Shoddy kitchen utensils will frustrate even the most skilled chefs, so finding the best among kitchen drawer staples such as vegetable peelers and tin openers will help make your food prep a breeze.
We’ve tested great kitchen utensils that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Below are five that we love from across our kitchen utensils tests – all available for less than ten pounds.
So whether you’re seeking upgrades for your arsenal of kitchen utensils, or comfy tools that can handle longer sessions of batch-cooking, read on to find our affordable winners.
Ease the squeeze on your household bills with our latest cost of living advice and tips
1. OXO Good Grips Y-shaped Peeler
If you have a load of ingredients to peel this vegetable and potato peeler has you covered. The large grip brings excellent comfort and it comes with a pick that makes removing pesky potato eyes easy.
It handled every food we threw at it, easily slicing through carrots and apple, as well as tougher potato skins and butternut squash.
In fact, the only concern we have about this peeler is just how sharp the blade is. It’s one of the sharpest we tested, so make sure you use it carefully.
The OXO Good Grips peeler is currently the best we’ve tested, but if you want to go cheaper still we’ve also tested a fantastic £4 peeler that we’ve given our Great Value recommendation.
To find out which peeler it is, see the rest of our vegetable and potato peeler reviews.
2. Ikea Koncis Can Opener
It’s not quite a Best Buy, but this can opener from Ikea more than gets the job done, and is a bargain.
Our testers found it opens tins easily, is straightforward to clean and the all-metal body gives it great build quality, especially for the price.
Additionally, it has a small screw that allows you to adjust the tightness of the cutting mechanism, which is a very useful feature. We didn’t see this on some of the more expensive tin openers.
It isn’t quite as compact or as effortless to use compared to our Best Buy tin opener, so if you’re short on space and willing to spend a little bit more, the £15 Best Buy is compact and easy for both left and right-handed people to use.
Read our tin opener reviews to see if you think the Best Buy is worth the extra money, and to see our electric tin openers test results.
3. Sainsbury’s Home Medium Box Grater
Cheapest price: £3.75 at Sainsbury’s
We’ve tested some incredible cheese graters, but this Great Value box grater from Sainsburys has the best combination of price and performance we’ve seen so far.
It easily shreds through cheese and carrots, and it comes with two sizes of grater, as well as a side for slicing and a side for zesting.
There are some compromises: the plastic handle and lack of non-slip feet contribute to an overall ‘cheap’ feeling product. It’s for this reason it’s not quite a Best Buy.
But if all you need is a grater that gets the job done, and a less premium feel isn’t an issue for you, this grater is an absolute steal.
If you’re after premium build quality, and don’t mind spending a little more to get it, then head to our full cheese grater reviews.
4. OXO Good Grips Pizza Wheel
Along with the vegetable peeler above, the OXO Good Grips Pizza Wheel also gets a Best Buy recommendation from us.
It has a comfortable rubberised handle which helps you keep hold while slicing through tough pizza bases. The blade is sharp, easily cutting through crusts and avoiding dragging the toppings off with it.
Our only minor gripe is the large size and thickness of the thumb guard, which could make it tricky to store if space is tight in your kitchen drawers.
If this is the case for you, the cutter has a hole in the handle, giving you the option of hanging it instead.
It’s an otherwise near-perfect utensil, and for the price is a must for any pizza lover.
We also gave a Best Buy recommendation and Great Value label to the £6 John Lewis and Partners Stainless Steel Pizza Cutter, but at the time of publishing it’s out of stock online.
If space is an issue for you, we tested compact pizza cutters too – read our pizza cutter reviews to see what we thought of them.
5. Ikea Koncis Garlic Press
Arguably the biggest hitter on this list, the Ikea Koncis Garlic Press is not only a Great Value product, but is by far the best garlic press we’ve tested.
Peeled or unpeeled, it crushes garlic cloves with ease. Its metal body feels well built, and its long straight handles make it comfortable to squeeze.
Garlic presses can be tricky to clean, but the detachable basket makes it easy to scrub the garlic out of the small holes – plus it’s dishwasher safe.
The detachable basket does bring a risk of it falling out during use, but we didn’t find this to be a problem in our tests. Overall, this is the garlic press to get.
If the Ikea Koncis Garlic Press doesn’t do it for you, read the rest of our garlic press reviews to see our thoughts on competitors from OXO, Lakeland and John Lewis.
Tips for living well – get our free Food & Health newsletter: shop savvy, eat well, stay healthy
Three things to consider when buying kitchen utensils
While they’re designed to tackle different tasks, we’ve found some common themes across kitchen utensils that are worth considering before you buy.
Here are a few handy tips to help you narrow down your search when shopping for any of the utensils we’ve featured.
Whether you’re tackling a tough piece of food, or using a utensil for a longer time when batch cooking, comfort is very important.
A great product will be easy in the hand, and won’t put excess strain or discomfort on you.
Multiple testers tried all the utensils we reviewed, including left-handed users. We even wore a pair of Cambridge Simulation Gloves when testing tin openers and cheese graters to find the products that are particularly easy to use for people with limited hand movement.
When looking at comfort we’ve found:
- Grips that are rubberised and shaped to fit hands tend to give a more comfortable, slip-free experience.
- While there are products designed specifically for left-handed users, they aren’t always the preferred product with our left-handed testers. Our Best Buy tin opener was the favourite of both right and left-handers.
Utensils come in all shapes and sizes, some with nooks and crannies that are difficult to get residual food out of.
Our utensil reviews test for how easy each one is to clean, so going for one that’s quick and easy can save you a lot of time and frustration.
Not all utensils are dishwasher safe, so it is worth checking for this before purchasing if this is your preferred cleaning method.
Finally, it may be worth considering the type of utensil you go for if easy cleaning is important to you.
For example, while we found rotary cheese graters generally churned out shredded cheese quicker than a box grater, they were also more faff and effort to clean.
Features and designs to meet your needs
Each kitchen tool will usually do one task, such as cut a pizza, press garlic, or mash potatoes.
But among those tools are varied designs and features that will make some products meet your needs better than others.
For example, opting for a pizza wheel with a large diameter will be better for you if you’re a lover of thick deep-pan bases, as it will be able to cut through without dragging the toppings off the top like a smaller cutting wheel might.
Similarly, if you have limited hand strength or dexterity, a manual tin opener may be more difficult for you to use. While more expensive, an electric tin opener will take much more of the strain out of this task and could therefore be of more appeal to you overall.
So taking an extra second to think about exactly what you want and need from your utensils will help you narrow down your search and avoid disappointment.