In search of the best rolling pins, we spent 18 hours in the kitchen with a half-dozen pins in a range of styles, rolling our way through piles of pie crusts and bowlfuls of sugar cookie dough. What did we learn? Steer clear of bells and whistles and don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune. A simple, sturdy pin is all anyone needs — and properly cared for, should last through a lifetime of baking adventures.
After narrowing the field based on input from our favorite pro bakers, we put six rolling pins to the test. Our favorite was an affordable, American-made classic in the J.K. Adams Dowel Rolling Pin. We also loved rolling out cookies with an ultra-luxe (but pricey) nylon model, and we found an excellent tapered rolling pin. Read on to see how we tested, and what makes one pin better than another.
You’ve upgraded from parchment paper to a glossy Silpat and you mix all your doughs with a professional-grade KitchenAid, not by hand. But the best rolling pin looks the same as it did centuries ago; it’s no more than a fancy stick. No handles, no weights. “I’ve rolled out a lot of pie crust and cookie dough over the years,” says BA contributor Claire Saffitz, “and in the process I have probably used every style of rolling pin—or improvised, on-the-fly hack—under the sun. After all those trials, I have concluded definitively that the best rolling pin is a straightforward, no-nonsense dowel-style wood rolling pin.”
BA headquarters may be divided on whether or not that perfect fancy stick, a.k.a. a French rolling pin, should be a straight dowel or have tapered ends, but we all agree that the American-style rolling pin has to go. As do the empty wine bottles.
Straight to the Point
Our favorite French pin is the J.K. Adams Maple French Rolling Pin. This tapered model easily flattened pie dough into an even circle without tearing, gracefully transferred dough to a pie plate, and never stuck. And our favorite dowel pin is the J.K. Adams Maple Wood Rolling Dowel, which produced an exceptionally even and level pie crust.
When we set out to test rolling pins, we theorized that the best rolling pin might be whichever one works best for you. (And for some people, the best rolling pin is simply the one they have, even if that’s a wine bottle.) We reasoned: if most rolling pins can do what they say—flattening out a disc of pie dough, for example—details like handles, tapered ends, size, and materials would be a matter of personal preference. That turned out to be mostly wrong.
There were some rolling pins that were great, others so-so, and even more that just weren’t worth the cash. How did we come to these conclusions? Well, we started by making 16 pies worth of flaky pastry dough.
Roll out your dough with ease and precisionusing the KITEISCAT Wooden Rolling Pin for Baking. Equipped with a sturdystainless steel ball-bearing, this rolling pin provides a smoother, moreefficient, and exceptional rolling experience. Made from premium natural woodwith an eye-catching color and grain pattern, this rolling pin is safe, smooth,sturdy, and durable enough to withstand everyday use for longer without losingits aesthetic appeal.
Elevate Your Baking with a Natural Wood Rolling Pin That’s Both Functional and Beautiful
Our Wooden Rolling Pin for Baking is made of high-quality natural rubber wood, which is known for its durability and beautiful grain pattern. Unlike plastic or silicone rolling pins, wood rolling pins have the advantage of being moderately heavy, which helps to exert just the right amount of pressure on the dough. This makes it easier to roll out dough evenly and to achieve the desired thickness.
Effortlessly roll out perfect dough wit hour rolling pin’s sturdy stainless steel ball-bearing
Our wooden rolling pin is equipped with a sturdy stainless steel ball-bearing to ensure a smoother, more efficient rolling experience. This high-quality feature helps to reduce friction between the rolling pin and the dough, allowing you to roll out dough effortlessly and with greater precision. The stainless steel ball-bearing also prevents the wooden pin from becoming warped or damaged over time, ensuring that you can continue to enjoy the same level of smoothness and ease of use for years to come. Overall, the use of a stainless steel ball-bearing in our rolling pin helps to elevate your baking experience, making it more enjoyable and less frustrating.
Craftsmanship That Guarantees High Quality
Our Wooden Rolling Pin for Baking is more than just a kitchen tool; it’s a work of art. We use only the finest natural rubber wood to ensure the durability and beauty of our rolling pins. But we don’t stop there. Our craftsmen also employ a rigorous process of sanding,polishing, and finishing that takes several days to complete. Each rolling pin is carefully crafted to ensure a smooth, flawless surface that feels as good a sit looks. When you hold our rolling pin in your hand, you’ll feel the difference that high-quality craftsmanship makes.
Hand wash only: Unlike plastic or silicone rolling pins, wood rolling pins should not be washed in the dishwasher.Instead, wash the rolling pin by hand with warm, soapy water and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel.
Avoid soaking: Do not soak the rolling pin in water or leave it to air dry, as this can cause the wood to warp or crack.
Oil occasionally: To maintain the natural beauty and durability of the wood, it’s a good idea to oil the rolling pin occasionally. Simply apply a small amount of food-safe mineral oil or beeswax to the surface of the rolling pin and rub it in with a cloth.
Despite what you might think, not all rolling pins are created equal. And depending on what you like to bake, getting the right one can be the difference between a perfect pie crust and one that falls flat. When shopping for a rolling pin you’ll want to consider the length of the barrel, the material it’s made of, whether you need to roll your dough to a specific thickness, and how easy it is for you to handle. While many of these are personal preferences—like choosing between a French-style rolling pin and one with handles—there are a few good rules, like using a marble one for puff pastry, since the rolling pin itself can be chilled.
We sent popular rolling pins to the home of one of our product testers, where she used each one to roll out both pie crust and cookie dough. She scrutinized all of them on everything from how comfortable the handles were to how easy they were to clean, to find the best rolling pins for you.
What We Like
Extra-long rolling surface
Excellent for pie dough
What We Don’t Like
Slight learning curve
A staple in many restaurant kitchens and in the home kitchens of professional chefs, the French-style rolling pin made from a single dowel with tapered ends and no handles is gaining popularity among cooks of all types. Why? Because the lack of handles gives you more control over the pin and makes it easier to get a feel for the texture of the dough.
This French-style model from J.K. Adams is made of maple and is handcrafted in Vermont. It’s the same brand as our best overall rolling pin since J.K. Adams knows a thing or two about rolling pins, thanks to more than 60 years in business in New England. Available in two thicknesses, the 2-inch-thick FRP-1 and the thinner FRP-2, this rolling pin is one of the longest on our list, measuring more than 20 inches. That means you can roll out a full rectangle of cinnamon roll dough without having to work in sections and worry about getting everything even.
In testing, we liked it for cookies, but even more so for pie dough, where the handle-free design and tapered ends made it easy to change directions to get a circular dough to fit a pie pan. This pin should be hand-washed and treated with mineral oil occasionally. If the surface gets too rough, you can sand it lightly and then wash and apply oil again to restore the finish.
Price at time of publish: $22
What Our Experts Say
“For most baking projects, I prefer to use a French rolling pin because of the wide range of motion it gives me in every direction, as well as more barrel length for slightly larger projects.” — Jenny Kellerhals, Baking Expert for The Spruce Eats
What We Like
Beautiful hand-polished sapele solid wood
Rolls round pie doughs smoothly
Designed with hole for hanging
What We Don’t Like
Shorter than other options
The slight taper of the Muso Wood rolling pin makes it easy to maneuver while rolling out dough but isn’t so extreme that there will be a steep learning curve for those new to using a French rolling pin. It’s made from sapele wood, a hardwood similar to mahogany that’s endemic to tropical African regions. The dense wood is hand-polished three times, and finished with food-safe mineral oil to protect the pin from additional moisture and sticking to dough.
We found that the Muso rolling pin was a pleasure to use while testing. It rolls a nearly perfect round of pie dough, without any dough sticking to the pin. The only issue that we noticed was that the pin is slightly shorter than some of the other rolling pins we tested, making it a little more difficult to use the pin to transfer dough from the counter to a pie plate. The slightly smaller length, diameter, and weight make this pin ideal for smaller hands and anyone who might need a lighter rolling pin.
We found it was very easy to clean by hand, although some flour sticks in the name embossed on the end of the rolling pin. Since rolling pins can be tough to store, given their length, we like that this rolling pin has a hanging hole drilled in the end.
Price at time of publish: $14
“This rolling pin was a pleasant experience to use with a slightly tapered frame, although it’s slightly too short for seamless transferring.”
What We Like
Comfortable size and weight
Will last decades with proper care
Easily smooths out dense doughs
What We Don’t Like
May be hard to fit in some kitchen drawers
Hand wash only
This style of rolling pin, also called a “baker’s” or “American” rolling pin, is most likely the one you are familiar with. It has a wooden barrel that rotates around a dowel attached to two handles, usually wooden as well. This is by far the most common style you’ll find in home kitchens.
This pin is a large one, with a 21-inch overall length and a 12-inch barrel. It’s made in Vermont of solid maple, and the barrel is waxed to prevent sticking when you’re rolling out your dough. The rolling pin is easy to care for, thanks to the steel axle that runs through the middle. To clean it, scrape off as much dough as you can, and then wash it with warm soapy water and dry it immediately.
In home testing, this was a solid favorite due to the size and heft. It was great for rolling out larger doughs, since it covered more area, and it handled a dense pie dough with ease, thanks to the weight. It rolled smoothly, making it a pleasure to work with.
The one complaint from consumers has been that J.K. Adams puts a sticker on the rolling pin, and it can sometimes be challenging to remove all the residue. We didn’t have that problem with the test pin, but sticker residue is usually easy to remove with a bit of vegetable oil or an adhesive remover like GooGone. If anything does go wrong with your rolling pin, you’ll be happy to know it’s covered by a lifetime warranty.
Price at time of publish: $30
“I loved using this pin. It’s wide enough but not too wide for comfort, and the weight is just right. Also, it spins easily.”
What We Like
Attractive acacia or beech wood
Options under $10
Lighter than similar models
What We Don’t Like
Requires extra flouring to avoid sticking dough
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t find yourself rolling out dough very often, but you still want to be prepared for a baking project with more than just a wine bottle, it wouldn’t hurt to pick up one of these budget-friendly rolling pins. The Befano French rolling pins are available in either acacia or beech wood, with the beech wood option costing less than $10.
During testing, we noticed that the rolling pin stuck to the dough more often than the other rolling pins we tested. To cut down on the amount of sticking, we’d suggest generously flouring both the rolling pin and the dough you’re rolling out. You may also consider seasoning the rolling pin with mineral oil to prevent wet dough from sticking as much.
The Befano rolling pin is a comfortable 18 inches in length but is noticeably lighter than other rolling pins of the same length. The lighter pin may mean you’ll have to do more work to roll your dough out, but it’s easier to handle for those with reduced hand strength. But even with it’s flaws, it’s worth it to have a rolling pin on hand when you need one, even if you don’t invest in a more expensive option.
Price at time of publish: $8-12
Good to Know
Using a rolling pin correctly might feel awkward at first, but a little practice will make for smooth and even doughs in the long run. Beginning in the center of your dough, roll the dough toward you with even pressure across the pin. Lift the rolling pin and return it to the center of the dough. Continue moving towards yourself a handful of times before repeating the rolling motion in the opposite direction. After stretching the dough forward and then back several times, turn your dough 90 degrees, and repeat rolling toward, and then away from, yourself for the most consistent results.
What We Like
Great for precise dough thicknesses
Length measurements on pin
Long barrel length
What We Don’t Like
Slight learning curve
For bakers who like to be precise, but who might not be the best at eyeballing how wide or thick their dough is, the Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin is the ideal solution. The barrel of the pin has engraved measurements so you can tell just how long your pastry is without having to break out the ruler.
Even better, this solid-beech pin helps you roll your dough to a precise thickness, so your cookies with bake evenly. Simply put one set of the colorful plastic rings on the ends of the pin, and you’ll roll the dough to that depth. The rings have US measurements on one side and metric on the other. They measure 1/16 of an inch, 1/6 of an inch, 1/4 of an inch, and 3/8 of an inch. In testing, those measurements came in handy when making cookies, but we found it puzzling that 1/6 inch was included, but 1/8 inch was not. Still, it was easy to use a thicker measure and then roll just a bit more with the rings removed.
When we were less concerned about precise thickness, we removed the rings and used it as a straight dowel or Shaker-style rolling pin, which is similar to the French-style, but without the tapered ends. The barrel nicely long, making it great for our wide doughs. Finally, be sure to hand wash the rolling pin to keep it in good condition.
Price at time of publish: $25
“There’s no need to guess how thick a dough is, or measure an edge and hope it’s rolled evenly. Not only does this make even thickness easy, it also makes it simple to get the correct measurement.”
What We Like
Keeps dough cold while rolling
Powers through thick and heavy dough
Includes a base/stand
What We Don’t Like
Much heavier than other rolling pins
May pick up oils and colors
Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, a marble rolling pin has a couple of major benefits. First, unlike wood, a marble pin can be chilled in the fridge or freezer, which is ideal for working with temperature-sensitive laminated doughs like puff pastry or pie crust. Second, marble pins are generally heavier than their wooden counterparts, so they can help flatten a stiff dough with ease.
This model from Fox Run has a 10-inch pin with 4-inch wooden handles on each end. It also comes with a matching wooden base to make it easier to store in a cabinet or on your open shelving. No more worrying about a heavy 5-pound marble pin rolling off the shelf and on to your toes.
During initial testing, we thought that the pin didn’t spin at all—that’s how tight the handles were. After some use, we felt the pin spinning, but it was still quite stiff, which made rolling harder than it should have been. Perhaps it will loosen even more with extended use, but it can also be used like a dowel-style pin, ignoring the handles altogether. If you’re willing to overlook that, the weight, and the price, this is definitely a great rolling pin to have in your tool kit.
Price at time of publish: $29
“Marble pins are great when dough needs to stay chilled, like pastry dough. This is fine for those occasional uses, but the super-stiff handles mean I wouldn’t be reaching for this as my everyday pin.”
Sur La Table
What We Like
Long barrel length
Straight pin great for even rolled cookies
Sustainably sourced wood
What We Don’t Like
Slight learning curve
If you’re making large pizzas, or you need to roll out large sheets of pastry or cookie dough, a long rolling pin makes it easier to get an even thickness. This straight rolling pin is 19 inches long and has no handles to get in the way. It’s made by hand in Vermont, from sustainably grown maple wood from local trees.
The pin is 2 inches in diameter and weighs just under 1.5 pounds, so it’s heavy enough to handle dough, but not so heavy to make it difficult to use. It is not dishwasher-safe and should be washed with warm, soapy water and dried immediately. Since this pin is so long, you might not be able to fit it into a standard-sized kitchen drawer.
In testing, I loved using this pin. The long length was great for working with larger pieces of cookie dough, and it let me rest my hands anywhere along the length of the pin to provide pressure where it was needed. Since it had no handles to worry about, it was also quite handy for thwacking a super-cold pie dough to get it ready for rolling.
Price at time of publish: $26
“The price might seem high for a simple dowel, but I’ve tried buying dowels and cutting them to rolling pin sizes, and they’re not always straight. This one was totally straight. It was easy to use.”
For an all-purpose work-horse rolling pin that can roll out everything from sugar cookies to cinnamon rolls, the J.K. Adams Maple Wood Gourmet Rolling Pin is the perfect baking companion. For bakers who stress over getting the perfect result every time, the Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin will relieve any doubts you may have about whether your dough is thick enough or wide enough. If you find yourself wanting a little more control when handling delicate doughs, try the J.K. Adams French Dowel Rolling Pin for perfectly round tart and pie shells.
What We Look for in a Rolling Pin
For a rolling pin that you’ll actually want to use, there are a few things to prioritize. While marble and stainless steel pins both stay cool when rolling (a plus for pastry that doesn’t like warm temperatures), they couldn’t beat out wood. We found that wooden rolling pins, especially the ones that were uncoated, almost never stuck to the pie dough even after a few minutes of coming to room temperature. We also recommend choosing a rolling pin that’s at least 17 inches long, as we found this length produced the most even crusts and was the easiest to transfer the dough to pie plates with.
Tapered and dowel rolling pins have different strengths, which you can read about above. If you want ultimate maneuverability and precision for rolling out a near-perfect circle of pie dough, opt for tapered. If your priority is super-even and level slabs of dough, like for cookie cutouts or tart shells, choose dowel. That being said, these are pretty marginal differences and both styles can definitely accomplish all of these tasks.
What we liked: This model, with its slightly tapered ends and long, lithe shape was light and easy to maneuver, but still powerful and precise. Even with cold pie dough straight from the fridge, this pin pressed down with might and flattened the dough in no time and with minimal cracking. The tapered ends helped to maintain the dough disc’s circular shape, allowing us to angle one end toward the work surface and focus on just the dough’s edges, warming them up and rounding them out. The uncoated wooden surface made dough stickage a non-issue, while still using very little flour for dusting. Lifting the dough onto the pie plate also couldn’t have been easier with this pin and there was more than enough room for us to still hold onto the the ends.
What we didn’t like: In general, tapered models rolled crusts out more unevenly than dowel pins. That’s because dowels have one straight rolling edge that isn’t curved upward like tapered models. However, this pin had the least severe taper of the bunch, which meant it still produced a crust with a perfectly acceptable evenness. Also, because it’s made from uncoated wood, you do have to ensure it’s hand-washed (it can’t go in the dishwasher), thoroughly dried, and routinely seasoned.
Price at time of publish: $18.
- Material: Wood
- Dimensions: 20.5 x 1.75 inches
- Weight: 1 lb 1.6 ounces
- Care instructions: Hand-wash with warm, soapy water; dry thoroughly with a towel
Sur La Table
What we liked: Simple in design but super effective, this pin rolled out the most even crust of the bunch. It had more than enough length to easily wrap the pie dough around it and unroll the dough onto the pie dish with no slips or tears.
What we didn’t like: Without tapered ends, this rolling pin doesn’t keep the dough disc’s circular shape as easily. And it’s pretty big: it’s almost six ounces heavier than our tapered winner and not as easy to maneuver. Compared to the tapered model, it took more effort to swing when crushing the graham crackers and produced crumbs that were less consistent in size. And because it’s made from uncoated wood, it has the same maintenance requirements as we mentioned above.
Price at time of publish: $27.
- Materials: Wood
- Dimensions: 19 x 2 inches
- Weight: 1 lb 7.1 ounces
- Care instructions: Hand-wash with warm, soapy water; dry thoroughly with a towel
Your Questions, Answered
What kind of rolling pin works best?
According to Mosko, the best rolling pins for your needs may vary based on what you’re making and how often you’ll be using it.
“For the restaurant setting, the best all around rolling pin is a standard straight rolling pin, which can be used for all aspects of the business,” Mosko says. “However, my personal favorite type is a French rolling pin. These are more geared toward the pastry chef that is using it all day, and have a better distribution of pressure.”
If you’re a beginner in the kitchen, you may like the convenience of handles on your rolling pin, and people who want to quickly make an entire batch of cookies will enjoy an embossed rolling pin.
What is the best size for a rolling pin?
Smaller projects such as dumplings, tortillas, or hand pies, may be better matched with a shorter rolling pin of about 9 inches long.
What’s the difference between a French rolling pin and a regular rolling pin?
French rolling pins have tapered edges, making it easier to grip the end of the pin with your entire hand. This makes them a little easier to use than a straight rolling pin that’s the same diameter throughout. With these types of pins, you’ll have to use your palms to maneuver it across the dough, which can be more of a hassle for those who aren’t experienced in the kitchen.
What We Learned
Wood Worked Best
The rolling pins we tested were made of marble, stainless steel, nylon, and wood. Here’s a quick rundown of what we thought of each these materials besides the latter, which we’ll go more into below:
- Marble Rolling Pins: Marble had the advantage of being naturally cool (which is good when dealing with buttery doughs that fall apart when too warm), but it also had a habit of sticking to the pie dough. And while its heft helped with some of the rolling effort, its weight caused divots in the dough.
- Stainless Steel Rolling Pins: Our one stainless steel option, the Ultra Cuisine French Rolling Pin, also stayed very cold (which would be a boon in a warm kitchen), but, unfortunately, it stuck even more than the marble models. Even though it was dishwasher-safe, we still wouldn’t recommend it over our wooden winners that performed a whole lot better.
- Nylon Rolling Pins: The one nylon model we tested, from Mafter, didn’t stick at all. It was heavy, though (weighing nearly as much as some of the marble pins) and hard to control. Despite our best efforts, it produced a square-shaped crust.
This brings us to our favorite rolling pin material: wood. Wooden rolling pins were by far the best at avoiding sticking, especially ones that didn’t have any kind of finish. Finished wooden pins have a coating on them that makes them smooth and slick, so when we dusted flour onto the pin’s surface before rolling, it didn’t adhere to the pin well. The uncoated pins, however, had a rougher texture that gripped onto flour and therefore prevented dough from sticking.
Unfinished wood does come with some additional care (it needs to be fully dried after washing and occasionally seasoned with mineral oil, like you would with a wooden cutting board), but those are small sacrifices to make for a rolling pin that doesn’t tear up your dough.
Avoid Shorter Rolling Pins
Shorter pins like those from Ultra Cuisine, Joseph Joseph, and Fox Run made transferring rolled out pie dough onto a pie pan difficult. With these models, dough was too long to be rolled comfortably around the pin while still being able to hold onto the pin’s ends. The shorter pins also dented the dough, since there just wasn’t enough of the flat pin to cover the dough. The Joseph Joseph and Fox Run pins (13.5 and 10 inches, respectively) both made marks in the dough once it was flattened past a certain point, especially when we used the ring thickness guides that came with the Joseph Joseph model. The rings were nicer in theory than in practice, and we recommend just investing in a measuring tape or ruler for guaging dough thickness.
Ultimately, we found that longer pins produced a more level rolled-out crust with less marks and divots, and they were also able to pick up the whole crust in one fell swoop with enough room to left hold onto the pin. Those models were 17 inches or longer.
Tapered Versus Dowel Versus Classic Rolling Pins
We tested three types of rolling pins for this review: four dowels, eight French, and four classic. Dowels are just long cylinders with the same thickness across, that either have rounded or squared-off edges. French pins are the same thing, except they become slightly thinner at the ends, tapering off; that’s why we also refer to them as tapered. Classic pins are the ubiquitous image of a rolling pin: one with handles attached to a wide cylinder. Most often, the barrel rotates while the handles remain static.
Ultimately, French or tapered pins were our favorite for rolling out pie dough. When pressing down on the tapered ends of the pin, the force concentrated in the center, which helped to wrestle down cold pie dough into a more roll-able thickness. However, dowel and classic pins rolled dough out more evenly, as they applied equal pressure along their length.
Dowel and classic pins were not, though, as good as French pins at maintaining a dough disc’s circular shape, which is preferable if you’re lining a pie pan. French pins had the benefit of being able to angle downward and travel in a circular direction, which not only helped to warm up the outside of the disc (preventing cracks), but also encouraged it to take a rounder shape. Surprisingly, the slimmer, lighter French pins also bested the dowel and classic models when crushing graham crackers, completing the task in about 30 seconds less and producing a more consistent crumb size. This was because the tapered pins had a more concentrated area of pressure, crushing big and small crumbs with ease.
Overwhelmingly, our least favorite rolling pin style was classic. The handles made them much less maneuverable than the tapered or dowel models. Unless you’re trying to go easy on your hands or wrists, which handles can help with, we recommend choosing one of the other two styles. However, if you’re set on a classic rolling pin, we suggest the J.K. Adams Maple Wood Medium Gourmet Rolling Pin. It’s not an official winner, but it was by far the most comfortable classic pin to use thanks to its thick, rounded, ergonomic handles.
Our Top Picks
- Editor’s Choice: J.K. Adams Dowel Rolling Pin
- Best Overall: Matfer Bourgeat Nylon Rolling Pin
- Best Tapered: Fletchers’ Mill 20-Inch French Rolling Pin
Editor’s Choice: J.K. Adams Dowel Rolling Pin
There are no bells and whistles here: just a wonderfully simple, attractive, well-crafted made-in-America maple dowel that performs admirably over a range of baking tasks and has the elemental design and sturdy heft to serve you through a lifetime of kitchen work. Weighing in at a substantial 1.6 pounds and stretching to a generous 19 inches, the J.K. Adams Dowel Rolling Pin made tackling large slabs of cookie dough a cinch, rolling and rerolling clean, and maintaining an even thickness (without straining our arms or requiring fussing) possible. Its unfinished, matte surface held a dusting of flour well, fending off any issues with stickiness and tearing, and its simple shape meant that it could be easily fitted with generic spacers that allow you to roll dough to a precise and even thickness.
Widely available and at a price point that feels accessible to even the most entry-level baker, this pin is an incredible value. While it lacked some of the agility of the tapered pins when finessing pie crusts and shaping round edges, it still managed the job ably and, in fact, produced evenly flattened crusts even more consistently. For all-around performance, sturdiness, and bang for your buck, we think you’d be hard-pressed to do any better.
Price at time of publish: $32
Best Overall: Matfer Bourgeat Nylon Rolling Pin
The French-made dowel-style Matfer Bourgeat Nylon Rolling Pin is crafted from cream-colored nylon and is the personal favorite of baking doyenne Dorie Greenspan — and after a couple of days in the kitchen with it, we could see why. Heavy but not oppressively so, with a wonderful balance in the hand, it made rolling sugar cookie dough a delight, producing even sheets every time, and tackled discs of buttery pie dough without tearing or sticking. Like the J.K. Adams dowel, the simple silhouette was adaptable to generic spacers and the nylon surface felt cool to the touch and cleaned up easily. Another bonus: Because nylon is non-porous, unlike wood, this pin would be even more adaptable to other (potentially messy) kitchen tasks that require the blunt force of something weighty, like pounding meat or crushing nuts or spices, without the worry of staining or contamination. Last but not least, as Greenspan says, “it’s pretty darn handsome to boot.”
Ultimately, our major reservations with this pin came down to price: at more than $100 it’s no small investment, and given the cost, doesn’t offer 4 times the performance of the J.K. Adams pin. That said, if you are looking to treat yourself or someone you love to a special kitchen tool, this is a keeper that will more than prove its worth by turning out beautiful cookies, pies, tarts, and more for decades.
Price at time of publish: $125
Best Tapered: Fletchers’ Mill 20-Inch French Rolling Pin
That said, if you make a lot of pies, it might be worth giving this option a chance — or, if you’re a committed baker, getting both a tapered pin and the J.K. Adams dowel. At $24 a pop, it’s not too dear an investment. That said, if you make a lot of pies, it might be worth giving this option a chance — or, if you’re a committed baker, getting both a tapered pin and the J.K. Adams dowel.
Price at time of publish: $24
What to Look for in Rolling Pins
Ease of Use
Rolling pins are simple devices with a simple job: to flatten dough evenly. The perfect pin will have a length that can handle large sheets of dough without needing too many passes, it will be light enough to make it easy to handle, but with enough weight to make it easier to roll the dough without needing excess force. If the pin has handles, they should spin freely.
Most rolling pins will need hand-washing. Those made from one piece of wood are easiest to clean, while those with handles may need a bit of extra attention to make sure there’s no flour or dough stuck in the handle mechanisms. Well-made hardwood rolling pins can last many years, if not generations, as long as they’re cared for properly.
What even is a French rolling pin?
Unlike traditional American rolling pins (a.k.a. handled pins or ball-bearing pins), which have a center cylinder that rolls between two handles, French-style rolling pins consist of a wood dowel and nothing else. No internal ball bearings, no handles. Just a straightforward, no-nonsense stick masquerading as a kitchen tool.
- Dorie Greenspan: The beloved baking authority and award-winning author of more than a dozen cookbooks, including the recently-released “Dorie’s Cookies.”
- Kate McDermott: The Seattle-based pie doyenne and author of “The Art of the Pie.”
- Joanne Chang: The James Beard Award-winning pastry chef/owner of Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston and Cambridge, Mass. and author of “Flour.”
- Genevieve Ko: The recipe developer, culinary consultant, and author of “Better Baking.”
Still pretty good!
- Fox Run French Marble Rolling Pin with Base: This aesthetic dowel pin is fully marble, and was entirely too heavy. This made it pretty good at working down the dough disc to a roll-able thickness, but ended up producing a more square -shaped crust with a thin center and thick edges. Since it’s short, too, it was no good at transferring the dough to the pie plate, and its edges left behind lines in the crust.
- Karryoung French Rolling Pin: At 7.4 ounces, this was the lightest pin of the bunch, which makes sense because it’s also the second-cheapest at $11. It’s too bad it also looked and felt cheaply made, produced an uneven crust, made the dough bubble up under its center point when rolling, and stuck to the dough more than most of the other wood options.
- Good Cook Classic Wood Rolling Pin: Another pin that felt cheap and flimsy—maybe because it was the cheapest at $9. Seriously, we thought we were going to snap the handles right off.
- Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin: This classic pin also had flimsy handles. It unevenly rolled out dough, leaving waves and grooves in its path. Overall: less control and consistency, more effort.
- Fox Run Polished Marble Rolling Pin with Wooden Cradle: The unwieldy heft of marble (which stuck to the dough) combined with the lack of control and maneuverability of a pin with handles…well, let’s just say it was not a winning formula.
What is a rolling pin used for?
Rolling pins are designed for flattening doughs, usually to an even thickness. While cookies may be the first dough that comes to mind, they’re also used for pasta dough, pie dough, and even some yeasted doughs. Rolling pins can also be used for crushing nuts or similar foods.
What material is best for a rolling pin?
Traditionally, rolling pins were made from wood, and many still are today. Wooden pins are heavy enough to provide a good press on the dough, and with a dusting of flour, the dough doesn’t stick. Marble rolling pins are often preferred for pastry doughs, since the stone stays cold and helps keep butter from getting soft in the dough. There are also rolling pins made with silicone coatings, or those made from plastic or stainless steel. While some materials are better for specific doughs, the choice is often more about personal preference.
How do you clean a wooden rolling pin?
Much like wooden cutting boards, rolling pins shouldn’t be soaked in water or washed in a dishwasher. However, they’re simple to clean. They can be wiped clean or rinsed if there’s just a bit of flour clinging to the surface, or washed to remove stuck-on dough, then dried before storing. Also like cutting boards, some wooden pins can be oiled to seal the surface.
How do you clean an embossed rolling pin?
Embossed rolling pins are cleaned just like any other wooden rolling pins, with a little special attention paid to the designs to make sure there’s no dough remaining. Wet dough can be removed with a soft brush under running water, or the pin can be set aside until the dough dries out so it’s easier to brush away. Stubborn bits in small designs may need a little more encouragement with a stiffer brush or a toothpick to pry the dough out of the design.
Can you use a regular rolling pin for fondant?
A regular rolling pin can be used for flattening fondant, but plastic pins are usually preferred.
How do you keep dough from sticking to a rolling pin?
The best way to keep dough from sticking to a rolling pin is to make sure the surface of the dough is dry rather than sticky. The best way to accomplish that is to lightly dust the surface of the dough with flour. However, it’s important to avoid adding excess flour that would incorporate into the dough.
What is a French rolling pin?
A French rolling pin is basically a long dowel with tapered ends. Since there are no moving parts and no seams or nooks that can collect flour or dough, it’s easier to clean.
The Winners, at a Glance
With slightly tapered ends and a long body, this model flattened out a near-perfect circle of pie dough with ease—while also avoiding cracking, divots, and unevenness. It’s precise where it needs to be, forceful while being easy to wield, and it’s fairly low-profile for easier storage.
Sur La Table
This thick, non-tapered pin excelled at rolling out super-even pie crust. If you’ve struggled achieving level, consistent slabs of dough (like for tarts or cookie cutouts) in the past, this is the pin to try.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie spent 16 hours testing rolling pins for this article. She specializes in product reviews and recipes, and is the author of the cookbook “Make Ahead Bread.” Her search for the best cooking and baking gadgets is never-ending.
This roundup was edited by Jenny Kellerhals. Jenny is a food and beverage writer with over a decade of experience as a professional pastry chef in NYC. Pies are one of her favorite desserts to make, and she prefers a French-style rolling pin for most projects.
Anthony Irizarry, the original author, is a New York City-based freelance writer with extensive experience testing and writing about home and kitchen products for The Spruce and The Spruce Eats.
Using the recommendations of our expert panel as a guide, as well as rankings and reviews on Amazon (with a few wildcard options thrown in for good measure) we went into the kitchen with a lineup of six rolling pins of various styles and materials — handled, tapered, and dowel, solid wood, aluminum, and nylon — and then whittled that list down to three winners that we felt represented the best value in terms of design, ease of use, performance and cost. To put the contenders through their paces, we took notes comparing the results when working with many, many, many batches of two of the most common types of rolled dough: Food & Wine‘s all-butter pie dough (for flaky, delicate, double-crust pies) as well as our sugar cookie dough (for classic, buttery rolled and cut cookies).
- Pie Dough Test: We made 16 discs of pie dough using the same recipe, evaluating how easy it was to roll each crust into an even shape, as well as how comfortable the rolling pin was to use. We recorded how well each model picked up its pie crust and transferred it to a pie pan, too.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs Test: Taking only the three rolling pins that excelled in the pie crust dough test, we placed 8.75 ounces of graham crackers in a plastic zipper bag and timed how long it took for each pin to crush them up into fine crumbs, both hitting and rolling the crumbs. We then noted how consistent the crumb size was.
- Cleanup Tests: Over the course of testing, we evaluated how easy each rolling pin was to hand-wash with warm, soapy water and a sponge, and dried each with a towel or air-drying as called for by the manufacturer.
French Rolling Pin
Why should I use a French rolling pin?
You’ll find French pins in two different forms: straight pins and tapered pins. Pastry chefs and home cooks alike may plant themselves firmly on either side of the divide, but most bakers will agree these no-handle wooden pins are best. When you apply pressure to the handles of a pin instead of the pin itself, it’s hard to get a sense of the pastry. A French pin takes pressure from an open palm. It’s much easier to feel how hard you’re pressing down and the evenness of the pastry using your whole hand rather than just your fingertips perched on a handle. Plus, those handles can easily snag dough and get caked with flour. A French style pin is less hazardous to delicate pastry doughs and fondant—and easier to clean.
All this emphasis on getting a sense for thickness and evenness really does matter. A too-thick tart case can leave you with a dense and underbaked pastry. A dough that is beefy in some spots and thin in others can mean uneven baking or even burning.
Opt for a walnut or maple wood rolling pin, which glides easily and provides the right amount of weight. “The JK Adams rolling pins have great heft, and, at under $20, will last you a lifetime,” recommends Saffitz. That heft comes in handy when you need an impromptu meat mallet or nut crusher too.
Other Options We Tested
- Faberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin: This rolling pin was previously included in our round-up, but after testing it out first-hand, we found that the construction wasn’t as sturdy as we thought it would be. “I’m afraid I’m going to snap these handles off,” was the first thing our tester noted, and it didn’t get better from there. It was difficult to apply even pressure across the pin, making for uneven rolled dough. And while the pie dough we tested didn’t stick to the rolling pin, it wasn’t able to handle rolling it up and transferring it to a pie plate either, without sliding right off the rolling pin.
- Good Cook Classic Wood Rolling Pin: We tested this rolling pin, thinking that it might be a suitable option for a budget-friendly rolling pin. Unfortunately, we encountered many of the same issues with the Good Cook rolling pin that we did with the Faberware model. It felt flimsy while rolling—like it would come apart with too much pressure. Since we were nervous about applying too much pressure, it was difficult to get an evenly shaped dough, and hard to form a nicely rounded pie crust.
Other Rolling Pins We Tested
Ikea Magasin Wooden Handled Rolling Pin
Imagine the iconic rolling pin and it probably looks like the Ikea Magasin Wooden Handled Rolling Pin. Crafted from solid wood, it is simple, sturdy, and a total bargain at about $8 — and for a basic rolling pin, you could do a lot worse. But, if you can afford to spend another $16, the J.K. Adams dowel is easier to control, easier to clean, and definitely a better long-term investment.
Price at time of publish: $8
Kmn Home Aluminum Rolling Pin
The Kmn Home Aluminium Rolling Pin is stylish and comfortable but ultimately felt a little too light in our hands. Also, though a chilled aluminum pin will keep the delicate dough cool longer, once it begins to heat up it will do so faster than a wooden pin — making re-rolling dough a trickier proposition.
Price at time of publish: $50
Farberware Professional Nonstick Rolling Pin
Our least favorite of all the rolling pins we tried, the Farberware Professional Nonstick Rolling Pin contender lost points for its clunky, hard-to-clean handles, underwhelming performance (uneven rolling, and it didn’t seem especially non-stick), and a slew of alarming Amazon reviews which reported that it became waterlogged after washing and that the “nonstick” surface began to chip and peel after one or two uses.
Price at time of publish: $22
How do you clean a wooden rolling pin?
Our winners are both from J.K. Adams and are made of wood. The manufacturer recommends hand-washing the pins with warm, soapy water after each use, then using a towel to dry thoroughly. J.K. Adams also says that, once a week (or any time the rolling pin feels dry), use a lint-free cloth to apply mineral oil or wood conditioner to the pin. That seems like a lot to us, so you’re probably just cool to do it every once in a while.
What can you use instead of a rolling pin?
People who bake once a year have proven that, in a pinch, a wine bottle can work in place of a rolling pin. Here are a few more bootleg rolling pin ideas: a long, stainless steel water bottle; a sturdy cardboard tube, a PVC pipe (seriously!), a wooden dowel from the craft store, or a soda can. However, our favorite tapered rolling pin is less than $20, making it a rather inexpensive investment.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the best rolling pin is the J.K. Adams Dowel Rolling Pin. In addition to its lightweight composition and impressive durability, we like its generous 19-inch maple surface for rolling out large amounts of dough.
Who We Are
KJ Callihan is a freelance writer for Better Homes & Gardens. She enjoys writing about home goods and decor, amazing deals, and where to find the greatest products. For this story, she spent hours researching the features of the best rolling pins, focusing on pin length, material, weight, and ease of use. She also consulted Greg Mosko, Pastry Chef at The Gage in Chicago, Illinois, for guidance on all the features of the best rolling pins.
Pro Panel Q+A
What kind of rolling pin do bakers use?
“How much time do you have?” Asks Stephanie Lock, owner of Ready To Roll Dough. “Bakers have a batterie of pins they reach for depending on the dough and personal preference. Heavy rolling pins with handles and ball bearings are used for laminated and yeasted doughs. French pins are used for pie and tart dough. Marble pins are helpful for doughs that need to remain very cold. There are hardtack pins for cracker dough, lefse pins for flatbread, and embossed pins.”
How do you use a French rolling pin?
Lock finds these tapered pins especially good for precision work. “I use them exclusively for pie, tart, and pastry dough. I love the control and how connected I feel when rolling out pie dough. The tapered ends allow me to maneuver and shape the dough as I like — they’re an extension of my hands.”
Can a wooden rolling pin go in the dishwasher?
“Never! And, it should never be submerged in water. To clean simply wipe down with a damp kitchen towel and let it air dry completely before putting away.”
Why would I want a tapered-edge pin?
Some pastry chefs prefer using tapered rolling pins because they’re easy to hold and maneuver. To change directions of your rolling, you can simply apply more pressure on one hand, and swivel the rolling pin as if you were turning a wheel. They also tend to be quite thin, which gives you an even greater sense of control. “The simple design of these rolling pins provides the least possible barrier between your hands and whatever type of dough you’re rolling out, allowing you to feel what’s happening underneath as you apply pressure,” says Saffitz.
How We Tested
Each of our selected rolling pins was tested hours on end by our product tester for the most authentic results. We paid close attention to the design of the rolling pin, including the comfort of the handle and any resultant wrist fatigue. The rolling pins were each tested on both chilled pie dough and chilled cookie dough. Each was given a careful rating for design, performance, durability, ease of cleaning, and overall value.
And why might I prefer a straight-sided pin?
BA food director Chris Morocco is on Team Straight Rolling Pin: “I like a French pin that is straight, not tapered at the ends,” he says. “I find tapered pins to be difficult to use, especially for novices. It’s harder to roll larger pieces of dough out evenly, and it puts a lot of force on your wrists that your yoga instructor would look askance at.”
What to Know About Rolling Pins Before Shopping
Weight and Size
According to Mosko, your rolling pin should be heavy enough to help you roll out your desired dough thickness without causing undue strain, while not being so heavy that it thins the dough too much.
“The most important factors to take into consideration are size and weight in comparison to your body size,” Mosko says. “If the rolling pin is too heavy or too large for you, then you will be more likely to get tired when doing your recipe. I personally stick with the regular straight wooden 18-inch rolling pins, as they are the easiest to take care of, not too heavy and not too large and awkward.”
In general, the best rolling pins weigh around one to two pounds and are ideal for regular household needs. We included rolling pins anywhere from 9 inches to 20.5 inches on our list so you can find one that’s the correct length for your needs.
There are two main styles of rolling pins: those with handles, and those without. The best rolling pins without handles also have two categories: straight (cylindrical) or tapered. Straight pins are even in thickness all the way across, while tapered ones are thicker in the center, making it easier to press or hold onto each end when rolling.
Some shoppers may prefer tapered rolling pins when working with yeasted or pastry dough. They also require greater concentration when in use, as your fingertips control the pressure with this style of pin.
Pins with handles offer an even, firm grasp and a bit more leverage, since pressure is applied to both ends. These pins are good when using a thick, sturdy dough, and they’re also great for beginning cooks who might need a little extra help working their dough.
The best rolling pins can be made out of several different materials, such as wood, stainless steel, marble, and plastic.
Wood is the most common material for the best rolling pins. It makes for an easy-to-use, versatile device that can be dusted with flour to prevent it from sticking to the dough. It’s also one of the most durable rolling pin materials, as long as you don’t chill it or put it in the dishwasher.
A bit more pricey and definitely heavier than most wood options, marble rolling pins are best used when chilled. The advantage to marble is its smoothness and weight, as they can create a thin, even dough more quickly than other types.
Even the best marble rolling pins don’t hold flour well, unfortunately, so you’ll need to chill your dough, coat your pin in non-stick spray, or cover either with plastic wrap or wax paper to avoid sticking. They’re also prone to chipping.
Plastic, Silicone, and Non-Stick
Many of the best rolling pins are made of plastic or silicone, and they tend to be a less-expensive alternative to wood or marble. While they aren’t as long-lasting as other materials, they are less sticky and make it easier to roll without tearing dough or clinging to it. Another convenient feature of these rolling pins is that they are usually dishwasher-safe, making cleanup time quicker.
Stainless steel rolling pins have similar benefits to a marble rolling pin, only it doesn’t have the same weight. This can be a great option if you prefer a thicker dough, but you’ll need to put a little more elbow grease behind it to flatten out the dough. It’s easy to clean and can also be chilled in the refrigerator beforehand to help minimize sticking.
When considering how long you’ll need your rolling pin to be, think about what exactly you’ll be using it for. Longer pins are great for rolling out larger amounts of dough, like for making large pizzas or more than one fruit pie. Shorter varieties work for smaller projects like wontons, empanadas, or small pastries, and they may also fit into smaller drawers and other tight spaces more easily. Small rolling pins are also easier to maneuver and control.
For wood rolling pins, you can oil it regularly with a few drops of mineral oil to keep it in good condition and crack-free. Rub the oil into the wood with a clean, dry cloth. Never soak your wood rolling pin or chill it in the refrigerator, as this can ruin it. Most of the best rolling pins should never be placed in the dishwasher, either.
For marble rolling pins, you should also hand-wash and dry your pin, but you won’t need to oil it. Some clean their marble pins with a paste of plain baking soda and water before rinsing and hand-drying. Other types of pins may require special care, so be sure to read the manual that came with yours to be sure you’re cleaning it correctly.
Factors to Consider
Rolling pins come in all sorts of materials, from marble to stainless steel, silicone to wood, and even glass. The choice comes down to how you intend to use the pin. Wood has been the primary choice of bakers for centuries, and with good reason. Light enough to be nimble, heavy enough to tackle stiffer doughs, and with just enough grip to work with the dough using natural friction. Marble can be useful for doughs that have to maintain a cold temperature, like laminated doughs, but the weight can be hard on a baker’s arms. Stainless steel and silicone are both easy to clean and can be put in the dishwasher, but sometimes are harder to keep floured for effective use.
You want a rolling pin that is heavy enough that it does a lot of the work for you when rolling dough, but not so heavy that it is unwieldy or hard to manipulate. The pin should feel good and solid in your hands but should not be difficult to lift easily with one arm.
Since most pie crusts will need to be rolled to at least a 12-inch diameter, a 9-10 inch pin is the minimum you would want to buy for handled pins and 12-14 inches for French-style pins.
Straight rolling pins are great for all-around use. French pins are tapered at both ends and are specifically designed for pie and tart crusts. Some pins have indentations that allow for specific thicknesses of dough, like 1/4 inch or 1/8 inch, which can be good investments if you do a lot of pies, tarts, or homemade crackers when you want the consistency of thickness across a whole batch.