The 3 Best Vegetable Peelers to Buy in 2021

updated May 4, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Brett Regot/Kitchn

You know how people like to stress the importance of having the right tools for the job? Well this is especially key when it comes to peeling things like potatoes, tomatoes, squash, apples, and more. Arm yourself with a mediocre peeler and you’re gonna get mediocre results (at best). Bad peelers will either peel off too much, be too hard to use, or wind up even being dangerous. The best peelers? Well, they’ll glide through produce and make quick work of, say, a mountain of potatoes. To help you find the best peeler, we looked to see what other sites, professional chefs, and satisfied shoppers had to recommend. And then we weighed in with our own two cents.

Before we get into the picks, let’s take a minute to talk about the different types of peelers.

  • Y-shaped peelers: These sort of look like an actual Y with the bottom part being the handle and a blade spanning the top. To hold these peelers, your wrist will end up rotating more around whatever it is you’re peeling.
  • Straight swivel peelers: Straight swivel peelers are pretty much just, well, straight and the blade is installed right in the handle. Using this is more like using a traditional paring knife.

Picking between these two peeler styles really does just come down to a matter of preference. There’s no wrong answer (as long as you get one of these three!). Some people say you need two peelers — one with a straight blade and one with a serrated blade — but if you go with our pick, you’ll be able to peel anything and everything with just the one!

1. Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler

The Best Vegetable Peeler, According to Wirecutter, Cook’s Illustrated, and Serious Eats

Joining in with Wirecutter, Cook’s Illustrated, and Serious Eats, Food Network and Reviewed also recommend this inexpensive peeler. Ina and Giada like it, too! Honestly, it was hard to find any recommendations that weren’t for the Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler! Everyone says basically the same thing: Ignore the somewhat flimsy handle and the inexplicably low price tag and prepare to be amazed by the ridiculously sharp blade. The carbon steel blade cuts through even the toughest skin like it’s butter and stays sharp over time, which, really, is all that matters.

2. Kuhn Rikon Piranha Swivel Peeler

The Best Straight Peeler, According to Epicurious

Technically, the folks at Epicurious also picked the Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler, but this one got their vote for the best straight peeler. Again, the straight-versus-y-peeler debate comes down to a matter of preference. So for those of you who prefer a straight peeler, the Epicurious testers liked the long, easy-to-grip handle, which felt comfortable in their hands and was easy to maneuver. It does have a serrated blade (versus a straight one without any teeth), but testers said the teeth made for easier gliding through things like cheddar cheese, ginger, squash, and tomatoes.

3. OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler

The Best Vegetable Peeler, According to Amazon

This OXO peeler is the bestselling peeler on Amazon. It has a super-comfy, padded handle, a built-in potato eye remover, and a swiveling blade that’s especially helpful for peeling rounded fruits and veggies (like apples and potatoes). Amazon reviewers say it “works like a dream” and peels “like butter.”

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Kitchn’s Thoughts on the Best Vegetable Peeler

It should come as no surprise that we also recommend the Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler. (Adding to its list of fans: It’s also what lots of professional chefs use and it’s what most culinary school students are told to get!) It’s lightweight-yet-sturdy, affordable, and sharp enough to peel away the thinnest layers. Even tomato skin! When we were drawing up our list of Kitchn Essentials earlier this year, staffers unanimously nominated this as the peeler pick. “After using this peeler, I regret spending so much money on more expensive peelers that simply don’t work as well,” says Jesse Szewczyk, our Studio Food Editor.

Pro tip: Wash the peeler by hand and dry it right after to make sure the blade doesn’t rust. If it does start to rust, it can easily be cleaned up a scrubby sponge.

If you know that you’re more of a straight peeler kind of home cook, go with the Kuhn Rikon Piranha Swivel Peeler.