Oxo tongs: comparison with Edlund tongs
December 20, 2008
Dirty counter. Yuck.
There's a thread over on Chowhound, quickly deteriorating into idiocy, as open forums tend to, discussing Oxo's gadgets. The thrust of the initial post is that Oxo makes really good products, with the OP (original poster, in internet forum-speak) wondering if there was anyone unhappy with their Oxo gadgets.
I didn't really read much of the thread, as I don't care what other people think, because in general, they don't think. But since someone asked, and I know that I don't care for my Oxo tongs, I thought I'd throw something out there, for the greater good. Who knows, I figured, maybe someone would even ask "why" or "how" or want to actually discuss or learn something about someone else's experience. But that didn't happen so much.
So, instead of wasting any more energy there, I figured I'd just post about the tongs here, as I've planned on doing for some time.
Bottom line: I don't like my Oxo tongs. Both sets of 'em.
And here's why...
Tongs should be an extension of your body. Like really strong heat-resistant metal hands. They should be able to pinch, grab, push, pull, and feel...at the very least. You shouldn't have to think too much about tongs, just as you don't think about how to get your hand to your mouth when you're licking something tasty from your fingers. My Oxo tongs just don't provide that level of service.
I did a couple of quick tests a la America's Test Kitchen Equipment Corner (best show ever) to qualify and support my opinion. I really didn't have to do these tests again, but I figured I'd take some photos to help illustrate, in the event that someone actually wants to be a part of an exchange of knowledge and experience.
Oxo on left, Edlund on right, here and in all pictures
The Oxo's weakness, to my mind, comes from the way the tongs clasp: not so much. The scalloped pincers barely touch each other, aside from the very tips. And then they very sharply separate. Great for plucking out ingrown hairs, but not so great for taking care of cooking business.
Some practical applications:
You'll notice a 99 cent wooden spoon in the upper-right-hand corner, being all lazy on the big pot, which certainly did not cost $24 dollars
The Oxo tongs just don't make enough contact with the handle of this heavy pot to be very effective at nudging it in any direction.
Scenario 2: Pulling out an oven rack
Again, the Oxo tongs just don't grab enough rack to be very helpful here. You gotta be able to grab some rack.
Scenario 3: Grabbing a hot pan handle to slide tho pan off of the heat
Same again. This time the Oxo can grab the handle, but it has to be positioned just right. Otherwise, the handle will slip right out. A similar situation occurs when trying to lift a pot top off. That's no way to cook.
Does the Oxo have positives? Sure, the Oxo has that somewhat soft plastic handle. But if your mitts get sore from touching metal, then you ain't cooking enough.
That's not to say all Oxo products are inferior. We have an Oxo meat tenderizer mallet which is quite nice, what with that wonderfully soft handle. It's so luxurious it feels as though I'm getting a manicure when I'm pounding out a pork loin. Although you're not supposed to put it in the dishwasher, I have many times, and it's weathered the steamy storm just fine. The sticker stating "do not put in dishwasher" that came on it is still suck to it after five years. Good grip, for sure.
Edlund: available at kitchen supply stores and online from various suppliers
Oxo : available at the mall