Apple peels are full of nutrients and fiber, and many people enjoy using them to make tea, garnish salads, or bake apple chips. Others remove peels to prepare snacks for children or bake grandmother’s famous apple pie. While a kitchen knife may work, an apple peeler is designed to do the job more easily and efficiently. These tools are also a safer means of peeling off the apple skin, without harming yours.
Choosing the best apple peeler involves a number of considerations, including type, materials, size, ease of use, and more. This guide explains several important features to look for as you shop for this seemingly simple device, and it includes some of the top products on the market by category.
- BEST OVERALL: OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler
- RUNNER UP: COOAK Apple Peeler
- BEST COMBO SET: FUHUY Vegetable Peelers for Kitchen
- BEST ELECTRIC: Starfrit Rotato Express 2.0
- BEST PEELER AND CORER: VKP Brands Johnny Apple Peeler
- BEST WITH CLAMP: Johnny Apple Peeler Cast Iron Clamp Base
- BEST Y PEELER: KUHN RIKON Original Swiss Peeler
- BEST STRAIGHT PEELER: Spring Chef Premium Swivel Vegetable Peeler
- HONORABLE MENTION: KitchenAid Spiralizer Attachment
- ALSO CONSIDER: Starfrit Pro-Apple Peeler
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Apple Peeler
While all apple peelers are designed for the same task, a number of factors affect performance, including type, material, blades, ease of use, and whether they’re manual or electric. Keep reading to learn about several of the most important features to consider when choosing the best apple peeler for a kitchen.
There are several types of apple peelers available, with handheld models most commonly found in home kitchens. Handheld peelers generally come in one of two styles: straight and Y-shaped.
- Straight peelers, also called swivel peelers, have a vertical blade that runs parallel to the handle. These handheld peelers can be used to peel either toward or away from your body. Straight peelers typically have a metal eyer at the tip, which is used for removing bruised spots. Classic French peelers are a type of straight peeler with a fixed blade that doesn’t swivel.
- Y-peelers, like straight peelers, are small handheld tools. They have a horizontal blade that runs perpendicular to the handle.
Beyond the standard handheld peelers, there also are countertop peelers and peeler corers that core and slice apples in seconds.
Handheld vs. Countertop
Apple peelers are available as handheld and countertop models. Aside from size and placement, there are other differences among these tools.
Handheld peelers are small, affordable, and weigh just a few ounces. They are more versatile than countertop models, suitable for peeling a wider variety of fruits and vegetables beyond just apples. A handheld peeler can usually handle carrots, potatoes, cucumber, citrus, squash, beets, and more. Some models are dishwasher safe, while others must be hand-washed. Handheld peelers are great if you’re working with a few apples at a time, but they aren’t the best tool for peeling several pounds of fruits or vegetables.
Countertop peelers are the ideal tool for preparing large quantities of apples for tasks like canning or making applesauce or cider. With sizes between 10 and 15 inches in length, they take up more room in a kitchen cabinet or on a counter. They’re also trickier to clean because of multiple moving parts. While the body of a countertop peeler simply needs to be wiped down, it’s usually required that the blades be removed and hand-washed.
Manual vs. Electric
To further narrow your choices for apple peelers, consider whether a manual or electric model is more suitable. Most handheld peelers are manual, while countertop peelers can be either manual or electric.
Manual peelers have the benefit of portability since they don’t require a power source. With countertop models, apples are placed on a skewer and peeled using a crank or handle. While faster than a handheld manual peeler, a manual countertop model doesn’t work as quickly as electric versions. If it’s well-made, however, a manual peeler can last for generations.
When using an electric peeler, the apple must be positioned in place, then the device does the rest of the work. These peelers often function with one button and are an ideal choice for processing large quantities of apples. While most electric peelers must be plugged into an electrical outlet, some have battery packs for use on the go. Electric peelers tend to be more expensive and aren’t as durable or long-lasting as their manual counterparts.
Materials used for apple peelers vary widely depending on the type of peeler. Enameled cast iron, for example, is commonly used for sturdy manual countertop models. Handheld peelers have lightweight bodies made of plastic, zinc alloy, or metal. A primary concern is the material of the blade; choose from stainless steel, carbon steel, or ceramic.
- Stainless steel is rust and corrosion resistant, offering durability and simple maintenance. Stainless steel blades can be easily sharpened as well.
- Carbon steel blades are sharper than their stainless steel counterparts, but they are more prone to rusting. In order to prevent rust, wash carbon steel by hand and dry it immediately after use.
- Ceramic blades are incredibly sharp initially, but they can wear down over time and require professional sharpening. Ceramic blades are more delicate than other types and may chip or break if dropped.
Aside from material construction, there are other features to keep in mind when it comes to peeler blades.
- While many blades can be sharpened, some peelers come with additional blades for replacement over time.
- Most handheld peelers on the market contain blades that are sharpened on both sides for both left- and right-handed use.
- An adjustable peeling blade allows users to control the size of the peels, making thinner strips or thicker ribbons.
- A swiveling blade may be found on either straight or Y-shaped models. The swivel allows users to peel either toward or away from themselves. By contrast, immobile blades on classic French peelers are trickier to utilize because the peeler must be held at a specific angle.
- As an added safety precaution, some peelers have blade protectors for when the device is stored in a drawer.
Ease of Use
Different types of peelers provide additional features to make the task easier. Countertop apple peelers often include stability elements, either suction cups or a vice-style clamp that attaches the device to a table or countertop.
Most handheld peelers are lightweight and ergonomically designed, with a soft grip and slip-resistant handle to increase usability. However, users are split on whether straight or Y-shaped peelers are easier to use, so it’s important to choose the model that’s most comfortable for you.
Our Top Picks
These apple peelers were selected based on the features and important considerations discussed above. Leave your kitchen knives in the drawer and consider some of these top-performing options in various categories.
OXO’s straight swivel peeler boasts sharp Japanese stainless steel blades. The dual blades are sharpened on both sides, so both lefties and righties can peel with ease. A soft-grip silicone handle is nonslip, making the peeler comfortable to use, even when wet.
A built-in potato eyer is helpful in removing nicks and bruises from apples. This versatile peeler can be used on a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, then tossed in the dishwasher.
The COOAK manual tabletop model peels, cores, and slices apples in seconds. It’s capable of peeling without coring or slicing, and the adjustable peeling blade allows users to control the size of the peels. The peeler is made from a combination of rust-resistant stainless steel and cast iron, which is durable and can last for years.
Despite its sturdy construction, this manual model weighs just over 1 pound. The frame’s red enamel coating gives the device a retro look. It firmly affixes to countertops or tabletops with a suction base. To clean, wipe down with warm, soapy water.
FUHUY’s two-piece set is an excellent value choice that provides two handheld peeling methods. It comes with a Y-peeler and straight-edge peeler, allowing two cooks to work together simultaneously for faster food prep.
Each device has swiveling blades and a potato eyer. The peelers feature carbon steel blades and a zinc alloy body. A nonslip rubber handle offers comfort, while dishwasher-safe components add convenience.
Peel fruit and vegetables in just 10 seconds using Starfrit’s electric tabletop peeler. The user interface is simple: Start peeling with the press of a button, and the process will stop automatically when the peel has been removed. Use this product to peel apples as well as potatoes, carrots, eggplant, kiwis, mangoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and more.
Two spare stainless steel blades are included and store easily in the compartment underneath the peeler. The nonslip base allows for hands-free operation, and with a total weight below 2 pounds, the device is easy to put back into storage. Plug it into an electrical outlet or use batteries for cordless operation.
Swiftly peel, core, and slice with this manual tabletop apple peeler model. Remove the coring and slicing blade to keep apples whole or to peel potatoes. You can also move the peeling blade to the side for coring and slicing apples without peeling them. The peeling blade can be adjusted for thinner or thicker peels.
The peeler’s stainless steel blades are resistant to rust and corrosion, while the cast-iron frame is highly durable. The suction-style base sticks to any smooth, nonporous surface. This countertop model is also pleasantly lightweight, weighing only 2 pounds.
Manual peelers are typically designed with either a suction cup or clamp to securely attach them to a flat surface. Clamp-style peelers are sure to stay in place, and this one by Johnny Apple Peeler is designed to be used on surfaces 0.5 to 1.5 inches thick. Featuring an enamel-coated cast-iron body and stainless steel blades, this 2-pound peeler is built with durability in mind.
The peeling blade boasts adjustability, giving users control over how much peel is removed. The coring and slicing blade can be removed to simply peel apples or other fruits or vegetables.
KUHN RIKON’s Y-peeler is simple, affordable, and ergonomically designed for comfortable use by both right-handed and left-handed users. The nonslip handle ensures that the peeler can be used when wet. A potato eye remover also works for removing small bruises from apples.
Its carbon steel blade is incredibly sharp but is prone to rusting if left in a damp environment for too long. For that reason, it’s best to wash the device by hand and thoroughly dry it after cleaning.
Straight peelers are preferred by many home cooks for their versatility, ease of use, and simple design. Spring Chef’s peeler features two stainless steel swivel blades that are sharpened on both edges for either right- or left-handed use.
The nonslip handle is molded for comfort and features a hole to facilitate easy storage. The blemish remover can cut out bruised areas. This handheld peeler is conveniently dishwasher safe, and a blade cover is included as an added safety feature.
This spiralizer attachment stands out on the market by harnessing the power of a KitchenAid stand mixer to peel, core, slice, and spiralize fruits and vegetables. While the basic design of the attachment resembles a classic manual tabletop peeler, it uses the stand mixer’s motor by connecting to its power hub.
Not only can users peel, core, and slice apples, but additional blades allow for spiralizing cucumber, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. The stainless steel blades swap out easily and are dishwasher safe. The attachment is compatible with all KitchenAid stand mixers.
Starfrit’s manual tabletop peeler is affordable yet effective. This model skewers and peels an apple vertically rather than horizontally, and the spring-loaded arm adapts to various apple shapes and sizes. The device is designed with a stainless steel blade to create a thin peel, leaving behind as much fruit as possible.
The frame on this manual peeler is made from translucent plastic and features suction cup feet to securely attach the device to a table or countertop. Plastic protectors are included for the blade and apple skewer as an added safety measure. A corer-slicer comes included with purchase, allowing users to core unpeeled apples.
FAQs About Your New Apple Peeler
Now that you know more about the variety of apple peelers, you may have some new or lingering questions. Below are answers to some common questions about apple peelers.
Q. Is an apple peeler the same thing as a spiralizer?
No, an apple peeler is not the same as a spiralizer. A spiralizer is specifically designed to transform fruits and vegetables into thin ribbons, while an apple peeler simply removes the peel.
Q. I’m left-handed. Can I use a standard apple peeler?
Today, many handheld peelers can be easily used by left-handed users, as most manufacturers sharpen both sides of the blades of handheld peelers.
Q. What is the best electric apple peeler?
The Starfrit Electric Rotato Express is one of the best electric apple peelers on the market.
Q. What is the best apple corer?
The VKP Brands Johnny Apple Peeler is one of the best peeler corers on the market.
Q. Can I sharpen the blades on the apple peeler?
The blades of stainless steel and carbon steel apple peelers can be honed and sharpened to extend their lifespan.