As the leaves start turning and temperatures cool down, we often think about what cooler months promise for our tables—and our apples. Apple pies, apple cobblers, apple crunches, apple butters, apple preserves, and apple chutneys are all great choices for seasonal fare. Truthfully, though, apples need to be peeled year-round whether you simply prefer to eat them unpeeled or need them for a recipe. But what about all the work involved? Peeling, coring, and slicing apples can be a chore, but like with anything in the kitchen, there’s usually a way to make it easier, and that comes down to the right tools.
Not all peelers are created alike and some are designed to be multipurpose tools. To figure out which peelers are the best for apples, we conducted testing on some of the top-rated options. We spent hours peeling, coring, and slicing apples in addition to other veggies. Then, we rated each one on design, versatility, performance, ease of use, cleaning, and overall value. We tested a wide range of options—from electric to manual and handheld to countertop—so each home cook and aspiring apple pie baker can find the right fit for their kitchen.
KitchenAid 5-Blade Spiralizer Attachment
Easy to attach to power hub
Fits all KitchenAid mixer models
Requires a KitchenAid mixer
Difficult to remove blades
For serious cooks and bakers, the KitchenAid mixer and its attachments are some of the best investments you can make. If you already own a KitchenAid mixer, this attachment makes peeling, coring, and slicing apples and other fruit and vegetables a breeze. As with all of the KitchenAid attachments, this one is sturdy and hardworking. The parts include a fine spiralizer, a medium spiralizer, a spiral slice (small core), a spiral slice (large core), and a peeler.
During testing, we used the attachment to peel, slice, and spiralize apples for apple crisps and found all the blades to be extremely sharp. The slicing and spiralizing functions performed extremely well in tests and will definitely save you time in the kitchen. After some trial and error, we were able to core apples successfully and get uniform pieces that were easy to remove. The peeler worked well for our apple crisps, but we did note that irregular shapes (like a sweet potato) can cause it to skip small sections of peel. Still, this is a particularly versatile attachment as it was able to slice any veggie or fruit we tried—even dense sweet potatoes.
Price at time of publish: $130
Size: 5.8 x 12.4 x 2.9 inches | Weight: 2.2 pounds | Method of Operation: Electric | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best for Small Spaces
PL8 Apple Peeler & Corer Machine
Not as sturdy as some others
If you're looking for a compact, modern device that's quick and easy to use, the PL8 Apple Peeler and Corer is a great choice. It features an ergonomic base and non-skid feed to hold the peeler at a comfortable angle for use, and the stainless steel legs fold in for easy storage when you're finished.
This device shines when it comes to ease of use: Setup for testing took us just 4 minutes (including reading the directions), and peeling a small apple took about 5 seconds. It features very sharp blades, and we noted no decrease in sharpness after lots of peeling and coring. Coring an apple is easy as well—it took us around 7 seconds—and it requires very little pressure on the handle. The peeler is dishwasher safe for quick cleanup.
Price at time of publish: $60
Size: 7 x 5 x 1 inches | Weight: 1.65 pounds | Method of Operation: Hand crank | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Traditional Table Clamp
Johnny Apple Peeler Cast Iron with Clamp Base
Requires countertop deep enough for clamp
Setup is lengthy for smaller tasks
This classic cast iron peeler that peels, cores, and slices is exceptionally sturdy due to its construction as well as the C clamp used to secure it to a table or countertop. With an old-fashioned feel and look, it brings a bit of nostalgia to the task of peeling apples, potatoes, and large carrots, but it’s best for peeling and slicing in larger amounts because of the setup. We noticed it can be a bit fussy to adjust if you haven’t used one of these before, but after it’s set initially, it’s ready to go without adjustment.
We found it efficiently peeled, cored, and sliced apples (and it can perform all those functions simultaneously). The speed depends on how fast you turn the crank, but in our tests, it took around 8 seconds to peel and slice a small apple. Coring is simple as well (took about 5 seconds). We also successfully peeled a large sweet potato and carrot but noted it works best for apples. Each vegetable or fruit requires a slight adjustment in terms of strength used during the peeling, and the blade has to be adjusted as well.
The handle is of the traditional wooden dowel-shaped design and the parts are engineered to work hard and last a long time. We also appreciated that the blade retained its sharpness after hours of peeling.
Price at time of publish: $28
Size: 12 x 2 x 8 inches | Weight: 2 pounds | Method of Operation: Hand crank | Dishwasher Safe: Hand wash recommended
TOPCHANCES Electric Automatic Rotating Apple Peeler
Super easy to use
Not as sturdy as some others
No coring or slicing
This is a great tool for people who don’t like to manually peel apples or other fruit and vegetables. An electric peeler makes it easier to prepare the fresh fruits and veggies you might otherwise avoid because of the work of hand-peeling. We like that this model doesn't take up too much space on the counter and includes an electrical adapter that can be plugged into a normal outlet, though it will also work on four (AA) batteries.
This is definitely a multitasking tool: The robotic arm adjusts to accommodate different sizes and textures so you aren't limited to apples. We found that apples, potatoes, and many other fruits and vegetables can be peeled easily and efficiently by this machine, but keep in mind that it does not core or slice. We were impressed with its speed (less than 30 seconds to peel an apple) and the quality of the peel and loved that it does all the work for you. After lots of peeling of tough veggies and fruits, we didn't notice any decrease in the sharpness of the stainless steel blade, but three extra blades are included so you'll be set for a while.
If you have arthritis or tendonitis (or if you know someone who does), this is an ideal option for peeling apples because it does all the work for you.
Price at time of publish: $30
Size: 6.44 x 6.24 x 10.92 inches | Weight: 1.5 pounds | Method of Operation: Electric | Dishwasher Safe: No
Spring Chef Premium Swivel Vegetable Peeler
Easy to use
Compact and simple design
Comes in various fun colors
Does not core or slice
For a simple and no-frills tool that gets the job done quickly and with ease, look to this smoothly gliding peeler. It may not have the technology to core and slice your apples, but it fits compactly in your kitchen drawer and can complete the task within seconds. Plus, the soft grip handle makes for ideal comfort and safety.
We confirmed during testing that it works well for both left- and right-handed use. We also appreciated that the blade swivels, which ensures optimal angles for cutting through the slippery curves of apples. This affordable yet sturdy peeler works great for not only apples, but potatoes and other veggies as well, making it a versatile value tool.
Price at time of publish: $9
Size: 7.5 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches inches | Weight: 2.4 ounces | Method of Operation: Manual | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
If you already have a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, you can't go wrong with the KitchenAid Spiralizer attachment for peeling, coring, and slicing your apples. However, If you only pare and cut a few apples once in a while, the Kuhn Rikon Slicer and Corer is a fantastic choice that performed well in our tests and doesn't break the bank.
How We Tested
We sent seven apple peelers, corers, and slicers to our experienced food writers and product testers so they could evaluate how each performed in their home kitchens. They peeled dozens of apples of roughly the same size to compare the items side-by-side. They also tested the coring and slicing functions and used the gadgets with other fruits and vegetables when they could. Then, our testers rated each on design (including comfort of the handle), versatility, performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning, and overall value. The tests included:
- Peeling an apple (and recording time elapsed)
- Coring and slicing an apple (if applicable)
- Peeling a carrot and sweet potato (if applicable)
- Checking sharpness of blade after completing peeling
- Cleaning in dishwasher or by hand
Other Options We Tested
Matfer Bourgeat Apple Peeler, Corer & Slicer: Though this peeler is priced fairly high, it was surprising how poorly it performed. It looked great when first taken out of the box, but during assembly, some of the parts did not fit correctly. During use, the suction to the table was inconsistent, and when peeling apples of different sizes the results varied immensely.
The Matfer Bourgeat brand has an excellent reputation, so why this tool performed so poorly is a mystery. Taking a look at other reviewers’ notes on this product, it’s apparent that their results vary quite a lot, from those who love the product to others who note similar problems with this peeler.
What to Look for When Buying an Apple Peeler
Ease of Use
Between electric and manual, the former is not only more convenient, but it's easier on people with aches and pains. It's faster and more efficient, but pricier. It also requires more care. Some parts may not be dishwasher safe, so you might have to hand wash or wipe down after use. A manual peeler is most often less expensive, easier to clean, and simpler to store. Because of its small size, it can be stashed in a drawer alongside cutlery and other small tools. Plus, you can bring it with you to a picnic, for example, because it doesn't need a power source.
Handheld peelers are lightweight and you can take them pretty much anywhere, unlike countertop peelers, which are typically much bulkier and heavier. However, handheld peelers can be more difficult to use and take more work on the part of the user. Countertop peelers are great for peeling more apples at a faster rate, although having multiple handheld peelers allows other people in your household to help complete the task.
To make sure your gadget works for years to come, get one made from sturdy, rust-proof material. You don't want the handle to snap off while you're prepping a pie. It's also important that the handle is ergonomic, so you can peel apples for long periods of time without becoming uncomfortable. Sharp, long-lasting blades are vital to both electric and manual peelers. If you go with a countertop tool, you'll want one with strong suction cups at the base, so it doesn't go crashing to the floor.
Some peelers are designed to peel apples as well as other fruits and vegetables, while others are apple specific. There are plenty of multifunctional tools out there, which might be a good choice if your space is limited. Do you want to peel and slice or core your apples? If so, look for a hybrid tool.
How do you keep peeled apples from turning brown?
Fill a bowl with water that has added lemon juice or white vinegar at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to each cup of water, and drop apples in after peeling. Be sure all surfaces of apples are covered.
What can you do with apple peels?
Make some Apple Scrap Jelly or Homemade Apple Pectin or help the planet by making your own in-home compost bin.
How do you use an apple peeler?
Each apple peeler is different. Some are manual and others electric, and the ways they’re secured to the base also vary. Be sure to read the directions for the one you’ve chosen before starting.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Karen Resta is a writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. She's also a former pastry chef and has traveled to Budapest, Kyiv, and Paris during their Fashion Weeks as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic pastries along the way. Her favorite apple recipe is Mile High Sour Cream Apple Pie with Streusel. She spends a lot of her free time baking at home and recommends quality within your given budget. She personally tested six apple peelers for this roundup.