Interested in buying a pair of kitchen tongs? They are like an extended hand when you can’t reach into a grill, boiling pot, or deep fryer. Tongs are great flipping meat, serving salads and all sorts of other food, stirring pasta, and handling hot items. There are many types of tongs, each of which has its own particular features, pros and cons.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular pairs of tongs available on the market today.
This 12 inch, stainless steel, locking kitchen tongs is minimalist in style and looks great in any kitchen. With its narrow, rubber-free handles, it will take up less space in your drawer than other models. It is also very lightweight. It is basic, stripped down, and no-frills. It is also available in a 9.5 inch version.
This pair of tongs is made of commercial grade, 18/10 stainless steel with a matte finish. All components are made of this material and thus can withstand high heat.
It has a 10 degree head angle which is perfect for general grabbing, such as lifting ramekins out of hot water. However, this is not an ideal angle for more precise tasks like flipping shrimp. It has scalloped ends which make it easy to pick up single strands of pasta. The ends are spoon-like, and they hold items firmly.
It boasts a streamlined hinge, with a fine, ribbon-style spring that also acts as a locking mechanism. When open, this set of tongs stretches 13 inches.
This set of tongs is comfortable to hold and use. The locking mechanism pulls closed easily and is comfortable to open.
The handle shape is more open than other models, which makes it easy to clean. The inside edges of the handles are not very curled, which makes cleaning their inner surface quite simple. This set of tongs is also dishwasher-safe. There is also a loop at the hinge that you can use to hang up the tongs for storage.
One drawback is the scalloped edges are sharp and can scratch your pans.
- 12 inch, stainless steel, locking kitchen tongs
- Made of commercial grade, 18/10 stainless steel with a matte finish
- Streamlined hinge has a fine, ribbon-style spring that acts as a locking mechanism
- Locking mechanism pulls closed easily and is comfortable to open
- Ends are spoon-like, and hold items firmly
- Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe
- Scalloped edges are sharp and can scratch your pans
This is a set of nine inch and 12 inch brushed stainless steel, locking tongs. Each pair of tongs is steel-tipped, so it can grip food and hold tight. While it should not be used with non-stick cookware, it is great for cooking in a stainless steel pot if you need tongs to scrape the bottom of the pan.
The stainless steel is rust-resistant.
Unlike silicone-tipped tongs, this one can handle an open flame such as on a grill or gas burner.
It has stylish non-slip rubber handles and thumb rests. The handle has gently raised edges for a sturdy grip.
These tongs are easy to clean and dishwasher-safe. There is a large loop so you can hang up the tongs for storage. You can also lock them closed if you want to store them in a drawer.
One drawback is they may be prone to breakage after using for a long time.
- Set of two stainless steel, locking tongs – nine and 12 inch
- Steel-tipped, which grips tight and can be used with an open flame
- Stylish non-slip rubber handles and thumb rests
- Handle has gently raised edges for a sturdy grip
- Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe
- Prone to breakage over time
This pair of tongs is made of 100% natural bamboo. It is perfect for reaching into the toaster to get your bread that has fallen to the bottom, since it is not made of metal. It is perfect for retrieving anything that is hot. What’s more, it comes in a set of two tongs, both measuring 8.7 inches.
They are stylish, minimalist, lightweight, and eco-friendly. Each pair of tongs is made from one piece of dark or light wood, which makes them very durable. Because they are made of wood, they will not scratch your pans.
They have an ergonomic design and easy grip.
The tongs are space saving and store away easily in a drawer. However, if you want to do something different, you can use the magnet on the hinge to hang your tongs on any metal appliance.
They are easy to clean but should not be put in the dishwasher.
One drawback is they do not open very wide, maybe a bit more than an inch, so they cannot handle wider items.
- Two tongs, made of 100% natural bamboo
- Both measure 8.7 inches
- Perfect for reaching into the toaster
- Stylish, minimalist, lightweight, and eco-friendly
- Made from one piece of wood, which makes them very durable
- Magnet on the hinge enables you to hang tongs on any metal appliance
- Do not open very wide, so not suitable for handling larger items.
This set of mini-tongs is the perfect choice when long tongs are too awkward to use. It has a flat spatula side which easily slides under foods and holds onto them. The other side has teeth that grab on tight. This set of tongs is great for taking sandwiches out of a grill or removing cookies or waffles.
The tips are made of tough silicone so they can handle the heat and yet they will not scratch your non-stick pans.
The handles are stay-cool, and they have indentations for your fingers, to maintain non-slip control, even when wet. The handles allow for a strong grip, which prevents hand cramping and fatigue. They are soft and comfortable, and fit perfectly in your hand.
You can buy this in a set of one or two tongs.
The tongs are easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.
- Mini-tongs – the perfect choice when long tongs are awkward to use
- Flat spatula side easily slides under foods; other side has teeth that grab on tight
- Tips are made of tough silicone so they can handle the heat and are non-scratch
- Stay-cool handles have indentations for your fingers, to maintain non-slip control
- Handles allow for a strong grip, which prevents hand cramping and fatigue
- Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe
- None mentioned by users
This pair of tongs is 12 inches long, with a 13 degree opening angle. This enables it to grasp a variety of food sizes and shapes easily and securely. Use it to pick up anything from shrimp to spaghetti to a whole chicken. It doesn’t slip or tear meat. It is comfortable to hold in a closed position when picking up shrimp.
It is made of brushed stainless steel, which hides scratches and hard water marks, and increases stain and corrosion resistance. If you prefer, you can buy these tongs in nine or 16 inch lengths.
It has a responsive, heavy duty, durable spring, and good spring strength. It also has a consistent locking mechanism.
This set of tongs has long, non-slip, heat-resistant rubber handle grips. The handles are beefy yet comfortable, and put less pressure on the hands. They are stay-cool and pinch-free. The rubber grip takes up the first five and a quarter inches from the hinge, which is a greater amount of protected surface area compared to other tongs.
You can lock the tongs in a closed position to store them away. There is also a large hanging loop.
It is easy to clean and safe in the dishwasher.
One drawback is it does not grasp round, hard objects such as ramekins as easily as other tongs.
- 12 inches long, with a 13 degree angle opening
- Grasps a variety of food sizes and shapes easily and securely
- Made of brushed stainless steel, which is scratch-, stain-, and corrosion-resistant
- Has a responsive, heavy duty, durable spring, and good spring strength
- Has a consistent locking mechanism
- Long, comfortable, non-slip, heat-resistant rubber handle grips
- Does not grasp round, hard objects very well
This pair of 12 inch locking tongs is great for using with one hand. Most one-handed tongs require the second hand to pull a tab in order to lock them, but this one does not. This pair of tongs features a sliding mechanism to lock and unlock. Point the tongs downward, squeeze, and it unlocks. Point it upwards, squeeze, and it locks.
This high quality pair of tongs is made of 18/10 stainless steel. It is solidly built and heavy duty.
The handle is ergonomically designed for comfort.
It is easy to clean and dishwasher-safe. Simply store it away by locking the tongs to save space.
One drawback is, because this pair of tongs is so heavy duty, it tends to weigh a lot.
- 12 inch locking tongs, great for using with one hand
- Point downwards, squeeze, and it unlocks; point upwards, squeeze, and it locks
- Solidly built and heavy duty
- Made of 18/10 stainless steel
- Handle is ergonomically designed for comfort
- Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe
- Weighs a lot
What to look for in kitchen tongs
With all the options available for kitchen tongs, it can be difficult to determine what you need exactly. Here is a description of the types of kitchen tongs to choose from, and how to decide what is right for you.
Things to consider when choosing tongs
When thinking about what you will most likely be using the tongs for, consider the following:
- If you plan to use the tongs with high heat, such as grilling over an open flame, you will need a long pair of tongs to protect your hands. Opt for 12 inch tongs or longer (as opposed to a nine inch pair which is more suited to work on a stovetop). And look for a pair that is stainless steel and heat resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- If you are planning to use your tongs with non-stick cookware, look for a brand that has tips made of silicon or nylon. Note, however, they can be slippery on some foods and they may not be very heat resistant.
- If you need the convenience of using the tongs in one hand, as well as space saving ability, choose a pair that has a built in spring-loaded lock. These lock and unlock with specific movements of the tongs, and they can lock in the closed position for compact storage in a drawer. Keep in mind though that most locking tongs are made of stainless steel and may scratch your non-stick cookware.
- If you can buy just one type of tongs, choose 12 inch locking tongs with scalloped pincers for added grip.
Other types of tongs
Here are a few more varieties of tongs that you can consider, depending on your needs:
- Pasta tongs can grab clumps of noodles out of boiling water without tearing the pasta. They have little tines which help you pick up and twirl the pasta. They are generally only useful for handling pasta. They tend to have short handles which means they are not a good choice if you are doing any sort of grill work.
- Ice tongs have teeth that can grip those slippery ice cubes. They are indispensable in a home bar. However, the tiny teeth, while great for grabbing ice, are not useful for other items. They are very awkward when used to cook or turn food.
- Barbecue tongs are long – often 18 inches or more. They are the safest way to ensure your safety while working with a hot grill. However, they tend to be bulky and hard to store. To save money, you could simply use the shorter 12 inch locking tongs.
- Plating tongs are like oversize tweezers and are useful for moving small items; they have a steady grip. They are a great choice if you really care about presentation. However, they are not versatile and cannot be used for flipping fried chicken and other bigger items.
- Salad tongs have a spoon on one side and a fork on the other. They can easily move salad from one plate to another.
- Scissor tongs are shaped like – you guessed it – a scissors, and are useful for grabbing bulky items like corn on the cob.
- Buffet tongs have a triangular hand that is useful for transferring lots of different items. Another type of tongs used at buffets is serving tongs. They are used to put food onto customers’ plates. Serving tongs are available in nice finishes like satin steel or chrome.
- Snail tongs are used specifically for serving and holding snails while eating.
- Turner tongs have one purpose: to flip burgers and patties on the barbecue.
- Pastry tongs have flat hands which can easily grab baked treats for serving.
- Paddle tongs are made of bamboo and are used when the server wants to create a specific aesthetic. They add a rustic flare to the table.
- Utility tongs are an all-purpose variety that can grab lots of different types and sizes of items. You can use them to flip fried and grilled items, as well as for tossing and plating greens.
The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing tongs. Consider what you will actually be using the tongs for, and this will help you narrow down the type of tongs to choose. Compare the features of various tongs available on the market, and you will be sure to find the pair that works for you.