As a trained professional chef, I expected to arrive on my first day of work in a professional kitchen fully prepared. 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.
Just like that, an easy task became an unbelievably frustrating one. If only I had the Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler(available at Amazon for $9.99) in my bag, it would have changed my life!
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.
Most peelers are pretty inexpensive, but we wanted to know how they stacked up. We ordered eight top-rated peelers and let the testing begin. Skipping any gimmicky or nontraditional shapes, we stuck with the well-known Y-shaped and traditional swivel peelers. In the end, we walked away with some pretty solid recommendations for an all-around best peeler, as well as a top-rated swivel peeler and one that’s perfect for professionals.
Here are the best vegetable peelers we tested ranked, in order:
Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler
Messermeister Pro Touch Fine Edge Swivel Peeler, Black
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: 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.
The peeler is bright and attractive with a simple, super lightweight design. Its low profile easily fits in any knife roll or gadget drawer, and when it comes to performance the Kuhn Rikon peeler aced every test we threw at it. Its stainless steel blades were sharp and effortless to use. It moved through potatoes and lemon peels quickly and barely got caught up on celeriac’s awkwardly bumpy surface. Of all the peelers, this was the fastest and most comfortable to use, earning it our top spot for vegetable peelers.
While I personally prefer the Y-shaped peelers, I know many cooks that greatly prefer the angle flexibility of swivel peelers. In fact, I’ve known some prep cooks who are so fast at peeling potatoes with the straight peeler they put me to shame! So, we would be remiss if we didn’t include the top-scoring swivel peeler here.
The Messermeister Pro Touch Fine Edge Swivel Peeler is sharp and comfortable, and thanks to a super high arch there was no peel clogging as we tested, making it easy to clean. It peeled tough lemons skins with very little bitter pith residue and the grip was placed perfectly no matter how I held it. And, while it wasn’t the fastest peeler in the group, it removed the hard peel from a celeriac more smoothly than any of the competition. If you’re going for a swivel peeler, this is the one to get.
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, it’s super precise. Of all the peelers, this one (by far) had the best yield, creating the least amount of waste across the board. Super thin peels came off of the serrated blade with little effort, all while peeling just enough product so we didn’t have to go back for a repeat trip.
The other reason to love the Precision Kitchenware peeler is its dual sides. While the close proximity of the second blade does lead 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.
Hi, I'm Lindsay Mattison, a trained professional chef, and a veteran potato peeler. My restaurant primarily sourced locally grown produce, so I've spent a lot of time around the prep table taking down hundreds of pounds of potatoes and carrots. A comfortable, sharp peeler makes working with fresh vegetables significantly more pleasant, so I can’t wait to share my experience with you!
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.
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.
Finally, we 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.
Other Vegetable Peelers We Tested
OXO Good Grips Y Peeler
I was surprised that I liked the OXO Good Grips Y Peeler better than the more expensive OXO “Pro” version, but it came down to a few features that made the difference. This peeler has a lightweight, simple design with a super sharp blade, making it surprisingly fast for such an inexpensive product. It was comfortable to hold, with a soft rubber handle and textured side grips. Its thinner arch did lead it to clog a bit more easily than the other peelers, but overall I had 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 felt good in my hands, and it was in the top of the class when it came to peeling potatoes. Unfortunately, since it was the heaviest peeler in the bunch, it struggled a little bit on the fragile items, and was hard to hold comfortably when working with delicate parmesan cheese twills and perfect lemon rinds.
The OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler was not my favorite. It was below average across the board when it comes to performance and it struggled to make smooth cuts. The very small arch made it prone to clogging and also made it really difficult to clean. It does have a nice comfortable handle, but for the price, there are better peelers on the market.
The Linden Sweden Jonas Peeler Original was the least expensive in the group, and you could tell by its performance. There was nothing to like about this swivel peeler—it was choppy, weak, and the metal grip was awkward and dug into my palm. On top of that, it ranked the worst for time and yield of every peeler. This is definitely one to avoid.
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