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If You Don't Own a Bench Scraper, You're Not Doing Food Prep Right

Bakers are onto something — bench scrapers make everyday prep work so much easier.

sur la table bench scraper
Sur La Table

When it comes to kitchen equipment, we say stick to the basics. That usually means a chef's knife, paring knife, a spatula or two. Well now we want you to know that the "basics" should also include a bench scraper.

Bakers are notorious for their love of bench scrapers, otherwise known as dough scrapers. You've probably seen them before, too — they're typically squared-off or semi-circular blades attached to a horizontal handle. Despite their connection to baking, bench scrapers are exceptional everyday tools to have on hand. Sure, they'll help scrape up all of the sticky dough you have in a bowl and portion it out evenly, but they also help with protecting the longevity of your knife. I use a bench scraper to help me scoop up bits from my cutting board — like chopped up vegetables or loose scraps — to more easily transport it to a pan (or the trash). They have a wider surface area than a knife blade to gather things up, and you don't have to worry about slicing your finger when trying to push things onto the bench scraper's blade. Also, dragging a knife blade across any surface is detrimental to the super-sharp knife edge you worked so hard to get. From what you should look for in a bench scraper to the best ones to buy, here is everything you should know about your future favorite kitchen essential.

What to Look for in a Dish Rack

Tip #1: Why Weight?

Bench scrapers are by no means heavy. However, they do range in weight, which can affect how nimble you are when using it. If it's too heavy, you might not be able to make as many swift moves as you'd like, but if it's too light, you'll find yourself struggling to cut through certain items.

Tip #2: To Bake or Not to Bake

Bakers love bench scrapers for their versatility when working with dough. And one feature of bench scrapers that can be super important for bakers is a built-in ruler. Having this on a bench scraper won't usually affect the price, but if you do find yourself working with dough often, finding etched-in measurements in your bench scraper is a massive win.

Tip #3: Handle With Care

A bench scraper essentially has two parts: a blade and a handle (though some don't have a handle presumably to cut costs). Like a knife, the handle can be made of any material and shaped for ergonomics. If you can, test out a bench scraper before you use it. Make sure they feel good in the hand and that it's securely attached to the blade. And material only really matters if you're considering between wood or something else — wood is a bit more fickle to take care of (don't soak a wooden-handled bench scraper in the sink) and requires care to ensure longevity.

The Best Bench Scrapers of 2022

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Best Overall Bench Scraper
Norpro Grip-EZ Scraper/Chopper
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Now 55% off

The Grip-EZ Scraper/Chopper from Norpro features a lot of the basics one would want from a bench scraper. It has measurement markings on its side — whether you need it or not — as well as a non-slip handle that's comfortable to use. The blade is sharp enough to cut through dough, though it's not a good replacement for a knife when it comes to cutting anything else.

  • Slip-free handle
  • Features measurement markings

  • Can't be used flat against a surface because of its handle
  • Not great for chopping vegetables
Best Multi-use Bench Scraper
Chef'n Pastrio 3-in-1 Set
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The Pastrio features three bench scrapers so it's one of the best deals around. It has a stainless steel option for clean, easy cuts; a plastic option to use on delicate surfaces; and a curved option for easily scraping things out of bowls. They nest into one another to save drawer space, and they're all dishwasher safe.

  • Three bench scrapers for multiple uses
  • Works well for all bench scraper tasks

  • Nesting the three together is finicky
Best Bench Scraper for Baking
Sur La Table Stainless Steel Dough Scraper
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The bench scraper is the ultimate baking tool, and we think this one from Sur La Table is the best for all your baking needs. It has measurements on two of its edges, and a thin, flexible blade that can more easily scrape and slide underneath things. It can lie flat against a surface, too, which means it can really scrape and pick things up.

  • Flexible and strong blade
  • Dual-sided measurements
  • Easy-to-clean stainless steel construction

  • Handle could end up slippery
  • Annoying to clean the empty space in the handle
Best Bench Scraper for Chopping
Zulay Kitchen Bench Scraper
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All bench scrapers are good at slicing dough (theoretically) and some are good enough to cut through hard vegetables, like a carrot. This one from Zulay Kitchen is good at both. It won't replace your kitchen knife, but one could easily use this to get through a bundle of vegetables without having to take out your trusty knife. Also, it's a very affordable $8, so you might as well get one.

  • Comfortable, non-slip handle
  • Beveled edge is sharp

  • Etched markings can be hard to read in the wrong light
Best Wooden Handle Bench Scraper
Williams Sonoma Olivewood Bench Scraper
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This is mainly here for aesthetic reasons. It's $20, way more than what one should need to spend on a bench scraper, but its olivewood handle definitely makes this one of the nicer options on the market. It has measurement markings, at half-inch intervals, and the blade comes to a beveled edge for a sharpness that can cut through tougher foods. 

  • Sharp blade
  • Has measurement markings

  • Expensive for a bench scraper
  • Wood requires extra care
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