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Should You Get a Gourd Tool?

We tested three tools, rating them on their ability to scoop, de-string, and cut (where applicable) honeydew melons, butternut squash, and pumpkins.


Published Sept. 1, 2016.

What You Need To Know

We typically use a soupspoon to scoop out seeds and strings from pumpkin, squash, melons, and other members of the gourd family. But the Messermeister Pro-Touch Plus Culinary Spoon ($12.95) and the Chef’n ScoopSaw Squash and Melon Tool ($9.99) promise to make this cleaning process easier. To test these claims, we pitted both tools against our trusty spoon, using each to scoop halved honeydew melons, butternut squash, and pumpkins. In addition, we tested a fleshing tool ($6.99); while it’s primarily used for taxidermy and sculpting clay, this sharp, serrated metal loop has found favor with serious pumpkin carvers. Finally, because the ScoopSaw also features a narrow, flexible keyhole saw nested inside its hollow handle, we pitted it against a chef’s knife and a paring knife to see which made it safest and easiest to cut each of the gourds—slicing the melon into wedges, cubing the butternut squash, and carving a pumpkin.

None of the tools proved better than the spoon at removing the strings and seeds from the gourds. The notched edges of both the Messermeister spoon and the fleshing tool combed through the strings without taking them all out; they also gouged unsightly grooves into the gourds’ flesh. At least the ScoopSaw’s blunt but smooth-edged paddle inflicted no damage on the gourds, scooping them out almost as cleanly and thoroughly as the soupspoon. And although its serrated knife wasn’t great at cubing squash or slicing melon, it did a good job of topping and carving the pumpkin. We don’t think any of these tools should be used to clean or cut melon and squash, but if you carve a lot of pumpkins, the ScoopSaw might be a worthwhile investment.

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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Reviews you can trust

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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.

Miye Bromberg

Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.