There are no two ways about it, chopsticks take practice. The unfortunate part of the practice is that you’re usually looking like an amateur in front of your friends, family, or first dates. But, after you put in the work, you’ll soon be cleaning your plate like a pro.
The ever-useful chopsticks are found in select East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, but here’s a secret: they’re practical for almost every meal. Try eating the best instant ramen noodles using chopsticks and you’ll see what we mean. Lacquered wood, plain wood, metal, and plastic are all great options for reusable chopsticks. Some metal chopsticks like sterling silver and titanium are on the higher end of the average price range, though stainless steel and brass are comparably durable at a lower cost.
And another big pro with reusable utensils? You can take them on-the-go and cut back on single-use items easily. So let’s get started and see what the best online retailers have to offer.
To-Go Ware is the go-to for reusable utensils when eating outdoors, which is why many large retailers keep it in stock. Out of their sets, this bundle goes a long way for just $15. The lightweight bamboo chopsticks, spoon, fork, and knife won’t drag you down during hikes, either. Another desirable feature is the recycled plastic storage bag with a carabiner that clips onto bags or baskets.
Fiberglass chopsticks combine the lightweight quality of wood with the easy-to-clean qualities of metal. Fiberglass is a strong plastic that’s heat-resistant and dishwasher-safe. These N+A chopsticks feature frosted tips–which seems a small detail to fuss over, but it means a better grip on food, oil, and all. At $18 for 6 pairs in different colors, they are great for parties and color coding whose utensil is whose.
If you’re a straightforward type of guy, but you still enjoy high quality, these metal chopsticks are a win-win. Hollow stainless steel is not only lightweight, it boasts textured tips that are beginner-friendly. The $15 tag for 5 pairs is fair: they’re rust-proof, durable, and dishwasher-safe. Plus, they’re 9.45 inches long, an ideal length for noodles.
Slurping hot ramen on cold days is comforting. With this $26 set, the experience gets better. The wooden chopsticks fit onto the specially designed, 16-ounce ceramic bowl, so you don’t need to find a chopstick holder or balance your chopsticks on top in an ominous cross. (Pro tip: this is considered bad luck and bad manners in China and Japan.)
Why not treat yourself to a pair of handcrafted sterling silver chopsticks to make each meal feel like a Michelin-starred dining experience, even if you’re just reheating leftovers? Tchin specializes in Chinese and Japanese chopsticks, so you know they know their stuff. This design is available in 5 styles including traditional Chinese and classic Japanese. They run for $385 a pair, justifiable by their quality craftsmanship.
Another standout from Eatingtools is Guillaume Bonici’s brass and steel chopsticks — aesthetically pleasing and less than half the price of the sterling silver chopsticks above, at $150. You might be skeptical of taking these pricey chopsticks outside, but they do offer impressive portability. The removable brass handles allow you to store them in a compact pouch.
Last on our Eatingtools mini lineup are these titanium chopsticks. Rounded tips give way to flattened handles that provide better grip, which then taper off to thin ends. The tips are sandblasted, which yields a modern, matte finish and provides excellent grip compared to typical metal or plastic chopsticks. The set costs $115, but these are top quality chopsticks made in small batches.
Nothing beats classic lacquered wood. This pair from Hashimoto-Kousaku Sikkiten is made with centuries-old techniques in Wajima, Japan — a small, seaside city on the west coast of Japan known for its lacquerware. Craftsmen apply layers of lacquer onto a cypress wood base, then polish it off with a resin coat that bestows a durable layer against damage. One caveat, though, is they’re hand wash only. On the flip side, they come with a giftable wooden case.
You may be a chopsticks expert, but your little one isn’t. Good news: these Zoomie Kids training chopsticks make learning fun. Melamine is a hardy manufactured plastic — perfect for taking dining room floor hits. These are BPA-free, but best for children 3 years and up. Get them for $17 on Wayfair to teach kids chopstick etiquette early.
Finally, these functional stainless steel and bamboo chopsticks from Snow Peak. So functional, in fact, that the wooden half unscrews from the top metal half and stores neatly inside, like a chopstick Russian nesting doll. These come with a drawstring case you can tuck away inside backpacks alongside your reusable mug. If you’re a fan of the collapsible design and case, $40 is decent.
Other materials beyond plastic and metal are ceramic, glass, rice husk, jade, and even bone (Who knew?). Needless to say, fragile materials are best as heirloom pieces or for special occasions. Which is the best for you? Determine how often you want to use these chopsticks and where, then refine your search from there.
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