Almost any potato peeler can handle a single carrot for a salad, but when you need to tackle a bushel of tomatoes for homemade tomato sauce or a big ol’ butternut squash, a specialized vegetable peeler helps.
vegetable peeler is very similar to a potato peeler, but can vary in
size and blade style to make it more suitable to specific foods. For
example, tomatoes, with their thin skin and tender flesh, are much
easier to peel with a serrated blade. Large vegetables with tougher
skins — like that butternut squash, as well as eggplant — benefit from a
wider blade. Asparagus, on the other hand, is more efficiently peeled
with a smaller, more curved blade. Once you have an effective tool on
hand, you can find all kinds of genius new uses for your peeler.
How we test vegetable peelers
We lined up more than a dozen vegetable peelers for testing by the Just Cooking Tools’s Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab. We peeled more than 20 pounds of produce — butternut squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and apples — on the universal peelers to determine the comfort and ease of use, the ability to navigate irregularly shaped produce, and the thinness of the peeled skins. Then we tested the specialized peelers (like corn peelers and eggplant peelers) on the vegetables they were suited for and compared results. The peelers that were top scorers against our 8 data points of analysis made our list of the best vegetable peelers:
- Best Overall Vegetable Peeler: Swissmar Scalpel Blade Peeler
- Best Value Vegetable Peeler: Kuhn Rikon Piranha Y-Peeler
- Best Electric Vegetable Peeler: KitchenAid Spiralizer Plus Attachment
- Best Corn Peeler: OXO Good Grips Corn Prep Peeler
- Best Vegetable Peeler for Arthritis: Chef’n Palm Peeler
- Most Versatile Vegetable Peeler: Tovolo Magnetic Tri-Peeler Set
This lightweight peeler doubles as our best overall potato peeler and vegetable peeler. In
our test, it performed well on a who’s who of differing produce:
Butternut squash, carrot, apple, potato, and sweet potato. It
even worked admirably on tomato. The stainless steel blade is super
sharp, and it swivels to stand up to curvy and gnarly foods. It has a
built-in eyer for removing blemishes, and you can add it to the
dishwasher when you’re done for quick cleaning.
- Sharp and smooth on a variety of vegetables
- Eyer is a little large
If you’ve ever had a straight blade slip right off a tomato, you’ll appreciate the ease with which you can remove thin strips of skin with this peeler.
While the brand's straight-blade Y peeler is one of our
favorites for potatoes and most vegetables, this version
stood out for its sharp, stainless steel serrated blade
that let us peel tender foods, like tomatoes, peaches and pears,
without tearing the skin or squishing the fruit. It also tackled
thin-skinned, slick butternut squash skin and thick-skinned, smooth
eggplant with ease. Toss it in the dishwasher when you’re done.
- Peels tender foods without bruising
- Dishwasher safe
- No eyer
If you keep a KitchenAid stand mixer within reach, this makes a great vegetable peeler. The attachment plugs into the power hub on the front of the mixer and makes peeling a variety of vegetables as easy as flipping a knob. You slide your produce onto the attachment’s skewer mount and then insert the peeler blade and align it with the food. It peels your potato, zucchini, cucumber, and more quickly and with little waste.
This attachment is handy if you are prepping, say, a whole pie’s
worth of apples, and it’s also helpful for those who have trouble
using standard peelers. It works with produce up to 5 ½ inches in
length, so long veggies will need to be trimmed. Bonus: It can also be
used as a corer, slicer and spiralizer, so there’s a little extra
incentive to leave it set up.
- Fast and hands free
- Great for large batches
- Requires a KitchenAid stand mixer to use
We don't often recommend single-use tools, but this one proved to be worth it. Corn, with its rounded shape and separate kernels, can be cut with a knife, but can be dangerous and wobbly to stand the ear upright. And traditional peelers are often too shallow, which means you sacrifice the sweet kernels. But this peeler makes taking corn off the cob a pleasure. The curved design allows you to maintain contact with the cob, so you don’t damage the kernels, and leaves you with a very smooth cob. Plus you can work with the ear on a flat surface, which keeps the task safe.
The blade is Japanese stainless steel, so it won’t rust and is
dishwasher safe. And Oxo, well-known for its ergonomic design, maintains
its record with the non-slip handle. The Corn Prep Peeler is
part of a collection of other specialized vegetable peelers from Oxo,
including an assorted set that tested well all-around, a large peeler that proved useful for cabbage, and more.
- Zips kernels right off the cob
- Not a multitasker
This reimagined peeler was comfortable in the palm — it has a finger holder to help keep it in place — and performed well with a variety of fruits and veggies. It’s a great choice if you have arthritis or dexterity limitations. It also keeps fingers away from the stainless steel blade, if you have younger kids helping with prep. One caveat: The peeler can clog with the peeled strips, and you can’t immediately see that due to the design, so you will sometimes have a misfire when attempting to peel a new strip. It comes with a cap for safe storage and is dishwasher safe.
- Does not require traditional gripping
- Not as compact for storage
Both the straight and serrated Y peelers from Tovolo handled our produce tests with ease. They’re sharp stainless steel and swivel to handle corners and curves. So why not buy them as part of this set of three, which includes a julienne peeler to round out common vegetable prep tasks?
The lightweight trio is comfortable and dishwasher safe, and they’re
magnetic to stay stacked for compact and easy access. One caveat: None
of the peelers has an eyer, which can be a detriment for potatoes and
apples. But for vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and zucchini, it’s a
versatile set that gets you peeled and sliced lickety-split.
- Stack together neatly with magnets so they’re easy to find
- Provides versatile vegetable prep
- No eyer
- Style: Manual vegetable peelers generally
come in one of two styles: A straight peeler, which features a blade
that’s in line with the handle, or a Y-peeler, which is shaped like a Y
with the blade across the top. They’re both effective means of peeling,
but some experts find that straight peelers are suited to everyday
peeling, like carrots, and Y-peelers provide more control and leverage
with larger items, like squash. If possible, test one of each kind to
decide which is more comfortable.
You can also opt for an electric peeler. Whether it includes its own motor or relies on the motor of an appliance like a stand mixer, it's a great choice for tackling a large amount of produce or if manual peelers aren't right for you. Electric models hold the fruit or vegetable in place while rotating against a blade for quick, continuous peeling.
- Handle: The best advice is to find a peeler that’s comfortable for you. Peeling is an inherently repetitive motion, so you want a tool that won’t cause fatigue or pain. One pro tip: Look for a non-slip handle regardless of which model or brand you choose.
- Blade: With
vegetable peelers, should consider whether your task requires a straight
blade — the classic style that can peel potatoes, apples, carrots and
more — or a serrated blade, which is useful when peeling foods with
delicate skins, like tomatoes and peaches. We don't recommend serrated
blades for potatoes because most leave behind ridges, but they're not as
noticeable on softer items and the ease makes up for the presentation.
Julienne peelers are also popular: They include a series of fixed blades that give you thin, uniform strips for salads, spring rolls, and garnishes. Whether straight or serrated, you want a blade that stays sharp. In addition, the experts in the GH Institute prefer a blade that swivels. A swivel blade allows you to peel vegetables with uneven surfaces (think celery root or ginger). Also look at how the blade connects to its holder — if the gap above the blade is narrow, the peeler can clog rather than release the peels with ease.
- Material: The most common materials for vegetable peelers are stainless steel and carbon steel. Stainless steel stays sharp and is generally dishwasher safe. Carbon steel can rust over time if not washed and dried thoroughly, but it is very sharp and can hold its edge.