Pros: Wire-like “blades” don’t stick to butter as much; handle is easy on the hands
Cons: Wire-like “blades” aren’t very stiff; not too durable
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
First posted 1/26/2005
The OXO pastry blender is, in basic shape, much like any other pastry blender: it consists of a handle with several rounded “blades” that you use to blend butter or shortening into dry ingredients such as flour.
There are a couple of differences. One is OXO’s spiffy traditional “Good Grips” handle, a soft, thick rubber handle that’s easy on arthritic (or otherwise painful) hands. The other is that the “blades” are more like the thick wire that you’ll find in a whisk.
The handle is a great thing; certainly I find it easier on my tendonitis than an ordinary pastry blender. The wire-like blades have one good aspect: they don’t have flat sides for butter and shortening to stick to, so it’s a little easier to scrape chunks of butter and shortening out of them, and it’s a lot easier to clean them.
There are a couple of down-sides, however. First, the wire blades are flexible enough that sometimes large chunks of butter push them aside instead of getting sliced up by them. Second, the handle on ours actually cracked through, and the wire blades have gotten deformed slightly so they’re no longer evenly-spaced.
This is a common theme among the OXO items we buy. They have great design elements that make it worth it for us to continue buying some of their things, but they also lack a certain durability under heavy kitchen use. A number of OXO items have broken under our care. And while we unabashedly admit that we make heavy use of our kitchen items, we do not abuse them. We’re careful to take care of them, and have few cases of things gratuitously getting damaged.