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Comparing tests of rolling pins

If you've been looking for a new rolling pin, you may be surprised by all the types out there. There are basically two styles. Traditional rolling pins have a uniformly shaped barrel with handles on either end, while French-style rolling pins are made of a single piece of material (usually wood or nylon) without handles. There are also marble pins, wooden pins, plastic pins, silicone-coated pins and more. To sort through the options, we looked for sources that compare rolling pins head to head.  

Two of the best sources of rolling pin reviews are Good Housekeeping and Bon Appetit magazines. At Good Housekeeping, writer Sharon Franke tests 15 rolling pins, ranks them from best to worst and writes a short review about each one. Bon Appetit's 2008 review by Elisa Huang picks three favorites, also based on hands-on tests. Although her review mentions ease of use, handle design and weight, we don't know how many rolling pins or which brands were tested. A third hands-on review by Kristina Matisic and Anna Wallner, hosts of "The Shopping Bags" (a syndicated Canadian TV show), compares five rolling pins at AnnaAndKristina.com.

In an older review, Cook's Illustrated magazine compares nine rolling pins (although five are made by the same company). Testers use the pins to roll out dough for pies, tarts and pizza, evaluating rolling pins mainly for ease of use, comfort and stickiness. Although this is a great review, it hasn't been updated since 2005.

We also consulted less comprehensive reviews at Cook's Country and Food & Wine magazines. In the 2008 review by Cook's Country, editors compare silicone rolling pins to wooden, rather than evaluating specific models. We give the 2001 review by Food & Wine magazine a lower ranking because it's older and reviews only a single brand of rolling pin.

Finally, we read reviews at retail websites like Amazon.com and Cooking.com, where owners can rate their rolling pins and post opinions. We didn't find nearly as many reviews at Target.com.

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