Shopping & Reviews

The Best Ice Cream Scoop Is an Under-$20 Classic

We got the scoop on what the pros are using for the perfect serving of ice cream.

By Claire Stern, Ellen Fort

Updated on April 12, 2022

When it comes to desserts, nothing says “summer” quite like ice cream. Cold, creamy, and satisfying, the quintessential sweet treat can’t help but conjure memories of childhood. But there’s no need to wait for the nostalgic jangle of an approaching ice cream truck to satisfy your cravings; with all the excellent, artisanal ice cream options available in stores these days, you’ll likely be more satisfied just serving yourself. With that in mind, we asked some of our favorite ice cream experts—Michael Palmer, CEO and owner of McConnell’s, Christina Seid, owner of Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, and Tyler Malek, co-founder of Salt & Straw—to share their go-to ice cream scoop. The overarching pick: Zeroll’s 1020 Original Ice Cream Scoop. Read on to find out why it’s considered the best ice cream scoop among pros and to get the scoop on a few other prime options.

Our Top Picks

Material: Aluminum Alloy | Capacity: 2 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: No


  • Good for right or left hand use
  • All-natural ingredients
  • A little goes a long way, in true Texas form


  • Not dishwasher safe

Why we chose it: A classic scoop that easily cuts through hard ice cream, and is warmed by the palm of your hand.

There was no debate among our experts over the superiority of this scoop, and with good reason. For starters, it’s been available since 1933, and the patented design featured a conductive fluid in the handle that warms to roll the ice cream, rather than compress it. While there are a lot of more intricate options out there—think: fancy triggers and creative shapes—the Zeroll “provides the perfect ergonomics and a sharp, even blade that cuts through the ice cream,” says Malek. What more could you want?

Material: Stainless Steel | Capacity: 1.6 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes


  • Handy non-slip grip
  • Dishwasher safe


  • Not dishwasher safe

Why we chose it: A nonstick handle gives extra traction when scooping, while the pointed shape makes it easy to get every last bite from the corners of the carton.

If you’ve got fidgety hands, the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Ice Cream scoop is the scoop for you. It features a pointed tip that easily scoops ice cream and flat edges designed to reach deep into the crevices of any container to collect every last bite. The comfortable, nonstick grip is easy to hold and helps position your hand for a tight grip with minimal effort and strain. Sturdy and heavy, this scoop gives you great leverage.

Material: Stainless Steel | Capacity: 3 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Not recommended


  • Gorgeous polished metal
  • Available in two designs for left- and right-handed users


  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Pricier than other scoops

Why we chose it: An heirloom-quality scoop that's as beautiful as it is easy to use.

With its angled head and unique shape, Belle-V’s Ice Cream Scoop is beautiful, durable, and highly functional. Made of hand-polished stainless steel, it has a weighted sculpted handle and spade-shaped leading edge to easily scoop and access tough-to-reach areas. Adds Palmer: “It’s great for showing off your scooping prowess at a summer ice cream party.” Your guests are sure to be impressed.

Material: Stainless Steel | Capacity: 3 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes


  • Dishwasher safe
  • Can be personalized with engraving
  • Ergonomic design


  • Pricier than other scoops

Why we chose it: The shape of the scoop and handle are designed to relieve pressure on the wrists when scooping hard ice cream, while turning heads around a tub of ice cream.

You can’t put a price on quality, and the Midnight Scoop allows you to utilize your arms and shoulders to ergonomically dig into the ice cream for maximum scoopage. The curved handle is specially designed to plow through ice cream, and the spear-shaped front is capable of piercing rock-hard surfaces. It’s no wonder, then, that this scoop was featured as one of Oprah’s favorite things.

Material: Stainless Steel | Capacity: .5 or .37 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes


  • Dishwasher safe
  • Multiple sizes
  • Spring level creates precise scoops


  • Spring function can loosen over time

Why we chose it: A precise option for ice cream that doubles as a multi-functional tool in the kitchen.

The Sur La Table Stainless-Steel Ice Cream Scoop is built to last, and frankly, we expect nothing less from the purveyor of luxury cookware. Made of sturdy stainless steel, the scoop comes equipped with a handy spring lever to serve up optimum-sized, picture-perfect portions every single time. It works wonders for ice cream, but can also be used for cookie dough, muffins, and meatballs. The possibilities are endless.

Features to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Ice Cream Scoops

Solid vs. mechanical vs. heated

The simpler the scoop, the better. Mechanical ice cream scoops often break, while heated scoops are considered a hoax by many insiders. “Even if [heated scoops] did work, they’d just melt ice cream instead of properly scooping it,” says Malek. He also cautions against using a scoop with a pointy tip. “It can lead to major wrist injury when it twists out of control on you.”

Handle design

Whether the handle is metal or rubber, the most important thing to keep in mind is a tight grip. “Make sure the handle fits nicely in your hand and doesn’t wiggle or twist,” says Malek.


Throwing a party? If you’re going to be scooping a lot, Palmer advises using a solid, single-piece cast aluminum scoop, like the Zeroll.

Ask the Experts

Q: Why did my ice cream scoop turn black?

According to Palmer, this can happen when an aluminum scoop gets oxidized. “It’s just a superficial tarnish,” he says. “Take a clean dish towel with some vinegar or Bar Keepers Friend and your trusty scoop will look brand new in no time.” Malek assures us that discoloration is totally common. “If anything, it proves that you've got some ice cream street cred,” he says.

Q: What’s the best way to clean an ice cream scoop?

Because most scoops are either cast in aluminum or stainless steel, Malek recommends steering clear of the dishwasher. “I always hand-wash my scoops to ensure they're not damaged and keep a nice long life,” he says. Both Seid and Palmer suggest cleaning with water and mild dish soap.

Our Take

Whether you're scooping dozens of scoops at a party or simply making yourself a cone, the right ice cream scoop will save you (and your wrist) from stress. Our favorite, the Zeroll, is ergonomic to relieve stress on the hand and wrist during repetitive movement, the most important feature in an ice cream scoop in our opinion. Others, like OXO's scoop, have a sturdy, flexible rubber grip for those who need a little more traction while scooping. Regardless of quantity, these are the scoops to get you through summer, no matter how cold the ice cream or arduous the task.

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