Whether you make your own Asian cuisine or order in, the best chopsticks make for an authentic dining experience. Using chopsticks has perks other than enabling one to become a master of picking up broccolini. Many people find that using chopsticks makes them eat more slowly, forces them to take smaller mouthfuls, and gives the brain time to know when to stop eating before scarfing down too much food.
These sets of tapered sticks are an elegant eating utensil that can be used daily. Whether enjoying Chinese, Japanese, Korean food, or even a kale salad lunch, the best chopsticks can come in handy. Held in one hand between the thumb and fingers, chopsticks—in the hands of nimble users—swiftly and precisely pick up food. One trick to eating with chopsticks is finding ones that are easy to hold, have a good grip, and are made of quality material.
- BEST OVERALL: Goldage Fiberglass Dishwasher-safe Chopsticks
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Hiware 12-Pairs Reusable Metal Chopsticks
- BEST LUXURY: ZOMCHAIN Reusable Dragon and Phoenix Chopsticks
- BEST DESIGN: HuaLan Japanese Natural Wood Chopstick Set Reusable
- BEST FOR COOKING: Donxote Wooden Noodles Kitchen Cooking Chopsticks
- BEST FOR BEGINNERS: Senior ICare Chopstick Helper, Training Chopsticks
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Chopsticks
Selecting the best chopsticks comes down to understanding the shape, size, and material you need. These characteristics indicate their intended use, giving users the right chopsticks for the food they’re consuming or cooking. Chopsticks are made from a variety of materials and come in a few different styles and grips, depending on their purpose.
Chopsticks can be crafted from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, fiberglass, and bone.
- Textured surface provides grip for holding food
- Used for cooking chopsticks because wood withstands high temperatures without altering taste
- Generally inexpensive
- Warp and deteriorate over time so they need to be replaced, but it’s possible to repurpose chopsticks
- Low heat conductivity
- Disposables are usually made of wood or bamboo
- Durable and long-lasting
- More slippery than other materials such as wood or bone, but may incorporate grooves or other textures to make them less slick
- Easy to clean and sanitize as they can usually go in the dishwasher
- Can be used for grilling meat as they won’t burn like wood
- Tend to be a more expensive choice
- Conduct heat easily making them less ideal for cooking
- Generally a less expensive option
- Not as effective at picking up food because of plastic’s slippery characteristics, but work well with foods that are less likely to slip, such as rice
- High wear resistance
- Low heat conduction, but should not be used for cooking, as high temperatures may melt the plastic
- Strong and lightweight
- Grips food without slippage
- Low heat conductivity
- Avoids the taste of metal chopsticks and the burrs of wood
- Good for hot dishes or cold dishes such as ramen or sushi
- Generally dishwasher safe
- Can withstand high temperatures without melting, bending, or cracking
- Made from animal bone, such as yak or ox
- Generally more expensive
- Texture is porous, resulting in a better grip
- Discolors easily from certain foods
- Low heat conductivity
- Suitable for many types of food
The three major styles of chopsticks are Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
- Chinese chopsticks are distinguished by their tapered, blunt ends, which provide more surface area for holding food. This style tends to be longer than Japanese or Korean chopsticks. The length, usually around 11 inches, gives extra reach when grabbing food from communal plates or prevents burns when reaching into pots.
- Japanese chopsticks are shorter than Chinese or Korean chopsticks as there is less tradition of sharing food, thereby eliminating the need to reach for a shared dish. On average, these are about 8 inches long and traditionally made from wood. A pointed tip makes delicate maneuvers—such as picking bones out of a cooked fish—simpler.
- Korean chopsticks, lengthwise, fall in between Chinese and Japanese chopsticks, at 9 to 10 inches long. Traditionally, Korean chopsticks are flat, preventing the chopsticks from rolling away, but rounded Korean chopsticks also exist. The tips of Korean chopsticks are tapered, but they aren’t quite as pointed as the Japanese style. Traditionally made out of metal, these chopsticks are sometimes used to pick up food and place it on a spoon; the spoon that often accompanies a set of Korean chopsticks is also used for eating rice.
A poor grip may lead to dropping chopsticks or food before it gets to your mouth. There are two places where grip is important: at the tip to grip the food and at the end, where your fingers hold the chopsticks.
Chopstick texture is a key component for gripping food. Due to inherent porosity, materials such as wood or bamboo offer a secure grip for both hands and food. Chopsticks crafted of smooth-textured materials, like plastic or steel, may make gripping morsels of food more difficult. To prevent slippage, manufacturers may add texture, such as grooves, to the chopsticks’ tips.
The grip that prevents the chopsticks from slipping out of your fingers often serves a design purpose as well as a practical one. Twisted or carved designs in the material give your fingers a better surface to cling to, offering the chopstick a bit of resistance rather than a smooth and slippery surface. Beginner chopsticks may come with a helper hinge that lessens the grip required from the hand when learning the mechanics of using chopsticks.
Our Top Picks
The best chopsticks are based on the criteria outlined above. Purchasing considerations such as price, longevity, and ease of use come into play as well as features such as style, grip, and material. Below are some of the top picks for the best chopsticks for eating at home, from a bento box, or from a food thermos.
Made from sturdy fiberglass, this set includes five pairs of Goldage chopsticks that add elegance to noodle night. Easy to maneuver because they’re lightweight, well-balanced, and have textured tips that grip food, these chopsticks are a hit, even with beginners. Designed with a square body and rounded tips, these chopsticks feel natural in the hand but don’t roll away when placed on the table. With the tapered style of Korean chopsticks and the soft design of the handling end, these chopsticks are practical yet stylish. Safe for the dishwasher and durable enough for daily use, these chopsticks resist melting, bending, or cracking for up to five years.
Buying in bulk has its perks. This collection of food-grade stainless steel chopsticks from Hiware comes with 12 affordable pairs—keep some at home and some in the car for whenever hunger strikes. Designed with a tapered tip, these chopsticks are inspired by Japanese design, but they’re still blunt enough to handle cooking or eating Chinese and Korean cuisine without missing a beat. Still learning how to hold and use chopsticks? A threaded design at the gripping end makes these silver sticks easier to hold, and small grooves in the tips help hold food with less slipping. The hollow interior makes them comfortably lightweight. After the meal, slip these chopsticks into the dishwasher for effortless cleaning.
Plain chopsticks are a solid choice for everyday meals, but to enhance a special-occasion dining experience, showing off traditionally designed chopsticks can make a place setting worthy of a social media post. This set of ZOMCHAIN Chinese chopsticks comes with two pairs of high-quality natural hardwood chopsticks that are polished using China’s traditional process. Carved into the wood of the handheld area is a dragon and phoenix symbol. Since these chopsticks are lightweight and have a nonslip grip that makes them easy to hold, diners can get their fill without worrying about accidentally dropping bits of deliciousness.
High-quality wood chopsticks like these require special care. Toward that end, included in this set are wood holders for the chopsticks and a cloth bag for proper storage. They should be hand-washed and dried and stored in a ventilated place to extend their lifespan.
A well-executed, simple design makes these wooden chopsticks a tasteful addition to a place setting. Featuring a pointed Japanese-style tip, these chopsticks showcase the natural beauty and colors of rosewood, ebony wood, boxwood, chestnut wood, and cherry wood. Made with a chemical-free construction, these chopsticks are sealed with natural and eco-friendly food-grade lacquer. A nonslip spiral design on the holding end makes them easy and comfortable to use, and the lightweight wood makes them a good tool for beginners. Hand wash these utensils and dry them right away to keep them in pristine condition.
This dual pack of Donxote cooking chopsticks keeps hands safe in the kitchen. At 16.5 inches long, these chopsticks provide a safe distance between the cook and scorching food. Made from Swartizia wood that’s antibacterial, wax-free, and oil-free, these chopsticks don’t affect the flavor of the dish. The blunt ends of the chopsticks maneuver food during cooking for easy flipping, stirring, or plating. The porous wood makes these chopsticks naturally easy to grip and gentle on hands as the wood doesn’t conduct heat very well. However, the size of these chopsticks means they don’t handle quite the same way as eating chopsticks, so they may take some getting used to. Unlike some other wood chopsticks, these medium-brown implements are dishwasher safe, though they need to be dried well once they’re washed.
Don’t be intimidated by using chopsticks with these SENIOR ICARE training chopsticks. Meant for those just getting the hang of chopsticks or for those with dexterity issues, these wood chopsticks come with a BPA-free polyoxymethylene hard plastic hinge that holds the two chopsticks together and makes eating easier. The hinged helper prevents the chopsticks from falling out of the hand or dropping food.
If the wood chopsticks that come with this set wear out, they may be replaced with most other types of chopsticks. The helper’s slots have a tapered design that holds other sizes of chopsticks once pushed through the holes. The helper is made to withstand the dishwasher, but wood chopsticks should be hand-washed and dried.
FAQs About Chopsticks
Choosing and using chopsticks doesn’t have to be difficult. These common questions and answers about chopsticks may provide the information needed to get dinner on the table and start feasting!
Q. How do I choose chopsticks?
It depends on their intended use. Cooking chopsticks need to be longer to keep your hands safe. The best type of eating chopstick depends on your material preference and the types of food you generally consume.
Q. What is the difference between Chinese chopsticks and Japanese chopsticks?
Chinese chopsticks are usually a bit longer and have blunt ends. Japanese chopsticks have pointed ends and are shorter.
Q. How do you properly use chopsticks?
Hold the first chopstick like a pencil; this chopstick moves up and down to grasp food. The second chopstick rests at the base between your thumb and index finger and gets support from the ring and pinky finger; this chopstick stays still. Pick up food by moving the first chopstick and squeezing it against the stationary second chopstick.