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This French-made dowel-style pin, crafted from cream-colored nylon, is the personal favorite of baking doyenne Dorie Greenspan—and after a couple of days in the kitchen with it, we could see why. Heavy but not oppressively so, with a wonderful balance in the hand, it made rolling sugar cookie dough a delight, producing even sheets every time, and tackled discs of buttery pie dough without tearing or sticking. Like the JK Adams dowel, the simple silhouette was adaptable to generic spacers and the nylon surface felt cool to the touch and cleaned up easily. Another bonus: Because nylon is non-porous, unlike wood, this pin would be even more adaptable to other (potentially messy) kitchen tasks that require the blunt force of something weighty, like pounding meat or crushing nuts or spices, without worry of staining or contamination. Last but not least, as Greenspan says, “it’s pretty darn handsome to boot.” Ultimately, our major reservations with this pin came down to price: at more than $75 it’s no small investment and given the cost, doesn’t offer 4 times the performance of the JK Adams pin. That said, if you are looking to treat yourself or someone you love to a special kitchen tool, this is a keeper that will more than earn its keep by turning out decades worth of beautiful cookies, pies, tarts, and more.

Food & Wine: Fletcher’s Mill Rolling Pin

Courtesy of Amazon

A Great Tapered Rolling Pin: Fletchers’ Mill 20″ French Rolling Pin ($18 on Amazon)

This tapered maple pin was beloved by a lot of the pro bakers we spoke with, and its simple lines and sleek finish are certainly appealing, especially when trying to work pastry into thin, delicate rounds. But ultimately, its lighter weight and more slender silhouette seems better suited to niche work with precise tasks and laminated doughs, whereas the dowel pins felt like all-purpose workhorses. Also, though the narrowed sides made for graceful pivoting when shaping the rounded edges of a double crust pie, we found them to be a hindrance rather than a help when trying to maintain an even thickness with sheets of cookie dough (not to mention that the tapered design eliminates the option of using spacers). That said, if you make a lot of pies, it might be worth giving this option a chance—or, if you’re a committed baker, getting both a tapered pin and the JK Adams dowel. At $18 a pop, it’s not too dear an investment.

Other Rolling Pins We Tested

Ikea Magasin Wooden Handled Rolling Pin ($6 at Ikea)

Imagine the iconic rolling pin and it probably looks like this. Crafted from solid wood, it is simple, sturdy, and a total bargain at about $6—and for a basic rolling pin, you could do a lot worse. But, if you can afford to spend another $9, the JK Adams dowel is easier to control, easier to clean, and definiitely a better long term investment.

KMN Home Aluminum Pin ($40 on Amazon)

This pin is stylish and comfortable, but ultimately felt a little too light in our hands. Also, though a chilled alumnium pin will keep delicate dough cool longer, once it begins to heat up it will do so faster than wooden pin—making rerolling dough a trickier proposition.

Farberware Professional Nonstick Rolling Pin ($17 on Amazon)

Our least favorite of all the rolling pins we tried, this contender lost points for its clunky, hard-to-clean handles, underwhelming performance (uneven rolling Handbags & Wallets, and it didn’t seem especially nonstick), and a slew of alarming Amazon reviews which reported that it became waterlogged after washing and that the “nonstick” surface began to chip and peel after one or two uses.

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