We Tested 14 Popular Vegetable Peelers to Find the Best Ones

We peeled potatoes, lemons, butternut squash, and parmesan cheese to find the best vegetable peeler that worked efficiently and was easy to use and clean.

A group of vegetable peelers on a grey surface
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Every kitchen needs a trusty peeler, whether you’re batch-peeling for mashed potatoes or trying to get the perfect shavings of parmesan to top a kale salad. While a paring knife could do the trick, it can be time consuming (and a wee bit dangerous!).

The options for peelers are seemingly endless, so we tested 14 models—including Y-peelers and straight swivel peelers—to find the best ones. We peeled our way through potatoes, lemons, butternut squash, and parmesan cheese to find peelers that performed well while still being easy to use. Y-peelers outperformed swivel peelers at every step when it came to speed, ease of use, and performance.  

The Winners, at a Glance

The Best Overall Vegetable Peeler: Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler

Our longtime favorite affordable peeler was a workhorse during our testing, with a design that was simple and effective. It was easy to use, peeled smoothly and quickly, and sported an eye scooper.

Another Fantastic Vegetable Peeler: Kuhn Rikon Piranha Y Peeler

This was one of the fastest of the peelers we tested. It peeled two large Russet potatoes in a little over one minute, and dispatched a large butternut squash in one minute flat— twice as fast as some of our other winning picks. The ergonomic handle felt light and agile while moving around nooks and crannies.

The Best Grippy Vegetable Peeler: KitchenAid Classic Y Peeler

For those who are looking for a substantial handle, the KitchenAid Classic Y Peeler offered a comfortable wide grip, which was especially helpful if you’re tackling something large and unruly (like a butternut squash!).

The Best Fancy Vegetable Peeler: Rösle Stainless Steel Wide Crosswise Swivel Peeler

If you’re looking to splurge on a gift for someone —or for yourself—this option from Rösle is a beautiful, functional peeler. The stainless steel body was easy to clean and had a nice weight to it, for those who enjoy the little details. And if you can’t go without an eye scooper for potatoes, the one on this model was nice and sharp for clean, quick scooping.

The Tests

A closeup look at some vegetable peelers on a grey surface
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez
  • Peel Potatoes Test: To examine the general use of each model and to find out how cleanly and quickly each one peeled a potato, we timed how long it took to peel two large Russet potatoes. We noted how easy the peeler was to grip, how cleanly it peeled the potato, and if there was any resistance. We also took note of how easy it was to clean each peeler.
  • Peel Lemon Rind Test: We used each peeler to remove strips of lemon peel from one lemon, trying not to catch pith. We observed and noted how much pith was captured versus peel.
  • Peel Butternut Squash Test (Winners-Only): Pitting our leading peelers against a hardy, tougher skin, we peeled one butternut squash per peeler, noting how cleanly the peeler cut through the skin and how sturdy the blade was.
  • Shave Parmesan Cheese Test (Winners-Only): To see how each peeler could peel delicate shavings of parmesan cheese, we used our favorites to remove strips of parmesan, noting how cleanly and easily each peeler was able to slice through the cheese.

What We Learned

Y-peelers Outperformed Straight Swivel Peelers

A green y-peeler on a green cutting board surrounded by potato skins and a peeled potato to the side of it
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

On average, the Y-peelers we tested peeled potatoes nearly twice as quickly as the straight swivel competition. Y-peelers also maneuvered more easily around the potatoes’ nooks and crannies, and had less instances of skin getting stuck inside the blade. Our winning picks, the  Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler and the Kuhn Rikon Piranha Y Peeler, peeled potatoes the cleanest, leaving little to no clean-up needed. We liked the ergonomically designed handle on the Piranha option, which had a slight dip towards the peeler end, giving the hand some extra leverage when moving the blade around a vegetable. The KitchenAid and Rösle all performed well with potatoes, too. While it may take some transitioning to embrace Y-peelers if you’re used to swivel peelers, it’ll be more efficient (and comfortable!) in the end to use Y-peelers in the kitchen. In our tests, swivel peelers were more prone to skidding across the surface of a vegetable and were less agile when it came to getting around the nooks and crannies of potatoes. Additionally, we found that potato skin got trapped more often in swivel peeler blades. 

Y-Peelers Excelled At Delicate Tasks

A hand holding a lemon as a y-peeler peels a strip of lemon peel
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

When it came to lemons, Y-peelers generally performed better at procuring a delicate garnish of lemon rind without catching too much pith. While we were originally skeptical of how the serrated blade on the Kuhn Rikon Piranha Y Peeler would perform with such a delicate task, this model was able to get clean, whole pieces of lemon rind that were nearly translucent, while still holding their shape. Our other picks also peeled lemon rinds well with minimal pith, though it was more difficult to get one whole piece with the Rösle. And when it came to our parmesan test, both Kuhn Rikon offerings pulled dainty curled shavings.

Blade Material and Shape Mattered

Four vegetable peelers on a grey surface
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Overall, blades with a serrated edge tended to get a better bite on whatever they were peeling. In the case of one of our top picks, the Kuhn Rikon Piranha Y Peeler, its serrated edge was particularly helpful during the butternut squash test. It was able to catch onto the thick, tough skin immediately and peel it away smoothly and without much resistance. The Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler, was also quite sharp, due to its carbon steel blade. This material also meant it will likely stay sharper longer, though carbon steel is known to rust easily. We'd recommend immediately cleaning and drying it after use to keep it in good condition.

While Not Necessary, an Eye Scooper Was Nice to Have

It’s true that stopping every few seconds to scoop out blemishes on vegetables is tedious. Peelers with built-in eye scoopers helped streamline this process, allowing you to oscillate seamlessly between peeling and scooping. The Rösle and Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler both sported nice, sharp scoopers attached to the blade side, making quick work of potato eyes.

The Criteria: What to Look for In a Vegetable Peeler

Two hands using a green y-peeler to peel a potato
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

A great peeler should easily remove skin from vegetables and fruits, whether it’s thick, rough skin or delicate, soft rinds. It should be able to peel delicately without digging too much into the vegetable or fruit, and have a blade sharp enough to cut into thick skin right away without skidding off the surface. It should also be easy to clean, without too many nooks and crannies where vegetable or fruit skin could get trapped.

The Best Overall Vegetable Peeler: Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler

What we liked: The Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler was one of the more affordable peelers in our lineup, and comes from a trusted brand—what’s not to like? It kept up the pace when it came to potatoes and shaved very delicate lemon peels with minimal pith. You can even buy a set of three for less than $20.

What we didn’t like: Unlike our other picks, it takes a bit more care when it comes to cleaning. Due to the carbon steel blade (which gives it a longer lifespan) you’ll have to clean and wipe it dry immediately after use to keep it in good condition; this also means it isn’t dishwasher-safe.

Price at time of publish: $10.

Key Specs

  • Style: Y-peeler
  • Material: Plastic, carbon steel
  • Blade shape: Straight-edge
  • Weight: 0.4 ounces 
  • Dimensions: 6 x 0.75 x 2.75 inches 
  • Cleaning/Care: Not dishwasher-safe; hand wash and towel dry only; do not soak
A green vegetable peeler on a grey surface
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Another Fantastic Vegetable Peeler: Kuhn Rikon Piranha Y Peeler

What we liked: This peeler was fast, easy to use, and surprisingly sturdy for a model so light and thin. Its slim profile also makes it easy to store. Whether it was potatoes or butternut squash, it consistently peeled smoothly and cleanly without skidding across the surfaces.

What we didn’t like: The only downside is that this model doesn’t have an eye scooper, which can be helpful for cleaning vegetables as you go, especially if you’re batch-peeling for a large recipe.

Price at time of publish: $14.

Key Specs

  • Style: Y-peeler
  • Material: Plastic, stainless steel
  • Blade shape: Serrated
  • Weight: 1.1 ounces 
  • Dimensions: 6.25 x 3 x 1 inches 
  • Cleaning/Care: Dishwasher-safe
A green kuhn rikon peeler on a grey surface
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

The Best Grippy Vegetable Peeler: KitchenAid Classic Y Peeler

What we liked: The KitchenAid Classic Y Peeler was very comfortable to hold due to its larger handle that afforded a good grip. This model performed quickly and smoothly in our tests, and took minimal effort to clean. It’s great for everyday peeling and can power through vegetables and fruits without much friction. Bonus: it’s dishwasher-safe.

What we didn’t like: If you’re looking for something that can delicately shave parmesan cheese, this peeler might disappoint. It has a larger-than-average gap in its blade, pulling thicker shavings of cheese. 

Price at time of publish: $9.

Key Specs

  • Style: Y-peeler
  • Material: Plastic, stainless steel
  • Blade shape: Straight
  • Weight: 4.2 ounces 
  • Dimensions: 2.95 x 0.98 x 7.48 inches 
  • Cleaning/Care: Dishwasher-safe
A black KitchenAid peeler on a grey surface
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

The Best Fancy Vegetable Peeler: Rösle Stainless Steel Wide Crosswise Swivel Peeler

What we liked: Using the Rösle was as joyful as it was efficient. The model’s all-stainless steel body, which gave it a nice heft, made peeling potatoes and lemon rinds clean, smooth, and efficient. The hefty body almost helped push our hand straight along whatever we peeled.

What we didn’t like: While it breezed through potatoes and procured smooth shavings of lemon rind, it faced more difficulty when it came to our butternut squash test. Pitted against the thick skin of butternut squash, this peeler saw just a marginally higher amount of skidding. It’s also one of the most expensive models we tested, alongside the Material Kitchen Forever Peeler. And it’s not left-hand friendly.

Price at time of publish: $28.

Key Specs

  • Style: Y-peeler
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Blade shape: Straight
  • Weight: 4 ounces 
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 3 x 1 inches 
  • Cleaning/Care: Dishwasher-safe
A stainless steel peeler on a grey surface
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

The Competition

  • KitchenAid Classic Euro Peeler: This swivel peeler had an average performance. With potatoes, it sometimes skidded during peeling, and due to the straight swivel action, peeled skin would often get trapped in the blade.
  • OXO Good Grips Pro Swivel Peeler: Another swivel peeler, the OXO Good Grips Pro Swivel Peeler had a comfortable handle and peeled smoothly, but had a difficult time getting around nooks and crannies. That said, if you’re loyal to swivel peelers, this is the model to go for. 
  • OXO Good Grips Prep Y-Peeler: We really enjoyed the wide handle on this model; It was comfortable to use and smoothly peeled vegetables and fruits. It also has an eye scooper. Overall, it performed well but wasn’t as fast as our top picks, and it picked up a lot of pith during the lemon rind test.
  • OXO Good Grips Y-Peeler: This isn’t too different from the above model, but felt less comfortable in hand despite having a blade that performed quickly and smoothly. When it came to lemons, this model pulled too much pith from the lemon rind.
  • Misen Peeler: The Misen Peeler had a lovely weight to it and peeled smoothly. However, when it came to lemons, this model got too much pith from the lemon rind. It wasn’t able to perform the more delicate task without tearing the rind to bits instead of peeling one complete piece.
  • Spring Chef Premium Swivel Vegetable Peeler: We don’t recommend this peeler; it was the slowest model and often got pieces of potato skin stuck in its blade. When it came to lemon rind, this model didn’t peel smoothly compared to our winning picks.
  • Precision Kitchenware - Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Dual Julienne & Vegetable Peeler: This was the bulkiest model that we tested, with two sides: a peeler blade and a julienne blade. It was unruly to maneuver and didn’t peel as smoothly as other models. In addition, it didn’t peel lemon rinds cleanly. In this instance, the serrated blade created little bits of lemon rind instead of getting one clean piece.
  • Material Kitchen Forever Peeler: While undeniably beautiful, the Material Kitchen Forever Peeler was also one of the most expensive models. It was also awkward to grip with smaller hands due to the design of its body and, while it feels quite fancy, it didn’t perform as well as our winning picks.
  • Opinel T-DUO: This was the other model with dual blades, offering a peeler side and julienne side. While it was comfortable to handle and easy on the eyes with its warm wooden handle, it didn’t perform as quickly as the winning picks. However, it still peeled cleanly and smoothly despite being a bit slower. The julienne side also worked well in case you’re looking for a peeler that can do multiple tasks.

FAQs

Which kind of vegetable peeler is best?

In all of our tests, Y-peelers performed better on average compared to swivel peelers. Y-peelers moved cleanly, maneuvered well around nooks and crannies, and allowed for smooth, frictionless peeling action.

What are the different styles of vegetable peelers?

There are two main styles: Y-peelers, which have a handle leading up to a horizontal blade (they are shaped like the letter Y, hence the name), and straight swivel peelers, which have a blade that’s vertically aligned with the handle itself. Among these, some Y-peelers are double-sided, offering both a peeler side and a julienne side for dual action.

How often should you replace a vegetable peeler?

Some experts recommend replacing your peeler every year, while others say you can go a few years before needing a replacement. However, a few of our models, such as the Material Kitchen Forever Peeler, allow for blade replacements, so you don’t have to replace the entire body itself.

Can you sharpen a vegetable peeler?

No. Once a vegetable peeler starts to become dull, it’s time to invest in a new one

What is the best way to clean a vegetable peeler?

While all but one of our models tested are dishwasher-safe, it’s generally best practice to hand-wash vegetable peelers, especially if you have one that has more nooks and crannies—such as the double-sided peeler and julienne models. And if the blade is made of carbon steel, as it is on the Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler, it’s best to hand wash it and then dry the blade immediately after, to avoid rusting.