16 Useless Kitchen Gadgets That Will Just End Up Collecting Dust (Spend Your Money Elsewhere)

These items can quickly turn into buyer's remorse.
Updated Sept. 7, 2023
A woman cooking

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There is a kitchen gadget for nearly every task you could possibly think of, which makes it easy to get carried away and buy unnecessary items that will only drain your wallet. But beware, as not all of these purchases are worth your hard-earned money. In fact, Amazon even has an entire section showcasing kitchen gadgets that are shamelessly labeled as such!

While some kitchen items may seem helpful at first glance, many of them end up at the back of the drawer after a month or two. To help you avoid throwing your money away, we’ve curated a list of the most useless kitchen gadgets to avoid.

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Banana slicer

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon-banana slicer

You likely already have a device that can slice bananas quickly in your kitchen: A knife. A banana slicer not only takes up room in the drawer, but it is also only good for slicing one thing. Save space and money by sticking to simple devices that are good for prepping a variety of foods rather than those that only serve a single function.

Pickle pincher

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon-pickle pincher

It can be annoying to get pickle juice on your hands when you reach into the jar for a spear or slice, but is it really worth a separate purchase? The tiny prongs on pickle pinchers bend easily and are really only strong enough for more petite pickles.

Instead, consider pouring off some of the pickle juice (and potentially drinking it for its health benefits like the probiotics — who knew?) before you snag a pickle with a fork or a knife.

Portion cake maker

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon-portion cake maker

Unless you run a catering business, you don’t have to worry about perfectly portioned cake pieces. In fact, your guests probably prefer to pick their own thickness, which usually comes with eyeballing a slice. And even if the occasion warrants perfectly even cake slices, you can accomplish this with a knife rather than a kitchen gadget you’ll forget you even own.

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Grape and cherry tomato slicer

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon-grape and cherry tomato slicer

Slicing small, spherical foods like cherry tomatoes is tricky, so we kind of understand why the grape and cherry tomato slicer was invented. Still, this can’t do anything a knife can’t do, and it would probably take just as long to load the grapes in this gadget and slice them as it would to carefully cut them with a knife on a cutting board.

Tuna strainer

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon-tuna strainer

Fun fact: The lid of the tuna can perform the exact same function as this tuna strainer. No extra purchase is necessary. Your tuna will not be any drier or more delicious if you strain it with the lid instead of a special strainer, so skip this needless item and keep more plastic out of your kitchen drawers and the landfill.

Pizza scissors

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon - pizza scissors

Again, what’s wrong with using a knife or pizza slicer? This gadget solves a problem that never existed since two additional items already do the same thing, if not better. Picking up piping hot pizza and cutting it with scissors seems like a recipe for a cheesy mess and burned fingers.

Bear claws

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon - bear claws

Sure, you’ll look pretty impressive shredding your barbeque pork with these bad boys, but how often will you really need them? A pair of forks may take a little longer, but they already have a place in your drawer. You can also consider using a paddle in a stand mixer.

Butter dispenser

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon - butter dispenser

This butter dispenser allows you to dispense butter in a thin ribbon, which is great if you’re making toast for an army but fairly useless otherwise. The product adds a lot of time to a relatively simple task. Not only do you have to wait until the butter is warm enough to dispense, but the product description notes that you’ll have to shave larger sticks to size before you can use it in the dispenser. And on top of all of this, it’s also just one more product to clean.

Garlic press

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon - garlic press

Another not-so-worth-it device is the garlic press. If you think it’ll help you avoid smelling like garlic, think again. Because you have to peel the garlic before you use this product, your hands will still smell like garlic whether you mince it with a knife or use a fancy garlic press. This device can also be a nightmare to clean with all of the tiny holes. If you really detest chopping garlic, you can always purchase garlic that is already minced.

Electric salt and pepper grinder

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon electric salt and pepper grinder

We’ve reached a new level of laziness when it’s too much effort to crank a pepper grinder. For the entire cost of the set, you could potentially buy a manual set, five pounds of pink Himalayan sea salt, and a pound of peppercorns — and still have money left over. Unless you have severe arthritis, this gizmo is a waste of money.

Burger press

It’s nice to have even burger patties, but you can make them with your hands just as well as you can with a burger press. If you’re squeamish about touching raw meat, a pair of latex gloves are much cheaper, and you don’t have to clean them afterward.

Egg separator

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon-egg separator

Although this little guy is pretty cute, an egg’s shell itself does a pretty good job of separating the yolk from the white. When you crack an egg, simply transfer the yolk from one side of the shell to the other over a bowl, and the white will fall into the bowl, leaving just the yolk in the eggshell.

Butter spreader

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon-butter spreader

If you’re a corn-on-the-cob fanatic, you might be able to make a case for owning a butter spreader. But getting butter into this device will probably leave you a greasy mess, and avoiding that is the whole point of buying a product like this. If you’re a purist, you’ll poke the corn cob’s ends with corn holders and roll it over a stick of butter. This gets you the same even butter distribution without an extra gadget to clean.

Pasta maker

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon-pasta maker

Despite inflation, pasta remains one of the cheapest things at the grocery store, so DIYing your pasta isn’t going to help you save on groceries. What’s more, the pasta maker has to be taken apart and cleaned every time. Will you take the time and effort to make and dry fresh pasta when you can pick up a pound at the store for a buck or two? Chances are this purchase will end up in a donation bin in a year.

Toaster tongs

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon toaster tongs

This set of toaster tongs is adorable. While this set of tongs is adorable, his little bunny ears can’t do anything that a wooden skewer or even your own fingers can’t do (other than take up more space). Besides, many toasters nowadays come with an extra lift function that raises the toast just enough so you can grab it without getting burned once it’s done.

Bacon bin

Courtesy of Amazon Amazon-bacon bin

You can’t dump bacon grease down the drain, and it will create a congealed, hard-to-clean mess if you leave it in the pan. But the solution doesn’t have to be a silicone pig-shaped container. Sure, it’s cute, but cooks have been using washed-out tin cans or glass jars to catch bacon grease for decades. Also, bacon grease only keeps for about three months in the fridge, so if you don’t use it up by then, your piggy will start to stink.

Bottom line

Yakobchuk Olena/Adobe cook preparing an Italian dinner at his kitchen

When you’re considering buying an additional gadget for your kitchen, ask yourself the following questions: How often will I use this? Do I have an item that will adequately perform the same function? Do I want to store, maintain, and clean this item?

Limiting your purchases to items that you’ll use often and perform multiple tasks (like knives and blenders) are worth the space they take up in your drawers. Plus, a neat and organized kitchen that’s free of useless gadgets is much nicer to cook in. Not to mention avoiding spending money on useless gadgets means you'll keep more money in your bank account.

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Jenni Sisson Jenni Sisson is a freelance writer and editor who focuses on personal finance, real estate, and entrepreneurship. She has been published in Business Insider and The Ways to Wealth. In addition to writing, Jenni hosts the Mama's Money Map podcast to help fellow stay-at-home moms on their journey to financial freedom.