Best Chopsticks 2017: Top 5+ Recommended and Reviews

Lately, I’ve been preparing a lot of Asian food for my family, and frankly, we all love it, especially my husband and me. It is delicious, well seasoned, easy to prepare, and simple to eat on the go. That is unless you're eating it with a fork and a knife and you end up with a bunch of soy sauce all over your shirt (it happened to me more than once).

In order to prevent that, I've decided to buy a set of household chopsticks. I know it can be tricky to eat with them, but once you've mastered it, it becomes a piece of cake (or should I say a piece of Baozi), and that sauce will always remain where it should be, on your plate or in your stomach. Besides, eating with chopsticks gives you a more authentic experience than using your regular utensils.

By authentic, I don’t mean going as far as buying chopsticks with colorful geisha motifs. No, I just wanted to find the right shape that fits into my hands nicely, that won’t warp after a while, that can be put in a dishwasher and a set of six or eight chopsticks so that I can use them for dinner parties as well.

If you are ready to eat your Asian food like a pro, I’ll share my experiences with you, teach you what you should pay attention to when buying chopsticks, and show you some of the best chopsticks on the market.

What You should Pay Attention to when Buying Chopsticks

Consider the Material

When you eat at a Chinese restaurant, you will usually get a pair of traditional bamboo chopsticks, which are disposable, but bamboo isn’t the only material chopsticks are made of.

Here are most of them and their important characteristics:

  • Bamboo: easy to split, but heat resistant.
  • Plastic: some fast food diners hand out plastic instead of bamboo because it's cheaper, but this is not recommendable if you want durable chopsticks for your household.
  • Bone or precious metals: these are usually used in wealthy families as status symbols and often have some engravings.
  • Aspen wood: similar properties as the ones of bamboo.
  • Chestnut wood: it is believed to bring wealth.
  • Black persimmon: it is said to bring long life.
  • Stainless steel: durable, reusable and eco-friendly.
  • Titanium: strong, dishwasher safe, durable.

The Three Types of Chopsticks

Asia is a very wide area, and not just as Korean kitchen differs from Japanese, their chopsticks have their own differences. The three basic types of chopsticks are Korean, Japanese and Chinese, and they have a different shape, length, and ends.

Chinese chopsticks

Since the Chinese chopsticks are the very first in history, it is only fair to start with them. They are over 5,000 years old and are considered extensions of fingers, rather than just a tool for eating. Usually, they are made of unfinished wood and are of rectangular shape with a blunt end.

They are longer and thicker than their Korean and Japanese counterparts. One other feature that sets Chinese chopsticks apart from the other two types is that the Chinese don’t taper towards the end as much as them.

Japanese chopsticks

Japanese are known to be a practical nation, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they invented many different chopsticks for various purposes. Some are used for cooking, others for eating specific meals or picking up sweets, and there is even a special type used for funerals.

The most frequently used materials are wood and plastic, but sometimes (for some special occasions) they can be made of bone, ivory or precious metals.

The Japanese chopsticks are shorter and more rounded at the ends than Chinese models. It is obvious that significant attention is devoted to their design and colors.

Korean chopsticks

There is an interesting history behind Korean chopsticks being made of metal (usually stainless steel). In early days, kings used chopsticks made of pure silver, because they would change color if they come in contact with some poison and the attempt of assassinating the king would be prevented. The ordinary citizens, who didn’t have such problems, relied on metal.

Stainless steel and other metals tend to be slippery, so the Korean chopsticks are usually made rough at the ends to diminish that trait. They’re also significantly shorter than other two types.

Aesthetic Appeal

We could argue if the aesthetic moment is even important when it comes to chopsticks since it is something that can be different for every person and it doesn't contribute to the very use of the chopsticks.

And while I, for example, don't like the too engraved pieces, some people will enjoy them more. It is important to choose the set that you don’t feel embarrassed showing off to your guests.

Ease of Use

This one is far more important, especially if you are a beginner in the arts of using chopsticks, or if you are trying to teach two sons to use them when they would rather give it all up and go grab a hamburger with their bare hands.

Since wood, plastic, and bamboo are the lightest materials, they are obviously the easiest to maneuver. It is possible to find learners' chopsticks which have holes for the digits so that they can be easily held in the correct position.

Safety Considerations

The materials used should be enough to determine are the chopsticks of your choice safe to use.

For example, natural materials such as wood are always a good decision, but when they are painted and lacquered and you don't have enough information about the ingredients (lead or benzene are particularly frequent) of the paint, you should stay away from them.

Developed countries (e.g. UK and America) usually have some regulations that forbid the use of such toxins, so you should be safe when buying chopsticks produce there.

Budget – Quality Relation

Chopsticks are usually very affordable, especially if you are buying some of the natural material (e.g. bamboo or wood).

However, it is crucial to balance the price of the chopsticks with how often are you going to use them. If you eat oriental food regularly, it is better to invest in a more permanent option, if you are just a casual Asian-food devotee, you can decide for ivory or some similar inexpensive material.


Current Best Chopsticks You Can Get Online – My Reviews 2017

1. Rbenxia Metal Steel Chopstick - Swirly and Glossy Korean Set

Image Credit: Amazon.com

The first thing you’ll notice on Rbenxia chopsticks is that high-gloss and beautiful swirly design. Obviously, these are Korean chopsticks that suffer the same ill as all of this kind – slippery metal. This product solves this nuisance with a tapered end. However, the surface can still be a bit slippery if you don't grab them just right.

There are five pairs in the set, which makes them perfectly enough for my family and one guest. I love the fact they’re dishwasher friendly and easy to clean. With the dimension of 7 x 5 x 0.5 inches and the weight of 4.8 ounces, they're much easier to use than you would normally expect out of metal chopsticks.

On the downside, they don’t always grab food very well, so you have to try hard to eat without pieces falling out of the grip. Also, one of my boys complained that he feels a slightly metallic taste in his mouth, but I haven’t noticed that.

What I liked:

  • The design is quite elegant.
  • Considering they’re made of metal, the chopsticks are very lightweight.
  • Lightweight.
  • Dishwasher-friendly.
  • Very affordable.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Despite the tapered end, they’re still a bit slippery.
  • They don’t perform very well in grabbing foods, especially soft pieces.
  • They’re very short.
  • According to my son, they leave a mild metallic taste in the mouth.

2. Happy Sales HSCH22/S - Perfect for Asian Food Newbies

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Let’s start with the obvious: these multicolored Japanese sticks are simply beautiful. The set has five pairs of four different colors, and here is where my doubts begin.

Although they look fabulous and the very material they’re made of (bamboo) is eco-friendly and free of toxins, the colors and the fact the set is produced in China made me feel insecure about my decision of ordering it.

I’ve tried to soak them in water and see will they smell off or will the color change, and every pair passed the test except the black one, so we stopped using it. Now, I use them only as a hair tie.

On the plus side, they are reusable, easy to clean, lightweight and great for beginners.

What I liked:

  • Easy to use.
  • Grab the food perfectly.
  • Perfect for my sons who are absolute beginners in Asian food.
  • Simple to clean.
  • Much longer than the Korean (9 x 4 x 0.5 inches).
  • Affordable.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • They are painted, and the black ones smell off.
  • Not as durable as steel.
  • Have to be washed by hand.

3. Happy Sales HSCSS4 - A Flawless Must-Have

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Similar to the first set, only much cheaper, these chopsticks feature the similar spiral design that prevents slipping.

However, there are several essential components that set apart Happy Sales set from the Rbenxia. First, these are 2 inches longer and twice lighter, thus combining the durability of steel and lightness of natural materials, which makes them perfect for beginners who are planning on using them for years.

They are very low maintenance, once you are done with them, you can just wash them in a couple of seconds. Yes, it id recommendable to do that by hand, but the dirt simply slips of off them. They look well in any table setting, from casual lunch to elegant dinner, and I’m even planning on buying another set for when I invite my friends over for dinner.

What I liked:

  • The length is just perfect for every dish.
  • They weigh approximately as bamboo.
  • They’re easy to wash.
  • Simple to hold.
  • You can grab food with them really easily, and my boys mastered the skill of using them really quickly.
  • They’re cheap.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • It is not recommended to wash them in a dishwasher.

4. Happy Sales HSKS1 - All Look and Not Much Substance

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Looking at this set, I can't help but admire its beautiful design. Both the case and the chopsticks look amazing, and they make a great gift material. However, one serious drawback is that for the price that is much higher than some of the previous sets, you get only one pair of chopsticks.

So if you want to equip your entire family with these traditionally looking chopsticks, you would have to spend four to five times more than on one set of five pairs.

The chopsticks are made of bamboo, but they're lacquered with black color. The lacquered finish is smooth, so they're easy to clean, but they shouldn't be soaked in water for a very long time. The smoothness isn't helping with holding them, though. The plastic case is very useful for storing.

What I liked:

  • The design is absolutely fabulous. I could brag about it to my friends all the time.
  • Easy to clean.
  • The case makes them a perfect gift.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • Only one pair of chopsticks.
  • For what you’re getting it’s pretty expensive.
  • A bit slippery.

5. finessCity Titanium Chopsticks - Ideal for Carrying around

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Just like the previous product, these set features only one pair of chopsticks, which is a downside straight from the beginning. And the price is even higher than for the Happy Sales’ set. If I would be perfectly honest, I would say that I’m so in love with them that they are worth every buck, but here’s the thing: I bought only one, so only one member of the family can use them, and that is not very nice.

However, there are a couple of things that could motivate you to make the purchase after all. The fitnessCity chopsticks are strong, yet lightweight and safe to wash in a dishwasher. They can be easily used for sushi, rice or noodles.

The aluminum case makes them ideal for carrying around, even on camping. I even carry them when I go to dinner in an oriental restaurant so that I can save as many trees I can. The waitress at one Japanese restaurant was so impressed that she had to ask me where I got them from.

The chopsticks are much lighter than stainless steel (0.8 ounces), and you won’t even feel you’re holding them. The 10 inches length makes them ideal for every Asian dish.

What I liked:

  • Beautiful construction and finish.
  • Durable.
  • Handy travel case.
  • Lightweight and easy to hold.
  • Dishwasher friendly.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • There is only one pair in the set.
  • The price is a bit high.

Which Set Is the Best for You?

There are many factors that will impact your decision of purchase and choice of best chopsticks, and you should consider every single one of them. As for me, my priority was for the set to be easy to use for beginners.

Also, it was important to me that the material is eco-friendly so wood was out of the question. The last two sets are gorgeous, but I make my purchases for my entire family, and investing in four sets would be too much, considering we don’t eat Asian food each day.

For me, the clear winner is Happy Sales HSCSS4 set, because it combines great quality, with great features.

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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