The dramatically tapered pin was truly cumbersome when we rolled out stiff gingerbread cookie dough, leaving hills and valleys in its path. For this task, the heaviest rolling pins with the longest untapered expanse worked best. Featherweight pins did almost none of the work for us, and we found ourselves going back over the same areas to get a 1/8-inch thickness for cutting out cookies. Plus, using these lighter pins took so long that the dough had ample time to warm up, making it harder to cut out neat shapes.
As for handled pins, some simply spun in place instead of rolling over the parchment-covered cookie dough. Our go-to pin for this job turned out to be a 19-inch, handle-free straight dowel in slightly textured maple. At 1½ pounds, it was just weighty enough to lend us a hand but light enough to let us maneuver it easily. Another straight, handle-free dowel rolling pin initially looked perfect for the task, since it comes with attachable rings for rolling out cookie dough to a desired thickness. But with rings for only 1/16-, 1/4-, and 3/8-inch thicknesses, that function was limited—and at 13½ inches in length, it made our arms feel cramped when using it.