When you don't have a rolling pin on hand, a wine bottle can work in a pinch to roll out dough for pie or sugar cookies, but there are several reasons why baking pros don't recommend that this hack become your go-to method. Rolling pins are designed to roll dough into even thickness, and the best ones are balanced, smooth to operate, made of a versatile material, and long enough to comfortably roll out a 10-inch pie crust.
In the Just Cooking Tools, our experts test thousands of cooking tools each year, including rolling pins. For this review, we assessed rolling pins based on how easy they are to use, how efficient they are at rolling pie dough, and how effortless they are to clean. Our recommendations include ones we've formally tested in the Kitchen Appliances Lab, ones our experts have road tested at home, and top picks with rave reviews that stood out to us based on our expertise in the field.
Overall, wooden dowels are our favorite type of rolling pin to use in the Kitchen Appliances Lab. They make for even rolling whether you place your hands toward the outer edges or in the center, plus wood is a versatile material that can be dusted easily with flour to prevent dough from sticking. Read on to learn more about our winners and what to look for when shopping, but to summarize, the best rolling pins to buy in 2021 are:
- Best Overall Rolling Pin: J.K. Adams Dowel Rolling Pin
- Best Value Rolling Pin: Farberware Classic Rolling Pin
- Best Rolling Pin with Handles: J.K Adams Gourmet Rolling Pin
- Best French Rolling Pin: J.K. Adams French Dowel Rolling Pin
- Best Adjustable Rolling Pin: Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin
- Best Marble Rolling Pin: Fox Run Marble Rolling Pin with Wooden Cradle
- Best Nonstick Rolling Pin: Oxo Good Grips Non-stick Rolling Pin
What is the best type of rolling pin?
When it comes to shopping for a new rolling pin, it mostly comes down to personal preference, but you will want to consider what features are most important to you and what types of baking projects you'll be using one for. Here's a breakdown of the different types of rolling pins you can buy:
This sturdy wooden dowel from J.K. Adams is 19 inches long, which means it's big enough to roll out the largest batches of even the most finnicky dough (think: cinnamon buns that call for rolling elastic dough into long, wide rectangles). It's made of solid maple so it's strong and smooth, but still light enough to easily control. Wooden rolling pins can last a lifetime if taken care of properly, just make sure not to put them in the dishwasher and let them fully air dry after washing.
- Versatile material
- Sturdy and balanced
- Washing by hand is recommended (though it shouldn't get too dirty!)
Popular on Amazon, this wooden rolling pin from Farberware offers a classic design for under $10. Its handles offer an ergonomic design with wider outer edges to better fit the shape of your hand so you can get a good grip. Its rolling area is 10 inches long, which is big enough for most pie crusts. It boasts nylon bearings that won't rust, an important feature for smooth rolling if you opt for a rolling pin with handles. Wiping with a damp cloth (versus washing with soap and water) is recommended.
- Great price
- Nylon bearings won't rust and cause handles to stick
- Reviewers claim it works better on easy jobs
Like the other two J.K. Adams rolling pins on our list, the brand's Gourmet Rolling Pin is made from maple wood, a sturdy but soft wood that picks up flour well, which is useful for dusting (though some reviewers said it was too rough). Its handles are long and contoured, for comfortable rolling. It's hefty, but not too heavy, and won't spin when rolling. It's 12-inches long and can handle most of your baking needs.
- Hefty, but not heavy
- Must be hand-washed (as is recommended for all wooden rolling pins)
French rolling pins offer the best of both worlds. They're long with tapered edges so you have the option of positioning your hands the way you would on a rolling pin with handles, or closer together when needed for more control. This model from J.K. Adams is 20.5 inches and 1.5 inches thick. That means it's long enough for big batches and a little more nimble for small jobs than dowels, which are usually about two inches thick. It's made of maple wood and very smooth.
- Allows you to maintain close contact with the dough
- Comes with lifetime warranty
It's hard to roll dough into the perfect even thickness, even if you're a pro. This adjustable rolling pin from Joseph Joseph makes it easier, with four sets of adjustable discs that screw on and off based on your needs. The discs vary in height (1/16, 1/6, 1/4, and 3/8-inch ) so, not only do you not need to keep a ruler close by, but your dough will be even across the entire length of the pin. It also has ruler markings on the pin so you know long your dough is — incredibly helpful! It comes in a muted grey-and-blue color option as well.
- Includes four adjustable discs so you can roll dough into even thicknesses without a ruler
- Rolling pin features a ruler
- A touch short without all the discs attached
Marble rolling pins are ideal for buttery, flaky doughs. They can be placed in the fridge or freezer before using to create a cold surface temp, which helps prevent butter and dough from sticking. This one from Fox Run has a beautiful design and long handles, which allow you to roll with ease. The wooden holder helps prevent it accidentally rolling off the counter and provides a safe cradle for storage. The rolling area is 10 inches wide.
- Beautiful design
- Marble can be chilled for use with buttery, flaky doughs
- Can't be floured to prevent sticking
If you're new to baking, you may want to opt for a nonstick pin. This Oxo rolling pin is made of lightweight steel with a nonstick coating – like marble, steel can be chilled in the fridge or freezer for use with the butteriest doughs. It has thicker than average handles for comfortable usage and is easy to clean, making it great for beginners.
- Made from nonstick steel
- Lightweight steel can be chilled before rolling buttery treats
- Nonstick coatings wear over time; avoid scrubbing with abrasives