What is a Potato Peeler?

Lauren Romano

A potato peeler is a kitchen gadget that has a metal blade used to peel the skin off potatoes. Whether it's for cooking purposes or taste preferences, it easily removes the skin without putting excessive strain on the hands, which is especially helpful for those who have hand problems. The peeler is either hand-held, electric or operates by turning a handle.


To peel a potato using a hand-held potato peeler, the user holds the peeler in one hand, the potato in another and peels the skin off in thin strips from one end of the potato to the other or from rotating the potato and, all the while, peeling the skin off in a single strip. There are hand-held peelers that are for both right- and left-handed people and those that are specifically designed for those that are left-handed.

A potato peeler can be used to peel apples as well.
A potato peeler can be used to peel apples as well.

The electric potato peeler sits on a flat surface with the potato attaching to the holder. At the press of a button, the blade rotates the potato and peels it from one end to the other. An additional type of peeler operates similarly to the electric peeler but instead of being electric it requires the user to manually turn a handle until all the skin is removed. Both types of peelers typically remove the skin a few millimeters wide at a time, leaving the skin in a single long curled strip.

For those who have trouble peeling potatoes because of a medical issue, such as arthritis, the electric potato peeler is the best option. Putting the potato on the holder is a relatively easy process even for those with painful problems in the hands and joints. The electric peeler alleviates the pressure and strain on the hands that the user may encounter by using the manual peeler or the peeler that has the handle the user needs to grip and turn.

Having a potato peeler can be especially useful for those who cook often with potatoes and choose to remove the skins. For those who peel cooked potatoes, the hand-held peeler is the best option; the potatoes can get crushed and crumble if using the other two options. When peeling raw potatoes, any of the three peelers will work well. When peeling a large amount of potatoes, the electric option may be the fastest option and may also help prevent the hands from getting tired.

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