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What are the best cookie cutters made of?

When baking cookies, using the right cookie cutter can make all the difference in getting the perfect shape and clearly defined edges. Cookie cutters come in a variety of materials, each with their own pros and cons. The most common materials used are plastic, metal, wood, and silicone. So what are the best cookie cutters made of?

Plastic Cookie Cutters

Plastic cookie cutters are very common and widely available. They are inexpensive, lightweight, and come in a huge assortment of fun shapes and designs. Here are some of the pros and cons of using plastic cookie cutters:

  • Pros:
    • Inexpensive – plastic cookie cutters can cost just a dollar or two making them very budget friendly
    • Lightweight – easy for kids to use and won’t cause wrist strain
    • Variety of shapes – from basic circles to fun character shapes, plastic offers a lot of variety
  • Cons:
    • Can bend or warp – plastic can bend over time with pressure making edges less sharp
    • Not as durable – thinner plastic can crack or break more easily than other materials
    • Can leave imprints – some plastic cutters can leave imprints on softer dough

Overall, plastic cookie cutters are a good choice for basic shapes and lighter baking. The low cost makes them easy to build up a large collection. Just take care not to apply too much pressure when cutting to avoid warping the shapes. Swapping out any cutters that start to show wear will help keep cookies looking neat.

Metal Cookie Cutters

Metal cookie cutters are known for creating very clean, sharp edges on cookies. Here are some pros and cons of using metal cutters:

  • Pros:
    • Very durable – metal cutters last for years without bending or breaking
    • Sharp edges – metal cuts through dough cleanly for neatly defined shapes
    • Can be flattened – any minor warping can be fixed by gently hammering cutter flat
    • Conducts heat well – metal cutters work well for cutting chilled dough
  • Cons:
    • Heavy – metal cutters are heavier than plastic or wood, causing more wrist strain
    • Can rust – metal cutters must be hand washed and thoroughly dried to prevent rust
    • Bruises dough – metal can leave imprints in softer doughs
    • Cost – metal cutters are more expensive than plastic

Metal is the ideal material for strong shapes with straight edges. The cutters last practically forever when properly cared for. The extra weight can make large batches tiring on the hands. Look for smaller sized cutters or ergonomic handles to make cutting easier.

Wood Cookie Cutters

Wood offers a warm, natural material for cookie cutters. Here are some benefits as well as downsides:

  • Pros:
    • Fun natural material – wood looks great in kitchens with a rustic style
    • Doesn’t conduct heat – wood stays cooler when cutting chilled dough
    • Food safe – non-toxic finishes make wood cutters safe for food use
    • Less harsh on hands – lightweight wood causes less strain than metal
  • Cons:
    • Tricks to clean – hand wash and dry wood cutters to prevent warping
    • Can warp – wood cutters need extra care to prevent damage from moisture
    • Dulls over time – edges may round over with heavy use
    • Fewer shape options – wood cutters tend to come in simple, classic shapes

Wood cutters bring natural charm to baking cookies. The lighter weight of wood makes cutting batch after batch easier on the hands. Just be diligent about fully drying wood cutters after each use to maintain their shape and performance.

Silicone Cookie Cutters

Silicone has become a popular material for bakeware and kitchen tools due to its flexibility and non-stick properties. Here are the main pros and cons of silicone cookie cutters:

  • Pros:
    • Very flexible – thin, flexible silicone easily pops dough out of shapes
    • Non-stick – dough releases very easily from silicone
    • Soft – silicone cutters don’t imprint soft doughs
    • Dishwasher safe – silicone withstands heat of dishwasher for easy cleaning
  • Cons:
    • Delicate – silicone can tear more easily than other materials
    • Fewer shape options – tend to be basic shapes like circles, hearts, squares
    • Can slide around – thin silicone doesn’t have much weight to stay put

The flexibility of silicone makes it easy to get cleanly cut shapes that pop out of the cutter with ease. Keep silicone cutters away from sharp knives or rough surfaces that could damage the material. The simple, lightweight designs are best for basic shapes rather than intricate cut-outs.

How to Choose the Best Material for Cookie Cutters

When deciding which material is best for your cookie cutters, consider these key factors:

  • Types of cookies – Soft, sticky doughs do best with silicone or wood cutters. Stiff doughs hold their shape better when cut with metal or plastic.
  • Complexity of shapes – Intricate shapes with fine details cut neatly when using durable metal cutters.
  • Baking frequency – Choose durable materials like metal or rigid plastics for regular bakers making dozens of cookies.
  • Hand strain – Lightweight wood or plastic causes less wrist strain than heavier metal cutters.
  • Appearance – If a clean, sharp aesthetic is important, metal or plastic cut well. Wood and silicone work for more rustic styles.
  • Budget – Inexpensive plastic cutters allow bakers to accumulate a large collection. Metal costs more but lasts practically forever.

General Tips for Using Cookie Cutters

To get the best results from your cookie cutters, keep these tips in mind:

  • Lightly flour cutters before each use to prevent sticking
  • Press cutters firmly but don’t twist the cutter
  • Cut shapes as close together as possible to minimize scraps
  • Use a thin metal spatula to transfer cut shapes to the baking sheet
  • Clean cutters thoroughly after each use and dry completely to prevent rust
  • Store cutters in a protected box or drawer to prevent damage
  • Inspect cutters occasionally for warping, wear, or rust

Most Popular Shapes and Styles of Cookie Cutters

Beyond the standard round or square cutters, here are some of the most popular styles and shapes people love to use:

  • Holiday themes – Trees, Santas, snowflakes, etc. for Christmas; hearts for Valentine’s Day
  • Seasonal shapes – Pumpkins, leaves, flowers, butterflies, etc.
  • Animals – Dogs, cats, farmyard animals, forest creatures
  • Transportation – Trains, cars, planes, rockets
  • Food – Fruits, vegetables, baking treats like pies
  • People – Gingerbread people are classics
  • Letters and numbers – For spelling names or ages
  • Geometric shapes – Circles, triangles, stars

Metal and plastic cutters tend to offer the widest range of shape options, from basic to very intricate designs. Silicone and wood cutters usually have simpler or more classic shapes.


While there is no single best material for cookie cutters, each type has pros and cons to consider. Lightweight plastic cutters offer budget-friendly variety. Durable stainless steel cuts flawless shapes. Wood and silicone are gentle on hands and dough. Think about the types of cookies you enjoy making and what shapes appeal most. With proper care, quality cookie cutters can last for many years, so choose materials that fit your budget and baking style.