This option is recommended by professional bakers and kitchen experts, including our own cooking expert.
Thick rubber handle and metal blades. Mixes butter quickly and uniformly. Heavy-duty without being heavy. Great construction. Easily blends frozen butter. Dishwasher-safe.
Make sure to buy the large size for best comfort. Blades can be sharp.
This choice gives you options for cutting both straight lines and fancy fluted edges.
Stainless steel blades. Double headed with fluted and flat wheels. Good for lattice designs and puff pastries. Santoprene handle provides comfortable nonslip grip. For right or left-handed use.
Straight cuts may require a steady hand.
A big, soft, and grippy ergonomic handle sets this option apart from other models.
Handle contours to your hand, creating maximum comfort. Mixes pastry quickly and effectively. Entire product is dishwasher-safe and cleans easily. BPA-free.
A few users felt like the handle was too large. Only 4 blades.
Our expert enjoys this excellent choice thanks to the versatility it adds to baking.
The silicone baking mat has multiple markings for size and shape. Has all the included utensils. Both sharp and durable thanks to its stainless steel design. The pastry cutter is comfortable to hold.
Some users noted that they aren't completely dishwasher-safe.
Our expert's go-to model thanks to its smaller size and its cutting ability.
The wooden handle gives it a more traditional design. The wires are made from stainless steel and do an excellent job of cutting through thicker doughs. Has a thumb rest that provides extra leverage.
Some users noted that the wires can be a tad too flexible.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
There’s nothing quite like biting into a flaky, delicate pastry. The tender-crisp layers of a biscuit melt in your mouth in a way that heartier fare simply cannot. But that airy, buttery goodness doesn’t happen by chance.
The truth is, pastries need to be handled with care every step of the way to achieve the mouthwatering results you crave. Preserving the texture of the dough is critical and requires proper equipment and technique. Using the wrong tool — or even the right tool without the know-how — can ruin a batch long before you start baking.
Pastry cutters come in a handful of styles and sizes. Larger, more substantial tools are designed to cut shortening into flour in a way that achieves flaky crust perfection. Smaller, more delicate cutters are used to create intricate pastry shapes. Using the right tool for the job can mean the difference between pastries that are airy and tender and pastries that fall flat.
Feeling overwhelmed? Let BestReviews help you find the right pastry cutter to set you up for success every step of the way.
There are two main types of pastry cutters: those used to cut butter into the other ingredients and those used to slice delicate dough.
These usually feature a handle at one end and multiple U-shaped blades on the other. These half-moon-shaped tools are sometimes referred to as dough blenders or pastry blenders and are used to chop butter, shortening, and other solid fats into your dry ingredients to achieve just the right texture.
In this category, you’ll find cutters equipped with thin wires and others with thicker blades. Those that have blades are considered preferable. The strength and durability of the blades will stand up to the cold butter or shortening that most recipes require. Wires may not fully cut through solid fats like butter, are more prone to snapping, and are tougher to clean thoroughly.
These are smaller, more delicate tools used for cutting dough into pie lattice, shaped cookies, and other smaller pastry classics poorly suited for larger blades. Sometimes called ravioli wheels, these cutters consist of an easy-to-grip handle with one or two rotating cutting wheels attached. The wheels should be sharp and spin relatively freely to avoid scoring or snagging edges.
Successful pastry production requires the right tools, and these two types of cutters are not interchangeable. Half-moon pastry cutters cannot achieve the precision of pastry cutting wheels, and pastry cutting wheels make ineffective butter cutters. Some chefs may wish to have both items in their arsenal. Almost any cook can benefit from a pastry cutter, but only serious chefs with precision cutting needs will require a pastry wheel.
Cutting cold butter can require some elbow grease. Look for a tool that will make it as easy as possible.
Some pastry cutters have a wooden handle. This style can be hard to grip firmly, and it isn’t dishwasher safe. Instead, look for a model with a rubber or plastic handle that gives you a secure grip on the tool.
Ergonomic shaping is a good feature for chefs who suffer from joint, hand, or grip problems. It’s also worth reading individual model reviews if your hands are particularly large or small. Oversize handles can be harder for petite hands to hold, putting users at risk for joint injuries. And smaller handles can lead to bruises and blisters on larger hands.
Some pastry cutters use parallel wires to slice through dough. This style may work for softer items like bananas and avocados, but it’s not the best fit for cold butter. Most experts recommend using cold butter for pastry perfection, and many wires aren’t up to the challenge. Thicker, stronger blades are a much better match for solid shortening, and they can pinch-hit when it’s time to mix softer ingredients, too.
Pastry cutter blades should be made from strong stainless steel to prevent rust. As an added bonus, stainless steel construction means your tool is more likely to be dishwasher safe.
As with most kitchen tools, southpaws will want to check blade positioning. Some blades are unintentionally angled to cut only with right-handed use. Lefties will want to verify that the blades cut in either direction.
Quality tools are part of the recipe for pastry-making success. Consider adding the following to your kitchen:
Pastry brush: An egg wash or butter coat can take your finished product to a whole new level.
Pastry scraper: If a pastry-cutting wheel looks too delicate for your needs, consider something a little tougher. A sturdy pastry scraper works equally well for dividing uncooked dough and portioning flaky finished products.
Bread knife: You worked hard to get your dough to rise. Don’t crush your finished product with the wrong knife. A serrated blade ensures you’ll slice through each flaky layer without tearing.
Stainless steel mixing bowls: Sharp blades require tough partner tools, and stainless steel mixing bowls are up to the challenge.
A pastry cutter is a budget-priced tool you’ll want in your kitchen. A quality pastry cutter can last many years, so you’ll want to make the best choice you can for your money.
The cheapest pastry cutters cost $8 to $10. In this range, you’ll find both pastry wheels and blending pastry cutters. While this is a reasonable price for smaller pastry slicing wheels, half-moon pastry cutters in this price range may not stand up to the force needed to slice chilled butter. You may find some tools with wires instead of blades among these offerings.
The next tier of pastry cutters costs $10 to $12. These tools are typically heftier, with thicker blades and sturdy rubber grips.
The highest-priced pastry cutters generally cost $12 to $15. If you’re paying this much, expect a tool with an ergonomically styled grip that is easy on your joints. Cutters in this range should have thick, angled blades that can cut through butter fresh from the fridge.
Don’t overmix the dough. Too much working or blending of the dough gives the butter time to melt, potentially jeopardizing the flaky texture of your pastry.
Slice the butter before using the pastry cutter. If cutting an entire stick of butter is too hard on your hand, slice the butter into quarters or more pieces and then use your pastry cutter on those smaller pieces.
Keep shortening cold. If you live in a warm climate, keep your shortening refrigerated until it’s time to use, and handle it with rubber gloves.
A. Cutting and blending butter into the dry ingredients creates a dough that’s more crumbly when it’s raw and bakes to an impressive, flaky finish. Fully mixing the butter creates a more even texture. This is fine for cookies and cakes, but it’s less than desirable in pastries. Handling and friction naturally add heat to butter, so if you start with warm butter, you’re more likely to ruin your dough’s optimal texture.
A. Chop, crush, scrape, and rock across the butter until the pieces are about the size of peas and mixed among the dry ingredients. The shortening should still be visible within the mixture, which should have a crumbly texture. Blending the shortening into pieces that are too small or too well incorporated with the dry ingredients will result in a smoother, cakier crust. It won’t affect the flavor, but the texture will be off.
A. Unless your recipe specifically calls for frozen shortening, butter from the fridge is fine. Frozen butter is usually too hard to chop safely with a pastry cutter and must be processed using a cheese grater. Instead, leave your butter inside the refrigerator until the time you actually need it. And if your butter still seems to be melting too quickly, you can just place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes until it solidifies.
A. Butter makes for light, airy treats if you get the texture right. Oil and melted butter fuse with the other ingredients into a single layer as they cook. Pea-size butter pieces, on the other hand, leave gaps in your dough as it bakes. By the time the butter melts, the structure has already set. This leaves tiny air pockets of trapped steam that create a light texture unique among baked goods.