Bench Scrapers

Published March 1, 2014. From Cook's Illustrated.

Overview:

Also known as a bench knife, board scraper, or dough cutter, a bench scraper has as many and varied uses as its many names suggest. We’ve tested several over the years and favored those with steel blades and comfortable rubber, nylon, or plastic grips. But when we recently ordered a few new copies of our previous winner, we found that instead of the sharp blade edge we expected, these scrapers had a blunt edge that struggled to cut through all types of dough and required real effort to dislodge pie dough. A representative from the manufacturer said that our previously winning model had not changed, but clearly something in the manufacturing had (we ordered multiples to confirm). We decided that it was time to reevaluate, so we rounded up five bench scrapers in a range of styles to square off against our old favorite. For scraping, trimming, or cutting dough into smaller pieces, testers strongly preferred thin, deeply beveled edges, which made it easier to dislodge sticky pie dough from the counter and neatly portion off bread… read more

Also known as a bench knife, board scraper, or dough cutter, a bench scraper has as many and varied uses as its many names suggest. We’ve tested several over the years and favored those with steel blades and comfortable rubber, nylon, or plastic grips. But when we recently ordered a few new copies of our previous winner, we found that instead of the sharp blade edge we expected, these scrapers had a blunt edge that struggled to cut through all types of dough and required real effort to dislodge pie dough. A representative from the manufacturer said that our previously winning model had not changed, but clearly something in the manufacturing had (we ordered multiples to confirm). We decided that it was time to reevaluate, so we rounded up five bench scrapers in a range of styles to square off against our old favorite. For scraping, trimming, or cutting dough into smaller pieces, testers strongly preferred thin, deeply beveled edges, which made it easier to dislodge sticky pie dough from the counter and neatly portion off bread and pizza doughs. One model’s extra-long plastic blade was an advantage for speedy cleanup, but its ultrathin, slippery plastic handle made it unwieldy for much else. A dustpan-shaped scraper scooped up diced herbs and vegetables in a snap and transferred them neatly to a pot, but its edge was too dull for dough work. In the end, a model that we’d liked in the past that had lost to our previous winner because of the latter’s sharp blade (now a nonissue) proved best of the bunch. Our winner has a deeply beveled edge that quickly slid under pie dough and effortlessly sliced bread and pizza dough. Its textured polypropylene handle was just slender enough, making it easy to grasp and keep flat to the work surface for fast and efficient cleanup.

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