Sharpen Up

Why a Bench Scraper Is a Chef’s Knife’s Best Sidekick

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

While we typically associate this inexpensive tool with dough and pastry, you certainly don’t have to be an avid baker to understand the joys of a bench scraper. This dull metal blade does its very best work when used alongside your chef’s knife.

Bench Scraper > Knife Blade

About the size of a small notebook, with a rounded handle and a dull metal blade, this is the tool you want to keep next to the cutting board, right within arm’s reach, whenever you’re prepping food. Instead of using your chef’s knife, opt for your bench scraper to lift and transfer ingredients to the stovetop, salad bowl, or anywhere else they need to go.

It’s a better tool for the job for a few reasons.

  • Size matters: For starters, just look at the surface area of the blade; it’s huge compared to a knife blade. The considerably wider surface area means it easily picks up more ingredients, which translates into fewer trips between the cutting board and stovetop and less chance of dropping ingredients. It’s all-around more efficient.
  • Knife preservation: Your knife blade will also thank you, big time. The effects are gradual and not immediately noticeable, but running the blade of your knife over a cutting board to scoop up ingredients slowly dulls the knife’s sharp edge. No need to worry about the scraper’s blade, though — it’s already dull. Save your knife for the slicing and dicing tasks it was meant to do.
  • Built-in ruler: See if you can get your hands on a bench scraper with measurements written on the blade. Now you can size up exactly what that one-inch dice should look like — or you could educate your eye to that size and simply use the bench scraper for it’s superior scooping capabilities.

What are some of your favorite ways to use a bench scraper?