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.
Cody Mizuno is the editor and founder of Ramen Guide Japan, a website dedicated to sharing ramen with the English-speaking masses. He has eaten at over 500 ramen restaurants throughout Japan and documents his trips on his website where he writes detailed reviews and translates menus, as well as on his Instagram where he uploads photos of all the bowls he eats.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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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.
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Japanese Natural Wood Chopsticks
Best Japanese-Style Wooden Chopsticks
Best Korean-Style Flat Chopsticks
Extra Long Wood Chopsticks
Best Chopsticks Set With Rests and Case
Japanese Style Bamboo Chopsticks
Best for Ramen and Slippery Foods
Titanium Chopsticks with Aluminium Case
Best Titanium Chopsticks
Best Long Chopsticks for Cooking
Best Fiberglass Option
Premium Disposable Bamboo Chopsticks
Best Eco-Friendly Disposable Chopsticks
Training Chopsticks for Children and Adults
Best Chopsticks for Toddlers and Young Children
Stainless Steel Spiral Chopsticks
Best for Training Beginners
These wooden chopsticks are varnished with natural food-grade lacquer instead of chemicals or coloring, so they won't become stained. The chopsticks are available in a variety of different finishes, but all are made from natural hardwood. The handles are shaped with grooves to make them easier to hold.
The combination of the lacquer and the smooth, untextured tips made gripping food with these chopsticks difficult, according to some reviewers. However, reviewers thought these chopsticks were beautiful and loved that the handle grooves gave them a handmade look. Reviewers praised the chopsticks for being lightweight and durable, and they say the chopsticks are easy to clean despite not being dishwasher-safe.
This is a set of five pairs of high-quality 18/10 stainless steel, which means that they are dishwasher safe and resistant to rust. Both the handle and tips are flattened, as is typical of Korean-style chopsticks. You can choose from a variety of colors as the chopsticks are coated in titanium.
According to some reviewers, the plating on the colored chopsticks can scratch and chip. Also, some who were not used to the smooth and thin style of Korean chopsticks found these very difficult to use. Reviewers praised the chopsticks for being sturdy despite their thinness, and they confirmed they are easy to clean. They liked the weight of these chopsticks and report that they are durable.
This set of Chinese-style chopsticks is not only useful as utensils, but its presentation means it would also make a wonderful gift. The handles are carved from a choice of designs, and there are two matching chopstick rests. The set also includes a carrying bag and presentation box.
Some reviewers found that the finish of the chopsticks made them very smooth and slippery, and this meant that picking up food could be difficult. However, most reviewers loved the detail on this set and thought the chopsticks and rest were beautifully made. They said the chopsticks are easy to clean and use, and when given as gifts, were a big hit with the recipient.
These Japanese-style chopsticks have non-slip grips along the tips, which makes them ideal for gripping slippery foods such as noodles. Each of the five pairs has traditional-style decorated handles. The chopsticks are all dishwasher-safe but should be kept away from high temperatures and sunlight.
A few reviewers reported that the paint on the chopsticks and the handles flaked off, especially after a few spins in the dishwasher. Although listed as dishwasher-safe, they advised handwashing only. Reviewers confirmed that the ridges on the tips helped with gripping slippery food. They liked the designs on the handles and said the chopsticks are durable and have a good weight.
These titanium chopsticks are non-allergenic, fragrance-free, non-corrosive, and tasteless, making them safe for use with food. They come with an aluminum case to not only protect your chopsticks from dust or contamination, but also makes it easy to carry them with you.
A few reviewers found that the color on the two chopsticks was slightly different shades. There are also a few reports that the tips don't cope well with slippery food. Overall, the reviews are very positive for these chopsticks as reviewers found them easy to use and loved the case. They said the chopsticks are easy to clean and of good quality.
At 16 and a half inches long, these wooden chopsticks are ideal for cooking over a hot surface. They're long enough to protect your hands from any splashes of oil, and the blunt tips will help you turn over food as it cooks. The chopsticks can be washed in the dishwasher, but the manufacturer advises to not leave the chopsticks in water or cleaning detergent for long periods of time.
Some reviewers reported that the wood of the chopsticks wasn't as smooth as they had hoped. They also said the color of the wood stain can bleed, especially if left in water. However, reviewers praised the chopsticks for being easy to work with despite their length, they are lightweight and easy to maneuver. Many reviewers confirmed the chopsticks are especially useful when frying food.
Made from high-quality fiberglass and completely free of BPA and coating, these chopsticks are durable and safe for your health. They are also heat-resistant and can withstand up to 356 degrees Fahrenheit without melting or bending. As they're dishwasher-safe, they're also easy to clean.
Several reviewers found these fiberglass chopsticks to be slippery to hold in their hands at first, so they may not be the best option for novice users. However, many reviewers praised them for their durability and how easy they were to clean. They liked that the chopsticks aren't too heavy and can grip onto slippery food.
If you need disposable chopsticks in bulk but are concerned about the environment, then these natural bamboo chopsticks are a good compromise. The chopsticks are treated with high-temperature UV to ensure they are hygienic and safe to use before being individually wrapped.
According to a few reviewers, the nature of these chopsticks meant they picked up some flavors and stains from the food. As they're disposable, this wasn't a concern for many other reviewers. Most reviewers agreed that these were high-quality disposable chopsticks. They liked that the bamboo was smooth and the chopsticks were light in weight.
This set of four colorful chopsticks is designed to help toddlers and young children learn how to use chopsticks. They have four cute animal toppers to keep the individual chopsticks together. There are also attachable silicone rings that help train children how to hold the chopsticks.
Some reviewers reported that their children struggled with these chopsticks because the toppers came off very easily. The tips are also very smooth, making it tricky to pick up some foods. However, many other reviewers said that their children learned how to use chopsticks with these and had great fun doing so. Reviewers said they're easy to clean by hand, and they like that the finger rings are adjustable.
For adults who are looking to learn how to use chopsticks, this set is a good choice. The individual chopsticks are permanently connected and there are finger rings and rests to help beginners learn how to hold chopsticks. They're also available in both left and right-handed versions, so there is a pair for everyone.
A few reviewers reported that the chopsticks were too small for their hands, so if you do have larger than average adult hands, these might not be a good fit. Overall though, reviewers praised this item for quickly teaching them how to use chopsticks and said they soon moved onto regular pairs. Reviewers liked that they are comfortable and easy to clean.
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.
No. 1: HuaLan | Japanese Natural Wood Chopsticks
No. 2: Buyer Star | Lightsaber Chopsticks
No. 3: Zomchain | Extra Long Wood Chopsticks
No. 4: Antner | Japanese Style Bamboo Chopsticks
No. 5: finessCity | Titanium Chopsticks with Aluminium Case
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