An apple peeler is a kitchen tool that aids in removing the skin, or peel, from an apple. An apple peeler takes many forms, also commonly known as a potato peeler, and may just peel or pare apples or may peel, core, and slice. The first apple/potato peeler was patented in the early 1800s. Today, there are numerous designs and varieties of apple peelers.
The most common apple peeler is a hand held tool that serves as a multi-purpose peeler. They have a long double-sided shaft with blades on the inner edges attached to a handle. Some people prefer this multi-purpose tool because it can peel most any fruit or vegetable. Others prefer more modern designs since this common kitchen tool requires several single strokes to be repeated all the way around the fruit before it is entirely peeled. Additionally, the amount of pressure applied to each stroke can change, which creates an uneven surface.
The combination apple peeler/corer/slicer has become a popular modern rendition of the traditional peeler. There are various designs, but the mechanics are about the same. The combination apple peeler looks very much like a vice grip with a crank handle attached to a drill bit. Though this is a relatively crude description, it suits most designs. It works when the attached shaft is placed through the center of the apple and then the handle is turned. There is a blade that removes the peel of the apple as the apple spins, corkscrew like, across the blade. It also slices the apple as it peels.
Either type of apple peeler will peel an apple easier than with just a paring knife and choosing an apple peeler depends on your individual needs. The handheld traditional apple peeler is much smaller, stores easier, and will peel apples, carrots, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables with firm flesh. The combination apple peeler/corer/slicer requires larger storage space, but is very useful and quick if you make a lot of apple dishes. Prices for this kitchen tool range from only a few US Dollars to around a hundred US Dollars.