Bench scrapers—also called dough scrapers and bench knives—aren't one of the better-known kitchen utensils. Which is a shame, because these exceptionally versatile tools do a lot: chop, cut, crush, lift dough and food piles, flip, fold, blend, spread, smooth, measure, portion, move food around on the griddle, help clean surfaces (all the way into the corners of your countertop) and more. They're an essential tool for bakers, incredibly useful when working with dough for a loaf of bread, rolls, pizza and other baked goods. And they're a good cooking utensil when you're making food on a griddle.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Bench Scraper
Because they're such simple, straightforward tools, there's not a great deal that separates one bench scraper from another. But, a few key things to consider include:
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Material: Most bench scrapers have stainless steel blades with a rubber, stainless steel, plastic or wooden handle. The handle material doesn't affect much, so it's mostly a matter of what you prefer to hold on to and like the look of. However, materials like rubber or silicone are more nonslip, which is nice if you're working with wet or buttery hands. Also, softer, ergonomically designed handles are more comfortable, particularly when you're using the tool for an extended time or for higher-impact tasks like chopping. And wood handles require a bit more care.
There are also plastic bench scrapers. They're low-cost, lightweight and adequate for most lighter work. However, they're less durable and not suited to tougher jobs like chopping, and they're not heat-safe like stainless steel.
Size: There's not much range when it comes to bench scraper size. Most are about 6 inches long by about 4 inches high. However, you can find larger ones if you prefer them; these are generally used in commercial kitchens, though.
Blade: A bench scraper blade should be sturdy and securely affixed to its handle, and it should have a sharp beveled edge for cutting and sliding beneath dough and food. Keep in mind that this isn't a knife, so the blade won't be as sharp as that.
Measurement Markings: Some bench scrapers come with inch and centimeter markings painted onto or etched into the blade. This is helpful when portioning dough for things like pasta and rolls. Painted markings may fade over time, while etched markings will last. And some bench scrapers also have cheat sheets that provide measurement conversions commonly needed by bakers.
The Best Overall Bench Scraper
Norpro Stainless Steel Scraper/Chopper
This high-quality, dishwasher-safe stainless steel bench scraper has one rare design feature that makes it much more practical than the competition: The handle design allows it to lie flat, which is so helpful for tasks like scooping up a pile of chopped food. It's a comfortable, easy-to-grip handle to work with, too. This piece has a sturdy blade that handles many chopping tasks well, and it also has a ruled edge, which is always a nice feature. Plus, you really can't beat the price for such an elegant-looking, durable, well-made bench scraper.
The Best Bench Scraper with Measurements
Anmarko Stainless Steel Metal Griddle Scraper Chopper
This lightweight but sturdy bench scraper not only has inch markings along the horizontal edge of the blade, but it also has them running up the vertical edge. Lots of bench scrapers have markings to measure width, but one that simultaneously measures height is a rare find. And there are centimeter markings on both edges on the back, too, along with a convenient measurement conversion chart that translates various cup measurements to equivalent amounts in ounces, tablespoons, teaspoons and milliliters. Besides having all these useful markings, this quality bench scraper has an ergonomic nonslip rubber handle, makes quick work of chopping, is great for use on a griddle and can go in the dishwasher.
The Best Bench Scraper for Comfort
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Scraper & Chopper
If you use your bench scraper often and for longer cooking and baking sessions, comfort is probably a priority for you when choosing a bench scraper. OXO is well known for its comfortable grips, and its bench scraper is no exception. It has a large, soft, comfortable, ergonomic, nonslip handle. The blade has measurement markings on it and performs well when cutting and chopping, and this sturdy piece is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. It's also a very affordable item for the quality.
The Best Large Bench Scraper
Bleteleh Jumbo Commercial Dough Cutter/Bench Scraper
For commercial kitchens and avid home bakers who want a larger-than-standard bench scraper, this is an excellent choice. It has a stiff, sturdy, sharp 12-inch stainless steel blade—more than twice as long as standard bench scraper blades, which are typically 5 inches long. The handle is made of a durable blend of polypropylene and fiberglass, textured to provide a surer nonslip grip and thoughtfully designed for ease of use without fatigue; it also has a thumb indent for improved comfort and control with tasks like spreading and smoothing icing, as well as a convenient hanging hole. This tool is easy to clean by hand and also dishwasher safe.
The Best Budget Bench Scraper
XoYoZo Stainless Steel Dough Scraper Cutter
Many high-quality bench scrapers cost about $10 or less, including all the standard-sized ones on this list. But if you want the lowest-cost option that still delivers quality, versatility and durability, this very budget-friendly tool fits the bill. It's a simple, modern-looking bench scraper with a comfortable, ergonomic, nonslip rubber handle. The blade is sturdy and sharp with a desirably deep bevel, and it includes measurement markings and a handy measurement equivalency chart. This bench scraper is dishwasher-safe, and, as an added bonus, you get to choose from six different handle colors.
The Best Bench Scraper for Chopping
Zulay Kitchen Bench Scraper and Chopper
While all bench scrapers are incredibly versatile, chopping is one task where they're not all created equal. Some have a blade that's a little too flexible or not sharp enough to handle chopping things like harder vegetables. This product has a stiff, strong, sharp, well-beveled blade that chops ably, plus the nonslip handle is smartly designed to facilitate chopping. It also has large, bold, etched-in measurement markings that are user-friendly and permanent. It's an affordably priced, dishwasher-safe cooking and baking utensil that also happens to be made by a small family-owned company.
The Best Plastic Bench Scraper
Remco Mini Bench Scraper
If you want a plastic bench scraper, this is a lightweight but durable, well-made option. Obviously, it's not for kitchen tasks like chopping or cooking on the griddle, but it is capable enough for light cutting work. The seamless, single-piece construction makes it easier to clean, without any crevices for food and bacteria to accumulate in. You can find it in a variety of fun colors, too, if you're looking to add a splash of color to your baking environment. Just note that it's not flexible plastic.
The Best Bench Scraper Set
Chef'n Pastrio Bench Scraper and Chopper Set
This budget-friendly set provides three dishwasher-safe scraping tools. There's a bench scraper with a stiff, sharp, deeply beveled metal blade (with measurement markings) that you can use for any and all bench scraper tasks, including chopping and cooking on the griddle. Then there's a plastic bench scraper with some flexibility that makes it a little more versatile for certain tasks like scraping. And the third piece is a plastic scraper with a rounded blade designed for scraping the sides of your mixing bowls. The pieces have handles that allow them to lie flat, making it easier to scoop things up, and—really coolly—that let the three pieces slide into each other for nested, compact storage.