How to Choose a Rolling Pin

Six questions to ask yourself before choosing and buying a rolling pin for decorated sugar cookies.

How to pick a rolling pin for cookie decorating

I can't say it enough -- there are infinite RIGHT ways to decorate cookies. If it works for you -- it's the right way. If it doesn't - try something else! The same holds true for decorating tools. Some people swear by icing bottles. Some people use disposable piping bags without any tips at all. Maybe you think plastic cutters are the best...or maybe you only use copper cutters. When it comes to choosing the right tools - BUY ALL THE THINGS seems like the most common approach. But unless you want a cabinet overflowing with rolling pins...I've got six questions you need to ask yourself before you buy a new rolling pin.

1. How many cookies am I going to bake at one time? Rolling pins with a longer rolling space can roll out more dough at one time than rolling pins with a shorter rolling space. This means you spend less time rolling. And if you are using flour to roll out your dough - this increases the amount of cookies you get before the dough gets wonky.

2. Where in the world am I going to store this thing? Seriously - MEASURE your drawer or cabinet before buying a rolling pin. Bigger isn't better if it doesn't fit!

3. Will I use this rolling pin ONLY for cookies...or for a myriad of delicious baked goods? Some of these rolling pins have a built in thickness guide on the ends - some removable and some not. What might be perfect for cookies...may or may not work for pie crust or biscuits. Consider all the possible ways you will use a rolling pin before committing to the thickness guides they come with.

4. What dough thickness guide works for me? There are many different types of thickness guides (guide rings, guide sticks, guide boards...) Some of these rolling pins come with built in guides, some do not. If you prefer using guide sticks instead of guide rings...maybe don't buy a rolling pin that requires guide rings.

5. How much do I want to spend? A rolling pin is a tool you will use EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. you make cookies. If you can't afford to buy the rolling pin you really want - see if you can get by with a $6 grocery store rolling pin for a few months until you can save up for a rolling pin you'll want to spend your life with. There is already a lot of prep work before you ever get to decorating cookies - don't make it any more miserable than it needs to be. That being don't have to spend a million dollars to get a rolling pin you'll love. (Probably.)

6. Do I care what it feels like? You are going to be maneuvering that rolling pin with your hands. Do you prefer handles? Does the feel of wood weird you out? Do you want a fat ol' rolling pin to push around or a tiny one that you can really grab on to? Do you want it to be heavy or light?

I won't pretend to know everything about every rolling pin in existence. But I can give you all the details for the rolling pins I do own. (FIVE ROLLING PINS?! I'm embarrassed to admit that these aren't even all of the rolling pins I own. Learn from me. Save yourselves.)

Joseph Joseph rolling pin for making decorated sugar cookies

Type: Joseph Joseph
Full Length: 16.5 inches  (42 cm)
Rolling Space: 13.5 inches (34 cm)
Diameter: 1.75 inches (44.5 mm)
Weight: 16.9 ounces (480 grams)
Thickness Guides: Adjustable -- 1/16 inch, 1/6 inch, 1/4 inch, and 3/8 inch rings.
Handles: None.
Material: Solid beech wood pin and plastic guide rings.

Stainless Steel rolling pin for making decorated sugar cookies

Type: Checkered Chef Stainless Steel French Rolling Pin
Full Length: 15.5 inches (39 cm)
Rolling Space: 15.5 inches (39 cm)
Diameter: 1.5 inches (36 mm)
Weight: 9.5 ounces (268 grams)
Thickness Guides: None. Use rolling pin rings or guide sticks.
Handles: None.
Material: Hollow core stainless steel. (Can be chilled before rolling.)

Wilton rolling pin for cookie decorating

Type: Wilton Fondant Roller
Full Length: 20 inches (51 cm)
Rolling Space: 20 inches (51 cm)
Diameter: 1.62 inches (41 mm)
Weight: 22.4 ounces (635 grams)
Thickness Guides: Removable and adjustable -1/16 inch, 1/8 inch, and 3/16 inch.  Can also be used with guide sticks.
Handles: None.
Material: Solid plastic pin and rubber guide rings.

The Cookie Countess Precision Rolling Pin for making decorated sugar cookies

Type: The Cookie Countess Precision Rolling Pin
Full Length: 25.5 inches (65 cm)
Rolling Space: 16 inches (40.5 cm)
Diameter: 2.25 inches (57 mm)
Weight: 30.7 ounces (870 grams)
Thickness Guides: Attached. Not adjustable. Choose 1/4" or 3/8" thick guides.
Handles: Yes.
Material: Solid birch wood.

Sweet Sugarbelle rolling pin for making decorated sugar cookies

Type: Sweet Sugarbelle
Full Length: 17 inches (43 cm)
Rolling Space: 14 inches (35.5 cm)
Width: 1.75 inches (44.5 mm)
Weight: 10.9 ounces (309 grams)
Thickness Guides: Adjustable -- 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1/2 inch rings.
Handles: None.
Material: Hollow core plastic pin and rings.

In case you are wondering... I use the white Wilton rolling pin with my DoughEZ mat most of the time. I like the weight and length of that rolling pin. And I like that I don't need to use flour when I use the DoughEZ mat. And since there is no guide on the end of the rolling pin, I can roll out as much or as little dough as I like!


Are you ready to get rolling? Check out HOW NINE EXPERTS ROLL OUT THEIR DOUGH!

Did I miss one? Do you have a favorite rolling pin that isn't on the list? Let me know in the comments below so I can "research" it! 😁


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