A rolling pin is an essential kitchen item for any cook or baker, and it will endlessly prove its versatility. Whether rolling out pastry, cookie dough, scones or fluffy bread dough, a rolling pin will help produce crisp tart cases and biscuits that cook evenly every time.
If you’re making homemade fresh pasta without a machine, a rolling pin is crucial for getting the dough perfectly thin, especially if making filled pastas where the dough will become double thickness once formed. Springy homemade pizzas or delicate dumplings also all start with a quick roll on a floured surface.
With careful use, a rolling pin will easily last for years, but it also needs to be fit for purpose, and not all pins are made equal. There are a lot to choose from, with design, shape, material and size to take into consideration. The range of materials and styles are designed for different kitchen tasks, so it’s important to consider what you will be cooking and baking the most.
If you’re stocking your kitchen for the first time, it’s also worth considering what other equipment you’ll need to make cooking an easy process. If you’re making a lot of pastry, consider a flour shaker for keeping your surface well dusted, non-stick baking trays for making lifting off freshly baked cookies a dream, and a simple cooling rack to prevent bakes overcooking on a hot tray. Check out our baking essentials guide for everything you might need.
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How to choose the best rolling pin
Finding the right rolling pin is made easier by knowing what kind of pin you like. What do you want to use it for? Do you like a lighter pin or a hefty marble one? Even the size of your work surface and kitchen may affect the decision. Here are some of the choices to consider:
Straight or tapered?
A traditional straight rolling pin is a good choice if you want an all-rounder for baking.
Tapered pins (known as bionical, French, or Italian rolling pins) are loved by pastry chefs and found in many professional kitchens. Their clever shape makes them very easy to roll and they work with all types of pastry, including cookie dough. They are also the go-to for rolling yeasted doughs, especially pizza.
With or without handles?
Rolling pins with handles help keep your fingers away at the sides, giving you a clearly defined rolling area and good stability.
A revolving handled rolling pin is easier to move, as the rolling part spins freely, requiring less pressure. These are suitable for both shortcrust and puff pastries, but are not as effective on cookie dough (where more pressure may be required). This style of rolling pin is also better for arthritic hands.
Non-handled pins require no gripping, as rolling back and forth comes from pushing with the palm. These are great for all types of dough. If the pin is not very wide, your hands may creep into the rolling area, making it harder to manoeuvre.
- Wood: A classic rolling pin is made of wood, which bakers love as it can easily be dusted with flour and, with love and care, will last a lifetime. A wooden pin also improves with age as it builds up a natural patina from the fats in the pastry.
- Marble: The weight and smoothness of the marble offer a super-smooth roll over both shortcrust pastry and cookie dough. The coolness (which can be increased further by chilling it in the fridge) makes them ideal for making puff pastry.
- Stainless steel and silicone: Like marble but without the weight, stainless steel can be cooled down further to keep pastry cool. Both produce a smooth finish and are light and easy to use.
- Polyurethane: This finish is excellent for rolling fondant icing. They are light, easy to use and dishwasher-friendly.
- Specialist rolling pins: Embossed rolling pins are usually wooden and engraved with charming decorative patterns for creating fun cookies and pastries. They’re very popular for holidays like Christmas, Easter and Halloween, and great for children to use.
Best rolling pins at a glance
- Best overall rolling pin: Sous Chef tapered rolling pin, 50cm, £8.99
- Best rolling pin with handles: ProCook silicone rolling pin, 48cm, £10
- Best no handle rolling pin: Lakeland cooling rolling pin, 40cm, £14.99
- Best tapered rolling pin: Richard Bertinet 52cm tapered pin from Tala, £12.25
- Best marble rolling pin: Judge marble rolling pin and stand from Amazon, £22.64
- Best rolling pin with extras: JosephJoseph adjustable rolling pin, 43cm, from Amazon, £25
- Best non-stick rolling pin: Masterclass marble rolling pin and stand from Amazon, £21.99
- Best for small kitchens: Mason Cash roller shaker pin from Amazon £18
Best rolling pins to buy in 2021
Lakeland cooling rolling pin
Best non-handled rolling pin
Available from: Lakeland (£14.99)
This a lovely looking, 40cm-wide, good-quality stainless steel rolling pin with easy to read metric and imperial measurements for accurate rolling.
The pin is hollow and can be filled with ice or cold water to keep the pastry cool when rolling – this can also help prevent sticking. The added water gives the pin extra weight without making it too heavy. It takes some serious tugging to remove the stopper, but this may ease up over time.
At the other end of the rolling pin is a perforated stopper with a cavity for flour, which turns the pin into a shaker. This is a clever idea, but it has a tendency to block up. Even when unblocked, it gives only a light dusting. We find it much simpler to just reach into the bag of flour.
With its shiny, smooth surface, it slides impressively over chilled dough without too much effort. It’s so well-made that it will last for years, though we could easily live without the shaker bit.
Mason Cash innovative kitchen roller shaker
Best for small kitchens
This chunky, vintage-looking ceramic rolling pin from Mason Cash is almost too pretty to hide away in a drawer.
The pin is only 30cm wide, so larger hands may struggle with this. But, this size is perfect for a kitchen where space is at a premium.
We are impressed by the carefully considered design of this rolling pin. One end is flat, so the pin can stand upright rather than getting in the way on the worktop, and at the opposite end is a gently curved and efficient flour shaker, offering two lovely tools in one.
Made of heavy ceramic, it’s already quite cool to the touch, but we suggest putting it in the fridge for 10 minutes to increase this. During the test, our pastry stayed dry and cold with no sticking.
Masterclass marble rolling pin and stand
Best non-stick rolling pin
The 40cm-wide, thin rolling pin from Masterclass is a super-smooth piece of pretty polished dark marble. It comes with a stand that will keep the pin safely on the worktop.
Naturally, being marble, the pin is heavy, but its slim shape stops this becoming too much to handle.
There are no openings, handles or decoration, making this very hygienic and easy to clean with a cloth. Masterclass suggests this pin is dishwasher-proof, but we doubt it would ever need it.
We love the smooth, cool-to-the-touch marble surface, which makes this non-stick. The weight also makes short work of rolling out pastry evenly and quickly.
Procook silicone rolling pin
Best rolling pin with handles
- Available from: Procook (£10)
The biggest surprise of this pretty pastel pin is its weight: it’s so light, you could roll out pastry with one hand. We love the colour of the silicone-covered roller and the three bands on the handles, which also make it supremely comfy to hold.
The pin is 48cm wide (one of the larger pins), but this includes the long handles, taking the actual roller down to a relatively short 24cm, which is still a manageable size for most tasks.
Despite its lack of weight, the pin rolls out pastry evenly and quickly, though things like cookie dough can be more of a challenge.
The Procook is handwash-only and can be cleaned easily with a light wipe. This is not just an attractive rolling pin, it’s also functional and budget-friendly.
JosephJoseph adjustable rolling pin
Best rolling pin with extras
Judging the thickness of pastry by eye is a tricky skill to get right. Luckily, the JosephJoseph adjustable rolling pin is here to solve this problem perfectly.
Four carefully calibrated, adjustable discs screw on and off, changing the height of the roller from 2mm deep through to 10mm (there’s also imperial measurements). Running the length of the pin is a linear measure that shows rolling width.
The wooden pin is beautifully smooth, and we’re impressed with how easily pastry can be rolled out without using much pressure. The plastic discs are dishwasher-proof. A quick handwash and occasional oiling of the wooden pin is recommended to keep it super-smooth and prevent it from drying out.
SousChef tapered Italian rolling pin
Best overall rolling pin
- Available from: Sous Chef (£8.99)
There’s something delightful about the simplicity of this unassuming rolling pin – there are no awkward openings, gadgets or colours, just a straightforward, well-performing pin.
This extra-long Sous Chef 50cm Italian wooden rolling pin tapers ever so gently at each end, but is still thick in the middle and works like any regular wooden rolling pin. We love the smooth rolling action, using just our palms resting on the outer edges.
The wood feels a little naked and raw, but, in time, will pick up a patina from the fat in the pastry. Until then, it feels like it would benefit from a light oiling.
Tala for Bertinet French tapered rolling pin
Best tapered rolling pin
Tala designed this French rolling pin in collaboration with renowned baker Richard Bertinet of The Bertinet Bakery in Bath, so there’s true baking expertise behind the design. This one is a narrow baguette-shaped wooden pin and we are delighted to note that the wood used is from well-managed forests.
At 52cm, this is the longest pin on the test. Given the size, we find the pin to be surprisingly light and lovely to hold, but for some it may be too long. The generous width keeps hands well away from the pastry and it rolls with minimum effort, creating an even, smooth finish. The pin needs frequent dusting with flour, but we suspect this is because it’s new and has yet to build up a patina. This is a lovely rolling pin and can only get better with time.
Judge Marble rolling pin
Best marble rolling pin
The Judge marble rolling pin is the heaviest pin on the test. It’s also one of the prettiest, with its classic shape and smooth, white-grey marble. It comes with a wooden stand for safety. The two solid wooden spindle handles feel safe when carrying the weight of the marble and are suitably balanced for it to turn freely.
The density of the marble makes it cool enough to start rolling pastry straight from the drawer, and we find there is no need to cool it down further as it remains cold. It makes short work of shortcrust pastry thanks to its sheer weight and ease of rolling, creating a super-smooth pastry.
We are delighted with both the classic looks and ease of use of this lovely rolling pin, which, unless dropped, should last a lifetime.
How to care for your rolling pin
Dishwashers are largely not suitable for rolling pins, especially if made of wood. Rub away any dough with kitchen paper and give it a good wipe with a cloth and dry thoroughly. If you are concerned, a quick wipe with an antibacterial cleaner is okay, but choose one without any perfume. Wooden rolling pins will build up a coating over time that protects the surface and keeps the wood supple. You can also wipe it over with a bit of vegetable oil from time to time.
How we tested rolling pins
We looked at the size, weight, style, price, and quality of each pin. For example, the wider the pin, the quicker you’ll be able to roll something out. We judged whether extra features, such as adjustable rings or flour shakers, worked well and were valuable inclusions.
We tested the rolling pins by rolling out our chilled homemade pastry on a lightly floured work surface and assessing how easy or hard it was to roll, and the finished appearance of the pastry. We also noted the ease of cleaning the pin.
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This review was last updated in April 2021. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.