A rolling pin is an essential kitchen item for any cooks and bakers that will endlessly prove its versatility. Whether rolling out pastry, cookie dough, scones or fluffy bread dough, a rolling pin will help get 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 is a lot to choose from, from design and shape to material and size. The range of materials and styles are designed for different kitchen tasks so it is important to consider what you will be cooking and baking the most.
If you’re stocking your kitchen for the first time, it is 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.
How to choose the best rolling pin
Finding the right rolling pin is made easier by knowing what kind of pin you like, what you want to use it for, do you like a light pin or a hefty, full-on chunk of marble? 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 move around all types of pastry, including cookie dough, effortlessly. 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 to the sides, giving you a clearly defined rolling area and holding the handles good stability.
A revolving handled rolling pin is easier to move as the rolling part spins freely, requiring less pressure, so suitable for both shortcrust and puff pastry but 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 and great for all types of dough. If the pin is not very wide, the 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 holds a dusting of flour and, with love and care, will last a lifetime. A wooden pin also improves with age as it builds up natural oiling from the fats in the pastry.
- Marble: The weight and smoothness of the marble give a super smooth roll to both shortcrust and cookie dough. The coolness (which can be chilled down further by popping it in the fridge) makes them ideal when making puff pastry.
- Stainless steel and silicone: Like marble but without the weight, stainless steel can be chilled down further to keep pastry cool. Both give a smooth finish to the pastry and are light and easy.
- 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 wood and engraved with charming decorative patterns for creating fun cookies and pastries and are very popular at Christmas, Easter Halloween and great for children to use.
Best rolling pins at a glance
- Best overall rolling pin: Sous Chef tapered rolling pin, 50cm, from Sous Chef, £8.99
- Best rolling pin with handles: ProCook silicone rolling pin, 48cm, from ProCook, £10
- Best no handle rolling pin: Lakeland cooling rolling pin, 40cm, from Lakeland, £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 on for accurate rolling.
The pin is hollow to fill with ice or cold water to keep the pastry cool when rolling and prevent sticking. The added water also adds extra weight without making it too heavy. It took some serious tugging to remove the stopper, though we suspect this will ease up over time.
At the other end of the rolling pin is a perforated stopper with a cavity for flour, turning the pin into a shaker. This is a clever idea, but it kept blocking. Even when unblocked, it gave only a light dusting; we found it much simpler to just reach into the bag of flour.
With its shiny, smooth surface, it slid impressively over the chilled dough without too much effort. It’s so well made 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 large hands may struggle with this. But this size is perfect for a kitchen where space is at a premium.
We were 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 gently curved opposite end is a gently curved and efficient flour shaker, making two lovely tools in one.
Made of heavy ceramic, it is already quite cool to the touch, but we found an extra ten minutes in the fridge helped it along, and 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 the simplest of wipes with a cloth. Masterclass suggests this pin is dishwasher proof, but we doubt it would never need it.
We loved it as the smooth, cool to the touch marble surface makes this non-stick and the weight also makes short work of rolling out the pastry evenly and quickly.
Procook silicone rolling pin
Best rolling pin with handles
The biggest surprise of this pretty pastel pin is its weight; it is 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, making it supremely comfy to hold.
The pin is 48cm wide (so one of the larger ones to store) 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.
We expected to need to apply a lot of pressure for rolling without any material weight behind it, but not so. The pastry spread evenly and quickly, though cookie dough could be more of a challenge.
The Procook is handwash only and we found it cleaned easily with a light wipe. This is not just an attractive rolling pin, it is also functional, and the price is impressive too.
Joseph Joseph adjustable rolling pin
Best rolling pin with extras
Judging the thickness of pastry purely 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 through to 10mm deep (there’s also imperial measuring). Running the length of the rolling is a linear measure to show rolling width.
The wooden pin is beautifully smooth and we were impressed with how easily the pastry rolled out without much pressure. The plastic discs are dishwasher proof. A quick handwash and an occasional oil 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
There is 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 towards each end but is still thick in the middle and works like any regular wooden rolling pin. We loved the smooth rolling action with 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 but until then 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 is true baking expertise behind the design. This one is a narrow baguette-shaped wooden pin and we were delighted to see that the wood used is from well-managed forests.
At 52cm, this was the longest pin on the test, and given the size, we found 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 needed frequent dusting with flour, but we suspect this is because it is new and has yet to build up an oiled surface. This is a lovely rolling pin, and with time can only get better.
Judge Marble rolling pin
Best marble rolling pin
The Judge marble rolling pin was the heaviest rolling pin on the test. It is also one of the prettiest with its classic shape and smooth, white grey marble and comes with a wooden stand for safety. The two solid wooden spindle handles feel safe to carry 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 felt no need to cool it down further as it remained cold throughout the test. It made short work of a batch of shortcrust pastry thanks to the sheer weight and ease of rolling, creating a super-smooth pastry.
We were 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, then a quick wipe with an antibacterial cleaner is OK, but choose one without any perfume. Wooden rolling pins will build up a coating over time which protects the surface and keep 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 email@example.com.