Which pastry cutters to buy?

Joined Dec 13, 2009
I am a novice cook who is gradually building my collection of cookware and kitchenware collection with quality items. I would like to purchase pastry cutters for making cookies, tea sandwiches, petit-fours, etc. in various useful shapes such as squares, rounds, flowers, oval, and hexagonal with both plain and fluted edges. However, I am very confused by the numerous options available.

Many of these cutters can be purchased in nesting sets of various sizes. Which shapes and sizes are actually used most often?

The cutters are also available in either stainless steel or composite plastic. Composite plastic is supposed to be more hygienic than stainless steel, since the one-piece construction means there is no possibility of bacterial accumulation in hidden recesses. Composite plastic is also nonstick so there is no need to dip it in flour in between two cuts, cuts dough perfectly thanks to tempered cutting edges, and resists temperatures up to 320 degrees. However, the composite plastic cutters (e.g., de Buyer, Matfer) are significantly more expensive than similar ones in stainless steel (e.g., Ateco). Do any of these things really matter for the home baker? While I do not mind paying extra money for top-of-the-line cutters that I need only purchase once and can "grow into," I would rather not waste the extra money on features that are meaningless to a home baker.

Thank you in advance for any advice that you can provide.

Joined Feb 24, 2009
Composite plastic cutters are most useful to people who have to use them A LOT and for cutting a lot of various types of food-an hotel pastry or garde manger, for example. The daily wear and tear and multiple user scenario justifies the additional cost.
In your case, I would purchase nesting cutters in stainless as it's likely that you will be the only one using them and not as often as the professional.
I have a big collection of cutters, nesting and others, that I use quite often for many jobs and for personal baking around holidays-mostly of stainless and copper. Some are quite old that I inherited from various family members and colleagues. They all work just great and I have no problem with them at all, though sometimes I have to nudge them back into shape.
Joined May 29, 2006
I have all steel cutters and they rust and the flower shaped ones sometime loose their shape. Also there are times when they break at the weld. When I purchased these over the years there was no choice,
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