Best Chopsticks

From bamboo to stainless steel and from pointed to blunt tips, there is a shape and style of chopstick to suit every meal type.

If your culinary aspirations see you perfecting the art of making sushi, or Chinese dumplings, or grilling on a Korean barbecue, you’ll want your tabletop setting to match these newly honed creative talents. That means you’ll want to find great serving pieces as well as the appropriate eating utensils and if you think that chopsticks are those cheap wooden break-apart sticks that come wrapped in paper with home delivery, you couldn’t be more wrong. They come in a variety of sizes that are suited to different functions, a range of hard-wearing materials, as well as patterns and colors that will bring an authentic aesthetic to your mealtime.

What Are the Benefits to Using Chopsticks?

We’ve all experienced the challenge of trying to eat with chopsticks while still maintaining a modicum of dignity. And one might wonder, why have these utensils endured over the years. Truth is, chopsticks were developed close to 6,000 years ago in China, where the earliest version was assumed to be two simple twigs that allowed the diner to safely retrieve foods from hot cooking pots. Today, their use hasn’t really changed a lot, however, while they may resemble the original shape and scale, these eating utensils now come in materials and finishes that make it easier to lift and consume everything from slippery noodles to searingly hot pieces of meat and fish. And with their longer reach and ability to spear and lift foods, who needs forks and spoons?

What to Look for When Buying Chopsticks

Length

For context, the disposable wooden versions you get with a takeaway Chinese meal are typically around 8.5-inches in length. As you move through cultures, you’ll find the size and scale of chopsticks changes. From the ultra-short size suited for Bento boxes to the longer length needed to safely dip into deeper pots and cooking vessels, there are no one-size-fits-all with this eating utensil. And as a rule of thumb, typically, Japanese chopsticks are shorter than the Chinese variation, with Korean chopsticks landing in the mid-range of lengths, and Vietnamese options being the longest.

Shape

Ever notice that chopstick tips are sometimes pointed and other times blunt? The Japanese term “tensoge” describes these shapes and when it comes down to which is best, it all depends on what you’re eating. A classic tensoge shape sees blunt-ended tips that converge together to form a tight grip that makes them ideal for eating foods such as slippery soba noodles or thinner Lo Mein. Those with pointed tips tend to splay out at the end, so aren’t ideal for gripping foods but are the perfect shape for spearing and lifting items to your plate or mouth.

Material

While the classic go-to option is wood because it’s both inexpensive and a low-conductor of heat, bamboo is also a highly popular material. It’s also affordable and unlikely to become too hot to handle, but it’s a little rougher than wood so is ideal for gripping slippery noodles and smaller pieces. When talking about Korean-style foods, metal is the way to go because of its ability to lift foods from a sizzling grill, without becoming singed. Melamine is both hard-wearing, dishwasher-safe, and smoother to the touch. And then there’s fiberglass which is not only heat resistant, but also long-wearing, and more hygienic than wood or bamboo.

Top 6 Chopsticks

EMRSTORES 9.25-inch 5-Pair Set of Stainless-Steel Chopsticks with Colorful Electroplated Finish

Best for Wow Factor

Your culinary talents won’t be the only thing dazzling guests when they sit down to dine at a table set with this striking 5 pair set of stainless-steel chopsticks. Not only are they beautifully colored and constructed from a food-grade, bacteria-resistant steel, but they’re also dishwasher safe for the ultimate in hygiene. The longer, 9.25-inch size and pointed tip make them the ideal choice for when the traditional Lazy Susan is in use and requires diners to reach across the table and help themselves to a rotating array of delicious dishes. An electroplated finish delivers a brilliant shine and unique color to each set of these chopsticks, while the squared shape of the shaft ensures a comfortable, non-slip grip. And because these elegant utensils have been constructed with a hollow core, they’re lighter in weight and less inclined to become uncomfortably warm after continual dipping into hot foods.

Who Should Buy These Chopsticks?

This elegant set of brilliantly colored, stainless-steel chopsticks delivers the wow factor you want when setting your table to entertain friends and family with an authentic Asian-inspired meal.

Pros:

  • Food-grade stainless steel construction
  • A squared shape is easy to hold
  • Lightweight, hollow design
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • May become hot

Specs for Comparison:

Material: Stainless steel

Length: 9.25-inches

Tip Type: Pointed

County of Origin: China

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Hiware 9.5-Inch 10-Pair Set of Fiberglass Chopsticks with Etched Sides for Easy Gripping

Best for Eating and Serving Hot Foods

When dim sum dumplings and pots of steaming noodles are on the menu, you want a set of chopsticks that lets your guests both serve themselves and eat with ease – regardless of how hot the dish. And that’s where this dramatic-looking 10-pair set of fiberglass chopsticks is about to become your favorite kitchen helper. Not only are these generously sized 9.5-inch utensils perfect for dipping down deep into pots of boiling water or keeping fingers clear as you lift sizzling meats from a Korean barbecue, but they’re also heat-proof up to 356-degrees Fahrenheit. And no worries about melting, bending, or giving off a chemical odor when exposed to heat, because they are paint- and varnish-free. The angular shape and etched linear design make these chopsticks easier to grip while the tapered tips allow diners to pick up everything from sushi and sashimi to slippery soba noodles, with total confidence.

Who Should Buy These Chopsticks?

If your favorite Asian-style dishes include hot broths and sizzling pans of food, this extra-long set of heat-proof fiberglass chopsticks will keep fingers safe without melting or breaking down.

Pros:

  • Reusable, fiberglass construction
  • Squared and carved, easy-grip design
  • Heat-resistant to 356-degrees Fahrenheit
  • Non-absorbent, dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Not good for spearing foods

Specs for Comparison:

Material: Fiberglass

Length: 9.5-inches

Tip Type: Pointed

County of Origin: China

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Antner 8.8-Inch 5-Pair Set of Natural Bamboo Chopsticks with Decorative Motif

Best for Natural Materials

If you love the idea of getting back to basics when serving your guests authentic Asian cuisine, you’re going to love these natural bamboo chopsticks. Unlike the disposable version you get with take-out foods, this elegant collection is reusable and feature beautiful, traditional detailing at the grip. And not only is the smaller, 8.8-inch size of this utensil a comfortable length for the novice user to work with, but they’re ribbed at the ends and naturally textured, at the tip making it easier to grip, hold, and lift slippery foods. So, no worries about accidentally dropping noodles or sizzling bits of meat onto your lap. Better still, the pointed tip is ideal for piercing foods, for a secure hold as you lift to eat. And because these dishwasher-safe chopsticks are free from paints or waxes, you have a safe, hygienic product you can use for years to come.

Who Should Buy These Chopsticks?

If you love the look and feel of easy-care, natural bamboo, this elegantly patterned set of chopsticks will be the perfect conversation piece for when entertaining includes Asian cuisines.

Pros:

  • Bamboo construction
  • Pointed tips for easy spearing
  • Naturally textured tip
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Not suitable for flame or hot oils

Specs for Comparison:

Material: Bamboo

Length: 8.8-inches

Tip Type: Pointed

County of Origin: China

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Sunrise 10.5-Inch 10-Pair Set of Melamine Chopsticks with Heat-Resistant Finish

Best for Extra Reach

You’ve spent the day steaming dumplings, prepping Szechuan chicken, and boiling noodles to make that tasty lo-mein side for your authentic Asian dinner. So, why pull back when it comes to the presentation? Set your table with these ultra-dramatic, extra-long chopsticks that tell guests just how serious you are about this style of cooking. Made from ultra-durable, dishwasher-safe melamine, this 10-pair set of beautifully tapered, 10.5-inch chopsticks command attention and are perfect for offering diners a little extra reach when dipping into deeper dishes or platters. Despite their solid construction, these chopsticks are lightweight with a squared shaft that provides a comfortable grip and makes them easier for the novice user to work with. Heat-resistant construction means they’re the perfect utensil for lifting hot foods from grills while the added length keeps fingers safely away from sizzling pans.

Who Should Buy These Chopsticks?

Not only do these chopsticks add a touch of drama to your table setting, but the extra length is ideal for when guests serve themselves from platters or a lazy Susan and need a little extra reach.

Pros:

  • Solid melamine construction
  • Squared, easy-grip design
  • Heat resistant to 176-degrees Fahrenheit
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons:

  • Can be cumbersome to use

Specs for Comparison:

Material: Melamine

Length: 10.5-inches

Tip Type: Blunt:

County of Origin: China

Check Price


Rbenxia 8.8-Inch 5-Pair Set of Stainless-Steel Chopsticks with Ridged Gripping Ends

Best for Bite-Sized Pieces

If you love the clean fresh flavors of sushi and sashimi, then you’ll appreciate the simple, pristine lines of this 5-pair set of stainless-steel chopsticks. Not only are these 8.8-inch-long utensils the perfect size for picking up bite-sized pieces of your favorite foods, but they also feature a ridged lower half. That ridging helps to ensure that despite their smooth stainless-steel finish, these chopsticks can still grip and hold everything from grilled meats and stir-fried vegetables to dim sum dumplings with total ease. And because they’re made from a non-porous material, these chopsticks can be cleaned to a better, more hygienic state than many of their natural wood counterparts. Even with their metal construction, a hollow core keeps them lightweight and easy to use while it also helps to prevent them from warming up when used to eat hot foods.

Who Should Buy These Chopsticks?

The shorter length, blunt tip, and metal construction of these chopsticks make them an ideal choice for those who enjoy sushi, sashimi, spring rolls, and other finger-type foods that don’t require dipping into deep, hot pots.

Pros:

  • Hollow stainless-steel construction
  • Easy-hold, spiral shaft
  • Ridged end for secure grip
  • Easy to clean and sanitize

Cons:

  • Not ideal for hot foods

Specs for Comparison:

Material: Stainless steel

Length: 8.8-inches

Tip Type: Blunt

County of Origin: China

Check Price


Donxote 16.5-Inch 2-Pair Set of Wooden Chopsticks with Anti-Bacterial Finish

Best for Cooking

While you may be wondering how you could ever master the dexterity needed to eat with these 16.5-inch-long chopsticks, rest assured that you’ll never have to. This 2-pair set of lightweight, natural wood utensils is designed specifically for easier prepping of foods. And because they have been meticulously polished to a smooth, burr-free finish, they’re comfortable to hold while use in boiling water or oils, stirring soups, and even flipping grilled meats on a Korean barbecue. The extra length ensures your hands and fingers can stay safely clear of hot steam, sizzling fluids and open flames. And in addition to the wax- and oil-free finish, these extra-long chopsticks are also mildew resistant, anti-bacterial, and dishwasher-safe, so you can use them again and again without fear of losing their hygienic properties.

Who Should Buy These Chop Sticks?

For those who enjoy cooking Asian dishes, these extra-long chopsticks are the perfect choice for producing restaurant-quality meals, without the risk of splatter burns from hot oil or boiling water.

Pros:

  • Added length ideal for cooking
  • Smooth, comfortable finish
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Anti-bacterial and mildew-resistant

Cons:

  • Not sized for use when eating

Specs for Comparison:

Material: Wood

Length: 16.5-inches

Tip Type: Blunt

County of Origin: China

Check Price


Bottom Line

From bamboo to stainless steel and from pointed to blunt tips, there is a shape and style of chopstick to suit every meal type. And for a minimal investment, you can instantly enhance the authenticity of your Asian-inspired meals and deliver that coveted wow factor to your table settings. They turn mealtimes into a fun, interactive experience with kids and adults alike, and because today’s designs are safely reusable, they pay a nod to the environment as well.

Photo credit: Kiattipong/Shutterstock

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