Best Olive Pitters

Updated June 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
24 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
99 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best olive pitters

If you’re an olive aficionado, you probably enjoy the little fruits as garnishes, snacks, or staple ingredients in many recipes. Olives deliver a memorably earthy, briny taste to any dish. Pitted olives are popular because they take the hard work (and potential tooth damage) out of eating olives. Nothing beats whole, fresh olives, but it’s a time-consuming challenge to pit them by hand. There’s a solution to your predicament: if you invest in an olive pitter, you can experience the freshness of newly pitted olives anytime.

This simple kitchen device removes olive pits with the help of an efficient plunging mechanism. Just add one (or several) olives to the pitter, exert a little force and voilà, your olive is pit-free. But with so many olive pitters on the market, how do you choose the right one? We’re here to help.

We tested some olive pitters and found several models we love. It’s time to love your olives in a new way, so read our buying guide to find which olive pitter is right for you.

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If you’re still concerned about breaking a tooth on a stray olive pit, slice olives in half to inspect them prior to eating. You’ll be able to catch any fragments and will have dainty halves to garnish salads, pizza, and pasta dishes.

Key considerations

Plunging mechanism

Pitting olives involves pushing the pit through the olive with a plunging mechanism. This efficient method of extraction is reliable, particularly due to its simple, straightforward design. The mechanism is operated in three main ways: squeezing, pushing, or scissor style.

Squeeze: This style of olive pitter is the most common. It involves pressing the arms of a tong-shaped device into each other to push the pitter through the olive. It requires a reasonable amount of effort and exertion, which could be difficult for those with dexterity problems.

Push: This style involves placing the olives on a platform or in a reservoir and pushing down on a lever or button. Minimal effort is required, so pitting in large volumes becomes a manageable task. These olive pitters are as user-friendly as they come, so they’re easy for children to use, too. 

Scissor: There are also some scissor-style pitters, and while they operate similarly to squeeze style, they’re far more ergonomic. They embrace the comfort and design of kitchen scissors to facilitate squeezing. They’re much easier to control and hold for extended periods of pitting, too.

Capacity

Pitting olives is a repetitive process. Once you get the hang of it, it can feel like an assembly line that you can handle with your eyes closed. Given the sharpness of the pitter, though, we strongly recommend you give your full attention to the process.

One olive: If you only have a few olives to pit, a pitter that holds one olive at a time is all you need. It’s also the most common type. This kind of pitter requires the proper placement of the olive for successful pitting, so it initially takes some practice.

Multiple olives: There are also pitters that can hold up to six olives at once. These models are ideal if you plan on pitting a large number of olives or simply want the time-saving convenience of better efficiency.

Olive pitter features

Materials

Olive pitters are simple mechanisms made of stainless steel, plastic, and/or silicone components. Single pitters can be entirely stainless steel, though less-expensive models tend to come with more plastic or silicone parts. Pitters that hold several olives involve more moving parts, so expect these contraptions to include both stainless steel and plastic parts where appropriate.

Mess reduction

It’s no secret that olive pitting can be a messy process, which is why some pitters come equipped with features that cut down on the mess.

Splash guard: A splash guard at the exit site controls the direction in which the olive oil oozes. The longer the splash guard, the more likely you’ll have a straight, controlled downward stream into a bowl or sink.

Compartment: Other olive pitters have a self-contained compartment to catch the pits. This is especially helpful when it comes to cleaning up because the container can be emptied and washed. These are often made of dishwasher-safe plastic for added convenience as well.

Warranty

With average wear and tear from regular use, you can expect your olive pitter to last for several years. Manufacturers offer a broad range of warranties that vary from 30 days to several years. In the event you have any issues with your olive pitter, you’ll probably have to send it back to the manufacturer and pay for shipping out of pocket. Considering the low price of most olive pitters, unless you’re married to the style you have, it’s usually less expensive to simply purchase a new one.

Extras

Olive pitting is a relatively straightforward process, but some manufacturers include an ebook with the purchase. In addition to the user manual and general care instructions, the ebook also includes recipes to help you get the most out of your pitter. Some of these helpful guides detail the olive curing and brining process, too, so if you’re interested, it’s a fun and useful added feature.

Olive pitter prices

Olive pitters cost between $5 and $40, so there’s one for any budget.

Inexpensive: At the low end of the range, between $5 and $10, you’ll find single pitters with squeeze mechanisms. They’re generally inexpensively made, so expect plastic parts or metal components that could feel loose after some use.

Mid-range: These olive pitters cost between $10 and $20. You’ll find more ergonomic models in this price range. They also tend to include efficiency features, such as a splash guard or container for pit collection.

Expensive: At the high end, between $20 and $40, are olive pitters made for heavy use. These are well constructed and suitable for commercial use in restaurants or bars.

Tips

  • Prep your kitchen for pitting. When you’re ready to start pitting olives, prepare your kitchen first. Clear your work area and make enough space for jars, bowls, and cutting board. You could work directly on the counter or set up the pitting station in the sink for hassle-free cleanup with the spray nozzle.
  • Give a pitter as a gift to an olive aficionado. If you need a unique gift that no one else will think of, purchase an olive pitter and include recipes or ingredients for stuffing the pitted olives, such as goat cheese, almonds, or pimento. The recipient will be thrilled to take their olive experience to the next level.
  • Soften the grip. If you have a pitter with a squeeze mechanism, make using the pitter more comfortable by holding it in a silicone oven mitt or potholder.
  • Do your homework. Olives are an acquired taste for some, so do your homework to discover which ones lend themselves best to certain dishes and delicacies.
  • Check for loose parts. Like any mechanical device, olive pitters are built with a collection of bolts, screws, or plastic components. If you notice anything is loose or jiggling, it might be time to replace your olive pitter. They’re not easy to fix, and it’s probably cheaper and quicker to get a new one.
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If you plan on doing a lot of cooking with pitted olives, invest in more than one pitter. When recipes require a significant number of pitted olives, enlist the help of a friend or family member to do the work in half the time.

FAQ

Q. I have small hands and struggle with large tools. What’s the best olive pitter for me?
A.
Instead of choosing a pitter with a plunging or squeezing mechanism, opt for one that allows you press down with the heel or palm of your hand to remove the pit. These styles take the stress off your hands and only require a minimal push.

Q. How messy is the pitting process?
A.
Because extraction is involved, expect squirts of oil and some mess that requires cleaning up. With that said, there are some olive pitters whose designs minimize mess while shooting the pits into a dedicated container. As always, whenever you’re cooking, it’s recommended that you wear an apron to protect clothing from stains, and in this situation, rogue olive oil.

Q. I’ve heard that olive pitters can double as cherry pitters. Is that true?
A.
Most olive pitters will indeed accommodate cherries as well, even smaller ones. As a matter of fact, you usually don’t need to remove the stems, because they don’t get in the way of the pitting mechanism. Some pitters work better with cherries than others, and single plunger-style pitters tend to fit cherries best.

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