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Small and Medium Portion Scoops

Published April 2020
More on the Best Portion Scoops
We also love the large version of these scoops by OXO. Our full review of portion scoops with detailed brand comparisons is available here.

How we tested

Using a portion scoop is a great way to dole out food quickly and evenly. Portion scoops come in a dizzying array of sizes, but in our recipes we most often call for a 3-tablespoon (or #20) scoop. When we tested this scoop size, we fell in love with the OXO Good Grips Large Cookie Scoop for its ability to neatly portion cookie dough, muffin batter, ice cream, and more. The company also makes the OXO Good Grips Small Cookie Scoop and the OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop, with capacities of 1 tablespoon and 1.5 tablespoons, respectively, and we wondered if they were as comfortable and easy to use as the large scoop. To test the scoops, which are both priced at around $13.50, we used the small scoop to portion the dough for Gougères as well as the dough and filling for Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies, all tasks that require a 1-tablespoon measure. We used the medium scoop to make Mini Muffin Tin Doughnut Holes, placing a heaping tablespoon of batter in each cup. We also measured the capacities of the portion scoops and squeezed each scoop 100 times.

The stated capacities of both scoops were accurate. Their handles were easy to grip, and the scoops readily released batter and dough with just a quick squeeze. When using both sizes, we found that portioning was faster and neater than using a measuring spoon. While making the gougères, the scoop allowed us to skip the step of smoothing the batter with a spoon—the scoop made perfectly smooth mounds that didn’t need any extra polishing. Using a portion scoop also resulted in baked goods that were more uniform, which was essential for the peanut butter cookies that needed to be about the same size for sandwiching. Both scoops produced the right yields for each recipe.

While the large scoop is still our go-to for most tasks, we found that both the small- and medium-size scoops are useful in recipes that call for a 1-tablespoon or heaping-tablespoon portion size. We like the medium scoop for filling mini muffin tins, portioning peanut butter and jelly for sandwiches, and making small ice cream scoops. The small scoop was perfect for portioning petite cookies. Together, the large, medium, and small cookie scoops by OXO make a great set for portioning all kinds of ingredients.


  • Test small- and medium-size versions of our favorite large portion scoop by OXO

  • Use small scoop to portion dough and filling for Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies 

  • Use small scoop to portion dough for Gougères 

  • Use medium scoop to portion batter for Mini Muffin Tin Doughnut Holes

  • Squeeze each scoop 100 times

  • Measure capacity of portion scoops and compare to stated capacity

Rating Criteria

Comfort: We evaluated how comfortable the portion scoops were to grip and squeeze.

Control: We looked to see if the scoops released doughs and batter in a clean, controlled motion.

The Results


Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little.


Schmidt Brothers Downtown Block

This roomy block completely sheathed our entire winning knife set using just one of its two sides—and quite securely, thanks to long, medium-strength magnet bars. Heavy, with a grippy base, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard made this model extra-safe but also made it a little trickier to insert knives and to clean; the wood block itself showed some minor cosmetic scratching during use.


Schmidt Brothers Midtown Block

This smaller version of the Downtown Block secured all our knives nicely, though the blade of the slicing knife stuck out a bit. With a base lined with grippy material, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard afforded extra protection against contact with blades but made it a little harder to insert knives and to clean; the wood itself got a little scratched during use.

Recommended with Reservations

Swissmar Bamboo Magnetic Knife Block

This small, scratch-resistant model had a stable, rubber-lined base and could hold all our knives, though the blade of the 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a bit. But inch-long gaps between its small magnets made coverage uneven and forced us to find the magnetic hot spots in order to secure the knives. Its acrylic guard made it safer to use but harder to insert knives and to clean.

Not Recommended

Messermeister Walnut Magnet Block

This handsome block was done in by its shape—a tippy, top-heavy quarter-circle that wasn’t tall or broad enough to keep the blades of three knives from poking out. It lacked a nonslip base, and its extra-strong magnets made it unnerving to attach or remove our heavy cleaver. Finally, it got a bit scratched after extensive use.


Epicurean Standing Knife Rack 12"

This magnetic block sheathed all our knives completely, though with a bit of crowding. But it was hard to insert each knife without hitting the block’s decorative slats on way down, and because the block was light and narrow, it wobbled when bumped. Worse, we couldn’t take it apart, so splatters that hit the interior were there to stay. Additionally, the outside stained easily, and when we wiped it down, the unit smelled like wet dog.


Kapoosh Rondelle Knife Block

This model stabilized knives with a mass of stiff, spaghetti-like bristles that shed and nicked easily after extensive use, covering our knives with plastic debris. While all our knives fit securely, several of the blades stuck out, making this unit feel less safe overall. Finally, though the bristles could be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher, their nooks and crannies made this block hard to wash by hand.


Kuhn Rikon Vision Knife Block, Clear

This plastic block required us to aim each knife into the folds of an accordion-pleated insert that was removable for easy cleaning but got nicked easily with repeated use. Because we could only insert the knives vertically, longer knife blades stuck out; a cleaver was too wide to fit. The lightest model in our lineup, this block was dangerously top-heavy when loaded with knives.