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The Best Fruit and Vegetable Peelers

Why do some peelers skin produce with ease while others barely make the cut?


Published Mar. 21, 2023.

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

A great peeler makes short work of prepping vegetables and fruit. The best are light and comfortable, with a sharp, maneuverable blade that peels neatly without waste and keeps its edge. There are two main types: Y-shaped and straight; we chose favorites of each. The Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler, our longtime Y-shaped winner, is our top choice, with its smoothly gliding, wickedly sharp carbon-steel blade. If you prefer straight peelers, we suggest the OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler, with its sharp stainless-steel blade.

What You Need to Know

We use vegetable/fruit peelers to prep a variety of produce, from carrots and potatoes to tough squash, tender ginger, and leathery lemon peel—and even for shaving Parmesan flakes or making chocolate curls. Bad peelers abound, though, making these jobs tiresome and even sometimes dangerous. 

A good peeler should be fast and smooth, shaving off just enough skin to avoid the need for repeat trips over the same section but not so much that the blade digs deeply into the flesh and wastes food. Whatever the task, the peeler should handle bumps and curves with ease and without clogging or losing its edge. And when the work is done, your hand shouldn’t feel the worse for wear. 

We rounded up more than a dozen peelers in two main styles—Y-shaped and straight—plus a few innovative models, and put them to the test. 

What to Look For

  • A Style That Works for You: Whether you prefer a Y-shaped or straight peeler is personal. The overall shape of the peeler is the biggest difference. Straight peelers are the earliest form of vegetable peeler; they’re shaped like the paring knives that they were based on, with the blade extending straight out from the handle. Y peelers are, well, Y-shaped, with the blade suspended between the tips of the Y. They resemble razors. The next biggest difference comes down to the way you hold them: You grasp a straight peeler by its handle, like a knife. Y peelers are usually held between the thumb and forefinger. You can use both styles of peeler in either direction, flicking it away from you or pulling it toward you along the surface of food. On both, the peeler’s dual blade operates the same way, with the first half traveling over the food, guiding the angle of the second, which actually cuts in and does the peeling. On many peelers both blades are equally sharp, so you can reverse direction as needed. Why do we prefer a Y peeler? The open Y shape gives us an unobstructed view—and better control—of the peeling action, so we know exactly what is happening at all times. Typically, the thick head of a straight peeler set low over the blade blocks our view. A we...

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

Reviews you can trust

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.

Lisa McManus

Lisa is an executive editor for ATK Reviews, cohost of Gear Heads on YouTube, and gadget expert on TV's America's Test Kitchen.