Types of ice cream scoopers compared

Ice-cream scoopers come in two primary styles: mechanical scoopers, which feature a lever or sweeping arm designed to help remove the ice cream from the scoop, and basic ice-cream scoops, which don't have any mechanical parts. Zeroll Original ice cream scoopers have a patented self-warming liquid in the handle, activated by the warmth of your hand, which warms the scoop just enough to soften the ice cream it comes in contact with to make cutting through frozen-solid ice cream an easier task. Other scoops offer thin, sharp edges or knife-like designs to slice through hard ice cream. Overall, reviewers indicate that non-mechanical ice cream scoopers work better for extra-hard ice cream.

Beyond getting past the elbow grease required to cut through hard ice cream, most reviews we read focus on the appearance of the resulting ice cream spheres, something that is more important to some ice cream lovers than others. Mechanical ice cream scoopers win in this category because the levers mean you won't have to use a finger to push the ice cream off the scoop, ruining an otherwise perfectly rounded scoop. If you make your own ice cream cones at home, you'll want to choose a scoop that's capable of producing round scoops rather than small slivers of ice cream.   

  • One-piece ice cream scoopers are sturdier. Reviewers say ice cream scoopers constructed of one solid piece of metal can withstand more force and are less likely to break.
  • Mechanical scoopers are handy for other foods. Ice cream scoopers with levers or triggers are useful for melon balling, portioning or forming meatballs.
  • Hand washing is better. Most ice cream scoopers we found in reviews are not dishwasher-safe. Putting most scoopers in a dishwasher can damage the finish.
  • Mechanical ice cream scoopers are harder to clean. While mechanical ice cream scoopers are more likely to be dishwasher-safe, reviews say it's tough to clean underneath the lever mechanisms on these scoopers.
  • You don't need an ice cream scoop. Reviews say allowing frozen ice cream to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes will soften it enough to allow a regular serving spoon to cut through. Other reviews indicate that running a standard serving spoon under hot water for a few minutes before use helps cut through frozen ice cream.

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