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Bowl Scrapers

Published November 2020

How we tested

When we handle dough in the test kitchen, we often work with bowl scrapers. These small paddles are made of plastic, nylon, or silicone and have curved edges that help us manipulate dough. Unlike silicone spatulas, scrapers have no handles, which makes it easier to reach into bowls and create the leverage necessary to scrape up or gently fold dough. Bowl scrapers come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, textures, and materials, so we put together a diverse group to test. The prices of the eight scrapers in our lineup ranged from about $2 to about $13 per scraper. One model comes in a set with a pot scraper for handling stubborn cooked-on messes; we set the pot scraper aside until the end of testing and used only the bowl scraper in our initial tests. Another came in an affordable set of six identical scrapers; we tested only one. Multiple testers with various hand sizes used the scrapers to manipulate sticky, delicate Fougasse dough as well as dense speculoos cookie dough in both wide and narrow bowls. We also compared the scrapers with our winning silicone spatula throughout testing to see if they truly offered an advantage, and we washed each of them 10 times and bent them in our hands to test their durability. We were looking for a scraper with a versatile shape that could fit into all sorts of bowls, that was sturdy yet flexible, and that could hold up to long-term use. 

Size and Shape Are Important

As we worked with the scrapers, we examined each model’s size and shape, and some patterns in our preferences emerged. The scrapers varied in size from 3½ to 7 inches long and from 3¼ to 8 inches wide. One scraper was simply too large to fit comfortably in our hands. It was unwieldy to use in bowls of all sizes, especially in narrower ones such as that of our favorite high-end stand mixer. We found ourselves having to twist our hands awkwardly to wedge the scraper into the bowl. Conversely, we found a few scrapers to be too petite: Their curved scraping edges were shorter, so we caught less dough with each pass. Working with these models was inefficient. The remaining four scrapers were large enough to efficiently scrape large swaths of dough yet small enough to fit comfortably in our hands. One medium-size scraper that measured 5½ inches long by 4¼ inches wide stood out: It was comfortable to maneuver and worked efficiently. 

The shapes of the scrapers also varied. Three models were shaped roughly like a capital D, with one flat edge and another curved edge. These scrapers weren't versatile. They worked well when their broad, curved edges exactly matched the curve of a bowl, but when we used them in narrower bowls, they left dough clinging to the sides of the bowls and required us to make more passes to fully scoop up the dough. The shapes of the remaining scrapers were more diverse. We liked that three of them had multiple curved edges of different shapes—and therefore multiple scraping surfaces—making them effective in various bowl sizes. By repositioning these three asymmetrical scrapers in our hands, we could adjust which curved edge we scraped with.

Material and Thickness Matter

Differences in the scrapers’ materials, sturdiness, and thickness also mattered. The four models made of nylon or other plastic were thinner and flimsier than others in the lineup, so they bent slightly under the weight of the dense cookie dough. Plus, the edges of three of these models were sharp and cut into the airy bread doughs, deflating them slightly. They also made these scrapers uncomfortable to handle: “I don’t like the sharp back side cutting into my hand,” one tester reported. One model made of ultraflexible plastic handled the delicate bread dough without cutting into it. 

The remaining four scrapers were made from silicone; one was solid silicone, one had a thick nylon substrate silicone-covered core, and two had stainless-steel cores that were coated in silicone. All were thicker and a bit more rigid than the models made of plastic or nylon, so they held up better when scraping dense cookie dough. Their tapered, beveled edges were soft and flexible, which made it easy to scrape and manipulate delicate bread doughs with care. The silicone scrapers with stainless-steel or nylon cores combined these qualities best: Their cores offered strength, while their tapered edges were nimble. The silicone scrapers were also very comfortable to hold and maneuver. The silicone was grippier and softer, meaning that our hands were less likely to slip or get tired as we handled them. 

The Best Bowl Scraper: Fox Run Silicone Dough/Bowl Scraper

In the end, we found a scraper with the best combination of size, shape, material, and thickness to handle all types of dough in a variety of bowls. The Fox Run Silicone Dough/Bowl Scraper is shaped like a teardrop. Each side of the scraper offers a different curve for a different bowl size and shape. Its core is reinforced with a sturdy stainless-steel disk, allowing it to hold up to dense cookie dough, while its flexible edges handle delicate bread dough without cutting or deflating it. It also came through our durability tests unscathed. This bowl scraper offers a few advantages over a silicone spatula: There are multiple scraping edges of different sizes, enabling it to efficiently scrape more dough per stroke in a variety of bowls, and it allows users to dip their hands more deeply into bowls, creating more leverage. This scraper won't completely replace a silicone spatula in your kitchen, but if you're an avid baker, especially of bread, it will make things easier for you. And at about $5, it is certainly worth the investment.


  • Test eight scrapers, priced from about $2 to about $13 per scraper
  • Use the scrapers to clear bowls of sticky, delicate Fougasse dough
  • Use the scrapers to clear bowls of dense speculoos cookie dough 
  • Have additional testers use the scrapers to clear bowls of sourdough dough 
  • Wash the scrapers 10 times according to the manufacturers’ instructions
  • Bend the scrapers with moderate force to determine their durability

Rating Criteria

Performance: We noted if the scrapers fit into different sizes of bowls and if they effectively scraped, scooped, and folded dough. 

Ease of Use: We evaluated how easy and comfortable it was to grip, hold, and manipulate the scrapers.

Durability: We evaluated how well the scrapers held their shapes when bent and how they held up to multiple washings. 

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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.