There are multiple types of chopsticks which are influenced by different cultures. Typically, Japanese chopsticks are shorter and pointier than Chinese ones. On the other hand, Korean chopsticks tend to be made from metal rather than wood or bamboo as in the case of Vietnamese chopsticks.
The plethora of chopstick options probably makes it much tougher to choose. After browsing through many different kinds of chopsticks on the Internet, we put together a list of 10 best chopsticks as well as a buying guide at the end to help you narrow down your choices! Read on for more details, including our top choice by HuaLan.
You can pay a great amount of money to buy pairs of chopsticks that look absolutely luxurious and flamboyant. However, are they safe for your health and able to meet your needs? Hopefully, with our buying guide, you will be able to figure out which types of chopsticks are suitable for your preferences.
There are many types of materials used for chopsticks. However, the most common materials include bamboo, wood, fiberglass, plastic, and metal. Continue reading to find out about the pros and cons of each material!
In general, bamboo chopsticks are safe for your health. The material is naturally resistant to bacteria, and its high level of heat resistance means that it can withstand high temperatures without bending or melting. Bamboo is also eco-friendly, as it grows rapidly and entire forests can regenerate within only a few years. Usually, the design of bamboo chopsticks is pretty simple, which makes them straightforward to use.
However, they can become moldy if not dried carefully after being washed or if left in a humid environment. You should also not leave them in the sink for too long since they can absorb soapy or contaminated water.
Bamboo chopsticks, in addition to being one of the most affordable options, are also one of the most environmentally friendly options. Bamboo is highly sustainable as a renewable resource and is 100 percent natural, making it perfect for use as an all-around chopstick. While it can be washed and reused, it is definitely recommended to replace them every few weeks.
High-quality wooden chopsticks are often made from ebony or jujube wood. Compared to other types of materials, wood is generally considered more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Wood is a low conductor of heat, so it's safe to use with hot food without any heat being transferred to the chopsticks.
However, wooden chopsticks can eventually warp or even rot after a lot of use, especially if they're frequently washed or left to soak in water. Wooden chopsticks that are either very thin or uncoated will especially suffer from this, so look for wood that is coated in a high-quality lacquer to extend the lifespan of wooden chopsticks.
If you do choose a lacquered pair of wooden chopsticks, make sure that the lacquer is food-safe. Uncoated wooden chopsticks are commonly used as disposable options in many Japanese and Chinese restaurants, with lacquered ones often kept for repeated home use.
Wooden chopsticks are often the most popular option in Japan for both reusable and long-term use. As a reusable option, bamboo is definitely more recommended, but the properly crafted and stained wooden chopsticks can last years if properly taken care of. If you’re looking for a set yourself, be sure to keep an eye out for handcrafted sets that are stained and lacquered safely for food use.
Metal chopsticks using materials such as food-grade 18/10 stainless steel or titanium are non-toxic and do not react when they touch food, so they're safe for your health in general. They are also more durable than bamboo, plastic, or wooden chopsticks. It's easy to wash them as you can either hand wash or put them in the dishwasher.
Although metal does conduct heat, chopsticks are usually not in hot food for long enough for them to get hot to the touch. They won't warp under hot temperatures, making them a popular choice for cooking utensils.
Metal chopsticks are generally thinner and more slippery than other types, however. If you're a beginner, you may find it frustrating to try and grab food with a pair of metal chopsticks. You will commonly find metal chopsticks in Korean restaurants, as chopsticks made from metal are popular in South Korea.
Metal chopsticks are definitely the most durable and best for long-term use but can be quite uncomfortable to use. However, unlike wooden and bamboo chopsticks, metal ones can withstand higher heat, so often times they are used for cooking to grasp deep-fried foods from hot oils or vegetables and meats in soups. Long metal chopsticks are very useful to have around and every kitchen should definitely have a pair.
If you like colorful chopsticks, then plastic chopsticks may be a good choice for you. They're easy to clean as plastic surfaces do not absorb any odors or flavors. When choosing plastic chopsticks, you should choose those made from melamine. Melamine has higher heat-resistant properties in comparison to other types of plastic, so they will last for a longer time period.
However, plastic chopsticks are not environmentally-friendly and tend to wear out after a few uses. They cannot withstand high heat and can be deformed easily, so you should not use them for cooking, especially frying. If exposed to sunlight for a long time, they can become crisp and break easily.
Plastic chopsticks are probably the least environmentally friendly and probably the least useful. Unlike metal chopsticks, using them in high heat situations should be avoided and are not 100 percent natural like the bamboo and wooden options. They are typically the cheapest option, however, but try and switch to the other options if given a choice.
Fiberglass is more lightweight and durable than bamboo and wood. Besides, fiberglass can tolerate high temperatures of up to 356 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a decent raw material for chopsticks. In general, fiberglass chopsticks can also be put in the dishwasher.
However, compared to bamboo or wooden chopsticks, fiberglass may be a bit slippery to hold. If you're a pro, you should have no problem. Fiberglass can also be quite brittle, so you may find that fiberglass chopsticks don't last as long as other materials.
Out of the five options, fiberglass is the one I would recommend the least. Not only is it one of the more expensive options, but it is also one of the more fragile choices if they are not properly cared for. While fiberglass chopsticks are typically coated, fiberglass itself has been linked as an irritant. Fiberglass can also be quite dangerous if broken, so be careful to inspect them for any damage if you decided on this option.
There isn't much difference in the length of the chopsticks used in Japan, China, and South Korea. In general, though, Chinese chopsticks are the longest at around nine and a half to ten inches long. Korean chopsticks are shorter than Chinese chopsticks but longer than Japanese ones, at around eight and a half to nine and a half inches.
Japanese restaurants typically use chopsticks of around nine inches long, but you will find different sizes on sale for men and women. Women's chopsticks are the shortest, at around eight inches long, and men's chopsticks are a little longer at generally eight and a half inches.
Cooking chopsticks are generally much longer and will measure over 12 inches to create some distance between you and the hot food you're cooking. Chopsticks that are designed for kids need to be shorter and will be around five to seven inches. Kids' chopsticks often have fun designs at the top to make them seem longer, but the actual chopstick part will be short to give them better control.
Chopsticks come in various shapes: some have rounded tips, while some are pointy at the end. Based on your habits and preferences, you may find some chopsticks more suitable than the others.
If you're a beginner and want to master your chopstick technique before getting a fancy set, a pair with square handles is easier to grip than its flat or rounded counterparts. Both Chinese and Japanese chopsticks often have square handles that then taper down into rounded tips, although Japanese ones can have rounded edges on their squares.
As square handles won't roll between your fingers, they are a great starting point for both adults and children. The sharp edges of Chinese square chopsticks can dig into your fingers after extended use, however.
Compared to other types of chopsticks, traditional Japanese ones have pointier tips to pick up small pieces of food in a precise way. Since the typical Japanese diet features a lot of bony fishes, pointed and thin chopsticks help them remove small bones much better than others with rounded and thick tips.
Thin and pointed tips such as the ones found on Japanese chopsticks can be tricky for beginners. Chinese chopsticks have thicker and flatter tips, making them better for picking up larger chunks of food in a scoop-style, than either Japanese or Korean chopsticks.
If you love eating noodles have difficulty picking them up, you should consider chopsticks that are tapered to a blunt, rounded end. They give you a large surface area to hold food, so it's more likely that you'll be able to pick up more food without slippage.
Many chopsticks, especially wooden ones, have textured or grooved tips. This makes it easier to grip slippery noodles.
If you have a lot of guests coming over, disposable chopsticks may save you some washing time. However, they are not the best choice for the environment due to their single-use purpose. If you have to pick disposable, we recommend bamboo; it requires less energy to produce than wood!
Furthermore, disposable chopsticks may pose a health hazard, especially for children and the elderly. Many disposable chopsticks are made from low-quality bamboo or wood that is soaked in chemicals for around 20 minutes to achieve their white color.
When choosing disposable chopsticks, don't pick out ones that are too white (unless they specifically say they're not chemically treated). You should also pay attention to reviews about the smell to see whether or not the product has a strong chemical scent.
Some chopsticks are packaged with chopstick rests. There are different rules about where you should rest your chopsticks while eating or after eating, and one way of making sure that you never go wrong is by using a chopstick rest. This is a little object, often made of wood or ceramic, that is designed for your chopsticks to be placed against while not being used.
It can be very difficult for children to learn how to use chopsticks, especially if their motor skills are not fully developed yet. This is why some chopsticks for kids have holders on the back that they can slip their fingers into to give them extra grip while they learn.
If you're hoping to take your chopsticks with you when you go to work or a restaurant, then a case is a necessity. Having a case for your chopsticks will keep them clean and hygienic while you travel as well as keeping them neat and tidy. Chopstick cases can be solid and made of materials such as plastic or wood, but you can also get bags made out of fabrics that will wrap around your chopsticks.
Based on categories such as materials, length, weight, and other characteristics, we chose our 10 best chopsticks.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Cody Mizuno. For more on our selection process, check out our content policy.
Natural Wood Chopsticks
Silver Flat Chopsticks
Training Chopsticks for Adults
Chinese Chopsticks with Holder and Carrying Bag
Reusable Bamboo Chopsticks
Children's Training Chopsticks
Wooden Cooking Chopsticks
Ultra Lightweight Titanium Chopsticks
Best Japanese-Style Wooden Chopsticks
Best Korean-Style Flat Chopsticks
Best for Training Beginners
Best Chopsticks Set With Rests and Case
Best for Ramen and Slippery Foods
Best Chopsticks for Toddlers and Young Children
Best Long Chopsticks for Cooking
Best Eco-Friendly Disposable Chopsticks
Best Titanium Chopsticks
Best Fiberglass Option
|Material||Wood||Stainless steel||Plastic, silicone||Wood||Bamboo||Melamine and silicone||Wood||Bamboo||Titanium||Fiberglass|
|Length||9 in.||9.25 in.||7.87 in.||9 in.||8.8 in.||Not specified||16.5 in.||7.6 in.||9 in.||9.5 in.|
|Handle shape||Round||Square, flat||Rounded||Round||Round||Square, flat||Round||Round||Round||Square|
|Tip shape||Thin, tapered||Flat, blunt||Tapered, rounded||Tapered, blunt||Thin, tapered||Rounded||Flat||Tapered, blunt||Tapered, rounded||Flat|
|Quantity||5 pairs||5 pairs||1 pair||2 pairs||5 pairs||4 pairs||2 pairs||50 pairs||1 pair||10 pairs|
|Features||Food-grade lacquer, non-slip handles||Anti-rust and corrosion, titanium plating, dishwasher-safe||Joined together, rings for fingers||Matching rest, carrying bag||Non-slip tips, dishwasher-safe||Animal toppers, training rings||Dishwasher-safe||Individually packaged, UV treated||Case, dishwasher safe, lightweight||Dishwasher-safe, non-slip tips|
|Tip shape||Thin, tapered|
|Features||Food-grade lacquer, non-slip handles|
|Handle shape||Square, flat|
|Tip shape||Flat, blunt|
|Features||Anti-rust and corrosion, titanium plating, dishwasher-safe|
|Tip shape||Tapered, blunt|
|Features||Matching rest, carrying bag|
|Tip shape||Thin, tapered|
|Features||Non-slip tips, dishwasher-safe|
|Tip shape||Tapered, rounded|
|Features||Case, dishwasher safe, lightweight|
|Features||Dishwasher-safe, non-slip tips|
|Tip shape||Tapered, blunt|
|Features||Individually packaged, UV treated|
|Material||Melamine and silicone|
|Handle shape||Square, flat|
|Features||Animal toppers, training rings|
|Tip shape||Tapered, rounded|
|Features||Joined together, rings for fingers|
Now that you have your chopsticks picked out, it's time to put them to use. Here are some of our suggestions!
If you're still looking for ideas, then why not check out the best-selling chopsticks on Amazon?
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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