistently the blade slices into the flesh. Duller blades tend to dig in at random, creating a bunch of thick and thin peels that increase the amount of waste. A great peeler stayed sharp through all our tests.
Once we got a feel for how sharp each peeler was, we rated its overall performance by measuring how quickly it peeled each item and weighing how much waste was created. If we had to make repeat trips to remove all the peel or the peeler clogged often, this affected the speed and overall yield.
We also measured the peeler’s design. The amount of space between the blade and the bridge (which connects it to the handle) has a huge impact on the peeler’s performance. Too small and the peeler clogs easily, but too large and food will haphazardly fly around the kitchen. And let’s not forget how important ergonomics is when it comes to peeling—especially in great quantities—so we wanted a peeler that was lightweight enough to prevent our arms from tiring and designed to fit comfortably in our hands.
Finally, we assessed how easy it was to clean these peelers, as most are not dishwasher safe.
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